Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
- Member for
- 4 years 2 months
Sex trafficking concerns aren't limited to urban areas or North Dakota's oil fields. When Rachel Reabe Nystrom, Crow Wing County commissioner, attended Association of Minnesota Counties sessions, the paradigm shift from thinking of prostitutes as perpetrator to victim was one of the topics. Nystrom was stunned at the ages of the girls. "Thirteen-year-old girls and 14-year-old girls, I couldn't believe it," she said. At a spring session, Nystrom didn't expect to hear speakers talk about the Brainerd lakes area as they stressed the issue wasn't solely a big city problem.
BAXTER - New Baxter City Council member Steve Barrows took the oath of office Tuesday night in the city's first session of 2015. The city's other new council member, Quinn Nystrom, was absent. City administrator Gordon Heitke said Nystrom was attending a graduate program session in Syracuse, New York. Council member Todd Holman was also absent, attending a conflicting association meeting. Barrows said he's been encouraged by staff and the council members who have answered his questions as he begins his learning curve on the council.
Is one of your new year's resolutions to be healthier? A free event on Tuesday in Brainerd is providing a way to kick-start health and fitness goals in what organizers are describing as an "interactive and motivational" evening conversation. The event, open to everyone, is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Tornstrom Auditorium, Washington Educational Services Building, 804 Oak St., Brainerd. The event is sponsored by Crow Wing Energized and the Brainerd Public Schools Community Education. Guest speaker Dr. Dan Halvorsen has a doctorate from the University of Minnesota in physiology-bioenergetics.
Change is the constant on the business landscape and 2014 saw survival, success and shuttering of companies. One of the most notable may be a landscape change that didn't happen. After Wausau Paper ended production in 2013, a lot of discussion went into plans to tear down the mill, a landmark in the city. Papermaking, in one form or another, has been part of northeast Brainerd for more than a century. The mill has a long history in Brainerd. It began as the Northwest Paper Co. in the first years of the 20th century with efforts including those of Charles A. Weyerhaeuser and R. D. Musser.
A 65-year-old Little Falls man was convicted in 2014 for the premeditated murder of two teenagers in a case that raised the question of when self-defense crosses the line. Byron Smith was accused in the Thanksgiving Day 2012 shooting deaths of Haile Kifer, 18, and her cousin Nicholas Brady, 16, in his rural Little Falls home. Smith, a retired security engineer with the U.S. State Department and Little Falls native, said he was defending himself. Defense attorney Steven Meshbesher said Smith acted out of fear after multiple home break-ins.
It's been a decade since monthly single-digit foreclosures were the norm, but 2014 managed to produce a few months to match those small figures. After staggering and historic numbers of foreclosures in Crow Wing County during the Great Recession, the number of people losing their homes in the aftermath of the financial crisis has steadily decreased since 2010. In 2010 - the worst year for foreclosures - 388 homeowners lost their homes. That is compared to 39 foreclosures all year in 2001.
Bonnie Cumberland's sudden death on Feb. 3, 2014, shocked the community. Her death at home was discovered when Cumberland, Brainerd City Council president, was uncharacteristically absent from a regular Monday night council session. When she didn't appear for the council session, police officers were dispatched to her northeast Brainerd home. After finding her car parked there, officers ended up breaking down the door. They found her inside. Cumberland was born in Minneapolis.
Hashtag worst winter ever. That was a repeated message during the bitterly cold winter of 2013-2014. As spring approached, the message sign at Insty Prints in Brainerd, read, "We survived the Polar Vortex." It could have been a best-selling T-shirt. Last winter was one for the record books and popularized knowledge of the polar vortex beyond the most nerdy of meteorological circles. The deep freeze created an epidemic of frozen water lines. Residents in cities across the state, including Brainerd, ran a stream of water the size of a No.
Gas prices haven't been this low since May 1, 2009. Prices at the pump fell to $1.99 across Brainerd and Baxter Tuesday. "It's the 96th day in a row the average price has gone down per gallon, which is quite amazing," said Mark Peterson, AAA public relations, noting it translates to more disposable income for consumers.
After a mild Christmas and one of the warmest Decembers on record, 2014 may be departing with a big chill. "Very cold wind chills from 25 to 35 below zero are expected across parts of the region" tonight and Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported. The forecast calls for a cold week and crisp New Year's Day. As sunshine makes its return, the clear skies are also plunging the region into the coldest daytime temperatures of the winter season.