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The gray stucco Law Enforcement Center along Laurel Street since it was built in 1979 in Brainerd is undergoing major renovation. Renovating the LEC—which consists of 26,400 square feet of space and hosts the operations of the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, including the 911 dispatch center—is undergoing four phases over a five-year period at an estimated $4.45 million cost.
Eight deer ventured out onto the ice of South Long Lake Saturday morning. Three fell through the ice and died and four were able to walk off the lake on their own. The eighth deer, too, fell through the ice, but was rescued by lake residents. It was the second time this unseasonably warm fall the Dispatch received a report of lakeshore owners seeing deer falling through the ice, struggling to survive. The first report was Nov. 9 on Gull River. A conservation officer with the Department of Natural Resources helped rescue the deer.
Though snow was in the forecast, with as much as 4 inches possible in Brainerd by Tuesday morning, it appeared the initial storm surge bypassed the lakes area Monday night. The storm began with light rain Monday morning, which turned to a downpour at times. The rain was expected to turn to snow by 6 p.m. Monday with the possibility of near-blizzard conditions by midnight. On cue, the rain switched to snow around 6 p.m. but didn’t accumulate outside of a little slush on grass and vehicles. By 8 p.m. the snow had stopped and was replaced by strong winds. National Weather Service radar images showed the bulk of the storm skirting to the south and east of the Brainerd area.
Elizabeth 'Lizzy' Ortmeier Grade: Senior. Age: 17. Art focus: Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir.
Anglers have been spotted out on the ice of lakes in the Brainerd lakes area, but with unseasonably warm weather ice conditions have deteriorated and there still is a lot of open water. For that reason, area law enforcement officials are urging those venturing out on the ice to be safe. Crow Wing and Cass county authorities have not been needed for any major ice rescues in the past month with anglers falling through the ice, only a few minor incidents of people partially falling in and getting themselves out.
MERRIFIELD—For the time being, the monstrous floating bog on North Long Lake will remain in place. The bog broke off the shoreline in October in Merrifield Bay on North Long Lake just outside Brainerd. It found its permanent resting place in front of Legionville School Safety Patrol Training Center, and camp officials Tuesday said it will remain there for the winter.
Those who live in the Brainerd School District should mark April 10, 2018, on the calendar. That is the date for when the school district will go to its voters to seek bond referendum approval. The Brainerd School Board approved the date Monday in a special school board meeting. School officials have been busy finalizing the comprehensive facilities plan geared to meet the district's future needs of its students, staff and community. The plan is proposed to impact all the school buildings, which could be part of the referendum.
Preston Owen Grade: Senior Age: 18. Art focus: Brainerd High School Wind Symphony Adviser nomination: "Preston is a strong musical leader in Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble I. His dedication to excellence is noticed by his teachers and peers. He is accomplished as both a classical and jazz musician." Memorable fine arts achievement: Getting into Wind Symphony as a sophomore. Artist most admired: Walt Disney. Other fine arts activities: Wind Symphony, Jazz I and TV Productions.
PILLAGER—A fire destroyed Swede's Auto Repair in Sylvan Township in Pillager late Wednesday night. Pillager Area Fire and Rescue responded to the structure fire at 11:10 p.m. at the auto repair business on 4281 Highway 210, Pillager. A passer-by called 911 after seeing the fire at the business owned by Ronnie Arneson.
Brainerd lakes area residents may now take part in #MeToo, a national movement that took off on social media in October when women came forward to share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment. The #MeToo hashtag was born from the slew of sexual misconduct accusations leveled first at Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and then a number of other powerful men that followed, according to a Washington Post story. Advocates are seeing the movement as an opportunity to renew their push for constitutional protections against sexual discrimination.