Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) members are assisting the North Country Trail Association, Laurentian Lakes Chapter, through the construction and clearing of a new segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail in Becker County. A team of 12 AmeriCorps NCCC members are constructing approximately 10 miles of new trail near Ponsford for six weeks. The group began working June 7 and will work until July 16. "We really hope to get 10 miles completed," said Allison Hoensheid, AmeriCorps NCCC member.
The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Challenger Tour Bull Ride will return to Park Rapids July 1-3 celebrating 32 years of professional rodeo. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the action starting at 6:30 p.m.
Park Rapids and Carsonville firefighters battled a grass fire Friday afternoon off of Highway 34 and County Road 125 between Park Rapids and Osage. The call was made at about 2:45 p.m. Smoke from the fire was blowing northeast across Highway 34 due to high winds, necessitating law enforcement to direct traffic.
Community gardens have begun to sprout this summer throughout Hubbard County. Gardens have been planted at River Heights Apartments and Cornerstone Apartments in Park Rapids, along with Akeley and Laporte. Trees were planted in Nevis. The gardens were funded by a Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grant. Diane Brophy, St. Joseph's public health nurse, is working to implement the SHIP grant.
The 2010 Park Rapids All School Reunion is just two months away and organizers are optimistic this will be one of the biggest events yet. The community event is slated for Aug. 6-8, 2010. Dave "Lefty" Anderson is chairing the event and said so far two fundraising meals have been very successful. Reunion apparel is already being sold on the website www.prhsreunion.com and Anderson is encouraging people to order early. A very limited amount of apparel will be sold at the reunion. The committee has been meeting for nearly a year already and events for August's reunion are planned out.
Robert "Dutch" Van Vranken has just started a journey to the Gulf of Mexico with a mission to honor veterans. Van Vranken headed out Tuesday from the Headwaters of the Mississippi at Itasca State Park. He will be riding an electric wheelchair on roads following the Mississippi River to the Gulf. Although he is not a veteran, he has a lot of respect for them and wants to raise funds for veterans with disabilities. Van Vranken, 52, lives in St. Louis Park but has ties to the area. His parents live in Bemidji. He is a retired airline ground service crew chief.
First Baptist Church members are spreading the word of God through scripture. Volunteers put together books of scripture and send them to countries around the world. The ministry started 27 years ago with Dennis Deneau, who was a part of the church for many years. The church was located at the corner of Highways 34 and 71 at the time. Since then, it has moved to a location in southwest Park Rapids. At the old church, volunteers did printing and binding as well but much of that equipment went with Deneau to Michigan.
After 11 years, a vision and prayer have become a reality for Sal Di Leo, a man raised by Catholic nuns in the 1960s. The dedication of Jack Weinmann Family Memorial Guest Quarters at St. Francis Lodge on Lake George was held over the weekend. The retreat center for nuns is now open for visitors. Di Leo, and his wife, Beth are from Minneapolis but frequent the Park Rapids and Lake George areas. Sal was raised by Catholic nuns in an orphanage in Joliet, Ill. in the early 1960s. St.