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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.
Accusations of an open meeting law violation have been leveled by a candidate for the Brainerd School Board. Jeff Czeczok, one of five candidates for three open seats on the school board, said the state's open meeting law was violated during a recent candidate forum hosted by the school district's paraprofessional union.
Brainerd Dispatch readers will notice some changes with today's paper. Most prominently is a change to our fonts—the text that makes up the headlines and copy of our stories. It is now more bold and more readable. Other changes include some minor style items. The changes are designed not only to improve readability but to streamline our page design process. What won't change is our dedication to news gathering from our excellent team of reporters and photographers.
NISSWA - What do an Air Force pilot, a theoretical physicist, a health care professional and a NASA engineer have in common? They represent the careers of the 2015 inductees into the Brainerd High School Distinguished Achievement Hall of Fame, which now boasts 58 men and women who have been selected for the honor. This year's class - Col. Ronald L. Albers, Dr.
Think of it as winter's parting shot. The thermometer bottomed out at 26 degrees below zero about 6 a.m. Thursday morning, besting the previous record cold temperature for March 5 - 25 degrees below zero - set in 2003. By Friday, the National Weather Service in Duluth's forecast predicts an improvement of 60 degrees, with a high temperature of 35 degrees expected in Brainerd.
Brutal cold might be an understatement. The thermometer clocked in at 29 degrees below zero Thursday morning at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, with wind chills approaching 40 degrees below zero. "It's the coldest day of the season, I can tell you that much, and it's encroaching on some of the coldest days we had from last year," said Steve Gohde, observing program leader at the National Weather Service in Duluth. Cold, but not record cold. That distinction belongs to 1929, when the temperature in Brainerd dropped to a frigid 38 degrees below zero. "Feb.