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 Pequot Lakes School Board approved the 2013-15 contract with principals at its Monday, April 21, meeting, securing a total increase in costs of $23,710, or 7.5 percent, over two years. The new contract includes a salary increase of 4 percent the first year and 3 percent the second year, along with an increase of life insurance coverage to $200,000 and an increase of the duty stipend to $750. The district’s health insurance contribution was reduced to $7,086 to match the teachers’ contract, and the difference of $5,164 was shifted over to salary.
The Fifty Lakes City Council approved hiring an architect from Simonson Lumber of Crosslake to draw up architectural plans for the municipal bar’s planned patio expansion at their April 8 meeting, according to draft minutes. With Mayor Ken Hersey absent, Councilman Greg Buchite acted as mayor at the regular monthly meeting. Buchite told the council he’d discussed the addition with Simonson Lumber and they advised acquiring professional drawings. The council approved spending up to $1,000 on the drawings and a materials list. In other business, the council:
The Pequot Lakes Patriots baseball team will soon have its own electronic scoreboard, courtesy of a $9,000 donation from the Copham Family Foundation. Jed and Kristi Copham of Forest Lake own Brainerd International Raceway (BIR), and the new scoreboard will bear the BIR logo.
The Crosslake City Council on Monday, April 14, heard an update on the Fourth of July fireworks display from Crosslake chamber director Cindy Myogeto and Lake Country Crafts and Cones owner Pat Netko.
After nearly four hours of negotiations Monday, April 14, Education Minnesota Pequot Lakes (EMPL) union negotiators and the Pequot Lakes School Board were unable to reach a contract agreement. This is the first time since late summer 2013 that negotiators met directly with one another. The union and school board communicated through state mediation services in November, but have not met since. EMPL president Kim Johnson said members of the union’s negotiating team were to meet with union members Wednesday, April 16, to discuss the proceedings.
Pine River-Backus (PR-B) senior Danielle Butcher took home the title of 2014 Miss Pine River and a $1,000 scholarship at “A Note-Able Evening” at PR-B High School. Eight contestants vied for the crown at the 35th annual scholarship pageant sponsored by the Pine River Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, April 12, showcasing their talents and modeling in business attire and evening gowns. Shannon Osier was crowned First Princess and Miss Congeniality, earning $450 toward schooling, and Candice Zackowski was crowned Second Princess and awarded a $300 scholarship.
The Crosslake City Council unanimously approved Crosslake Communication’s fiber optic cable installation plan scheduled in conjunction with this summer’s reconstruction of County State Aid Highway 3 at a Monday, April 7, meeting. Crosslake Communcations operation manager Jared Johnson presented the company’s plans to the council at a second special meeting in as many weeks. He said the company has already begun digging in selected areas for the fiber installation, but will have to wait for snow to melt in other areas.
The negotiating teams for Education Minnesota Pequot Lakes and the Pequot Lakes School Board will meet for further contract negotiations Monday, April 14, after 288 days without a contract agreement. Until a new contract is negotiated, teachers are bound by the terms of their previous contract.
The Breezy Point City Council finalized the last steps toward beginning the Whitebirch Drive and Creek Circle sewer installation and pavement project Monday, April 7, approving a bid from Pratt’s Affordable Excavating, Inc., of Merrifield. With no concerns expressed at the assessment public hearing held Wednesday, April 2, the council chose to move forward on the issue at its regular council meeting. “The sooner we can get going on this, the better off we’ll be,” said council member Otto Schmid. “We’ll save two to three weeks by approving this tonight.”
The Breezy Point Figure Skating Club and Academy held its spring show Saturday, April 5, at the Breezy Point Ice Arena. The show, “Skating Through Minnesota’s Seasons,” featured skaters from the academy’s Learn to Skate classes ages preschool to adult, members of the local figure skating club as well as skaters from surrounding clubs, including a synchronized skating team from St. Cloud. The club held a silent auction at the event and Chuck-a-Puck, with half of the proceeds going to the winner.