Friends, colleagues and former students are mourning the passing of former Central Lakes College instructor Joe Plut Plut—known as the "Mad Hugger"—left a lasting impression with many people in the Brainerd lakes area and beyond for several decades and all who knew him agree that Plut will never be forgotten. Plut died Thursday, Jan. 17, in Crosby. He was 82. Plut, who always had a smile on his face, was known as the "Mad Hugger" as he greeted every person, including every student he had, with a hug dating back to the 1970s.
Frigid temperatures are expected to hold on through Monday morning, followed by a possibility of up to 7 inches of snow. The National Weather Service in Duluth reported Brainerd will see about 1-3 inches of snow Monday, Jan. 21, starting mainly after 11 a.m., with another 2-4 includes are possible Monday night into Tuesday morning.
NISSWA—It was almost six decades ago, but the family of Ray F. Krueger will never forget the day their lives changed forever. Krueger, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper, died Nov. 20, 1959, while on duty as a result of injuries in a crash along Highway 210, west of Brainerd. He was 47, leaving behind his wife to raise five children on a $120 a month pension. The Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Lakes Area Lodge No. 11 presented a medal, flag and shadow box to Krueger's family Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Nisswa American Legion.
If there were any doubts about ice conditions this winter—there aren't anymore. The 29th annual Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza received the green light Thursday, Jan. 17, from Crow Wing County Sheriff Scott Goddard. The annual event takes place on Hole-in-the-Day Bay on Gull Lake and is scheduled Jan. 26. Goddard issued the permit for the event after doing an ice check within the 250 acres of the contest area. The contest is about 10 miles north of Brainerd off Highway 371. At this year's measurement, there was a good, solid 16 inches of ice.
Oh joy, the snap is back. A short blast of cold air will make its presence in the Brainerd lakes area this week, into Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 19-20. The deep chill, originating from the Arctic Circle, is flowing down through Canada into the States and is expected to bring very cold and hazardous wind chills of 25-40 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth. But the wind chills won't be as bitter in Brainerd as they will be for our northwesterly neighbors in Grand Forks, where folks should expect to see the colder wind chill readings.
Adviser nomination: "Ammy is a focused, dedicated and responsible student who leads her peers with grace. She is a strong violist in Chamber Orchestra and is highly involved in a variety of other school activities. Ammy's quiet, positive leadership is appreciated by both her classmates and teachers." Memorable fine arts achievement: "Finishing my solo (Telemann Viola Concerto) my freshman year for the solo and ensemble contest." Actress most admired: Emma Watson. Classical artist most admired: Dmitri Shostakovich.
PEQUOT LAKES—It's official—Scott Goddard is the new sheriff in town. Goddard was sworn in as the Crow Wing County sheriff Wednesday, Jan. 9, by retired Judge David Ten Eyck in front of an audience mainly of sheriff's office deputies, correctional officers, 911 dispatchers and office staff; along with families and community members and former Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl, who retired.
A fire broke out Tuesday night in the GreenForest Recycling center at the Brainerd Industrial Center off Mill Avenue in Brainerd. The Brainerd Fire Department was called at 7:49 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, to the fire and were on scene until 12:40 a.m., as getting to the fire proved a bit challenging.
Brainerd lakes area roads and highways turned into skating rinks after midnight and continued into the Monday morning commute, making travel difficult. The National Weather Service of Duluth reported snow quickly changed to freezing drizzle during the overnight Sunday to Monday. Northern Crow Wing and all of Cass and Aitkin counties were in a winter weather advisory until 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7. As the morning progressed, the ice melted off the roads and made travel easier.