Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Hubbard County's K-9 officer has been terminated six weeks after being placed on paid administrative leave. Jeremiah Johnson, 34, has been with the Sheriff's Department since 2005.
North Memorial Ambulance personnel attended to the driver of a semi truck that slid off the roadway west of Park Rapids Monday afternoon. The eastbound truck apparently struck an approach two miles west of the city shortly after 1 p.m. and ended up in the south ditch of the busy highway. Hubbard County, and State Patrol and ambulance responded to the single vehicle accident. The 63-year-old driver was transported to St. Joseph's Area Health Services in Park Rapids for observation of possible neck injuries.
A tiny Hubbard County organic farm has joined a group of 60 family farmers and small seed producers in filing a lawsuit for protection against patent infringement, naming biotech behemoth Monsanto Company. Dewane and Anne Morgan, who operate Lakes and Valley CSA south of Park Rapids, filed the preemptive strike in U.S. District Court in Manhatten Monday to prevent being sued for saving organic alfalfa seed for re-use. They say it's a precaution against using seed contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified alfalfa, due for release this spring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.