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The Park Rapids City Council adopted a preliminary budget and tax levy for 2019 at its Tuesday, Sept. 11 meeting at city hall. The council also set its truth-in-taxation hearing for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 in the city council chambers at city hall. City Treasurer Angela Brumbaugh reminded the council that the final budget will be adopted at their Dec. 11 meeting. Regarding "what you approve tonight," she said, "you can still make changes in December, but you can only go down. You cannot go up."
Century Middle School launched a new, teacher-led program Friday afternoon to build relationships, community and communication skills among its students. Described by the teachers who thought it up as Century Camptime, the program brings together groups of 15 to 17 students, combining all age levels from fifth to eighth grade, for weekly "campfire circle" discussions, team-building activities and other projects. Each cabin, led by a teacher, is in turn part of one of five camps, identified as Camp Aspen, Camp Birch, Camp Oak, Camp Maple and Camp Pine.
A Park Rapids-based DNR Forestry officer spent July 29 to Aug. 24 on a wildfire control assignment out of town. Way out of town — a blaze in southwestern Colorado that, as of press time, is still burning. "Minnesota has had two to three incident management teams in the past, each year," Brad Witkin said shortly after his return. "This year, one of our teams was called out to what they call a 'pre-position' because there was a lot of activity out west, and they knew that another team would be needed at some point."
Part of the canopy of the Let's Go Fishing pontoon boat has been stolen. Ron Norenberg, chairman of the Headwaters Lakes Area Chapter of the non-profit organization, told the Enterprise that the theft occurred on Aug. 23 in the Ace Hardware parking lot, where the boat is regularly parked. "It has a dual canopy," Norenberg explained. "Somebody took the front half off, and they crawled across the pontoon. We had the cover on, and they broke a bunch of the poles underneath that hold the cover up. They broke those and just disappeared."
Students and their families dropped off school supplies, found their desks and lockers, met teachers, and explored their learning environment for the upcoming school year during the back-to-school open house Wednesday at Century School in Park Rapids. Vehicles overflowed the school parking lot and lined the curb on Helten Avenue and Monico Lane during the event.
The skies threatened rain, but not a drop fell during the 14th annual Vietnam Veterans War Memorial service at the home of Howard and Trudy Maninga in Becker County. Maintained by the Maningas since its dedication on Aug. 20, 2005, the memorial includes replicas of a battlefield bunker and a fighting hole as well as a battlefield cross made of a soldier's helmet, boots and rifle driven bayonet-first into the ground, all "in memory of those who have lived, fought, and died for our country." Unseen wounds
Crime statistics released in July by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) show an increase in crime rates since 2016. According to the BCA's 2017 Uniform Crime Report, violent crimes increased 0.5 percent statewide, with murder, rape and aggravated assaults up since 2016. Robberies and involuntary sex trafficking went down. Property crimes were up 4.4 percent since the previous year. Motor vehicle theft was at a 10-year high, increasing more than 15 percent from 2016; arson numbers rose 7.4 last year.
Sleeping Fawn Resort on Stocking Lake raised nearly $2,000 for Kinship of the Park Rapids Area at a recent concert on the beach. Resort owner Ellen Scharber and her son, Joe Scharber, gave a check for $1,645 to Kinship Executive Director Rosy Hjermstad on Aug. 16. The funds were raised at the free concert on the beach on Aug. 12 featuring Levi Pelzer. Along with donations from the event's food vendors, sponsoring organizations and audience members, the amount presented on Thursday totaled $1,925.60.
The grounds of Forestedge Winery, south of Laporte, were packed with people during the winery's annual art fair last weekend. Visitors from throughout Minnesota and surrounding states thronged the winery, sampling wines, buying it by the glass or bottle, listening to live music and, of course, looking at art. Artist booths featured not only painting and pottery but also fabric arts such as printed scarves and felted hats, photographs printed on steel, designs made of metal, wood and glass, and custom-made clocks, birdhouses, handbags.
Vandalism has already struck the public restrooms that opened this spring at Pioneer Park in Park Rapids. One or more unknown persons set a fire in one of the restrooms at approximately 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19. The city has closed the restroom for cleanup and repair. Fires were set in a diaper changing station, which contained a combustible powder, as well as the restroom's toilet paper supply. As a result, the changing station disintegrated and the walls and floor were left covered in smoke stains, ash and a puddle of melted plastic.