Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Absentee voting in 2010 is lagging behind the record 1,500 ballots cast in Hubbard County during the 2008 election with just days to go before voters head to the polls. But auditor Pam Heeren doesn't see the 550 absentee ballots already cast as a low number. "It's very possible next week could be busy but I don't know if we'd still catch up to that (2008)," she said.
Maybe it's the sign of a cranky electorate. Or maybe it's something else. Throughout the corners of Hubbard County and downtown Park Rapids a whispering campaign has begun: "Write in Terry Eilers for Sheriff." "Yeah, I've heard that before, too," laughed the popular Park Rapids police chief, who's been keeping a low profile throughout the race even though he's been approached by many to jump in or offer advice. Eilers, the former sheriff of Douglas County, worries about his marital status if he were to accede. "My wife would hang me," he said, only partially in jest.
Neighbors rushed to a burning garage with fire extinguishers early Friday afternoon after they heard a loud bang on a residential avenue. They reported seeing a male in a red shirt leaving the scene behind the Fourth Street West home near Fair Avenue. One wall of the garage was extensively damaged. Jason and Anna Hochstatter raced across the street when they saw smoke. The area ignited behind the garage was a small enclosure that looked as if it was used for trash. "I thought someone was burning outdoors and I thought it was a really bad idea on a day like today," Jason Hochstatter s
Eastbound traffic through Park Rapids snarled Thursday afternoon when a trucker dropped part of his load at a heavily traveled intersection. The piece of equipment was too heavy for officers to re-load by hand, so heavy equipment was called in. The accident occurred at the Intersection of Highway 34 and Central Avenue shortly before 12:30 p.m. It was expected to take awhile to clear up the debris and get traffic flowing again. The roadway was gouged during the mishap. Park Rapids police were on hand directing traffic. Hydraulic fluid and anti-freeze spilled all over the roadway.
The increasingly negative campaigns for Hubbard County attorney and sheriff were forced into a temporary cease-fire Monday night in a candidates forum in Nary by an innocent request from the audience: Say one nice thing about your opponent. Awkward. Four sheepish men grimaced, laughed uncomfortably and squirmed. The youngest candidate led the way, bringing levity to an evening of tense but polite exchanges among the four candidates. "He made a huge commitment to the country serving in Vietnam," attorney Nathaniel Welte said of county attorney Don Dearstyne. "It takes extreme courage
Applause broke out in the county boardroom after the Hubbard County Board of Adjustment granted a controversial variance for a former resort trying to convert to a residential planned unit development. The request by the Dan Schneeman family has been pending for months as it begins the conversion process to renovate an old resort to family owned, larger cabins on Lower Bottle Lake.
Walter Salo's introduction to Menahga city administration didn't go exactly as planned. Shortly after the city's new administrator started his job last month, deputy city clerk Susie Larson and administrative secretary Joline Floyd abruptly submitted their resignations. That prompted rumors the women were dissatisfied with prospective changes Salo wanted to implement and unhappy with the city council. Council members gave both women raises while they held the municipal ship together after the resignation of former administrator Teri Osterman. But the council voted last month to return
DNR regional director Mike Carroll is the unanimous choice to become Hubbard County's next Land Commissioner. Carroll is the husband of Park Rapids mayor Nancy Carroll and a 32-year employee of the state. A formal job offer will come at next week's county board meeting, but Carroll was the unanimous choice of all five commissioners after interviews Wednesday. Seven finalists out of 17 applicants were interviewed for the position. Carroll, who commutes to DNR offices in Bemidji daily, said he'd welcome a shorter day. If he accepts, Carroll would succeed Bob Hoffman, who is retiring at
Orlan Blanchard has fished the Kabekona River since 1938 for brook trout. These days he's mad as the dickens at the DNR, which will recommend a catch and release regulation for a portion of the river that feeds into Kabekona Lake. The reason, says the DNR, is to stabilize the brookie population and prevent the vast fluctuations in population the agency has seen over the years. Nonsense, counters Blanchard and his neighbors. The riverbanks will be littered with trout carcasses because brookies aren't amenable to catch and release methods.