Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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A community notification meeting will be held tonight, Thursday, for a Level 3 sex offender who moved to Akeley one month ago. The meeting is at 5 p.m. at City Hall to alert the public to the presence of Joshua Joe Dexter, 30. Dexter, according to the state sex offenders registry, "has a history of sexual contact with juvenile female victims (age 13-14). Contact has included penetration. Offender was known to victims." Dexter is the third Level 3 offender to move to Hubbard County.
Two ATV accidents and a fire kept Hubbard County authorities busy Saturday afternoon. Chief Dep. Scott Parks said one of the ATV accidents, a rollover on Highway 64 north of Akeley, was never located by emergency crews. North Memorial Ambulance personnel pulled onto the side of the highway awaiting directions about 2:15 p.m. Saturday. "I don't know if we ever found that because I don't have any details," Parks said. About 2:30, Parks said the call was canceled. Around 2:45 p.m.
Jackpine Savage, meet Julia Child. This real-life story of a jack-of-all-trades turned Northwoods chocolatier is the tale of Guthrie resident Larry Jensen. The farmer-welder-blacksmith-machinist-pipe fitter-handyman saw opportunity when Ainsworth Lumber Co. idled, then eventually closed its Bemidji plant in October 2008 due to the stagnant home-building economy. Jensen had been there 10 years as a welder.
If you're losing your mind calculating your tax hit under the new homestead exclusion, Minnesota's Department of Revenue is now circulating a new "Tax Exclusion 101" primer. "We now have a document on our website ( www.taxes.state.mn.us ) that is meant to help taxpayers understand the change from the homestead market value credit to the homestead market value exclusion," said DOR employee Jason Nord. "It can be found as a featured link on both the 'Property Tax' page and the 'Property tax administrators" page.'" The following link should get you directly to the document.
Hubbard County Dep. Dan Kruchowski and Oakley did well last week in the 2011 United States Police Canine Association national trials, winning 13th in the nation. Dan and Oakley's 4-man team received top honors in the team competition held in Detroit Lakes, said Sheriff Cory Aukes. "And a member of Dan's team was the National Champion, who happens to be Oakley's brother. He is from the Austin Police Deptartment," Aukes said. "Oakley's first two categories were nearly flawless with scores of 59 out of a possible of 60 and then a 68 out of 70, Aukes added.
A second Level III sex offender will be moving to Park Rapids next month. Mark Anthony Rehm, 27, is due to be released from prison Oct.
Four alleged reports of animal attacks on the Heartland Trail have people on edge, and one victim sounding a warning. Paul Ludwinski ended up in the emergency room of St. Joseph's Area Health Services last Thursday night, Sept. 22, after he was bitten in the calf while walking on the trail. The rural Park Rapids resident figures he'd gone 1.5 miles northeast from the trail's inception in Heartland Park. He was east of County Road 1, he recalls. "These are just vicious dogs out there looking for prey," Ludwinski said. "They were actually hunting, I believe.
The annual pumpkin parties at Carter's Red Wagon Farms in Park Rapids attracted hordes of kids and parents last weekend. The duck pond, complete with real carved pumpkin boats, was a big attraction. Heather Coughlin, 8, of Webster, got pretty good at paddling her pumpkin around the pond. But there was help available for the boaters who were a bit squeamish about riding in the giant gourds. "These are real pumpkins, Grandma!" said 6-year-old Karissa Coughlin. Nineteen-month-old Kaiden Garner got his jollies in a three-foot tunnel. Next year he'll definitely be too tall to run through it.