Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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Two commercial properties in Park Rapids received a decreased valuation after it was deemed they were too high. The Park Rapids local board of appeal and equalization met last week to approve recommended changes to appeals within the city. Mark Hewitt, representing Dorset Bancshares Inc., parent company of Northwoods Bank, came to the board seeking a lower valuation for some property he acquired through foreclosure. The property is located east and northeast of the Walmart and is split into four lots, two zoned residential and two zoned commercial. "We're required to have an appraisal
Collections of hair and nylons are being taken at Park Avenue School of Cosmetology to be sent to the Gulf of Mexico. The hosiery and hair is being used to soak up oil from the spill at the Gulf Coast. "We heard about it from the Association of Cosmetology Schools," said Kristine Walsh, owner of Park Avenue School of Cosmetology.
Park Rapids students are learning math skills and more with the assistance of SMART Boards. The interactive white boards are being installed in several classes at Century School. They were purchased with the help of grant funding. Kindergarten teacher Alyssa LaVoie was one of the first to have a board installed in her room. "It's just amazing," she said.
With another well sealed off due to high nitrate levels, the Park Rapids City Council is considering a watering ban if it becomes necessary. "One of our production wells, the nitrate levels went up above the maximum contaminant level," said city administrator Bill Smith. "A confirmation sample was taken and came back above so we'll have to seal off that well. With just two production wells remaining, that will tax our system to provide the water quantity that we usually do." The closing of well eight comes about a year after another well was taken offline for high nitrate levels.
Menahga has agreed to join Sebeka in applying for a $1.4 million housing redevelopment grant from the Department of Employment and Economic Development. Jenny Hoppe, a Sebeka Horizons representative, said members of the group are also asking the city of Nimrod to be part of the coalition. Menahga will need to contribute between $500 and $1,000 to have the grant written. Area cities such as Wadena and Verndale have received similar grants and Hoppe said the coalition of Menahga, Sebeka and Nimrod should have a good chance of receiving it because it is an economically poor area.
Young Park Rapids area children got a taste of kindergarten Friday at Century School's Round-up Day. Parents arrived with their future kindergartners during two sessions Friday. Teachers and administrators were pleased with the turnout this year, with 101 kids signed up. Superintendent Glenn Chiodo said that's the most children that have been signed up on Kindergarten Round-Up Day in Park Rapids since he came to the district in 2003.
A proposed state bill that would lower standards to become a teacher in Minnesota was of concern to a crowd of Park Rapids teachers Wednesday. Education Minnesota president Tom Dooher visited Park Rapids Wednesday afternoon to update Park Rapids teachers about legislative activities and field questions. He encouraged educators to continue writing to state legislators about their concerns.