Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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The Star of the North Marine Corps. League has been busy filling bags with candy for those who attend the annual Park Rapids Community Christmas Dinner Saturday. Volunteers are still needed. Organizer Lynn Spilman said she and others have been busy this week getting food prepared for about 650 people. With the struggling economy, Spilman thinks the Christmas Dinner will be especially well attended this year. The meal is free but donations are accepted.
Looking for a last minute stocking stuffer? Tickets are available for the 13th annual Park Rapids American Legion Community Fishing Contest. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5 on Fish Hook Lake.
The Park Rapids City Council has decreased it levy for 2011. An initial proposed levy at a 13.95 percent increase had many taxpayers questioning their tax statements. The city's Truth in Taxation hearing was well attended with citizens who were concerned about the increase. The final budget has been adjusted and is a 6.55 percent increase over 2010. The final budget total for the city is $2,522,859.
Making a living playing poker? Many people might think this is unrealistic. But Nate Avenson of Park Rapids has made it a reality. The 28-year-old started playing poker at local events in 2003.
The annual Radiothon to End Child Abuse was held Dec. 2-3. This year the Radiothon was able to raise another $20,000 and that brings the six year total to nearly $140,000. The radiothon is a way to raise funds for the Hubbard County Child Abuse Prevention Council. Katrina Carrier, Hubbard County Child Abuse Prevention Council director, said the council uses the money to continue supporting MAHUBE crisis care nursery, which provides a safe place for children during a time of crisis. Money is also used for the SAFE Parks Program operated in Park Rapids, Nevis and Akeley.
A community ice skating rink could be ready for skaters the end of this week or next week. The rink will be located at Depot Park in Park Rapids between the tennis courts and J&B Foods. Paul Larson is a member of the Park Rapids Park Board and has spearheaded the initiative. "I'm looking at a possible leisure rink for kids instead of the hockey rink," he said at a Park Rapids City Council meeting earlier this year. "They have a tough time with ice time. The outside ice is used by other players and teams." Larson is looking to move snow this week. It will be 120 x 100 feet.
A proposed Park Rapids levy would increase by 13.95 percent in 2011, the majority of the increase stemming from street utility projects. The Park Rapids City Council still has an opportunity to lower the levy, though, after hearing feedback from the public Tuesday at the Truth in Taxation hearing. The proposed levy for 2011 is $2,259,686, up from $1,983,127 in 2010. The general fund remained rather flat, with $1,482,245 proposed for 2011, up from $1,406,032 in 2010.
The 2011 enterprise fund budget for Park Rapids is looking similar to 2010 with the exception of increased revenue from a storm water utility. Enterprise funds include the airport, water, sewer, liquor store, storm water and the public works/safety building. Angela Brumbaugh, city treasurer, said the airport is typically supplemented with liquor store funds to balance the budget.