Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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A downtown Park Rapids home sustained heavy smoke and fire damage Wednesday afternoon in a blaze that snarled downtown traffic and brought many onlookers to the scene. The homeowner, Karen Karl, said she had walked from the house at 211 Pleasant Avenue to the downtown area to run an errand shortly after 4 p.m. "I wasn't even gone a half hour," she said. The main floor of her home was in flames. Twenty Park Rapids firefighters converged on the scene, which attracted dozens of spectators. Assistant Fire Chief Terry Long said the cause of the fire is under investigation.
The beleaguered Hubbard County Board of Adjustment denied four variances that would have allowed encroachment on three of the county's most populated lakes, but COLA members are nevertheless pressuring the group to deny more. The board is being sued by the Coalition of Lake Associations for a variance it granted last winter in a resort-turned residential planned unit development on Fifth Crow Wing Lake. But COLA members and their attorney, who have monitored board meetings since the lawsuit was filed this summer, are pressuring the board to get stricter on homeowners who want to make lakes
The challengers for Hubbard County Sheriff and county attorney made their strategy clear Monday night: Youth versus the old guard. Hubbard County Sgt.
Solving or explaining Minnesota's financial woes is virtually impossible in a two-minute presentation, agreed a panel of state House and Senate candidates at a forum in Nevis Monday night. That was where the agreement ended. DFL Dist.
The driver of a mid-sized sedan was taken to the Park Rapids hospital after rear-ending a pickup pulling a horse trailer east of Nevis Monday afternoon. The accident, just before 4 p.m., snarled traffic both ways on the busy Highway 34 as Nevis buses and students were hitting the road. The pickup driver said she and her two horses were not injured. She said she was turning into a friend's driveway off the highway when the vehicle behind her struck the back of the trailer. "I'd just about pulled all the way into the driveway," she said. She had come from Park Rapids.
Fishers and flickers have been spotted in the region. "This morning, when I opened the blinds on the picture window, something big and furry ran away from the feeder and jumped onto the big jack pine like a squirrel," e-mailed Stan Gardinich of Becida. "It was not shaped like a coon. It had shorter legs and was much sleeker. It had a smaller head. It got off the tree and ran behind the woodshed and jumped onto another tree and climbed a few feet up. I have seen marten and this was bigger than that. I do not think it was a wolverine because I do not think they climb like that.
Calling Hubbard County's 2011 budget a "zero growth" one is a misnomer, but it's awfully darned sparse. So what term does one give to a county asked to scrape by for another year with less money? Hubbard County commissioners set the estimated 2011 net levy at $11.66 million Wednesday, only $293,473 more than last year's despite an overall 3 percent pay increase for employees. Although the figure is $200,000 above what the state allows the county to levy, that can be remedied by designating expenses such as the jail bonds a special levy. Proposed 2011 total revenues in the "Lyle/Cal" bu
A well-known Park Rapids surveyor faces felony theft charges in a case that has elements of competitive espionage to it. Thomas Michael Miller, 64, has been charged with downloading the database of Arro Land Surveyors, LLC, his former employer, and taking it, a client list and other information to Lindow Surveying & Mapping LLC, where he is now employed as a consultant.