Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Park Rapids police are investigating the death of a man Saturday night in the city's first homicide of 2010. Police were called to 619 Woodland Avenue around 9:18 p.m.
Hubbard County residents woke up Independence Day to soaked basements, sump pumps running overtime and dehumidifiers overflowing after nearly 5 inches of rain drenched the region overnight. National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kaiser said three days of string southerly winds culminated in a huge moisture system moving into the area. Kaiser said the Park Rapids Municipal Airport reported 4.8 inches of rain; a weather spotter near Height of Land Lake called in with5.65 inches. "Five inches is a lot of water," he said. Bob Schwartz was trying to figure out how to bail out his Lake E
Authorities are investigating a one-vehicle rollover near Becida early Saturday morning that claimed the life of an out-of-town woman. Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer said the woman and a male survivor, who were not identified, were both from out of he Hubbard County area. The accident occurred shortly after 1 a.m. Homer said it was unclear which of the vehicle occupants was the driver. Homer said more information would be released Sunday. The State Patrol is performing an accident reconstruction.
A rural Hubbard County home burned to the ground early Saturday afternoon. The home was located off Highway 87, just west of Hubbard. It was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene and struggled to get trucks into the wooded surrounding. "I have no idea how it started and probably won't know for awhile," Park Rapids Fire Chief Donn Hoffman said. Firefighters scrambled into the woods with shovels to dig trenches to keep the fire from spreading through the trees.
Joan Hanson reports: "The herons must be extra hungry this year. We've had a cabin on 6th Crow Wing for almost 35 years, and we had a 'first' a couple weeks ago. My grandson and his wife noticed a great blue heron further up in the yard than usual and watched as he snatched a chipmunk, walked to the dock, dunked the chipmunk in the water and 'down the hatch.' "Some years ago, we would leave a small perch on the dock (one too far gone to release), for the heron. One time we caught a mouse in a trap. I laid it on the dock where I usually left a perch.
The 115th annual Shell Prairie Agricultural Association's 2010 Hubbard County Fair will feature a bunch of dummies. Ventriloquist and comedian James Wedgewood will highlight the fair's Friday night venue at 7 p.m. July 9.
To generations of Hubbard County residents, Howard Warmbold is the grand master of the fair. For four-plus decades Warmbold has been front, center and behind the scenes of the fair operations, officially titled the Shell Prairie Agricultural Association.
A Park Rapids woman has been charged with embezzling more than $37,000 from Hubbard First Responders. Valerie Ione Kimball, 44, faces two felony charges in connection with the missing funds, which were first discovered in February. The criminal complaint states an audit of the funds revealed, from April 2007 to December 2009, numerous unauthorized checks, credit purchases and payments were allegedly made to Kimball or her personal accounts while she was the group's treasurer. In all, the complaint states, 70 unauthorized purchases, 18 unauthorized checks and 25 payments have come under s
On the day he was supposed to be sentenced for his 12th DWI, William Lawrence Butcher was in the Park Rapids hospital. "My understanding is that he was hoarding pills and took an overdose," said Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne. Sheriff Frank Homer said the incident is under investigation. "It may have been that (a suicide attempt) but he may have been doing this to get maybe a little added high. "I don't know what he was taking," Homer said of Butcher's medications.