Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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The feedback was clear. Residents want state legislators to make cuts in order to fix Minnesota's budget mess. State Rep. Brita Sailer, DFL-Park Rapids, and state Sen. Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, had a series of town hall meetings Saturday, including a stop in Park Rapids to listen to constituents. Skoe said there are three large issues facing lawmakers this session. First is the General Assistance Medical Care fix.
Lisa Fuchs, student dietician with St. Joseph's Area Health Services, at right, shares information about healthy food choices with Jerry and Diane Cole at J&B Foods. The tour was in place of the monthly St. Joseph's Diabetes Support Group, which meets from 9 to 10 a.m. the second Tuesday of the month in the Lower Level Room A at the hospital.
Denise Pederson wants to get the word out about Multiple Sclerosis. MS Awareness Week is March 8-14 and Pederson, who has MS, said she enjoys sharing information about MS with her helper dog Mac by her side. "It's is a disease that affects the nervous system," she said. "It's frustrating at times but it's not the end of the world." She has been instrumental in starting a monthly MS support group in Park Rapids and now about six people regularly attend. Pederson was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago and now uses a wheelchair.
Park Rapids area residents are trying to make healthier choices through "Power Up 2010." The wellness challenge began in January and has been a hit, said Jill Dickinson, Park Rapids Community Education director. She reported 185 people are registered. The eight-week challenge is sponsored by the Center for Weight Management, a service of St. Joseph's Area Health Services and Innovis Health, along with Community Education. "I've gotten very positive feedback," Dickinson said. Each week, participants set personal goals centered on POWER tools.
Menahga high school science teacher Ramsey Miller slides into Spirit Lake Friday afternoon. He and four other teachers took a plunge into the lake after students exceeded a fund-raising goal for Haiti. The coin drive, organized by the Menahga Student Council, was called "Jumpin' in for Haiti." Students raised $1,400.10. The goal was $800.
A majority of townships in Hubbard and eastern Becker counties have decided their elections will coincide with the General Election in November, but some will have elections Tuesday, March 9. Townships will still have their annual meetings March 9 when the town business is discussed and residents set the preliminary property tax levy. Those with elections Tuesday are listed below.
Energy and health: The Green Park Rapids Energy Fair and Health Expo was Saturday, Feb. 27 at Century School, with many people in attendance.
The "Threads of Love" quilters from Hubbard United Methodist Church wanted to give some dignity to families of loved ones who have passed away. They accomplished this by creating and donating two dignity quilts to Cease Family Funeral Home and Jones-Pearson Funeral Home. The quilts will be used to cover the cart carrying a deceased person from a hospital, nursing home or other location. RoJean Cummins and Kathie Cole were instrumental in the making of the quilts.
Who stole Mrs. Fairfax's necklace? That's the question characters in the play "Mystery at Shady Acres" try to answer throughout the play. The Park Rapids Area Home School Association presented the play, through iPlay Productions, last weekend at Long Lake Theater in Hubbard. Audra Hill directed the 37 students in the production. Grace Steward, playing Mrs. Fairfax, said she really liked being in the play. "I love the character," she said. "It's fun to be a different person." "Mystery at Shady Acres," by Michelle R.
Park Rapids non-union employees are not in favor of a proposal to switch their vacation and sick leave to a Paid Time Off (PTO) system without increasing the accrual. City administrator Bill Smith made a proposal for the PTO system at the Feb. 9 Park Rapids City Council meeting. The resolution was tabled to have further discussion with staff. Non-union employees offered a counter proposal at Tuesday's meeting. Currently, non-union employees can accrue 800 hours of sick leave and 80 hours of vacation at the end of the year.