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Park Rapids teachers benefited from a mentoring program during the 2008-09 school year and hope to continue the program this fall. The goal of the program is to "attract and retain quality professionals and to improve the quality of instruction for students in District 309," according to the program manual. Park Rapids Area School District is faced with the challenge of replacing experienced teaching staff with those who are less experienced.
Rice Park in Park Rapids is getting a sand volleyball court as the pilot project for the Partnership for Parks program. Over the weekend, adult and youth volunteers worked to install the volleyball court at the park, which is near Fish Hook River south of Highway 34. The city of Park Rapids partnered with Human Achievement and Performance Academy and area youth. Tina Eischens, executive director of HAPA, helped find youth to help with the installation Saturday morning. Cora and Dalton Schultz were two of the kids who helped rake and shovel sand.
Park Rapids will be able to keep an officer after receiving another COPS grant. Park Rapids Police Department will receive $179,326 over three years. The funding comes from federal stimulus dollars. Police Chief Terry Eilers said one of his current officers was hired under a previous COPS grant that expires Dec. 31. The new grant will allow the city to keep that officer, Eilers said. Just 15 law enforcement departments across Minnesota will receive COPS grants. "We feel fairly lucky to get that grant," Eilers said. "It will be one less worry with the budget." U.S.
The city of Park Rapids continues to see profits from its liquor store operation on Highway 34. Rapids Spirits Manager Scott Olson reported in July that there were a few record-setting days. The month of June had a 2 percent increase in sales compared to 2008. July "started with a bang," Olson said in his monthly report, with an increase in sales for July 3 of 26.8 percent and 399 more customers.
The third house completed by the Park Rapids Area High School building class has been sold. Due to the economic times, there was only one bid for $35,000, Principal Al Judson said. "After consultation with our business manager we decided that was something that would be tough to live with," he said. The materials invested were about $44,000. The cabinets that the students built were beautiful, Judson said.
Broadband and cell phone coverage, along with health care were some of the top concerns Park Rapids area constituents want Sen. Al Franken to work on. As part of a tour around Minnesota, two of Franken's staff members stopped in Park Rapids Wednesday afternoon to hear from people in the area. State Rep.
Park Rapids has a relatively high level of social capacity and community readiness. According to the Progress Park Rapids Indicator Report, the community is set up for success.
Park Rapids students Sophie Shogren, Alex Renner, Brennan Larson, Danny Pike and Christian Ridlon were interested in learning more about the environment. They had the opportunity to learn more by preparing and competing in the state Envirothon as sophomores. The five-member team had to create a flood control structure plan for the frequently flooding Houston County that preserved biodiversity and minimized the environmental disturbance in the area. The Envirothon is an outdoor environmental learning competition for high school students.
Overall, Park Rapids students tested just below the state average in reading and math, according to MCA-II results. District-wide, 69.17 percent of Park Rapids students were proficient in reading, compared to 71.92 percent of students across the state.
Park Rapids is looking at changing water rates to reflect conservation. Minnesota Statute 103G.291 states a public water supplier serving more than 1,000 people shall use a conservation rate structure by Jan. 1, 2013.