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The 27th annual Community Thank Meal ensures anyone who wants to can have company and a Thanksgiving meal. "It's a nice fellowship on Thanksgiving," said Spike Wellman, who is coordinating the event. The traditional Thanksgiving meal is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26 at Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids. Takeouts are also available and deliveries are made in the city limits to those who can't come out, Wellman said. The annual meal has grown over the years and now about 400 people are served at the church along with 150 takeouts.
Prosecuting attorney Don Dearstyne has seen an increase in caseloads for Park Rapids in the last year and requested an increase in the budget for 2010. The city of Park Rapids has a contract with county attorney Dearstyne for prosecuting criminal cases. He is requesting $3,166 per month in 2010, an increase of about $330 per month from 2009. "Our caseload, from the city's standpoint, has increased," he said.
Park Rapids Area High School and Frank White Education Center will undergo indoor air quality, maintenance and energy efficiency projects with the help of federal stimulus money. "The school really needed these improvements," said Superintendent Glenn Chiodo. "What really put us in the position to be able to do them was the availability of stimulus dollars." The total cost of the project is estimated at $12,232,417.
The Park Rapids All Veterans Memorial Interpretive and Educational Center construction is under way but more donations are needed to complete the project. The All Veterans Memorial is located on Highway 71 south, next to the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber. A groundbreaking for the center was held in May and the shell of the 2,300-square-foot building is up. Construction will stop for the winter. The completed structure will cost an estimated $250,000 and will hold information on all the U.S.
A Park Rapids mom and son are now both teaching at Century School. Kathy Pilgrim has taught in Park Rapids for 32 years and has seen dramatic changes in education during that time. Eric Pilgrim, 24, is just beginning his teaching career. This is his second year of teaching and first year at Park Rapids. Although each has some similarities, each also has unique perspectives on teaching. They both went to Bemidji State University for college and knew they wanted to be teachers at a fairly young age. "It started when I was in high school sports," Eric said.
Hubbard County families are being challenged to "Eat. Talk. Connect!" The challenge is for families to eat at least three meals together each week for three months. A meal together will be defined as a time when all or most family members who live in the same household sit down anywhere together for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Mari Jo Lohmeier, Healthy Communities Coordinator for St.
Downtown businesses will recommend omitting mid-block nodes, mid-block crosswalks and speed tables from the Main Avenue reconstruction project. A majority of downtown business owners voted Wednesday to make that recommendation to the Park Rapids City Council at a workshop Tuesday.
Park Rapids Area School faculty members are in the process of adopting a new math curriculum for next year. Century School principal Bruce Gravalin gave an update on the process of working on Annual Yearly Progress. The senior high math cohort has been meeting to work on adoption of new curriculum. The middle school and elementary will also be meeting. "What they do ... they have representative textbooks from the major textbook companies," Gravalin said.
The next step in rehabilitating "Armory Square" in Park Rapids is applying for matching funds through a contamination cleanup grant program. Local developer Alan Zemek asked the Park Rapids City Council to help him with the application.
The proposed 2010 Park Rapids general fund budget has a slight increase of 2.61 percent from 2009. "We're projecting a balanced budget," said City Administrator Bill Smith. "That's based on some key assumptions. We're assuming the economy doesn't plummet any more and we're also assuming that the economy doesn't improve that much either." The Park Rapids City Council had a work session Tuesday to discuss the budget. Expenditures total $2,551,881.