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The Minnesota Department of Transportation has enacted a no travel advisory in the following counties due to dangerous driving conditions. Kittson Marshall Norman Pennington Polk Red Lake High winds and blowing snow are causing whiteout conditions and snowplows have been pulled off their routes.
Gavin Becker has set the bar for "most romantic" marriage proposal sky high — literally. With the help of his family, the 2015 Nevis High School graduate carved the message "MARRY ME" onto Eighth Crow Wing Lake. On Sunday, Gavin flew his longtime girlfriend, Olivia Toft, over the gigantic conversation heart. An aviation student in Grand Forks, Gavin will graduate this spring as a commercial pilot. Olivia is a 2014 Nevis alumna. She graduated from Moorhead State University with a degree in social work.
The local Disabled American Veterans (DAV) chapter has committed $5,000 to Living at Home of the Park Rapids Area (LAH). The goal of both the DAV and the donation is to "help improve the quality of life for veterans and their families," said Greg Remus, adjutant with DAV Park Rapids. The funds will specifically be used to cover cost-sharing expenses for veterans 65 years and older who utilize Living at Home's core services.
The Hubbard County Board has elected not to participate in a "Mississippi River Headwaters Watershed One Watershed, One Plan." Beltrami County is asking surrounding counties if there is interest in seeking a One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) grant application, reported Hubbard County Environmental Services Officer Eric Buitenwerf. State funding comes from the Clean Water Legacy Act. If the grant were awarded, the watershed planning process would begin in late 2018 or early 2019. Buitenwerf sought the board's position on the matter at their Jan. 2 meeting.
Creative Minnesota, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and the Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council released a new study Wednesday indicating that the arts have a large impact on Hubbard County. The total annual economic impact of 15 arts and culture organizations, their audiences and 170 artists and creative workers in Hubbard County is $1.6 million. The report was the first of 15 studies that will be released in January and February around the state.
A Verndale woman was airlifted to an area hospital Jan. 4, after crashing into a semi. The Minnesota State Patrol reports that Mary Joy Byman, 34, was southbound on U.S. Highway 71 in Wadena County's Blueberry Township when she entered the northbound lanes of traffic. Byman then struck a semi driven by 60-year-old Michael Allan Erickson of Osakis. The patrol stated that Byman's Toyota Camry hit the semi below the driver side door.
The Hubbard County Board renewed a purchase of services contract with Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program (CEP), a private, non-profit corporation that provides job development services in north-central and west-central Minnesota. Rural Minnesota CEP partners with the county to provide employment services to eligible participants. The Hubbard County Social Services Department receives funds through the Minnesota Department of Human Services for the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and Diversionary Work Program (DWP).
Colleen Hoffman apologized for the tardiness of Hubbard County's 2016 audit. "I am still battling with the state auditor," she said, adding that, on Jan. 3 (today), the Minnesota Supreme Court will determine whether counties have the legal right to hire private firms. Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to reconsider a lower-court ruling that upheld a state law she believes limits the powers of her office.
The Hubbard County Board approved a six-month contract extension with the Hubbard County Developmental Achievement Center (DAC) for recycling services at their Dec. 19 meeting while other options are vetted. Solid Waste Administrator Jed Nordin reminded the board that they had discussed a two-year contract with the DAC at a work session and "to see what compensation was required from the DAC for that."
Park Rapids and Menahga fire departments battled a house fire in freezing conditions Wednesday night. With windchill, temperatures hovered at 20 below zero. Park Rapids Fire Chief Don Hoffman said extreme cold poses unique hazards for firefighters and their equipment. The initial 911 call came at 8:47 p.m. According to Hoffman, a young gentleman renting the home, located at the corner of 6th Street E. and Washington Ave. S. in Park Rapids, reported the blaze. He was uninjured. Two firefighters did suffer minor injuries, Hoffman said.