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The quintessential Leave it to Beaver/Father Knows Best dad who arrives home after work, picks up a newspaper and, on occasion, offers some sage bit of wisdom to his children, is a person of the past. "Society has changed," parent educator Joe Johnson said.
A project that's been in the talking stages for more than a decade is now coming to fruition in Akeley. An imposing log structure, signifying the village's genesis, will serve as memorial gardens and a welcome center at the intersection of Highways 34 and 64. Contractor Bruce Beckley has been at work the past few weeks, donating labor, with stonework and log staining to be completed, come spring. Three flags will also fly at the site.
The historical tradition of the Hubbard Prairie will be reborn with a horse-drawn sleigh festival, slated for Sunday, Feb. 26 in the village of Hubbard. Organizer Jim Johnson, who's collaborating with Dick Schauer of the Working Horse, hopes to continue the legacy of sleigh rides, hearkening back to the early 1900s. Teamsters and horses are being recruited for the "time travel" event. Plans call for a Sleigh-Away grand parade, with former Minnesota governor (1882-87), notable Civil War veteran and county namesake Lucius Hubbard and his wife serving as grand marshals. Gov.
Mark Sommer has been named district manager of Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District, wife Kelley and kids Oliver, 5, and Karis, 3, purchasing a home just south of Nevis last week. Sommer, who grew up "in a cluster of lakes" in Chisago County, recently gained a master's degree in biology from Bemidji State University.
The Nevis School District approved a $724,703 property tax levy this week, up from this year's $606,821. The board had established a preliminary levy of $631,100 in September that did not take into account the $126 per resident pupil operating levy, which will expire, or the results of the November election, superintendent Steve Rassier explained at the truth in taxation hearing. Voters approved an operating levy of $252 per resident pupil, which will generate an additional $82,905.
The Akeley Council has approved a 19 percent increase in the property tax levy, up approximately $39,000 from the 2011 levy of $202, 343. The breakdown of the $241,448 levy by fund includes $46,325 in the general fund, $750 for the cemetery, $18,500 for fire protection, $4,700 for the fire department's pumper truck, $103,950 for streets, $47,723 for police, $8,000 for special projects and $11,500 for capital improvements. The council heard from members of the community who were concerned with rising taxes.
The Park Rapids Area High School Concert Choir, above, Concert Choraliers and Chamber Singers will perform a holiday concert at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19 in the auditorium, accompanied by Rosalyn Pederson on piano, Deane Johnson on clarinet. The audience will be entertained with the classics, "Joy to the World," "The Coventry Carol," "What Child Is This," "Here We Come A-Caroling" and a "Soulful Hallelujah" among the songs. Sam Goebel and Cole Tretbar will perform a duet. A freewill donation will be accepted at the end to defray the cost of the decorations and music.
In a brief meeting Monday, the Nevis Council adopted a $317,576 budget and final 2012 property tax levy, the $211,962 amount down slightly from this year's amount. By fund, the city will levy $199,113 in the general fund, $73,672 for general government, $51,770 for streets, $47,786 for police and $25,885 for parks.
Jane Melby of Backus is a world champion barrel racer, claiming sixth place in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo competitions held Dec. 1-10 in Las Vegas. Melby, 44, earned top scores in three of the 10 rounds, competing in a field of 15 premier barrel racers from across the U.S. and Canada. "The first buckle was exciting," she said of the ornament awarded to round winners, her first in round three. But the third award held a greater significance. "I was the only one to win three buckles," she reported in a phone interview Monday from Kingman, Ariz.