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Christmas music filled the halls as an audience gathered in the Fireside Lounge at Central Lakes College Thursday afternoon, Dec. 13. Guitar students showed off their skills and hard work during an informal recital, which drew a bigger crowd than the performers anticipated. "I thought, 'There will be a few people walking by, but nobody's going to come to this,'" guitarist and singer Sam Schimpp said after the performance.
Santa hats adorned many a head, as festive music played in the background and smells of popcorn filled the air. Holiday cheer was in full force at Central Lakes College Wednesday, Dec. 13. Designed specifically for CLC students with children, a Christmas party featuring games, crafts, face painting, caricatures, snacks and, of course, Santa entertained kids of all ages, while bringing smiles to their parents' faces as well. The event began about 10 years ago when Kimberly Pilgrim, director of the Meta 5 program, saw a need to do something fun for those in the program.
Plans are taking shape for more of the Brainerd School District's building projects. School board members reviewed preliminary plans for Brainerd High School's north campus and the new elementary school in Baxter during their meeting Monday, Dec. 10. New elementary school in Baxter After the board voted in October for Jasperwood Drive as its preferred location for the new elementary school in Baxter, consultants with Widseth Smith Nolting and ICS Consulting drew up plans for a two-story, five-section building able to house up to 625 students.
Property acquisition will commence in the Brainerd School District, but not everywhere district officials hoped. The school board agreed Monday, Dec. 10, to move forward with acquiring seven properties near Harrison Elementary School and two near Brainerd High School. The properties are:
A steep increase in the Brainerd School District's 2019 tax levy should come as no surprise to residents after this spring's bonding referendum. But the exact increase is now set in stone. The district's levy will increase by 19.42 percent from 2018, a change of $3.79 million. This amount—a total of $23,330,304.26—is a slight decrease from September's preliminary levy, which the board set at a 19.86 percent increase—the maximum amount allowed by state statute.
There's no shortage of bad news in today's world. That's not a secret, even during the Christmas season. Tragic news, stressful jobs, family hardships and the weight of the world in general can take their toll during this time of the year. For many, Christmas means spending time with family, exchanging gifts, taking part in special traditions and maybe celebrating religious aspects of the holiday. That's what it has always meant to me. But for others, the holidays bring about massive amounts of stress or evoke painful memories of loved ones who are no longer here to celebrate.
It's Christmas at the mansions in Little Falls. Lights, trees, tinsel, Santas, elves, nutrackers, reindeer, stockings and just about any other holiday decorations one could imagine deck the halls of historic homes in Little Falls and welcome visitors to share in the Christmas joy.
Is an economic recession in Brainerd's near future? A potential looming financial downturn has been talked about off and on since the country started rebuilding after the 2018 recession. Worries of another catastrophe are partially to blame for disconnect among Brainerd City Council members as they struggle to agree on a final tax levy for 2019. Brainerd residents will likely see an increase in their property taxes after the city council votes on a final tax levy later this month, but how much is still up in the air.
Compromise is brewing in Brainerd. City council and school board members are beginning to see eye-to-eye on school parking needs. Mild disagreement still remains, but council members are prepared to vote on updated off-street parking proposals for school facilities next week.
Fifty-eight trees are set to be removed in the Garfield Elementary School neighborhood for the Safe Routes to School initiative, aimed at developing safer routes for students to walk and bike to schools. The trees to be removed, Brainerd City Engineer Paul Sandy said, conflict with sidewalk alignment on Northeast Ninth and 10th avenues and Northeast G, H, J, L and N streets.