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The Funks are at it again. Known for embarking on various business endeavors in town, Crosslake's Jim and Catharine Funk have yet another project on their hands. Much to the community's delight, the dynamic duo filled the vacancy in Crosslake Town Square when the Chocolate Ox closed last year. Jitterz opened at the end of June and offers ice cream, candy, coffee, specialty chocolates, homemade desserts and retro toys. But perhaps the most unique offering is Belgian waffles topped with whipped cream and a choice of ice cream or seasonal fruit.
Two Crow Wing County volunteers stepped out from behind the scenes Wednesday, July 18, and received plaques and corsages in front of a cheering audience during a picnic at Brainerd's Lum Park. Peggy Saumer of East Gull Lake and Nick Reindl of Brainerd are the winners of the 2018 Outstanding Senior Citizen Awards, presented by The Center in Brainerd.
After eight decades of residents gathering to eat beans baked underground overnight, Pequot Lakes' quirky Bean Hole Days celebration harkened back to its origins with a community picnic Tuesday, July 10, honoring several essential community members. The Volunteers of the Year, Citizen of the Year and Business of the Year all got special recognition at the picnic for their contributions to Pequot Lakes.
Crosslake City Council members approved several personnel changes Monday, July 9. Police Sgt. Eric Swanson and public works employee Seth Wannebo have been removed from their probationary statuses. Wannebo will move from $19.06 per hour to $19.92 per hour. The council agreed to a raise for Jane Monson, who stepped in as interim parks and recreation director when Jon Henke resigned at the end of May. Monson's wage moved from $17.65 per hour to $22.65 per hour, retroactive to June 1. Her hourly wage will move back to $17.65 after the city hires a parks and rec director.
The Manhattan Beach City Council heard no citizen comments during a public hearing about the city's new franchise agreement with Northern States Power at its Tuesday, July 3, council meeting, according to unapproved draft meeting minutes. The 20-year agreement, which the council approved in May, does not include a surcharge for customers. In other business July 3, the council: • Learned from Mayor Paul Allen that the city's recently installed radar signs are not working properly, and he does not know when Crow Wing County will get a chance to look at them.
Finance concerns were on the table at the Crosslake Community School Board meeting Monday, July 9, after board members were notified of unexpected end-of-lease costs for the school's soon-to-be vacated buildings. Paul Hiniker, owner of some of the buildings leased to the school, came to Monday's meeting to discuss the $52,778 of maintenance costs the school is now responsible for to get the facilities back into the shape they were in before the lease started. Costs include new floors, bathroom upgrades, repainting walls and tearing down a wall the school put up, among others.
From groceries to crafts and antiques, Pequot Lakes resident Cathy Malecha has seen several different sides of the retail business. After taking a few years off from the business world when her husband, Al, died six years ago, she's now back right where she started.
Some people have nightmares about falling or drowning or being chased by unpleasant creatures. Rich Dreissig's greatest nightmare is a little different. "I'm walking down Broadway in New York, and somebody pulls me into the theater saying, 'The lead actor just had a heart attack or broke their leg, and we need you.' And they throw me on stage with thousands of people out there," he said. That's the paranoia of someone who enjoys being on stage and strives to be flawless when in front of an audience. And someone who's been doing it for 50 years.
By the time this column makes it to readers, I'll be working my last couple days at the PineandLakes Echo Journal. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to throw my hat in the ring for the open reporter position at the Brainerd Dispatch, and I start my new job covering Brainerd City Council and Brainerd School Board next week. My decision wasn't easy, as I love my job at the Echo, and I'm grateful for the two years I've spent here. I couldn't have asked for a better place to start my journalism career.
Crosslake is making safety a top priority with a $23,000 space needs study for fire, police and city administrative facilities. The city council agreed at its Monday, July 9, meeting to hire Five Bugles Design, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to do the study. Police Chief Erik Lee said he and Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller settled on Five Bugles after investigating architectural firms, which they were instructed to do at a May 29 special council meeting where discussion centered around updating the emergency services facilities.