Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.
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While families gather over Christmas dinner or exchange gifts by the tree, many others spend the holidays alone. Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable to loneliness during the Christmas season—sometimes homebound, isolated and with no families to visit. The Be a Santa to a Senior program seeks to spread holiday cheer to those in need, by encouraging volunteers to anonymously purchase gifts to be delivered to the seniors' homes.
Leaders at the Brainerd Lakes Salvation Army are extending the organization's Angel Tree program deadline through the weekend after nearly 100 Christmas wishes of area children remain unfilled. Carole Paschelke, family services director at the Brainerd Lakes Salvation Army, said the organization is seeking to brighten the holidays for nearly 200 more children this year compared to last, amounting to more than 1,100 youths. The deadline to purchase gifts for the program, which asks donors to include at least one clothing item as described on the tag, was Friday.
A new water tower and replacement of aging water main infrastructure are the two largest capital improvement projects planned by Brainerd Public Utilities in 2018. BPU Superintendent Scott Magnuson said Monday the utility company is close to acquiring land to erect a new water tower serving south Brainerd. The southern portion of the city is currently served through a pressure system, but Magnuson said the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission recommended water tower construction when the pressure was determined to be on the lower side.
A fire engulfing one side of a second-level deck woke up a home full of people late Monday night in south Brainerd. The Brainerd Fire and Police departments responded to a call of a structure fire about 11:15 p.m. Monday on the 700 block of South Seventh Street. Chasci Love woke up to go outside and saw the flames licking up the deck spindles. She told her boyfriend Daytona Beach, who woke up others in the house telling them to leave the home.
Spirits created right in downtown Brainerd will soon be served feet away from the stills that created them. A zoning ordinance change approved by the Brainerd City Council Monday permits microdistilleries and cocktail rooms within several business districts in the city. The change was prompted by Bill and Lisa Desrocher, the couple who together became finalists for the recent Destination Downtown Business Challenge with their idea for the Brainerd Distilling Co.
Doctor's orders for limited movement are tough enough for humans, much less high-energy pups who love to run and jump. But that's exactly the instructions Brainerd Police Department K-9 Keno was forced to follow after partially tearing his Achilles tendon during a training exercise last month.
MERRIFIELD—Seven-year-old Joshua Pence doesn't speak much, but the look of contentment on his face when snuggling with Zippy the golden retriever says more than words could. Zippy's not your average family dog, however. A pup who loves to give kisses and is full of laugh-inducing energy, 16-month-old Zippy joined the Pence family this summer to serve as Joshua's service dog. Her penchant for affection is a trait making Zippy an excellent candidate for Joshua, whose tendency toward frustrated outbursts are diffused by a few licks of the dog's tongue.
Brainerd's next city administrator will be a woman who most recently worked as the senior scientific policy adviser for North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. The Brainerd City Council approved an employment agreement with Cassandra Torstenson Monday. Torstenson will take over the city administration reins the first of the year, following the retirement of current City Administrator Jim Thoreen. Council members cited Torstenson's energy and impressive background as attributes they most admired about the candidate.
The only organization providing shelter for homeless families in the Brainerd lakes area will lose its federal funding next year. Leaders of New Pathways recently learned it will no longer be eligible to receive U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding. With $86,237 of this funding typically earmarked for the Brainerd location, this means 43 percent of the organization's budget would go unfunded by June 2018.
For more than 350 law enforcement officers at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa Thursday, a demonstration on disrupting demand for underage sex trafficking became real life.