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Future generations will be able to enjoy and appreciate the land surrounding Indian Jack Lake if plans to create a wildlife management area come to fruition. The Crow Wing County Board Tuesday unanimously approved the purchase of the property by The Trust for Public Land as part of the Mississippi Headwaters Habitat Corridor Partnership. The property will be donated to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Michelle Mink sometimes struggles to learn and do things other people take for granted, but she was busy Wednesday preparing for a holiday craft sale on the campus of Brainerd High School. "I got to walk with my class, but I have to make up a few credits," said Mink, an 18-year-old disabled woman from Pine River who has not graduated from high school. Mink is in the Paul Bunyan Transition Plus program for adult students with disabilities, ages 18 to 21, in the Paul Bunyan Education Cooperative. She wants to be a cosmetologist some day.
The Crow Wing County Board unanimously passed a reduced levy for the eighth consecutive year after Tuesday's public hearing, at which no one spoke or asked questions. The passage guarantees the streak of not increasing the tax burden on property owners in the county continues, as far as the county's portion. "The property tax levy is the amount of money that we collect from the citizens of Crow Wing County—from the property owners within Crow Wing County—to fund the operations of Crow Wing County," County Administrator Tim Houle explained by way of introduction.
Crow Wing County and Cass County just got a little cozier. The Crow Wing County Board authorized entering into a memorandum of agreement between Cass County and the Cass and Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation districts for the Pine River Watershed "One Watershed, One Plan." "Water doesn't necessarily stop at an invisible county line," Land Services Director Gary Griffin told the board at its Tuesday meeting.
Crow Wing County Administrator Tim Houle wants to handle settlements involving county employees accused of inappropriately accessing private driver's license information. Houle requested at Tuesday's county board meeting that he, Sheriff Todd Dahl and County Attorney Don Ryan be allowed to deal with such lawsuits that involve settlement agreements. "Crow Wing County has access to a lot of private information. One of the areas of private information that we have access to is driver's license data," Houle told the board.
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.