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A demolition crew is removing the last portion of the old nursing home. "It's making way for a large, outdoor courtyard area," explained Heritage Administrator Kurt Hansen. A backhoe is pulling apart the building, piece by piece, with debris headed to the transfer station. Hansen anticipates the old structure will be completely demolished within a few days. The area will be cleared and prepared for landscaping, a rain garden, spacious patios, benches and circular sidewalks. "We'll be able to offer a nice outdoor space," Hansen said.
SATURDAY, OCT. 28 "Spooky Skate" will be held at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring ice skates and wear a costume to break in the ice for the season. A small selection of ice skates will be available. Children under 10 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday (today) and several law enforcement agencies are participating, including police departments in Park Rapids, Frazee and White Earth. The free service is a partnership with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Bella and John Sanders have left a lasting legacy in Park Rapids. Fourteen cultural and arts organizations are recipients of funds from their estate, which was recently concluded. The disbursements vary, but, in total, the Sanders granted $377,658. Isabella "Bella" Sanders, at 85, died in Oct. 2015. After a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, John passed away in Aug. 2009 at the age of 80.
Hubbard County Environmental Services Officer Eric Buitenwerf and County Assessor Ginger Woodrum met with county commissioners last week to discuss the Minnesota Buffer Initiative and its potential impact on the assessor's office. Last month, the county board tabled action on drafting a buffer ordinance. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) created a model ordinance that the county could follow or the county could create its own ordinance.
Century Middle School's tribute to veterans is undergoing a change this year. Middle School Principal Shawn Andress announced that retired teachers Charli Cohrs and LaPalma Anderson are stepping aside as coordinators. Andress spoke at the Oct. 16 Park Rapids School Board meeting. "They are, for very personal reasons, going to move on," she said, thanking them and a host of volunteers for their efforts. "I'm biased, but you couldn't find a better Veterans Day program for miles."
Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes asked county commissioners to send an "ancient" ordinance to the planning commission for review. He met with the county board during their Oct. 17 meeting. Hubbard County Ordinance No. 10 regulates "surface use of waters" on First Crow Wing, Second Crow Wing, Third Crow Wing, LaSalle and Lester lakes.
During the Oct. 17 county board meeting, County Commissioner Ed Smith inquired about skilled nursing for veterans at the Heritage campus. Heritage Administrator Kurt Hansen said Heritage could contract with the Veterans Administration to provide 24-hour-a-day care.
Hubbard County Assessor Ginger Woodrum expressed frustration with how the Minnesota Department of Revenue (DOR) is interpreting "percentage of ownership" to calculate agricultural tax credits. "We've also been asking about resorts and other ownership interests," she told the Hubbard County Board at Tuesday's meeting. The state property tax compliance officer advised Woodrum to look at those as well.
The Park Rapids Garden Club chose Maurice Spangler to receive a 2017 Crystal Leaf Award. Spangler and other awardees were recognized at the 12th District of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society's fall meeting, held Oct. 12 in Park Rapids. Each garden club — Park Rapids, Blackduck, Cass Lake, Bemidji and Shevlin — selected a deserving person from their community.