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The Menahga School Board set its payable 2017 levy at $1,188,143—a $64,715 or 5.76 percent increase over last year. This is the maximum levy currently allowed by state formula. Last year's certified levy was $1,123,427. At Monday's regular meeting, Superintendent Kevin Wellen advised the board to approve the maximum because the Minnesota Department of Education continues to make corrections and recalculate formulas. "Right now, MDE isn't done with their math," he said.
Artists take a leap of faith, trusting their instinct—a creative flash. Art Leap 2016 gives art enthusiasts an opportunity tour the area's culturally rich destinations and visit with local artists in their studios. The two-day event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. A classic red caboose on Stony Lake is among the Art Leap stops. Bickey Bender, a mixed media artist, has participated in Art Leap since its inception. This year, she will be joined by seven artists displaying pottery, woodcarving, glass, jewelry, painting and photography.
As leaves turn shades of red, yellow and orange, the season signals a tradition: The Headwaters 100. Hosted by the Itascatur Outdoor Activity Club, the biking event celebrates its 36th anniversary this Saturday, Sept. 24. Bicyclists from Winnipeg, Fargo, Grand Rapids and the Twin Cities join local and regional riders for a 100-, 75- or 45-mile tour of northern Minnesota's fall colors. About 70 volunteers will help serve food or act as SAG (support and gear) drivers to aid bicyclists with trouble on the road, such as flat tires or First Aid.
Residents and township supervisors, past and present, celebrated Badoura Township's 120th anniversary Sept 17. Princess Badoura is a character from "Arabian Nights," but Badoura Township, established in 1896, is appropriately named after pioneer settlers. Mary Badoura Mow was the wife of David Mow, an early homesteader on the Hubbard Prairie. "I was born here, just two miles south of the nursery, in 1926," said Charles Andress, who turns 90 on Thursday.
Whiskey Creek Film Festival is offering two screenings of a documentary filmed at Ponsford and Park Rapids. "The Seventh Fire" will be shown at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 (today) and Sunday, Sept. 18 at the Cozy Theatre in Wadena. Admission is free. Natalie Portman and Terrence Malick served as executive producers of the film project. According to the film's synopsis, when gang leader Rob Duane Brown is sentenced to prison for a fifth time, he must confront his role in bringing violent drug culture into his beloved American Indian community in northern Minnesota.
Armory Square's floor reverberated to the lively, expert footsteps of Larry Yazzie as he danced traditional Native American styles. Adorned with vibrant ribbons, feathers and beads, the two-time World Champion fancy dancer enchanted the crowd. "I'm so proud of who we are. I'm so proud that we are here on this beautiful evening," Yazzie said. "What we are going to share is sacred to our hearts."
Menahga City Council set its preliminary payable 2017 levy at $504,997—an $88,321 or 21 percent increase over last year. The 2016 final levy was $416,676 with a general fund levy of $304,514 and debt fund levy of $112,162. Much of the proposed budget discussion at Monday's council meeting centered around city staff wages. A 10 percent increase in health care and other benefits is anticipated for 2017.
"Seraph Brass" is a charismatic ensemble of America's top female brass players. They are the opening performance for the Heartland Concert Association's 2016-17 season. The 7:30 p.m. show will be held at the Park Rapids High School auditorium. The five women of "Seraph Brass" represent a new generation of brass players. They are committed to challenging audiences with engaging and exciting programming, including well-known classics, original transcriptions and newly commissioned works.
Art Leap, an open studio event featuring artists' studios and culturally rich destinations in the Park Rapids area, will include a sculpture tour in 2016. Studios will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25.
Area schools showed modest growth or held steady in total student enrollment as districts reported first day of school numbers last week. Park Rapids Area Schools Preliminary enrollment numbers are in for Park Rapids Area Schools and the district is up from the last day of school in May. First day K-12 total enrollment is 1,555 students, up from 1,498 to end the 2015-16 school year. Grades K-4 enrollment is 624 with fourth grade the largest class at 142 students, kindergarten (131), first grade (113),second (131), third (107).