Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her bachelor's degree in professional journalism at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Perkins 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 becoming the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as the county government beat reporter at the Dispatch and a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.
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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.
The vote the Crow Wing County Board took Tuesday night, Dec. 1, to lower the property tax levy appears unprecedented in Minnesota state history, according to county administrator Tim Houle. "I can't find any other circumstance in Minnesota history where a county has done that six years in a row," Houle said. The special meeting Dec. 1 served as an opportunity for the public to weigh in on the county's 2016 budget, tax levy and capital improvement plan.
Two men arrested as part of a law enforcement prostitution operation conducted in October in Breezy Point are now officially facing charges. Roger Louis Carriere Jr., 35, Grand Rapids, and Robert Joseph Hennen, 52, Pierz, each face a gross misdemeanor charge of soliciting prostitution in a public place, according to criminal complaints filed by the Crow Wing County Attorney's Office Friday. Both men were arrested by Breezy Point Police after showing up for arranged meetings with a fictional escort in a Breezy Point hotel room through a classified advertising website. On Tuesday, Oct.