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A grove of avocado trees is sprouting in Brownstown, Jamaica, thanks to the work of an Akeley-based Jamaican Mission Team. Five youth and five adults from Akeley United Methodist were off to the Caribbean island in early June. The trip was under the umbrella of Operation Compassion Ministry, four or five teams within the state's Methodist conference heading down to island nation of the Greater Antilles each year. But this team was on a unique mission: prepare the ground and plant an avocado orchard.
The Hubbard County Food Shelf is asking residents to "Open Your Heart" - and pocketbooks - to assist with a fundraising challenge in July. The food shelf is participating in a $100,000 challenge grant via Open Your Heart, a nonprofit organization with a mission to assist the hungry and homeless in Minnesota. The donations collected in July will proportionally match the challenge funds. "The more money collected, the more the grant will be," explained food shelf director Dave Long.
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Fred Higgins will serve as this year's grand marshal in Park Rapids' Independence Day parade. Higgins served in World War II from April 1941 to December 1945, fighting in Tarawa, the Gilbert Islands and Okinawa. He went on to serve in the Korean War from August 1950 to August 1951.
The main trail (Highway 34) through Akeley may be in disarray, but that did not dispel the merriment of the 63rd annual Paul Bunyan Days. The weather smiled on the classic event entertaining all ages. Uncle Sam's Sweethearts, from left, Morgan Monroe, 4, Taylor Monroe, 2, and Carolynn Geimer, 2, prepare to embark on the kiddie parade.
Park Rapids School District business manager Carol Hutchinson reported "slightly improved fund balances in all funds," for the 2010-11 school year at this week's board meeting. But from an historical perspective, this is an understatement. The projected general fund balance of $1,630,552 as of June 30 is up $430,554 or 36 percent from the previous year. The numbers won't be final until auditors complete their report later this summer, Hutchinson said, but she anticipates "an improved financial condition" for the district.
Take a brief bypass off the main thoroughfare to discover "The simple truth: Great coffee." Espresso 34 has opened on Highway 34 east, offering something for all ages and tastes, hot or cold, espresso or Smoothies...the possibilities are endless. Brian and Kathy Gray, in partnership with son and daughter-in-law Shawn and Carmen, have opened the "coffee shop." Espresso takes the classic cup of java to new heights. By definition, espresso is a concentrated beverage brewed by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee.
Pine Point School students will be heading back to the classroom Monday, Aug. 1 this year and continuing their education routine until mid-June 2012. The small, rural K-8 school is implementing a Flexible Learning Program, calling for 45 days in school followed by a 15-day "vacation" schedule to boost academic success. The school learned of the Minnesota Department of Education's approval earlier this month.
Akeley's water main reconstruction project on Highway 34 is ahead of schedule, with a hoped for completion date of July 4, according to Short Elliot Hendrickson project engineer Greg Kimman. The contractual completion date is July 15. But Kimman urged patience. "Mother nature can cause havoc." Meanwhile, Highway 34 from Pleasant to Hulet will be closed to through traffic, with parking allowed on side streets only.