Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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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 .
Park Rapids Century Elementary students are receiving intense reading instruction in order to achieve. Bob Kapsner, a Century Elementary teacher specializing in the school's reading program, gave an update to the school board. "We just did testing with kids just after Christmas," he said. The tests measure reading fluency in kindergarten through fourth graders. It is the fourth year this testing has been done at the school. "We get kind of a running record of how they're doing," Kapsner said. Students are categorized at three levels: On level, somewhat at risk and most at risk.
More than 400 people headed to the Park Rapids Energy & Wellness Expo Saturday at Century School to take in a variety of educational sessions and see exhibitors from several area organizations. Educational sessions included health benefits of pet ownership, an introduction to personal safety, energy saving opportunities and everyday nutrition and wellness.
Weapons, forms, sparring and breaking can be seen next weekend in Park Rapids during an invitational Tae Kwon Do tournament. Park Rapids Tae Kwon Do is hosting the event Saturday, March 10 at Century School. "It should be pretty awesome," said Master Nick Bretz, of Park Rapids Tae Kwon Do.
The Park Rapids Area Library will be open four fewer hours each week beginning March 5. Mobile library access will also be reduced, said Kitchigami Regional Library System Director Marian Ridge. Also, several employees have had their work hours reduced. Rural residents who use the mobile library services in Laporte, Nevis and Becida are the most affected.
The Park Rapids Farmers Market will have a new home starting this spring. The Park Rapids City Council approved a permit last week to close Fourth Street west from Main Avenue to Pleasant Avenue from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays from May 28 through Oct. 28. The market will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. but the permit will allow the street to be closed before and after to allow for set up and take down. Farmers Market manager Ruth Ann Campton said her organization has been working with the Parks Board, city staff and downtown business owners to determine the best location.
Emotions ran high Tuesday night as some property owners voiced opposition to a proposed utility improvement project for the Green Acres development in Park Rapids. Close to 50 people attended Tuesday's public hearing to hear information about proposed Green Acres watermain and sanitary sewer improvements. This area includes about 40 homes on Discovery Circle. The area is being annexed into the city this year as part of an orderly annexation agreement between Henrietta Township and Park Rapids.
The ventilation system at the Park Rapids Area High School pool will be replaced this spring to improve air quality. The Park Rapids Area School Board approved a proposal from Johnson Controls Monday night to take out the existing ventilation system and replace it. High school principal Jeff Johnson said the new system will have air go across the water and pull water out of the air.