Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.
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As the snowmobile season begins a gradual end, hastened by unseasonably warm temperatures and melting snow, Hubbard County's snowmobile officers remain on the job patrolling the trails. "We're out here primarily for safety, to keep the sport for everybody," said Dep. Jeff Stacey. "There's always some that ruin it for others." Dep.
The grand opening of the Woodland Convenience Store was a mostly low-key affair except for the huge bouquet of roses on the counter. But the gas was a steal. At 14 cents cheaper than neighboring Park Rapids, Lake George prices at the pump lured folks from miles away. Snowmobilers and trucks pulled up to the gas pumps. There were people inside at the coffee bar, stocked with typical convenience store food, doughnuts, muffins, hot dogs, hot and cold drinks. This summer a soft serve machine will serve ice cream, Two local fathers and their sons re-opened the store last weekend.
Authorities released photos of what appeared to be a paunchy, middle-aged man who is wanted in a bank heist in Akeley Friday night. The grainy photos, captured from bank surveillance videotape, show the man, clad in light colored tennis shoes, jeans, a camouflaged jacket, ball cap and sunglasses, leaning against the teller counter at First National Bank of Walker's Akeley branch, demanding money. The suspect is carrying a small gym bag and at one point, appears to rest the gun on the counter as he waits for a teller to fill the bag with cash from her drawer. He is believed to have fled i
It was 25 minutes before closing time Friday when an armed stranger, dressed in a baseball cap and sunglasses, walked into an Akeley bank, pointed his gun at the teller and said, "Put the money in this bag." She hastily complied. "He was in and out in less than 30 seconds," said Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer, whose department is assisting the FBI in the investigation of the heist at First National Bank of Walker's Akeley branch. Homer said the man and the dark blue Chevy Tahoe SUV had been spotted in town about an hour before the robbery, but in a town of less than 400, he was not k
A sweeping set of reforms that would shift many state duties onto counties was unveiled this week, potentially saving the state $945 million over two years. But the trial balloon is going over like a lead zeppelin locally.
It was Minnesota's "Miracle on Ice." The U.S. Olympic men's hockey team, if confronted by this puck-handling group from Park Rapids, might just play like a bunch of little girls. They wish. Last weekend a group of girls 12 and under skated their young hearts out in Long Prairie at a district tournament, into a fourth overtime, only to lose in sudden death.
The Park Rapids City Council has decided to work on ways to run the city without relying on Local Government Aid. Gov. Tim Pawlenty made cuts to LGA payments for cities and counties in 2008 and 2009. Park Rapids lost $86,085 in 2008, $74,778 in 2009 and in the governor's latest budget proposal, Park Rapids would lose $201,459 in the next year. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities recently urged cities to adopt a resolution regarding the LGA cuts.
Following a heated meeting last week, Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer said he will recommend the county purchase a VHF digital radio system, not a more expensive narrowband version many counties in the state have opted for. And Homer regrets the decision has divided emergency responders who are split over purchasing an 800 megahertz system or the digital equipment as part of a mandated radio conversion that must be implemented by 2013. His decision followed one by the five fire chiefs in Hubbard County, which voted the week before to purchase the ARMER 800 MHz program all state agencies
Hubbard County ranked in the upper fourth of Minnesota's healthiest counties in a recent University of Wisconsin study. The nationwide rankings, comparing counties to counties within each state, are a "call to action" for public health officials to mobilize available resources to improve community health. "For the first time, people have a tool to help identify what is making people in every county unhealthy," said Patrick Remington, associate dean for public health at UW School of Medicine and Public Health. "I was pleased with it in the big picture," said St.