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Children Reported Missing, Located Safe

July 14, 2024
Eckles Township, Beltrami County, MN – Two children, ages 7 and 9, were reported missing on Sunday morning
between Bemidji and Wilton. They were later located safe at a residence in Hubbard County. This incident is currently under investigation and no further information will be released at this time.

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Bemidji Police Department, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Minnesota State Patrol, Beltrami County Emergency Management, Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office and the Park Rapids Police Department.


The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office extends gratitude to the community for their efforts and cooperation.

Short-term detour on Highway 34 in Akeley scheduled July 9

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Motorists on Highway 34 in Akeley will encounter a short-term detour July 9-18 when crews complete drainage work, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The detour will utilize Fourth Street between Pleasant Avenue and Graceson Avenue.

For more information as well as staging and detour maps, visit the project website: www.mndot.gov/d2/projects/hwy34-akeley

Stay connected

View detour maps and traffic impacts on the project website www.mndot.gov/d2/projects/hwy34-akeley

Join project staff at weekly construction update meetings. They will take place Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. at Akeley City Hall

Sign up for weekly construction update emails on the project website

Join the Northwest Minnesota Facebook group for news, events and updates

Follow us on Twitter @mndotnorthwest for news, events and updates

For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store

 

Carter Family recognized as a 2024 ‘U of M Farm Family’

Park Rapids, Minn. June 25, 2024 —The Jonathan Carter family of Park Rapids has been named Hubbard County’s “2024 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.

Jonathan and Julia Carter started their farm with chickens. They soon added one cow to their homestead and began what they call their “mini-micro dairy experience.”  The Carters began selling raw, A2A2 milk, from the farm. Their first cow produced three heifers and they became the Carters’ dairy herd. To use all the milk, Julia began making cheese. After extensive cheesemaking, the Carters began selling their raw, aged cheese, at local farmers’ markets in Park Rapids and Walker. Julia started offering cheesemaking classes this past winter.

The Carters currently milk three Jersey dairy cows--all half-sisters—producing A2A2 milk.  The family has been making cheese for a decade. They also offer sleigh rides for local residents in the winter.

Jonathan and Julia have five children: Samuel, Maggie Kay, Hazel Mae, Silas, and Gideon.  The four youngest kids are homeschooled, and all contribute to the farm’s success. Samuel, the oldest, has a job away from home but is key to keeping the farm’s equipment running and getting the hay crop in.

The Carters are active in their church and their local 4-H horse program.  The family’s farm is part of the “Harvest Host” program that welcomes RVers from around the country to stay on the farm, meet the Carters’ cows and experience their cheese. 

The families will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 8 at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls, Minn. Profiles of the 2024 honorees can be found on the University’s farm family website, https://extension.umn.edu/farm-families.

Honored families are chosen, one per county, by local University of Minnesota Extension committees based on their demonstrated commitment to their communities and to enhancing and supporting agriculture.

“These farm families are a major driver of Minnesota's economy and the vitality of Minnesota's rural communities,” said Bev Durgan, dean of the University of Minnesota Extension. “The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these farm families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities.”

Along with Farmfest, University units sponsoring the recognition event include the University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Farmfest runs Aug. 6-8 at the Gilfillan Estate, near Redwood Falls, Minn. Event hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8.00 in advance or $10.00 at the gate and those 17 and under are admitted free. More information on Farmfest is available at https://www.ideaggroup.com/farmfest.

Minnesota Veterans Homes Dedication Ceremony Monday in Bemidji


The Bemidji community, elected officials, tribal
leaders, civic leaders, Veterans Service Organizations, volunteers,
donors and Veteran advocates will officially dedicate the new Minnesota
Veterans Homes Monday, July 1 from 1 -2 PM.

Self-guided tours immediately following the program

WHERE:            920 Anne Street N.W.

 * No public parking on campus for the event.
 * Remote parking available south of Sanford Regional Medical Center on 34th Street
  * Follow the signs and volunteers directing traffic.
  * Shuttles available beginning at 11:30 a.m.

