Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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Non-union Hubbard County employees are projected to get a 3 percent wage hike for 2011, but department heads may find their salaries frozen. As various departments begin the budgeting process, county commissioners want to treat employees, union or otherwise, fairly. Because union workers are in the last year of a three-year contract guaranteeing them 3 percent salary hikes, county board members don't want non-union employees to be treated differently. But county board chair Lyle Robinson said at the end of this contract, he doesn't envision more annual wage hikes as given out in the past
Architects working to reallocate space for Hubbard County offices unveiled drawings for the District Courts Wednesday. The plan, costing in excess of $2 million, moves all court functions to the vacant second floor of the Law Enforcement Center. Two of four options were presented.
Hubbard County and many surrounding counties, is in a tornado watch until 9 p.m. this evening. The National Weather Service out of Grand Forks issued the warning at 12:45 p.m. A rotating system of thunderstorms was centered above Jamestown, N.D.
A 41-year-old Lake Park man was airlifted Wednesday afternoon to a Twin Cities hospital with serious injuries suffered in an ATV accident near Two Inlets. Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said Mark Scheffner was ejected from his 800 cc Can-Am ATV, which rolled. The man was riding with another ATV operator, Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer said, "We don't know exactly what happened, but my understanding from Becker County is that the man's pelvic area and maybe his back were injured." Gordon said alcohol was not a factor.
Akeley's Garden Club members experienced the rush of customers Saturday at its annual sale. Member Bonnie Benham said the group uses the proceeds to enhance Akeley's charming downtown area. The club purchased the benches that flank the town's Paul Bunyan sculpture, planted a memorial flower bed nearby and plant all the barrels that line the downtown area. Each club member take a two-week turn at watering. Akeley resident Georgie Barnett looks over the plant selection. She was buying phlox and lupine, but said she was open to other selections.
If a resort ownership changes its business model, should the resort's taxable valuation change as well? That's the issue the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners, acting as the county Board of (tax) Equalization, was asked to decide Monday.
A Laporte man was arraigned Monday on two felony charges in connection with the death of his ATV passenger May 1. Chad Robert Tabaka, 31, formerly of Walker, was released on his own recognizance by Judge Robert Tiffany, who placed several conditions on him. He faces two counts of criminal vehicular operation in the death of Jessica Lynn Christopherson, 31.
Opposition to a proposed electrical substation and high voltage transmission lines to serve the Potato Lake area seems to be gaining momentum. Whether it can kill the project is unclear. Angry Hubbard County residents affected by the proposal faced off with officials from Itasca-Mantrap Cooperative and Great River Energy Wednesday night in what is becoming a bruising battle to stop the project. Seventeen residents living along Hubbard County 18, where 3 miles of the power lines would go, have retained a St. Cloud attorney to represent their interests.
Once a week Ron Jensen hops on his Mule (4-wheeled, not 4-legged) and runs his route through Park Rapids. He checks the 44 bluebird houses he has scattered throughout the city. Forty-nine babies and counting. And that's not including the chickadees. "Gee there must be 25 or 30 of the little buggers," Jensen said. "They have seven, eight, nine" at a time. Chickadees have nested in the bluebird houses.
Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer faced a room of savvy senior citizens Wednesday when he tried to educate them about scam artists. Many were already experienced victims - and near victims who were quick enough to ward off, or hang up on, a deal that was too good to be true. Some even brought their mail scams with them, including the "winner" of a chunk of money who needed to send a wire transfer fee and sign a waiver to recoup his winnings.