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The MSHSL 24A Sub-section One-Act Play Competition is Saturday, Jan. 28 in the Park Rapids Area High School auditorium. The first play starts at 10 a.m. The entire day of six one-act plays is free to the public. The six high schools involved are Park Rapids, Laporte, Nevis, Verndale, Menahga and Frazee.
Two-quarter or three-quarter beats pulse as you approach the Park Rapids American Legion. It's a Sunday afternoon. Lila Kalish will likely greet you at the door and do a happy dance. "We call ourselves 'Everybody Dance.' It's not a formal organization," says Kalish, 59, a Park Rapids Area High School graduate. She oversees the dances, held every other Sunday in Park Rapids. They are also listed in the Central Minnesota Polka Lovers Klub of America's dance schedule ( www.polkofa.com ).
The Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) hosted a meet-and-greet affair Tuesday. Many people are unaware of the SWCD, says District Manager Julie Kingsley. "It's just getting the word out. People — Joe Public — don't know what we do," she said. "We're here to help property owners solve problems — erosion issues, water issues." Three major watersheds pass through Hubbard County: the Mississippi River, Leech Lake River and Crow Wing River watersheds. There are 89 minor watersheds in the county.
Over $10,000 in prizes will be awarded at the 2017 Menahga Family Fishing Derby. Sponsored by the Menahga Civic & Commerce Association, the event is slated for noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. A derby ticket costs $5. Anglers should enter at the Spirit Lake public access. Cash prizes are awarded to the top 10 largest game fish in two categories. One category includes northern pike, walleye and bass, the other panfish (crappie, bluegill, perch, etc.). First place in each category wins $100, second place $75, third place $50 and fourth through tenth $25.
Avid readers of all ages are invited to participate in "a community reads together project." A nonfiction book and a young adult novel — both written by Minnesotans — have been selected for "Park Rapids Area Reads Together" and "Teens Read Together" programs. Book discussions, a writing workshop and author visits will be held in late March in conjunction with the community reading "clubs." The project is a partnership between the Park Rapids Area Library, Nemeth Art Center, Friends of the Library and the Park Rapids Area League of Women Voters (PRALWV).
Menahga School's strategic planning community task force, called Voice of the Braves, offered its proposed solution to the district's space shortage. Their preliminary plan calls for a mix of new construction, remodeling and repurposing. The task force comprises local residents, staff, administration and two school board members.
Jack Pearson, a beloved children's musician, has forever laid his banjo down. Pearson was diagnosed with aggressive lymphoma on Dec. 27 and died on Jan. 5, according to a GoFundMe page set up by his children. He was only 63. Since 1979, Pearson performed full-time for kids and families in the Upper Midwest and around the country. He wrote original songs and poetry, playing them at school assemblies, churches, libraries and festivals.
The Nevis Tech-No-Tigers welcomed 17 robotics teams from Minnesota and North Dakota on Saturday to a 2017 season kickoff. With an estimated 320 people from 16 schools in attendance, the third annual Northern Minnesota FIRST Robotics Competition event was the second largest kickoff in the state. Teams learned the details of this year's robotics challenge and viewed one of the only official game fields in northern Minnesota. A donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, gave the Nevis team the $22,000 needed to construct the game field.
A local snowmobile club will soon host a charity ride — whether the weather cooperates or not. The third annual Forest Riders Snowmobile Club Ride for Hospice is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 14 through Sunday, Jan. 15. Last year's event raised more than $3,000 to benefit the CHI St. Joseph's Health Hospice Care Program. Each rider is responsible for raising at least $20 in pledges. Prizes are available for those who obtain more than $100 and more than $200 in donations.
Lynn Spilman, co-chair of the Community Christmas Dinner, arrived at the Park Rapids American Legion a little after 6 a.m. Sunday to put potatoes and dressing in the oven. She and co-chair Denny Anderson were joined by a host of helpers, many of whom were first-time volunteers at the 28th annual feast. They served almost 400 guests and delivered 320 hot meals within a 30-mile radius of Park Rapids on Christmas Day. Spilman said Sunday's ice storm warning likely caused an increase in home-delivered meal requests. Last year, they distributed 250 hot meals.