A Crosby resident is hoping to reopen Croft Mine Park with the help of city officials, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported Aug. 28. Barb Grove asked the city council to consider acquiring the park back from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The city owned the park previously before the DNR took it over, but the state agency is not able to maintain or open the property to the public. Grove suggested the park have an admission fee and an event center for patrons to rent to help cover costs of maintenance. She said the park would be “self-sustaining” at some point in the future. Mayor Bob Novak asked Grove to gather more information.

In the Sept. 11 edition of the Courier, Ironton City Council members discussed the possibility of that city taking over management of the land, should the city of Crosby decline. Council members wanted details on the amount of property, upkeep work required, equipment needed for maintenance and possible liability before discussing further.

Following the closure of a recycling drop-off area in Emily, the Crosby city administrator is concerned about the potential impact on Crosby, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported Wednesday, Sept. 25. Administrator Lisa Sova said she’s received calls from people checking on whether they could drop off recyclables in Crosby instead. Although the city will receive an additional $15,000 from Crow Wing County for its recycling program, Sova said she is concerned that will not be enough to cover the influx of recyclables due to the Emily closure.

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Once again, the topic of pigeons was on the minds of city leaders in Crosby, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported Aug. 28. Police Lieutenant Andrew Rooney, Police Chief Kim Coughlin and City Administrator Lisa Sova met with an exterminator to discuss the pigeon problem. The exterminator told officials people could hire someone to remove the pigeons from their properties, but that would move the pigeons to another property. “It was concluded there is not anything the city can do to eliminate the pigeons,” the Courier reported.


Linda Paulsen likely never expected her crop art would lead to a celebrity encounter, but that’s exactly what happened as a result of this year’s state fair entry, the Walker Pilot-Independent reported Sept. 18. Paulsen, who earned a blue ribbon for her portrait of playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame, also received praise from Miranda himself via Twitter. Someone who attended the Minnesota State Fair took a photo of Paulsen’s work, created from 17 seed varieties, and sent it as a tweet to Miranda. Days later, after Miranda returned from a trip, he retweeted Paulsen’s work. “A blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair?! Linda Paulsen! Those are seeds?! You’ve outdone yourself!”

Paulsen, a seasoned crop artist, told the Pilot-Independent she settled on Miranda for this year’s subject after watching him on “60 Minutes.”

“I saw Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton, in his costume, with dark eyes, dark hair. I was impressed with the man. I’ve been doing this so long, I see everything in seeds!” she told the Walker paper.

Hackensack’s signature “lady by the lake” statue, Lucette, will be incorporated into the city’s next logo, the Walker Pilot-Independent reported Sept. 18. How that logo will look is still a mystery, however, as the city is soliciting designs from artists as part of a contest. The Hackensack Logo Contest runs through Oct. 31, and designs must incorporate the image of Lucette Diana Kensack -- the full name of the city’s statue built in 1950. All designs must be submitted on 8.5-by-11-inch paper and include the artist’s name and phone number. Designs can be dropped off at Southside Fuel Plus in Hackensack.


There are spirits at the liquor store, but not the kind to be expected, according to the manager of Isle’s municipal shop. The Mille Lacs Messenger reported Sept. 18 that manager Monica Weets informed the Isle City Council of the apparent paranormal activity at the store. Weets said activity includes voices, laughter, black mist and orbs -- all of which have been witnessed by employees or caught on security cameras. She told council members she wished to bring in a psychic to help explain the activity, and then the psychic would do readings at the liquor store for an event Weets billed “Wine and Spirit.” Council member Don Dahlen was concerned allowing the psychic to do readings in the muni would violate the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution -- permitting a service that may be “Wiccan” or “pagan,” he said. A motion to allow Weets to conduct her “Wine and Spirit” night passed, with Dahlen opposed.


Saturday study sessions at the high school are now an option for Little Falls students, the Morrison County Record reported Monday, Sept. 22. The Little Falls School Board approved a program that would allow students to voluntarily go to school on 15 Saturdays throughout the school year. This would allow those students to get extra help on schoolwork. Saturday school sessions started last year as teachers looked for ways to make up classroom time in the midst of several snow days. The program is expected to cost $4,000 to cover staff time and snacks, although officials noted the program would likely be eligible for Title IV funding, since it’s intended to increase graduation rates.


Morrison County may be on the hook to refund tax dollars to a natural gas company after the state of Minnesota allegedly over-assessed the business’ properties, the Morrison County Record reported Sept. 15. The amount overpaid by Northern Natural Gas is at least $114,000, with a court determining Morrison County collected too much in 2015 and 2016. The potential errors in 2017 and 2018 have not yet been determined. County officials expressed frustration with the situation, noting in the case of utility companies -- such as natural gas, but also railroads and pipelines -- the state assesses the properties rather than local authorities. If errors are made, however, counties are often responsible for returning those funds.

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