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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Area grandparents received VIP treatment at Eagle View Elementary School on Friday, May 9. Treated to a program and refreshments, they also visited the second-grade classrooms of their grandchildren. Students sang songs, performed sign language, danced around a May pole and described their grandparents with adjectives inscripted upon construction paper leaves, which they used to build a tree. The program ended with grandmas and grandpas joining the students in the “Chicken Dance,” an annual tradition for the gathering.
In what has become an annual tradition, Pequot Lakes High School students on Wednesday, May 7, armed themselves with rakes, towels, paint brushes and other tools helpful to making their communities more beautiful places. The Day of Caring sent students across the district and beyond, from Pequot Lakes to Crosslake, from East Gull Lake to Pine River, to rake leaves, wash windows, apply fresh coats of paint and much more. “It’s nice to help out with people if they need it,” said sophomore Megan Morgan, who worked at Sibley Lake Park clearing leaves and pine needles.
Around 200 people attended the Earth Care Fair at Crosslake Presbyterian Church on Saturday, April 26, to learn about innovative ways to conserve energy in their homes. Items on display included geothermal heating systems, solar electricity generators, closed-loop wells, energy efficient vehicles and solar-powered boat lifts. Vendors provided educational materials on environmental topics such as home energy audits, eco-friendly home design, water quality and shoreline restoration.
The community garden in Crosslake is about to expand. Jon Henke, director of parks, recreation and library, asked the council Monday, May 12, to declare a small cabin near the garden plots as surplus property to accommodate the growing interest in the garden. “We’d really like to get this moving,” he said. “The garden folks are ready to get in there.” The garden currently accommodates 44 gardeners, most of the plots being 10 by 20 feet. With 16 gardeners on a waiting list for the community plots, Henke said it’s time to expand.
Nearly 70 years later, memories of World War II remain fresh for two local U.S. Navy veterans. After traveling in late April to the war memorials in Washington, D.C., via the Honor Flight Network, Bob Uppgaard of Ideal Township and Emery Nelson of Nisswa were reminded that many in our nation haven’t forgotten, either. “Emotionally, it gets you,” Uppgaard said. “I was crying all the way, when people are saluting you when you go by and applauding you.” Nelson described his experience as “tremendous.”
The Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion Post 500 needs to raise $60,000 to complete major renovations to its 35-year-old building, and the organization is asking its membership and the community for help. Deanna Dubel, president of the Legion Auxiliary, said updates to the kitchen are necessary to bring it in line with Minnesota Department of Health codes, in addition to the need for new flooring, carpeting, water heaters, freezers and a furnace, among other repairs.
The only vehicles on Barclay Avenue in Pine River on Saturday, May 3, were on display as part of the second annual Cars ‘N’ Que event. The car show and barbecue ribs contest, organized by barbecue joint Jr’s No. 19 in Pine River, drew area residents in search of an afternoon of good eats and impressive cars. Those who attended could vote for their favorite ribs, cars and motorcycles, purchase pulled pork sandwiches from the pig roast in support of the Pine River Food Shelf, grab a beer from the beer garden and check out offerings from other vendors.
Crosslake Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller is researching installation of a dry hydrant to draw water from Trout Lake in case of a fire emergency, at the request of the Manhattan Beach City Council. Lohmiller said currently, if there is a fire in Manhattan Beach and the trucks run out of water, crews need to return to the Crosslake Fire Hall to refill the water tanks. Although the hall is only two miles away from the city’s border on County Road 66, he said in the case of fires, “time is of the essence.”
In the wake of the retirement of longtime wastewater operator John Monnier at the end of May, the Breezy Point City Council hired his replacement Monday, May 5. Bryant Szymanski, a 2006 Pequot Lakes High School graduate, will assume the position at the beginning of June. The personnel committee selected Szymanski after interviewing four candidates April 23, narrowed from a total of 17 applicants.
Negotiation teams for the Pequot Lakes School Board and Education Minnesota Pequot Lakes (EMPL) are scheduled to meet at the table again to discuss teacher contracts Monday, May 12. The negotiation will mark the second time in as many months the groups have met, after not meeting directly since late summer 2013. The groups also negotiated in November 2013 via state mediation services.