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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Where the proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline should be located was the center of discussion at a Monday night forum at Central Lakes College. Sponsored by the Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government, the forum featured Paul Eberth, project manager of the Sandpiper project, and Paul Stolen, an independent environmental analyst who once reviewed pipelines for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
During what is shaping up to be one of the driest winters in recent memory in the Brainerd lakes area, businesses and residents are seeing both positive and negative impacts from the lack of snow. Some of the impacts seem obvious: no snow means no need for snowblowers or shovels, limited winter recreation opportunities and a major slowdown in both municipal and private snowplowing.
An updated plan outlining how the county will use and manage forests on tax-forfeited lands was approved Tuesday by the Crow Wing County Board. This is the first time the plan has been updated since 2004. The most significant change is an update to the harvesting or cutting of aspen, a species that represents 60 percent of the forest cover type in the county's approximately 105,000 acres of managed lands. According to the land services department, relatively few acres of aspen on the county's lands will reach maturity in the next decade.
Where the veterans service office will be located within the Crow Wing County complex in the future remains unclear following Tuesday's county board meeting. Commissioners voted 3-2 to separate the office from community services structurally, meaning Bob Nelson, veteran services officer (VSO), no longer reports to supervisors there and will instead report directly to the county board. There was not, however, any direction from the board on what exactly that means when it comes to physical location.
Employees with Brainerd Public Utilities worked Thursday to thaw a water service line on Ivy Street in north Brainerd, the fourth freeze-up the city has seen this winter. Scott Magnuson, Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) superintendent, said this season is shaping up to be a typical one for frozen water lines. "In a typical year, we'll have 20 (freeze-ups) or so," Magnuson said. "There are a few service (lines) around town that are not buried as deep.
A state arbitrator has found mostly in favor of Crow Wing County on outstanding issues in a labor agreement with corrections employees in the sheriff's office. The agreement involves 43 corrections employees represented by Law Enforcement Labor Services, Inc., Local No. 16 (LELS). The union and county were unable to reach an agreement and on Aug. 1 requested involvement from the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services.
Bob Nelson will continue to serve as Crow Wing County's veteran services officer, the county board decided Tuesday, and the office will no longer be under the purview of community services. The decisions were met by thunderous applause and cheers from about 200 people, most donning clothing or hats noting military service, who packed the room and spilled into the hallway.
A larger bus will soon join the public transit fleet in Crow Wing County following approval by the county board Tuesday. Transit coordinator Andy Stone told the board the larger bus would accommodate additional passengers from the Crosby area to St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School in Brainerd.
Murder and deceit are two things one does not typically associate with high school activities. Yet, these things are exactly what area mock trial teams spend time contemplating in preparation for competitions - how to defend or prosecute the accused, detect lies in witness testimony or appear credible on the stand. The murder is fictional and the students have not (yet) earned law degrees, but their success is real.