Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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A father and two small children escaped a burning home Thursday afternoon losing all their possessions in the fire. "I went to get my daughter from school and my husband was home with the two little kids," said Jacinta Hartwig. "And I came home and there was already flames coming out of the bedroom window." The family has three small children, ages 2, 5 and 7. The fire was reported just before 3 p.m.
Firefighters from four lakes area departments worked through the early morning hours Saturday to save a small business. Grandpa's General Store, on County Road 3 just south of the Ossipee Road, was scorched but was saved from more extensive damage. Firefighters from Mission, Crosslake, Pequot Lakes and Nisswa fire departments worked to keep the flames from a fully engulfed home - just 15 feet from the business - from burning both structures. Mission Fire Chief Randy Roach said the home was a total loss but damage to the general store appeared to be contained to the exterior scorching.
Crow Wing County officials expressed frustration Tuesday, March 18, with reduced funding to fight aquatic invasive species. Chris Pence, land services supervisor, said in the past the county received $7,750 and anticipated $5,000 from the Department of Natural Resources to help fund inspections at boat landings this year. Pence said the state grant may actually be $4,000. With the Legislature increasing funding to fight the invasive species, County Administrator Tim Houle asked how a lake-rich area like Crow Wing County could have its funding cut.
Fighting the battle against invasive aquatic species in a lake-rich region isn’t foolproof but did catch two boats with zebra mussels. On Memorial Day weekend, a zebra mussel was found in a boat livewell before it launched into Lake Hubert. Another zebra mussel was found stuck to live plants in a boat going into Bay Lake. Zebra mussels clog motors, attach to docks and have the potential to make swimming or wading inhospitable as sharp shells slice swimmer’s feet or hands. There is no proven way to rid the water of the prolific mussels, which have no natural predator here.
Crow Wing County commissioners agreed to continue without a pay raise but voted Tuesday, Dec. 31, to give a 1 percent raise to other elected officials. Wages for commissioners haven’t changed since 2008. Commissioners set compensation and benefits for elected and non-contract staff, such as appointed department heads.
Crow Wing County commissioners voted 3-1 to table a reorganization plan calling for elimination of two elected county officials. The vote came after state Reps. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, and Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby, both said the county should take more time in considering the issue. The county board needs the backing of a state legislator to pursue the special legislation needed for the change.
Crow Wing County commissioners adopted a 2013 budget and tax levy earlier this month, but Administrator Tim Houle likened the process to the adage of two things not to watch — making laws or making sausage. A marathon of amendments to amendments came during hours of discussion with enough twists and turns that commissioners repeatedly asked for clarifications on what exactly they were voting on or changed a vote after casting it. Staff needed a break to reconsider the numbers after decisions made changes to the proposed budget.