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The Nevis School Board on Jan. 28 reversed its controversial decision last November regarding the time of this year's high school graduation. On Nov. 28, 2018 the school board unanimously approved moving the ceremony from 7 p.m. Saturday, May 26 to 10:30 a.m., in order to take advantage of cooler conditions earlier in the day in the non-air-conditioned gymnasium.
Oral arguments were heard on Jan. 16 at the Minnesota Court of Appeals "in the matter of the application of Park Rapids Clay Dusters, Inc., for a conditional use permit" (CUP) for its clay target shooting range near Huntersville, informally known as Wenthold vs. Wadena County. Randy and Tammy Wenthold and Went North, LLC petitioned the court last April to overturn the CUP that the Wadena County Board of Commissioners granted to the trap shooting club.
The Park Avenue Apartments seem to be on track to correct building and fire code violations cited last August, Park Rapids City Planner Andrew Mack said Tuesday. "Everything has been resolved, with the exception of an order by the state fire marshal to install a fire sprinkler system," said Mack. "They've been making good progress to address other code violations, and have addressed everything in the order with that one exception." An order to correct the violations was sent on Aug. 1, 2018 to owner Scott Rech with Stix and Brix, Inc. of Litchfield.
Almost 20 people responded to Travis Guida's call for community input toward the Park Rapids Area High School (PRAHS) community career collaboration coordinator program (4C). The result was the first-ever meeting of the 4C advisory board Jan. 23 at Knute Nelson Crystal Brook.
Bob Wills was appointed Tuesday to fill an open seat on the Park Rapids City Council. The seat became available when Ryan Leckner, elected to a four-year term on the council in 2016, took office as mayor on Jan. 8. Wills' seat will be up for election in November 2020. Before making the appointment, the city council considered letters of interest from five candidates, including Wills, Tim Little, Lynette McFarren, Thomas G. Petschl and Robb Swanson. Each candidate except Little, who was absent, also made a spoken statement about their interest in serving on the council.
The Park Rapids City Council voted Tuesday, after careful deliberation, to accept a $550,000 Minnesota Housing Finance grant for workforce housing development. Mary Thompson, operations director with the Headwaters Regional Development Commission (HRDC), stressed that this decision does not obligate the city to give any planning approval, matching funds or in-kind concessions to the project. "You have been approved to receive it," Thompson said about the grant. "If you do not accept it, we cannot move forward with the project."
Ean Voigt, a 2018 graduate of Park Rapids Area High School, won the Semi Pro Factory 600 class Jan. 19-20 in the USXC Park Rapids Heartland 200 snowmobile race. It was the 19-year-old's first career win as a semi-professional racer. Voigt, a son of Jeff and Angie Voigt of Park Rapids, is currently a freshman at Minnesota State University Mankato, working toward a four-year degree in aviation. His win on a 600-horsepower Arctic Cat sled followed years of involvement in the sport.
The wooden race cars at Saturday's Pinewood Derby didn't actually tear up the track. The track remained intact after the annual event for Park Rapids Cub Scouts Pack 58, held at Riverside United Methodist Church. However, several of the cars tallied average speeds in excess of 200 mph. The Cub Scouts' creative designs for their cars included a package of candy, a slice of watermelon, cartoon characters and hot rods.
Twelfth graders Kaisa Coborn and Rylley Clark were crowned SnoDaze Queen and King on Monday, launching a winter-themed spirit week at Park Rapids Area High School. According to their royalty candidate statements, read aloud before their coronation, Coborn enjoys computer science class and hopes to attend the University of Georgia for a business-related major. Clark said he enjoys calculus and building trades. He plans to attend the University of Minnesota — Duluth and major in business. The pair described each other as "favorite locker buddies."
Dan Zimmerman, store director of Hugo's in Park Rapids, presents a check for $1,870 to Bob Hansen on Jan. 11. The donation is for the Hubbard County Senior Nutrition Program, which serves more than 31,000 senior meals a year. "The program struggles with a deficit of about $35,000 each year," said Hansen. "The suggested donation is $4, but the average donation is less than $3." Anyone interested in donating to the program may mail their check to LSS Nutrition Program, 18831 Eagle View Dr., Park Rapids, MN 56470.