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Despite an e-mail campaign waged by environmentalists, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has decided to proceed with plans to develop an all-terrain vehicle trail through the Schoolcraft State Game Refuge in northern Hubbard County. "I'm flabbergasted," said a disappointed Barry Babcock, who had helped circulate a petition against the trail.
As business enterprises go, Hubbard County's is a significant part of the local economy. And county leaders are taking seriously their role to safeguard the county's assets, an independent audit recently concluded. "The total net assets of governmental activities are $67,775,377, of which $49,900,977 is invested in capital assets, net of related debt, $4,283,441 is restricted for specific purposes, and $13,590,959 is unrestricted...
Hubbard County Emergency Management Director Dave W. Konshok said he will explore the feasibility of the county purchasing a reverse 911 dialing system in the event of emergencies. When two tornados struck the region in June 2008, a post-tornado review highlighted the weaknesses of the region's emergency notification system.
A rain/snow mix tonight into morning will test the driving skills of the Hubbard County region. But we won't get socked by the storm bearing down on the Dakotas and Red River Valley, said National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Grafenauer. "Hubbard County is on the edge of that precipitation," he said.
Firefighters raced up the roof of a house on Discovery Circle in Park Rapids Tuesday morning to douse a chimney fire that threatened to engulf the home. "We had a fire in the fireplace last night but everything was OK," said homeowner Sherri Lockrem. "Then I noticed a smoky smell this morning near the aquarium." Firefighters were called before 11 a.m. Lockrem called her daughter, Megan Alden, who was staying with Megan's father at the time of the fire. Megan was home sick with the flu. "I came over right away," Megan said.
County commissioners went behind closed doors Wednesday to deal with the issue of adequately staffing the county's Veteran's Service Office after receiving numerous complaints from vets who say they need more attention to their issues. The five commissioners conducted a performance evaluation of VS Officer Dave W. Konshok, who has come under fire recently as vets complained to the board they need a full-time officer.
The threat of a winter like last year and the plight of overworked county departments finally broke a logjam Wednesday in a county hiring freeze enacted early in 2009. A deeply divided Hubbard County Board of Commissioners voted to hire a full-time snowplow driver who will also mow, repair and grade roads. Then it gave Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne half a loaf, allowing him to advertise for a half-time prosecutor.
A mind-bogglingly complex and expensive statewide radio conversion, formulated from the ashes of the World Trade Center bombings, was unveiled to Hubbard County Wednesday. By 2013, the county's emergency radios will be obsolete and must be replaced under a Federal Communications Commission mandate. The FCC wants all states to convert to a narrowband infrastructure, one of the recommendations of the 911 Commission formed after the terrorist attacks. Communications, or lack of them, was one of the issued seized on by the 911 Commission.
Snow, ice and treacherous driving conditions greeted Hubbard County residents Saturday and more could be on the way. The region is in a hazardous weather outlook according to the National Weather Service.
If you haven't seen frost on the pumpkin yet, you will by morning, when temps will drop into the 20s. Hubbard County and most of the region are in a frost advisory, according to the National Weather Service. "Is this October or November?" laughed NWS meteorologist Jim Kaiser in the department's Grand Forks office. Friday night there's a 40 percent chance of snow in the county, he said. "I don't think we'll get an inch," but the snowfall will cover the ground, he said. Ironically, an El Nino pattern is still overhead, he said.