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 6 months
CROSBY - About 30 people stood silently around a long table of the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) Governing board Monday night unsure if they'd able to speak. But before the meeting was over several had the opportunity to voice concerns about staffing levels, difficult working conditions and the level of care, particularly in CRMC's Care Center.
When two moms - both reading advocates - struggled to find books reflecting their own children they decided to do something to make a difference. Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen co-founded the nonprofit Multicultural Children's Book Day. The second annual event, to celebrate diversity in children's books, is Tuesday. The event's project manager is Becky Flansburg of Baxter, freelance writer, blogger and social media virtual assistant. Flansburg met Budayr at a conference in Minneapolis.
MCI Carpet One plans to remodel and expand its showroom on Edgewood Drive in Baxter. MCI Carpet One is moving into space vacated with RadioShack's Dec. 31 closing. Previously the two businesses shared space in the building, which is just off Highway 371. MCI Carpet One, which has flooring, window treatments and decor, has been at that location since 2012. The expansion is slated to begin Feb. 1.
BAXTER - The cost of ongoing maintenance to stripe city streets in Baxter has city officials looking at options to reduce expectations for paint in residential areas. Developers were required to stripe streets when projects were completed. Those new streets were then added to the city's yearly maintenance. Todd Holman, city council member, said at Tuesday's council session it was a well-intentioned ordinance but probably not meant to capture all the city's small residential streets.
Newly appointed Baxter Mayor Todd Holman said the council had no time to discuss next steps after the surprise resignation of Darrel Olson, but that will happen in February. "We didn't have a chance as a council to talk about what the next steps are," Holman said. "We certainly didn't discuss it (Tuesday) night. I think the next step is to work with staff for the process." When there have been vacancies with the council in the past, the position was posted and informal applications submitted.
BAXTER - Longtime Baxter Mayor Darrel Olson resigned Tuesday night after he was told he had to leave office or lose retirement benefits based on a little-known law. The surprise announcement came at the end of a regular council session. Olson said he was forced into resigning by the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) of Minnesota, which cited a statute requiring a 30-day separation between a PERA job and his elected position. "I was in such shock I thought it had to be a mistake and I tried to deal with them since," Olson said of PERA during an interview.
Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce board members recently voted to support the proposed Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline project. Matt Kilian, Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce president, said the chamber is formally getting behind the Sandpiper proposed route now noting the public comment period ends Friday. Kilian said the decision was based on the economic benefits of Enbridge's statements of creating 1,500 jobs and increasing the tax base by $300,000 in the area annually, which can reduce the tax burden.
A public hearing on Baxter's comprehensive plan will give residents and interested parties another option to weigh in on a document, which will help shape the city's future. The public hearing is scheduled 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at city hall with the city's long range planning commission.
CROSBY - A green glow bathed the operating room and a large screen monitor displayed a surgical scalpel cutting through tissue to remove a gall bladder. The green light is one of the technology upgrades with a surgical center expansion at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby. The first phase of the $13 million Cuyuna Regional Medical Center surgical expansion opens this February.
Art and flight are combining at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. Travelers waiting to board planes or pick up passengers now have even more to look at than takeoffs and landings. The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport commission hired Danae Blanck Anderson, interior designer and owner of I.D. Your World, to create a more welcoming environment at the airport and utilize a $45,000 grant in a multi-year project to incorporate the original art. Combining art work in the public spaces is seen in airports around the nation.