The Park Rapids Area School District's Play And Learn School (PALS) was recently accepted into the state voluntary pre-kindergarten program through the Minnesota Department of Education. Voluntary pre-K was established by Governor Mark Dayton and the 2016 Minnesota Legislature for the purpose to better prepare children to succeed in kindergarten. The funding allows school districts and charter schools with recognized early learning programs to incorporate a voluntary pre-K program into their systems, tuition free for students.
Editor's note: A portion of this story was inadvertently omitted from the Saturday, Feb. 25 edition of the Enterprise and we are running the full story here in its entirety. Deputy Brian Halbasch provided the Hubbard County Commissioners with an Emergency Management update at the regular board meeting last week. He explained that he had attended the 2017 Governor's Conference, which is a requirement to receive grants.
After much discussion, the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners approved the request of Hubbard County Attorney Donovan Dearstyne to hire a fourth attorney for the county. At the Feb. 7 board meeting, the County Attorney's Office provided the commissioners with a prosecution caseload study done in 2015, as well as the 2016 case numbers and information regarding external technology changes. Dearstyne believed these studies reflect the need for additional duties of clerical staff, which were hired last year, and an increased need for a fourth county attorney as well.
Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes informed the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners at Tuesday's meeting that at a recent work session the commissioners were presented with inaccurate numbers in regards to the amount of part time pay within the sheriff's department. Aukes expressed interest in creating two full time jailer positions and promoting within.
Walking on Water Outdoors (W.O.W.) hosted its 2nd Annual Veteran's Event on Mantrap Lake, where the temperatures on Saturday were mild and the sun was shining, making it an ideal day to be out on the lake. The ministry, which exists to serve the community by offering events centered around fishing and hunting, organized the event to take veterans and active duty military out to fish. Tim Schmid, the event coordinator, reported they had more than double the amount of veterans out on the ice this year as compared to last year.
The Park Rapids American Legion donated a total of $4,000 to the Park Rapids Clay Dusters trapshooting team; $2,000 of that donation was awarded to the team for having the highest ticket sales for the 19th Annual Park Rapids American Legion Fishing Derby.
Nevis Mayor Jarod Senger swore in Council Members Jeanne Thompson and Susan Gray at the regular city council meeting on Monday. After approving the agenda, Senger questioned moving forward with plans regarding the painting of the water tower and if any progress had been made. Public Works Supervisor Don Umthun informed the council that he had spoken with Maguire Iron, Inc. who were contracted to clean, inspect and paint the water tower within the year 2017.
Itasca State Park and the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers (LIRPF) have an educational partnership. Each year, the volunteers come to the park and either demonstrate old-time logging or they host an ice harvest demonstration, which they did last year. On Saturday, the old-time logging demonstration was held outside of the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. The logs that they took out were not cut down for the demonstration, but rather the result of the windstorm that hit the park on July 21, 2016 which caused severe damage to many trees throughout the park.
Skijoring is a sport gaining popularity in recent years all over the world, including here in Park Rapids, in which a dog assists a cross-country skier along snow covered trails. Angie Walther, owner of Angie's Groom 'N Board, first began skijoring recreationally over 15 years ago with her dogs, Madison and Sureena, whom she adopted from the Headwaters Animal Shelter. Over the years, Walther also skied with her dog, Tawny, before the dog passed away from cancer, and now she skis with Rain, whom she rescued from euthanization.
The 19th Annual Park Rapids American Legion Fishing Derby, held Saturday on Fish Hook Lake, drew anglers from all over the country. "It's insanity," Bonnie Moore, of Park Rapids, said about her brother-in-law making the trip from Florida, leaving behind warmer climates to participate in the derby. "But, now I can say I've walked on water," was his reply. According to Jerry Benham, attendance was up from last year with 3,438 tickets sold and 2,500 anglers on the ice. "Everything went so smooth," he said. "It was our smoothest year ever."