Sarah Nelson Katzenberger
The fence around the Jaycees Skate Park in south Brainerd is chained up signifying its indefinite closure, but that doesn’t mean the park isn’t buzzing with skaters — skaters armed with paint brushes. After the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Board decided to close the park Monday following a battle with constant vandalism, the Brainerd skateboarding community decided its best option was to fight back the right way.
For more than 30 years Greg Rosenberg has invested his life in creating the kind of art that moves people. His most recent masterpiece took him more than two years to complete. And now Rosenberg can sit back and enjoy the view. The project, a three-window panel of vibrant stained glass, sits in a small studio space in the second level of the Franklin Arts Center that has been repurposed as a prayer and mediation room open to the community.
Mark Ostrowski knew his love for music would take him places, he just never counted on it being Brainerd. Ostrowski a native of Bowling Brook, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, has taken on the task of revitalizing the alternative music scene in downtown Brainerd as the unofficial booking agent for Crossroads Music cafe. “There’s a stigma about (Crossroads) — it’s only for bikers, it’s a Christian club and it’s run by hippies. Ostrowski said: “My mission is to shatter that.”
To say Rabbi Frank Dell is one of a kind might be a bit of an understatement. After all, how many Jewish rabbis can count country legend Willie Nelson as one of their friends? Dell, founder of Beth Shalom ministries made it his mission to help draw Christians and Jews alike to an understanding of their Hebrew heritage and how it fits in with the story of Christ.
If you’ve driven down Washington Street through Northeast Brainerd lately chances are you’ve noticed the billboard for The Journey North — the one with the eyes. The advertisement doesn’t say much but for many in the Brainerd community it says enough. The billboard, on the south side of Washington Street just west of the Franklin Arts Center where The Journey North Church holds its weekly services, shows a pair of eyes with the words “Awaken Desire” and the schedule for The Journey North’s services.
When Marina Grabowski graduated from college the plan was to pursue a career in civil engineering — the field she spent four years studying. Like many women, Grabowski took a hiatus from her career to start a family. But as far as her career in civil engineering went, she left and never looked back. “I never loved it,” she said.
With at least 11 expectant mothers due to deliver between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3, there was bound to be a New Year’s baby in the Brainerd lakes area. And there was — Katelynn Marie Mayfield was born at 12:55 a.m. to Maria and James Mayfield of Brainerd. Maria said she and her husband arrived at Essentia Health’s St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd at 9 p.m., and Katelynn arrived just less than four hours later with no complications. “I thought it would be a lot longer than that,” Maria said.
When state laws throw Pastor Bob Evans lemons, he’s determined to make them into something sweet and he’s asking the Brainerd lakes area community to help.
Jessica Johnson never had any doubt about what she would spend her life doing. The fourth-grade teacher has education running through her veins. “I come from a lineage of teachers,” Johnson said of her mom, dad, brother, sister, aunts and uncles, all of whom are educators. “I guess my family had a really big influence.” Besides her inherent knack for teaching, Johnson genuinely loves what she does. After graduating from Bemidji State in 2004, Johnson, 29, moved to Brainerd to start her career in the classroom.