Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Platoons of firefighters and trucks battled a Peysenske Lake blaze in sub-zero conditions early Wednesday morning. The home, at the intersection of Evening Drive and Evening Lane in south central Hubbard County, was a total loss. "Everybody got out safely," said Hubbard County Sgt. Shane Plautz. "They even got the pets out." The call at the Brian Halik home came in around 12:25 a.m. as a chimney fire, said Hubbard County Chief Dep. Scott Parks.
A decision in a recent court challenge to Hubbard County property valuations may give homeowners pause before they race to the courthouse. A Stillwater attorney with a summer home on Spider Lake said he is still deciding whether to appeal the local court decision ruling against him in a challenge of his property's valuations. "It's a very anomalous decision," said Duane E. Arndt of the Jan. 14 court ruling that significantly raised his estimated market value and property taxes two out of three years. "Well, it raises the assessments when assessments were going down.
Hubbard County authorities are taking a look at a "cold case" to see if they can help a Sebeka woman learn how her 19-year-old brother died in 1973. Sidney Eugene Berthelot Jr, 19, mysteriously left his senior class of 1973 in Park Rapids to move to Mississippi mid-year. He was a handsome kid who attracted women and trouble, his sister said. Like most kids in the 70s, he experimented with drugs and alcohol.
In 1973 a rural Park Rapids teen was found dead on Highway 71 near Four Mile Corner. The supposed hit-and-run accident was never solved. Accusations of cover-ups and dirty dealings by the cops followed. Some believe Sidney Eugene Berthelot Jr., 19, was murdered, especially his sister. Others say he was the victim of an accident at a party and was dumped on the highway to cover it up. No one is really sure. Hubbard County authorities agreed to give the case a fresh look to see if they can provide some closure to the family. Read about the mystery in Saturday's Park Rapids Enterpri
A Crookston woman was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center Saturday after being injured in a snowmobile accident south of Two Inlets earlier that day. It took an ambulance crew an hour to locate Anita Marie Brekken, 42, in the Two Inlets State Forest near 560th Avenue and 290th Street west of the Hubbard County line. And the accident illustrates the need for snowmobilers to know where they are in case they need emergency help. Rescue crews were slowed when the victim's party didn't know which county they were in Saturday.
A Bloomington man has also been charged in a big game poaching case in which conservation officers discovered pot growing on leased hunting land in Hubbard County. Dennis Michael Cook, 61, faces four charges in connection with the game violations near Badoura State Forest, and a Third Degree Controlled Substance Crime. Cook and Stephen Donald Battin, 60, Big Lake, are charged with growing 42 pounds of marijuana at their hunting camp site. The investigation into the game violations began in October when CO Sam Hunter requested a DNR plane to take her up in the air to look into a tip that
A Crookston woman was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center Saturday after being injured in a snowmobile accident south of Two Inlets earlier that day. It took an ambulance crew an hour to locate Anita Marie Brekken, 42, in the Two Inlets State Forest near 560th Avenue and 290th Street near Hub-bard County. Crews were slowed by the victim's party not knowing which county they were in. Brekken was snowmobiling with three others, who were not injured. The Becker County Sheriff's Department said she struck a tree on a curve and injured her hip. For more on the story, see Wednesday
Courthouse security was a subject Hubbard County Commissioner Dick Devine brought up just days before a mass shooting in Arizona that claimed six lives and gravely wounded a U.S. Congresswoman. "I have some misgivings about the other end of the courthouse," Devine said to Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes at Wednesday's county board meeting. Public shootings at governmental meetings have occurred in Minnesota counties and across the nation.
Hubbard County's beleaguered Board of Adjustment came under fire again Monday as the attorney for the Coalition of Lake Associations accused members of illegal conduct. Going on site visitations as a group to determine whether variances should be granted is a violation of Minnesota's Open Meeting Law, attorney Chuck Diessner alleged at the board's monthly meeting. Board members denied discussing requests for variances or other county business on those trips, but Diessner said that's beside the point. If a quorum of board members gathers in any one place it's an open meeting, he asserts,
A tiny dynamo left a Rochester hospital one week after undergoing a kidney transplant last Saturday. And if Katrina Olafson's miraculous recovery continues, she will finally be able to meet the Century School kindergarten class she's heard so much about but hasn't been able to meet this school year. She's been at the Mayo Clinic since March 2010 undergoing dialysis until a matching kidney was finally located last Friday. Saturday morning bright and early she was on the operating table.