I started at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and the Brainerd School District. I follow city and school board officials as they make important decisions for residents and students and decide how to spend taxpayer dollars. I look for feature story ideas among those I meet and enjoy, more than anything, helping individuals tell their stories and show what makes them unique.
Everyone has a story. Let us tell yours.
To help support local journalism, click here to sign up to receive a Dispatch digital subscription to our e-edition or to receive the printed paper at your door, or to get both.
- Member for
- 3 years 3 weeks
BAXTER -- A community effort to provide not only affordable housing but supportive housing is underway in Baxter. Stakeholders in the city’s pending White Oak Estates development project discussed the need for low-income housing and how need is being met during a meeting over lunch Tuesday, June 25, at Prairie Bay.
No doubt summer is a busy time in the Brainerd lakes area—for businesses, for residents and for construction crews. The city of Brainerd has several road construction projects on the docket this summer, from reconstructions to resurfacing to sidewalk additions. Northeast projects
The future of former Driftwood Resort land again went before Crow Wing County officials, but this time with a different purpose and perhaps a more positive outlook for the applicant. Dan Leagjeld, whose parents previously owned the Ideal Township resort on the Whitefish Chain of Lakes, came before the Crow Wing County Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment Thursday, June 20, with three requests for property he bought from his parents after the resort closed in 2009. Leagjeld sought to:
Arts in the Park, the Fourth of July Parade and the Crow Wing County Fair are all on the Brainerd Water Tower Committee's summer agenda to raise awareness and hopefully funds to save the city's historic structure. The June 30 Arts in the Park event at Gregory Park, sponsored by Brainerd Community Action, will be a test run of sorts for the citizens committee, which aims to raise more than $1 million to restore the iconic downtown water tower.
More than 1 1/2 of lengthy discussions led to concrete plans for the future of Brainerd's government and public safety facilities. A 2017 facilities study showing various deficiencies with city hall led to a council debate about just fixing those issues or constructing a new building. At first, a majority of the council seemed to favor a new building. But an ultimatum came last December, when three council members—Sue Hilgart, Gabe Johnson and Dave Badueax—agreed to vote for a higher tax levy than they wanted if it meant keeping the current city hall building.
The city of Brainerd offered a settlement agreement to streets department employee Marvin Bush after two grievances were filed on Bush's behalf by the Union of Operating Engineers, Local No. 49. The city and the union are parties to a collective bargaining agreement governing the terms and conditions of employment for the city's street department bargaining unit.
With several city street projects coming in at costs well above estimates, the city of Brainerd will advance state aid funds to pay for the bigger price tags. In a memo to the Brainerd City Council Monday, June 17, City Engineer Paul Sandy attributed to the higher costs to rising oil and gas prices, a very busy construction year across the state and generally higher material costs.
After hearing new information, the Brainerd City Council reversed a previous decision, now agreeing to rezone 50 Jenny St.—the site of the city's water treatment plant—from single family residential to light industrial use. The council denied the rezoning request on June 3 on the grounds of not having a specific plan for what Brainerd Public Utilities wanted to do with the land. The original request in the June 3 council packet only listed the ability for the water treatment plant to better serve the community as the reason.
Quick, what's the capital of Finland? Who was Abraham Lincoln's first vice president? If you knew the answer to either of those questions and were able to come up with Helsinki or Hannibal Hamlin right away, you probably just got a nice little burst of dopamine in your brain. And if you know what dopamine is, you probably just got another.
June 14 is Flag Day, a day commemorating the adoption of the United States flag on June 14, 1777, by the Second Continental Congress. It's also one of the six days of the year American flags wave in the wind at hundreds of lakes area businesses, courtesy of the Brainerd Noon Sertoma Club. The Sertoma's flag committee is responsible for placing American flags at area businesses for Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Sept. 11 (Patriot Day) and, of course, Flag Day.