Residents and businesses along a stretch of Highway 210 were greeted with an unpleasant surprise when they recently went to get their newspaper or check their roadside mailboxes. A Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplow damaged mailboxes and newspaper tubes while clearing snow from the state highway at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20.
Crow Wing County bought the historic Pequot Lakes fire tower from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in October and now is looking to buy more land for recreation purposes. County commissioners heard at the Tuesday, Feb. 19, committee of the whole meeting a proposal to purchase with a grant a 40-acre parcel north of, and adjacent to, the tower. "It's a parcel that we could put some trails on ... and we could have educational opportunities out there as well," county Environmental Services Supervisor Ryan Simonson said.
Jake Haapajoki was a 16-year-old Brainerd High School student when he took his own life almost a year ago to everyone's surprise. But he could have been anyone and that is the point of Smiles for Jake. Eryk Haapajoki is Jake's father and director of sales at Consolidated Telecommunications Co. Kristi Westbrock, CEO/general manager of CTC, talked about Jake's death and how his legacy spawned Smiles for Jake, which will kick off Sunday, Feb. 17, at Brainerd High School.
Counties can sometimes do more together, or do things more efficiently, than going it alone. Crow Wing County Community Services requested from the county board its authorization to enter into an interlocal cooperative agreement with Sourcewell and Cass, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties for Sourcewell to host a regional licensing specialist for adult foster care.
Crow Wing County's plans to reconstruct County Highway 13 between Nisswa and Lake Edward Township moved forward but not without some concerns by the board. County Engineer Tim Bray requested at the Tuesday, Feb. 12, board meeting the commissioners' approval to acquire County Highway 13 right of way to improve the highway.
The clients of DD Insurance hope they never have to file a claim with the longtime Brainerd-based company, but they will be glad if they do. Weizenegger-Engel Insurance has served the insurance needs of more than 1,500 businesses and families in the state for close to a century by managing risks. "What I would emphasize is we're probably 90 percent business insurance is what we do. We're handling commercial business enterprises for insurance," said Craig Miller, agency principal.
The good news? Below-zero temperatures that gripped the Brainerd lakes area about a week ago that were daytime highs are not forecasted for this week. The bad news? More snow. Snowplows were slated to take to the roads the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 10, according to the Crow Wing County's Facebook page, because "roads will be snow covered and slippery," and motorists on county roads were implored to take "extra time to get to your destination."
Shane Riffle wants it known the Brainerd Family YMCA is more than just a place to work out. "Really the Y has three areas of focus: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility," said Riffle, CEO of the nonprofit. Two years ago, its board of directors named the 47-year-old husband and father of two to lead the 126-year-old organization on Oak Street.
Shane Riffle never imagined a summer job before college as a YMCA lifeguard would turn into a lifelong affiliation, but the Brainerd Family YMCA CEO still believes in the faith-based nonprofit. The YMCA works to support the people and neighborhoods that need it most by addressing community issues, such as school readiness, chronic diseases and childhood obesity. "The great thing about the Y is we're a federated nonprofit, and we're one of over 10,000 neighborhood YMCAs across the country, so there are a lot of us out there," Riffle said.
Bob Nelson not only served his country, but he has been serving Crow Wing County veterans as a civilian, too, and will continue to do so—at least until the end of May and his four-year term. The 66-year-old Army veteran is married with three sons—two of whom are in the Air Force. "I'll do some volunteer stuff. ... We're always in need of drivers for driving vets to appointments, so I'll do some volunteer driving," Nelson said of retiring. "I'm active with the Sons of Norway, and I also sing with the Legacy Chorale, so those things will keep me active as well."