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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The verdict is in: property owners in the First Assessment District will see a 9 percent jump in the unorganized township's preliminary property tax levy in 2018. The Crow Wing County Board approved the increase as part of a broader strategy to support future road improvements in the district, located north of Brainerd and Baxter. County officials sought to bring awareness to an impending funding crunch through a series of meetings with residents over the summer.
In a move the board chairman described Tuesday as cutting "into the bone," the Crow Wing County Board again maintained a flat property tax levy for 2018. The 3-2 decision represents the eighth consecutive year the board passed a flat or reduced levy. Tuesday's resolution addressed the preliminary levy, with final certification expected in December. Once set, the levy cannot increase, although it can decrease. This guarantees the streak of not increasing the tax burden on property owners in Crow Wing County continues—at least for the county's portion.
A policy guiding Crow Wing County's practices concerning lake improvement districts was approved by commissioners Tuesday. The Crow Wing County Board accepted staff recommendations to update its policies concerning the districts, which permit assessments on affected property owners on and around area lakes. Those dollars are in turn used for projects to manage the lake, including combatting aquatic invasive species or weed control.
After a four-month journey by sea from India, seven new granite slabs destined for display on Laurel Street in Brainerd are now stateside. The arrival of the smooth, black granite brings plans to update the All Veterans Memorial stationed outside the Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse one step closer to completion. Former Brainerd Community Action Executive Director Nancy Cross offered a progress report on the project Tuesday to the Crow Wing County Board. Cross said it's proceeding as planned, with one new design element included.
Scars left by axes swung before the Civil War show the work of skilled builders who shaped timbers for use in homes, barns and warehouses long before cutting machinery came along. Each board or beam bears the signature of the hands that created it as long as two centuries ago, and Dave LePage recognizes the work those men did and it forms the basis of his modern-day design and construction firm Big Wood Timber Frames.
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.