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Pine River couple has CRMC's New Year's baby

Kristina and Brent Johnson of Pine River are the parents of the first baby born at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby in 2019. Pictured with the parents are Connar, Tucker, Jaxson and Bodhi with their baby sister, Everly Claire, who was born Jan. 2 at 8:02 a.m. weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and measuring 20 inches in length. Submitted Photo

A Pine River couple became the happy parents of the first baby born in 2019 at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby - and the second baby of the new year born in Crow Wing County - when they welcomed Everly Claire Johnson into the world at 8:02 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Brent and Kristina Johnson were a little surprised when they were told their baby just might be the first born in Crow Wing County in 2019. They were later told that Everly Claire was the county's second baby of the new year.

"We were pretty excited. We didn't think, having her on the 2nd, that she'd be the first child. I guess for Crow Wing County she was the second one born. They told us that morning while they were waiting for Kristina to have her C-section that they hadn't heard of anyone in Crow Wing County having one," said Everly Claire's father, Brent. "So they checked after the baby was born."

The county's first baby of the new year was born at 4:28 p.m. Jan. 1 at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd to Tara Fries and Cody Holtzleicer, of Aitkin. Cota Rayne Fries joined four sisters.

Conversely, Everly Claire joined a family of four brothers. Her whole family was excited, apparently including brothers Connar (10), Tucker (8), Jaxson (6) and Bodhi (2).

"We're overjoyed," Brent said. "We didn't think we'd ever have a princess. That's for sure. Her brothers are over the top excited. Our oldest two boys are just over the top about having a little sister."

The baby's grandparents are Kevin and Rita Merschman, Pine River, and Vernon and Debbie Johnson, Pequot Lakes. Great-grandparent is Barb Pitcher, Pine River.

Another couple from Pine River - Michelle Hathaway and Derek Lewandowski - have the county's third baby of the new year. Savannah Lynn Lewandowski was born several hours after Everly Claire, at 1:58 p.m. Jan. 2, at CRMC. Her grandparents are Claudette Hathaway, Pine River, and Dale Hathaway, Crosslake.

The Pine River babies were the only two born Jan. 2 at CRMC.

Top local baby names in 2018

Essentia-Health St. Joseph's Medical Center, Brainerd


• Liam

• Grayson

• Beckett

• Wyatt

• Lucas

• Elijah

• Silas

• Rocky

• Owen

• Maverick


• Amelia

• Ellie

• Emma

• Rosealie

• Athena

• Evelyn

• Hailey

• Iris

• Lily

• McKenna

Total number of deliveries (as of Dec. 20): 451.

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Crosby


• Bentley

• Thomas

• Lincoln

• Isaac

• James

• Max

• Oliver

• Abraham


• Evelyn

• Alaina

• Harlee

• Ana

• Paisley

• Charlotte

Total number of deliveries (as of Dec. 31): 206.

Lakewood Health System, Staples


• Lincoln

• Silas

• Maverick and Liam

• Benjamin, Henry, Jameson, Jackson, Lucas, Mason, Oliver, Wyatt, Colton, Kasen, Levi and Bentley


• Ava

• Evelyn

• Autumn, Addison, Avery, Breckyn, Emma, Harper, Madison and Sophia

Total number of deliveries (as of Dec. 31): 439.