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.
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IRONTON - A grassroots effort formed an alliance concerned about work conditions at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Crosby. Thursday night about 60 people gathered at the C-I Pub in Ironton for an open conversation. Retired and former employees were on hand along with CRMC governing board members. Kris Hasskamp, former state legislator from Crosby, and Mary Aulie, former CRMC employee, helped facilitate the meeting.
Air service as an essential tool for local business and jobs was a repeated message Wednesday during a forum at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport hosted by Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn. Nolan said he was seeking feedback from communities served by the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. In 2014, the EAS program supported 160 airports in the nation with a fund of $250 million.
BAXTER - A property with scenic vistas from a 100-foot slope was recognized as spectacular but the Baxter City Council agreed with its parks commission in deciding against buying the land. Tuesday, the council considered the Larry Helsene property on Timber Ridge Drive. Before Helsene listed the land with a real estate agent, he contacted the city to see if Baxter had an interest in purchasing it. The land, about 80 acres, is in southwest Baxter.
Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday 43 percent of funding in his proposed $842 million bonding bill is earmarked for greater Minnesota. Among the proposed projects in Dayton's jobs bill in the lakes area is $3.1 million to build an oil train derailment and pipeline safety training facility at Camp Ripley.
Drivers have taken their cars on the median on Highway 371 in order to reach the left-turn lane at the Highway 210 intersection. Frustrated by seeing a turn lane with space they can't reach as they are stranded behind a line of northbound vehicles created the impulse for drivers to take matters into their own hands. But this spring a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) construction project is aimed at easing those frustrations and moving traffic more efficiently.
A new office building for Chad Schwendeman's Exit Realty is expected to begin construction in May. The new 9,650-square-foot office building is planned south of Home Depot just off Forthun Road in the Shanandoah Office Park. Forthun Road connects to Elder Drive, which runs next to Costco. Schwendeman said the real estate office is outgrowing its current space in the Johnson Centre near Golf Course Drive in Baxter. In looking for space, Schwendeman said he wanted to create a single space for real estate purchase needs.
The ALDI grocery store chain is proposing to construct a store just north of Target in Baxter. The plan is for a 17,825-square-foot store on nearly 2 acres near Target with access off Dellwood Drive. The front of the store is proposed on the building's west side. The remaining land between Mills Ford and Target, about 10 acres after the right-of-way considerations, would be set up as an outlot. ALDI's expects to hire 14 to 20 workers. The store would be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The average Minnesota college student graduates with a debt load approaching $30,000. Whether a taxpayer, a student, an employer or a parent, the subject of financing and the future of higher education affects them all. That was part of the message during a Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government presentation Wednesday. "What you'll hear from us today really is sort of a tale of two cities. On the one hand Minnesota is really at a crossroads when it comes to higher education.
BAXTER - Extending Isle Drive will cost less than expected. Tuesday, the Baxter City Council met in a special session to review Isle Drive project bids. Five bids were received. Chuck Rickart, principal with WSB and Associates, told the council the lowest four bids were extremely close with two bids separated by about $2,300. The engineer's estimate for the project was $5,847,259. The lowest bid received was $4,395,409 from RL Larson Excavating Inc. of St. Cloud.
Universal pre-kindergarten across the state in addition to all-day kindergarten in Minnesota will give students what they need to hit the ground running, said Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius during a stop in Brainerd Thursday. "This is a game-changer," Cassellius said. "This is like a one-two-punch on the achievement gap." Cassellius said she thinks universal pre-kindergarten will take off the same way free all-day kindergarten did. Last year, the state began paying for all-day kindergarten as a way to give children a better start at school.