Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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Six family electricians will turn the switch on economic development in a tiny town that refuses to go by the wayside. Two fathers and four sons, all owners of Bessler Brothers Electric, recently purchased the Woodland Convenience Store in Lake George and are working feverishly to reopen by March 1. The store closed in 2008 when its former owner died.
What is the average Hubbard County employee's salary? Good question. Why wasn't it included in a recent salary story? Because it's a moving target. It could be around $50,000. But that could be way off. Hubbard County has "163 employees, about 6 part-time," according to County Coordinator Jack Paul. In figuring the average salary, what would be less misleading? Adding part-time employees and wages into the mix or leaving them out? If an employee's salary is partially or wholly funded with a grant, through a federal or state program or fees charged, how should that be factored in?
Two Menahga men have been charged with cruelty to animals in the shootings of two Labrador retrievers last fall in a rural Hubbard County subdivision. A third neighborhood dog was allegedly poisoned and died, but no charges have been filed in that case. Andrew Eugene Leece James, 23, faces a felony charge of Cruelty to Animals and a gross misdemeanor charge of Third Degree Criminal Property Damage in the shooting of a chocolate Lab Oct. 19.
Twenty-five Snyders Drug Stores' pharmacies in Minnesota have been sold to Walgreens. Employees in Park Rapids and Menahga were told of the sale Tuesday night. The Park Rapids pharmacy will remain open; Menahga's will close. "The sale was finalized on Tuesday night," said Michael Morin, a Detroit-based public relations spokesman handling publicity surroun- ding the sale. "There are some regulatory things that have to happen but there shouldn't be a problem with that," he said. "We expect that next Thursday (Jan.
Credit card companies aren't the only ones accumulating bad debt. Hubbard County transfer stations will soon take some delinquent debtors to court to collect overdue fees, and may have to write other debts off. As the local economy continues to take a toll on the building trades industry, construction companies are leaving trails of debt in their wake. Solid Waste Manager Vern Massie received permission to take two companies to court for past due debts.
Hubbard County employees, despite a recession, will continue to get 3 percent annual raises through the end of 2011. County board members voted last month to give union, non-union and elected employees cost of living increases that amount to a 3 percent increase. In so doing, it puts many county employees above the U.S. Census Bureau median income levels in both the state and Hubbard County.
A press release issued by Hubbard County attorneys Tuesday indicates an Akeley woman who sued over an alleged sexual assault by a former deputy may have received only a fraction of the $640,000 settlement. "Two hundred fifty thousand dollars was paid to purchase an annuity" for Kristy Barsch, the release states. No additional payments were to be made on behalf of the county and Greg Siera, the deputy who resigned under pressure one year ago, the county's press release indicates. Barsch accused Siera of sexually assaulting her while he was on duty in late 2008.
Hubbard County will pay an Akeley woman a structured settlement worth $640,000 to settle a lawsuit against it and a former deputy sheriff accused of sexually assaulting her while on duty. The Hubbard County Board went into closed session Tuesday afternoon with its attorney and voted to allow the Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust to pay Kristy Barsch to settle her civil rights lawsuit. Barsch, a mother of two, alleged former deputy Greg Siera sexually assaulted her in the fall of 2008. Siera resigned one year ago under pressure after being placed on paid administrative leave following th
Hubbard County commissioners voted Tuesday to immediately suspend their agreement with the Michigan maker of defective tax assessing software; the board will probably stiff the company for money it owes for 2010. That won't make a dent in the $200,000+ the county has already lost purchasing and trying to implement the once vaunted Manatron billing, assessing and recording program that never lived up to expectations. "We cannot do our taxes with the Manatron system as it is, pure and simple," said Hubbard County Auditor Pam Heeren, who had suggested with other department heads the county sw
In the ongoing soap opera that has become Hubbard County's Veterans Service Office, a starring character whose face was missed will likely reprise his role, just as they do on daytime TV. John Lombard, who retired two years ago, said he would be willing to help the county through a vacancy in the office if the price is right and it doesn't affect his retirement benefits. But he said the county asked him for help months ago, before current VSO Dave W. Konshok tendered his surprise resignation in December. Konshok, who is leaving to pursue other interests, is done Jan.