Lorie Skarpness has joined the Park Rapids Enterprise as a news reporter. Her duties will include covering general news stories, local governments and features.

Born in Minnesota, Skarpness spent most of her childhood in Iowa until moving with her family to DeLamere, ND when she was in high school. She earned her bachelor's degree in English from Concordia College, Moorhead in 1994, completing her internship at the Detroit Lakes Tribune where she also wrote a weekly column.

Skarpness worked as a reporter and education editor at the Northwoods Press from 1996-2008. She then wrote stories and sold advertising for two local magazines, "Area Journeys" and "Northwoods Woman." During this time, she also worked as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher at Nevis School and wrote freelance stories for "Lake Country Journal."

Over the past four years, Skarpness has been teaching Head Start at Pine Point School on the White Earth Reservation. She wrote about her class in "Anishinaabeg Today" and learned to speak a little of the Ojibwe language.

At the Enterprise, Skarpness is "looking forward to contributing positive stories that will help readers in the Park Rapids community be informed about all the wonderful opportunities and events in this area we are blessed to call home." She also hopes "to continue to build a bridge between the community and our neighbors on the reservation."

In her free time, she enjoys hanging out at her cabin with dog Mandy and cat Tigger and enjoying the beauty of nature, including neighborhood deer Betsy and Blaze who come to meet her car each evening. She also enjoys reading and writing children's stories.