FUN FACTS:

     * 72-bed skilled nursing facility located on 15 acres that provides views of Northwoods nature and wildlife.
    * Public spaces include a Town Center featuring a multipurpose room, theater, learning studio, family dining room, meditation room, club area and multiple outdoor spaces.
    * Bemidji is one of three new Minnesota Veterans Homes opened this year. No other state has opened so many homes in such a short amount of time.

Hubbard County Sheriff Reports Body Discovered in Cass Lake

On June 26th the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a deceased body that was discovered in a wooded area near the railroad tracks in Cass Lake. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office and Leech Lake Tribal Police responded to the area where they discovered the remains of missing person, James White, age 60 of rural Laporte.

White was reported missing to the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office on June 24th after reportedly not being seen for the past two weeks. The cause of death remains under investigation

MN BCA Endangered Missing Person Alert Updated - Found Safe

UPDATE: Abdinour has been located and is safe.

Fergus Falls Police are attempting to locate Abdinour "Abdi" Alasow (27 years old). He was last seen at his adult foster home in Fergus Falls around 10:15 PM on 06/22/2024.

Abdi is a black male, 5'9", 200 lbs, with short black hair. He was wearing gray sweatpants and a dark colored t-shirt.

Please contact the Fergus Falls Police Department with any information. 218-998-8555

The Otter Tail County Sheriff Suspends Ground Search

UPDATE: 6/25/24
 
The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office has suspended ground search operations but will continue to pursue other investigative measures. We are not requesting any further volunteers at this time. The search for 79 year old Robert Shaw of rural Henning began Saturday afternoon and ran non-stop through Monday evening. The search involved ground, air and water, hundreds of volunteers and approximately 15-20 search and rescue dogs.
 
Please continue to be on the lookout for Mr. Shaw. We will release further information on the Otter Tail County Facebook page later this week.
 
REQUEST FOR VOLUNTEER SEARCHER JUNE 24th AT 0800Hrs-- meet at 21791 State Hwy 29 Henning, MN
 
The Otter Tail County Sheriffs Office is looking for volunteers to assist in the search for Robert Shaw in rural Henning. Those available to assist must be able to search on foot through heavily wooded, marshy terrain. Appropriate clothing to include appropriate water proof boots. Please have a charged cell phone and bug repellent.
To assist with tracking the areas searched, please download the free “Caltopo” App.
 
Meeting time on Monday June 24th is 0800hrs. Meeting location to be determined and will be announced later this evening.
 
Today’s search included State Patrol Aircraft(s), National Guard Civil Air Patrol, Multiple K9’s, Drones, Airboat, Horses, UTV’s and over 150 local volunteer community members and Firemen as well as 2 Search and Rescue teams which also included artificial intelligence technology.

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation Restoration Act – Decision Memo Signed

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the Chippewa National Forest have announced that a Decision Memo was signed by US Forest Service Regional Forester Tony Dixon designating the selected parcels for transfer on the Chippewa National Forest. A total of approximately 11,778 national forest acres are being transferred under this Act.

This action is a significant step in implementing the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation Restoration Act, signed into law in December 2020 and meets the legislative target of approximately 11,760 acres of federal land, currently managed by the Chippewa National Forest, to be held in trust for the benefit of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. With the signing, the Forest Service is poised to transfer 345 Restoration Parcels approximately 11,778 acres through legal descriptions publication in the Federal Register.

"It's been a pleasure and an honor to work with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe as we implement the Reservation Restoration Act to transfer back approximately 11,778 acres to this sovereign nation. We understand the importance the land holds to the Band and will continue to work with the Band as we move through this process," said Chippewa Forest Supervisor Michael Stansberry.

These restored lands will enable the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to invest in future generations with economic and residential development. Lands subject to transfer hold historical and cultural significance to the Band.

