Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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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.
City crews were busy Wednesday morning attempting to fix a water leak in front of RiverBend Home Expressions on Main Avenue in Park Rapids. The leak started Saturday morning, said RiverBend owner Cynthia Jones. The leak is somewhere under Main Avenue in the line that goes into RiverBend's building. "There's water pooling up underneath the sidewalk," said owner Ellis Jones."I'm sure there's probably a cavity or something like that. There is a little bit of water seeping into our basement but I can clean it up with a rag.
Services will be held at area communities Monday to observe Memorial Day. In Park Rapids, a Memorial Day service will start at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Park Rapids Area High School auditorium with speaker Master Sergeant Michael Cave. Cave was born in St. Paul in 1967. In February 1989, he enlisted the Marine Corps from New Haven, Conn. During his training as a mortarman, then Private First Class Cave was selected to undergo training for the prestigious United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. On May 1, 1990 he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.
Thousands of dollars go toward field trips and other educational programs for Park Rapids area students through Minnesota's School Forest Program. "I think a lot of people don't even know the School Forest Program exists, let alone what we do," said Tom Stursa, wildlife technician for the Department of Natural Resources and chairman of the School Forest Committee. The program, which began in 1949, allows for tax-forfeited, donated or school owned land to be a designated a school forest.
Voters will once again head to the polls to vote for a Menahga School District bond issue. After several meetings with members of the community the Menahga School Board decided to call for a special election Aug. 10 to coincide with the primary. This will be the third time within the last year voters have been asked to vote on a building bond issue. The bond request has been scaled back again, this time to $4.35 million. The latest referendum in April failed with 549 yes votes and 586 no votes. It was scaled back to $4.95 million for that election.
This year's Envirothon topic - nitrate contamination in water - hit home for the Park Rapids students involved in the competition this spring. The city of Park Rapids has been dealing with high nitrate levels in water for several years, having to shut down some shallow wells recently. The Envirothon is a competition that tests teams from different schools on four core subjects of forestry, soils and land use, aquatic ecology and wildlife, along with a current issue on an environmental subject, which changes every year.
Grass has been growing quickly after warm weather and rain and Park Rapids city officials are asking citizens to take care of their lawn before it becomes a nuisance. Park Rapids has an ordinance referring to public nuisances. According to the ordinance, "a nuisance is public if it annoys, injures or endangers the safety, health, comfort or repose of any considerable number of people.
Bears have been out and about this spring looking for food, often finding it in bird feeders. Fred and Clara Whiteside, who live off County Road 4 about 10 miles out of Park Rapids, have seen a mother bear and her three cubs in their yard several times in the last few weeks. "She was there last fall and now she's back," Clara said.