The Hubbard County Board approved hiring two additional child protection workers for social services, with a goal of avoiding out-of-home placement of children. The majority of the funding for the supervisor and child protection worker positions will be realized from the Department of Human Services via legislation, Social Services director Daryl Bessler said of $145,000 being allocated to the county for child protection staffing and services. “Will this be ongoing?” commissioner Cal Johannsen asked of the funding. “I believe it will be,” Bessler told commissioners.
After 33 years at the helm, Hubbard County Social Services director Daryl Bessler submitted a letter of resignation at Tuesday’s county board meeting. “It’s been good,” he told commissioners. “I feel the Lord has blessed me to be a part of this community. And the people I’ve worked with,” he said, wiping away tears, “they are like family.” “You are definitely a man of honor,” board chair Dan Stacey told him. “Your shoes will be hard to fill.” Bessler noted he’s worked over half his life in Hubbard County. “It’s been part of my life for a long time, but the time comes.
The Monster Truck rally held Friday at the Hubbard County Fair had the crowd cheering, with Larry Quick of Aledo, Ill. winning the racing, wheelie and freestyle events. Quinton Adams of Indiana was behind the wheel of Defender I, brother Zach Adams drove Defender II. Matt Clark of Kansas was Freedom Keeper’s driver. Darren Migues was a Nitro Menace. Quick drove Ghost Ryder and Minnesotan Jim Bendzick of New Ulm sent Thunder 4X4 around the track. Race organizer Chad Mathison said questions and comments about the event are welcome on the Hubbard County Fair’s Facebook page.
The city of Nevis is developing a Wellhead Protection Plan addressing the city’s drinking water system to determine its risk of contamination, maintenance supervisor Don Umthun told council members this week. The city’s relatively shallow 68-foot well pulls water from Lake Belle Taine, he explained, which categorizes it as “highly sensitive, requiring extra monitoring.” “We could need to identify potential hazardous material in the Belle Taine area,” he told council members this week.
Palmer Vaadeland, 89, sat in an empty poultry barn at Shell Prairie Fair this week, the first time ever. Avian flu precluded arrival of chickens at the “Five Greatest Days of Summer.” “It’s sure quiet with just posters,” he said of art composed by 4-H members explaining the lack of cackles in one of the fairground’s oldest buildings. “I’ve been coming here since I was 5,” the fair board director reflected of arriving with Golden Sebright bantams, competing in the open class.
Monday’s Hubbard County timber auction reflected “stable prices,” roughly on par with April’s figures when prices rose appreciably from January. Fourteen operators arrived; 30 came in April. The total sales were $373,357, compared with April’s $810,267. “The market in this area is stabilizing,” land commissioner Chip Lohmeier said after the auction. “This is good for the overall picture,” he said. “Huge fluctuations are difficult to plan for.
Nevis was the site of a rip-snortin’ good time Sunday, pigs pirouetting about the ring in grand fashion, followed by a nap. The hotly contested Republican Primary Pig Race whittled the field of 15-plus presidential candidates down to four - Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and Chris Christy. In 13 seconds, the surrogate oinkers did what the Republicans haven’t been able to do in two years: find a few good candidates, Pigmeister Dave McCurnin noted.
Wally Gray has once again landed at the Park Rapids Airport, ready to depart with passengers to view the area’s resplendent forests and lakes via an open cockpit. Gray pilots a Stearman biplane, a 1941 Boeing Kaydet PT-17 aircraft used during World War II to train pilots. Traveling at 85 miles an hour, passengers sitting in the fore seat of the plane have a “bird’s eye” view of the landscape below. Gray was raised an “Air Force brat,” his heroes (and family friends) World War II pilots.
In the spring of 1941, Lorraine Wright and Margaret Johnson motored down from Bemidji Normal School to apply for elementary school teaching positions in Akeley, appearing before the school board. “They hired us that night. And we hadn’t even graduated yet,” Wright recalled. Seventy-plus years after parting company - Wright joining the Navy Waves two years later - the school marms were reunited Thursday. This came at the orchestration of their former students, Ardith “Ardy” Anderson Vos and Joanne Ingman May, who were a year apart in school, but became lifelong friends.
The Nevis School Board approved tenure for several teachers and bid farewell to others. Math teacher Katherine Schieck and Spanish teacher Erik Jensen resigned as did kindergarten teacher Jennifer Travis, who tearfully read a letter explaining her decision to accept a position with the Pine River-Backus School, which is home. Travis expressed thanks to the school board, teaching partner Jason Durham and Principal John Strom “But most of all, thank you to the staff that works in the greatest hall that anyone could ever ask for.