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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.
Eight deer ventured out onto the ice of South Long Lake Saturday morning. Three fell through the ice and died and four were able to walk off the lake on their own. The eighth deer, too, fell through the ice, but was rescued by lake residents. It was the second time this unseasonably warm fall the Dispatch received a report of lakeshore owners seeing deer falling through the ice, struggling to survive. The first report was Nov. 9 on Gull River. A conservation officer with the Department of Natural Resources helped rescue the deer.
MERRIFIELD—For the time being, the monstrous floating bog on North Long Lake will remain in place. The bog broke off the shoreline in October in Merrifield Bay on North Long Lake just outside Brainerd. It found its permanent resting place in front of Legionville School Safety Patrol Training Center, and camp officials Tuesday said it will remain there for the winter.
Those who live in the Brainerd School District should mark April 10, 2018, on the calendar. That is the date for when the school district will go to its voters to seek bond referendum approval. The Brainerd School Board approved the date Monday in a special school board meeting. School officials have been busy finalizing the comprehensive facilities plan geared to meet the district's future needs of its students, staff and community. The plan is proposed to impact all the school buildings, which could be part of the referendum.
It was either run for another four-year term as the Crow Wing County Sheriff or retire. Sheriff Todd Dahl chose the latter, and Chief Deputy Denny Lasher, the office's second in command, is following his lead. Dahl and Lasher announced their plans to retire from the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office to be effective at the end of 2018. Between the two of them they will have put in nearly 60 years of service to county residents. They chose to retire from their law enforcement career at the same time.
Dick Ross, who dedicated 42 years of his life to law enforcement, including 12 as the Crow Wing County sheriff, died Wednesday night at St. Cloud Hospital. The 78-year-old leaves behind his wife of 41 years, Renee; four adult children; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Ross suffered from Parkinson's disease for 16 years and his health declined over the years. Renee Ross said her husband went into cardiac arrest Sunday night and was flown to St. Cloud Hospital but never regained consciousness.
A Crow Wing County Sheriff's deputy voluntarily resigned from his position after an investigation was conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to determine if he abused his authority as a law enforcement officer. The investigation of the deputy, Mike Davis of Pequot Lakes, was initiated after the BCA received a letter of concern from Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl.
Twenty-one vigil candles—each one representing a victim killed in a domestic violence incident in 2016 in Minnesota—were lit Tuesday night and released into the Mississippi River at Kiwanis Park in Brainerd. Of the 21 victims killed, 18 were women, two were children and one was a man. Victims were as young as 10-year-old Nahily Ronquillo to as old as 85-year-old Beverly Miller.
Christopher Strandlie—who spent years prosecuting criminal cases as the Cass County attorney—will now dress in a black robe and sit on the bench to face the prosecution and defense lawyers. Strandlie was sworn in Friday by Judge Earl Maus in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd as the 24th judge to serve the Ninth Judicial District. Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Strandlie to fill the position for a retiring Judge Richard A. Zimmerman. That judgeship will be chambered in Brainerd in Crow Wing County.