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Many Hubbard County residents will see a small refund on their natural gas bills but overall will see a rate increase from Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved new final natural gas rates effective Jan. 1, 2010 for customers of Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation. The new rates will average from $0.35 to $0.68 per month less than interim rates granted earlier in October 2008 that residential customers are currently paying, depending on the customer's location.
Sherry Safratowich will continue to be chairperson of the Park Rapids Area School Board for 2010. Election of officers and other reorganization was part of the agenda Monday night at the school board's first meeting of the year. Gary Gauldin will once again be vice-chairperson and Karol Savage will be treasurer again. This year, Stephanie Carlson will step up as clerk.
Akeley native Kenneth Gack returned from competition at the International Powerlifting Federation World Championships this fall, finishing in eighth place. Although he didn't do as well as he would have liked to, Gack said it was an amazing trip. The championship was in New Delhi, India. "On the squat, I got my first attempt at 622 pounds pretty easily, but in two tries at 661, I couldn't finish the lift," he said in an e-mail.
Area residents are being encouraged to "POWER Up in 2010" with a community wellness challenge kicking off in January. The wellness challenge kick off is from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 at the Frank White Education Center community room. Power Up 2010 is an eight-week challenge that's between all area communities: Park Rapids, Menahga, Sebeka, Nevis, Laporte, Akeley and Osage. The Center for Weight Management, a service of St.
About 640 people were given H1N1 vaccinations at a free clinic Tuesday. "We probably gave 200 vaccinations in the first hour," said Amy Morris, public health nurse with St. Joseph's Area Health Services. People were lined up about 10:15 a.m. outside St. Peter the Apostle Church, waiting for the doors to open at 11.
Some downtown Park Rapids businesses have opened up their bathrooms to the public until some day public bathrooms can be built on Main. Conversations about having public bathrooms in downtown started at least seven, eight years ago. Loon banks were set out at businesses with a note asking for donations to get public bathrooms in downtown. Dee Smith, owner of Amish Oak and Americana Furnishings, said eventually it was decided that constructing public bathrooms at that time was infeasible. "We still collect money.
Master Sergeant Ron E. Wilson was so touched by a quilt he received nearly two years ago that he presented an American flag that was flown in Iraq to local quilters. Wilson attended Hubbard United Methodist Church Sunday, Dec. 27 to thank the Threads of Love Quilters for the quilt. "We get a lot of gifts but nothing like that quilt," he said. "It was special." The quilt has Psalm 46 printed on the label. The flag that was presented to the quilters was flown at Sather Air Force Base at Baghdad International Airport Oct.
Preliminary work on indoor air quality, maintenance and energy efficiency projects will begin in January at Park Rapids Area High School and Frank White Education Center. The total cost is estimated at $12,232,417, with stimulus money covering about $7.6 million. The Park Rapids Area School Board approved issuing three sets of bonds for the project: general obligation alternative facilities bonds, series 2010A; general obligation alternative facilities bonds, series 2010B (qualified school construction bonds); and general obligation capital facilities bonds, series 2010C (qualified school
Century students have the opportunity to participate in activities before and after school. A program called "Play 30" has been available Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 8 a.m. at the Century Elementary gym. It is based on the NFL's "Play 60" campaign that encourages youth to get 60 minutes of activity each day. This fall, some students were being dropped off at school early and had nothing to do but sit in the cafeteria until school started.
The Park Rapids Fire Department is in need of new radio equipment after a system failure. "We lost our base station, which is also our repeater," said fire chief Donn Hoffman. The equipment was old and on schedule to be replaced soon. The first system failure was about two weeks ago, Hoffman said. "We were down for a few hours," he said. "We found a device that was linked with our system that failed. We took that out of there. "Then yesterday morning, we heard our open pagers squelch.