The Park Rapids City Council has decided to have special finance meetings as a whole council to discuss the 2009 budget. They briefly discussed having a finance committee with just two council members, the city administrator and department heads that would report back to the full council. "Especially this year, because we're going to have to scrutinize so many details and make decisions normally that we wouldn't have given much thought to," said city administrator Bill Smith. He proposed having a finance committee because it will be a difficult year because of looming state cuts to LGA.
Some call him a fitness fanatic. Others call him a nutrition nut. But Pete (Herman) Kueber just thinks of himself as healthy and dedicated. The 77-year-old spends several hours a day working out. He estimates he's been working out for 70 years. "It started out as play in school," Kueber said. "Who could run the fastest, who could jump the highest and who could lift the biggest armful of wood for the stove." He was in the U.S. Air Force and taught physical training for many years as one of his duties. Kueber likes to challenge himself all the time, he said.
Katie Luther, of Park Rapids, will march in the presidential inaugural parade next week as an AmeriCorps alum. She is excited to be part of the historical event on Jan. 20. This is the first time that a national service-related organization has marched in the presidential inaugural parade, she said. Out of 1,400 applicants, AmeriCorps Alums was one of the 100 selected. Only 150 slots were available and more than 1,200 alumni wanted in.
About a dozen Nevis students have started creating a robot for competition in April. The team, called "Devious Machinations," is meeting nearly every day after school and Saturdays. On Thursday, the team was brainstorming how to proceed with the construction of the robot. The kick-off was Jan. 3 and now the countdown has begun, with about six weeks to build the robot. It will ship out on Feb. 16. The competition will be April 2-4 at the University of Minnesota. In Minnesota, there are 88 teams competing and about 4,000 teams across the country.
A drop-out prevention initiative that spanned two years at Park Rapids Area Schools was successful, according to school officials. Park Rapids Area High School principal Al Judson provided the school board with an overview of the programs implemented from the grant. Park Rapids was chosen in 2005 to participate in a federal drop-out grant program - one of seven schools in Minnesota, Judson said. The grant covered the academic school years of 2006-07 and 2007-08, Judson said. Another $25,000 was acquired to continue some of the programs that were implemented through the grant, he said.
The Park Rapids City Council has decided to take a conservative approach as it delves into its 2009 budget, hoping to reduce spending by about $746,000 in reaction to the state's financial situation. At a special meeting Monday, city administrator Bill Smith first listed some facts about the budget for the council. In his list, he said: -The general fund operating budget for 2009 is $2,579,484. -The estimated LGA/ MVC payment for 2009 is $606,000. -Tax receipts for the previous six months were $118,000 less than anticipated. -The city has $758,000 in liquor store reserves.
Gary May's last days working for the street department were spent in a snow plow, something he has enjoyed during his 35 years with the city of Park Rapids. May retired Dec.
Square dancing enthusiasts rang in the New Year with twirling skirts and shuffling feet at Century School in Park Rapids. Dancing was held on New Year's Eve from 8-10 p.m., food and socializing from 10-11 p.m. and more dancing until midnight and beyond. Ron Engst, a member of the Friendly Squares in Park Rapids, was one person who danced the night away. He started square dancing by accident, he said. At a friend's wedding reception everyone was square dancing so he had to learn.
The annual American Legion medallion treasure hunt begins today (Saturday), Jan. 3 with the possibility of winning more than $1,000 in prizes. Look for the first clue in an ad in today's Enterprise. The clues will appear in the Enterprise each Wednesday and Saturday. Clues also will be posted at the American Legion Tuesdays and Fridays after 5 p.m. The medallion treasure hunt is in collaboration with the 11th annual Park Rapids American Legion Community Fishing Contest scheduled for Saturday, Feb.
Brisk temperatures didn't keep everyone home Sunday - skiing enthusiasts braved the cold to race in the Soaring Eagle New Year's Challenge. A total of 24 skiers participated in the 7.5K or 18K freestyle races. No one participated in the 1K kids/family race. Event organizer Janine Weideman, a member of Itascatur Ski/Bike/Run, said cold temperatures and icy roads probably played a part in no one participating in the kids/family race. "It was -15 degrees earlier in the morning," she said.