Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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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.
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.
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.
It was a chance for the public to taste, smell and feel the works of area artists last weekend as they embarked on an open studio tour that spanned three counties. Artists invited many guests into their homes and studios, showcased their work, demonstrated how they made their various pieces and even served hors d'oeuvres. Akeley wood sculptor Paul Albright explains a custom piece of work that will eventually be a part of a waterfall for a garden. Below left, his sculpture of "Thor" was headed to the Norwegian Hostfest in Minot, N.D., Monday morning.
Rectifying the effect of continued development on the region's lakes isn't about playing the blame game. It's about grabbing a shovel and digging in. That's Steve Hall's philosophy.
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.
Remember that groundswell of change voters emphatically wanted in 2010? Be careful what you wish for.
Hubbard County Auditor Pam Heeren was suspended without pay for 20 workdays Wednesday afternoon. Although the suspension was to take effect Sept.