Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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As nightly repairs continue to the South Side Transfer Station dump chute, commissioners and Solid Waste Superintendent Vern Massie discussed what may be a growing number of complaints against personnel there. And both the board and Massie said they were disappointed that staffers have apparently lost sight of the fact they are in the customer service business. Commissioner Dick Devine said he received three recent complaints over unspecified matters involving solid waste attendants. Apparently Massie has also received complaints. The transfer station generally gets high marks for its
Hubbard County entered into a participation plan that will eventually result in purchasing the state radio system, reversing a preference for upgrading the VHF emergency radio system. The switch came about at Wednesday's board meeting when radio consultant GeoComm made a presentation on the ARMER (Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response) system. The county has been involved in numerous meetings over the past two years to determine if it should go with the northwest district it belongs in, upgrading its VHF, or going with ARMER to comply with a nationwide mandate to convert to narrowband
Two Hubbard County departments bring a $60+ million economic impact of outside help to the area, but those funds carry a toll of human suffering. Veterans Services Officer Greg Remus told the Hubbard County Board Wednesday veterans and their families received $12.2 million of federal help in 2010, generally in the form of compensation, pension and medical benefits. To a lesser degree the U.S.
A small electrical fire brought legions of emergency personnel to the Holiday Station store around 7 p.m. Wednesday. "It was just a small fire," an employee said. "They all came out here," he said of the platoon of deputies, police, ambulance personnel and firefighters that converged on the store on Highway 34 in Park Rapids. "There was nobody injured." But the incident prompted numerous calls and inquiries to the Enter-prise, as the show of force attracted a crowd."Oh yeah, we had quite the crew up here," the clerk said.
Nearly two years ago Hubbard County invested in an architectural space needs plan that didn't seem to work for anyone. But as those space needs get more immediate, board chair Greg Larson said a workable plan is imminent. The board met in a work session last Wednesday to discuss items it hasn't been able to get to during regular board meetings. "Social Services, we have twice as many people there than we should," he said. Several factors are edging the plan forward. "We have need, space available and cost," Larson said. "We certainly have the need.
The American Legion Auxiliary members have sold thousands of poppies over the years to benefit disabled or hospitalized veterans. From left, Katy Hochstatter, Paulette Lombard and Evie Hagen have many decades of service selling the crepe-paper flowers. The poppies are made at a vet center and can be the sole source of income for disabled veterans, along with funding special projects. Hochstatter is contemplating retiring as co-chair after 43 years. The poppies are exchanged for contributions. Last year the Park Rapids chapter raised $2,200.
After a lousy, but typical start to the Minnesota Fishing Opener, it ended with a burst of warmth and sun. But come rain or shine, the walleyes were biting. Many happy anglers left the Park Rapids area after filling their limits both Saturday and Sunday.
Ten days after Gov. Mark Dayton signed a new law into effect regulating the granting of variances, Hubbard County's Board of Adjustment is once again at loggerheads with the local Coalition of Lake Associations. And once again, the Environmental Services Office is tweaking the criteria for its board to analyze in granting or denying variances. Monday, the BOA and COLA differed frequently over variance analysis during the monthly meeting. COLA representatives accused the beleaguered board, the defendant in a pending lawsuit, of being inconsistent in upholding its own shoreland ordinances.
A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to a conviction in the case of two timber wolves left dead on a highway north of Park Rapids May 8. The reward money is being offered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, said Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer Sam Hunter. The wolves were dumped on U.S. Highway 71 north of Park Rapids. Hunter believes the animals were shot, possibly at another location. They were found south of Little Mantrap Lake near Hubbard County 41. Hunter is asking for any information about the "illegal taking" of the wolves and those responsible.
Park Rapids' quest to host the 2012 Governor's Fishing Opener fell short Saturday night when Waconia was chosen. But Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Katie Magozzi said it was Waconia's fourth attempt, so Park Rapids just needs to stay in the hunt. Magozzi and a group of Park Rapids boosters attended this year's Opener in Grand Rapids. "The governor said he wanted to see our application on his desk next year," she said. "He wanted to keep it in the Metro area next year." Red Wing was the third finalist this year besides Park Rapids and Waconia.