Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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Tractor aficionados gathered over the weekend to bring yesteryear back. And history was relived noisily, sputtering, smoking, choking and clanging. "I remember coming here when there were just a few tractors," said Duane Fast of Valley City, referring to the 18th annual Field Days in Park Rapids. "Look at this now!
Nevis city officials will ask the state Department of Transportation to conduct a speed survey on Highway 34 through the city, after DOT officials said an upcoming resurfacing project would not fix a dangerous intersection. The aim is to lower the 50 mph speed limit on the highway that bisects the burg and has been the site of numerous accidents. Resident and Highway 34 business owner Justin Isaacson took on DOT engineers at a pre-construction meeting last week, criticizing them for failing to address the safety aspects of the project.
Kathy McGrane Grell and Don Carlson will face off in the Nov. 2 election for the Hubbard County Dist. 1 commission seat. They were the two top vote getters out of four candidates in Tuesday's primary. Candidate Sherman Anderson was in last place while Ed DeLaHunt showed a strong third place finish. Voter turnout was running around 30 percent in the three townships en-compassed by District 1, but lower in the townships that did not have a primary election. However, many new voters registered throughout the county Tuesday.
The murder of a Park Rapids graduate who left a flourishing dental practice to help people in impoverished countries has been heart wrenching for his family and the small community he attended school in. "He was just a great person," said a choked up Tim Grams, identical twin brother of Dr. Thomas Grams, 51.
That yellowish tinge to your water, if you're a Park Rapids resident, is actually a good sign. Park Rapids Public Works Director Scott Burlingame said what the water may lack in aesthetics will be offset by the health benefit. The water is loaded with iron. City residents noticed about two weeks ago the water was coming out of the tap with a slight yellow hue that's gotten darker in time. "We have a new well online and it has about half a part per million of iron in the water," Burlingame said. "Once we get this new well house 100 percent completed it will be able to clear that out.
Hubbard County is looking into a new ordinance that would make the adult hosts of a party that supplied underage kids alcohol criminally liable. The social host ordinance would foist criminal liability on adults who host minors at functions in which alcohol is knowingly being served. "It's just an additional tool we could use when we get these calls," said Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne. What the proposed ordinance would not do is make parents criminally liable when they serve their own children alcohol.
Two stories above the shore of Lake Benedict in northeastern Hubbard County, an outdoors painter derives her inspiration and sense of peace. Helen Merchant overlooks her small sailboat anchored on shore, her kayak and the dock where she fishes for sunnies and bluegills, one of her favorite spots on her favorite lake. Reclaiming lost time Five hours a day in her room resembling the inside of a lighthouse, Merchant paints fish flies, fish, kayaks, lures and other lake memorabilia. Her paintings and prints are exquisitely detailed thanks to a sharp and loving eye and a collection of books,
Hubbard County Coordinator Jack Paul has been suspended without pay for a month. The suspension, actually 20 compensable working days, begins Aug. 5. Paul met behind closed doors for several hours Wednesday afternoon with the county board. An outside investigator found violations of the state's data privacy act. Paul allegedly leaked information about Auditor Pam Heeren's private evaluation to her staff while she was on vacation. Heeren filed a grievance, prompting the investigation. Because it is a personnel matter, county personnel declined further comment.
The beleaguered Intoxilyzer machine, under constant legal attack for nearly five years, is being mothballed statewide for use in drunken driving arrests. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced Monday it has entered into a contract to purchase a new fleet of breath-testing instruments for use by Minnesota criminal justice agencies.
Six dozen young anglers caught a whopping 512 fish Saturday in a two-hour stretch, probably a record. That was the 10th annual Park Rapids Youth Fishing Derby, which took place along the tree-lined shores of the Fish Hook River. The Red Bridge's scenic tree line became a Charlie Brown menace as little tykes cast bobbers into overhanging foliage and parents patiently extricated the lures they could reach. Seventy-five anglers ages 5-12 competed, with the grand prize going to "veteran angler" Jake Eischens, who caught 5.59 pounds of fish. In the 9-12 age category first place went to Came