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Information out there about Crow Wing County residents could be used someday soon to improve county services, according to County Administrator Tim Houle. During Tuesday's meeting of the Crow Wing County Board, Houle talked about an initiative to mine data community services has to discover patterns in large data sets. This would involve methods such as machine learning, statistics and database systems. "As you can imagine, they have 'oodles and oodles and oodles' of data, and we're trying to mine that data to make better use of it," Houle told the board.
Fans of Minnesota Public Radio in Brainerd got their daily dose of classical music and news after an audible drought brought on by lightning ended. Callers to MPR stations KBPN-FM 88.3 News and KBPR-FM 90.7 Classical were greeted until recently with a recorded message about what was billed as "an unfortunate circumstance." "I am happy to report that as of last night MPR News and Classical MPR are back on the air and fully operational," MPR Regional Director Kristi Booth said Wednesday.
A wood shed was found fully engulfed by flames by the time Pine River firefighters arrived on scene Wednesday evening and was deemed a total loss. Seventeen firefighters responded the blaze reported at about 5:30 p.m., which took about 90 minutes to extinguish. "It was just a small structure fire just outside of town," Chief John Richards said. "It was a shed that a guy had a wood stove in ... but we're still investigating the cause of the fire."
Paul Herkenhoff's debut before the Crow Wing County Board as the new manager of Crow Wing County Environmental Services was without fanfare but not without ushering in changes. Land Services Director Gary Griffin introduced at Tuesday's meeting the former county survey/planning coordinator, who took over from long-time county employee Chris Pence. Herkenhoff's debut before the board was to address the county's land-use ordinance and proposed amendments to articles of the ordinance, such as the subdivision of land.
Fans of Minnesota Public Radio in Brainerd who have grown accustomed to listening to classical music and tuning in for news were met recently with something unusual: silence. Callers to MPR stations KBPN-FM 88.3 News and KBPR-FM 90.7 Classical were greeted Friday with a recorded message about what was simply billed as "an unfortunate circumstance." The Brainerd stations' tower was damaged because of lightning—which was not mentioned in the recording—so the stations are off the air, according to MPR Regional Director Kristi Booth.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office released the name of the deputy injured at the Judicial Center by a man attempting to escape custody Wednesday. Deputy Tony Brunhuber was injured when he was struck by a car. The suspect, Brandon Dupree Morris of Baxter, was at the Judicial Center on Laurel Street in Brainerd about 4 p.m. for a meeting with his probation officer when he drove off in his car with law enforcement in pursuit.
No snow? No problem. Snowplow drivers for the Crow Wing County Highway Department pretended to plow snow Tuesday in snowplow simulators provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. "We finally had the capability to come out to places like Crow Wing County when they want the training ... and they can practice their skills in here. Before they'd have to come to us—maybe travel two, three hours," said MnDOT driving simulator program manager Andrew Kubista.
East Gull Lake City Administrator Rob Mason wants motorists to know the crack along Gull Lake Dam Road is no fault of the city's although the gap resembles an earthquake's aftermath. Gull Lake Dam Road is a city road, but the bank of the Gull River that is slipping near the dam, due to heavy rainfall this past weekend, is federal property, according to Mason.
Mark Holbrook's grief turned to rage when no law enforcement officer visited his property to investigate when he reported he believed his beloved dogs were fatally poisoned. It's a startling claim that can be hard to prove, but for the many dog owners in the area who love their pets like family members, the senseless crime—if it happened—is reprehensible. "I had two boxers—that I got as puppies—and their health has always been absolutely wonderful, and all of the sudden one of them quits eating," Holbrook said.
No one objected at the public meeting Tuesday before the Crow Wing County Board about the county's proposal on how to handle county-administered tax-forfeited land. The "stand exam plan," formerly known as the "harvest plan," outlines the number of acres of tax-forfeited land that will be examined for sale potential. "Stand exam" is a forestry term and involves the collection of data on the composition of a given forest.