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Some new squad cars will be patrolling Crow Wing County roads, but the earliest the sheriff's office will put them into use won't be until next year. At its Tuesday, Sept. 11, meeting, the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners approved ordering six 2019 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles for a total of $187,575 before Sept. 21. Ford is America's best-selling police brand, according to the automotive maker. The company introduced in June the Police Interceptor Utility, the industry's first pursuit-rated hybrid SUV.
The Brainerd Veterans Affairs Clinic hosted a veteran mental health and suicide awareness forum to help veterans, family members, friends and community partners save lives. The free event Thursday, Aug. 23, was not limited to veterans but welcomed anyone interested in suicide prevention.
Motorboats from "the golden era of racing" return to the waters of Gull Lake for its annual Bar Harbor Classic Boat Show. The free boat show at Bar Harbor Supper Club in Lake Shore, presented by the Bob Speltz Land O Lakes chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, on the north shore of Gull Lake near the channel to Upper Gull Lake.
Methamphetamine is readily available and cheap—and it's a growing problem not only statewide but in Crow Wing County. County residents treated for alcohol and opiate/opioid abuse declined overall or remained about the same, respectively, since 2009, while those treated for meth went from about 50 that year to 350 cases in 2017, according to a recent report by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The old St. Mathias Town Hall started a new chapter in its storied history. The former meeting space is now the site of a book, puzzle and game exchange after the 1918 building, originally costing $480 to build, was recently outfitted with four custom-built bookcases. "We kind of started the exchange about a year ago without any publicity ... just to kind of get it going because people were donating books, and we just felt like we should open the town hall up," said Mary Sather, a 69-year-old wife and mother of nine who works at Austin's Tax Service.
A proposal to connect Crow Wing State Park and the Soo Line Trail by creating a multi-use trail network encircling Camp Ripley is a step closer to becoming a reality. The Crow Wing Board of Commissioners authorized entering a five-year memorandum of understanding between the Camp Ripley Veterans State Trail Committee, Minnesota Army National Guard and Camp Ripley to help establish the largest trail system in the nation.
A proposal to buy the Pequot Lakes fire tower overlooking northern Minnesota forestland and reopen it as a tourist attraction just got hot again. The Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners gave its approval at its Tuesday, Aug. 14, meeting to enter into a lease agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to repair the historic landmark before it is purchased by the county. "We're trying to get it ready to open it up for the public as soon as we could," Land Services Director Gary Griffin told the board.
Former Crow Wing County Commissioner Dewey Tautges never forgot where he came from, and the farmer approached elected office with a down-to-earth philosophy. The two-term commissioner from District 1 was first elected in 2000. The husband, father of two and Brainerd High School graduate died Monday, Aug. 13, at the age of 74. "Dewey was a real straight-shooter. He cared about property rights and county roads and representing the good folks in the southeast part of the county," County Administrator Tim Houle said.
Voters in some precincts may be in for a rude awakening when they go to vote in Tuesday's primary election and find the polling locations they're familiar with are no longer in use. A few precincts in Brainerd—and one in Baxter—where schools were used will no longer be used for the Aug. 14 election, according to Crow Wing County Administrative Services Director Deborah Erickson.
Days gone by will be the topic du jour at a free Brainerd History Week program at Crow Wing State Park at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. Friends of Old Crow Wing and Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union are sponsors of the program, which will feature Jim Cummings, an archeologist. "I was going to talk about the geography of the area, including the plants and animal life, and the transportation routes—that is the rivers—leading to the area's utilization by humans and fame," said Cummings, a Deerwood resident.