ONAMIA—Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin came to the podium ready to fight those who would poison and destroy her tribe. She also fired a shot across the bow of those who otherwise might be traditional band allies.
Former DFL legislator Ryan Winkler is bringing on the populism in his race to become Minnesota's attorney general. He announced especially early—fall of 2016. Originally from Bemidji, Winkler represented Twin Cities suburb Golden Valley for five terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives before moving to Belgium when his wife got a job there. Back in Minnesota, Winkler wants to use the state AG's office to level the playing field for the common men and women, he said during a visit to the Dispatch Friday.
Steve Barrows could have spent his retirement with family or at a beach somewhere, but instead, he's devoted his golden years to public service. He successfully ran for Baxter City Council, and did a stint as a field representative for U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan. Barrows, now 69, first became interested in politics at the same life stage most politicos are leaving it: after a nearly 30-year career at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. For nearly three decades, Barrows did accounting for the agency, including at the sex offender program facility at Moose Lake.
First-time congressional candidate Leah Phifer aims to resist President Donald Trump, engage a neglected voter bloc and be a voice of moderation—all at the same time.
The Baxter City Council learned Tuesday of a host of sex trafficking-themed events coming this month in the Brainerd lakes area. Kate LePage, Saving Grace case manager with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota in Brainerd, joined Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted to present at the city council meeting on efforts to fight sex trafficking in the area. The talk coincided with the month of January, Sex Trafficking Awareness Month.
Two adorable twin brothers entered the world about 9:15 p.m. New Year's Day, becoming the first babies born in Crow Wing County in 2018. Rhys Peterson was born at 9:12 p.m. at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center, and was quickly followed by his brother Kai at 9:15. Rhys, 6 pounds, 1 ounce, at 18.5 inches long, and Kai, 5 pounds, 15 ounces, at 18 inches long, were born to parents Jessica and Mark Peterson of Baxter.
Northern Minnesota is going to be cold and dry this week, amid a colder than usual winter caused by a La Niña pattern. Meteorologist Geoff Grochocinski of the National Weather Service's Duluth office said Monday that cooler than usual water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are causing colder than normal air temperatures here in Minnesota, since the air jet stream is pulled south and cold Canadian air is free to shift down to the U.S. "Overall, we are in a weather pattern that will favor a colder-than normal winter, for much of the winter," he said.
2017 was full of things I loved covering, and things I wish I could been able to cover more. My beat experience this year began like it always does, with the legislative session. The 2017 session did not end in a shutdown like I and others had feared, but it did end in a lawsuit over whether the governor has the power to de-fund the legislature. As it turns out, the courts think he does.
A kitty narrowly escaped a fire Friday in Breezy Point, rescued by quick-thinking paramedics. Firefighters responded just before 3 p.m. to a house fire at 31700 Robinhood Lane, northwest of the city, according to Sgt. Brian Sandell of the Breezy Point Police Department. Pequot Lakes, Ideal and Crosslake fire departments also responded. The home was unoccupied by humans at the time of the fire. However, North Memorial Ambulance saved a cat, whose name was unclear at press time.
Two lost souls from Brainerd are likely thanking their good luck after getting lost in the woods amid temperatures roughly 23 degrees below zero. Pillager Fire Chief Randy Lee said his firefighters were dispatched just after 3 a.m. Sunday morning to aid the Cass County Sheriff's office in locating two stranded motorists who had gotten lost and run out of gas in the Pillsbury State Forest, north of Pillager.