A big part of my day is chasing down tips on a variety of breaking news stories, relating to vehicle crashes, fires, police incidents and court cases. I’m always thankful when people call in tips to alert me on an incident so I can follow up and see if the tip is actually something that occurred or is a rumor. It’s a big scope to keep track of as we not only cover Brainerd and Crow Wing County incidents, but we also cover the surrounding counties and cities. I also gather information on the entertainment scene, so if you are hosting a band or choir concert, an art exhibit, a play or other theater production -- I want to hear about it. If you know of a story on any of these beats, give me a shout! To help support local journalism, click here to sign up to receive a Dispatch digital subscription to our e-edition or to receive the printed paper at your door, or to get both.
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Father's Day was established in the early 20th century in America—and whom a father is and what he means to each person is different. Some people have one father, others have two or more and a father is not always one's biological dad. There also are many people who no longer have their father, as they passed away. Father's Day is a reminder of the important role dad plays in children's lives.
Crow Wing County Sheriff's Deputy Pat Pickar—defeated by Scott Goddard as sheriff in the November 2018 election—was placed on paid administrative leave. According to an email from Crow Wing County Human Resource Director Melanie Fontaine-Laska, a complaint made against Pickar on June 7 was the reason for his placement on paid administrative leave. The email stated the county initiated an employment investigation into the complaint. The employment investigation is not yet complete.
When Collective Soul released its early 1990s song "Shine"—with lyrics starting out as "Give me a word/Give me a sign"—the song did just that. The song put the American alternative rock band originally from Stockbridge, Ga., on the map—and was a "sign" of a successful musical career to come. Fast forward 25 years from 1993, when "Shine" was released on Collective Soul's debut album "Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid," the group has continued to perform to sold-out audiences and will release its newest album "Blood" June 21.
Twenty years ago, Paul Wilson's wife Mary Abendroth thought he was crazy. Wilson wanted to start a Scandinavian music festival in the lakes area. One day, he and Abendroth drove past the Nisswa Pioneer Village and Wilson knew at that moment this would be where the festival would take place—in the majestic, towering Norway pines of Nisswa.
It was an overcast day -- Monday, May 27 -- at 51 degrees, with a 13 mph east wind blowing the American flags along the fence line and in the Evergreen Cemetery in northeast Brainerd during the Memorial Day program. Neither sun nor rain -- but much better weather conditions for the residents who gathered for the 45-minute ceremony following a parade -- than what many U.S. military soldiers likely endured on the battlefields in all of the American wars of the past and present.
It took one night to destroy most of the towering trees on the Pine Beach Peninsula—surrounded by Wilson Bay on Gull Lake—back on July 12, 2015. Fast forward almost four years, and in less than two hours, 1,100 Norway and white pine tree seedlings were planted Saturday, May 25, to help restore the peninsula. A small number of about 75 peninsula residents live year-round on the narrow stretch of land just past Madden's Resort.
Burning restrictions are in place for the entire state of Minnesota and fire prevention experts continue to encourage people to use caution as fires can quickly spread, especially on warm and windy days. "It's been relatively a slower fire season this year," said Leanne Langeberg, public information officer with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center. The state agency, based in Grand Rapids, serves as a hub for mobilization of wildfire and emergency resources. "Today (May 15) it is a little more primed up (for fire season), but as far as fires go we have seen less."
Goodbye snow, hello grass fires. 'Tis the season as the snow has left and warmer temperatures have come and made the conditions dry - thus elevating the level of fire danger. More than a half dozen grass fires were reported last weekend, April 20-21, in the lakes area. Then as temperatures reached the upper 60s Tuesday afternoon, April 23, a fire burned close to an acre on the 9900 block of Essex Lane, Lake Edward Township, southeast of Nisswa. The fire was contained before it could reach adjacent buildings.
"911: What is your emergency?" When an emergency dispatcher answers a 911 call, they never know how urgent the call will be: Will the person on the other end of the phone line be in danger of an assault? Will the caller be seriously injured from crashing their vehicle? Or will it be less dangerous, such as a neighbor throwing snow or garbage in the caller's yard? Each time the 911 dispatcher picks up a call, they need to be prepared for anything. They need to know what to say and how to help each caller.
A play about the biblical story of Joseph, his father, 11 brothers and a colored dreamcoat, is coming to a Brainerd stage. The Brainerd High School Theater Department will present its 2019 spring musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," with performances at 7 p.m. May 2-4 and 2 p.m. May 5 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. Tickets may be purchased at the door an hour before the performance. Cost is $7 for adults and $5 for students.