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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The bells are back. The Brainerd Lakes Salvation Army kicked off its annual Red Kettle Campaign Thursday with a goal to collect $130,000 this holiday season. Scott Strissel, captain of the local Salvation Army branch, said the organization has seen an increase in need over the past year and is hoping the generosity of lakes area residents can help to meet it. In 2013 and so far this year, the need in the community has outperformed total income, he added. "We see an increase in people we are serving monthly," Strissel said. "Generally during the weekdays, when the food shelf is (open) ...
There is no policy on the books standardizing how each department of Crow Wing County manages its fleets of vehicles, but a new effort seeks to do just that. Reid Thiesse, facilities manager, presented the proposed policy to a quorum of the county board at its Tuesday committee of the whole meeting. The policy covers who within the county may take home an assigned vehicle, criteria for replacing vehicles, standardization of makes and models and vehicle maintenance.
Who lives next door is becoming increasingly difficult to decipher for many Crow Wing County residents as the popularity of single-family vacation rentals escalates. For a group of concerned property owners, what goes on at some of these dwellings is likewise becoming increasingly difficult to bear, and in July they asked the Crow Wing County Board for help at a public forum. Complaints centered on one rental property in particular, located on Lake Hubert in Nisswa, that neighbors say is consistently a nuisance.
Social workers and public nurses in Crow Wing County Community Services are adjusting to a new tool designed to streamline assessments for long-term services and supports. The web-based application, called MnChoices, was established through legislation in 2009, but was implemented in the county in August.
For nearly 30 years, the same five faces have taken care of business for Lake Edward Township. The most recent addition to the township's government was made in 1985, when Donna Nedved was elected as treasurer. Supervisor George Burnard assumed his post in 1976, followed by Chairman Ronald Metzen in 1982 and Supervisor Leonard Wagner in 1983. Clerk Martha Look has served longer than anyone - since 1974 - and was just re-elected to her 11th term.
Honoring his background in 4-H and the organization's motto, new Brainerd Superintendent Klint Willert said he will seek to make the best better when it comes to his plans for the district. In a presentation to the school board at its Tuesday meeting, Willert shared his vision of what the district should celebrate and where there is room for improvement.
Neighbors of a tract of riverfront property voiced concerns about the impact of the property owner's request to amend the county's zoning map, allowing for smaller lots. The 19-acre property is in Mission Township, west of County Road 11 and on the east shore of the Pine River. Owner Brian Bittner asked Crow Wing County Land Services to change the property's rural residential designation to allow for 2.5-acre lots instead of 5-acre lots.
Garfield Elementary School officials postponed a program to honor veterans and grandparents Friday after around 80 students and staff were home sick with flu-like symptoms. With 35 confirmed illnesses at the school day's start, another 45 sick students were sent home throughout the day. Principal Jonathan Clark said they wanted to err on the side of caution with inviting people into the building. "Just to make sure that we were safe to those people that we were inviting in that we probably better cancel the program," Clark said.
For more than 10 years, congregants of The Journey North Community Church worshipped in a rented space at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. As a former middle school, the space was large enough to accommodate the approximately 600 people who frequent their weekend services, although it was not the church's own. Art studio space and apartments compose much of the rest of the building. "We always fought a battle with being able to be identified in the community," said Mark Bjorlo, lead pastor and founder.
Concerns about a conflict of interest between a medical examiner transport service and a funeral home were put to rest at Wednesday's Crow Wing County Board meeting. Steve A. Suer of Brainerd and his business partner Gary Petersen appeared before the board to answer any questions posed by commissioners. The men own Governor-Steversen Transport, LLC, which was the only company to bid on a contract to provide dead body transport services to the medical examiner in Ramsey County. The contract came before the board at its Oct.