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The Hubbard County Board approved a six-month contract extension with the Hubbard County Developmental Achievement Center (DAC) for recycling services at their Dec. 19 meeting while other options are vetted. Solid Waste Administrator Jed Nordin reminded the board that they had discussed a two-year contract with the DAC at a work session and "to see what compensation was required from the DAC for that."
Park Rapids and Menahga fire departments battled a house fire in freezing conditions Wednesday night. With windchill, temperatures hovered at 20 below zero. Park Rapids Fire Chief Don Hoffman said extreme cold poses unique hazards for firefighters and their equipment. The initial 911 call came at 8:47 p.m. According to Hoffman, a young gentleman renting the home, located at the corner of 6th Street E. and Washington Ave. S. in Park Rapids, reported the blaze. He was uninjured. Two firefighters did suffer minor injuries, Hoffman said.
Park Rapids and Menahga Fire Departments battled a fire in 20-below-zero temperatures Wednesday night. At approximately 9:30 p.m., they were called to an unoccupied home, located at the corner of 6th Street and Washington Ave. S. in Park Rapids. At midnight, firefighters were still on the scene. No other information is currently available.
The Hubbard County Board voiced its opposition to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's proposed amendment to state septic system rules. The MPCA may require a septic tank to be pumped empty before an official inspection to determine the tank's integrity. The tank would be inspected through a maintenance hole while empty, except if a licensed inspector knows ahead of time that a particular tank is not going to pass inspection for any reason, or if there is a report showing the tank passed inspection while empty within the past three years.
The Hubbard County Board adopted protocols for distributing funds from its AIS Rapid Response Fund. County commissioners approved criteria that was developed by an AIS Advisory Team. "There was a need to set up perimeters as far as how we're going to distribute rapid response funding, just to make sure that we don't run that money if there's a flux of infestations," said Hubbard County AIS Program Coordinator Bill DonCarlos at the Dec. 19 county board meeting.
Park Rapids Schools held its truth-in-taxation public hearing Dec. 18. The school board approved a $165,592 or 3.3 percent increase in the payable 2018 levy. "It is a consistent trend for the last four years," said Business Manager Dawn Duevel. Compared to neighboring school districts, "we're right in the ballpark," she said, estimating the tax impact on a $150,000 home at an additional $15.
Plummeting temperatures didn't prevent hardy Minnesotans from attending the 29th annual Community Christmas Dinner. "At 10 a.m., they were lined up to no end," said Ambrose Blaeser, who, along with Leslie Showalter, greets guests at the door. The holiday feast's moto is "no one should spend Christmas Day hungry or alone." They typically serve 450 guests at the Park Rapids American Legion and deliver 300 hot meals. This year, there definitely was an uptick in requests for home deliveries.
Inconsistent and unsafe ice conditions on area lakes still pose a threat to the public, according to the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office. Within recent weeks, there have been several incidents in which people on ATVs have gone through the ice in Hubbard County, including one resulting in a fatality.
The Hubbard County Sheriff's Office will soon have a high-tech, remote-controlled tool for crime-fighting and rescue missions. Sheriff Cory Aukes asked county commissioners to authorize the purchase of a $13,158 drone. "This will be priceless when it comes to drug investigations, search and rescue operations, meaning locating missing kids, lost hunters, people with dementia and Alzheimer's, drowning victims," he said at Tuesday's county board meeting.
The Park Rapids Police Department, assisted by the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office, is investigating "a vague threat" made at the Century Middle School. Late Tuesday afternoon, police officers were called to the school when staff found graffiti on two boys' bathroom walls. Law enforcement does not feel the threats pose any danger to students or staff at this time. The case is currently under investigation and police officers are working with school staff to provide an appropriate response.