It's like a Christmas bonus. Officially, the deadline to provide gifts to the Brainerd lakes area "Be a Santa to a Senior" program is Wednesday, Dec. 12, but donations will be accepted until end of business hours Friday. "We will take gifts the rest of the week," said Deb Cranny, executive director of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Brainerd. The program has helped thousands of area seniors in its 10 years, according to Morgan Schlueter of Home Instead Senior Care, with almost 400 seniors last year receiving gifts.
Taylor Lee knows pain in a way that only a woman could know. But the Baxter woman, who recently had her uterus removed, wants to spare other women the pain she had endured from endometriosis and was prolonged by misdiagnosis. "I want to help the community members live long happy lives and aid in the diagnosis," Lee said. "I have been battling this disease for eight years and currently recovering from a total hysterectomy and endometriosis excision at the age of 25."
The Crow Wing County Budget Committee reviewed proposed changes to county fee schedules just days before a public hearing and slated board adoption of the final 2019 budget and levy. A summary of the proposed fee changes was presented at the Friday, Dec. 7, committee meeting. The fees would start New Year's Day if the changes are adopted by month's end.
It was one for the record books—a feel-good, lump-sum donation to a Brainerd nonprofit—that will help ensure those hungry will always have something to eat in the coming year. Chad Schwendeman, broker/owner of Exit Lakes Realty Premier, presented an oversized check for $31,180.40 to the manager of the Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen on Monday, Dec. 3. "For us, this is a significant number," Bob Evans said before receiving the check. "We may well be witnessing the single largest donation that our little organization has ever been given, so it's pretty exciting."
The message of Crow Wing Energized's second annual Workplace Wellness Conference was pretty simple: Healthy employees are key to a healthy business. More than a hundred community leaders attended the Wednesday, Nov. 28, event with keynote speaker Kay King, a community educator from National Alliance on Mental Illness-Minnesota.
Not every hero wears a cape. John Pufahl just wore a buttoned shirt, jeans and a Carhartt jacket when he accepted a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Lifesaving Award at the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Nov. 27. "It is my privilege today to honor one of our citizens with the Lifesaving Award. The Lifesaving Award is recognized by the Minnesota DNR," sheriff's office Sgt. DJ Downie told the board.
November is National Adoption Month, and in Crow Wing County, almost 100 children have been adopted in the last three years, according to county officials. About 45 of them were adopted this year alone, and more than 20 children are awaiting finalization of their adoption, which means they are in foster care and parental rights have been terminated, according to Kris Ott, a social worker with county community services.
Instead of the sound of crickets chirping, the Crow Wing Board of Commissioners got an earful during the usually mundane portion of its meeting from a resident who had a lot to say. Vic Kreuziger of Pequot Lakes first asked the board for more time to speak before the open forum even began Tuesday, Nov. 27, meeting and then went through a laundry list of criticisms. "You've addressed us before, Vic, so we know you're schooled in many things. ... Just be reasonable because we know that you can 'wind it up' pretty far," Chairman Paul Thiede said.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr traded the city streets of St. Paul for the roads of Crow Wing County to chat with local county officials. The county includes over 400 lakes and 75 rivers. The county commissioners said they appreciated talking about the county's natural resources with Landwehr at the Tuesday, Nov. 20, committee of the whole meeting.
It's been said it takes a village to raise a child, but imagine what would happen if a community came together to help children? Community organizations took a new tact in August dealing with issues such as suicide, juvenile offenses and dropout rates by partnering with Bridges of Hope for a "self-healing community."