Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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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
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.
The military has a famous phrase for operations that go awry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An emotional three-decade-old argument against paving County Road 37 along the south side of Kabekona Lake, took voice again Wednesday. Members of an extended family, most of them seasonal residents, have been fighting the proposal to widen and eventually pave the natural preservation road.
Law officers barricaded a downtown Park Rapids grocery store for several hours Thursday after a hoax bomb threat was called in. It may be related to the latest Jamaican scam. According to Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers, a male caller phoned Coborn's about 10:15 a.m. and told the receptionist, "I have some serious news." The caller went on to say a bomb had been placed in "the Western Union box" near the store's courtesy counter. The receptionist said, "Are you serious?" and placed the call on hold. It then went to the store manager, who asked the same thing, Eilers said.
Deep cuts to a growth industry about to see a wave of Baby Boomers has nursing home administrators concerned for their futures: Who will take care of Gramma? Gov.