Sarah Nelson Katzenberger
AITKIN — Anyone who tells Sylvia Allen she can’t do something quickly learns you don’t tell Sylvia Allen no. As a young girl, Allen, a native of Edina, spent her summers at her grandparents home in northern Minnesota. Though she now lives in New Jersey she still returns as often as possible — family tradition that dates back nearly 100 years. “There’s just something special about coming back here,” she said. “Lots of memories.”
BAXTER — Driving up Highway 371 this weekend will provide an extra bit of scenery for those passing through Baxter. In the open field between Target and Mills’ Bodyworks on the east side of the highway stands a curiously large tent. Traveling preacher and Brainerd resident, Dean Goossen, said he hopes people won’t just drive by but that their curiosity will lead them to stop by.
If there is one thing Sheila DeChantal is convinced of — it’s that books change lives. “Books aren’t dead yet,” DeChantal said. “I’m a huge reader — I’ve always been a reader.” DeChantal’s love for reading has evolved into community action in support of the Brainerd Public Library. In February, she took on the role of Friends of the Library president, after getting involved with the organization last summer. Through membership fees and twice-yearly book sales, Friends helps fund library projects that aren’t covered in the library budget.
■ Could flying from Brainerd actually save money? By SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport wants potential flyers to know flying out of the lakes area is a reasonable option when it comes to taking a trip away from Minnesota. Driving to the Twin Cities for departures from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is often less expensive — until travelers factor in the cost of gas and parking for the length of their trip.
The planned city sewer and water extension to the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport continues to be the primary topic of discussion for the airport’s commission. Brainerd City Engineer Jeff Hulsether attended the commission’s monthly meeting Thursday to answer questions and concerns expressed by the commission. Hulsther said he learned of the concerns after the reading of them in the Brainerd Dispatch .
Hunger is one of the greatest concerns for many Minnesota families during the summer months. With school out for the summer, and just over 40 percent of ISD 181 students receiving lunch assistance, the question of who feeds our children hovers. This summer area churches and organizations have worked together to come up with a solution: Operation Sandwich.
No one wants to think about snow removal in the middle of July but the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport is already making plans for next winter’s potential slew of storms. Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., announced in a press release Tuesday the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport was awarded a Department of Transportation grant for more than $400,000 to fund the purchase of a new snow removal vehicle.
The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport’s July 4-7 Tri-Motor event was the highlight of the airport’s monthly commission meeting. Airport manager Jeff Wig said the event left him, his staff, and dozens of volunteers exhausted, but thrilled with the event’s turnout.
New technologies are constantly lending themselves to make life a little easier. That’s the hope for 11 Minnesota counties whose court documents have gone completely paperless — including Cass and Morrison counties. The pilot project, called eCourtMN, was launched in January, 2012, after the Minnesota Judicial Council voted to move state courts from a framework of paper files to an electronic information environment, according the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s website.
It has been a tough few months for Brainerd resident Sara Dunlap. In March, Dunlap, 75, lost her husband of 58 years, Tom, to a heart attack. Six weeks later her 15-year-old dog — a border collie mix named Libby — disappeared from Dunlap’s property off Thiesse road in rural Brainerd. “I was so sad,” Dunlap said. “She was my comfort when (Tom) died.” Amidst a season of loss, this week brought some good news for Dunlap. Her dog Libby was found. “Oh, I was so happy,” Dunlap said. “It had been so long, I kind of just let her go.”