A predatory sex offender is moving close to Park Rapids this week. According to a notification fact sheet released by the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office, Allen John Wagner, 39, is expected to arrive in central Arago Township, rural Park Rapids, on Thursday, Nov. 29. Wagner was released from incarceration on March 20, 2012 and was registered as a predatory offender, Risk Level III. According to Minnesota Statutes 244.052, subdivision 3, Risk Level III is assigned to "an offender whose risk assessment score indicates a high risk of reoffense."
Now is the time to talk with kids about the dangers of ice. Ice thickness varies greatly on lakes, ponds and rivers throughout the state. Some water bodies have none, while others have several inches, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "Ice, especially early ice with snow cover, is extremely deceptive because you can't see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow," said DNR Conservation Officer Adam Block. "Parents need to teach their kids that ice is never 100 percent safe. If your child is near the ice, you should be near your child."
"The biggest challenge Park Rapids is facing in the next five years is online retail," according to Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce President Butch De La Hunt. "Businesses need to separate themselves by providing more services — from gift-wrapping to making sure they're creating that experience for the shopper that's very positive. I think our downtown is doing a very nice job at that."
Faith briefs from area churches. Riverside United Methodist Church
A recent report from State Auditor Rebecca Otto indicated that, among liquor stores run by local cities during 2017, Nevis' municipal liquor store performed strongly, Menahga's poorly and Park Rapids' about average. Akeley was listed of one of five cities that had provided data in 2016 but did not report on its liquor store operations in 2017. "They did receive, and do currently have our data," Akeley City Clerk/Treasurer Kristi Kath said. "It was simply a timing issue and was not there to be included in their annual report." Park Rapids
The towering pine on Main Street, trees lit on every corner, fresh evergreen wreaths on the carriage lights and window displays set the scene for the holidays in downtown Park Rapids. Enjoy hot cider, hot chocolate and other treats at the Yuletide Sampler from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Participating businesses host this annual event as a way to thank the community for their support all year and invite the start of your holiday shopping. Free will offerings from the Yuletide Sampler will be donated to CHI St. Joseph's Health Hospice Care.
Faith briefs from area churches. Assemblies of God Church
A 10-year-old boy was wounded by a firearm on Nov. 14 in the greater Bemidji area. According to a Beltrami County Sheriff's Office press release, deputies were called on Wednesday to Sanford Medical Center in Bemidji for a report of a gunshot injury. Investigation revealed that a 10-year-old male sustained the injury after he discharged a .22-caliber handgun that he found unsecured in the family's home. An arrest was made from the incident, and criminal charges are pending with the Beltrami County Attorney's office.
According to a Becker County Sheriff's Office news release, former Lake Park Police Chief Jay Nelson, 53, was found dead on Nov. 10 at approximately 6:09 p.m. The sheriff's office received a report of a deceased mail in a vehicle on a logging trail approximately a half-mile east of Yellowhead Trail and a half-mile west of Little Flat Lake, Section 25 of West Sugar Bush Township. Emergency responders located and identified the victim as Nelson. A provisional autopsy examination indicated Nelson died from a gunshot wound.
There will be three new faces on the Hubbard County Board in January. Challenger David De La Hunt was elected county commissioner for District 1 with 1,098 votes (54 percent) over incumbent Vern Massie, who took 942 votes (46 percent). "I believe the voters of District 1 were looking for someone with a diverse background and a variety of experience," De La Hunt said. "I'm humbled that the voters have put their trust in me and will do my very best to represent all Hubbard County taxpayers."