Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
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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.
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.
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
Knife making is an art form struggling in a tough economy. Handcrafted works of ebony, ivory, antlers and steel simply command prices higher than would-be collectors can afford for discretionary items these days. Such seemed to be the attitude last weekend as vendors displayed pocketknives, bowie knives, carving knives, filet knives, steak knives, camp knives and their matching sheaths at the Northern Cutlery Collectors Club show in Park Rapids. Sales were a bit slow. "Yeah, the economy has taken a toll" on the hobby, said Hopkins vendor Jeff Hebeisen. "People don't like to spend a l
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.
Vern Massie believes his cell phone saved his life, along with a guardian angel giving him a strong signal. But watching daytime TV just might do him in worse than the injuries he's recovering from. Hubbard County's Solid Waste Superintendent was pinned underneath his tractor on the afternoon of June 13.
Shirley Cordahl submitted a doozy of a question. "I live on Lower Bottle Lake," she writes. "On Saturday the 12th, I looked out my window & couldn't believe my eyes, there was a blue heron on my deck. I went to get my camera & when I came back I could see it was stalking something. I was thinking frogs. Right after I took the second picture, real quick, he poked his head under the deck and came out with my chipmunk in his beak. He had the chipmunk around the neck. He walked over towards the woods, and was shaking the chipmunk, I could see the chipmunk was still alive.
Quail Lane (it runs the wrong way or it could be titled Quail Trail) was a road in legal limbo for years. Now it's a road mired in a lawsuit against Hart Lake Township, Hubbard County, a defunct developer, Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative and numerous individuals. It's eight-tenths of a mile long, a typical county gravel road that dead-ends in a tiny cul-de-sac.