Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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After a year of convalescing, extensive cosmetic surgery and rigorous rehabilitation, "Big Larry" returned to Moose Creek Village Tuesday morning. Big Larry is the name of the sculptured moose on Main Avenue that was vandalized one year ago downtown. The crime has never been solved. The moose's antlers and legs were crushed by vandals wielding weapons of mass destruction. Police theorize it was lassoed with either a chain or rope and ripped out of its stainless steel leg shafts that were cemented deep in the ground. Vandals had to have used a vehicle.
Bid openings for the Highway 34 reconstruction project between Park Rapids and Akeley have been postponed. Because of some amendments to the contract that altered some specifications, project manager Darren Laesch said the new bid opening is May 6. That's when the public will learn how the project will be completed. Department of Transportation officials have left the details to the successful bidder, but tentative project dates are May 23 to Sept. 2. DOT officials have said they would add incentives and disincentives to the project to minimize the inconvenience to cities and motorists.
For many log homebuilders, the north woods' economic downturn spelled disaster. But for Bruce Beckley, it heralded in an opportunity to let his creative juices flow, and for his general contracting business to branch out. The builder of spec homes turned to making elegant but sturdy furniture and what has become his forte - timber shelters. Beckley has spent early spring doing the home and garden show circuit, from Minneapolis to Bemidji to Walker. "The economic turndown was refreshing," Beckley said.
A Litchfield man was taken to a Bemidji hospital Thursday noon following an ATV rollover north of Park Rapids. Brian Kormanik, 25, was riding in the ditch off Hammock Trail when authorities said a sign he was carrying in the front basket of the Arctic Cat four-wheeler was caught by the wind and blew into his face. He instinctively reached to cover his face and lost control of the ATV, rolling it, said Hubbard County Chief Deputy Scott Parks. The accident occurred in Arago Township. Kormanik suffered a suspected broken leg.
Two Twin Cities area men entered pleas Monday in a Hubbard County case that involved poaching deer and growing marijuana on leased hunting land. Steven Battin, 61, of Big Lake, and Donald Cook, 61, of Bloomington, both testified Monday they were Vietnam vets suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
A May 23 omnibus hearing has been set in the case of a Hubbard County jailer/dispatcher facing three felony charges in connection with the theft of funds from her ex-husband's bank account. Lana Jo-Lynn O'Bannon, 44, of Park Rapids is accused of check forgery and theft of property, both punishable by a maximum of 5 years and/or a $10,000 fine upon and fraudulent use of a financial transaction card, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and/or a $20,000 fine upon convictions. According to the complaint, she is accused of writing 11 checks worth $1,477.78 on her ex-husband's TruStar ac
Hunting for hidden treasure appeals to the kid in all of us. That's why the game/sport/activity of geocaching has caught on like wildfire across the globe in the decade since its conception. Grannies, treasure hunters, computer geeks and young kids are joining the high tech search for tchotchkes. It's not necessarily the object of the hunt that's such fun, although even adults delight in finding kitsch at the end of the rainbow.
Hubbard County Chief Deputy Scott Parks figures when it's all said and done, his annual county salary will be significantly below what he was making as a Park Rapids police officer. Both departments offered additional input into the county and city officers' salaries following Saturday's Enterprise story. Sheriff Cory Aukes' had asked the county board to start two recently hired cops at higher salaries with the county so they wouldn't take drastic pay cuts.
After a year of convalescing and rigorous rehabilitation, "Big Larry" returned to Moose Creek Village Tuesday morning. Big Larry is the name of the sculptured moose on Main Avenue that was vandalized one year ago downtown. The crime has never been solved. The moose's antlers and legs were crushed by vandals wielding weapons of mass destruction. Larry actually stopped traffic as workers from Touch of Eden Landscaping carefully lugged him into place near a man-made pond. He'll need a more few cosmetic touches before he's ready for prime time.
A gas stove regulator malfunctioned Sunday afternoon at a Hubbard home, burning Easter dinner and a kitchen. Park Rapids and Menahga firefighters responded to the home of Bradley Laabs on County Road 6 about 2 p.m., according to the Hubbard County Sheriff's Department. They were able to contain the fire to the kitchen area. State Patrol and Hubbard County officers both responded.