Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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A Park Rapids man pled guilty to three of seven charges Monday in connection with the sexual abuse of a teenager over a lengthy period of time. About 10 family members attended the plea hearing. Andrew Clair Tracy, 47, was charged with numerous acts of inappropriate behavior with the teen from 2010 until May 2011, when a Hubbard County social worker reported the conduct.
Whether escalating gas prices will affect Hubbard County's summer tourism is unknown, but as more consumers scream over prices at the pump, the dollars per gallon issue is becoming a political hot potato in an election year. "Certainly everybody has a budget that they work on and with what we've seen in the past, it's hard to say if we'll see it today, any additional expenses cut into your overall discretionary spending," said Katie Magozzi, executive director of the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. As tensions with Syria and Iran continue, gas prices have seemingly jumped a dim
A Hermantown man has agreed to make more than $17,000 in restitution to numerous people who pre-paid for vacations at a northern Hubbard County resort that closed. Christopher Lee Dunker, 29, pleaded guilty in Hubbard County District Court Monday to theft, for taking guest deposits meant for Big Wolf Resort last spring. Big Wolf Resort in northeastern Hubbard County advertised on its website for summer rentals while it was being foreclosed on. When Hubbard County launched its investigation, the website urged guests to pay in full up front to receive a discount. Dunker actually entered
A man charged in a botched suicide attempt Dec. 27 in which two local officers were injured is to undergo a mental evaluation. "He's competent now," said public defender Jennifer Nelson of her client, Bradley James Ellison, 52. "I don't believe he was competent at the time of the offense," she told Judge Robert Tiffany last week.
"I just love Park Rapids." With that sentiment, Cavalier, N.D., businessman Bert Olson embarked on another venture in his adopted Minnesota town. Olson recently purchased the Red Bridge Inn and hopes to have it operating as a bed and breakfast by sometime this summer. Monday night the Park Rapids Planning Commission gave approval for the plan. The Conditional Use Permit now heads to the Park Rapids City Council for final approval. The inn has been closed since 2010. It is in an area zoned for commercial use.
Martha Vaerst waited until she'd attained just the right age of senior citizenship before moving into assisted living last July. She was 99. Sunday she returned to her hometown to celebrate her 100th birthday in near blizzard conditions. She and eight family members came up to Park Rapids the day before. "It's great to be here," she said, looking around the parish hall at Trinity Church filled with food, well-wishers and a pastel birthday cake almost as large as its recipient, topped by two "Happy 50th birthday" balloons.
Osage residents put on their games faces and moved the Dorothy Noeske Memorial Bluegill and Crappie Fishing Derby indoors due to a snowstorm. Would-be anglers packed the Osage Community Center, munching on hot dogs, hand-baked goodies and participating in the prize giveaways. This was the 25th annual event under the tournament named for Dorothy Noeske.
An amended complaint in the case of a Laporte man who had his pit bulls attack a Hubbard County deputy sheds light on the reason why the suspect fled - and how he may be funding his defense costs. Jesse James Johnson, 30, was arrested Feb. 8 following a high-speed pursuit that went down county roads and the Paul Bunyan Hiking Trail at speeds over 80 mph. Johnson's charges were upgraded last week to include a charge of 3rd Degree Assault, for allegedly inflicting "substantial bodily harm" to Dep. Dan May.
The long career of an esteemed Park Rapids surveyor came to a close Monday in Hubbard County District Court. Thomas Michael Miller, 65, pleaded guilty to one count of computer theft, for taking his old employer's records when he quit. As part of a civil suit settled last month, he agreed to relinquish his survey practice locally for 10 years. Miller was a longtime employee of a local surveying firm that was acquired in 2007 by Arro Surveying, which is based in Walker.
The fur was flying Saturday at Angie's Groom 'N Board and will be all this week. An overwhelming response to owner Angie Walther's charitable dog wash resulted in a steady parade of mutts, purebreds, pound puppies and dogs the size of mini horses barking their way in and out the door. It was supposed to be a one-day dog wash fundraiser for Headwaters Animal Shelter. "The response was so overwhelming we took appointments all through the next week through Saturday," Walther said. "It's a cause near and dear to my heart." To date, 80 baths have been booked.