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A suggestion to revamp the procedure for selecting the Park Rapids Area High School student of the month met disagreement from the school board and administration this week, the board concurring the "subjective" process will continue.
The music from the keyboard belies the pig-tailed, incisors-yet-to-arrive grin from the pianist. Her tiny fingers dance across the ivories, delivering a rhapsody of Bach, Chopin, Schumann and more. Classical pianist 7-year-old Emma Taggart will be heading to Italy in mid-July to take part in the Varallo International Music Festival, joining top pianists from the U.S., Mexico, Italy and Japan. She will receive intense, one-on-one instruction from some of the top master pianists in the world. "I'll be back just before my birthday," she reports of her Aug.
The Akeley Council, convening a special meeting Tuesday, agreed to advertise for a part-time law enforcement officer through October, the issue to be revisited in September. Brian Hitchcock had asked the council to consider the measure at last week's meeting, noting the city had budgeted for the position. Mayor Jennifer Mitchell said the need for law enforcement increases in the summer with additional traffic and children out of school. "We need to be clear on the council's expectations" regarding the amount of time spent in the office, Troy Hegg said. "Eric's was 40 hours a week," Den
Meeting in special session Monday, the Nevis School Board accepted the resignation of Jodi Sandmeyer as K-12 principal and agreed to assign her as a high school math teacher, testing coordinator and academic advisor. In a letter to the board, she explained she is starting a family "and would like more time to spend with my child." Sandmeyer began as a math and science instructor in the district in 1994, teaching for eight years until assuming the role as principal. "This is a sad and happy day," board member Sherm Anderson commented. Gary Stennes thanked her for her years of dedicatio
In a record-setting 10-minute meeting, the Nevis Council learned the Fire Relief Association is solvent, approved the liquor store serving drinks Sunday, July 11, for the pig races and Halvorson Beach signs will soon be erected, acknowledging the donation of the property to the city. The previous brevity record was held by former assistant mayor Bev Romer, who conducted city business within a 13-minute timeframe. Firefighter Don Umthun reported the fire department to be self-sufficient, with assets of $214,030 at the end of 2009, accrued liability of $164,410 leaving a surplus of $49,620.
An artists' venue has opened on Main Avenue, Blank Canvas, as the name allegorically implies, holding an ever-evolving display by area talent. The idea for Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center was sparked a year ago when Alan Zemek - attorney, entrepreneur and author - approached artist Bickey Bender on forming a cooperative and using the former armory for exhibitions.
Park Rapids School's stable enrollment is calling for a fifth kindergarten class again this fall, the board approving advertising for an additional teacher. Century assistant principal Jeff Johnson reported since kindergarten round-up, numbers are at 124 students, with an additional six or seven students a possibility. At four sections, there would be 31 per class, with five sections, 25 students. Superintendent Glenn Chiodo concurred. "I think Jeff's right," he told the board.
Following a rash of incidents in the past few months - a bank robbery and house arson among them - the Akeley Council agreed to convene a special meeting Tuesday to discuss hiring a part-time police officer. Council member Brian Hitchcock made the suggestion, following citizen complaints. "We have already charged the community," he said of this year's budget, which included a part-time officer's salary. Police chief Eric Klein resigned in January after being placed on administrative leave. Sheriff's deputies have subsequently patrolled the city. Mayor Jen Mitchell agreed.
The Park Rapids City Council, at the behest of Chamber exec Katie Magozzi, expressed unanimous support for the community's bid to host the 2012 Governor's Fishing Opener. "We're asking for a partner, Magozzi told the council. "The city has done magnificent things for business by partnering with downtown." This partnership, she said, would make additional resources available, adding another level of support. The timing of the opener is a means to capitalize on the city's revitalization, she said, the event to be held at the completion of construction.