Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Nearly two months after a domestic violence incident claimed the lives of a Park Rapids couple, a small group of community members gathered Monday night to germinate the seeds of healing through education. And although Dawn and Gregory Anderson weren't present, their presence was strongly felt. Dawn Anderson died after her husband fired two shotgun rounds into her back at the couple's home, then turned the gun on himself. An Order For Protection was in place at the time.
Zoey is doing just fine. The 10-year-old white husky mix dog who kept a vigil at the scene of her master's fatal car accident north of Nevis, has a new home. She went to live with a friend of her late master, Ben "Bud" Kelsey, Mitch Sanderson. Zoey was riding in Kelsey's pickup in March when Kelsey suffered a suspected heart attack and died behind the wheel.
Authorities are looking into the deaths of two timber wolves found Sunday morning on U.S. Highway 71 south of Little Mantrap Lake near Hubbard County 41. The wolves were lying on the shoulder of the highway north of Park Rapids. They appeared to have been shot, said DNR Conservation Officer Sam Hunter. They were found around 9 a.m. "There's timber wolves around. It's pretty heavily wooded up there and I've seen them quite a few times," she said. Hunter is asking for any information about the wolves. Callers can reach her at 255-4553 or 1-800-652-9093.
A teenage motorist has died of injuries following a high speed chase early Saturday morning in Beltrami County. According to the Beltrami County Sheriff's Department a deputy stopped the car around 4:45 a.m. for a suspected DWI. While authorities were interrogating the driver, the 16-year-old passenger took the wheel and sped northbound on Bemidji Avenue. Four patrol cars joined the chase, which reached speeds of 100 mph, swerving "from lane to lane," the news release stated. The driver lost control of the vehicle on a curve north of Turtle River, 12 miles from Bemidji.
An attempt to update language in Hubbard County's solid waste ordinance turned into an hour-long debate on individual property rights versus government intrusion at Wednesday's board meeting. The boardroom was filled with rural residents concerned about whether the county could regulate what they collect - and amass - on their own property and who would police an ordinance limiting those collections.
The bleats from all corners of the dusty pen are appropriately timed. "Maaa. Maaa. Maaa." On this Mother's Day, the ewes on the Vogeltanz farm north of Laporte are doing yeomen's work. For the second year in a row, Frank and Debra Vogeltanz have a set of quadruplet lambs, lots of sets of triplets and they've lost count of the twins. "We have 56 lambs so far," Debra says. None of the ewes have given birth to a single lamb in the last two years. They've all been multiple births. The mom of the quads started the birthing process at 1:30 a.m. on April 30.
A new state law went into effect Thursday changing the standards that counties, cities and towns must use in issuing variances to zoning ordinances. Gov. Mark Dayton signed House File 52/Senate File 13 into law. The bill, passed unanimously by both the House and Senate, says "practical difficulties" must exist in complying with an existing ordinance.
Central Specialties, Inc., of Alexandria has been awarded the Highway 34 renovation work between Park Rapids and Akeley. That may be good news to both the public and DOT engineers. The company raced through the South Highway 71 project last year, minimizing the length of detours engineers had anticipated would be necessary to complete the project. It was completed weeks ahead of schedule. Work is expected to begin May 23 on the Highway 34 project. "I was happy to see it," said project manager Darren Laesch. "They're a good contractor."
Hubbard County and the owners of a 5th Crow Wing Lake resort have appealed a district court ruling in the case of a variance issued a year ago. The parties, defendants in a lawsuit, contend a March 2010 variance granted by the county's Board of Adjustment was correctly awarded initially, and a district court judge erred in vacating that variance. Eagle's Nest Resort is converting to a residential planned unit development that will eventually have 11 summer homes.
Nevis firefighters battled a persistent grass fire south of the city Tuesday evening. Firefighters were called to a ditch off County Road 33 around 5 p.m. Recent high winds and sun have made fields and ditches tinder dry. The fire burned a patch of ditch, then, fanned by light winds, headed into a nearby stand of trees. Nevis firefighters were assisted by DNR Forestry firefighters