The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council (PRLAAC), in cooperation with the city’s Arts and Cultural Commission, will create an “arts road map.” The strategic plan will chart a course for the community’s creative future, similar to one developed by the city of Grand Rapids. With the help of the Headwaters Regional Development Commission, PRLAAC is submitting a pre-application to the Northwest Minnesota Foundation for project funding. Total costs are expected to not exceed $20,000.
The arrival of February triggers a parade of ice-fishing enthusiasts to the 18th annual Park Rapids Ice Fishing Contest and Raffle. The popular event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 6 on Fish Hook Lake – a little over two weeks away. “We do have plenty of ice,” said organizer Jerry Benham. “We’re good to go.” Thanks to recent sub-zero temperatures, Fish Hook currently has 16 inches of ice, he said. The Legion is selling 3,500 tickets this year. “Our goal is to sell them all,” Benham said.
Longtime entrepreneurs Angela and Rob Miller have opened a new business on Birch Street. Original Stencil, located one block south of Super 8, offers screen-printing and design services. All the work is done in-house by the Millers. “We felt there was a need for a screen-printing business with regular store hours and a place you could get one-on-one customer service,” Angela said.
Gentlemen, start your engines! Thirty-two eager speedsters descended upon the Century School Saturday, with their racing fans in tow. The Pinewood Derby is one of the most popular and successful family activities in Cub Scouting. As long as there’s been a Cub Scout Pack 58, there’s been an annual Pinewood Derby. Blocks of wood, four nails and four wheels are transformed into race cars, each Scout designing his own vehicle. It must weigh 5 ounces. Proper weight and balance are essential, said Pack 58 Cubmaster Dustin Lof.
With a burst of frigid weather, Mother Nature is making ice on area lakes. But there’s only a slight chance of snow this weekend, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Menahga School Board set a 9.35 percent levy increase for payable 2016. The final levy totals $1,123,427 – a $96,063 hike compared to last year’s certified levy of $1,027,364. Initially, the board appeared it would certify the maximum levy allowed by state formula – $1,223,427 – without discussion. That would be a 19 percent tax levy hike, said school board member Al Peterson, not 3.25 percent as was presented in Interim Superintendent Allen Stoeckman’s PowerPoint presentation that evening. “We’re pushing out a big tax increase,” he said, spurring debate.
Shades of chocolate emerge from Don Wattenhofer’s bowls, platters, goblets, vases and urns. He is an artistic woodturner, fashioning both decorative and practical pieces from harvested wood. Nestled in five forested acres along the shores of Big Basswood Lake, he works in his shop. Woodturning is a unique craft that uses a motorized lathe. Wood is mounted on the lathe, then spun on its axis at high rpms – upwards of 2,500 rpm – while the cutter steadily holds specialized, deep-fluted gouges to shape the wood.
A no-trespassing order issued against a Menahga resident has created a debate as to what constitutes a weapon. The Menahga School district issued the order against Jon Kangas for carrying a folding utility knife in his pocket into a Dec. 10 school board committee meeting. School board member Al Peterson sought “clarity” on the issue at Monday night’s school board meeting and “to reassure people we’re consistent with our weapons policy.” “He’s been carrying it for years. I’ve known it. I think we’ve all seen it dozens of times and that’s putting it lightly,” Peterson said.
The Menahga City Council set a $416,676 payable 2016 levy this week – a mere .0057 percent or $2,370 increase over last year. It’s a significant drop from the 18 percent hike they considered in September. The $69,898 in additional levies was eliminated last month when the council prepaid the city’s 2006 general obligation improvement bonds with $50,000 cash from the general fund. They also refinanced 2009 G.O. improvement bonds, where $19,898 was outstanding.
Patrick Pope began bead weaving about 20 years ago “at a time when I was very sick at heart and overwhelmed by life in general,” he said. He hated his terrible job. He was depressed, anxious, suicidal. A chance meeting with a Crow Indian Reservation bead artist led him to the craft. She became his mentor and friend. “I was taught to treat every bead as a prayer,” Pope said. “Bead by bead, prayer by prayer, over time you can create something extraordinary, spiritual, even sacred,” he says.