If the city of Aitkin had a flag, what would it look like? Those with ideas have the chance to help create a design by entering a contest sponsored by the city and the Aitkin County Friends of the Arts, the Aitkin Independent Age reported Wednesday, May 15. Anyone is eligible and may submit multiple design concepts by June 7. Create a design on a plain piece of paper and write a name, address, phone number and email address on the back. Submit to ACFOA, P.O. Box 101, Aitkin, MN 56431. The winning design will be announced on Flag Day, June 14.
Seven acres of land along County Highway 66 may soon be home to a new Crosslake City Hall, the Echo Journal reported Thursday, May 16. The city council approved the land purchase from Bigwood Enterprises LLC for $170,000. The parcel is located at the county highway's intersection with Daggett Bay Road. The council intends to build the new city hall while remodeling the current city hall for use by the fire department. General obligation capital improvement bonds are the planned mode of payment, and a public hearing to discuss the plan will be June 10. Crosslake Mayor Dave Nevin said he hopes the project could be started by the middle of August.
After just one school year in a new building, Crosslake Community School officials are saying an expansion might already be in order, the Echo Journal reported. Increased enrollment is driving the potential need to expand. Executive Director Todd Lyscio said a committee will form to discuss the expansion, which could include eight additional classrooms. Construction may begin in fall 2020.
Business owners in Emily reiterated concerns with what they described as negative impacts from the reconstruction of Highway 6 in the city, the Echo Journal reported May 9. Tracy Jones of Emily Meats told the council his business sustained damage to its compressors due to vibration from road equipment, along with a number of other issues, including flooding and parking difficulties. Jones' complaints were apparently forwarded to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, although the state agency said it never received it. Dan Barrett, a council member and owner of Log Cabin Bar, agreed with Jones on a number of his concerns.
Jenkins city officials opted out of an agreement with Crow Wing County to share costs of improvements to County Road 145, the Echo Journal reported Thursday, May 16. Officials with the city believed funds received through Local Road Improvement Project funds covered their share of improvement costs, while the county expected about $75,000, with more possible should repair costs run higher.
After several months of negotiations, county officials would not agree to capping the city's contribution at $75,000. In a letter, County Administrator Tim Houle noted should the city pull out of the agreement, it would have "implications for the city regarding our willingness to partner with the city on future projects and is not our preferred outcome." The Jenkins City Council voted 4-1 to withdraw from the agreement, with Mayor Jon Lubke opposed.
The final defendant in a murder case involving the 2016 overdose death of 22-year-old Little Falls man Tyler Scherping will not return to trial, the Morrison County Record reported May 5. Instead, prosecutors dismissed a third-degree murder charge against Jason Lee White of Minneapolis. White, the alleged dealer who provided the heroin that eventually killed Scherping, previously went to trial on the matter, but a Morrison County jury was unable to reach a verdict. The prosecutor cited a lack of evidence and witness cooperation in dropping the charge.
Thirty-five years after beginning her teaching career with the Pequot Lakes School District, Kathy Saxvold earned recognition as Pequot Lakes Teacher of the Year, the Echo Journal reported May 9. Saxvold is a special education teacher.
Could a new manufacturer open its doors in Pine River? That may be on the horizon, the Echo Journal reported May 9. The Cass County Economic Development Corp. is conducting a survey to determine workforce availability in the Pine River area for an "industry leading manufacturer in the outdoor recreational market." The unnamed company would offer jobs paying $14-$21 an hour with benefits, dependent on experience. To participate in the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/FRX57CM.
Royalton students may experience a shorter school day on Wednesdays next school year, the Morrison County Record reported May 12. The district is exploring establishing a late start or early out each Wednesday to accommodate meeting time for teachers to discuss curriculum. This kind of meeting wouldn't be possible after regular school hours without changing teacher contracts, and as it stands curriculum planning is typically done in the summer, when not all teachers are available to participate. Superintendent John Phelps said the top schools in the country allow for weekly teacher meetings.
A social worker will join Todd County to assist with inmate reentry at the Todd County Jail, the Staples World reported Wednesday, May 15. The position will be funded by a grant from Sourcewell in its first year, and is part of an effort to assist in the treatment of mental health issues among the jail population.
-- Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, Community Editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dispatchchelsey.