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Scientists say a dog's sense of smell is anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than ours. So it should come as no surprise that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has four zebra mussel-sniffing K9s. Earlier this week, Nicole Kovar, a DNR invasive species specialist, brought a K9 team to work on Garfield, Benedict and Leech lakes. DNR Conservation Officer Larry Hanson and his K9, Reggie, arrived from Marshall, Minn. on Wednesday.
Park Rapids and Menahga High School drama departments staged a joint musical production last weekend. "Urinetown the Musical" showcased their singing, acting and dancing abilities. "I have been utterly impressed with the students throughout this production process," said director Juliann Kjenaas. "With a cast of 32 students and 14 technical students working on the show, the overall level of dedication and enthusiasm has been incredible."
The Park Rapids Area Library is, once again, bringing Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre to town. The Minneapolis-based dance company will perform two different shows at the Century School on Thursday, Nov. 9. Flamenco is a form of Spanish folk music and dance from the region of Andalucia in southern Spain. Artistic director Susana di Palma founded Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre in 1982. They last performed in Park Rapids three years ago.
A local, gift-giving initiative returns for the holiday season with a new name and new organizers at the helm. John Zentz and Tanja Zentz, a father-daughter duo, will coordinate this year's Toys for Girls and Boys and Tiny Tots. The charitable program distributes presents to less fortunate children in Park Rapids, Ponsford, Osage, Nevis, Akeley and Menahga.
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."