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In spite of what one spectator described as the "shaking, shivering cold" on Lake Itasca, carloads of spectators arrived to watch members of the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers group keeps the tradition of ice harvesting alive. A total of 131 people attended the demonstration, some staying for only a few minutes while others, who were more warmly dressed, remained on the ice for over an hour.
Akeley's position on the Red River Event Center's off-sale liquor store application is the hot topic of a special meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 at city hall. A license application that was signed off by the county without prior approval by the city and called "illegal" by city attorney Steve Bolton was the topic of heated discussion at Wednesday's council meeting.
The sport of hok skiing is popular in European countries as well as at mountain resorts, but is new to many Minnesotans. There will be an opportunity to try the hok ski, which provides the advantages of both a snowshoe and a cross-country ski, at a free event from noon to 3:30 p.m. this Saturday at Shingobee. Hok, pronounced "hawk", is the word for "ski" in the Altai Mountains of Siberia where the inspiration for the design was born.
It's Valentine's Day, and many area couples will be doing something special to celebrate their love. Among them are two couples from Park Rapids who have been married more than 60 years. Faith that bonds Audrey and Bill Harsha of Park Rapids credit their faith in God for making their 70-year marriage a good one. They start each day by reading their Bibles and devotion books. Their first date was at the roller skating rink in a 4-H building at the county fairgrounds when they both were in high school.
Nevis School was among those participating in this year's "Give Kids A Smile" campaign, with 81 children receiving dental screenings and fluoride from CHI St. Joseph's Community Dental Clinic in Park Rapids. Dental therapist Lindsey Tischer, dental assistants Julene Reichling and Carin Arvik, and dental hygienist and clinic manager Melissa Fogarty all went to Nevis School to spend the day promoting dental health.
Events like this weekend's American Legion Ice Fishing Contest bring more than anglers to town, they bring dollars, but who benefits from the extra income depends on the event. Area motels were full last weekend between the snowmobile race and the hockey tournament, but are not reporting a big influx for the fishing derby. Motels benefit from two-day events "It doesn't put a lot of heads in beds," general manager Gail Lockram of AmericInn said when asked if the fishing derby helps their business.
Bonding with Head Start students at Pine Point School involves frosting, sprinkles and a group of ladies known as the "Gingerbread Grandmas." They have been making the trip from Park Rapids and Nevis to the White Earth Reservation for over a year. Their first baking project was making gingerbread cookies last December. In January, when the ladies returned to bake bread with the children, a girl met them at the door with a big smile and said "Hi, Gingerbread Grandmas!" and the nickname stuck.
A group of friends spent the weekend winter camping at Itasca State Park and had a good time, even when night time temperature dipped to 20 below zero. Four members of the group have been winter camping for 10 years. Eileen LaFontaine (Minneapolis), Beth Kodluboy (Minneapolis), Dawn Voelker (Des Moines, Iowa) and Corey Davis (St. Louis Park) have winter camped in an impressive array of locations, including their first year when they visited Yellowstone National Park where they saw bison and elk along with the Trail of Tears.
The widespread, nationwide flu outbreak is impacting the Park Rapids area, and precautions are being taken to prevent its spread. According to Infection Prevention Specialist Wendy Gulliksrud at CHI St. Joseph's Health in Park Rapids, there have been 28 positive cases of influenza in the past month and eight of those (28.5 percent) have led to hospitalization. Most of the patients were first seen in the emergency room, with 10 of the 28 cases reported in just the past week.
Laporte teacher Amy Mastin has a passion for connecting her students with growing healthy food. She started a community garden at the school in the spring of 2015 when she was teaching fifth graders and now is exploring the concept of a school greenhouse. Her efforts have earned her the 2018 Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher Award. She will now be in the running for the national award.