"It is with great joy and hope for the future in our hearts that we celebrate the latest step forward in restoring a portion of the illegally transferred lands back to the Leech Lake Ojibwe. On behalf of the Band, I want to express my gratitude to the Forest Service and Tribal staff collaborating behind the scenes to move this land transfer towards completion. This is one of the most monumental and positive developments to take place on Leech Lake since the first treaties were signed and the reservation was established in 1855," said Faron Jackson Sr., Chairman of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.

The Forest and the Band jointly identified the parcels to be transferred. The intent was to limit fragmentation of ownership boundaries while honoring private property rights. The legislation language made provisions for honoring any existing private property rights such as easements, permits, or other encumbrances.

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will hold a commemorative ceremony on July 17.

Comprehensive information about the selected land transfer parcels, including the Decision Memo, FAQs, and an online StoryMap, is available on the Forest's website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/chippewa. We anticipate the Federal Register Notice will publish on June 28, 2024.

For additional information regarding Public Law 116–255, please visit Congress.gov at: https://www.congress.gov/116/plaws/publ255/PLAW-116publ255.pdf

Bill S.616, the Leech Lake Reservation Restoration Technical Corrections Act of 2023 was introduced in March of 2023 to address the Bureau of Land Management Indian Lands Surveyor's finding of additional Cass County Indian allotments illegally transferred (4,362 acres) beyond the original acres specified in the Act.

Hubbard County Reports Dissemination of Child Pornography

On April 15 th, 2024 the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office received multiple reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that someone was uploading and disseminating child
pornography from a computer located in Hubbard County. A subpoena was served on an area telecommunications company and it was confirmed that the IP address used in disseminating the child
pornography was located in Hubbard County.

One of the tips contained a phone number which was traced back to a Mitchell Phillippi of Akeley, MN. Investigators with the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on Snapchat where they received images containing child pornography that
was linked to the Mitchell Phillippi residence in rural Akeley.

Hubbard County Investigators went to Phillippi’s employment where they seized Phillippi’s phone and placed him under arrest. Phillippi
provided a statement to law-enforcement where he admitted to sending hundreds of images containing child pornography using Snapchat. Mitchell Phillippi was charged with 8-felony counts of Disseminating Pornographic Work Involving Minors Under the Age of 14.

White Earth Reservation General Election Results (official)


White Earth Chairman Michael A. Fairbanks and Laura Lee (Thompson) Erickson congratulate each other after the votes were counted on Tuesday, June 11 at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn. Photo credit: Gary W. Padrta

WHITE EARTH, MINN. – Incumbent Michael A. Fairbanks defeated Eugene “Umsy” Tibbetts, 1,155 to 909, for Chairman in the White Earth Reservation General Election held Tuesday, June 11.  Laura Lee (Thompson) Erickson edged incumbent Cheryl “Annie” Jackson 595 to 441, for District III Representative.  Both positions are four-year terms.  Here are the official results:

 

 

Chairman

Michael A. Fairbanks (incumbent)              1,155   55.96%

Eugene “Umsy” Tibbetts                                909      44.04%

 

District III Representative

Laura Lee (Thompson) Erickson                595      57.44%

Cheryl “Annie“ Jackson (incumbent)             441      42.57%

 

May 30 Drowning Reported by Hubbard County Sheriff's Office

On May 30 at 5:57pm the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a possible drowning at Starlight Bay Resort on 8 th Crow Wing Lake in Nevis Township.

The caller reported that his father fell in the lake and was unconscious. Deputies and emergency personnel responded. Upon arriving, Deputies
found several Nevis First Responders providing medical care to the victim who was now on shore.

Deputies spoke to 48 year old Shane Delmore of Boston, MA who advised that he and his father, 75 year old William Delmore of Bismarck, ND had been fishing on the dock. Shane went into their cabin to use the restroom and when he returned, found his father laying face down in the lake.

Shane jumped into the water and attempted to pull his father to shore. With the assistance of another individual, they were able to get the victim out of the water and onto the beach. Medical personnel from North Ambulance arrived on scene and pronounced William deceased. The incident is being investigated by the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office.

Klobuchar, Stauber Introduce Legislation to Improve Mail Delivery in Northern Minnesota

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Representative Pete Stauber (R-MN)  announced the introduction of the Rural Mail Delivery Improvement Act. This legislation would require the United States Postal Service (USPS) to implement all of the recommendations made by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) following their audit of the Bemidji Post Office, which uncovered operational problems at the facility. 

“Minnesotans rely on the Postal Service to deliver their prescriptions, Social Security checks, and more, and they need and deserve timely service. The recent Inspector General’s report that I called for confirmed significant delays and service disruptions for those who rely on the Bemidji Post Office,” said Klobuchar. “That’s why Rep. Stauber and I are leading bipartisan legislation that requires the Postal Service to act on all of the Inspector General’s recommendations, which will improve operations for Bemidji residents, those in the surrounding communities and beyond.”

“I have been deeply concerned by the reports about postal issues in Bemidji and Greater Minnesota,” said Stauber. “Rural Minnesotans rely heavily on mail delivery and any disruption in this service is unacceptable because it can have a detrimental impact on people’s businesses, livelihoods, and health. The USPS has been having problems for a while and I have repeatedly asked their leadership to fix these issues, but my requests seem to fall on deaf ears. Enough is enough. Decisive action must be taken immediately to improve the efficiency and reliability of mail delivery, which is why I am proud to introduce legislation requiring USPS to enact all five of the recommendations made by the OIG after their comprehensive audit of the Bemidji Post Office. I thank Senator Klobuchar for joining me in this effort.”

The OIG performed an audit of the Bemidji Post Office during the week of December 12, 2023, to evaluate mail delivery in northern Minnesota after community members and postal employees in the area publicly expressed concerns about the disruptions in mail delivery. 

According to the audit report, the OIG found 78,948 pieces of delayed mail in the mail processing area, which was attributed to the lack of an adequate training program for staff. 

According to the OIG report, USPS headquarters also failed to ask the Bemidji Post Office if they could handle the expected increase in volume due to third-party shipments folding into operations. They also failed to tell the Bemidji Post Office about this agreement until eight days before third-party packages would start arriving.

The recommendations from the OIG report are as follows: 
 

  1. Develop and execute a plan to verify that all delayed mail volume is entered into the proper system for the Bemidji Post Office.
  2. Obtain and consider district and local management input on their ability to deliver all mail when assessing new opportunities for new projected drop shipment package volume. 
  3. Develop and implement procedures to promptly communicate to district and local management any expected new drop shipment mail volumes and start dates for large shippers.
  4. Coordinate with Headquarters and Central Area Human Resources personnel to identify and implement additional strategies to fill carrier vacancies at the Bemidji Post Office.
  5. Provide mail processing training that includes proper mail staging processes, managing critical mail entry and clearance times, scheduling extra trucks, staffing policies, and reporting delayed mail for all district and local managers who are responsible for mail processing operations in a delivery unit.
     

The USPS disagrees with recommendations 2 and 3.

Senator Klobuchar previously called on Postmaster General DeJoy to address staffing shortages and mail delays at the Bemidji Post Office in November 2023. Senators Klobuchar and Smith requested an audit of the USPS’s Minnesota-North Dakota District operations in December 2023.

New Minnesota Veterans Homes - Bemidji Celebrates Veterans Homes Week


St. Paul, Minn. - Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is celebrating Minnesota Veterans Homes Week May 12-18. This annual event honors our dedicated staff who care for Veteran Residents and their families as well as each other. The new Veterans Home in Bemidji - which started admitting its first residents earlier this year--is proud to recognize ongoing efforts to ensure an optimal quality of Residential life and a workplace of choice for all.

