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
- 1 year 11 months
Top construction company officials are demanding $554,000 they say they're owed for work they've done at the hydro dam, or hinted at a possible lawsuit. At a tense Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting Tuesday, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of five "non-conformance issues." "We're heading toward litigation because we're not getting paid," Carlson said. Ultimately, after a closed session, the BPU Commission decided to pursue mediation to mend the tension. Park Constru
A former worker on the hydro dam apron repair was cut off from expressing concerns at a public meeting after he started sharing what officials said was confidential information. "You guys got your heads up your (explicit)," said Larry Prahm, a retired crane operator for Park Construction, the Spring Lake Park company completing the apron repair on the hydro dam, before storming out of the Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting Tuesday. Prahm was at the meeting to spell out concerns he had over the condition of the hydro dam, as well as the work currently being done at the site.
Each of the Brainerd School District elementaries on Friday received a special nod from top government officials for achieving the National Blue Ribbon School status. During a get-together Friday at Forestview Middle School, officials congratulated about 400 staff and teachers on the schools' success. Some of those in attendance were Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., Sen. Carrie Ruud,R-Breezy Point, Rep. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, as well as area mayors, school board members and city leaders. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
Janet Carlton used to support abortion. But today, she's convinced it's wrong. Since she was able to change her view, the mother of nine hopes others will, too. That's why the Emily resident was one of about 75 people to walk in the "March for Life" in Brainerd Thursday to commemorate the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion 42 years ago. The annual march is put on by the Crow Wing County chapter of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).
The city will replace its rental building inspector position, despite some talk of wanting to explore other measures to save money. At the Brainerd City Council meeting Tuesday, the group unanimously voted to advertise immediately for the position. The approval came after an initial vote failed 6-1, which would have first looked at costs in hiring a contractor, along with pros and cons of going that route.
Former Brainerd City Council member Dolly Matten will now serve on the Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission. At a Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group voted 4-3 in favor of accepting Mayor James Wallin's recommendation for the appointment of Matten to the BPU Commission, with a term to expire in December 2019. Voting against the recommendation were council members Gary Scheeler, Mary Koep and Sue Hilgart. All three said another applicant, former Brainerd City Administrator Dan Vogt, would be a better choice.
Nearly 100 parents and school officials demanded action in regard to a house on Juniper Street, where a double shooting took place earlier this month. At a Brainerd City Council meeting Tuesday, the group from St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School overflowed into the hallway to address the council about the residence, across from the school, on Juniper Street that was the site of a Jan. 4 double shooting in which a Brainerd man was killed. "The house is a current landmark of fear and anxiety to our children and to our families. No child should have to live through that," said St.
CROSBY - A just-released vision for the expansion of the Cuyuna mountain bike trails could have a $21 million impact on regional economy when built, supporters say. Plus, it'll give the bike riders an extra two days of trails to explore, without repeating tracks. Right now, with 25 miles of mountain bike trails, the average rider can cruise them all in one day, said Aaron Hautala, president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (Crew), one of the organizations behind the master vision.
After its first year, a grassroots community health and wellness movement is already starting to have ripple effects on the county residents' well-being. Crow Wing Energized held its second annual Health and Wellness Summit Wednesday to highlight how far it has come and what leaders want to focus on in 2015. More than 100 area health officials, city and county business and community leaders, and health supports attended. "In the community, what can we do so the healthy choice becomes the easy choice?" asked Adam Rees, Essentia Health central region president and chief administrative officer.
Just across the street from the main doors of St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School, a double shooting Sunday left one person dead, another injured, and a community looking for a solution for how to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. Although many St. Francis parents say they're not surprised, it's a sad ending to a string of events at the house. In the first day back since the shooting, the school held an assembly to talk about the scary event that shut their school down for a day.