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
Sex trafficking has always had a dark, prevalent spot in the American Indian community. "We've been dealing with it since colonization started 500 years ago," said Patina Park, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center in Minneapolis. Park spoke at Central Lakes College (CLC) Wednesday about sex trafficking among American Indians. But sex trafficking is more than just a native people issue, she said.
A newly adopted policy says the city will strive for streets that are accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as vehicles. At a Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group adopted the Complete Streets Policy. Voting against the move was council member Mary Koep, who in the past expressed concern with a policy that would require the council to make certain moves when it comes to street projects. The policy calls for streets that have corridors that are safe, functional and aesthetically attractive.
Brainerd could see higher fees, as well as some new ones, for some services from the fire department. At a Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group held the first reading of a proposed ordinance that staff say would help keep the fees at levels comparable to other cities. The proposed new fees and increases are for only the city of Brainerd. Increases could possibly expand to other districts and townships the city serves in the future. The proposed fee increases are estimated to produce $15,000 in revenue, said Fire Chief Kevin Stunek in an earlier interview.
The city will buy a long-time problem house to avoid potential future costs to taxpayers and alleviate an eyesore from a neighborhood. At a Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group voted to buy the ailing house at 410 12th Street Southeast for $3,500, the amount that's owed in back taxes, from Crow Wing County. The group also approved spending an additional $1,500 for demolition of the house. The house and land has seen several issues over the past several years: • There's $1,795 in lot cleanup expenses assessed to it by the city, dating back to 2008. • There's $99 in mowing expens
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.