Crow Wing County Land Services Director Gary Griffin believes the county can do better. He recommended at the Tuesday, Dec. 11, meeting of the board of commissioners purchasing new software from Tyler Technologies. "We believe that with this enhancement this will, if you will, be another great advancement for that recording area of Crow Wing County," Griffin said. The county uses recorder software by TriMin Systems, which does not work with Tyler's iasWorld tax and computer-assisted mass appraisal software it also uses, according to Griffin.
It's like a Christmas bonus. Officially, the deadline to provide gifts to the Brainerd lakes area "Be a Santa to a Senior" program is Wednesday, Dec. 12, but donations will be accepted until end of business hours Friday. "We will take gifts the rest of the week," said Deb Cranny, executive director of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Brainerd. The program has helped thousands of area seniors in its 10 years, according to Morgan Schlueter of Home Instead Senior Care, with almost 400 seniors last year receiving gifts.
What a difference a year makes. Crow Wing County's record of a reduced tax levy for the last eight years ended when the board approved the 2019 budget and a levy increase of 6.99 percent at its Tuesday, Dec. 11, meeting. "The purpose of tonight's meeting is to explain the 2019 proposed budget for county government and to explain from the budget then how much we're going to need to raise in local property taxes," County Administrator Tim Houle said before the public hearing.
Taylor Lee knows pain in a way that only a woman could know. But the Baxter woman, who recently had her uterus removed, wants to spare other women the pain she had endured from endometriosis and was prolonged by misdiagnosis. "I want to help the community members live long happy lives and aid in the diagnosis," Lee said. "I have been battling this disease for eight years and currently recovering from a total hysterectomy and endometriosis excision at the age of 25."
The Crow Wing County Budget Committee reviewed proposed changes to county fee schedules just days before a public hearing and slated board adoption of the final 2019 budget and levy. A summary of the proposed fee changes was presented at the Friday, Dec. 7, committee meeting. The fees would start New Year's Day if the changes are adopted by month's end.
A two-vehicle crash near Wise Road and Sugarberry Creek in Brainerd left one driver dead and the other driver injured. The head-on collision occurred at about 4:20 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, in Crow Wing County. Neither vehicle had passengers, according to Crow Wing County Sheriff's Sgt. DJ Downie. "One driver was dead on arrival or dead at the scene, and another driver was treated for injuries, taken to the hospital," Downie said.
It was one for the record books—a feel-good, lump-sum donation to a Brainerd nonprofit—that will help ensure those hungry will always have something to eat in the coming year. Chad Schwendeman, broker/owner of Exit Lakes Realty Premier, presented an oversized check for $31,180.40 to the manager of the Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen on Monday, Dec. 3. "For us, this is a significant number," Bob Evans said before receiving the check. "We may well be witnessing the single largest donation that our little organization has ever been given, so it's pretty exciting."
The message of Crow Wing Energized's second annual Workplace Wellness Conference was pretty simple: Healthy employees are key to a healthy business. More than a hundred community leaders attended the Wednesday, Nov. 28, event with keynote speaker Kay King, a community educator from National Alliance on Mental Illness-Minnesota.
Not every hero wears a cape. John Pufahl just wore a buttoned shirt, jeans and a Carhartt jacket when he accepted a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Lifesaving Award at the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Nov. 27. "It is my privilege today to honor one of our citizens with the Lifesaving Award. The Lifesaving Award is recognized by the Minnesota DNR," sheriff's office Sgt. DJ Downie told the board.
November is National Adoption Month, and in Crow Wing County, almost 100 children have been adopted in the last three years, according to county officials. About 45 of them were adopted this year alone, and more than 20 children are awaiting finalization of their adoption, which means they are in foster care and parental rights have been terminated, according to Kris Ott, a social worker with county community services.