Aitkin County was hit hard by rain during an early morning storm Thursday, July 12, raising concerns for flooding in the area. Rainfall of up to 10 inches was unofficially reported in some areas of Aitkin County. One report indicated a 7.5-inch rain gauge filled to the top with rain still falling. Others reported rain gauges tipping over because there was more water falling than they could hold.
Debris was scattered throughout the southbound lanes of Highway 371 south of Brainerd following a crash Wednesday, July 11, involving a semitrailer and a passenger car. The crash, reported at 11:29 a.m., resulted in life-threatening injuries to a 69-year-old Backus woman and her 41-year-old Bemidji passenger, who were both in a 2003 Toyota Corolla.
It was a storm that appeared as if it would pack a punch in the Brainerd lakes area, but didn't. Sgt. Brad Rittgers of the Cass County Sheriff's Office said he was preparing for the worst when he looked at the radar before the storm came in Sunday night, July 8. "It looked like the southern part of (Cass) County was going to get hit badly," Rittgers said. "I was on the phone with some Fairview Township folks and East Gull Lake to get them ready, but it wasn't that bad, just a few trees down.
A Facebook post showing a beer can in an all-terrain vehicle driven in a Fourth of July parade for the Pat Pickar for Crow Wing County Sheriff campaign received a lot of social media attention. Pickar, a sheriff's deputy with the county, is one of three candidates vying to be the next Crow Wing County sheriff. Sheriff Todd Dahl last year announced he will not run for another four-year term and will retire at the end of this year.
It's been a year since the family and friends of 29-year-old John Greenwaldt Jr. last saw him. Greenwaldt was reportedly seen getting into a vehicle in downtown Brainerd on the Fourth of July in 2017. His family reported him missing July 14. Six weeks later, his body was discovered Aug. 17 during an organized search by volunteers and law enforcement in a wooded area near a trail close to the 300 block of Hattie Street in Brainerd, just north of Linden Lane and Little Buffalo Creek. Greenwaldt's missing bicycle was also discovered in the area.
A 15-year-old boy was struck by lightning early Saturday, June 30, escaping the ordeal with just marks on his back and shoulder—and a remarkable story to tell. Corey Wilmer of Oak Grove was sleeping in what the family calls the "Man Cave," a small cabin built on their park model property at Donneybrook Farms, a lake association on North Long Lake, north of Brainerd. Wilmer, a junior at St. Francis High School in St. Francis, said the lightning struck about 1:30 a.m. Saturday. His friend Josh Tope, also was in the cabin, slept through the whole thing.
WALKER, Minn.—A 54-year-old jail inmate, found March 15 unresponsive in his jail cell in Walker in north-central Minnesota, allegedly drank windshield washer fluid while in a transport vehicle to a Bemidji hospital prior to his death. The death of Darren Benais of Cass Lake is under investigation by the Cass County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
Another prize is up for grabs for a new business to come into downtown Brainerd. A second Destination Downtown Business Challenge was announced Thursday, June 28, during a launch party at the Koop Building, formerly known as the Iron Rail Saloon in downtown Brainerd. The contest's mission is to find a new business to join the more than 50 businesses already located within the core of downtown. Last year, 49 entrepreneurs threw their hats into the ring to become part of the Destination Downtown contest, after which one business—Purple Fern Bath Co.—was named the winner.
LEGIONVILLE—Another piece of the puzzle that is the North Long Lake bog has been moved. Volunteers with the North Long Lake Association and the DNR on Wednesday, June 27, moved more chunks of the massive bog that has been situated in front of the Legionville School Safety Patrol Training Center since last fall after it detached from shore, just northeast of the camp. After a long hard struggle, volunteers finally moved the center portion of the bog June 10 after working on it for a few weeks.
A jury Wednesday, June 27, acquitted former Crosby Mayor James Hunter of a charge of felony theft by swindle. Hunter's jury trial began Monday in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd. He was arrested in 2017 and charged with four felonies—theft by swindle, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, receiving stolen property and lawful gambling fraud—and gross misdemeanor of motor vehicle retail installment sales of engaging in business of sales without a license.