Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Volunteers with binoculars surrounded the state park Sunday to participate in the annual bird count. Park lead naturalist Connie Cox said the warm winter and lack of snow meant many species present last year are still in Canada. We haven't seen any redpolls or pine siskins," Cox said. With so much exposed ground, birds were hard to spot in the trees. "We'll be hitting more of the trails," she said. Eighteen volunteers came to count, even searching for owls during the 24-hour count period that coincides with the nationwide Audubon bird count.
The Park Rapids Fire Department's custom-made pumper truck arrived Friday from New Prague, where it was made to specfications. It cost $379,983 and was made by Heiman Fire Equipment The two-toned truck features a three-stage pump that can spray high and low pressure foam. Chief Donn Hoffman said because the front wheels are located behind the driver, the truck steers very differently, but has a much tighter turning radius than the other trucks in the fleet. Firefighters will train on it tonight and it will be ready to go by the holiday.
Jerry Cole's tenure as Board of Adjustment chair ended with the same fireworks as it began a year ago, clashing with lake activists over variances. Monday Cole threatened to call the police if COLA representative Chuck Diessner didn't stop talking and sit down. The heated exchange took place during one of three after-the-fact violations before the variance board Monday, in which both board members and Coalition of Lake Associations activists voiced dismay at the number of lake homeowners building without the necessary permits or variance. "There should be some form of punitive damage for
As the economy continues its sluggish pace and unemployment stays in the double digits, dissatisfaction with the dismal state of affairs is having an impact at home. "From Thanksgiving through the New Year, it's the worst time of the year," said Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers. "And they're dangerous," Eilers added. "That Lake City officer was shot at 8 o'clock in the damned morning. You just never know." Monday morning, Lake City police officer Shawn Schneider, 32, a nine-year veteran, was critically wounded by gunfire responding to a domestic argument in that town.
A Park Rapids man has been charged with Possession of Child Pornography following an Internet investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Daniel Richard Moore, 56, is charged with downloading child pornography to his laptop computer at his Park Rapids home. The pornography was located after officers executed a search warrant Sept. 29. The charge is a felony, punishable by a maximum of five years and/or a $5,000 fine upon conviction. Moore is the second Park Rapids man to face such charges in the last month. On Dec.
A Park Rapids man faces a Disorderly Conduct charge stemming from a volatile incident Monday noon at the Park Rapids post office. Gabriel Alan Detmers, 34, apparently came into the crowded post office to complain that his grandmother's Christmas cards had not been picked up by the carrier, Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers said. He demanded to know why.
Two small pieces of equipment made a monumental difference recently at a motor vehicle crash scene - to the rescuers and the rescued. And Park Rapids Fire Chief Donn Hoffman said it illustrates just how dangerous accident scenes can be to those who respond. Called TeleCrib® struts, the lightweight stabilizing pieces of composite material were employed Nov. 30 to hold up a rolled Jeep on Highway 34 so crews could quickly free the driver. The struts use pegs, holes and a ratchet strap cinched tight to telescope upwards, lifting the car with them. "They're awesome," Hoffman said.
Traffic arrests throughout Hubbard County are starting to yield more than drunken drivers. Officers are confiscating a Heinz variety of drugs, including methamphetamines, marijuana and prescription pills. "It's not that we're having an epidemic, it's just that we know where to look," said Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers. County Attorney Don Dearstyne said he's noticed an increase in officer-issued citations, up drastically from two years ago, from both police officers and road deputies. Two new officers, one on the Police Department and one on the Sheriff's Department, have each
A Park Rapids woman reported to the Hubbard County jail Monday to begin serving time for an alcohol-related rollover that injured her only. Candace Dawn Eskelson, 24, was transported to the hospital July 31 following a crash on County Road 87 south of Park Rapids. An eyewitness said Eskelson's vehicle was weaving and speeding when it left the roadway and "shot off into the woods." A blood test indicated a .22 percent alcohol content. Eskelson was trapped in her vehicle.
Volunteers are gearing up for the annual Community Christmas Dinner in Park Rapids. Hundreds came to the Park Rapids American Legion to dine in 2010. Last year 150 dinners were delivered to those who couldn't come. "Denny Anderson and I have heard stories about the great need in our community," said co-organizer Lynn Spilman.