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BRAINERD, Minn.—A Cambridge, Minn., man helped his sister prepare food for 30 minutes in a northern Minnesota senior living facility where she was a cook before allegedly stabbing her with a knife multiple times in the neck, leaving her for dead. He also planned to kill others, said charges filed Tuesday, Jan. 16. David Michael Otey, 37, made his first appearance Tuesday on those charges in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd, where he was charged with felony second-degree intentional murder without premeditation.
PILLAGER—A benefit for Kathy Lee—known as "The Chief's Wife" for the past 40 years as she has been a part of the Pillager Area Fire and Rescue—is scheduled Saturday. Lee suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm Oct. 1 while at the family home in Pillager. She was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital and stayed there 45 days. As she was recovering from the surgery she had a few strokes, which was a big setback to her, her family said. Lee is married to Randy Lee, and they have three adult children and four grandchildren.
PILLAGER—Pillager Area Fire and Rescue has been a huge part of Randy Lee's life for more than four decades. Lee, 63, retired as fire chief and from the fire department effective Dec. 31. It was an emotional decision by Lee to retire, but one that had to be made for his family—to be by his wife Kathy Lee's side.
Crow Wing County was hit with a rash of burglaries in 2017 and authorities have now attributed most of them to two suspects—one currently in custody and another with a warrant out for his arrest. The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office arrested 37-year-old Charles Weber of Milaca Friday, and he was charged with second-degree burglary Tuesday in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd.
Three separate households in the Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point areas were forced to find other living arrangements for the holidays after fires damaged or destroyed their homes. The Pequot Lakes Fire Department responded to all three fires reported at 8 p.m. Dec. 22 on the 7100 block of 17th Avenue Southwest in Loon Lake Township, west of Pequot Lakes; 2:48 p.m. Friday on the 31000 block of Robinhood Lane, northwest of Breezy Point; and 2:07 a.m. Sunday on the 9500 block of Crow Wing County Highway 11 in Breezy Point.
Evelyn Matthies—a well-known painter and college instructor who taught thousands of students over her teaching career—died Tuesday at age 81 at the St. Cloud Hospital. Matthies, remembered as always having a smile on her face, was a well-known local painter, an active member of The Crossing Arts Alliance and played a role in converting the former Franklin Middle School into the Franklin Arts Center. She also was a retired teacher who taught art to more than 9,000 students for 32 years at Central Lakes College.
The Cass County Sheriff's Office has some new and old faces on its Top 10 Most Wanted list for December. On the Most Wanted list are Robbie James Cournoyer, Scott Lee Gerber, Marian Lenore Hardy, Alexander Jay Howe, Derek Daniel Kingbird Jr., Daniel Paez Orozco, David Taylor Puckett, Blaze Frances Thunder, Timothy Dayle Tiessen and Danielle Raye Wind. As of Friday, there were 454 total active warrants in Cass County, which included 214 misdemeanors, 114 gross misdemeanors and 126 felonies.
All 10 faces are new on the Crow Wing County's Most Wanted list for December. As of Friday, there were an estimated 941 total active warrants in the county. On the Most Wanted list this month are: Nicholas Theodore Balsimo, Daniel Dean Beach, Theresa Mae Bunker, Hannah Belle Elgard, Cody Andrew Nelson, Samantha Renee Schoutens, James Robert Schroeder II, Stephanie Ellen Teel-Tilbury, Noel James Wacker and Jeffery William Windorski.
Taxpayers in the Brainerd School District won't see much change in their school district taxes for next year. The Brainerd School Board Monday approved its final certified tax levy for taxes payable in 2018. The board approved the final tax levy at $19,537,144.25, a 3 percent increase over the 2017 tax levy—the same amount as the preliminary levy set in September.
The Brainerd School District now has a plan to take to its voters. The Brainerd School Board Monday unanimously approved the final comprehensive facilities plan, which proposes building a new Baxter Elementary School, repurposing all six elementary schools and spending about $79 million to remodel the Brainerd High School north campus.