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A Christmas Eve flight in 1964 that was chosen to alert the world that Santa's sleigh was heading from the North Pole to the U.S. was the most memorable experience for B-52 bomber crew member Archie Henderson during his 23-year military career. Now 88 years old, Henderson of rural Osage joined the Air Force in 1947 and was called to active duty in 1951.
Christmas goodies are part of what makes the season special. The aroma of cookies coming out of the oven in a cozy kitchen brings people together to sample the goodies and spend time together over a cup of hot tea or coffee. My mom, Elsie, always welcomes everyone in the family home with a good supply of treats. My niece, Noelani, is a college freshman this year and will receive a "Grandma care package" of her favorite mint brownies and snowballs before finals, a treat she has been enjoying on every visit to North Dakota since she was a small child.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be greeting visitors from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bella Caffe on Third Street in Park Rapids on Dec. 9, 16 and 23. Weather permitting, Santa's sleigh will be parked outside. Coats will be needed for any outdoor photos this weekend—unlike last Saturday when balmy weather made it possible for Avery Oyster, 5, and Addison Oyster, 3, of Menahga to pose in their Christmas dresses.
A "Mitten Tree" in the lobby of the Park Rapids Enterprise will help keep little fingers warm this winter. Area residents are invited to stop by and hang a warm pair of mittens or gloves to help decorate the tree and share the spirit of giving this holiday season. Mahube-Otwa Head Start and Century Elementary School will receive the mittens in January and distribute them to children who need them. Sizes infant to children's size 6 are desired. Office hours at the Enterprise are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays.
The need for quality, affordable child care in the Park Rapids area is important not only to parents, but to business owners as well. "Affordable, quality child care is a key factor in having productive employees and youth that are ready to enter the workforce," Business Development Specialist Jessica Beyer of First Children's Finance told business and community leaders who met to address the issue Thursday. The meeting was the first of three work sessions designed to bring various groups together to brainstorm ideas to meet local child care needs.
Money raised through the Radiothon to End Child Abuse will stay in Hubbard County to help prevent abuse as well as help children who have been abused receive help. Jennifer Therkilsen is a member of the Hubbard County Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC). She said that, according to statistics from Hubbard County, 644 child protection reports were received in 2016 and 329 of them met criteria for investigation or assessment.
One hundred little, blue signs are reminders of the importance of kindness. They are located on street corners and yards in Park Rapids, Nevis, Walker, Wolf Lake, Detroit Lakes and Frazee. The signs were placed by volunteers from the violence prevention program at CHI St. Joseph's Health.
The Nevis School audit showed a decrease in the unassigned fund balance of 4 percent, mostly due to approximately $500,000 in major capital outlays for the girls locker room renovation and work on the gym floor and roof due to issues with water damage that were not covered by insurance. These one-time expenses brought the unassigned fund balance to 17 percent in 2016-2017 compared with 21 percent in the 2015-2016 audit.
"Snow Days" may be a thing of the past at Nevis School if a proposal for "E-Days" is approved. "E-Days," also known as Electronic Learning Days, is a program where teachers put all their assignments online so students can do the work from home when it is not safe to bus them to school. These days count as student contact days and do not have to be made up in the spring.
The Park Rapids Classic Chorale presents its annual Christmas concert, a beloved tradition for many in the area. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 at St. John's Lutheran Church on Hwy. 34 in Park Rapids. Under the leadership of director Melanie Hanson and accompanied by pianist Cheryl Steinborn, the chorale will sing a variety of familiar and classical choral works. Selections include the peaceful lullaby "Candlelight Carol," along with more lively pieces.