Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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The investigation into the cause of the Whitetail Tavern fire that partially destroyed the neighboring Velvet Antler restaurant last month began with a platoon of fire marshals, insurance adjusters and firefighters Thursday. And one item of evidence may prove invaluable - the establishment's security video. "I just got done watching the fire," said Nevis firefighter Ron Leyba.
A former Hubbard First Responder will spend 90 days in jail for embezzling public funds meant for the emergency squad. Valerie Kimball, 45, Park Rapids, was given a year and a day in jail for the crime, but the sentence will be stayed for 10 years while she is on probation. She must write a letter of apology to the public and make restitution of more than $32,000. A lengthy investigation found that Kimball, the group's former bookkeeper, misappropriated the funds over a two-year period.
A newly sworn Hubbard County Board of Commissioners welcomed its first female member in years Tuesday and she immediately set the tone for a business model approach to running the county. Kathy Grell joins a distinct minority of female commissioners, an estimated 12 percent, according to the Minnesota Legislature's Office on the Economic Status of Women. Grell, who represents Dist.
A foot plus of new snow has jump-started businesses in the Great White North, a.k.a.
Tears flowed Wednesday as a Park Rapids man pled guilty to punching his friend in the nose during an altercation last summer, causing his death. Luis Candelaria, 48, will be sentenced on two of three charges filed by a Hubbard County grand jury in the July 3 death of Richard Allen Hoskins, 43. A charge of Second Degree Murder will be dismissed at Candelaria's sentencing Feb. 28.
A Level 3 sex offender has moved to downtown Park Rapids. Police Chief Terry Eilers released the information Thursday on Joshua Joe Dexter, 29, who is living in a downtown apartment on Third Street West. Notification of sex offenders is required by law. Eilers said he's not sure why Dexter moved to the area because he has no known relatives here. Dexter was released in 2007 on a Criminal Sexual Conduct conviction that was prosecuted in Kannabec County. According to the state Department of Corrections, Dexter "has a history of sexual contact with juvenile females (age 13-14) that incl
An ice fishing holiday turned tragic Thursday night when two teens pulling their fish house with a snowmobile plunged into open water on the 3rd Crow Wing Lake south of Nevis. One teen died; the other tried in vain to rescue his friend and was overcome by exertion and the cold. The victim was identified as 18-year-old Lukas Neubarth of Brownton. After the search for his body was called off late Thursday, the Lakes Area Dive Team returned to the scene off Chokecherry Drive Friday morning.
A homegrown son fulfilled his life's ambition Monday morning as Cory Aukes was sworn in as Hubbard County Sheriff. The new sheriff, a Park Rapids native, got a hug from mom Gina Aukes and a "Good job!" salutation. His extended family, in-laws, two kids and wife Molly all stood by, most with digital cameras flashing. "He worked very hard and we're so proud of him," said aunt Tish Snelling. Aukes was sworn in by district court operations supervisor Lindy Berg. He wore a brown shirt, not the traditional white reserved for the top law enforcement officials.
A former Park Rapids student died of exposure Monday or Tuesday in Sioux Falls when he walked home from a bar. According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, a two-day-long search by ground and air located the body of Andrew Douglas Hahn, 21, in a slough in the Harmodon Park area. The police search was aided by a helicopter, bloodhounds, snowmobiles and ATVs. According to the Argus Leader, Hahn had hitched a ride home from a bar at 2 a.m. Monday, but left the vehicle after an argument with the driver. A search team using dogs found his body at 5 p.m.
A homegrown son fulfilled his life's ambition Monday morning as Cory Aukes was sworn in as Hubbard County Sheriff. The new sheriff, a Park Rapids native, got a hug from mom Gina Aukes and a "Good job!" salutation.