Jessie covers the Brainerd City Council and the Brainerd School Board.
Born and raised in southern Minnesota, Jessie attended Winona State University, where she majored in journalism with a minor in women and gender studies.
She worked at the Winona Daily News, Tomah Journal and the La Crosse Tribune before starting at the Dispatch in 2012.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 weeks
South Sixth Street is going to see a facelift. Just how big of a change, however, is up to the people. A reconstruction project for the road is set for 2017. Two options are being proposed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT): A three-lane or a five-lane layout. A third alternative was recently released by Charles Marohn of Strong Towns, an organization that promotes "financially strong and resilient" cities and neighborhoods.
PILLAGER - A family of three was displaced after a fire claimed their home Wednesday night. The Pillager Fire Department was called to the house on the corner of River Street and Ironwood Avenue in Pillager at 5:58 p.m. By 7:30 p.m., firefighters were still working to dwindle the flames as they kept on rekindling. The cause of the fire was unknown Wednesday night, said Pillager fire chief Randy Lee.
Organizers are applauding a decade of Minnesota winters, a love of golf and giving back to area organizations. It's through an event called the Frozen Fore. "For us as northern Minnesota people, we need to embrace winter. This is a good excuse to do it," said Frank Soukup, one of the Frozen Fore committee members. The event raises money for two community organizations: Camp Confidence and Kids Against Hunger. While some events come and go, the Frozen Fore keeps expanding. About $25,000 was raised for the organizations last year.
The graduation rate at Brainerd High School jumped to 90.6 percent in 2014, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
A new committee of Brainerd City Council members will aim to eliminate questions surrounding the finances of the city's hydro dam. It's an effort to create transparency in anything related to the hydro dam, said Brainerd City Council President Gary Scheeler, who first promoted the idea. "The public comes to the council for answers," he said.
Two area school districts are exploring a new program that would bring students inside of businesses for a first-hand look into entrepreneurship. It's called the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program.
CAMP RIPLEY - A strong bond between Norway and the United States has long been in the making and some of it is thanks to a partnership at Camp Ripley. This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the Annual American-Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange, as well as the 70th anniversary for Operation RYPE, a World War II operation the two countries partnered in. Both celebrations were marked Wednesday at Camp Ripley.
Six new classrooms and an upgraded entryway at Riverside Elementary were given the green light. At a special Brainerd School Board meeting Wednesday, the group approved the $2.09 million project, but it didn't gain full support. Voting against the motion were board members Chris Robinson and Tom Haglin. The six classrooms and new entryway were recommended to the board by administration. It's part of a larger effort to address the district's dwindling space.
Residents will have a chance to weigh in on whether Business Highway 371/South Sixth Street should be three lanes or five. A reconstruction project for the road is set for 2017 and Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) officials want to know how many lanes the city wants, so design concepts can be advanced. James Hallgren, MnDOT project development engineer, appeared before the Brainerd City Council at the meeting Tuesday, asking what the preferred concept was for the project: Three lanes or five lanes. "We would like to get a recommendation so we can finish the layout and then com
After a year and seven days of being Brainerd's city administrator, Patrick Wussow announced his retirement. He made the surprise announcement after Tuesday's regular Brainerd City Council meeting. He'll stay in the post until June 6, which should allow enough time for the city to bring in a replacement. The council accepted Wussow's retirement letter with regret. Now they'll work with Springsted, the firm which helped hire Wussow, to again fill the position. The city is under a two-year contract with the firm. "I appreciated the year I had here," Wussow said.