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When the superintendent of Pillager School District first arrived roughly two years ago, he was surprised by the lack of security measures in the district's two school buildings. This, Superintendent Mike Malmberg said, was the result of his background in the Twin Cities metro area. Rural schools are more likely to lag behind urban institutions when security is concerned, he added, and it's been part of his mission the last two years to rectify that.
State officials are making a concerted effort to revamp Minnesota's defenses against cyber attacks—a preemptive initiative for the 2018 election season and beyond. Secretary of State Steve Simon made his annual 87-county tour of the state, stopping in Brainerd last week to tout new developments to the state's cyber security systems. Under his guidance, the state has mobilized a cyber security team, hired consultants to analyze cyber security improvements and partnered with agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to address areas of weakness.
When Brainerd High School students talk about their school resource officer, two words often come up—"triceps" and "hugs." It speaks to how Officer Troy Schreifels is perceived by the student body. A physically imposing 22-year veteran of the Brainerd Police Department, who—despite his intimidating stature and the trappings of his profession—conveys a presence of care and compassion, dolled out with every hug, fist-bump and handshake he gives walking the halls.
An adult male was declared deceased at Bill's Gun Shop & Range at roughly 2 p.m. Wednesday, the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officers and first responders converged on the indoor shooting range, situated on Excelsior Road near the intersection of Highway 371, upon reports of a gunshot wound on the premises. As of Wednesday afternoon it did not appear to be an accidental shooting, Baxter Police Department Chief Jim Exsted said. Officers were unable to reach family members to notify them of the death as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The Brainerd School Board voted to back state-level and national resolutions to push for increased special education funding—an area of need that's been sorely lacking, according to district officials.
The Brainerd School District is moving forward with the Native American Education Program for 2017-18, embarking on an initiative to better meet the needs of American Indian students in area schools. The school board voted unanimously to approve a resolution of agreement with the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee—a motion in conjunction with the committee, which determined, via vote Feb. 1, the district met stipulated goals. The committee was formed roughly two years ago to address the educational needs of American Indian students in the district.
When people describe the concerns surrounding automation, they're often in bleak, dystopian terms, typically filled with images of malicious robots or omnipotent A.I.—you know, something straight out of the "Terminator" franchise.
With the retirement of Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Crosby, Minnesota's 8th District is an open race—a hotly contested swing-district in prior elections that looks to draw national attention going into the 2018 midterms. During a phone interview, Nolan expressed confidence in the Democrats' chances in the district, despite the lack of a clear candidate to succeed him from his own party. He cited strong poll numbers as an indicator of future success.
As the last of the "Watergate Babies" exits the U.S. House of Representatives and bids farewell to Capitol Hill, he can look back at a historically unique career of public service and say it all started with liver and onions.
The Brainerd City Council is considering changes to ordinances regarding fabric-based buildings in the city of Brainerd, making a foray into an issue that's been a sore point for city officials and community members in the past. Currently, ordinances do not allow buildings constructed from fabric materials to be built in its industrial and commercial districts. These buildings—often in the form of "hoop houses"—while practical, cheap to build and maintain, are often seen as an eyesore and have been restricted from main thoroughfares like Washington Street in the past.