Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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"Need three things," is Lowell Koebnick's standard greeting to boaters. That means after he sees your current registration, he needs to see a life jacket within reaching distance for everyone on the boat, a floatable cushion or "throwable" and a fire extinguisher if you have an inboard motor or built in fuel tank on a 16 foot or longer craft. Kids 10 and under must wear a life jacket while the boat is in motion. Koebnick is one of Hubbard County's three Boat & Water patrol officers during the summers. He spends 40 hours a week patrolling the lakes, especially the "hot ones" with a lot
Hubbard County's scaled down plan to reallocate space to burgeoning departments has mired down again. Commissioner Cal Johannsen, who sits on the county's Building Committee, said further floor plan work hinges on getting the district court personnel input. So far that input has been mainly a rejection of the current plan, which is to move court functions to the vacant second floor of the Law Enforcement Center. "They don't want anything," Johannsen said.
Sharon Fitzgerald was not an easy target this week when she got the telephone call from the "federal government." The caller wanted information on the Medicare patient in the home. No number registered on her Caller ID. Why, Fitzgerald asked. "Somebody was calling from the federal government wanting Medicare information from me," Fitzgerald said.
Hubbard County's E-911 system is a step above a tin can telephone. It's a 10-year-old computer running Windows 95. In computer terms, it's on life support. Wednesday the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners voted to spend nearly $132,000 to overhaul the system. "At some point soon they will not be supplying parts to fix it," said E-911 administrator Sherri Klasen. "If the computer fails we cannot replace it because you cannot get Windows 95 computers anymore," she said. "It's old.
In the dense jungles of Vietnam, fear was everywhere. You heard your enemy before you saw him, and it was often too late. By then you had minor shrapnel wounds if you were lucky, bullet wounds if you weren't. Artillery rounds sounded like a bullwhip cracking over your head. Who were these invisible soldiers shooting at you from the trees, causing your adrenalin to surge at warp speed? Even the Vietnamese civilians recruited to help the U.S.
A committee of city and county officials has begun meeting to continue a long planned and partially begun truck alternate route around Park Rapids to route heavy industrial traffic away from the downtown area. The initial step was to begin the route off U.S. Highway 71 north near the defunct Candle Factory north of Park Rapids in 2006.
Cass County authorities have joined Park Rapids police investigating the similarities between firebombing incidents in both counties. Last month a Molotov cocktail was thrown through a side window of Belle Taine Glass, off Highway 34 in Park Rapids. The cocktail extinguished itself once inside the company's offices, but causes gasoline stains and window damage. Two similar incidents occurred in Cass County, to Spitzack Builders in Walker, said Cass County investigator Robert Stein.