Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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The blizzard that wasn't left Hubbard County wind, but little snow. "You're not alone," laughed National Weather Service meteorologist Al Voelker. "From right around Sioux Falls into eastern Nebraska and Kansas we had a huge system of thunderstorms and those storms took a lot of moisture from the (your) system. The precipitation band, instead of being widespread, was more confined to a smaller area around the surface low.
The rapidly changing forecast has the Park Rapids area in a weather band that could see 12-18 inches of snow. A blizzard watch has been revised back to a winter storm watch, but National Weather Service officials say that could change in a hurry. Stay tuned to the Enterprise Facebook page for weather updates. Here's the latest forecast. Today: A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 31. East southeast wind between 10 and 13 mph. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. Tonight: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 25.
Hubbard County is on the eastern tip of a large area that could see blizzard conditions Tuesday and Wednesday and the largest snowstorm of the season, bringing a foot of new snow to the area. The National Weather Service in Grand Forks has been swamped with phone calls the last two days so the Enterprise was unable to speak to a meteorologist Monday morning. The area saw nearly 8 inches of snowfall Sunday. The forecast for the Park Rapids area calls for more snow and wind gusts up to 31 mph Tuesday.
Hubbard County, along with most of the north woods region and northern North Dakota, is in a winter storm warning. Heavy snow and light winds are contributing to poor visibility in open areas.
A reserve member of Hubbard County's Board of Adjustment found himself in an awkward conflict of interest Tuesday when he switched sides of the table and unsuccessfully lobbied for an after-the-fact variance at his own resort. Tom Krueger, who substitutes for member Lou Schwindt during the winter months, owns a resort-turned PUD called Sunny Point Estates on 2nd Crow Wing Lake. At Tuesday's monthly meeting, he removed himself from voting, but then represented a homeowner in his development that placed a large storage shed within the ordinary high water mark of the lake and without permissi
Midway through the winter semester the students show up for class engaged, enthusiastic to learn more and especially anxious to put their newfound knowledge into action. Every Thursday morning 15 Hubbard County department heads and two county commissioners attend "Leadership & Introduction to Lean Principles," a class offered by M State. "It really makes you think," said building and grounds superintendent Lee Gwiazdon. The three-hour weekly classes are getting rave reviews from county employees.
In the end the decision came down to "just plain folks." A husband and wife team of designers won the right to oversee the redesign of the county's Law Enforcement Center's second floor to accommodate Hubbard County Social Services offices. Steve and Roz Johnson said they didn't see a problem completing the project within the $800,000 budget the county laid down. Their firm, VJA (Vetter Johnson Architects) of Minneapolis, ousted the other two Minneapolis-area firms that had previous dealings with the county and seemed to have the inside track. But VJA demonstrated a unique and extensiv
Snow-starved Minnesotans could see a weather band that brings another half a foot of white stuff to the Park Rapids area this weekend. "Right now in the Park Rapids area our current forecast calls for somewhere in the neighborhood around 4-6 inches, but that's subject to some more revisions in the next few days," said National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Makowski. "We'll have a better handle on the track of the system," he added.
The county is still recovering from a serious budworm outbreak in its jack pine population that started seven years ago, Hubbard County Land Commissioner Mark Lohmeier told the board last week. He requested an increase in the tax forfeited land apportionment, which the board granted. In 2011, the total proceeds were $353,000 and change.
Hubbard County liquor establishments that flout the law may have to answer to a new sheriff in the land - the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners. Last week Sheriff Cory Aukes asked the board to consider implementing administrative penalties if an establishment breaks the law, a consistent way of dealing with compliance failures. Currently, only clerks and bartenders who break the law are subject to criminal penalties, Aukes said. The establishments as a whole can still have its annual liquor license renewed unless there's been egregious conduct.