It looks like winter has most definitely arrived in the Brainerd lakes area this year. Blanketed in white and temperatures expected out of Minnesota winters, this year looks to be the complete opposite of what was seen less than a year ago.
In 2012, Brainerd's unemployment rate did something it hadn't been able to accomplish since December of 2007.
In 54 months, the city's jobless rate dropped below double-digits just four times, three times in 2008 and once in 2011.
Ongoing since spring 2012 - with discussion and disputes dating to years before that - construction on College Drive was completed in fall 2012. Included in that completion, the city of Brainerd introduced drivers and the community to roundabouts Oct.
After an economic drought, 2012 saw an increase in commercial construction in the lakes area.
In Baxter, property tax collection from "new commercial construction" rose from $9.6 million in 2005 to $25.5 million in 2006.
Twelve families lost their homes Sept. 27 when a fire destroyed the Hillcrest Apartment building in south Brainerd, leaving 20 people without.
All the families were able to escape to safety and were offered emergency shelter at the Brainerd Lakes Hotel.
Tragedy seems to run a little deeper when it affects a small town.
On Thanksgiving Day Byron David Smith admittedly shot and killed teens Nicholas Brady and Haile Kifer as the pair allegedly attempted to burglarize Smith's rural Little Falls home.