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 4 months
The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission authorized the chair to hire an attorney to provide legal representation for the panel. The action was taken in a brief Tuesday meeting attended by airport commission critics Jeff Czeczok and Brainerd City Council member Bob Olson. Voting yes on the motion to hire an attorney were Chair Andy Larson, Beth Pfingsten and Brainerd City Council member Kevin Goedker. Members Brad Davis and Crow Wing County Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom were absent. Member Rick Adair, who is serving as interim airport manager recused himself from voting.
When a stranger in an ocean-side Haitian community handed Tracey Malone of Baxter a baby, in hopes the infant might have a better life with her in the United States the enormity of the problems in that ravaged country hit home with her. “I sat for two hours,” the veteran of five Haiti mission trips recalled. “I cried.”
Bob Badger of Merrifield will be glued to his television set this weekend as news outlets mark the first anniversary of the shootings in Tucson which took the lives of six people and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
Brainerd educators and employment officials brainstormed Friday at Brainerd High School on how to ensure students move toward career readiness, regardless of the path they choose.
BAXTER — Sketch plans for two new business developments were approved Tuesday at the Baxter City Council’s first meeting of 2012. Receiving unanimous approval were sketch plans for planned unit developments for the Plat of Kohl’s Addition, which will convert the former Paul Bunyan Bowl into a shooting range for archery and guns and for Central Lakes Crossing, which will include an Olive Garden restaurant.
December’s warm temperatures and scarcity of snow have prolonged the fire season for DNR foresters and posed occasional equipment shortages that have had to be overcome. Wednesday’s grass fire in the South Long Lake area (about 10 miles south of Brainerd) was one example. The blaze burned two to three acres in a mostly wooded and swamp area off a farm field, setting a stack of hay bales on fire.
BAXTER — Tuesday’s 10-hour Republican Senate caucus meeting in Roseville, where Sen. Paul Gazelka was elected assistant majority leader, gave lawmakers a chance to “share from the heart” as well as plot political strategy, the first-term senator said. Gazelka, 52, was part of an all new Senate leadership team that was elected Tuesday in the wake of former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch’s resignation. Koch stepped down after revelations surfaced she had an inappropriate relationship with a Senate staffer.
Gazelka elected assistant majority leader in Senate Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, was elected as one of four Senate assistant majority leaders Tuesday, as Republicans brought in a new leadership team in the wake of the resignation of Sen. Amy Koch. Koch, the former Senate majority leader, stepped down after revelations that she had an inappropriate relationship with a Senate staffer. The first term senator from rural Brainerd said two more assistant majority leaders will be picked by newly elected Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem of Rochester.
Charges of conflict of interest resulted in the May resignation of Douglas Kuepers, a veteran member of the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission.
Disappointment was apparent on faces of Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission members and airport officials this summer as they dealt with the announcement that Delta Air Lines was planning to eventually discontinue its service to Brainerd and several other small market cities. The commission later asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to rebid the Brainerd proposal after it was learned Great Lakes Airlines, which flies smaller aircraft was seeking to replace Delta. As of Friday no response had been received from the Department of Transportation.