Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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As the race for Hubbard County Sheriff enters its final month, both candidates admit to some mix of both fatigue and euphoria. It has been a hard fought, expensive campaign for both Frank Homer, the temporary incumbent, and Sgt. Cory Aukes. Aukes got a head start, blanketing the county with signs even before the primaries.
Little Ayden Homer still hasn't gotten the hang of campaigning with his grandpa. He's a trooper when it comes to throwing out candy at parades, but that doesn't stop him from being frisked at the end of the parade route. "We've found plenty of candy in his pockets by the end of the parade," says grandpa and Sheriff Frank Homer, laughing at the temptation.
The former owner of a Park Rapids glass company has been arraigned in two counties on firebombing charges in what authorities have characterized as long-simmering grudges against his ex-wife and his former workplace. Leon Dewaine Jenkauski, 50, appeared Monday in Hubbard County District Court on felony charges of arson and manufacturing an incendiary or explosive device. He was arraigned last week in Cass County on similar charges. Jenkauski owns a Bemidji glass company called Pane Relief. On May 20 Park Rapids police officers responded to Belle Taine Glass on Highway 34 after someone
Ty and Kate Aukes were right alongside dad Cory last spring to start putting up the campaign signs. They've attended parades, forums and open houses. They even dunked Sheriff Frank Homer at a departmental open house last summer, then gave Aukes a high five afterward. They're typical kids, 8 and 6, who still have time to be kids on the campaign trail.
A 17-year-old boy was taken to the Park Rapids emergency room Sunday afternoon after striking a bear cub on his ATV near Two Inlets. Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said DNR officers responded to the crash. The victim was traveling in a group of four juveniles, all from the St. Michael area, when one hit the cub on the Hungry Man trail. Gordon said all the boys were wearing helmets. The victim's father brought the boy to St. Joseph's Area Health Services.
An elderly man was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph's Area Health Service following a one-car rollover on Highway 34 in Park Rapids. The accident, near Thielen Motors, occurred when the westbound vehicle struck a light pole after going over the curb, then rolled. The accident occurred about 3:30 p.m. Thielen sales consultant Brent Trauger was on the scene just as the vehicle tipped up on its side. "He may have had a medical condition," Trauger speculated.
A Bemidji man has been charged in a Molotov cocktail incident involving a Park Rapids business. Leon Jenkauski, 59, faces a charge of arson in the incident in May in which a burning bottle was thrown through a side window of the business on Highway 34. It was unclear this weekend if he had been charged in a similar incident at a Walker business almost two years ago. Jenkauski has been involved in at least three legal incidents with Belle Taine Glass, one as a defendant and two as a plaintiff suing the company he formerly worked at.
Hubbard County commissioners voted Wednesday to spend $35,000 annually in a program that would seek matching state and federal funds to raise the salaries of Heritage Living Center employees. The Equitable Cost Sharing for Publicly Owned Nursing Facilities bill passed by the 2010 Minnesota Legislature begins Jan. 1, 2011 and runs 57 months. It would match a county share of funds once with state monies and again with federal funds. Seventy-five percent of the tripled funds are to be spent for employee wages and benefits. The remainder would go toward operation of the care center.
A partisan crowd listened to a Minnesota District 2/2B senate and house forum Tuesday evening, cheering and heckling the candidates. The fair-haired candidate, judging from the applause, was District 2B GOP challenger Dave Hancock, a one-time schoolteacher and a business owner in Bemidji. The not-so-fair haired candidates, by the same measure, were DFL Sen. Rod Skoe of Clearbrook and DFL Rep.
A standing room only crowd packed the Hubbard County boardroom Tuesday to better acquaint themselves with candidates running for key county offices. As the race for sheriff and county attorney heat up, incumbents and challengers are working hard to distinguish themselves from each other - and their predecessors. And as it did in the first League of Women Voters forum last week, it essentially boils down to youthful energy versus experience. n County Attorney candidate Nathaniel Welte hammered hard on incumbent Don Dearstyne's record, claiming the office is pleading down or dismissing too