Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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It's Dave's zinnias you notice from the highway. Traffic-stopping spectacular. This year they're about three weeks late due to a cold spring.
Five weeks ago Ed Bolton was working on his hobby farm outside of Park Rapids when something went horribly wrong. It was around 2 p.m. Bolton was planting beans. He was using a Handyman Jack.
The quaint Lake George post office is one of 88 Minnesota Postal Services outlets targeted to close or be converted to a "village outlet." The Postal Services has been looking at operations of thousands of 3,500 outlets nationally and Tuesday announced numerous closures. It is a blow to a small community experiencing a revival and couldn't be timed worse.
A bike trail from Park Rapids to Itasca State Park makes more sense than extending the Heartland Trail to Moorhead. That was the reasoning of Hubbard County commissioners Wednesday as they voiced universal support of a resolution to extend the Heartland Trail to Itasca at an estimated cost of $4 million. Although the trail to Moorhead has been in the works for years, acquisition of land through the Smoky Hills has slowed the project. A trail to Itasca has been envisioned since original plans were drawn in 1979, and when the master plan was revised in 1994, said Hubbard County Land Commis
Work resumed Thursday on the second phase of reconstruction on a stretch of Highway 34 between Park Rapids and Akeley, which will entail an unpopular 30-mile detour around Nevis. Workers began setting up the detour from Dorset Corner to Akeley as soon as the Minnesota shutdown ended, said Central Specialties, Inc., superintendent Allan Minnerath, The detour runs south of Dorset corner on County Road 11, then east on state Highway 87, then north to Akeley on Highway 64. Crews need to finish the shoulder work on the 3-mile stretch east of Park Rapids.
A Park Rapids logging company asked that Hubbard County change the way it's running timber sales because strict adherence to policies are hurting the company's bottom line. "I'm out $3,000" on a recent timber sale, said Robin Walsh of Walsh Forest Products. Under a longstanding policy, loggers must complete one sale before they can harvest another.
She did it! The loon on our bay of Lower Bottle Lake successfully birthed her second batch of eggs, twins. They're pretty little at this late stage of the summer, so they will need to grow significantly or be left behind. They're still brown fluff balls. Her first nest of eggs was raided by a bald eagle, we think, that perches just above the loon nest on water's edge. I'll try to get pictures of the twins this weekend. n Betty Norlin reports seeing an indigo bunting near Nevis last week. It was singing for all it was worth.
It's back to work today for construction workers on the Highway 34 project between Park Rapids and Akeley. Workers will begin setting up the detour from Dorset Corner to Akeley this afternoon, said Central Specialties, Inc., superintendent Allan Minnerath. The detour runs south of Dorset corner on Highway 11, then east on State Highway 87, then north to Akeley on Highway 64. Work on the remaining stretch between Dorset and Akeley will begin Friday morning, Minnerath said.
The steadily rising waters of Lake Belle Taine gave Hubbard County's Board of Adjustment pause Monday morning as it tabled a variance request to build a new home on the lakeshore. A request by Ardeth and Everett Duthoy to improve and build on a Belle Taine lot involved several shoreland ordinances that could not be complied with and the board, after a lengthy discussion, tabled the matter to re-visit the site and take additional measurements. The board viewed the lot last Thursday in preparation for the Monday meeting. A 1993 variance was granted for a previous owner to build on the lot
Late Thursday afternoon Amy Yerkes was headed home to Nevis. A maroon Windstar pulled onto Highway 34 from the Walmart parking lot in Park Rapids. Yerkes was at L&M Fleet buying lighting for the house she's purchasing. The two vehicles headed east, the Windstar ahead of Yerkes' car. "It was one of those fluke things," Yerkes, still shaken, recalled. "In a flash" the vehicle in front of her was involved in a head-on crash near the Dorset Corner. "As the two vehicles collided they split apart and I went right through at 62 miles an hour," Yerkes said.