Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Itasca State Park could fall victim to a government shutdown if Minnesota lawmakers can't agree on a budget by June 30. The Highway 34 reconstruction project from Park Rapids to Akeley could halt mid-lane. "We all should be very concerned about a government shutdown," said Sen.
We'd put out a call last week to take a peek at unique bird feeding stations in the area. Beverly Bethel brought in photos of a gem. She lives about a mile from Vagabond Village in Hubbard County. Bedeviled by gray squirrels, her setup is clever and effective. Gray squirrels would walk out to the end of tree branches, wait until the branch slowly dipped down, then drop onto her squirrel baffle. Then they'd slide underneath and gorge themselves. She cut a tree limb off and they'd still shinny up a pole.
One of Lake George's most recognizable cornerstone businesses will re-open June 4 after a two-year hiatus that seemed endless to visitors. The Wigwam, purveyor of Native American crafts and quirky tchotchkes (small toys), comes to life in its original form on the corners on Highway 71 and Hubbard County 4 after being purchased last year by Jean Kruft. Kruft grew up in Dorset and taught many years in North Carolina before returning home last fall. She's a special education teacher in Bemidji, with family in the Park Rapids, Dorset and Lake Peysenske areas. "There's been lots of communit
Two Twin Cities area men received electronic home monitoring Monday as punishment in a Hubbard County case that involved poaching deer and growing marijuana on leased hunting land. Stephen Battin, 61, of Big Lake, and Donald Cook, 61, of Bloomington, entered into plea deals in April that substantially reduced the crimes they were facing and the time they could have spent behind bars. Battin pled guilty in April to a Third Degree Controlled Substance crime, for which he will serve 75 days of EHM and five years of probation.
You could call it a going-out-of-business sale if it had ever been in business. Laissez-faire policies of live and let live at Hubbard County's Henrietta Mall have changed, ending the free flow of potentially valuable solid waste to profiteers. "The county board has set in place a policy for folks that need a part or piece to fix something and it is simple policy," solid waste superintendent Vern Massie said. "The policy doesn't and never was intended for folks to make a living out of the scrap metal pile.
As nightly repairs continue to the South Side Transfer Station dump chute, commissioners and Solid Waste Superintendent Vern Massie discussed what may be a growing number of complaints against personnel there. And both the board and Massie said they were disappointed that staffers have apparently lost sight of the fact they are in the customer service business. Commissioner Dick Devine said he received three recent complaints over unspecified matters involving solid waste attendants. Apparently Massie has also received complaints. The transfer station generally gets high marks for its
Two Hubbard County departments bring a $60+ million economic impact of outside help to the area, but those funds carry a toll of human suffering. Veterans Services Officer Greg Remus told the Hubbard County Board Wednesday veterans and their families received $12.2 million of federal help in 2010, generally in the form of compensation, pension and medical benefits. To a lesser degree the U.S.
Hubbard County entered into a participation plan that will eventually result in purchasing the state radio system, reversing a preference for upgrading the VHF emergency radio system. The switch came about at Wednesday's board meeting when radio consultant GeoComm made a presentation on the ARMER (Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response) system. The county has been involved in numerous meetings over the past two years to determine if it should go with the northwest district it belongs in, upgrading its VHF, or going with ARMER to comply with a nationwide mandate to convert to narrowband
A small electrical fire brought legions of emergency personnel to the Holiday Station store around 7 p.m. Wednesday. "It was just a small fire," an employee said. "They all came out here," he said of the platoon of deputies, police, ambulance personnel and firefighters that converged on the store on Highway 34 in Park Rapids. "There was nobody injured." But the incident prompted numerous calls and inquiries to the Enter-prise, as the show of force attracted a crowd."Oh yeah, we had quite the crew up here," the clerk said.
Ten days after Gov. Mark Dayton signed a new law into effect regulating the granting of variances, Hubbard County's Board of Adjustment is once again at loggerheads with the local Coalition of Lake Associations. And once again, the Environmental Services Office is tweaking the criteria for its board to analyze in granting or denying variances. Monday, the BOA and COLA differed frequently over variance analysis during the monthly meeting. COLA representatives accused the beleaguered board, the defendant in a pending lawsuit, of being inconsistent in upholding its own shoreland ordinances.