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Dr. Marla Spivak, an entomology professor and esteemed researcher at the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, is driven to bring back bees through awareness and education. Her research efforts focus on protecting the health and diversity of Minnesota's bees. Spivak was the guest speaker at a Friends of Itasca State Park event Saturday. "Minnesota actually is always one of the top five honey-producing states in the nation," she said. North Dakota is usually number one, followed by South Dakota.
Ignorance is bliss, Ron Ray told Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Association (COLA) members. In late September, an independent laboratory confirmed zebra mussel larvae in Garfield Lake, where Ray lives. He provided an update on the situation during COLA's Sept. 28 board meeting. Garfield Lake does not have a lake association, but a small group of lakeshore owners formed Friends of Garfield Lake, Ray explained. "We're trying to educate landowners as to good stewardship of the lake," he said.
Everything families love about autumn is rolled into one during the pumpkin parties held at Carter's Red Wagon Farm. The fall festival continues this Saturday and on Saturdays through October, plus Thursday and Friday, Oct. 19 and 20. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visitors from Rochester to Duluth to Crookston travel to the family-friendly farm for the annual event. Attendance increases each year. "It's steadily growing, and thankfully not by leaps and bounds," said co-owner Linda Carter. She and husband Tony are the hard-working creators of the festival.
The Hubbard County Board approved a preliminary payable 2018 levy of $14,450,000 at their Sept. 18 meeting. That's a $550,000 increase over the 2017 final levy of $13,900,000 County department budget requests totaled $14,568,082, or a 4.8 percent increase compared to last year. "That's the dream list," said County Commissioner Char Christenson.
The Park Rapids Area School Board has proposed a 2.69 percent increase for the payable 2018 levy. At their Sept. 18 meeting, the board approved a preliminary levy totaling $5,153,458 — an increase of $135,430 over the payable 2017 levy. This is the maximum amount allowed by state formula. "This is something we always do at this juncture," said Board Chair Sherry Safratowich, adding that Business Manager Dawn Duevel will fine-tune the figures later on. The board will set the final levy at a December meeting. Last year's final levy was $5,018,028.
An independent laboratory has confirmed zebra mussel larvae in Garfield Lake in Hubbard County, according to a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources news release. The lab provided photos of two zebra mussel larvae, called veligers, found in a water sample taken from the lake. Property owners on Garfield Lake hired the lab as part of their own monitoring. Invasive species specialists from the DNR found no zebra mussels in the lake during a six-hour dive survey.
Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity is preparing to build its next home in the Park Rapids area. They hope to break ground yet this November on Third Street, a few blocks from the fairgrounds. The home is for April Bower and her two teenage daughters.
Park Rapids Area High School celebrates Homecoming next week, Sept. 25-29, with dress-up days, a hall decorating contest, powderpuff volleyball, pep fest, parade and a dance following the Sept. 29 football game. Coronation of the 2017 Homecoming king and queen is Sept. 25. This year's royal court includes, front, from left, Jens Anderson, Kora Just, Julia Johnson, Hannah Morgan and Brody Hagen. Back row: Casimir Simonson, Matthew Bruce, Madie Klein, Tori Hilmanowski, Hannah Dewinter , Chance Dewinter and Brayden Gwiazdon.
At a time when many people are worried about "fake news," "alternative facts" and conspiracies to brainwash the masses, author Jeff Nygaard will be talking about the media as a system and how that system functions to produce propaganda, often inadvertently. Nygaard will present his program, "21st Century Propaganda: Understanding Today's Media System," for the Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning series from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26 at the Park Theater. Nygaard is the author of "Nygaard Notes," an online newsletter, and is a Star Tribune contributor.
The Heartland Trail takes center stage in this year's Headwaters 100. Road construction on Highway 71 between Itasca State Park and Lake George necessitated an alternate route. Hosted by the Itascatur Outdoor Activity Club, the biking event celebrates its 37th anniversary when kickstands go up Saturday, Sept. 23. Organizers say the one-time change will "serve the majority of our riders, while introducing them to our backyard trails: the Heartland Trail and Mi-Gi-Zi Trail, true gems in Hubbard and Cass counties."