Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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Hubbard County board chair Lyle Robinson frequently jokes that his district in the sparsely populated northeast region of the county doesn't need highway maintenance funds. All District 4 needs is a good lawnmower to shave the stripes of grass down the centerlines of the gravel roads. As county engineer Dave Olsonawski unveiled a five-year road improvement plan in Nary Monday night, those grass centers are looking like they won't be paved over any time soon. In 2009, which may have been the zenith of road and bridge projects, Hubbard County got federal and state funding to complete 13 jo
Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources will be dismissed from a lawsuit filed over a docking variance granted this past winter. The DNR was named as a defendant in a suit filed by Fifth Crow Wing resident Ed Mutsch, the Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations and the Middle Crow Wing Lake Association. The case was filed after the Board of Adjustment, another named defendant, granted the former Eagles Landing Resort permission for 11 dock slips, when the plaintiffs say only three are allowed by ordinance. DNR Fisheries supervisor Doug Kingsley actually spoke out against the ex
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.
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 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.
"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
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.