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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BAXTER—Jennifer Solseth and Sara Raimann do their best work in the face of problems. At the helm of retail and interior design company The Hearth Room for 15 years, the sisters strive to offer a one-stop shop for clients seeking a more functional and beautiful space.
NISSWA—The crow of a rooster might be the first sound one hears when visiting Patchwork Farms near Nisswa, but it's all about the pigs. The small family farm nestled in a stretch of land surrounded by lakes on County Road 127 is home to some of the rarest breeds of heritage porkers in existence—and they have the run of the place. Litters of piglets ranging from just days to several weeks old trot in and out of pens, stopping for a wallow in a mud puddle whenever they please, while larger sows and boars pile together in the shade of an oak canopy.
LONG PRAIRIE—In 2012, a group of Mexican farmers set out to familiarize themselves with the Minnesota climate, renting six plots in the Long Prairie community garden. This summer, that same group is expecting to harvest 50,000 pounds of tomatillos from 15,000 plants—and that's just one of the dozens of crops they're nurturing on about 10 acres of land on the southern edge of town. Those green, husked Mexican staples will be used in the making of Minneapolis-based La Loma Tamales, a large factory producing hand-rolled tamales.
Mark Munson is dying, but he knows now his dream will live. The inaugural finale concert of the Mark Munson Memorial School of Rock brought a capacity crowd to its feet Thursday while a mile away, Munson lay in a hospital bed recovering from major surgery. Although his health prevented him from feeling the vibrations of the bass solo in Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" in person, Munson viewed the performance via livestream to a waiting room at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd.
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.