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
About 20 Mille Lacs Lake anglers and their rescuers all made it off the lake without injury Wednesday night and on Thursday a relieved Aitkin County Sheriff Scott A. Turner urged anglers on to be cautious in future outings. While pleased no one was hurt, he noted the expense of the rescue operations which took place Wednesday and this weekend on Mille Lacs. He also expressed concern about placing rescuers in potential risk, particularly during night rescues such as Wednesday night’s successful effort.
Rick Adair, vice chairman of the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission, is the new interim airport manager. He took a leave from the airport commission, a panel he’s served on since 2007, to accept the post as interim airport manager.
BAXTER — With a GOP leadership shuffle assured in the Minnesota Senate after the abrupt resignation of Majority Leader Amy Koch, Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Baxter, said Friday he was open to serving his caucus as an assistant majority leader. Koch had been accused of an improper relationship with a Senate staff member before her sudden resignation this week, a key Republican said Friday.
BAXTER — Area lawmakers all agreed this year’s government shutdown was bad news but disagreed on how to prevent another one. “We can’t have a state shutdown again,” Sen. John Carlson, R-Bemidji, said. Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, agreed the shutdown caused a lot of hardship. He said he is behind a bill that would call for a constitutional amendment that would allow state government to continue operating at what its current spending levels were. Carlson said he favored a bill that would continue state government at a slightly reduced level.
A one-day Christmas shopping season boycott scheduled for Dec. 11 at the Baxter Walmart was called off Friday when representatives of the Marine Corps League, Heartland Detachment, and the store cleared up a misunderstanding about a toy drop-off program at the store. The problem stemmed from an incident earlier in the week when Marine Corps League members said they were told by a Walmart employee that they would not be allowed to collect toy donations for their local Toys for Kids program.
The judicial system is not immune to the consequences of budget slashing. That was the message of six panelists who addressed the League of Women Voters Thursday at the Brainerd Public Library.
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber on Thursday announced the launching of a survey on Brainerd lakes area air travel. The intent of the survey to illustrate to regional air carriers the community use — by both business and leisure travelers — of the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. Proponents of the survey said it may potentially lead to increased air service options and better quality service. Steve Mau, chair of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Board, described air travel as an essential cog for area businesses.
Airport Manager Steve Sievek reported Tuesday he had not received any communication from with Great Lakes Airlines since it announced its bid to replace Delta Airline as the primary air carrier at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. Airport officials had asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to rebid the Brainerd proposal but no response had been received. Sievek provided the update after the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission removed him as airport manager and reassigned him to be construction coordinator. He said he will retire around June 1.
What if they conducted a listening session and hardly anyone came to hear? Three House lawmakers explained Republican reforms Tuesday at Brainerd City Hall at a listening session where the three media members equalled the number of members of the general public in attendance. House Majority Leader Matt Dean of Dellwood, Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd and Rep. Mike LeMieur, R-Little Falls, answered questions regarding the last legislative session.
The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission Tuesday removed Airport Manager Steve Sievek from his post and reassigned him to a temporary assignment as construction coordinator at 75 percent of his salary. Neither Sievek nor commission Chair Beth Pfingsten would immediately elaborate on the reasons for the reassignment.