The Minnesota Disabled American Veterans (DAV) runs a statewide program offering free rides for veterans to medical appointments. Veterans and their caregivers receive the rides in vans donated to the VA by the Minnesota DAV. In 2017, riders were transported over 1.6 million miles to VA appointments around the state, furthering the DAV's mission to "better the lives of Minnesota's disabled veterans and their families."
The public is welcome to attend and participate in upcoming Candidate Forums, sponsored by the League of Women Voters Park Rapids Area, prior to Election Day. The League sponsors candidate forums to educate the public about campaign issues, provide an opportunity for voters to hear candidates discuss their positions on issues face-to-face, stimulate public interest and participation in elections and provide an opportunity for candidates to engage with their constituents.
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released districtwide Minnesota Comprehension Assessment (MCA) results for the 2017-18 school year. Scores on the MCA reading test are measured in grades 3-8, and again in 10th grade. Scores on the MCA math test are also measured in grades 3-8, and again in 11th grade. Statewide, 60.3 percent of students "met" or "exceeded" reading academic standards for proficiency last school year. Math scores declined slightly from 59 percent in 2016-17 to 57.6 percent.
Multiple women in the area have been approached recently by a couple offering a suspicious business proposal. According to a press release from the Bemidji Police Department, a female reported being approached by a male-and-female couple on Sept. 15 in an area business parking lot. The couple asked the female if she would be interested in a modeling opportunity out of state. The female refused and reported the incident to police the next day.
Faith briefs from area churches. Interfaith prayer vigil at Headwaters
Art Leap, an "open studio event" featuring artists and guest artists, will expand from 14 to 22 sites, serving approximately 60 artists and musicians at studios and other locations in Hubbard, Becker and Wadena counties. The event will be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22 and 23. Studios will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council (PRLAAC) sponsors Art Leap and added more sites this year, including more destinations in downtown Park Rapids and one at St. Urho Park in Menahga.
Park Rapids and Menahga school districts reported modest growth in student enrollment, while Nevis saw a slight decline. These are the totals as of Sept. 4, the first day of school. Enrollment often fluctuates slightly throughout the school year. Park Rapids Area Schools
Essentia Health is expanding clinical services in Park Rapids. The Essentia Board of Directors has approved a new clinic in Park Rapids. According to a news release, the new facility will better accommodate growth in specialty and primary care, enabling people to receive care close to home.
A Level 3 registered sex offender moved from one residence to another within Park Rapids on Wednesday. The Park Rapids Police Department released the information about Paul Thomas Bright, 53, under Minnesota Statutes requiring the public to be notified when a Level 3 registrant is transitioning into or within the community. "This individual has served the sentence imposed on him by the court," the release stated, "and has been a law-abiding citizen within Park Rapids for the past two years."
Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning (HCLL) released its fall schedule of eight informative programs, set to begin Tuesday, Sept. 4 at Park Theatre, Park Rapids. HCLL, a 501c3 nonprofit managed by a nine-member board of directors, presents its educational programs free of charge. Programs run from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The fall lineup is as follows: