Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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Melodie Englund was crowned Miss Park Rapids at the Miss Park Rapids Pageant Saturday night. Denia Brown was crowned Miss Teen Park Rapids, Sarah Gorder was crowned Little Miss Park Rapids grades 4 to 6 and Madysen Sanders was crowned Little Miss Park Rapids grades kindergarten to 3. Nearly 200 people attended the event at Park Rapids Area High School Auditorium.
Menahga School district voters said "no" again to a referendum to expand the school. This time the project was scaled down by about $3 million.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton visited with about a dozen constituents Wednesday morning in Park Rapids. Hubbard County was the 84th county he visited on his 87-county tour across Minnesota. The morning meeting at Bella Caffé focused on taxes, health care and education. "I'm all ears, I find I get some of my best information by listening to others," Dayton said. He is not seeking the DFL endorsement at the state convention. He explained that he will run in the primary election Aug.
The Park Rapids School Board approved $510,000 in budget adjustments Monday. The budget adjustments included not replacing five retiring employees for a savings of $371,000. Also, the current assistant principal at Century, Jeff Johnson, will become the high school principal. Principal Al Judson is retiring at year's end. Johnson's position will be eliminated and Shelli Walsh will take over his testing duties. Assistant principal John Schumacher will now split his time between the high school and middle school.
The Miss Park Rapids Pageant is returning this Saturday with 22 girls participating. "Everything is really coming together," said pageant organizer Kristine Walsh. The event begins with a royalty reception at 5:30 p.m. Saturday followed by the pageant at 6:30 p.m. It includes four age categories so girls from kindergarten through juniors in high school can participate. Walsh has emphasized that it is not a beauty pageant.
Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to vote on a referendum to expand the Menahga School. Menahga School officials have scaled down the building project by about $3 million. This time the project is scaled down by about $3 million.
The large moose sculpture outside Moose Creek in downtown Park Rapids is no longer standing tall. Sometime over the weekend it was vandalized. The antlers and legs were broken off. Moose Creek owner Tom Paulson said he's not exactly sure when the vandalism happened but he's upset that "people have nothing better to do than terrorize the town" over Easter weekend, he said. "I'm contemplating doing some sort of reward for prosecution of whoever vandalized it because I just think it's sickening," Paulson said.
Construction of a new well and well house has begun in Park Rapids. The new well is located south of Frank White Education Center in Park Rapids. The well is deep, at about 287 feet. North Star Drilling has been contracted to dig the well. Jack Thilquist, who is heading up the work with North Star Drilling, said drilling should be completed by Tuesday.
Public transportation in Park Rapids and Hubbard County has seen a spike in riders - especially those who use wheelchairs or scooters. Linda Bair, Heartland Express transit coordinator, said buses have been busiest in the city of Park Rapids. Two buses run in the city. One runs from 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 a.m. and the second bus comes on up to five hours as needed. Riders are picked up at their front doors and at the time of their choice, which is different than a route schedule.
Alan Zemek is asking to consider designating a redevelopment Tax Increment Financing District for the Armory. Zemek, a developer, has been acquiring grants over the last year to research the building and determine whether it is feasible to redevelop. "There's still a substantial challenge there," he said. "The heating system is completely gone, you'd go broke if you tried to put that boiler back into service, the building needs a lot of upgrades for health and public safety and fire safety." Despite those hurdles, Zemek is continuing to move forward step by step.