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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Meth was her drug of choice. The woman stood in front of those gathered in the courtroom facing the judge. She'd been sober for 24 days. Drugs have been part of her life for the last 17 years. She said during that time there were about four-and-a-half years when she wasn't using. Judge Earl Maus asked her what brought her to the drug court program. "I opened myself and asked God to help me find the way," she said. In the court benches behind her were her peers in various stages of recovery. Some counted their sober days in excess of a year.
Late summer continued this year's trend of retreating unemployment numbers. To match August's jobless rate of 7.2 percent, would mean traveling back to October of 2007. Brainerd went through 45 straight months of double-digit unemployment from late 2008 through the summer of 2012 before it dropped just below 10 percent for three months that fall before rising again. Brainerd has not posted four straight months of an unemployment rate below 10 percent in seven years. Even with this milestone, Brainerd continues to have the highest jobless rate in the state for a large city of 10,000 or more.
LAKE SHORE - After a fast-paced and demanding career, where she developed her own company and had corporate giants for customers, Julie Ingleman was exhausted. She was ready to leave the 15-hour days and working vacations. Her company, Ingelman's Designs, handpainted textiles, bedding, wallpaper and dinnerware. After 20 years of it, she was ready to be done. She took her time closing the company in her renovated turn-of-the-century office building in Hutchinson, giving her staff time to find other jobs. Closing the business, even though it was the right move, felt like a loss, she said.
Jenny and Nick O'Reilly didn't start out planning to own a restaurant, but now they believe they have one they can grow with for many years to come. Nick, 33, was working for the state in human resources. Jenny, 31, was a sign language interpreter. The two met in high school. Their families have been connected for decades as their parents, and going back farther, their grandparents were best friends.
Something is happening at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport that hasn't taken place in 33 years. Airmotive Enterprises, the fixed base operator at the airport, last sold a Piper plane in 1981. Then the airport's plane sales stopped. This year, Airmotive is back in the business of selling planes and is expanding its flight school as part of its business rejuvenation. It's goal of selling three Kodiak floatplanes this year is well within reach with two planes sold and another interested party in the wings.
BAXTER - Fall approaching quickly and a desire to keep the Isle Drive project on schedule was before the Baxter City Council in a special meeting Tuesday. Gordon Heitke, city administrator, said going outside city staff for wetland delineation - defining and mapping the wetlands - and field survey work will help the Isle Drive project get back on schedule. Heitke said in order to accomplish that task before it gets too late into the fall, Widseth Smith and Nolting (WSN) would do the work for an estimated $5,000 for the wetland delineation and $16,000 for the field survey work.
Ryan Saulsbury never saw what changed his life. He likely encountered it years ago, perhaps when he was out hunting small game with his dog. An outdoor enthusiast, who enjoyed hunting and fishing, he was outside much of the time. Then in August of 2011, his mother died of a massive stroke after surgery on a carotid artery. Saulsbury started to notice symptoms of memory loss and confusion.
On Aug. 9, 1944, Major Don M. Beerbower, the leading ace in aerial victories in the Ninth Air Force with 15.5 planes shot down, led the 353rd Fighter Squadron in a strafing attack against approximately 30 twin-engine enemy aircraft located at an airdrome north of Reims, France. During the low-level engagement the 22-year-old squadron commander's P-51 Mustang, Bonnie "B," was struck multiple times. The fighter plane crashed near the village of Saint-Thierry. Beerbower, a native of Hill City, and an alumnus of Iowa State University, died at the scene.
BAXTER — In order to provide information to residents about the local option sales tax prior to the ballot question in November, the Baxter City Council discussed options Tuesday. Plans include utilizing the city newsletter, website, presentations and news outlets. More information is expected in late September or early October. The last time the local option sales tax was on the ballot, the city also hosted public meetings at city hall, but they were sparsely attended. "I think we still have to offer it," Mayor Darrel Olson said.
BAY LAKE - It began with a Christmas gift. One that a horse lover may dream of for decades. That single gift of a black Morgan gelding, expected to be a hobby, grew into a business with international ties. Brenda and Timmy Johnson, Crow Wing County residents for 26 years, now have a thriving breeding center with Friesian stallions from the Netherlands. From the days of that single Morgan horse, the Johnson's horse farm now has a steady population of 30 to 40 horses. Giant white pines provide a backdrop to the farm's multiple buildings and corrals.