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Brandon and Cindy Larson watched Monday as their rambler home they were in the middle of remodeling went up in flames. Brainerd firefighters along with firefighters from Pierz and Garrison battled the fire and heavy wind gusts, but the home was a total loss. Brandon Larson said his oldest son, his mother and himself were inside the home at the time of the fire on the 7500 block of South Long Lake Bay Road, southeast of Brainerd near South Long Lake. "We went outside and saw the black smoke on the deck," Brandon said.
The Crow Wing County Fair is here and is a great place for people to check out what the 4-H program is all about. Courtney Johnson, 4-H program coordinator for Crow Wing County with the University of Minnesota Extension office, was busy Monday getting things ready in the 4-H building at the county fairgrounds off 13th Street Southeast in Brainerd. Judging took place Monday for several categories, including the fine arts, youth arts, non-livestock and the flowers, vegetables and grains. The Crow Wing County Fair opens today, Aug.
There are two new faces on the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office's 10 Most Wanted list for July. Rodney Allen Opperud and Vala Marie Eagle join Steven James Iverson, Koty Allen Kremer, Chris David Kujawa, Kevin Robert Lawrence, Gene Russell Lindman, Terry Thomas Olson, Gary George Powers and Kenneth Walker Jr. Some people on the list in Aitkin County have been wanted by authorities from as far back as 1998. Several on Aitkin's Most Wanted have been on the list for months. If people see any of the suspects, the sheriff's office asks them to call 218-927-7435.
It has been over six months since Margo Fortune of Brainerd was told by her doctor she only had a few months to live. "Margo is still fighting the best she can and she is still here," said her husband, Bill Fortune, in an email. The Fortunes shared Margo's story with Dispatch readers Jan. 30. Margo Fortune was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013. Her first tumor was removed March 20, 2013. Margo, who also was told she has a rare muscular disease, had her second brain surgery in August of 2014. Her third and final surgery was done Jan. 20.
The 31-year-old Brainerd man was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in a aggravated robbery in Brainerd last year. Matthew Elijah Mason, who was found guilty by a Crow Wing County jury last month, was sentenced by Judge Earl E. Maus in Crow Wing County District Court for aiding and abetting aggravated robbery and being an ineligible person in possession of a firearm. The charges stemmed from a Nov. 20, 2014, robbery in Brainerd. Mason was sentenced as a career criminal, court documents said.
Crow Wing County will soon have more detailed imagery of parcels in the county to give staff and homeowners better data on property. The Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to fund the county's aerial photography project with aerial pictometry. Commissioners approved funding the first six years of the project at an estimated cost of $45,000 a year. The funds will be taken out of the unallocated recorder's office fund, beginning in 2016. In the fund there is an estimated $200,300 in budgeted revenues for each year in 2016-18.
A 29-year-old Brainerd man, who allegedly fired random gunshots in his residence Thursday morning, was charged with three felonies Friday in Crow Wing County District Court. Nicholas Ronald Wynn was charged with a felon in possession of a firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm and fifth-degree drug possession. Wynn was seen in front of Judge Richard Zimmerman, who set unconditional bail at $250,000 or $100,000 with conditions.
Level 3 predatory offender Joshua Chad Tromblay was living on Wise Road in Crow Wing County until he was sent back to prison on Oct. 9, 2014, for violating the conditions of his parole. Tromblay will be released from prison Wednesday and will move to a residence on the 100 block of Gillis Avenue in Brainerd. Gillis Avenue is located east of the Franklin Arts Center. The Minnesota Department of Corrections and the Brainerd Police Department hosted a community notification meeting Monday for residents to learn more about Tromblay and other predatory offenders. Six people attended the meeting.
Homeowners were hot, sweaty and tired working through the humidity Tuesday - Day 2 - of clean-up from Sunday night's supercell thunderstorm that had a force nearly matching a category 1 hurricane. The Cinosam Road neighborhood off Highway 371 north of Brainerd International Raceway on Gull Lake was one of the areas in the Brainerd lakes area hit hard. The neighborhood, which was once full of towering Norway pines and other pine trees that have been there for decades, now had many downed trees on the ground, houses, garages and sheds.
Brainerd and Pequot Lakes farms will be recognized Aug. 6 by the University of Minnesota as "2015 Farm Family" for Crow Wing and Cass County at an annual ceremony during Farmfest near Redwood Falls. Arlene and Robert Jones of Brainerd of The Farm on St. Mathias will be recognized as a "2015 Farm Family" for Crow Wing County and WR Bar Ranch of Pequot Lakes will be recognized as the Cass County Farm Family of the Year. The Farm on St. Mathias is an 80 acre farm located three miles south of Brainerd on St. Mathias Road.