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Vernice Boomgarden is a feisty senior citizen. But she was chastened Tuesday when she met the strong arm of the law. Boomgarden and dozens of others were unwitting - and unwilling - participants in the state's May Mobilization Program. It's part of a nationwide "Safe and Sober" law enforcement campaign. Boomgarden, who was quite sober, was snagged speeding into Park Rapids. The campaign's various phases target speeding, seatbelt use and drunk driving. The campaign followed a deadly month in the state.
Kathleen Swanson wept for the father she never knew. He died the day she was born. Ethel Johnson wept for a marriage cut short by war, wondering how a widow would care for her newborn daughter. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) comforted both women Monday as he awarded them posthumous medals commemorating Corp. Edward Newsom's service to his country, and his ultimate sacrifice in the South Pacific during World War II. The day was emotional for the senator, too.
Minnesotans choking on high energy prices nevertheless follow conventional wisdom that locally abundant coal is a "dirty" fuel that shouldn't be pursued for energy independence. That's the quandary some business leaders and power company officials discussed May 22 in Park Rapids. "We need a comprehensive energy discussion," said Mark Hewitt, CEO of Northwoods Bank of Park Rapids. "The country could be covered with solar reflectors and windmills and no one wants those either.
A mundane request for a wall with a door to a seldom-used corner of the courthouse erupted into a turf battle and a heated diatribe from the county board, directed to a board-appointed committee, at Wednesday's meeting. Commissioners officially tabled a proposal to wall off the county law library to separate it from the judges' chambers until further study is done.
When Gail Rixen's tractor is dusty enough, she can compose a word or two of poetry on the dirty hood. Otherwise, she makes mental notes to jot down later when the haying is done. Her poetry is set to the rhythm of her tractor plowing back and forth on her 144-acre farm, inspired by nature, animals and a hard-working life. Rixen's third book of poetry - self-published - is now for sale. It's titled "Living on Dew" and the Park Rapids native credits local teachers for drawing her to poetry. "Mr.