Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Menahga's annual ode to St. Urho is underway this weekend. Chilly participants saluted their royalty Saturday noon. The usual bar stool races and hilarity ensures Saturday afternoon, including a snow sculpture contest and parade. Saturday night the festival concludes with a dance at 8:30 p.m. at the Menagha VFW. Club. Urho is the fictitious Finnish saint that drove the grasshoppers from the wine crop.
Scott Stewart is fond of his extended family and neighbors but enough is enough, he politely informed the Park Rapids City Council Tuesday. On Valentine's Day his family lost its water supply and began showering elsewhere. Stewart called in a litany of city officials and contractors to the Seventh Street West location. They examined, steamed, examined some more and made suggestions. By Feb. 17, the family had run a hose to the neighbors and was running water to the laundry sink. The next day the hose froze. Then it thawed.
The Park Rapids City Council, in a three-minute public hearing at which no one spoke, approved modifications to the Tax Increment Financing District for the Armory Square project Tuesday noon. In conjunction with that approval, the council, after months of negotiation and discussion, entered a redevelopment agreement with Echopoint Design & Development LLC, the company Alan Zemek has formed to oversee the project. If all goes as planned, a charming sidewalk seating area for dining should grace the building's premier corner by June as part of the first phase of construction. Park Rapids r
The military has a famous phrase for operations that go awry.
Law officers barricaded a downtown Park Rapids grocery store for several hours Thursday after a hoax bomb threat was called in. It may be related to the latest Jamaican scam. According to Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers, a male caller phoned Coborn's about 10:15 a.m. and told the receptionist, "I have some serious news." The caller went on to say a bomb had been placed in "the Western Union box" near the store's courtesy counter. The receptionist said, "Are you serious?" and placed the call on hold. It then went to the store manager, who asked the same thing, Eilers said.
An emotional three-decade-old argument against paving County Road 37 along the south side of Kabekona Lake, took voice again Wednesday. Members of an extended family, most of them seasonal residents, have been fighting the proposal to widen and eventually pave the natural preservation road.
Several proposals, including a "pay to stay" charge, are being discussed to recover some of the costs of running Hubbard County's correctional center. Sheriff Cory Aukes asked the board Wednesday for permission to raise fees for services that are burdening law enforcement personnel. Among those are increases in booking fees and a daily "room charge" for inmates. In 2011, the jail is projected to run a $1.7 million deficit.
Park Rapids police officer Justin Frette couldn't believe his eyes Wednesday night. Parked near the intersection of Highways 71 and 34 in Park Rapids, he observed a car go by and crash in the blink of an eye. It was just after midnight. "Surprisingly he wasn't injured," Police Chief Terry Eilers said of the driver. "Both airbags went. He claimed he was doing 100 mph." Dale Allen Peterka, 40, Park Rapids, was taken into custody on a Fourth Degree DWI charge. "He swerved to turn north on 71," Eilers said.
Hubbard County's Board of Commissioners backed off scrutinizing a 2 a.m. closing time for bars when they learned there are rowdier spots in the city that close earlier. Zhateau Zorbaz near Dorset had voiced some concerns when commissioner Dick Devine mentioned last board meeting it seemed counterproductive to conduct stay sober campaigns on the highways while allowing bars to remain open later. Sheriff Cory Aukes debunked that notion. "It's not an issue," he said of calls to Zorbaz, the only establishment in the county open until 2 a.m. "We get calls out there, yes.
Don't be surprised if you have a roadside encounter with Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes. Two months on the job, he's been quietly fulfilling a campaign promise to take his turn on road patrol, night shifts and traffic duty. He's surprised that people even notice. "I'm no better or worse than the guys that work with me and I can get out there and do it as well," he said Tuesday afternoon after stopping a motorist on the Becker County line and running a records check. Last month he worked a weekend of night shifts on patrol, pulling over drunken drivers. It's a subtle nudge to the e