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Key community leaders plan to make Park Rapids a more welcoming place for those with dementia. They have formed an ACTION Park Rapids team to raise awareness about dementia, support caregivers and provide educational resources and training to community members.
The Hubbard County Board has approved a slate of highway projects for 2018. They also reviewed the annual bridge inspection report during their Feb. 6 meeting. By state and federal law, the county is required to evaluate the structural integrity of all bridges with a 10-foot span or greater. The highway projects are as follows: • Bituminous reclamation and overlay on CSAH 36, from U.S. Hwy. 200 to U.S. Hwy. 2. • Bituminous overlay on CSAH 29 in Rockwood Township, from CSAH 9 to the county line.
A new campaign is underway to finance a community career collaboration coordinator (CCCC). This person would establish partnerships between businesses, instructors and schools so students may pursue their career interests. Park Rapids Superintendent Lance Bagstad and High School Principal Jeff Johnson pitched the idea Tuesday to a Leadership Council comprising city, county, community and business leaders.
Wild parsnip is growing without rhyme nor reason, according to Hubbard County Agricultural Inspector Greg Hensel. He shared his annual noxious weed report and infestation maps with the Hubbard County Board Tuesday. "It's growing exponentially, it seems, in spots where we've never seen it. It just showed up," Hensel said. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) describes wild parsnip as "highly invasive," developing into "large monocultures that replace native animal and plant habitat" if ignored.
Local assessors missed the Feb. 1 deadline for submitting appraisal records, and it's causing headaches for the Hubbard County Assessor's Office. By Minnesota statute, County Assessor Ginger Woodrum must assume responsibility for any overdue items. On Tuesday, Woodrum asked the county board asked for authorization to correct deficiencies by any local assessors, to perform assessments on parcels for which the deadline was missed and to grant her deadline extensions "where reasonable and necessary."
The Park Rapids Area High School (PRAHS) drama department holds the state record for taking one-act plays to state competition. They earned another trip to St. Paul by winning first place at the Section 6A contest, held Feb. 3 in Park Rapids. Bertha-Hewitt, the second-place winners, also advance to state. PRAHS will be one of eight Single A schools performing at the Minnesota State High School League One-Act Play Festival on the O'Shaughnessy stage at St. Catherine's University. Park Rapids competes at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9.
A small task force is creating a centralized website to connect volunteers with organizations that need their help. The Park Rapids Volunteer Network will list volunteer opportunities in Hubbard County. The effort emerged from ACTION Park Rapids Lakes Area, a countywide initiative to identify areas of opportunity and change. For the past year, nearly 100 people from different sectors of the community have met quarterly to create 90-day action plans for nine specific areas: the arts, basic needs, business, education, health, seniors, volunteers and youth.
Hardy anglers braved brutally cold temps Saturday in the hopes of catching fish, cash and prizes. "We're troopers," said Mike Spaulding. He and wife Sue traveled from Bemidji to participate in the 20th annual Park Rapids American Legion Fishing Derby. This year's contest boasted a whopping $150,000 in prizes. "It's cold, but there's a lot of nice fish," said derby organizer Jerry Benham. All told, contestants caught 10 bluegill, 23 crappie, three largemouth bass, 63 northern pike, 117 perch, 78 rock bass, three sunfish, one walleye and two whitefish.
Local female veterans were venerated for their service to country. The Jan. 30 event was hosted by the local Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Auxiliary and Hubbard County Veterans Service Office (VSO). Six women attended a recognition tea in their honor. A nurse, Rosemary Miller served two years in active duty. The first year she was at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Denver, the other at the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Long Bình, Vietnam. Miller's great-grandfather homesteaded property south of Dorset corner.
Sisters Nicole and Brenna Grangroth may have opposite personalities, but they share a single passion: dog mushing. Last weekend, the duo competed in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, mingling with world-class mushers. Established in 1980, the Beargrease race is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states. Both ladies attend Menahga High School. Nicole, 15, raced in the junior class division, traversing 120 miles through the hills of the North Shore with her eight furry teammates. She completed the course in 15 hours, 44 minutes.