Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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A low-interest loan program for Hubbard County residents to replace failing septic systems is underused, according to the Environmental Services Office. Every year about "a dozen to a dozen and a half" people participate in the 3 percent interest program that helps homeowners replace noncompliant treatment systems, Environmental Services Officer Eric Buitenwerf said. "I couldn't tell you exactly why the numbers aren't greater as far as people that make use of it but it certainly is a good program and a good option for folks to use because the cost of a system is significant enough that a l
Next year it will be one-stop shopping in the flu shot department as manufacturers combine seasonal flu serum with H1N1 prevention in the same inoculation. Meanwhile, Hubbard County will continue to administer H1N1 flu vaccines throughout the summer in case the region experiences a third wave of the illness. To date, 4,500 vaccines have been given to Hubbard County residents, a rate of nearly 30 percent of the total population. Those were the figures community health director Chris Broeker gave to the Hubbard County Board Wednesday. "As long as we're directed to by the State Health Dep
Park Rapids' most distinguishable characteristic is in need of repair. The Red Bridge will likely be lifted, one end at a time, this summer, to replace the cracking crossbeams on the pilings that support the structure. A winter inspection by a state highway department structural engineer revealed the structural defects, said Hubbard County Parks and Recreation superintendent Greg Hensel. He is working with the city Public Works Department to formulate estimates and a plan of action. Because the bridge is on both city and county property,the repair costs will be evenly split.
Tinder dry conditions kept many fire departments in the region busy this week when field after field burst into flames. Thursday night Park Rapids and DNR firefighters responded to a fire at the intersections of U.S. Highway 71 and County Road 41, which heads to Two Inlets in the northwest part of Hubbard County. The fire spread to the shores of Coborn Lake where it extinguished itself. Up the hill from the water's banks, firefighters kept flames from spreading to a nearby home, owned by John Oman.
A discussion of upcoming property tax appeal and equalization meetings throughout Hubbard County in the next month led county commissioners to the subject of the loss of $200,000 to a Michigan-based tax assessing software developer. It began with Hubbard County Assessor Bob Hansen presenting visual aids he will carry to those township halls explaining the differences between how parcels of land are taxed. Hansen meticulously compiled a tax comparison of 33 different parcels of property, classified as seasonal, homesteaded residential, agricultural, commercial and rural vacant land to show
The Henrietta Township Board will consult its legal counsel and possibly schedule a special meeting later this month after it came under fire for a January resolution banning the sale of hard liquor at special events. Randy and Denese Jokela appeared before the board Thursday night with numerous supporters asking the township to rescind the decision, saying the sale of stronger alcoholic beverages was necessary to the success of the "family friendly" rodeo event that will be held July 1-3. The resolution "drastically changed" the status of the PBR bull ride event, Denese Jokela told the bo
Sgt. Cory Aukes announced Friday he would run for the office of Hubbard County Sheriff against incumbent Frank Homer. Homer told the county board Wednesday he intended to seek election to the post he was appointed to in March 2009. The two men were considered for the post after former Sheriff Gary Mills resigned one year ago due to chronic health problems. The Hubbard County board appointed Homer to fill out Mills' term. But both candidates gave presentations that impressed board members. Aukes is a 20-year veteran of the department.
More than 600 kids, in a crowd of 2,000 people, lined the sidewalk along Nevis' Muskie Park Saturday in an Easter egg hunt that would rival another one held out east in a big White House. A block-long, knee-high wave of pre-school humanity surged through the rope lines at 1 p.m.
When the Developmental Achievement Center's Salvage Depot opens next month, it is anticipated the new business will co-exist with the Henrietta Mall, not compete with it. The "mall" is the euphemism given to the South Transfer Station's solid waste repository, off Henrietta Avenue in Park Rapids.
Nevis firefighters doused a grass fire Tuesday afternoon caused by a homeowner who'd dumped the ashes from his wood stove on a debris pile hours earlier. "I guess there must have been some cinders still in there," said Romke Zylstra, who lives off Highway 34 east of Nevis. "When I got home I saw the smoke and thought my barn was on fire," Zylstra said.