Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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A nasty April Fool's Day joke greeted many motorists Friday morning in the Hubbard County region. The Sheriff's Department's lone dispatcher was swamped with calls of accidents.
As the first police officer on the scene of last week's murder-suicide in Park Rapids, Mike Mercil must not only deal with his own memories, he must now explain to his young daughter why her beloved daycare provider is not around any more. For two communities grieving the loss of Greg and Dawn Anderson, both 45, and Kyle Vredenburg, 4, it will fall to the adults to help their children make sense of two tragic events. The Andersons died Tuesday night in a domestic incident on their front porch in Park Rapids. Kyle Vredenburg died two nights later when he was accidentally run over by his d
"Out with the old" isn't exactly the Park Rapids Fire Department's mantra these days, but the squad is steadily accumulating younger manpower and newer vehicles. As the 26-member department ages and more firefighters retire, "we're becoming a younger squad," said Fire Chief Donn Hoffman. "We could have two openings this spring." The department has just ordered a new custom-built engine, a $379,883 investment. It has all the bells and whistles. It doesn't whistle "Dixie," but probably could be programmed to. "Fire trucks don't have to be custom made," Hoffman said.
Patrick Kaufenberg admits he was shaken up at the scene of his own accident Sunday on Highway 34 near Casey's General Store. But he said he's pretty sure he didn't tell state troopers he and his wife were arguing in the couple's van before she tumbled out the passenger side onto the pavement. "Geez it makes us look pretty bad," he said of the patrol report that indicated the couple was involved in a domestic disturbance. He said his wife Karrie was feeling sick and needed to get out of the van quickly.
The Park Rapids community is mourning a native daughter who died on her front porch Tuesday night, the victim of domestic violence. "Dawn was truly an angel," wrote Jolene Jokela Veo on Facebook, describing Dawn Marie Anderson, 45. "How very, very sad." "She was just a wonderful person," Veo said. Dawn Anderson died of gunshot wounds, killed by her estranged husband Gregory, 45, who then turned the gun on himself, police said. The incident happened at the couple's home off Birch Briar Lane, which was occupied by Dawn Anderson and the couple's youngest son, Jordan, 20.
It was a little after 8 p.m. Tuesday when the Carlson family was allowed to return home to a stunned neighborhood and officers were told to stand down. "At 8:10 p.m., we received a call from a female reporting her boyfriend was intoxicated and was threatening to shoot himself.
A 4-year-old Akeley boy died after being accidentally struck by his father in a skid steer loader Thursday. Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes described the incident as a tragic accident. Kyle Vredenburg was accidentally backed over while his father Ron was plowing snow, Aukes said.
Dawn Anderson feared for her life. The Park Rapids woman's heart-wrenching Order For Protection details a husband with alcohol problems, spiraling out of control, blaming her and the couple's sons for his failures. Greg Anderson could not stay sober, Dawn Anderson wrote in her petition for the restraining order. He was increasingly erratic and out of control.
Call it leftovers from the hippie movement, a return to the simple life or the partial renunciation of a fast-paced modern world. Whatever you call it, more diverse groups are embracing folk art traditions of self-reliance. Saturday, one such pioneer related her efforts in the Bemidji area to members of the Twisted Stitchers Fiber Guild, who are working as a Park Rapids group to revive turn-of-the-century fiber-related skills. Jessica Saucedo, one of three founders of the Rail River Folk School, spoke of harnessing all the independent movements into a cohesive revival of living off the l
The Hubbard County Board of Adjustment continues to grant variances to lakeshore residents upgrading their properties, especially if they are moving structures further from the water's edge. And temporary board chair Jerry Cole issued a plea to the public gathered at Monday's meeting that "if you see these things (potential shoreland violations) please bring them to our attention.