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Plans to build a convenience store at the northwest corner of Highways 34 and 71 took a few steps forward this week. The Park Rapids Planning Commission had a special meeting Monday, including two public hearings.
Lou Schultz of Park Rapids, author of the Enterprise's "Basic Cents" business column, returned home Monday from a two-day Veterans Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. with memories of a moving experience. "This was surprising to me," he said. "It was not the things we saw; it was the people we experienced that stand out. The people were wonderful."
A new "pop-up pantry" plans to have its first distribution Wednesday, May 23 at the Laporte School. Ruby's Pantry is a faith-based volunteer organization with approximately 67 locations across rural Minnesota and western Wisconsin. There are already Ruby's Pantry distributions monthly in Menahga, Detroit Lakes and Bemidji. The new site, sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church in Laporte, will be on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Doors open for registration at 3:30 p.m. and the distribution will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
In addition to tourists, fishermen and seasonal residents, warm spring weather brings questions about why fuel often seems to cost more in Park Rapids than the next market up or down the highway. Gas prices change daily and differ from one town, county or state to the next. The AAA auto club has a website (gasprices.aaa.com) where travelers can compare nationwide, statewide, countywide and metro-area average prices of different grades of fuel, plus a fuel price calculator for trips between different metro areas.
The Park Rapids Parks Board on Monday discussed putting finishing touches on the improvements in Pioneer Park. Public facilities superintendent Chris Fieldsend reported construction of the park's restrooms is substantially complete and a temporary occupancy certificate has been issued. Features yet to be installed include signage, automatic doors, a fence, and landscaping in the adjacent area of the park. Soap dispensers and similar equipment are currently on order. Fieldsend said the restrooms have been in use, but currently have to be manually locked and unlocked.
Two hearings on Thursday night marked progress in CHS Prairie Lakes' plan to build a new agronomy facility in Todd Township. At both hearings, CHS requests were questioned by residents of the area near Portage Lake, but township officials recommended approval. The Starbuck-based agricultural service firm, which has operated a facility for 50 years in the city of Park Rapids, hopes to store fertilizer, feed and seed on a 27.8-acre property at the southwest corner of County Road 48 and County Road 28.
Pete Stauber, a St. Louis County commissioner running for Congress in Minnesota's 8th District, received the Republican Party's endorsement by acclamation Saturday in Park Rapids.