Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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SnoDaze events kick off Monday at Park Rapids Area High School. A SnoDaze dance is tonight (Saturday) from 8 to 11 p.m. Coronation is at 9 a.m. Monday with a pep fest following. Students can dress up for different themes throughout the week.
Hubbard County officials visited with state legislators Thursday to preview the upcoming session, which starts Tuesday. The legislative forum was hosted by the Hubbard County Regional Economic Development Commission. Sen. Rod Skoe, Sen. John Carlson and Rep. Dave Hancock attended the session. "I expect this to be a quicker session than previous years," Skoe said.
The Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Mahube Tax Aide Program helps area residents complete their federal, state and local tax filing obligations at no cost. The program is offered to residents who consider themselves to have low to moderate income. This year the tax season runs from Feb. 1 - April 16, 2012. All appointments are made at the Mahube offices: Park Rapids, 218-732-7204, Detroit Lakes, 218-847-1385, and Mahnomen, 218-935-5022. Residents can call any time between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The annual Pinewood Derby, with Park Rapids and Nevis troops participating, was held at Century School Saturday morning.
Beyond the school day eight girls are learning the art of quilting at Century school. The activity, organized through the 8th Hour program, brings together members of the Crazy Quilters group in Park Rapids and middle school girls. Operating a sewing machine is a new experience for most of the girls. "This is completely new to me," said Jennifer Sindt Monday afternoon.
The Park Rapids Area School District will begin going through its budget. The School Board had its organizational meeting Monday, Jan. 9 and heard an update from Superintendent Glenn Chiodo on the budgeting process. He met with the administrative team Monday to start going through budgets. The first meeting in April is the timeline for making adjustments to the budget. "We're not immune to the whole state budget piece," Chiodo said.
More water and sewer improvements are on the docket in Park Rapids. The Park Rapids City Council received a preliminary engineering report for Discovery Circle and County Road 6 at its Tuesday meeting. The improvements are on the Capital Improvement Plan and are on the schedule because of an annexation agreement between the city and Henrietta Township. The extension of utilities to Discovery Circle have been discussed for more than 30 years, said city engineer Jon Olson. Utilities will be installed within the road right-of-way to provide the easiest access for maintenance.
Constituents gathered for a town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack Monday night in Park Rapids. Cravaack gave a brief presentation about the federal budget and deficit at Century School. "In 2010, the budget was $3.5 trillion," he said.
It pays to shop locally. The final five prizes for the 2011 Park Rapids Jingle Bells Sweepstakes were awarded Friday afternoon at the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. The prizes were awarded on the last day to redeem tickets. Steve and Debi Pachel and daughter Shana Peterson of Park Rapids were the $5,000 winners. Their ticket, number two in the category, was from Walmart. "We don't know what we'll do with the money," Steve said.
The future of tourism and broadband in Hubbard County and the larger region took center stage during a visit by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar this week. Klobuchar visited several businesses in northern Minnesota communities this week as part of her ongoing "Made in America" economic tour. On Wednesday she was in Park Rapids to participate in a roundtable meeting on tourism and broadband communications. She took a brief tour of Main Avenue and was asked if she would fulfill a promise she made in August during a phone call at the Main Avenue grand opening. Sen.