Acting as the fiscal host of the Paul Bunyan Educational Cooperative (PBEC) for the past five years, Director of Business Services Steve Lund said its time to take the co-op to the next level. “After reviewing finances and services delivered in the (PBEC) organization, we wanted to see if this relationship (between the district and organization) was cost effective and effective to our students,” said Lund. “And we came to the conclusion that it is both.”
Citizens of Brainerd favored the idea of the city holding a primary election in the future, passing the option with 2,865 voting yes for a primary election against 2,071 no votes. In a race that this year saw 18 candidates up for four seats, a primary election would help narrow the voting field down beginning the next election year in 2014.
Bob Nystrom said it feels just like yesterday that he was a member of the Brainerd School Board. With a three year stint away, Nystrom joins board members after leading Tuesday’s race with 8,936 votes for one of three open seats. “To me, what last night’s election showed was how this community really values public education and its kids,” said Nystrom. “I couldn’t be happier to be going back (to being a school board member) and am ready to serve again. “I am just really happy about it.”
Brainerd City Council is mixing in some new blood following Tuesday’s election, with Chip Borkenhagen taking an at-large seat alongside current council president, Mary Koep, who was re-elected to the second open at-large seat. Leading the at-large contest out of a total of seven candidates throughout most of the night, Borkenhagen brought in 25.87 percent of the votes, tallying 2,336.
■ Nystrom, Campbell and Kern lead race for three open seats on Brainerd School Board As the clock neared midnight Tuesday, the results were still not finalized for the Brainerd School Board’s three open seats but still some candidates held a slight edge on the competition. With 18 of 39 precincts reported, Bob Nystrom was leading the pack throughout most of the evening with 3,988 of the votes. Hovering around the same mark was current incumbent Reed Campbell with 3,990, followed by Sue Kern at 2,849 votes.
■ Borkenhagen front runner for at-large seat on Brainerd City Council along with incumbent Koep Chip Borkenhagen took an early lead and maintained it through midnight Tuesday, with six of the nine precincts reported for an at-large seat with the Brainerd City Council. At that time, Borkenhagen drew 26.4 percent of the votes, 1,806 votes, with current Brainerd City Council President Mary Koep also retaining for an at-large seat, coming in behind Borkenhagen with 1,354 votes.
Three area restaurants took the opportunity during Monday’s Brainerd City Council open forum to voice their concerns over Prairie Bay’s recent extension into a mobile food truck. “I understand what they (Prairie Bay) are trying to do, and I commend them for that, but I don’t see it as fair to other restaurants in the area,” said Brad Klein, manager of Jimmy’s Pizza on Washington Street in northeast Brainerd.
When Mark Slupe shares his story of going from a paid job to going back to college and finding work as an unpaid intern at the age of 53, some might view that as a step backward. But as Slupe views it, it’s a giant step forward, just a step in a new direction. “It may seem a bit backwards but it seems to be working out all right,” said Slupe with a smile. “I think my (life) path was at kind of a standstill for a little bit there. Now I am back to moving.”
Those who have driven past Bob Lakin’s home on Oak Street have been anticipating Halloween for the past three weeks. That’s how long Lakin has been setting up in preparation for the haunting holiday Wednesday. More than 19 homemade monsters, ghouls and plenty of fake human parts litter Lakin’s yard, inviting all those who dare find out whether it will be a trick or treat greeting them at the door.
Four seats are up for election on the Brainerd City Council come Election Day next Tuesday. But with more than four times the candidates vying for spots in their respective wards and at large seats, the city of Brainerd is considering the idea of conducting a primary election in the future, asking the voters to decide. Placed on this year’s ballot, the question that will accompany the candidates’ names come Nov. 6 reads as follows: