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At a special meeting Monday, the Menahga City Council determined that the school expansion is exempt from an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW). The motion passed 4-1, with council member Dennis Komulainen opposed.
Planning has begun for the 2020 Park Rapids All-School Reunion, and there's a new coordinator in charge. Dave "Lefty" Anderson (Class of 1958) has turned the keys over to Connie Carmichael (Class of 1983). "But he's guiding me through," Carmichael said. "I'm just getting started so I have lots to learn." Anderson oversaw the 2010 and 2015 all-school reunions. The next one is slated for July 31 through Aug. 2, 2020. Registration will kick off Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 2nd Street Stage.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) notified the Hubbard County Environmental Services Office (ESO) that the county's sign ordinance conflicts with state and federal regulations for scenic byways. "MnDOT says no off-premises signs can be located anywhere in a scenic byway," ESO director Eric Buitenwerf informed the Hubbard County Board last week. He proposed that the easiest fix is to remove exceptions from the ordinance that deal with scenic byways.
The Hubbard County Board approved a right-of-way and perpetual easement to Enbridge Energy this week. "Enbridge is proposing to install Line 3 replacement pipeline that predominantly follows the western edge of Hubbard County, then turns east and goes along the southern border towards Duck Lake and then down into Wadena County," County Land Commissioner Chip Lohmeier told commissioners at their March 20 meeting. Enbridge calculates it will utilize about 79 acres of tax-forfeited land in Hubbard County, Lohmeier continued. The easement value is $161,557.
Over the weekend, three Hubbard County First Responders participated in ice-rescue training, sponsored by the Cass County Sheriff's Office and held every year on Cass Lake. By completing the course, they earn cold-water technician certification. "If we're lucky, we don't have to do any ice rescues, but we've got to be ready if we do," said Cass County Chief Deputy Erick Hoglund, who organizes the training. "The more times you do it, the better you get at it." This year's inter-agency training marked its 17th anniversary.
A bedecked Park Rapids Fire Hall aims to bedazzle guests. Fire trucks will be temporarily replaced with a stage, lights and live music for the Firemen's Ball. The gala runs from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday, March 24. "We hope to make it an annual event to beat the blues of winter and encourage the community to come out and hang out with us," said event co-coordinator and firefighter Crystal Krautkremer.
Editor's Note: A complicated tale is unfolding in Menahga. Four months after a shocking murder-suicide, investigators have broadened their probe into other counties and other people. This is the second of two articles, based on available public court records and interviews. Three days before Isabella "Bella" Sanders died, she told two friends and personal representative Michael Callahan that she wished to donate $25,000 to Partners for Pianos.
Editor's Note: A complicated tale is unfolding in Menahga. Four months after a shocking murder-suicide, investigators have broadened their probe into other counties and other people. This is the first of two articles, based on available public court records and interviews. The Menahga Police Department and Wadena County Sheriff's Office have concluded their investigation into a murder-suicide that occurred last November. But the case isn't over yet.
Hubbard County applied for and received a Minnesota Voting Equipment Election Grant. The award totals $70,604. The 2017 state Legislature authorized $7 million in grant funding available to counties, cities, towns and school districts to assist with the purchase of voting equipment. The Legislature authorized use of these funds to offset up to 50 percent of optical scan precinct counters, optical scan central counters or assisted voting devices and up to 75 percent of electronic rosters. County Auditor/Treasurer Kay Rave met with the county board Tuesday.
The Hubbard County Board held consecutive public hearings Tuesday for two proposed county ordinances: a new buffer ordinance and an amendment to watercraft speeds on First, Second and Third Crow Wing lakes. Two lakeshore owners took issue with the county, citing a lack of public notice about the proposed amendment. Last fall, County Sheriff Cory Aukes asked county commissioners to remove language from Ordinance No. 10 which restricts watercraft speeds to less than 15 mph between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 a.m on the three lakes. The ordinance was written in 1978.