Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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A 40-year-old Park Rapids man has been convicted by a jury of four counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, three of which involved a minor girl. Thomas Dean Mitchell was charged in 2009 after a woman brought a complaint forward that he had touched her inappropriately and without her consent. In the course of that investigation, the counts involving the minor girl also were being looked into. Mitchell took the witness stand Thursday morning, admitting he fondled the girl on at least two occasions.
If a contractor leaves unfinished business - or a mess - from the last job it performed, at least two Park Rapids business owners maintain that company should not be awarded any more work until the slate is wiped clean. Such was the case last week when the city awarded the $1+ million contract for the southwest area street and utility improvement to Sellin Bros., Inc., of Hawley. Highway 34 business owner Dick Rutherford, representing himself and Scott Wilson, owner of Park Theater, said the contractor owes both businesses money from sewer damage caused by the highway construction that wen
A federal stimulus program for homebuyers gave a welcome shot in the arm to area realtors, who posted "sold signs" on numerous properties throughout the region. "According to figures I got from the Lakes Country Association of Realtors, from Jan.
Gardeners itching to get their fingers in the soil have lots of new choices this growing season. Above normal temperatures mean many have already jump-started the growing process, especially dedicated container gardeners. 'They can just bring them in and out" as temperatures lately flirt with the freezing mark, said Christine Jessen, co-owner of Forest & Floral Garden Center of Park Rapids. Weeks of daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s have spurred growth of annuals and seeds. There are some new and interesting choices of annuals, Jessen said. "Trailing impatiens, fillers and gra
Seventeen teams of walkers hoisted their umbrellas on a rainy Sunday to raise funds for a disease that robs its victims of their mobility, cognitive skills and eventually their lives. Park Rapids' first ever walk for multiple sclerosis was a success by any measure. Cold rainy weather didn't deter dozens, as their wet tennis shoes hit the pavement of the Heartland Trail. In all, 200 walkers were registered. "Before the walk started we had raised $6,200," said co-organizer Sue Monsrud.
A 16-year-old Akeley girl struck her 12-year-old brother Saturday morning in the driveway of the family home, causing serious injuries to the boy. He is hospitalized at an unknown burn center in Minneapolis. His condition is not known, although the Hubbard County Sheriff's Department says he "is improving." Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer said the accident, around 10 a.m., occurred in White Oak Town-ship.
A Benedict woman has died as the results of injuries suffered in an ATV crash Saturday. According to the Hubbard County Sheriff's department, Jessica Christopherson, 31, was a passenger on an ATV that collided with a tree on East Steam-boat Forest Road Saturday just after 6 p.m. The Sheriff's Depart-ment said the driver, 30-year-old Chad Tabaka, lost control of the vehicle three miles south of Benedict, left the roadway and collided with the tree. The 2004 Honda TRX650R ATV, was northbound when the accident occurred. Christopherson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Park Rapids' geriatric system of shallow wells could topple like dominos in the coming years, much like senior citizens on wobbly walkers. Nitrate levels continue to creep to dangerous levels in two more wells. Tuesday, Park Rapids City Council members, less than a year after taking a well out of service, learned a second one has failed a quarterly test of nitrate levels.
A Park Rapids teenager involved in a fatal accident one year ago was given a choice Friday: seven days in jail or 120 hours of community service, 40 of which will be spent educating drivers ed students about making mistakes that take a life. A tearful Brittany Ann Sayler, 19, chose the public service. She was driving a car on County Road 15 that pulled onto County Road 6 April 17, 2009. Motorcyclist John Kisner,42, struck her vehicle broadside. He died at the scene. Sayler was sentenced for the second time Friday on a failure to yield the right-of-way charge.
The attorney representing two lake associations explained a lawsuit filed recently against Hubbard County and its variance board in simple terms: why bother to have ordinances if public officials won't follow them? Chuck Diessner, a Potato Lake resident and attorney for Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.