Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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In state legislative races, two DFL incumbents lost their seats Tuesday in a Republican wave that re-captured both Minnesota House and Senate. Dist. 4 Sen. Mary Olson of Bemidji and Dist. 2B Rep. Brita Sailer of Park Rapids both went down to defeat. Olson was beaten 45.25 percent to Bemidji insurance man John Carlson's 54.59 percent as of Wednesday morning. Sailer was defeated 47.54 percent to Bemidji businessman Dave Hancock's 52.37 percent. The only local Democrat to retain his seat was Dist. 2 Sen.
There's a new sheriff in town. Sgt. Cory Aukes unseated Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer by 500 votes Tuesday evening in a race where expenditures topped $40,000. "I'm overwhelmed right now," Aukes said at midnight. He said he would work with Homer the next two months to ensure a smooth transition into office when he assumes it Jan. 4, 2011. Aukes garnered 5,021 votes to Homer's 4,534. In the District 1 commission race, challenger Kathy Grell unseated incumbent Don Carlson, who was seeking a second term. "I'm thrilled to be working for Hubbard County," Grell said.
It's a great day to vote. Polls will be open in Hubbard and surrounding counties generally until 8 p.m. Check with your county auditor if you have questions about where to vote. The Enterprise will launch a special module at 8 p.m.
Two 15-year-olds were hospitalized following an ATV rollover Saturday in Becker County. The 15-year-old male from Park Rapids was transported to St. Joseph's Area Health Services for treatment of a fractured wrist, according to a dispatcher. A 15-year-old girl from Osage was airlifted to Sanford Health in Fargo as a precaution, where she is hospitalized with fractured wrists and a collapsed lung.
The hearing for a controversial 115 kV power line that is proposed to run along U.S. Highway 71 and east on Hubbard County Road 18 has been pulled from the Oct. 28 meeting schedule. Called the Potato Lake line, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission was scheduled to hear arguments for and against the proposal at its St. Paul headquarters that day. Instead a tentative meeting has been rescheduled for Nov.
Maybe it's the sign of a cranky electorate. Or maybe it's something else. Throughout the corners of Hubbard County and downtown Park Rapids a whispering campaign has begun: "Write in Terry Eilers for Sheriff." "Yeah, I've heard that before, too," laughed the popular Park Rapids police chief, who's been keeping a low profile throughout the race even though he's been approached by many to jump in or offer advice. Eilers, the former sheriff of Douglas County, worries about his marital status if he were to accede. "My wife would hang me," he said, only partially in jest.
Absentee voting in 2010 is lagging behind the record 1,500 ballots cast in Hubbard County during the 2008 election with just days to go before voters head to the polls. But auditor Pam Heeren doesn't see the 550 absentee ballots already cast as a low number. "It's very possible next week could be busy but I don't know if we'd still catch up to that (2008)," she said.
Neighbors rushed to a burning garage with fire extinguishers early Friday afternoon after they heard a loud bang on a residential avenue. They reported seeing a male in a red shirt leaving the scene behind the Fourth Street West home near Fair Avenue. One wall of the garage was extensively damaged. Jason and Anna Hochstatter raced across the street when they saw smoke. The area ignited behind the garage was a small enclosure that looked as if it was used for trash. "I thought someone was burning outdoors and I thought it was a really bad idea on a day like today," Jason Hochstatter s
Eastbound traffic through Park Rapids snarled Thursday afternoon when a trucker dropped part of his load at a heavily traveled intersection. The piece of equipment was too heavy for officers to re-load by hand, so heavy equipment was called in. The accident occurred at the Intersection of Highway 34 and Central Avenue shortly before 12:30 p.m. It was expected to take awhile to clear up the debris and get traffic flowing again. The roadway was gouged during the mishap. Park Rapids police were on hand directing traffic. Hydraulic fluid and anti-freeze spilled all over the roadway.