Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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A sweeping set of reforms that would shift many state duties onto counties was unveiled this week, potentially saving the state $945 million over two years. But the trial balloon is going over like a lead zeppelin locally.
The Park Rapids City Council has decided to work on ways to run the city without relying on Local Government Aid. Gov. Tim Pawlenty made cuts to LGA payments for cities and counties in 2008 and 2009. Park Rapids lost $86,085 in 2008, $74,778 in 2009 and in the governor's latest budget proposal, Park Rapids would lose $201,459 in the next year. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities recently urged cities to adopt a resolution regarding the LGA cuts.
It was Minnesota's "Miracle on Ice." The U.S. Olympic men's hockey team, if confronted by this puck-handling group from Park Rapids, might just play like a bunch of little girls. They wish. Last weekend a group of girls 12 and under skated their young hearts out in Long Prairie at a district tournament, into a fourth overtime, only to lose in sudden death.
Following a heated meeting last week, Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer said he will recommend the county purchase a VHF digital radio system, not a more expensive narrowband version many counties in the state have opted for. And Homer regrets the decision has divided emergency responders who are split over purchasing an 800 megahertz system or the digital equipment as part of a mandated radio conversion that must be implemented by 2013. His decision followed one by the five fire chiefs in Hubbard County, which voted the week before to purchase the ARMER 800 MHz program all state agencies
Hubbard County ranked in the upper fourth of Minnesota's healthiest counties in a recent University of Wisconsin study. The nationwide rankings, comparing counties to counties within each state, are a "call to action" for public health officials to mobilize available resources to improve community health. "For the first time, people have a tool to help identify what is making people in every county unhealthy," said Patrick Remington, associate dean for public health at UW School of Medicine and Public Health. "I was pleased with it in the big picture," said St.
To someone suffering with cancer and its grueling treatment, a simple gesture such as a phone call or a quick note makes all the difference in your day. But when that gesture comes from a stranger, in the form of an artfully crafted hat to hide your bald head, or a beautifully stitched pillowcase to hold something of comfort, the impact is immeasurable, a cancer patient maintains. Sunday, a dozen women came to Monika's Quilt & Yarn Shop in downtown Park Rapids; half hunkered down over sewing machines making pillowcases and the other half clutching circular knitting needles and crochet hoo
The riotous celebration in Walker that celebrates a gnarly-looking fish and some winter wardrobes to match got under way this weekend as 10,000 rabblerousers colonized Leech Lake and swelled the local population ten-fold. It was, of course, the 31st annual Eelpout Festival. "I've had 17 years of ice fun," said Chuck English of Pequot Lakes, Minn., as he stirred up breakfast on his icehouse stove Saturday morning while opening a beer. It's the fishing festival where almost nobody dips a line.
Kay Peterson's mug shot doesn't do her justice. The 38-year-old Park Rapids woman looks like someone you'd see standing on the sidelines of a kids' soccer game, or working at the church bake sale. Instead, Peterson went on trial Tuesday, charged with being a meth dealer.
The rising need for public assistance is on a collision course with program funds dwindling too rapidly to keep pace. And what will happen to society when government at all levels has fostered a dependence on programs and assistance that will either suffer cuts or sunset clauses, rendering them obsolete? Those are among the massive worries Daryl Bessler carries on his shoulders these days. It began Wednesday with the report on income maintenance, which continues to rise at an alarming pace. Requests for food subsidies and other help has risen by 85 cases since October. "It's not good
Hubbard County received 81 applications for the position of Veterans Service Officer. Commissioners will winnow down the field to six candidates who will be interviewed publicly March 10. The board hopes to have someone on the job by April. "We are going to have some extremely good people in that group," Hubbard County board chair Lyle Robinson predicted. "There are some well-qualified candidates," agreed county coordinator Jack Paul. Commissioners will each read through the applications and submit a list of interviewees they feel are the best candidates.