BAXTER—Bridging the divide of Highway 371 to connect Baxter for pedestrian and bicyclist access came into clearer focus Tuesday, Jan. 15. In the future, it could mean a pedestrian and bike bridge crossing four lanes of high-speed traffic to connect residents with shopping and recreation from Whipple Beach to the Paul Bunyan State Trail. The east/west link was the subject of presentations on a citywide transportation plan on foot and pedal power and a look at possible bridge locations.
Consumers are gaining from the move by businesses of all kinds to provide more options for online and delivery from restaurants to retail and the lakes area is no exception. Food Dudes, who joined the lakes area in an expansion from St. Cloud, is continuing to add restaurants to its list serving eateries that didn't have their own delivery service. Now 612 Station, Sage on Laurel, CherryBerry, Black Bear Lodge, Boulder Tap House, Senor Patron, Grizzly's, Poncho & Lefty's and Baxter's Bar & Grill.
BAXTER—As new Baxter City Council members were sworn in this week, outgoing members were recognized for their contributions. New council members Connie Lyscio and Zach Tabatt were sworn in Tuesday, Jan. 8. Tabatt thanked outgoing council members Quinn Nystrom and Steve Barrows, who was on hand for the meeting, for their service and for the welcome from the council. "I look forward to working with everyone," Tabatt said.
BAXTER—More than 80 people packed Baxter City Council chambers Tuesday, Jan. 8, and the majority learned within a short time their wishes would be granted.
A neighbor saw flames and warned a homeowner Sunday night, Jan. 6, in Sylvan Township that his garage was on fire.
It seems it was just a short time ago this column was looking at what happened at the close of 2017, but years seem to now pass with greater and greater speed. And 2018 was another year of significant change in the lakes area.
As one year departs to make way for the new, one thing remains constant—a changing business landscape. 2018 witnessed the first holiday season without both retail stalwarts Herberger's and J.C. Penney. But new businesses are joining the lakes area communities and others are changing the way business as usual may be viewed. J.C. Penney remains vacant in Baxter but the former large department store space that made up most of Herberger's is being transformed into a Planet Fitness site in Brainerd.
Momentum to revitalize downtown Brainerd continued in 2018. From a second Destination Downtown Business Challenge attracting even more entrepreneurs to participate than the first effort, to efforts to integrate art into downtown, to continued plans to build on momentum for the River to Rail initiative, downtown Brainerd had an eventful year. The winner of the second Destination Downtown business contest is bringing a bakery to downtown Brainerd in 2019.
Few things must change perspective of life on Earth than seeing our blue planet from the moon's perspective. Charlie Duke, one of 12 men to walk on the surface of the moon, was the keynote speaker this past summer at the fourth annual Lakes Area Mayors Prayer Breakfast.
Evenson's Hallmark store in the Westgate Mall is closing. The store made the announcement last week with a closing sale. The Willow Tree figurines statues were transferred to another store location. Evenson's Hallmark describes itself as a family owned, second generation, independent operator of Gold Crown Hallmark stores in the upper Midwest. The family owned business was established in 1972. The company's website has 12 store locations across Minnesota and include single stores in Iowa, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.