Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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The city of Park Rapids grievance panel met Tuesday to discuss whether to reimburse former Park Rapids police officer Dan May for a uniform purchase in January. Each officer has a $375 uniform allowance for the year. According to the labor agreement, "the Employer shall provide each employee with a uniform allowance for those items not provided by the Employer (leather, weapons, shoes) and for the maintenance of uniforms." May ordered a flashlight and pressure switch Jan. 16 that is used for the tactical team.
Park Rapids high schoolers are taking time to mentor younger students at Century. "We have 18 senior high school peer mentors that are working with our middle school students during eighth hour," said Century School principal Bruce Gravalin. The students have already logged 282 hours with the younger students. "What they do is help with homework and some good, healthy conversation with younger kids," he said. "It's a good deal." The tutoring program at the high school has also been successful, said principal Jeff Johnson.
Amy Yerkes, Miss Park Rapids 1990, has stepped forward to co-coordinate the Miss Park Rapids 2011 pageant, along with Kristine Walsh. She returned to her hometown recently after being laid-off from her position with the state of Minnesota for more than nine years. Yerkes found herself without a job. And just like any other individual toughing it out in today's economy other losses soon followed: her car, her health insurance, and, eventually, her home. When a part-time position as music director for St.
St. Johns Lutheran Church in Park Rapids is now filled with the rich tones of a new, custom-built organ. An "unveiling" of the instrument was Thursday evening at the church. The evening included demonstrations of the instrument's capabilities and lessons on how to use the organ. The project has been in the works for about three years. The church organ committee hired a consultant to help them in the search for a new pipe organ. It's not a simple process. Bids were received from several organ companies and comparisons were done on several pipe organs in other churches.
The city of Menahga is taking the first steps toward investing in economic development within the city. Monday evening, mayor Pat Foss and councilmember Maxine Norman, who sit on the economic development committee, proposed two budget items to the city council. After a meeting with a representative from the Department of Employment and Economic Development, Foss said Menahga is at the beginning as far as economic development goes. "The first thing we'd like to move ahead on is a comprehensive plan," he said. They estimated the cost to update the city's 1978 plan at about $5,000.
Six Park Rapids students have been working tediously 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, said Michael Hartung, Park Rapids Area High School art teacher. It is the 18th year of the competition and Park Rapids has had three state winners during that time, he said. More than 1,000 students generally enter the contest in Minnesota, Hartung said.
The 2011 Chili Challenge, hosted by the Park Rapids Enterprise, raised $5,464 for the Hubbard County Food Shelf, including the loon and quilt raffle. A total of 21 chili brews were available for sampling, including bowls of mild chili made by Park Rapids Enterprise chef Candy Parks. Participants included State Bank of Park Rapids, Citizens National Bank, Northwoods Bank, TruStar Federal Credit Union, Hubbard County sheriff Cory Aukes, "The Other Bill Jones," John Nicklawksy, St.