Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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Decorative benches, bicycle racks and trash cans have been added to Main Avenue. Construction is moving along, with curb and gutter being poured on Second Street late this week. Sidewalks should be poured next week on Second. Utility work is wrapping up on Third Street and crews have started on Fourth Street. Street signs have also been placed at the intersections. Crews were back this week to work on the granite lake inlays to ensure they are installed correctly and sealed.
The Menahga School District will have a superintendent and two principals come fall as the board approved administrative changes this week. Mary Klamm has served as superintendent and high school principal for two years in an effort for the district to save money. With current elementary principal Joleen DeLaHunt leaving her position to be principal in Park Rapids, it was decided to separate the duties and also hire a high school principal. The Menahga School Board approved renewing Klamm's contract at her current salary of $105,000.
Park Rapids is considering the development of a local health board after hearing about a possible health hazard from pigeons at Park Avenue Apartments, the site of the former middle school. Scott Wilson, executive director with the Cass County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, approached the Park Rapids City Council this week about the issue. His agency addresses health and safety issues of residents who receive Section 8 rental assistance. Some of the residents at the apartment complex receive this funding, which requires housing meet certain quality standards.
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.
Parents are being encouraged to take alcohol and other dangers out of the picture during graduation celebrations in the next few weeks. The Hubbard County Youth Drug and Alcohol Taskforce, Hubbard County Attorney's Office and Hubbard County Sheriff's Office have joined forces to get the message out to parents. Alcohol and other drugs have been associated with an increase in accidents and fatalities during the weeks before and after graduation, said Sara Bowles, Hubbard County Youth Drug and Alcohol Task Force chemical health coordinator. "The area liquor stores are on board with promotin
Little Natalie Kruchowski, 4, takes the Heartland Express bus to preschool twice a week.
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.