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After Hours

Grand Rapids Swimming continues to roll

Grand Rapids Thunderhawks swim team followed a big win at an invitational in Hibbing with a dominating win over the Bluejackets on Tuesday in the pool at Elkington school. The Thunderhawks with 11 1st place finishes in 12 events including double 1st place finishes for Katie Welshinger in the 200 and 500 freestyle and Annalie Marinucci in the 50 and 100 freestyle. The only event going to Hibbing was the 100 breaststroke where Grand Rapids took 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Final team score was Rapids 117 – Hibbing 69. Grand Rapids also won the JV meet 107-77. Next up for Grand Rapids swimming is a home dual meet vs Cloquet on September 23rd.

By |September 17th, 2014|Blog, Sports|Comments Off|

Wood Pleads Guilty

On Tuesday, twenty-four year old Devin Michael Wood pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a 15 year old. Wood was working as a corrections officer at North Homes Juvenile Correctional Facility in Grand Rapids when the assault occurred. Wood’s pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual conduct in the Third Degree. The assaults took place in April of 2014.
The plea agreement calls for Wood to receive a 100 month executed prison sentence. The sentence is consistent with the Minnesota sentencing guidelines. The plea agreement also calls for Wood to register as a predatory offender, pay fines in the amount of $225, provide a DNA sample and be subject to lifetime conditional release. The plea agreement is subject to the approval of the court.
Following his guilty pleas, Wood’s bail was revoked and he was remanded to custody pending sentencing. Wood is scheduled to appear for sentencing on October 27, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

By |September 17th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off|

Grand Rapids State Bank Expands

The Grand Rapids State Bank is expanding. Wilcox Bancshares Inc., which owns Grand Rapids State Bank, purchased west metro lender Crow River State Bank Sept. 12 and plans to rename it Minnesota Lakes Bank. Founded in 1982, Crow River State Bank has branches in Delano and Mound and a mortgage loan production office in Buffalo. The bank had 27 full-time-equivalent workers at the end of June, according to regulatory records. Wilcox Bancshares President and CEO Noah Wilcox said he met with each employee and that “the majority” will stay on. According to, Crow River State Bank had $84 million in assets and was well capitalized at the end of the first half of the year, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. figures show. The bank posted a $684,000 profit last year.

By |September 16th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off|

Vandalism at Alliance Church

The Grand Rapids Alliance Church was vandalized sometime last Thursday night. Two juveniles were arrested in the case.
Police were called to the Alliance Church Friday morning. Someone had spray painted graffiti inside the church and left a pair of shoes. Police tracked the shoes to those given to a resident of North Homes. The two juveniles were located riding spray-painted stolen bicycles on Pokegama Avenue. They were arrested.

By |September 16th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off|

Lots of Students!

Independent School District 318 has exceeded the projection of student enrollment for the fall of 2014. If this growth of students continues, it will lead to future discussion on district buildings.
Also at last night’s District 318 school board meeting, board members approved an Independent Provider Application for the Grand Rapids Gymnastics Academy and set the date for the Truth in Taxation Public Meeting for December 15th. The next ISD 318 School Board meeting will be on Tuesday October 7th in Bigfork with telepresence set up in the Administrative Services Building Board Room.

By |September 16th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off|

Youth Soccer Night

Tuesday September 16th is youth soccer night at Noble Hall Field. The Grand Rapids Thunderhawks soccer team is hosting Mesabi East with the varsity game at 5:00 and the JV at 7:00. For youth soccer night all youth soccer players will receive free admission and will have the opportunity to play on the field during halftime. Should be a lot of fun and a great way to support youth soccer in the area.

By |September 16th, 2014|Blog|Comments Off|

Time for Football

Friday, of course, is FOOTBALL!! Deer River looking to go to 3-0 has a road game against 7AAA Esko. Esko comes in at 0-2 but losses have been to Cloquet and MLWR, which means the Warriors have their hands full. The Thunderhawks have their home opener and the road doesn’t get easier for Grand Rapids with the 2-0 Morehead Spuds coming to town. The Spuds have wins over St. Cloud Apollo and Alexendria.

Deer River Head Coach Brent Schimek talking about Esko.

Grand Rapids Head Coach Greg Spahn looking forward to Morehead.

By |September 11th, 2014|Blog, Sports|Comments Off|

Toward Zero Deaths

Itasca is one of the thirteen deadliest counties in Minnesota. Itasca County’s Public Health Department has taken over the Toward Zero Deaths effort. The county will receive over twenty-three thousand dollars to focus on four goals. Itasca County Public Health will concentrate on alcohol use, non-compliance with seatbelt use, speed, and inattentive driving. Itasca County ranks high in all four areas.

By |September 11th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off|

Generational Workplaces

Today, there are five different generations of workers in the workplace. Monday, Rita Olness and Teri Dudley of the Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training presented “Influences and Characteristics of the Various Generations in the workplace” to Grand Rapids Chamber members.
According to Olness, each generation has its own values- and each thinks theirs is the only one. But, motivating a Gen Y employee versus a “traditional” employee (one born before 1945), is very different.
The Office of Job Training will present a two hour workshop on teaching, hiring, motivating, and rewarding different generations later this year.

By |September 11th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off|

LaBrosse Pleads Not Guilty

18 year old Rodney Jacob LaBrosse of Grand Rapids entered pleas of not guilty in Itasca County District Court on Monday. LaBosse had been charged with two counts of Kidnapping, one count of Domestic Assault By Strangulation, one count of Fleeing a Peace Officer in a Motor Vehicle and one count of Interference with an Emergency Call from an incident on July 24th.
LaBrosse allegedly absconded from probation, and had a female friend drive him to his ex-girlfriend’s residence on July 24, 2014. The charges allege that LaBrosse hid in the woods near the residence and got into the vehicle with his female friend, his ex-girlfriend and their infant child, and kidnapped and chocked his ex-girlfriend . The charges further allege that LaBrosse later released the three individuals and then led law enforcement on a five mile police pursuit until surrendering.
Based upon subsequent further investigation, charges of one count of Assault in the Second Degree and two counts of Kidnapping that stemmed from initial allegations by his female friend have been dismissed.
LaBrosse appeared in court and plead not guilty to all charges. LeBrosse’s next court appearance is set for October 7, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.

By |September 9th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off|