Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.
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Entrepreneurs exploring the idea of opening a microdistillery in Crow Wing County prompted officials to examine permitting and waste treatment requirements.
The basement that once housed Crow Wing County's prisoners is transforming into a more spacious and technologically advanced 911 dispatch center. Home to the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, the 40-year-old law enforcement center on the county campus is the subject of an $800,000 remodeling project. The two-phase project began last month and is the main capital improvement project the county is pursuing this year and next. Reid Thiesse, facilities manager, said the project is meant to improve the functionality of the office and reuse space previously "mothballed."
The county road encircling Round Lake will be surveyed for potential reconstruction, the Crow Wing County Board decided Tuesday. County Road 115—also known as Ojibwa and Nashway roads—is a winding, scenic route that also happens to be nearly 35 years old and is showing its age, County Engineer Tim Bray said. The extent to which repair work should be completed by the county on the roadway is a source of tension among residents of the area, many of whom in the past expressed the desire to complete a simple pavement overlay.
A Trans Am racecar driver is dead after crashing head-on with a concrete wall at high speed Sunday afternoon at Brainerd International Raceway. The driver was identified by track officials as Mel Shaw, 70, of New Jersey. Several online sources describe Shaw as a veteran of the racing industry who began racing nearly 50 years ago. The crash occurred on Turn 3 of the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course during a Sports Car Club of America race. The smaller 12-lap race took place between two Trans Am Series events as part of the PleasureLand RV Show and Go at the racetrack.
More than 20 firefighters from two area departments worked to extinguish a large house fire near Mount Ski Gull on Sunday, June 11. The Pillager Fire Department was paged to respond to a fully engulfed structure fire at about 10 a.m. Sunday, reported by either a neighbor or a passerby, said Pillager Fire Chief Randy Lee. Firefighters from Nisswa arrived to provide mutual aid with manpower and a tanker truck.
Officials determined the fire forcing the evacuation of more than 30 assisted living residents Thursday night, June 8, in Pequot Lakes was arson. Pequot Lakes Fire Chief Tom Nelson said Friday, June 9, evidence showed the Thursday night fire at Heritage House of Pequot Lakes was intentionally set. No arrests were made by midday Friday as the Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office conducted interviews. Nelson declined to confirm whether anyone besides staff members or residents were determined to be on the property at the time.
BRAINERD — A large crowd filled the cafeteria at Central Lakes College Thursday night to share views on a proposed oil pipeline replacement project. Several of the commenters voiced concerns with Canadian energy company Enbridge's plans to decommission its aging Line 3 without removing it, addressed the environmental impacts of potential spills and questioned the conflicting interests of contractors associated with the environmental review.
Crow Wing County might soon acquire a property near one of the busiest intersections on the county highway system to preserve it for future roadway safety improvements.
One of the area's clearest, coldest lakes is about to get a protection boost from a recently funded runoff treatment project. Big Trout Lake, a part of the Whitefish Chain of Lakes and the only lake in the Brainerd area stocked with lake trout, is the intended beneficiary of a proposed system to treat runoff from County Highway 66. The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District project was funded in 2016 with a $310,000 grant from the Clean Water Fund, one of the funds supported by the 2008 Legacy Amendment.
The Cass County Planning Commission made the right decision in permitting the redevelopment of a golf course into a seasonal RV park, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled. In an unpublished opinion released Monday, the appeals court affirmed the commission's 2016 decision to issue a conditional use permit to Birch Bay RV Resort, located on Agate Lake south of Lake Shore. "The record before us reveals that the planning commission conducted a very thorough decisional process," the opinion stated.