Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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PrimeWest Health, a health and social services provider network spanning 13 counties including Hubbard, may be ready to take a larger step into the health care arena - offering health insurance. That was the announcement by Hubbard County commissioner Kathy Grell, who serves on the PrimeWest board. Grell said the network is efficient at delivering providers to the consortium, and would likely do well in the insurance game. PrimeWest officials could not be reached in time for publication for a comment. Hubbard County bought into PrimeWest several years ago and is considered a part owner
Money, eldercare and privacy rights clashed Wednesday in the Hubbard County boardroom when new legislation on screening seniors for assisted living facilities turned into an imbroglio. Commissioner Dick Devine said he'd heard that when seniors recently called the Senior Linkage Line they were asked probing questions about their finances in order to get an access code number to move to an assisted living facility. A new law went into effect Oct.
The calcified zebra mussel Charlie Kellner keeps at his boat business in Park Rapids is more evidence that the invasive species war is at the doorstep and the north woods may be powerless to stall its onslaught. Service technician John Walen recently worked on a boat that came out of Lake Minnetonka for winter storage, slated for a spring launch on Fish Hook Lake. This particular boat was carrying unwelcome hitchhikers, concealed underneath a plate holding the lower shaft of the motor together. "It never hit the lake," Kellner said.
Closing two large area businesses in recent years dropped the tonnage of municipal solid waste going to Hubbard County's transfer stations. Along with it went the corresponding income. Potlatch and Pamida kept a steady flow of waste and funds moving along. The waste stream continues to flow these days, but it's a free ride for waste haulers, solid waste superintendent Vern Massie informed the Hubbard County board Wednesday, leaving his department in dire need of a cash infusion. "Right now we're $100,000 in the hole but we need to borrow," Massie said.
It seems a convicted sex offender had tired of his wayward life and was contemplating making amends when he was re-arrested earlier this month. Joshua Joe Dexter, 30, was recently the subject of a public meeting to alert Akeley to his move there as a Level 3 sex offender. Dexter's troubled past consists of a litany of convictions for various crimes, mostly for alcohol-related and traffic offenses. But a 2000 conviction for Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 3rd Degree is what earned him the lifetime label as a serious sex offender. A woman who refused to identify herself attended the pub
Hubbard County Board of Adjustment members are beginning to feel the strain of making the close calls on lakeshore development. Board members are pausing longer to suggest a course of action, trying to hammer out more compromises. Will granting one or two variances to build in the shore impact zone invite criticism and an expectation they will and should be granted if the encroachment is slight? "This will be the second variance you will have granted in the shore impact zone," said COLA president Dan Kittilson during BOA's monthly meeting Monday. The Hubbard County Coalition of Lake As
A GRE worker hooks the power line to the new pole. Work has begun on Itasca-Mantrap Co-op's new Potato Lake Substation on Highway 71 north. Crews there are awaiting the steel. Company officials say the power line will be energized by mid to late December in what Itasca-Mantrap promises will be "a seamless transition."
Hubbard County took preliminary steps to solve its space crunch Thursday, voting to move forward with Requests for Proposals that would eventually plan the relocation of Social Services above the jail. That will free up the third floor of the courthouse building and much of the second floor for office space and the county boardroom, which will move out of the basement. The unused space above the jail is 11,500 square feet.
A dozen of Hubbard County's finest tested their strength and agility Wednesday in a team building and trust exercise. Most of the Hubbard County Sheriff's Department reported for duty at the Character Challenge Course on Hubbard County Road 40, a high rope exercise course that also tested their lungs. They learned they scream like little girls when they're terrified. Sheriff Cory Aukes paid for the training himself and was quick to note each deputy took unpaid time off to attend the afternoon session, in which deputies and sergeants worked together 30 feet above ground on precarious foot
A Park Rapids man has been charged with three separate counts of assault stemming from a stabbing outside a downtown bar Monday. Joseph Dean Vessey, 21, allegedly stabbed a man in the forehead around 11 p.m. Monday in an argument over money, a criminal complaint states. The altercation took place outside A Better Place bar, reports said. Police were called to the St. Joseph's Area Health Services Emergency Room to find a man with a four-inch gash in his forehead. The victim, who also had scrapes on his back, told officers a fight had broken out in a dispute over money.