Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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Several Park Rapids students placed in the Section 8A Visual Arts Festival Wednesday, March 21 at Sacred Heart High School in East Grand Forks. Becky Schaefer received the "Spotlight on the Arts Award" award for her oil painting titled "Good Old Days." Her "Best of Show" painting will represent Park Rapids at the Minnesota State Visual Arts Exhibition in May. The Visual Arts Festival has been a part of the Minnesota High School Activities since 2002.
Winners have been announced for the 2012 Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp contest. More than 1,170 entries were received. Park Rapids students received recognition for their artwork. Alissa Berthiaume and Gabrielle Cermak received first place recognition; Cassidy Haggard received second place; and Allison Belfiori and Lydia Schaum received honorable mention. Park Rapids art teacher Michael Hartung also received special recognition. He received the Minnesota Teacher Recognition. The Minnesota contest was held on March 21, 2012 and 100 winners were selected.
Park Rapids has received a Federal Recreational Grant for $68,932 to construct a parking lot at Red Bridge Park but is still seeking state funding to offset a local match. City planner Dan Walker gave an update on the project at last week's City Council meeting. The city purchased a vacant lot adjacent to Red Bridge Park in early 2011 for future construction of a parking lot.
Four Park Rapids soldiers met up at a Bataan Memorial Death March in Kuwait earlier this month. The memorial march, held at Camp Virginia in Kuwait, is an annual remembrance of the 70-mile forced march of American and Filipino prisoners of war by Japanese forces in World War II. Travis Mattson participated in the 13-mile march, Logan Carmichael participated in the 26-mile march, Matthew Lalli ran a water point station and John Harsha pulled medical coverage during the March 3 memorial march. Members of all branches participated in the memorial march in winds between 10 and 20 mph after a
If a proposed Green Acres watermain and sanitary sewer improvement project comes to fruition in Park Rapids, homeowners could be eligible for some funding programs. Tim Flathers, with Headwaters Regional Development Commission, said he had heard about the project after a public hearing in February. Several people at that hearing said they could lose their homes if the project moved forward because of assessment costs. The area includes about 40 homes on Discovery Circle. The total estimated project cost is $917,500 and will be financed through special assessments and a city share.
Five Park Rapids students have spent hours upon hours putting the final touches on paintings of ducks in hopes of having their art transformed into a collectible stamp. The Junior Duck Stamp Contest is one of the largest art competitions in Minnesota. "Every year we do really well on the duck stamps, it's kind of one of my prides in terms of teaching," said Michael Hartung, Park Rapids Area High School art teacher. Park Rapids has had three state winners over the years. More than 1,000 students generally enter the contest in Minnesota, Hartung said.
Several teachers could face non-renewal of their positions this fall if the Park Rapids Area School Board approves proposed budget adjustments at its next meeting. Several factors were included when looking at the budget, said Park Rapids Superintendent Glenn Chiodo Monday night. The district has been monitoring enrollment numbers and retirements. "In most cases, when you sit down and look at this stuff ... you try to figure out what the best of the worst is because none of it's good," Chiodo said. "It never is good.
To celebrate 30 years of St. Urho protecting the city of Menahga and Spirit Lake, a mojakka cook-off is being added to the festivities. What is mojakka? It's a Finnish-American soup that typically includes some sort of meat and potatoes. Like chili, there is plenty of room for creativity. Priscilla Harvala, of Menahga, introduced the idea of a mojakka cook-off for this year's St.
Park Rapids Area High School is in the running for a $10,000 grant. The high school has already been told it will receive a $2,500 Minnesota Toyota "Drive for Education" grant to replace the sound system in the gym. The system was already on the fritz when it was hit and completely knocked out of commission, said high school principal Jeff Johnson. As one of 14 semifinalists the school is in the running for an upgraded grant of $10,000. An essay written by John Schumacher and LouAnn Dierkhising is posted at www.facebook.com/prep45 .