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 potential elimination by the Crow Wing County Board of a staff position in the Extension office has volunteers with the Master Gardener program concerned. A special meeting of the Extension committee to determine a budget recommendation took place Tuesday after members heard the previous month from county commissioners of the board's desire to continue with property tax levy reductions in 2016. Volunteers and other community members expressed concerns about the endangered position at the meeting.
A large commercial producer of thermally modified wood products in Waukenabo Township near Palisade was almost completely destroyed by fire July 19. The Aitkin County sheriff's office received a report at 3 p.m. of the fire at Superior Thermowood of Minnesota from a passerby. Firefighters from the Palisade, Aitkin, Hill City and McGregor fire departments were on scene for several hours battling the blaze, which appears to have originated from a wood pile adjacent to a building.
The sustainability of a fund within the county recorder's office became central to a discussion about aerial photography at the Crow Wing County Board's committee of the whole meeting Tuesday. Jay Sikkink, information technology director, told commissioners Paul Thiede and Rosemary Franzen he intended to request money from the county's capital fund to pay for the service after learning the recorder's office non-allocated fund was overburdened with expenditures. The non-allocated fund, County Administrator Tim Houle explained after the meeting, is a statutorily regulated fund made up from fee
A lack of data about a group with significant impact on local economies prompted a study conducted by University of Minnesota Extension community economics educators. At Tuesday's committee of the whole meeting, Commissioners Paul Thiede and Rosemary Franzen learned about the study on those owning second homes in eight western and central Minnesota "high natural amenity" counties.
A new mobile app available from Crow Wing County puts access to trail and land maps, online permits, highway maintenance requests and several other features in one place. The free app, available for download in the iTunes and Google Play stores, provides direct links to 25 separate areas of the county's website and social media sites. Jay Sikkink, county IT director, said the app features both the most visited and other mobile-ready portions of the website.
Smoke filled the air and chain saws buzzed as a tight-knit seasonal community nestled along a strip of land between North Long Lake and Brainerd International Raceway continued cleanup efforts Friday. Longtime residents of the Donneybrook Association, located at the end of Johnson Road east of the racetrack, agreed even the 1991 tornado that ripped through the area caused less damage than Sunday's ferocious winds.
The counties of Crow Wing, Cass and Wadena have officially declared states of emergency following Sunday's damaging storm. In an application for state disaster relief, John Bowen, Crow Wing County emergency management director, preliminarily estimated the financial impact to the county at $730,000.
The Crow Wing County Board Tuesday authorized the chairman to sign a disaster declaration following Sunday's storm, should one be warranted. Crow Wing County Emergency Management Director John Bowen told the county board he is working on a preliminary damage assessment to determine whether the financial impact of the storm's damaging winds meets state or federal disaster relief thresholds. Bowen said officials from the state requested the assessment.
The sounds of chainsaws and the smell of fresh-cut wood permeated the stifling air throughout the Brainerd lakes area Monday as residents and businesses cleaned up after Sunday night's ferocious storm. Homes on North Long and Round lakes were barely visible through the thick foliage of downed trees. Nearly every driveway on Noka Trail south of County Road 115 was impassable and trees were broken off and uprooted everywhere. Roofs were destroyed and generators were the only source of power available.
"Do you want to hear my story now?" said 7-year-old Kaileah Esser while sitting on her mother's lap in their rural Brainerd home last week. A month earlier, parents Crisi and Paul Esser stood in the neurotrauma unit at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, unsure if their spunky daughter would ever open her eyes or speak again. "We could have been planning a funeral, not a birthday party," Crisi said. In what Crisi said was the first time Kaileah - known to her mother as Lala - has spoken about the events leading to her brush with death, she described what began as innocent playing