Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Brian Halik shudders to think what might have happened if he hadn't gone bowling Tuesday night. After arriving home, he heard his fireplace crackling. Only it wasn't the fireplace. It was the walls of his Lake Peysenske home. The fireplace had ignited them. Three-dozen firefighters and trucks from Park Rapids and Nevis descended on the home at 12:25 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures were 20 below zero with wind chills nearly 40 below. The home, at the intersection of Evening Drive and Evening Lane in south central Hubbard County, was totally engulfed.
A faulty electrical baseboard heater is being looked at as the cause of the December fire that destroyed much of the Whitetail Tavern on Highway 34. And owner Mike Erickson said he's still not sure if the restaurant and tavern will be rebuilt.
A Guthrie man who pled guilty to growing marijuana will spend eight days in jail and 180 hours building homes for charity. Perry Raymond Eddy, 51, was found to have 200 growing marijuana plants at two locations in northeast Hubbard County. Judge Paul Rasmussen sentenced Eddy Monday to 10 days in jail with credit for two days served and 180 hours of community service, which Eddy will spend at Habitat for Humanity. The organization builds homes for needy residents. Sentencing will be stayed for five years while Eddy remains on probation. He was arrested last fall.
An irrigation clinic Thursday in Park Rapids illustrated how far beyond a sprinkler system the practice has evolved. Irrigators learned about global markets, maximizing yield, protecting water resources, minimizing adverse impact on the environment, how to leverage crop insurance and how to survive in the volatile futures market. The long and short of it is that agriculture is a booming business that farmers can thrive in, provided they use technology to their advantage. "You have to keep up on everything going on," said Wes Benjamin, a Hubbard County organic farmer voted Irrigator of th
Platoons of firefighters and trucks battled a Peysenske Lake blaze in sub-zero conditions early Wednesday morning. The home, at the intersection of Evening Drive and Evening Lane in south central Hubbard County, was a total loss. "Everybody got out safely," said Hubbard County Sgt. Shane Plautz. "They even got the pets out." The call at the Brian Halik home came in around 12:25 a.m. as a chimney fire, said Hubbard County Chief Dep. Scott Parks.
A decision in a recent court challenge to Hubbard County property valuations may give homeowners pause before they race to the courthouse. A Stillwater attorney with a summer home on Spider Lake said he is still deciding whether to appeal the local court decision ruling against him in a challenge of his property's valuations. "It's a very anomalous decision," said Duane E. Arndt of the Jan. 14 court ruling that significantly raised his estimated market value and property taxes two out of three years. "Well, it raises the assessments when assessments were going down.
Hubbard County authorities are taking a look at a "cold case" to see if they can help a Sebeka woman learn how her 19-year-old brother died in 1973. Sidney Eugene Berthelot Jr, 19, mysteriously left his senior class of 1973 in Park Rapids to move to Mississippi mid-year. He was a handsome kid who attracted women and trouble, his sister said. Like most kids in the 70s, he experimented with drugs and alcohol.
In 1973 a rural Park Rapids teen was found dead on Highway 71 near Four Mile Corner. The supposed hit-and-run accident was never solved. Accusations of cover-ups and dirty dealings by the cops followed. Some believe Sidney Eugene Berthelot Jr., 19, was murdered, especially his sister. Others say he was the victim of an accident at a party and was dumped on the highway to cover it up. No one is really sure. Hubbard County authorities agreed to give the case a fresh look to see if they can provide some closure to the family. Read about the mystery in Saturday's Park Rapids Enterpri
A Bloomington man has also been charged in a big game poaching case in which conservation officers discovered pot growing on leased hunting land in Hubbard County. Dennis Michael Cook, 61, faces four charges in connection with the game violations near Badoura State Forest, and a Third Degree Controlled Substance Crime. Cook and Stephen Donald Battin, 60, Big Lake, are charged with growing 42 pounds of marijuana at their hunting camp site. The investigation into the game violations began in October when CO Sam Hunter requested a DNR plane to take her up in the air to look into a tip that