- Member for
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The Park Rapids Area School Board, meeting Feb. 19, discussed alternatives to canceling school due to weather. Teachers Dan Etter (high school math), Eric Pilgrim (sixth grade) and Ky Deblieck (kindergarten) shared how e-days and distance learning days can enable students to work on class assignments at home. High School Principal Jeff Johnson distinguished between the two, noting that e-days are for a "non-planned out," such as a snow day, while distance learning is for a "planned out," such as when a teacher goes on a trip or the school shuts down to host a competition.
The quarterly ACTION Park Rapids meeting Thursday drew 35 to 40 people to discuss ways to improve the community in a variety of areas, including housing, education, volunteering, business, seniors, youth and the arts. Meeting chair Carolynne "CC" White stressed the importance of creating and following up on a written 90-day plan for each project, both as a strategy to move things forward quickly and as documentation to help apply for grant aid.
The fourth annual Walking on Water Outdoors ice fishing event for veterans moved to Fish Hook Lake Saturday. The move came after a Bobcat fell through the ice on Big Mantrap Lake while plowing snow for the faith-based event. Last year, at least, Big Mantrap was the "secret location" for the event in which volunteers and donors provide an opportunity for armed forces veterans and service people to go fishing. Everything is provided, from hot cocoa and a catered meal to heated fish houses, bait and fishing tackle.
"Shared pain is lessened," wrote science fiction author Spider Robinson. A similar, often quoted proverb says, "A grief shared is a grief halved." Friends, neighbors and community members thronged Bethany Lutheran Church on Sunday evening to share the grief of the families of Akeley sisters Heidi Pierce, 40, and Candi Goochey, 37, whose shooting deaths Thursday stunned the Nevis-Akeley area.
The gunman and victims in a murder-suicide Thursday in Nevis have been identified. According to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office, Candi Goochey, 34, and Heidi Pierce, 40, both of Akeley, were victims of homicide. The suspect, Bryce Bellomo, 34, of Nevis, also shot himself to death. The slain women were sisters of Bellomo's wife, Billie Bellomo.
The Park Rapids City Council on Tuesday deferred a fire code variance request by owner Scott Rech with Stix and Brix, Inc., regarding orders by the state fire marshal to install a fire suppression alarm and sprinkler system at the Park Avenue Apartments. Corrective orders were issued Aug. 1, 2018 after an enforcement inspection, involving then-city building official Ron Dick and personnel from the fire marshal's office, revealed fire and building code violations at the group of buildings that were formerly Park Rapids Middle School. City Planner Andrew Mack noted that:
The Park Rapids City Council was informed Tuesday that the board of the Hubbard County Regional Economic Development Commission (HCREDC) has asked the Headwaters Regional Development Commission (HRDC) to staff its executive director position. Council member Tom Conway, who represents the city on the HCREDC board, reported that the board is making changes after approximately eight months of turmoil, following David Collins' resignation in July 2018 as executive director.
The Park Rapids Downtown Business Association (DBA) heard a proposal Feb. 6 to place a large statue of a loon at the northwest corner of U.S. Hwy. 71 and State Hwy. 34 in Park Rapids. City Planner Andrew Mack shared information about the proposal when DBA board member Cynthia Jones handed around a photo of the artwork. "It's a 24-foot-high, metal sculpture of a loon," he said. "It's made out of stainless steel and copper."
Willard Edwin Cousins, 43, a registered sex offender, may have moved to the Park Rapids area on Wednesday. Cousins is 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." Due to this registration, public notification is required.
There were "well over 2,000 people on the ice" during the 21st annual Park Rapids American Legion Fishing Derby, according to derby chairman Jerry Benham. At 1:30 p.m., half an hour into the competition, Benham estimated that approximately 1,750 anglers had come out, "but people are still coming in. It's going great. You can't beat the weather. A lot of perch are getting caught." Many participants commented that the mild weather was an attraction, compared to last year's frigid event.