Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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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.
A 45-year-old Menahga man pled guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to possessing more than 300 images of child pornography. Brent Michael Freeman pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. Freeman was indicted on March 18, 2010. In his plea agreement, Freeman admitted that on July 9, 2007, he knowingly possessed "visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, those images having been transported via a computer," according to the criminal complaint. Freeman faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Judge John R.
A former Park Rapids schoolteacher made his initial appearance Monday in court on a charge of bringing a hunting rifle onto school grounds. Scott Eischens, 38, Ponsford, was released on his own recognizance on the felony charge. He told Hubbard County District Judge Paul Rasmussen he was in the process of retaining private counsel. Eischens resigned under pressure in December after an internal investigation into the incident was sent to the County Attorney's office for prosecution. A student reported seeing an uncased rifle in the back seat of Eischens' Volkswagon on Nov.
Hubbard County lake activists have won a lawsuit challenging a variance granted for a Crow Wing Lake planned unit development. District Judge Paul Rasmussen ruled Feb. 23 the county's Board of Adjustment did not correctly or completely assess the factors for granting 11 boat slips to Eagles Landing Resort, which is converting to a PUD on 5th Crow Wing Lake.
The saga of two best friends who couldn't handle their alcohol ended July 3, 2010 with one going to the grave; the other to jail. Monday Luis Candelaria, 48, was formally sentenced to 18 months in jail in the death of Richard Allen Hoskins of Park Rapids. Hoskins' funeral program said he passed away at "41 years, 6 months & 11 days." The men had spent the holiday drinking, boating and sunning, Candelaria testified in January. Their alcohol-fueled argument escalated like tinder by nightfall. Punches were exchanged. Hoskins lay dead in Candelaria's Park Rapids lawn with a head injury.
The Hubbard County Board of Adjustment granted two variances Tuesday and kept itself from compounding its miseries. The board, a defendant in a lawsuit filed by lake activists, decided against conditioning a variance on a landowner's promise never to subdivide her property. Misreading the site plan and under the assumption there was only 66 feet of lake frontage, interim board chair Jerry Cole asked Island Lake landowner Gae Veit for a promise not to put more pressure on her natural environment lake by subdividing.
A former Park Rapids teacher who resigned under pressure late last year makes his initial appearance on a charge of bringing a weapon onto school grounds. Scott Christopher Eischens, 38, was an industrial education teacher at Park Rapids Area High School for 12 years. He was placed on paid administrative leave when school officials found a hunting rifle in the bed of his pickup late last year. He resigned in December 2010. He is set to appear Feb. 28 in Hubbard County District Court. He faces a felony charge of possessing a gun on school property.
As a rural pizzeria renewed its 2 a.m. closing license, Hubbard County commissioners discussed whether the board should review the county's closing time for establishments that sell alcohol. But that state law only pertains locally to Zhateau Zorbaz in Dorset. The Whitetail Tavern, which also had a 2 a.m. closing time, burned in December. "I don't remember when we OK'd it but I don't think it's a very good idea," said commissioner Dick Devine, a retired highway trooper.
Diana Defatte got a life sentence in her own assault Wednesday. Her ex-husband and abuser will serve four years in prison for the June 2009 brutal attack on his then wife in her Lake George home. She suffered a broken orbital bone and bruises from head to toe. An emergency room doctor had to staple her head back together where it was split open with an axe handle. "I got the sentence and I'm going to continue to have the sentence," she said Thursday. "I'll do my best not to let it haunt me the rest of my life but as soon as he's out from behind bars I don't know what's gonna happen.