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Local law enforcement is investigating a "non-direct threat of violence toward the school" that was found Wednesday morning in graffiti at Century Middle School. School parents were notified by telephone of the incident. In a recorded message, Superintendent Lance Bagstad announced, "We are working with local law enforcement to further investigate the situation and feel that there is no danger to students and staff." In a phone interview, Bagstad confirmed the circumstances were very similar to a previous incident.
Is the winter of 2017-18 still on track to be Minnesota's deadliest winter on the ice in years? A Dec. 19, 2017 Forum News Service story by Brooks Johnson claimed it was, after a spate of five ATV or snowmobile deaths in less than a month — two in Beltrami County and one each in Hubbard, Itasca, and Crow Wing counties.
Editor's note: This is the second article in a two-part series. In the first article, local corrections personnel discussed the impact of addiction on the criminal justice system, particularly regarding recidivism rates for drug crimes and driving while intoxicated (DWI), and how educational and therapeutic programming has already helped reduce recidivism overall. In this article, they share another possible solution. The case seems clear: Repeat offenders with a long record of probation violations reveal cracks in the criminal justice system.
Editor's note: This is the first part of a two-part story, in which local corrections personnel discuss the impact of addiction on the criminal justice system. Read about a proposed solution to the problem of drug and DWI offenders' recidivism in the next issue of the Enterprise.
A group of Park Rapids Area High School students joined a nationwide student walkout Wednesday to protest gun violence and other issues affecting school safety. The protest was pointedly planned to last exactly 17 minutes, in honor of the 17 victims of the mass shooting Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Another 17 people were wounded before gunman Nikolas Jacob Cruz, 17, dropped his gun and walked out of the building. Cruz was later taken into custody and faces 17 counts each of premeditated murder and attempted murder.
The Todd Township Board voted Thursday night to grant a request by CHS Prairie Lakes, LLC, to reclassify part of a 27-acre parcel northwest of Park Rapids from agricultural to commercial zoning. Five acres of the parcel, which the board agreed Feb.16 to split from a 37-acre farm owned by Todd and Tracy Hughes, were already zoned for commercial use. The land is situated at the southwest corner of County Road 48 and 129th Avenue, recently designated as a truck bypass route, and is a short distance from U.S. Highway 71, Fishhook Lake and Portage Lake.
More than 60 residents answered an invitation to hear Akeley Police Chief Jimmy Hansen and other law enforcement officers discuss how they are addressing the epidemic of drugs and drug crime in Hubbard County. They gathered Saturday evening in the Akeley Regional Community Center for two hours of information, many questions, and even some answers. "It isn't just an Akeley issue," Hansen said. "It isn't just a Hubbard County issue."
The Park Rapids City Council approved a resolution Tuesday, Feb. 27 to accept an engineering report from Apex Engineering Group and set a public hearing about a major street and utility project planned for 2019. Scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 in the public library's basement meeting room is a public hearing about a set of city street, water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, sidewalk and lighting improvements growing out of the Minnesota Department of Transportation's (MnDOT) Trunk Highway 71 (TH71) improvement project.
Kelly Kimball has personally seen four generations of his family operating logging and lumber businesses, going back to his grandfather Brad Kimball, who operated in the Akeley area, and his father Ben, who set up shop in the Osage area. Now two of Kelly's three adult sons, Justin and Zach, work for Kimball Logging, Inc., which Kelly started in 1978 with his brothers, Ben and Terry. His third son, Cory, works for the Department of Natural Resources forestry office in Detroit Lakes, setting up timber sales.
Dion Pederson of Park Rapids has been named the Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) trooper of the year. Pederson, an accident reconstruction specialist and academy instructor whose career as a trooper started in 1997, received the award Feb. 14. It recognized his service during 2017. An announcement about the award on the MSP's website said, "It has been more than 20 years since Dion Pederson became a Minnesota State Patrol trooper. Yet, year after year, he continues leaving an agency in a better place than the year before."