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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."
The Park Rapids Enterprise's ninth annual Chili Challenge could raise even more money for the Hubbard County Food Pantry than the total of all the $1 votes for best chili recipe. Entrants in the chili contest help raise funds for the food shelf from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 7 at the Park Rapids American Legion. The recipe whose donation jar collects the most dollars wins a framed "People's Choice" Award. All proceeds go toward the food shelf.
Saturday, on a Hubbard County lake whose location is a fisherman's secret, a two- to three-foot layer of ice bridged the gap between veterans whose service spanned more than 70 years. Among the participants in the third annual Walking on Water Outdoors (WOW) ice-fishing event were current armed forces personnel as well as veterans from every branch of service and every decade going back to the 1940s.
Editor's Note: The Feb. 17 article “Town board recesses on CHS zoning request” contained some inaccuracies. The land for which CHS Prairie Lakes is requesting reclassification is currently owned by Todd and Tracy Hughes, not “previously owned” as incorrectly stated in Saturday’s article. Also, the Todd Township Board of Supervisors approved the administrative split and forwarded it to the county for recording. This was not a recommendation and did not require approval by the Hubbard County Board. The Enterprise regrets these errors. The Todd Township Board agreed Monday to recommend a land split, as requested by CHS Prairie Lakes. Pending approval by the county commissioners, the decision would affect an approximately 37-acre agricultural property at the southwest corner of County Road 48 and 129th Avenue, approximately three miles northwest of Park Rapids.