An interim superintendent is on the job for the Aitkin School District following approval of a contract by the school board, the Aitkin Independent Age reported. Charles Rick began Aug. 13, and his approved contract was retroactive to that date through June 2019. Rick is currently an adjunct professor at St. Mary's University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The school board will continue its search for a permanent superintendent.


A charity effort last year expanded to an ongoing effort, the Aitkin Independent Age reported. Doug Gillette of Crosby Mattress recently launched Beds for Kids North, an organization seeking to provide bed sets for children in need in the Crosby, Aitkin and McGregor areas. In 2017, Gillette donated six sets, based on school district recommendations and essays written by the children explaining why they needed a new bed. For more information, visit and click on "Beds for Kids North."

After announcing her retirement recently, Crosby Police Chief Kim Coughlin asked the Crosby City Council to recognize Lt. Kevin Randolph as her successor, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported. Coughlin plans to retire in August 2019, and she told the council the transition would be smoother if her successor was identified. The council unanimously approved Coughlin's request.


Those who see the movie "Brother's Keeper" when it hits the silver screen will see a local face, the Staples World reported. Cushing resident Brian Sams is currently filming the movie in which he plays Coach Del Van Cox. The movie depicts the true story of the Abilene (Texas) High School football team, which after losing in the first round of the playoffs one season, went on to form a unique bond, according to the World. Sams, a Staples-Motley High School graduate, was the head speech coach of his alma mater in 2017-18 along with his wife, Heather.


The people will decide whether the city of Lake Shore should spend money on a new city hall building and road projects, the Echo Journal reported. A petition garnered enough signatures to force the issue to a referendum, which would ask voters whether the city should be authorized to issue general obligation bonds for the projects. For the street reconstruction projects, the city will seek authorization for up to $1.595 million. For the city hall, authorization would allow the city to issue up to $1.895 in bonds. The questions will appear on ballots for city residents, who will also vote for mayor and city council members in November.


After years of frustrating drainage problems near the entrance of Swanville Public Schools, officials hope a new sidewalk will prevent the pond formed in heavy rains, the Morrison County Record reported. The old sidewalk included a very low curb leading to a street with a downward angle toward the front doors. The new sidewalk is wider with taller curbs, and the parking area near the sidewalk was leveled to reduce the steep angle.


There's a new K-9 patrolling the streets of Wadena County, the Staples World reported. Nitro, hailing from the Czech Republic, joined the Wadena County Sheriff's Office June 23. Already the pup assisted with tracking a murder suspect near Fergus Falls, a SWAT Team call and searches of the county jail.

-- Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, community editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at