Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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A Ponsford man was sentenced to 79 months in prison for his 12th DWI conviction. "This is a tale of tragedy," Judge Robert Tiffany told William Lawrence Butcher, 48. "Thankfully you did not kill yourself or your passenger on the roadways." Tiffany reminded Butcher that DWI laws were passed to avoid "mayhem" on public roads, and told Butcher his driving history indicated a "total disregard" for those statutes. Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne said "the defendant has been in the system for the past 20 years.
The Hubbard County Fair's signature event attracted thousands and didn't disappoint. But it was the human drama going on in the drivers' seats that captured the demolition derby's compact heat - and the audience's hearts. It was a show of sportsmanship that adds to the legacy of an event. Behind the wheel of a red Chevy Lumina, numbered 22, sat 20-year-old Andrew Carmichael. Fourteen-year-old Lucas Pritchett, driving in his first race, was behind the wheel of a red orange car called "73 Jr.," a reference to his demolition derby veteran father Lance. The Nissan Sentra had been custom
A Hubbard County man has been convicted in federal court of robbing an Akeley branch bank in February. Edward Joseph Lowen's case was filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota this spring because the federal penalties are stiffer for bank robbery. He faced a single count of bank robbery. A grand jury indicted him April 13. That resulted in the dismissal of the state charges he was facing. Lowen, 54, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. He was found guilty late Tuesday following a two-day trial in Duluth. He was charged with entering the State Bank of Walker Feb.
An ATV rider was killed in Beltrami County Saturday morning. The accident is believed to have occurred near County Road 36 across the Hubbard/Beltrami county line. Beltrami County said no news release is contemplated at the present time because the family has not been notified of the death.
For Don Wilkins, preservation of an endangered violet blue bird has been a retirement obsession. The 200+ adults and 450 chicks make up the largest purple martin population in the state. Thursday was banding day. Chicks of the right age, not too small or large, received a silver U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service band on the right leg. On the left, a red band identifying the babies as Minnesota born and raised, along with some local identifiers.
Two months ago Michael Plante appeared before the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners to tell them he was job hunting if members wouldn't elevate his position to full-time. The promising young attorney, fresh out of law school with loans to pay back, found work - in Wabasha County after Hubbard County invested an estimated $20,000 to $30,000 training him for his new job.
Registration begins today for the 10th annual Park Rapids Youth Fishing Derby that will occur July 31. Organizers Sharon Melbo, daughter Kim Petrie and granddaughter Amber Petrie say they're grateful the contest has endured 10 years, especially in tough economic times. "We're ready; we're excited," Kim said. There is no registration fee as usual. The family gets everything donated so kids take home a rod and reel, T-shirt, bait and prizes. They get a free lunch during the tournament, which runs from 11 a.m.
A Boot Lake area home burned to the ground early Sunday morning after apparently being struck by lightning during a ferocious thunderstorm. Assistant Park Rapids Fire Chief Terry Long said firefighters were called to a home on County Road 46 around 2:30 a.m.
Hubbard County officials continue to hear good reports about recently hired Veterans Services Officer Greg Remus. "Vets are ecstatic with him," county board member Don Carlson said. "He's making people very happy. It's nice to hear the positive stuff. He was an excellent acquisition, very dedicated." Remus was hired in the spring from the Fargo Veterans Association following the January resignation of Dave W.