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When it comes to Fourth of July celebrations this year, it's boom or bust for the Brainerd lakes area. Throughout Wednesday, July 4, scores of revelers in Crosby, Brainerd and Pequot Lakes will take part in Independence Day festivities—from pancake breakfasts at sunup, parades and park extravaganzas in the afternoon, until fireworks light up the dusk sky.
Housing developments in Brainerd got a boost Monday, July 2, with the announcement the city garnered a nearly $640,000 grant for such purposes. The 2018 Small Cities Development Program, or SCDP, grant—valued at $638,338—is slated to target owner-occupied and rental housing rehab in northeast Brainerd, as well as the Koop Building property in downtown. Through the Community Development Block Grant program, Congress appropriates money to states, which is then divided into SCDP grants allocated through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
The DFL has been in a state of flux this election season—a game of "musical chairs," so to speak, with longtime politicos abandoning their seats for other roles in state government.
BAXTER—Chatting with folks around the open house Thursday, June 28, at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Clinic in Baxter, Mayor Darrel Olson said he was appreciative of the "fantastic" expansion at the site. Amenities aside, the addition—a substantial add-on to the relatively new clinic opened in 2012—represents an answer to pressing areas of need, Olson said. These are needs coming to forefront, he noted, that look to remain a focal point for health care in the Brainerd lakes area for decades.
NISSWA—The state's gubernatorial candidates—with the notable exception of Tim Pawlenty—converged on Grand View Lodge in Nisswa Thursday, June 28, to tackle economics. Though this was hardly a superficial take on the subject, the candidates, including DFLers state Attorney General Lori Swanson, Rep. Tim Walz, D-Mankato, and state Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, as well as Republican St. Louis County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, were asked to expound on a number of complex topics that look to shape much of Minnesota's future.
"They said Hole-in-the-Day was like a big log in the road, too high to get over, too big to go around."
The Brainerd City Council discussed a number of options for addressing its facility needs Monday, June 25—thoroughly debated and hashed out ideas that were often termed as "out of the box" by members. Monday's council retreat served as an opportunity for the city's brain trust—namely, staff, elected representatives and consultants—to take part in an extended, informal session dealing with a bevy of topics, most notably among them: the current state of the city of Brainerd's facilities and how best to move forward.
DULUTH—It was about three-quarters of an hour into his address that President Donald Trump dropped what might be the most eyebrow-raising comment of the day. "You ever notice they always call the other side 'elite?' The elite!" Trump told thousands of supporters gathered in Duluth's Amsoil Arena for a campaign rally Wednesday, June 20. "Why are they elite? I have a much better apartment than they do. I'm smarter than they are. I'm richer than they are. I became president and they didn't."
The Brainerd City Council conducted its first hearing Monday, June 18, of a proposed ordinance change to allow mini pigs within city limits—a request, City Planner Mark Ostgarden noted, made by a resident of the city who wishes to have a small pig on their property. Currently, the city codes do not allow small pigs within city limits. However, they do allow other more unorthodox pets like ferrets, rats, non-venomous reptiles and non-venomous amphibians.
DULUTH—It wasn't easy getting into the Trump campaign rally Wednesday, June 20, at the Amsoil Arena, situated on Duluth's harbor front. But they came, thousands of of them—Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters alike; throngs of red Make America Great Again hats and white Guy Fawkes masks, with a whole spectrum of human beings in between.