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160 more acres available for deer hunting

Outdoor recreationists can now benefit from four, 40-acre parcels in the Badoura State Forest that border Mucky Creek, a designated trout stream, in Hubbard County.

“These parcels were the missing pieces that now connect public access to several square miles of public lands for hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing, as well as additional miles of forest roads and snowmobile trails,” said Mike Lichter, DNR Park Rapids area forester.

The land was purchased by the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association from the Potlatch Corporation in 2018 and gifted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in 2019. It is adjacent to other state and county forest lands and offers an array of benefits to the public, including outdoor recreation, water quality protection, wildlife habitat management and timber production.

“We are pleased that through our partnership with MDHA, Hubbard County and other partners we were able to permanently secure access to these additional lands for local and visiting users alike,” Lichter said.

Tom Stursa, retired Park Rapids DNR wildlife technician and local committee member of MDHA and National Wildlife Turkey Federation (NWTF), was instrumental in securing and coordinating funding for these parcels. “His knowledge of the Hubbard county land base, including access and water quality issues, played a critical role in identifying these valuable parcels,” said Lichter.

Funding for the $233,000 acquisition by MDHA was provided by a Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grant through the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC), as well as $25,000 in matching grant funds from Enbridge. Local chapters of the NWTF and MDHA supported the acquisition.

Minnesota Officials Confirm Case of COVID-19 in Hubbard County

05/23/2020, 11:30am CDT
By CHI St. Joseph's Press release

Minnesota Officials Confirm Case of COVID-19 in Hubbard County

PARK RAPIDS, MN (May 23rd, 2020) The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Hubbard County.

The resident of Hubbard County is recovering at home and has no known travel history.

MDH informed the county of the confirmed case on May 23, 2020.

“The resident has been instructed to quarantine per Minnesota Department of Health guidelines and monitor for worsening symptoms.” said Marlee Morrison, Public Health Director for CHI St. Joseph’s Health and Hubbard County.

CHI St. Joseph’s Health Community Health is the public health agent for Hubbard County, and has been working in collaboration with local, regional, and state partners in response to COVID-19.

“Community spread of COVID-19 is present in Minnesota and our community, and statewide positive case numbers continue to increase. As our businesses open, we still encourage our residents to practice social distancing. Stay close to home. Wear a mask when out in public and wash your hands frequently. Stay home when you are sick and contact your healthcare provider for guidance. Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people from outside your household and avoid any gathering where 6 feet of social distance cannot be maintained” said Morrison.

Brian Halbasch, Hubbard County Emergency Manager, agreed, stating “Hubbard County Emergency Management is working collaboratively with Public Health, as well as regional and state partners to respond and keep our residents safe and healthy. We encourage the community to follow public health recommendations.”

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider to arrange for a test. Do not delay care for any urgent medical needs, COVID related or otherwise.

Tri-County Health Care to Distribute Free Face Masks

05/11/2020, 3:45pm CDT
By Taylor Lunemann, Communications Specialist

Tri-County Health Care will host a community mask distribution on Wednesday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Wesley parking lot. This initiative will provide free reusable masks to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in local communities, according to a TCHC news release.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face masks in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as in grocery stores and pharmacies.

“Our goal is to ensure and prioritize the safety of our patients, staff, friends, families and communities,” said TCHC Foundation executive director Ryan Damlo in the release. “Providing these face masks free of charge is another important step toward achieving our goal of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and protecting public health in our communities.”

Distribution of the face masks will be done via a drive-thru line so community members will not need to leave their vehicles. The Wesley parking lot is located at the corner of NE Elm Ave. and NE 1st St. in Wadena. There will be signs directing traffic to the mask distribution location.

Reminder - Hubbard County Real Estate & Personal Property Taxes

05/11/2020, 3:30pm CDT
By Hubbard County Board Press Release

Reminder - Real Estate/Personal Property Taxes

Note - Changes in response to COVID-19

Pandemic & Resolution No. 05052004

1st half is due May 15, 2020

Payments of $100 or less must be paid in full by May 15th

1st half - qualifying seasonal properties - due May 31st

Payments postmarked until the 15th of July will be accepted without penalty (Utilities and Leased properties are not affected).

See Resolution No. 05052004 for complete details.

