By this time next year, toasting the new year may mean clinking glasses with Brainerd area beverages.
The Dennis Drummond Wine Co. announced plans to build a winery with Bercher Design and Construction southeast of Brainerd in Long Lake Township on the corner of Highway 25 and County Road 117 - or the Thiesse Road. The winery is with Jody and Dennis Drummond.
Work continues on the Brainerd Lakes Brewery proposed site at the Northern Pacific Center in Brainerd.
Business partners Jesse Grant and Dan Stanifer are behind the plan to bottle their own beer and sell it through area retailers.
Grant said the project is moving forward but fell behind schedule. Expectations are for summer production.
How can it be that a decade has passed since we watched 1999 move over for Y2K? But for many 2009 won't be a year that will be fondly remembered. One of the few saving graces of this christened Great Recession is that so many people have been in the same boat. The economic turmoil has been an equal opportunity provider of pain.
Lost jobs, the abrupt end of careers, hard-hit retirement funds, foreclosures, stress and worry have all been part of it. So has a seemingly newly acquired appreciation for what's important - family, friends, faith. And a healthy respect for paying off debt and establishing a savings habit.
This last decade has been one of a changed world as we know it - from Sept. 11 to Iraq and Afghanistan to bursting economic bubbles.
The business survivors point to being leaner and stronger for the future. For many it's a matter of surviving this next winter and hoping for a 2010 that is better than the last two years.
So on a personal note, thank you for being a newspaper reader and picking up the Dispatch. Thank you for taking my calls when you were busy or the topic wasn't something fun to talk about - like layoffs. Thank you for keeping the paper and its readers in the loop early in a project as opposed to waiting for everything to be completed and thus, for us, old news.
I hope the holidays brought you all a respite from your worries and good times with those you love. Here's wishing for a 2010 where there are more jobs, plenty of peace and enormous amounts of good will. Oh, and a Wimbledon win for Andy Roddick would also be nice.
Happy New Year!
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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