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Forgot your reusable bag? Borrow one. To help everyone "be a friend of earth" and reduce the use of plastic bags in the Park Rapids community, a group of ladies is sewing and distributing reusable cloth bags. They launched the Park Rapids Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) Program, providing fun and free cloth bags to customers while they shop. The bags are stored in a compact, wicker hamper. They are free to use and reuse. Shoppers may return them or keep them.
Local munchkins nibbled on blueberry brownies and sipped blueberry lemonade before venturing into a blueberry patch Thursday. First Fruits Blueberry Farm invited daycare providers, tots and parents to tour the 3-acre field, abundant with yummy, blue orbs. More than 100 youngsters attended the first annual event.
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund awarded the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council a $100,000 grant to build the reservation's first skate park. "We are excited. This is a super-big deal for us," said Terri Darco, CEO of the White Earth Reservation Boys and Girls Club. "This is for harm reduction and for youth to have positive, alternative choices."
Menahga School Board members Durwin Tomperi and Jon Kangas, co-chairs of the new building advisory committee, recapped its first meeting. They reported to the full school board on July 17. About 25 to 30 people attended the initial building committee meeting, held the week prior. "My impression of the first hour was pretty much a town hall meeting. Probably the hot topic of that phase was open enrollment issues," Tomperi said.
Smokey Bear, along with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources firefighters, reminded Itasca State Park visitors about the importance of preventing wildfires. Itasca's Smokey Bear Day, an annual family-friendly event, was held July 20 both inside and outside of the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. Participants learned how firefighters get into a fire shelter, discussed campfire safety, made a variety of forest crafts, explored fire trucks and equipment and much more. Children eagerly lined up for a photo with the famous bear.
Park Rapids Crazy Days not only offers bargains for parents but also entertainment for children. The Park Rapids Downtown Business Association and Friends of the Library is sponsoring a free kids show with Minnesota folk singer Dennis Warner at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 27. Bring chairs or blankets and enjoy Warner's smooth vocals, accompanied by his six- and 12-string guitars on the 2nd Street main stage.
Louis Schultz and J. Edward Dvorak were nominated for 2017 Outstanding Hubbard County Senior Citizen. Both men were recognized for their community service during "Senior Day" festivities at the county fair. At Friday's ceremony, Karen Lenius, representing the Hubbard County Council on Aging, explained that nominations are solicited from individuals, agencies and organizations. Judging is based on the number and diversity of volunteer contributions. The nominee must be age 70 by June 1. No women were nominated for the accolade this year.
Weeds are overlooked or disdained, yet these "despicable" plants provide medicine, food or dyes. They also are nectar sources for several native species of bees and butterflies. Just ask Kathy Belt, a self-taught herbalist and "weed explorer." "I don't have the traditional herbs. Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme — they're Mediterranean, so they don't grow in this part of the world. I've been finding what grows up here and how they would've been used," she said. "I'm still learning."
The Hubbard County Fair opened Wednesday with motocross by Motocity Raceway and Recreation. The fair continues through Sunday with daily grandstand events including a demo Derby Sunday starting at 1 p.m.
The Menahga City Council authorized the sale of tax-forfeited properties within city limits. Wadena County identified 20 parcels — ranging in estimated market value from $600 to $38,100 — with outstanding special assessments or unpaid taxes. Mayor Pat Foss recommended accepting the resolution so the parcels "can be returned to private ownership and hopefully get onto the tax rolls."