Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Five people were injured in a head-on collision Thursday night south of Park Rapids on U.S. Highway 71. The injuries are believed to be serious, emergency personnel said at the scene, but not life-threatening.
In part two of a series about former pastor Darwin Schauer, who is jailed in Hubbard County on 15 charges of criminal sexual conduct, the Enterprise outlines how he returned to serving at a church after previously being sentenced for sex crimes. The first part of the series appeared in the March 31 Enterprise. BY Sarah Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Darwin Schauer reached out to the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod's South District.
Three decades ago, a district judge suggested Darwin Schauer might be too self-righteous to appreciate the seriousness of his fall from grace. Schauer, then principal of a Lutheran elementary school in southern Minnesota, was entering a guilty plea in Nicollet County to having a lengthy sexual relationship with a teenager that started when the victim was in second grade. Schauer was angry, according to 1983 court transcripts, incensed that authorities had come into his home and hauled him off to jail in front of his family. He thought he'd been "stereotyped" as a sexual pervert.
A group of residents living on a scenic drive of Lake Belle Taine's south shore is organizing a "save the trees" campaign to get a power company to bury lines along the route, rather than felling hundreds of trees. Homeowners on County Road 80 were notified recently by Itasca Mantrap Co-op that the electric company would need to trim trees and vegetation along the residential side of the roadway due to safety concerns of the mature trees growing into the power lines. "We're just devastated," said Terry Saxton, who received notice.
Hubbard County Land Commissioner Mark Lohmeier said Monday he would re-evaluate the county's position and look into improving summer timber sales. His comments come in the wake of a protracted discussion by the county board last week over whether to ramp up the county's summer logging. The issue came up when a small logging firm requested a hardship extension of their winter contract. The county is catching heat from loggers and wood plants of a scarcity of good quality wood and a steady supply of that wood. Lohmeier disputed a story in last week's Enterprise that all of the contracts
A Minnetonka woman was transported to the Park Rapids hospital Friday evening after losing control of her car and rolling at a rural intersection. Molly Condon, 46, was suffering from head and arm injuries not believed to be life-threatening, said the State Patrol. The accident report states Condon was westbound on Highway 87 and missed the curve at County Road 20. The 2005 Honda Civic "slid into the right ditch as it attempted to make the corner, went off the right shoulder striking a stop sign and rolling over," the report narrative states. Emergency crews removed Condon from the car.
One week after a fatal Minneapolis fire a Nevis graduate remains in critical but stable condition. Sadie Norlin, 27, is hospitalized at Hennepin County Medical Center, being treated for smoke inhalation. The 2002 Nevis High School graduate is the daughter of Steve and Betty Norlin of Park Rapids. Betty Norlin said doctors believe they have removed most of the soot from her daughter's lungs but her long-term prognosis remains guarded. She remains on a ventilator. Her roommate, 25-year-old Adam Briesemeister, died of apparent smoke inhalation.
A former Hubbard County dispatcher/jailer was sentenced to 15 days in jail, ordered to make $3,000 in restitution and will be on probation for 10 years after pleading guilty to depleting her ex-husband's bank account. Lana-Jo Lynn O'Bannon, 44, who now goes by the name of Lana Johnson, pled guilty last month to a felony charge of Financial Transaction Card Fraud in Hubbard County District Court.
Hubbard County's proposed mini-truck ordinance allowing the small pickups on county and township roads has been tabled. The board was on the verge of approving the ordinance, but Minnesota's Legislature now has three separate but similar bills going through the House side that may be headed for an omnibus transportation bill. County officials said Wednesday they don't want a new ordinance superceded by a state law passed a few months later. One bill would renew current state law by allowing counties to allow the trucks, but still outlaw them on state highways.
A city redistricting plan could prompt the county to do the same, in turn forcing one or two commissioners to run for re-election in an off year. Park Rapids' two precincts may shift the county commission district populations enough to require a redrawing of boundaries, which county officials didn't think would be necessary after the 2010 Census. And it's possible commissioners Greg Larson and Kathy Grell could be on the fall ballot, along with Dick Devine and Cal Johannsen, who were already slated to run. Districts 2 and 4 have elections during presidential election years.