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The snowpack in the Brainerd lakes area, which by all measures overstayed its welcome, is finally starting to fade away. It's a welcome sign for most that spring has finally arrived, but it does signal the arrival of another season—the time for grass fires and wildfires. The Brainerd Fire Department on Thursday responded to a small grass fire on the 7200 block of Woida Road in Baxter. Firefighters were paged at 4:17 p.m., and the property owner had most of the fire out when the department arrived, Fire Chief Tim Holmes said.
Oh, Mother Nature, say it isn't so. A fast-moving low pressure system will bring a chance of snow to the Northland—including the Brainerd lakes area—Sunday afternoon through Sunday night. Projections call for 1 to 3 inches of snow from the Brainerd east into northwest Wisconsin, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported. Bill Leatham, meteorologist with the NWS in Duluth, said the heaviest snow should start falling Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. Light snow could linger into Monday morning, he added.
Winter, it would appear, is taking a nasty little late season swipe at the Brainerd lakes area. All forms of precipitation are possible Monday, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth—rain, snow and freezing rain are all likely before 8 a.m. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., snow is likely, possibly between 2-4 inches in total, followed by rain, snow and a freezing rain mix into the overnight hours and into Tuesday. Justin Schultz, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth, said ice accumulations should be light.
Area residents may be thinking spring in the Brainerd lakes area, but Mother Nature is offering hints they shouldn't get too far ahead of themselves just yet. As last week's foot of fresh snow slowly faded away under sunny skies and above freezing temperatures, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported a chance for more accumulating snow early next week. Early forecast models show up to 5 inches of snow possible late Monday and early Tuesday. The key word for the forecast is "early," said weather service meteorologist Bryan Howell.
Even if you've never heard of Kelly Burnham and Kristen (Doyscher) Williams, chances are you've heard their work. Burnham is the public address announcer for the Minnesota Vikings. Williams is a senior vice president with Warner Music Nashville. Both are graduates of Brainerd High School and, on Friday, their names were added to the list of BHS Distinguished Achievement Hall of Fame members during a banquet in their honor at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa.
Thousands of Brainerd lakes area residents were without power early Wednesday after a line of powerful thunderstorms rolled across the region. The storm, which hit the area about 1:30 a.m., also downed numerous trees. The National Weather Service in Duluth received reports of multiple trees down in Nisswa, Aitkin, Pequot Lakes, Breezy Point, Crosslake, Fifty Lakes and Jenkins. Hail 1.75 inches in diameter was reported in Pine Center in southeastern Crow Wing County. Wind gusts of 58 mph were recorded at a weather station in Jenkins.
Those expecting to see the Neighbors section in Wednesday's paper have noticed a change in recent weeks. Neighbors is no longer a dedicated section appearing in the paper. It's been part of the Dispatch for decades, but its purpose evolved over time.
Today marks the beginning of the Brainerd Dispatch's partnership with USA Today. On pages A9 and A10 of this edition of the Dispatch, readers will find national news stories from USA Today on President Donald Trump's speech to Congress, the kick-off of Women's History Month and on the growing rates of colon and rectal cancer, to name a few.
Starting Wednesday, readers of the Brainerd Dispatch will be getting a little something extra in their paper. Forum Communications, the Dispatch's parent company, has partnered with USA Today to offer a variety of USA Today pages on weekdays. To start, the Dispatch will be featuring two USA Today national news pages to supplement existing national news we receive through Reuters and other wire services.
Three were inducted in the Brainerd High School Distinguished Achievement Hall of Fame Friday, including a man who while not a graduate spent more than 30 years as an educator and administrator in the district. Bob Gross, recently retired as interim superintendent, was inducted as the first Brainerd High School Above and Beyond award winner. "I have big shoes to fill," said Superintendent Laine Larson of Gross' career accomplishments.