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Before I relocated to Minnesota, I never understood viewers' preoccupation with The Weather Channel, the cable and satellite TV channel launched more than three decades ago. I long held the belief if you wanted to know what the weather was like—and was going to be—then do something "radical," like tearing yourself away from the TV and actually step outside. But that was before I moved to Minnesota and discovered every resident's seemingly favorite topic to discuss in this state, especially when there is nothing to talk about: weather.
Commencement of the restoration of the Crow Wing County Historical Society Museum and Research Library in Brainerd could begin as early as September and finish by December. The museum and library housed in the former Crow Wing County Jail and sheriff's residence is steeped in history, but the building has seen better days, so it was awarded a $224,557 grant in December from the Minnesota Historical Society for much-needed repairs.
It was almost the last topic at the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners meeting this week, but it was one of the first things that Chairman Paul Thiede wanted to get off his chest. Thiede took umbrage at a state official's comment disparaging counties for arguably not doing more to take care of those with mental illness and said so at the Tuesday, July 10, meeting.
Debra Hilstrom helped craft some of Minnesota's laws as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. She now hopes to be elected the state's chief law enforcement officer. The 50-year-old legislator, representing District 40B, resigned in October from her job as an assistant Anoka County attorney to run for Minnesota attorney general. The wife and mother of two, a Brooklyn Center native, received her law degree while serving in the House. She previously served on the Brooklyn Center City Council from 1995 to 2000.
Last month was the ninth warmest June in the history of the Duluth station of the National Weather Service. The mean high temperature last month was 77.5 degrees compared to the normal of 76.8 degrees. The maximum mean high temperature was 85.6 degrees in 1933. "There was no single reason why June ended up being such a hot month," Joe Moore, a meteorologist at the Duluth station, said on Sunday, July 8.
It was a brief meeting of the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners, but the highlight was the announcement of a labor agreement reached with the county highway department workers. County Administrator Tim Houle told the board about the settlement with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 49, at the board meeting on Tuesday, June 26. "You may recall that we have been in negotiations with them for quite some time, and so I'm happy that we have a tentative agreement with them," Houle said.
BAXTER—JeJe was the star attraction at the eighth annual milking contest at Culver's in Baxter, but she wasn't as nervous as some of the local celebrities who tried hand-milking the Holstein cow. June is National Dairy Month, and the Wednesday, June 27, event was sponsored by the Crow Wing County Dairy Association, the Crow Wing County Farm Bureau and the Brainerd FFA.
The Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners adopted the Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District's summary of watercourses to include in the county's water plan. The watercourses discussed at the Tuesday, June 26, board meeting will not change the local comprehensive water plan, but it was decided to include the summary of other watercourses in the plan. The term "watercourses" refers to a stream of water, including rivers, brooks, channels or canals.
It's a growing problem with seemingly no end in sight. Out-of-home placements of children by social services or by corrections is on the rise in Crow Wing County, according to information shared at the committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, June 19. "We don't have enough family foster homes. We have no openings," Community Services Division Manager Kara Griffin told the board of the commissioners.
Zack Houle said he feels weird when people call him and his brother Brady "heroes." But the siblings from Merrifield saved the life of neighbor Vernon Taplet from a fire before they were honored recently by the American Red Cross Minnesota Region. "There was a bunch of smoke rolling down his driveway, and as we got to the top of the driveway, we could hear him screaming for help," Zack recalled.