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 3 months
BAXTER - Two residents on a rural Baxter road urged the city council to consider consequences versus benefits in a proposal to pave Briarwood Lane. "What is the benefit to the city of the project," Brad Folta Jr. asked, noting the wetlands and species such as Blanding's turtles, once widespread and now restricted to a small number of states including Minnesota and southeastern Canada. "We have a number of things being damaged by this and only one benefit." Baxter Mayor Darrel Olson said one of the biggest benefits comes in maintenance costs as the paved road is cheaper to maintain.
After 32 years in business, Brainerd Homes has closed its doors. The Oak Street business started during the tough years of the recession in 1982, but the downturn with the Great Recession proved to be too much. Brainerd Homes President Rock Yliniemi said after the real estate meltdown they put everything back into the business they'd made in the last 30 years to keep it going. At some point, he said, it comes down to deciding when to stop the bleeding.
A wind chill advisory is in effect through Saturday morning as the cold snap continues. "Gusty northwest winds will bring another batch of arctic air to the region overnight," the National Weather Service in Duluth reported, noting wind chill values of tonight are expected to drop to 30 below to 40 below after dark. The weather service noted the pattern bringing frigid air to much of the country is staying in place causing temperatures that are 20 to 30 degrees colder than normal across a vast swath of the central U.S. and Upper Great Lakes.
BAXTER - Recommendations to put improvements to Jewelwood Park on the top of the priority list had Baxter City Council members questioning how the rest of the projects would fare. Jewelwood Drive is off Woida Road in Baxter. At Tuesday's city council meeting Josh Doty, community development director, said a year ago, neighbors around the park area requested construction of a neighborhood park. He reported the city's parks and trails commission also was working to develop a draft parks and trails chapter for the city's updated comprehensive plan.
BAXTER - After last year's damaging wind storm, Baxter City Council members learned a grant may help both cleanup efforts and reforestation. Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) technician Darren Mayers suggested the organization would help the city submit a grant to plant trees at Mississippi River Overlook Park, Whipple Beach Recreation Facility, the city center property and Riverview Park. The money is part of a state Conservation Partners Legacy grant. The total project costs in Baxter are expected to be $25,000.
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.