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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Alco is closing its stores across the nation, including the ones in Pine River and Long Prairie. John Wetrosky, Pine River Chamber of Commerce executive director, has been following the news for some time. There were early hints Alco may be able to sell its stores as court filings by the store noting potential buyers were approached. Recently Alco announced it was going out of business after 113 years and liquidating. The retail chain was founded in Kansas and is now headquartered in Coppell, Texas. The store filed Chapter 11.
Shoppers have a multitude of options to start the annual shopping season and, by the looks of it, they were taking advantage of them. Retailers report big gains in online sales this year. Black Friday has extended into a multi-day event. Whether it was the unseasonable single-digit weather or the dinner hour opening by some stores on Thanksgiving, there weren't large lines at area retailers, at least early in the afternoon. About 20 people were in line at Best Buy in Baxter about 1:30 p.m. and roughly the same number at Target by 3:30 p.m.
BAXTER - When Excelsior Road is redone next year, expect a softening of the curves, more lights and efforts for greater pedestrian safety. The Baxter City Council is planning a more robust pedestrian crossing at Conservation Drive to link the city trail on the west side of the intersection with the Paul Bunyan State Trail across Excelsior by the Northland Arboretum. The crossing will also link the overflow parking at the Lakes 12 Theatre, which is used for Arboretum events. The pedestrian crossing will be similar to the one on College Drive in Brainerd.
It's not yet clear how many tenants could be part of the redevelopment of the former Wal-Mart site in Baxter, home to Gander Mountain. Last week, Oppidan reported it completed the purchase of the former Wal-Mart site and was in the process of redeveloping the 117,000-square-foot site and was in talks with potential tenants. Oppidan and Gander Mountain are both Minnesota-based companies. Gander Mountain was contacted about its future plans but did not have a comment at this time.
BAXTER - Adding food as options for Patrick Sundberg's customers at Jack Pine Brewery in Baxter seemed to be a logical step for his growing business. Barefoot Burrito, a mobile food vendor in Baxter licensed as of October, applied to provide the food service at the brewery, just off College Road.
Wings Cafe has new owners in business partners Mark Nesheim and Kimmy Fox of Brainerd. "We're going to try to make it as fresh and homemade as possible, scratch cooking. I'm a chef by trade been cooking for 40 years probably," said Nesheim, managing partner. The restaurant is based on made-from-scratch cooking with plans for homemade bread and desserts. Nesheim said they were looking for a restaurant to buy when the Wings Cafe came up as an option. They closed on the sale in late July. "We're going to make it happen here," Nesheim said.
Redevelopment plans are in the works for the former Wal-Mart site in Baxter. The announcement came from Oppidan Investment Co., a national property development firm based in Minneapolis. Oppidan purchased the former Wal-Mart site, where the Gander Mountain is just off Highway 371 near Taco Bell and plans to create "a regional power center" there as soon as possible. "The 117,000-square foot site is currently leased by Gander Mountain, whose lease will expire in the very near term," Oppidan reported, adding it has "already initiated talks with nearly one dozen prospective retail tenants who
BAXTER - Work on the Woida Road project is being wrapped up for winter. The Baxter City Council heard an update Tuesday. The road project involving Woida Road, Wildflower and Franklin drives won't be completed this year.
BAXTER - A tie vote ends a request for a free library box in the Excelsior Place Townhome Association, for now. The tie vote meant the motion to approve failed but the request may come up again when a full council is present. Council member Todd Holman was absent Tuesday. The request from the townhouse association was to put a free library box by the Firewood Drive next to a commercial cluster bank of mailboxes.
TEMPE, Ariz. - The day ended earlier than either Gary Walters or Josh Heldt wanted Sunday. The pre-dawn start and descent down metal stairs into Tempe Town Lake to begin the 11th Ironman competition in Tempe, Ariz. had both men nervous. As Walters approached the water, he repeated: "I'm terrified." But down the steps he went to join about 2,800 other people who planned to test their bodies, their minds and their wills. While their day ended earlier than either hoped, it could have ended before it really started if they hadn't found something in themselves to overcome their fears.