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After meeting in two closed sessions Tuesday, Oct. 28, for issues related to police officer Josh Gartner, whom the city terminated in September, the Pequot Lakes City Council voted to: • Deny the purported grievance of Teamsters Local 346 related to the written reprimand against Gartner of Aug. 19. • Deny the purported grievance of Teamsters Local 346 related to the discharge of Gartner on Sept.
Lakes area residents can be "Singin' in the Rain" the next two weekends when the Pequot Lakes Community Theater musical is staged in the high school auditorium. The show opens at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, under director Gary Hirsch. "It's a show I had directed before with Wendy (DeGeest), my choreographer. Last year we were able to reconnect as far as director-choreographer for the first time in seven years," Hirsch said. "So this is a show that we really like. It's not done a lot. It is a very recognizable name. It has some really recognizable songs.
Randy Loukota will be a new face on the Pequot Lakes City Council in 2015, and voters returned incumbent Jerry Akerson to his seat. Gregg Karr, a newcomer, was the third person running for two four-year council seats. Loukota also garnered the most votes with 445. Akerson received 367 votes and Karr, 284. There were 13 write-ins for council Dave Sjoblad, council member for many years, will serve his first term as mayor. He ran unopposed, receiving 598 votes. Current mayor Nancy Adams did not seek re-election after serving three two-year terms. Sjoblad's council term expires this year.
Paul Thiede will serve another term as Crow Wing County commissioner for District 2 after defeating challenger Kurt Martin on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Thiede garnered 3,685 votes to Martin's 2,163 votes. There were 23 write-in votes. Thiede has served non-consecutive terms on the board and looks forward to his next term. "I was so comfortable in this race, whatever the outcome was," he said. "We are ready to serve. It's been a great eight years.
The Nisswa City Council will have a new look in 2015. Harold Kraus will return as mayor after defeating John Ryan for the post Tuesday, Nov. 4. Vote totals were 525 for Kraus and 413 for Ryan. Ross Krautkremer, Don Jacobson and Fred Heidmann were elected to council terms. "I am really looking forward to it because I believe, in all sincerity, that with the three new council members along with (current council member) Gary Johnson - I think we will have a very outstanding working city council," Kraus said. "I think we look at things the same way.
The Pequot Lakes City Council was to meet in closed session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, at city hall to discuss "internal affairs data relating to allegations of law enforcement personnel misconduct," as well as "pending litigation - Teamsters General Local union No. 346 purported labor contract grievances." Police chief Eric Klang and Mayor Nancy Adams both confirmed the meeting was in regard to an ongoing issue with former police officer Josh Gartner, whom the council terminated Sept. 2.
The Lake Shore City Council on Monday, Oct. 27, amended its hunting ordinance and updated the hunting map outlining what type of hunting is allowed where in the city. Specificially, the map specifies: no firearm hunting areas, firearm hunting areas, shotgun only areas and waterfowl only areas. City administrator Teri Hastings said the map was last updated about 15 years ago. The new map at first did allow shotgun hunting in Fritz Loven Park, which is a popular area for bow hunters.
Abuse at the Nisswa recycling area likely will result in security cameras being installed there, the Nisswa City Council learned Wednesday, Oct. 15. "People are starting to abuse the recycling center again already, contaminating the metal bin with plastics ..." said Tom Blomer, city public works director. He said Waste Partners of Pine River, which took over the city's recycling program in August, wants to install security cameras and will pay for most of that cost.
The city of Nisswa has a new planning and zoning administrator after hiring Justin Burslie on Wednesday, Oct. 15. Burslie, who has worked for the past five years as a planner with Community Growth Institute based in Brainerd, will start Nov. 3 at $45,000 per year, with that salary going up $1,000 after a six-month probation period. Burslie is originally from Cloquet, where he graduated from high school in 2003. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geography with an emphasis on community and urban development in 2007 from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
After being restored and reopened to the public in 2012, the Pequot Lakes fire tower possibly will again become a fire detection site staffed by a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) forester. "My hope is for next year sometime to have it ready to go, as far as fire detection," said Curt Cogan, DNR Area Forestry supervisor in Backus. Cogan, a self-professed fire tower buff, is a former Pequot Lakes area forester who used the fire tower as a detection site and saw the benefit in that.