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If it wasn't for the Toys for Kids and Angel Tree programs, Amber Ledoux' four children, ages 10-months to 9-years-old, wouldn't have a Christmas gift to open. Ledoux, along with hundreds of low-income families with children in need, lined up Thursday at the Brainerd National Guard Armory for the distribution of gifts. Between the two programs, around 1,000 boys and girls through age 15 will have a gift to open for the holidays.
A new winter season brought with it a familiar story. Snow- and/or black ice-covered roads resulting in several vehicle crashes. This past snowfall from Saturday night into Monday in the Brainerd lakes area contributed to several crashes and one fatality in Aitkin County.
It was a big night for the Brainerd School District—Superintendent Laine Larson told the Brainerd School Board Monday after it took the next step in the school district's comprehensive long-range facilities plan. The board approved the final draft of its "request for quote and statement of qualifications" for program management services for executing the district's plan.
Taxpayers in Brainerd Public Schools will see a tax increase in 2017 compared to their 2016 property taxes—but it will be slightly less than what the district proposed in September. The Brainerd School Board Monday unanimously approved a final, 1.3 percent increase for the 2017 levy, compared to the 1.6 percent preliminary levy increase set in mid-September.
Maren Pelowski Grade: Senior Age: 18. Art focus: Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir. Adviser nomination: "Maren is in A Cappella Choir, Windfall and the All State Lutheran Choir. She organized all the costumes for our recent Madrigal Dinner, putting 73 people in Renaissance clothing. Her behind the scene work helped everyone pull off a great project."
Four new faces join the Cass County Most Wanted list for December, replacing four who have since been arrested on their outstanding warrants. Cass County deputies arrested Natalie Beaulieu, Ashley Brown, Spencer Fairbanks and Matthew Resch. In their place, Cass County added Kevin Jay Bruce, Sheila Renae Garbow, Daniel Paez Orozco and Keegan Duane Osborn to the Most Wanted list. They join Anita Rose Beaulieu, Donald Edwin Connors, Anthony Leo Fuller, Renee Marie Norris, Hector Villegas Ramirez and Shiloh Sheridan Williams.
Brainerd Community Action has chosen its new executive director. Holly Holm, who has been employed by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce for the past eight-and-a-half years, accepted the top post of the nonprofit organization. Holm, who moved to Brainerd in the fall of 2006, will succeed Nancy Cross, who has been the Brainerd Community Action executive director for the past 25 years. Cross announced her retirement in September. Her last day with the nonprofit is Jan. 4, 2017, and then Holm will take over.
BAXTER—The opening of Bette Mae's and Sweet Beans Coffee Company in Westgate Mall in Baxter completes the mid-north wing of the mall, lending that area a new vibrance. Cathy Hughes, owner of the specialty store and coffee shop, said she has had a wonderful response from people in the mall, who have told her the two businesses is just what the mall needed and completes that portion of the mall, located down the hall from Dairy Queen.
Marissa Rahn Grade: Senior Age: 17. Art focus: Brainerd High School Wind Symphony. Adviser nomination: "Marissa is the principal flute of the BHS Wind Symphony. She is an exceptional musician and a wonderful leader in that ensemble." Memorable fine arts achievement: "Getting into Minnesota Music Educators Association All-State Band."
All faces in the Crow Wing County's Most Wanted list for December are new. As of Friday, there were an estimated 962 total active warrants in the county. On the Most Wanted list this month are: John Michael Beens, Dustin James Cavin, Raymond Lee Ellis, Larry Donnell Griffin, Julian Alexander Koslowski, Eric William Laborde, Kayle Arthur Peterson, Dena Rae Staples, Roberta Ann Strong and Amanda Michelle Warbonnet.