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 Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday, Feb. 22, affirmed a jury decision in a lawsuit over stray voltage that awarded Pine River dairy farmers $6.3 million in damages. The appeal was filed by lawyers for the Brainerd electrical cooperative Crow Wing Power, which was found negligent in October 2014 in its response to stray voltage concerns raised by Randy and Peggy Norman of Pine River.
A report of a stolen cellphone from a Crosby apartment ended in felony criminal sexual conduct and false imprisonment charges for a suspect accused of fondling a 12-year-old girl. Crosby police responded to the call at a residence on First Street Northwest on Thursday and found 27-year-old Gage C. Sargent of Crosby laying on the ground near a parked car. According to the criminal complaint, Sargent "smelled strongly of alcohol and mumbled incoherently."
During the frigid morning on Saturday, Gina Nevin started a fire in the wood-burning stove at her Crosslake home. When smoke detectors began sounding sometime later, Nevin, 23, said she assumed smoke from the stove was errantly setting them off. A trip out to the garage made her realize the alarms were alerting her to more than just excess smoke, however. "I realized there was a fire behind the wood stove," Nevin said. She grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed the area, using up the contents in her attempt to beat back the flames.
Smoke detectors alerted a Crosslake resident to the fire that would eventually destroy her home on a bitterly cold Saturday. Crosslake Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller reported about 50 firefighters from seven area fire departments battled the blaze on the 15000 block of Wilderness Trail as temperatures hovered at zero degrees with the wind chill dipping to 13 degrees below zero.
PINE RIVER—Traveling the country roads of rural Pine River yields the expected sights—herds of cattle, stands of pine trees, meandering streams—but also glimpses into the future. In open fields and on rooftops are solar arrays, panels harnessing the energy of the sun's rays and powering the electricity, heating systems and hot water of homes and businesses.
Commissioner Doug Houge will serve as chair of the Crow Wing County Board in 2016. Houge was named chair at the Tuesday, Jan. 5, county board meeting, the first of the year. The role is typically rotated among commissioners annually.
Is it possible to control aquatic invasive species more effectively in Crow Wing County by restricting the hours at public boat landings? Tom Watson, president of the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association (WAPOA), believes it is, and is urging the county to consider limiting public availability of less popular landings. Doing so, Watson said, would allow for more effective coverage of landings by aquatic invasive species (AIS) inspectors.
Returning elected Crow Wing County officials will receive a 1.5 percent salary increase in 2016, the county board approved at its Tuesday, Dec. 29, meeting. This increase is in line with the upward shift in the minimum and maximum salary range approved for all non-contract employees in the same resolution.
The Crow Wing County Board on Tuesday, Dec. 15, approved updates to what the county will charge for various goods and services in 2016. County administrator Tim Houle explained that to determine changes in fees, departments analyze whether charging a user leads to more revenue than it costs to produce a bill. "Philosophically, we should use a fee whenever we can identify the individual who has driven the cost of a service being provided and they have the ability to pay," Houle said.
When those making purchases in Crow Wing County this upcoming April 1 notice an increase in costs, it won't be because of an April Fools' joke. In a 4-1 vote, the Crow Wing County Board on Tuesday, Dec. 15, approved a countywide half-cent sales tax, the revenues from which will fund county road and bridge improvements.