Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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A roomful of gravel pit operators spoke to the Hubbard County Board Monday to urge it not to impose regulations on a struggling sector of the economy. The board, in an open work session, took up the issue of whether to regulate the hours of operation of gravel pits after receiving a complaint last summer from a resident bothered by noise from a continuous crushing operation near Kabekona corner, the site of several pits. Gravel pit owners and operators universally said more regulations could kill the business when Minnesota construction seasons are too short to allow operators to even bid
Establishing a post-secondary education program in Park Rapids is gaining momentum as fundraising and enrollment campaigns begin for a fall semester at M State. Classes likely would be held in the Frank White Education Center and a possibility of eight fall classes could be offered if enrollment can reach 15 students per class in: n College Writing I n Power & Communications in Human Relations n Intro to Computer n Financial Accounting I n Customer Service n Intro to Business n Business Communications n Intro to Psychology. But those are just among the possibilities M State
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.
Two Minnesota men charged with big game violations appeared in Hubbard County District Court Wednesday contending they were the victims of an illegal search and seizure when conservation officers found marijuana at their deer camp and called in deputies and drug agents. Stephen Donald Battin, 60, Big Lake, and Dennis Michael Cook, 61, Bloomington, each face four charges in connection with the game violations near Badoura State Forest on leased land, and a Third Degree Controlled Substance Crime. They are charged with growing 42 pounds of marijuana at their hunting campsite.
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.
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.