A drop box is located on the Courthouse East drive through loop and is labeled FOR TAX PAYMENTS ONLY.

This measure is only for property taxes due and payable in 2020; 

The Hubbard County Board encourages those who do not need extra time to pay, to pay their property taxes as soon as possible, to do their part in providing ongoing support to the COVID-19 response; 

The Hubbard County Auditor-Treasurer will not issue refunds of 2020 property taxes already paid;

Nothing herein shall be applicable to Electric and Gas utilities, pipelines, distribution substations, and all properties with state assessed values, and leased property, that pay real property taxes in Hubbard County; escrow payments will be applied as scheduled for the May 15 and October 15 due dates.

Hubbard County Property Tax Info

Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism President & CEO stepping down

Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism announces current President & CEO, Butch De La Hunt, will be stepping down.

De La Hunt informed the chamber board of directors and staff last week of his departure from the organization after four years at its helm. Butch is going to pursue his love of radio. Butch and Tammy De La Hunt have entered into a purchase agreement to acquire the De La Hunt Broadcasting group of radio stations throughout northern Minnesota.

“It has been an honor and privilege to work and serve for a great board of directors, exceptional staff and wonderful membership. Together, we have charted new territory, overcome challenges, and put the Chamber in an exceptionally good place,” said De La Hunt. “I’m proud of everything we have accomplished together. By working together, we have a community that is thriving, an active membership that is realizing success and tourism that is strong in our region. I am confident that you’ll find a replacement for my position that will continue the hard work of moving the organization to yet another level.”

Butch added, “This area is a great place to live, work and play. That is why Tammy and I are purchasing the group of radio stations from my mom and dad, who have been serving the area for 60 years with news, entertainment, and marketing opportunities for area businesses. They have built a wonderful business and we want to reinvest in our community and continue that De La Hunt radio tradition. Best part, we will still interact with our community and provide support to the many chamber businesses and events. “

“As a board, we are reluctant to see Butch go,” says Debbie Tostenson, chair of the chamber board of directors, “We have added new members to the chamber since he took over, improved on several initiatives that support our members and promote our community. One historic note might be, Butch helped the chamber and our community navigate the difficulties of COVID-19. Of course, we are disappointed to see Butch go but we wish him the best in his new endeavor, and we know he isn’t going too far away.”

Stepping into the role as President/CEO position will be Candy Christensen. Candy has done a magnificent job as the Communications and Marketing Coordinator since joining the chamber over two years ago. Candy has worked side by side with me and is an excellent candidate to take the organization to the next level.

MN DPS: Six Arrested During Human Trafficking Operation

ST. PAUL —Six people were arrested during a human trafficking operation that took place over the past two days in Beltrami County. Investigators with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA)-led Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force led the operation in partnership with the Tribes United Against Sex Trafficking (TRUST) Task Force, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and the Bemidji Police Department. The operation ran from June 25-26.

During the operation, suspects responded to an ad on a sex advertisement website. Investigators arrested the suspects as they arrived at an arranged meeting place for a commercial sex crime. All were booked into the Beltrami County Jail on probable cause solicitation of prostitution of an adult. Charges are expected in the coming days.

  • Michael Lee Eichstadt, 56, of Bemidji, Minn.
  • Quint Kyle Ironnecklace, 24, of Bemidji, Minn.
  • Lance Armon Jones, 39, of Oakville, Washington.
  • Dennis Michael Murphy, 43, of Park Rapids, Minn. Mr. Murphy also faces probable cause possession of a controlled substance.
  • Matthew F. Senica, 49, of Illinois.
  • Philip Edward Toomey, Jr., 48, of Maywood, Missouri.

Many additional agencies and organizations lent resources and expertise to this effort, including The Link; the Buffalo, Fond du Lac, Hibbing, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Thief River Falls and Upper Sioux police departments; the Red Lake Department of Public Safety; the Chisago, Hennepin and Isanti County sheriff’s offices; the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force; the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations.

“This operation was part of our ongoing, collective commitment to rid our communities of sexual exploitation.” BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said. “It is never okay to purchase another person for sex.”

About the Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force

The Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force was established in 2017 with funding from the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs as a statewide enforcement effort to target traffickers and those exploiting children for sex.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of being trafficked, call 911. To report a suspected trafficking situation, call the BCA at 877-996-6222 or email

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