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NISSWA—Timberwood Church did not go up in flames thanks to a sprinkler system that put out a kitchen fire at the Nisswa place of worship in the early morning hours of Friday, April 20. No one was in the building, which is along Highway 371, at about 9 a.m. when the Nisswa Fire Department responded and the Brainerd Fire Department was contacted for mutual aid, but not needed. "There was a fire alarm that went through our alarm company to the Nisswa Fire Department ... and they discovered smoke in the building," said the Rev. John Just, pastor of the church.
Crow Wing County Land Services is seeking to acquire privately owned timberland while divesting itself from isolated tax-forfeited, county-owned parcels surrounded by private landowners. County staff reviewed land holdings by Potlatch Minnesota Timberlands while updating the county's land asset management policy in December 2016 and found none were of high importance for the county to acquire.
The Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners accepted the low bid by a Brainerd-based excavator for its services to make more room at the county landfill in Brainerd. The board awarded the contract to DeChantal Excavating at its meeting Tuesday, April 10. The bid was for $965,295.25 and was one of 18 bids received by the county.
Where to spend money fixing roadways, when and for how much was part of a highway improvement plan adopted by the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners. County Engineer Tim Bray gave a presentation at the board's meeting Tuesday, April 10, of the five-year plan he prepared after the annual Transportation Advisory Committee meeting March 6 attended by the commissioners.
Bruce Paine came to the Brainerd National Guard Armory to remember his uncle Donald even though the two have never met as Donald, a soldier, was killed in action during World War II. The 65-year-old was one of many at the annual Bataan Memorial Service on Monday, April 9, to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the unit's part in the Bataan Death March. "My uncle Donald, who I never met, was one of the fallen ones in the Bataan, but I heard plenty of stories," said Bruce Paine, a Brainerd resident who teared up at the wreath-laying ceremony.
Home is where the heart is, but now it can be where the brain is, too. A smart home is a home in which the appliances are connected with each other and with a smartphone or tablet, so that they can "communicate" with each other, so long as they have access to the internet, such as by Wi-Fi. Some examples of what a smart home can do if equipped with the right technology include controlling the temperature, the ability to turn on and off lights and appliances, and doors and locks that automatically open based on remote control commands and proximity of the user.
Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch is running for re-election. The 55-year-old husband and father of three made the announcement Friday, April 6. He was first elected sheriff in 2010 and has served with the sheriff's office for more than three decades. "You could say I was crazy for doing it again," Burch said jokingly of his re-election bid.
JP Whalen knows time isn't necessarily on his side. The psychologist worked for almost a decade at Nystrom & Associates in Baxter but in December of 2015 he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He retired from Nystrom & Associates last month. The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis according to the ALS Association, a national nonprofit.
Jennifer was a fistful of pills away from potential death, and if it wasn't for her husband intervening at the right time, she could have been in the past and not the present. She agreed to share her story with the Brainerd Dispatch if only her first name was used. She has not come out to her entire family and coworkers, but did want to help others like herself.
The Rev. John Stiles does not believe talking about suicide encourages others to kill themselves—in fact he believes it is quite the opposite. The pastor of First Lutheran Church in Brainerd and other clergy he has consulted think that one of the worst things a person could do is minimize how a person is feeling.