Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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It's opening fishing weekend and we want to give a special shout out to the lake associations for all they are doing to combat Aquatic Invasive Species. Armed with the ammunition indicating the hefty economic clout our lakes have on the Hubbard County tax base, lake residents are getting serious about the weekend company. Don't bring it, is the message. What's "it"? AIS, of course. From boat washes to inspectors, Hubbard County lakes are gearing up to do battle with boat owners. It will be a lesson in diplomacy.
The swollen Fish Hook River dam in Park Rapids was the place to be during the opener - it was coughing up walleyes like crazy. But the anglers also started early, come hell and high water. "There were about 30 of us here at midnight," said Jason Neumayer. "I caught a walleye and a northern." By Saturday morning the riverbanks were lined with anglers, hoping to repeat Matthew Rog's luck. Rog, from New Brighton, held up a string of walleyes grinning.
It's supposed to rain on the opener but it won't rain on the parade. As anglers pulling boat trailers form a steady stream into Park Rapids, merchants are getting ready for the weekend. "We plan on being really busy later," said Debbie Lempola, co-owner of Delaney's Sports Store in Park Rapids. The bait was stocked, the licenses were ready to issue. Baitman Tim Englund has been harvesting minnows in area lakes all week in preparation for the big day. Tomorrow Park Rapids will find out if it will host next year's Governor's Opener. And some anglers, like Steve Malm, plan to wait unt
Central Specialties, Inc., of Alexandria, has been awarded the Highway 34 renovation work between Park Rapids and Akeley. That may be good news to both the public and DOT engineers, especially since the contractor bid the estimated $7.8 million project for $6.788 million. The company raced through the South Highway 71 project last year, minimizing the length of detours engineers had anticipated would be necessary to complete the project.
Zoey is doing just fine. The 10-year-old white husky mix dog who kept a vigil at the scene of her master's fatal car accident north of Nevis, has a new home. She went to live with a friend of her late master, Ben "Bud" Kelsey, Mitch Sanderson. Zoey was riding in Kelsey's pickup in March when Kelsey suffered a suspected heart attack and died behind the wheel.
Nearly two months after a domestic violence incident claimed the lives of a Park Rapids couple, a small group of community members gathered Monday night to germinate the seeds of healing through education. And although Dawn and Gregory Anderson weren't present, their presence was strongly felt. Dawn Anderson died after her husband fired two shotgun rounds into her back at the couple's home, then turned the gun on himself. An Order For Protection was in place at the time.
Authorities are looking into the deaths of two timber wolves found Sunday morning on U.S. Highway 71 south of Little Mantrap Lake near Hubbard County 41. The wolves were lying on the shoulder of the highway north of Park Rapids. They appeared to have been shot, said DNR Conservation Officer Sam Hunter. They were found around 9 a.m. "There's timber wolves around. It's pretty heavily wooded up there and I've seen them quite a few times," she said. Hunter is asking for any information about the wolves. Callers can reach her at 255-4553 or 1-800-652-9093.
A teenage motorist has died of injuries following a high speed chase early Saturday morning in Beltrami County. According to the Beltrami County Sheriff's Department a deputy stopped the car around 4:45 a.m. for a suspected DWI. While authorities were interrogating the driver, the 16-year-old passenger took the wheel and sped northbound on Bemidji Avenue. Four patrol cars joined the chase, which reached speeds of 100 mph, swerving "from lane to lane," the news release stated. The driver lost control of the vehicle on a curve north of Turtle River, 12 miles from Bemidji.
The bleats from all corners of the dusty pen are appropriately timed. "Maaa. Maaa. Maaa." On this Mother's Day, the ewes on the Vogeltanz farm north of Laporte are doing yeomen's work. For the second year in a row, Frank and Debra Vogeltanz have a set of quadruplet lambs, lots of sets of triplets and they've lost count of the twins. "We have 56 lambs so far," Debra says. None of the ewes have given birth to a single lamb in the last two years. They've all been multiple births. The mom of the quads started the birthing process at 1:30 a.m. on April 30.
A new state law went into effect Thursday changing the standards that counties, cities and towns must use in issuing variances to zoning ordinances. Gov. Mark Dayton signed House File 52/Senate File 13 into law. The bill, passed unanimously by both the House and Senate, says "practical difficulties" must exist in complying with an existing ordinance.