Hank Ebert of Nisswa is a veteran, athlete, fishing guide and volunteer with a passion for being on the water, catching fish and meeting people. Hank was born in Minneapolis, and after he got out of high school in 1966, he joined the Navy. “I spent four years in the Navy and ended up in a helicopter search and rescue squadron,” Hank said. In the squadron he was a combat rescue swimmer.
The Crosslake City Council on Monday, July 22, approved the design of County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 3 on a 3-1 vote. This approval was given following the council’s agreement June 8 to move forward with the project after considering a petition with more than 70 signatures opposing the current plan. City attorney Brad Person said no legal process was required by such a petition, although the city should certainly listen to the public.
The Crosslake City Council on Monday, July 22, discussed ways to improve pedestrian and driver safety around the entrance to the Bourbon Room (formerly Ox Lake Tavern). Police Chief Robert Hartman said there have been three accidents there in the last two and a half months. The council agreed that the area is hazardous. Hartman presented the council with suggestions to increase safety.
The Nisswa City Council and city department heads discussed a draft of the job description for the city planner/administrator position Wednesday, July 17, a topic that quickly became controversial. Mayor Brian Lehman said the job description and title changes were intended to reflect the administrative work city planner Loren Wickham already does and has done for some time.
The Nisswa City Council decided not to change the name of upper County Road 77 to Interlachen Road at its regular meeting Wednesday night, July 17. Grand View Lodge representatives had made this request because they said people were turning on lower County Road 77 just north of Baxter instead of the upper section in Nisswa and were complaining about taking the longer route around Gull Lake to get to the resort.
Jackie Thurlow, current Miss Brainerd United States and a familiar face in Nisswa, promotes and lives a platform and lifestyle inspired by her father. Born and raised in Nisswa, Jackie has an older sister, Maggie, and a younger sister, Lizzy. Lizzy has also been involved in pageants and is currently Miss Central Lakes Outstanding Teen. Jackie is the daughter of Mimi and the late Scott “Mike” Thurlow. Jackie’s father passed away in 2007 of a severe heart attack. He has been an inspiration for Jackie’s life in several ways.
Donna Keiffer, a Crosslake resident and active member of Immaculate Heart Catholic Church, enjoys teaching fitness, volunteering and involvement in the Crosslake community. Donna teaches several fitness classes at the Crosslake Community Center. “That’s pretty much my second home, besides my church. That might be my second one,” Donna said.
Nisswa native, autism advocate and experienced violinist Rebecca Yeh, 20, was recently crowned Miss Minnesota with the Miss America organization. She received the title June 15 and has already been involved in several local events. Rebecca graduated from Brainerd High School in 2011 and has completed her first two years at Ohio Northern University where she is pursuing a pharmacy degree. She is taking a year off from school while serving as Miss Minnesota to promote her platform of autism awareness and to compete in the Miss America Pageant.
Sarah Fairbanks of Nisswa recently left the lakes area to begin her journey in the Army at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Fairbanks, who reported to West Point on July 1, said the road there was a long, learning process. She began the application process in January 2012 when she applied to West Point’s summer seminar. This session is for high school students after their junior year, and it is the first step in the application process that included assessment in several areas.
Mary Petersen, the daughter of Ron and Bev Petersen of Nisswa, is the current Miss Minnesota United States. Soon, however, her title could be even more impressive. On July 5-7, Mary will compete in the Miss United States Pageant in Washington, D.C. Before her rise to state royalty, Mary was born and raised in Nisswa and is the youngest of five siblings. “My fondest memories were actually in the summer doing the turtle races. We would all go out and find turtles to catch,” she said.