Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
- Member for
- 4 years 1 month
CROSSLAKE - It was a nightmare that plagues nearly every business owner at one time or another. Only for Scott Freiberg, the awful dream was reality.
When Yuan Yi Li and his wife, Qiao Jiao Ding, opened Four Seas Super Buffet at the East Brainerd Mall in March it was clear there was a demand for oriental food in Brainerd. Speaking through an interpreter, manager Joy Dong, Li said business was very good at the beginning drawing about 120 customers a day. Business settled down a bit, he said, but continues to be good. Lunch is the busiest meal of the day at the buffet. During the early opening days he employed about 12 or 13 employees. He now employs seven or eight workers. Li has been in the restaurant business about 14 years.
BAXTER - Brainerd area legislative candidates faced off Wednesday in a candidate forum centering on people with disabilities, their families and their caregivers. The forum, sponsored by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities gave candidates the opportunity to address issues related to how the state's dealing with people who are disabled and the agencies that serve them. Candidates who attended were Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter and Republican Josh Heintzeman of House District 10A; Rep.
Bob Loreno of Baxter became the sixth and final candidate to file for the Brainerd School Board Tuesday. Filings closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday. A business manager at Lake Country Toyota, he and his wife have lived in Baxter since 1989. They have three children who have gone through the Brainerd School District and they now have grandchildren who are just entering the school system. "I wanted to run to get involved in the school district ... just to be more involved in the community," he said. "I really don't know what I'm in for ... I'm kind of wide open on what ...
House Speaker John Boehner will speak Thursday at a fundraiser for 8th Congressional District Republican candidate Stewart Mills III at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. Boehner's scheduled appearance will be one of the highest profile visits for a political fundraiser in the Brainerd area in some time. A copy of the invitation sent to members of the Gull Lake Yacht Club listed four levels of contributions: gold sponsor, $10,400; silver sponsor, $5,200; host, $1,500; general reception, $250. Attempts to reach Mills were unsuccessful on Friday.
The November election seems far off but voters will get their chance to select those who will be on that ballot in specific races in Tuesday's primary elections. The date of Minnesota's primaries, traditionally conducted in September, was changed a few years back by the Minnesota Legislature.
Property owners on one of two Brainerd area lakes where adult zebra mussels were recently discovered expressed disappointment at the news on Thursday. The DNR on Thursday reported the discovery of the zebra mussels and declared both Gilbert Lake and North Long Lake as infested. "We hoped and hoped and hoped we wouldn't get it," said Kay Hondo, president of the North Long Lake Association. She said her association spent money for boat inspectors to try to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. "My assumption is that we would continue to do whatever we can," she said of prevention e
BAXTER - Tom Hice lost in what he termed "a close miss" two years ago in his second bid for the Baxter City Council. On Wednesday, he filed to run again for the council. "I'm very interested in giving back ... to make sure Baxter is heading in the right direction for businesses and residents," Hice said.
Honor the Earth, a group calling for rerouting of the Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline away from northern Minnesota, brought its outreach events Thursday to Brainerd. The group waved signs just west of the Washington Street bridge which stated their opposition to the 616-mile proposed pipeline route. There was also a 6 p.m.
Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Cass County, on Thursday called for public discussion on a draft of a policy that may be considered by the Minnesota State High School League on participation of transgender students in school sports. League Executive Director David Stead said Thursday that topic is not on the agenda for the league's board of directors meetings scheduled for Sunday and Monday at Ruttger's Bay Lake Conference Center near Deerwood. He said it may be discussed at an Oct. 1 workshop. "I ...