Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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Park Rapids downtown construction continues to be on schedule after good weather this past week. Second Street curb and gutters will be poured next week, followed by sidewalks. No foot traffic will be allowed on the sidewalks while they are curing, said project superintendent Jeff Wipper. As Memorial Day weekend approaches, some of the decorations will be placed on the light poles. Banners and flower baskets will be added this week. Some questions were asked about the sidewalks on Main Avenue that were poured last fall.
Waconia was chosen to host the 2012 Governor's Fishing Opener over Park Rapids but local representatives have been encouraged to keep applying. Katie Magozzi, Park Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, who attended this year's event in Grand Rapids, said Waconia had applied four times before being chosen. "We'll make sure we refresh our application and get it back on the governor's desk this fall," she said. Park Rapids and Red Wing were finalists this year.
Menahga Dollars for Scholars "Pennies in the Elementary" raised $1,111.41 for the Wadena-Deer Creek High School Library. This year's DFS theme was "Cents for Wadena Students." Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars were donated and delivered to each Menahga Elementary classroom from April 11-15. Top row, from left, Menahga seniors Lindsey White and Megan Melander headed up the Dollars for Scholars project and presented the check to Wadena seniors Jared Wegsched and Molly Barrett. WDC activities director Norm Gallant was also on hand for the presentation.
Main Avenue streetscapes, including flower baskets, banners and granite inlays, should be in place by Memorial Day. Although construction work continues on downtown side streets, with heavy machinery digging up old infrastructure, Main Avenue is starting to look complete. The Park Rapids City Council gave its blessing for summer banners presented by the Downtown Business Association. The banners feature the slogan, "Positively Park Rapids," and include a simple flower design.
Growing up near the airport in Minneapolis led to a life of aviation for Park Rapids resident Noel Allard. He was recently inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame for his contributions to the aviation field, although many people in the Park Rapids area know him for his involvement in the Park Rapids Antique Tractor & Engine Club. "Tractors are as much fun as airplanes," he said. But he has always had a soft spot for flying. Allard took his first airplane ride in 1949 at Wold-Chamberlain Field in a Piper Pacer from the Ray Hense Flight School.
Construction continues to move along in downtown Park Rapids, with most of the initial removals completed on Second Street. A water main connection was completed in the alley behind McDonald's, in the middle of the night.
Park Rapids is issuing the results of monitoring done on its drinking water for the period from Jan. 1 to Dec.
Andrew Nyhus, a 1984 Park Rapids Area High School graduate, is receiving recognition for his photography. He won first place in three categories of the 2011 National Eagle Center Photo Contest. In the eagle category, he received first place for his Bald Eagle Soaring photo. In the flyway category, he received first place for his Heron on Ice photo. And in the river category, he received first place for his Rainbow Over River photo. Nyhus lives in Winona. He is an avid birder and a member of the Hiawatha Valley Audubon Society in Winona.
Young Park Rapids area children got a taste of kindergarten Friday at Century School's Round-up Day. Parents arrived with their future kindergartners during two sessions Friday. Teachers and administrators are looking at another large kindergarten class for the fall of 2011. The district usually has additional kids enroll throughout the summer. During Friday's introduction to kindergarten parents and children split up for separate orientations. Kindergarten teachers showed the future students the classrooms, read them a book and helped them work on a craft project.
Construction is moving along on schedule in downtown Park Rapids. Work began on underground utilities and boardwalks are in place along side streets. Granite inlays are being installed on corners along Main Avenue.