Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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Nevis firefighters doused a grass fire Tuesday afternoon caused by a homeowner who'd dumped the ashes from his wood stove on a debris pile hours earlier. "I guess there must have been some cinders still in there," said Romke Zylstra, who lives off Highway 34 east of Nevis. "When I got home I saw the smoke and thought my barn was on fire," Zylstra said.
Hubbard County residents lag significantly behind the state, the nation and neighboring counties in returning U.S. Census forms. County residents are also well behind Park Rapids city residents in Census compliance. The county, as of Thursday, had returned 43 percent of forms delivered door to door last month. Park Rapids residents had returned 61 percent, which is closer to the state compliance rate of 60 percent. The national return rate is at 52 percent. Neighboring counties also did better than Hubbard County.
Hubbard County may not be able to recoup the $200,000 it paid for a tax recording and billing software program two years ago that it eventually abandoned. As the county researched suing the Michigan-based company called Manatron, it encountered some obstacles, said county coordinator Jack Paul. "We're not doing anything with them," Paul said this week.
Nearly a year after a Park Rapids motorcyclist was killed at a rural intersection the legal process started all over for the teenager driving the car that collided with him. For the family of John Kisner, 42, who was killed when his motorcycle struck the side of Brittany Ann Sayler's car April 17, 2009, the legal developments have taken a frustrating turn. "He we go again," one family member whispered in court Thursday during the proceedings. Sayler, 19, pled guilty in January to failing to yield the right-of-way at the intersection of County Roads 6 and 15. The plea agreement called f
There's a military adage that when the going gets rough, you send in the Marines to do the heavy lifting. An injured trumpeter swan unable to make the winter migration from Lake Hattie, northwest of Pine River, owes his new life to those brave men. For purposes of this story, we've dubbed him Jarhead. The male cynget was shot by a hunter last fall and began to deteriorate.
An accused bank robber said he likely would serve as his own attorney because he can't afford to hire one. Edward Joseph Lowen, 53, a rural resident of Hubbard County, has been relatively quiet in the courtroom up until Monday, when he appeared for his scheduled omnibus hearing. He had many concerns and questions for District Judge Paul Rasmussen. "He is unrepresented at this time," said hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne.
Burglars forced open the door of the Osage Country Market during the early morning hours Saturday and absconded with an ATM just inside the door. An unknown amount of cash was in the machine, said store manager Jeff Christlieb. Nothing else was taken. "We have a fairly good idea who it was," Christlieb said. Although the burglars spray-painted the surveillance cameras, images of the thieves were captured before the damage was done, he said. He described the burglars as regulars in the store.
A Nevis woman charged with causing a serious alcohol-related car accident Feb. 18 appeared Monday in Hubbard County District Court on five charges related to that crash. The criminal complaint states Angela Michelle Colburn, 27, began drinking Blue 100, a high-octane flavored schnapps, at 10 a.m. on the day of the accident, which occurred nearly six hours later. Her blood alcohol content was .208 percent, the complaint states. She has a prior DWI, on Oct.