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"One Vegetable, One Community" (OVOC) — the community-wide gardening campaign — kicked off Monday at Century School. This year's designated vegetable is carrots. As part of the initiative, free seed packets are being given away. OVOC is a multi-agency partnership to increase access to local produce in the area, explains Donna Anderson, University of Minnesota Extension SNAP-Ed educator. Residents, businesses, churches, government offices and others are urged to grow the tasty and popular carrot in containers, planter boxes or gardens.
Signs in Ojibwe and English are now available to area businesses. The Ojibwe Language Project grew out of a three-year partnership between the League of Women Voters Park Rapids Area, the Park Rapids Public Library and Pine Point community members. Now a part of ACTION Park Rapids Lakes Area, the committee held its first meeting in late November. Order forms were sent to Park Rapids Downtown Business Association members last week, with the target date for mounting signs being prior to Memorial Day.
A 1993 Park Rapids Area High School graduate, Chelsey Johnson looks forward to a homecoming as she promotes her debut novel "Stray City." Her hometown book launch begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at Beagle and Wolf Books — the independent bookstore founded by her mother, Jill Johnson. "Although I haven't lived in Minnesota, technically, since I graduated from high school, I come back every summer and it still feels so much like my home," Chelsey said.
Father-daughter pairs from Park Rapids, Bemidji, Detroit Lakes and even Minneapolis capered and careened on the dance floor Saturday. Nearly 200 attended the second annual Daddy-Daughter Dance, sponsored by the FATHER Project and Violence Prevention Program, according to co-organizer Joe Johnson. "That's a huge draw," he said. "It got so big. It was a blast." Held at the Park Rapids Area High School, the soiree include a catered meal, dessert, silly photo booth, crafts, games, door prizes, grand march and dance.
The 28 suspects swept up in a major drug bust are working their way through the Ninth Judicial District Court system. The Hubbard County Attorney's Office is prosecuting the cases. The investigations, largely performed within the last six months, reached their conclusion March 28, ultimately leading to the arrest of 28 suspects for various felony-level offenses involving the sale and possession of illegal drugs.
An ACTION Park Rapids team focused on making the community more dementia-friendly recently engaged in a unique training session. The Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) is designed to give participants "an up-close, hands-on experience that provides critical insight to those caring for people with dementia," according to its brochure. VDT was created by geriatrics specialist P. K. Beville.
The Hubbard County Board adopted amendments to three county ordinances and approved a new animal control ordinance at their April 3 meeting. Commissioners questioned a provision in the shoreland management ordinance which prohibits home-based businesses to have employees. A new portion of the ordinance limited "home occupations" and "home extended businesses" to only the person(s) residing on the premises. The new language states, "No person other than the residents of the premises shall be employed or engaged."
A design for the new county transfer station is emerging. Solid Waste Administrator Josh Holte updated the Hubbard County Board at their April 3 meeting. Holte is working with consultant Wenck Associates, Inc. of Fargo to design the building. It will replace the existing transfer station at the south site, which was constructed in 1987. "We've picked the layout we feel is going to work the best," he said, showing preliminary sketches with the county board.
Hubbard County officials are investigating a complaint regarding Vacationaire Resort's sign — and fear a potential domino effect. The matter was discussed at Tuesday's county board meeting. The resort sign is located within County Highway 89's right-of-way. Both Hubbard County's sign ordinance and Minnesota Statute prohibit private signs within rights-of-ways. Public Works Coordinator/County Engineer Jed Nordin said the sign is also on a platted road, Icon Drive. "There is no ownership on that road. It is just dedicated to the public," he explained.