94-year-old volunteer at The Center gift shop recalls its power, promise With each passing day, fewer people may remember when Martin Luther King Jr. was alive, but the legacy the slain civil rights leader left—a national discourse about race relations—lives on. Legislation signed in 1983 marked the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a federal holiday. In 1994, Congress designated the federal holiday as a national day of service.
Quitting smoking—it's often easier said than done, as tobacco users can attest to, but a new tobacco coalition recently created aims to improve the odds of breaking the addiction. Crow Wing Energized is partnering with other community members to start a tobacco coalition. "It's a very tough habit to break. I think the statistics show that it takes up to seven tries to successfully quit," said Traci Moreland, tobacco cessation/nursing professional development practitioner at Essentia Health.
Crow Wing County commissioners continued to voice their support for Crow Wing Energized, a grassroots community health and wellness movement led and funded by Crow Wing County, Essentia Health and the Statewide Health Improvement Program. "We're bringing community leaders together to make the healthy choice the easy choice," Community Services Director Kara Griffin told the board at its Tuesday, Jan. 15, committee of the whole meeting.
Dave Williams is no stranger to the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners. Williams previously voiced his concerns about vacation rentals by nearby homeowners at the July 17 committee of the whole meeting—and did so again—at the Tuesday, Jan. 8, board meeting. "I was at the committee meeting of the whole, and there was some discussion then, last summer. I've asked for a follow-up and have received none, and I'm curious—No. 1—about that," said Williams, who owns vacation property along the southeast shore of Pelican Lake.
The first meeting of the new year of the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners began with a couple new faces and a new arrangement between the county and the city of Brainerd. At the Tuesday, Jan. 8, meeting, the county entered into a shared services agreement with Brainerd for general and technical building maintenance support for some city-owned buildings.
Republicans' and Democrats' concerns about the partial federal government shutdown were shared by local officials as the political standoff enters its third week with no end in sight. "We intentionally spare our constituents from the effects of a federal government shutdown in order to continue to serve our customers," Tim Houle, Crow Wing County administrator, said Friday, Jan. 4. President Donald Trump has demanded any budget deal include more than $5 billion to fund construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico. Democrats have resisted the idea.
The first baby born in Crow Wing County on New Year's Day will not likely be the last for the happy parents of the newborn delivered on the national holiday. After more than seven hours of labor that began the morning of Monday, Dec. 31, Tara Fries' newest addition to her growing family is a girl, the fifth. Fries was already a mother of four girls. The 36-year-old mom welcomed Cota Rayne Fries to the world at 4:28 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd.
It was a shocking—and abrupt—ending for a larger-than-life local business owner and motorsports enthusiast whose name was synonymous with a Brainerd lakes area raceway. Brainerd International Raceway owner Jed Copham's impact in the world of racing was evident by the hundreds who honored his memory at a Nov. 17 candlelight vigil at BIR. They came to reminiscence, pay their respects and say their goodbyes to the 46-year-old businessman who died Nov. 11 after a swimming accident in Florida.
Lives cut too short, an illness relegated to the shadows, and a community that banded together to shine a spotlight on suicide and mental health were among the top local stories of the year. Suicide, and mental illness at large, belongs to no one demographic. The biggest common factor following such a death is the devastation—the heartbreak felt by families, friends and communities in the wake of such tragedies.
Crow Wing County will charge more for some services starting New Year's Day after a public hearing about the proposed changes to the county departments' fee schedules occurred. The board adopted at its Wednesday, Dec. 26, meeting deletions, additions and changes to last year's fee schedules and policies in an effort to recoup some of the cost in providing services.