Making beautiful memories that bring joy to Residents is what our employees do every day. During Minnesota Veterans Homes Week, residents and team members will further bolster the warm, welcoming settings through a variety of activities, including staff contests, gratitude walls, special meals and treats, dress-up days and giveaways.

"These are just a few ways to say thank you to our employees for consistently showing up to deliver award-winning care and honor our Veterans' legacies," said Simone Hogan, Senior Director, Healthcare.

Eric Meittunen, MDVA Deputy Commissioner, Healthcare, noted that, "Our employees take every possible opportunity to make memories with Veterans, be it at mealtime, during onsite activities or community outings, or just sitting and relaxing after a long day. While we are grateful for their commitment 52 weeks a year, during this week in particular, we shine the light on the sense of extended family they create and the way they deliver a safe, respectful environment for our Residents."

Brad Lindsay, MDVA Commissioner, shared that talented, compassionate employees are essential to serving the needs of state Veterans and their families. "We're grateful that our team members have found their purpose with us; Minnesota Veterans Homes Week is a great opportunity to say thank you to them for going above and beyond to meet the healthcare needs of our nation's heroes."

About MDVA

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is a cabinet-level
state agency dedicated to serving Minnesota Veterans and their families. In addition to overseeing the eight State Veterans Homes and four State Veterans Cemeteries, MDVA helps eligible Veterans and families secure state and federal benefits and provides programs and services relating to higher education, benefits, burial, claims and outreach. Veterans and their families are encouraged to visit https://mn.gov/mdva/  or call 1-888-LinkVet for more information about benefits.

 

Astera Health breaks ground on new cancer center

WADENA, Minn. – May 08, 2024 – A groundbreaking ceremony took place on May 7, 2024, at the Astera Health Campus in Wadena for a new cancer center. The ceremony was originally planned to be outdoors but was moved inside due to inclement weather. During the presentation speakers from Astera Health, CentraCare, and the community shared their thoughts on the new facility. 

The cancer center is a partnership between Astera Health and CentraCare. It will be a state-of-the-art facility offering a wide range of services not easily accessible in rural Minnesota, including radiation, PET scanning, and expanded infusion therapy. With the expertise of the CentraCare oncology team and Astera Health, this program will bring full-service care with better outcomes for patients.  

The goal of both organizations is to improve access to cancer care in Central Minnesota. This partnership was spurred by increased cancer rates in Minnesota and patients struggling to receive care. Many people must travel long distances while suffering from cancer symptoms and the effects associated with such intense treatment. 

Ken Holmen, CEO of CentraCare took to the podium to share his thoughts on the importance of cancer care in Central Minnesota. “We build on yesterday,” said Holmen who mentioned the immense work completed throughout the history of Astera Health laying the groundwork for the success of tomorrow. 

“There is nothing funny about cancer,” remarked Stephen Davis, MD, who serves as a family medicine physician at Astera Health. For several months, Dr. Davis has been battling a form of bone cancer and shared some emotional patient stories impacted by cancer.  

Joel Beiswenger, President and CEO of Astera Health concluded the ceremony with heartfelt words about the journey to the construction of the cancer center. “In the end, this will transform the care we deliver, the experience our patients have, who of course, are going through the toughest times in their lives,” said Beiswenger.  

Construction started May 8 and will be open to patients in July of 2025. 

For more information about the new cancer center, please visit asterahealth.org. 

 

Fatal Farm Accident Reported in Otter Tail County

On 5/7/2024, the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office and emergency personnel responded to the report of a farm accident with critical injuries at a farm site, north of Parkers Prairie. The victim in the incident had been working with others to repair a piece of tillage equipment, when a part of the machinery fell on top of him and pinned him underneath. Life saving efforts were unsuccessful, and the victim passed away at the scene. The name of the victim is being withheld, pending notification of relatives.

The Parkers Prairie Fire Department, along with the Parkers Prairie and North Ambulance services assisted with the incident.

Construction on Highway 87 east of Hubbard begins May 20

The project will be completed in three detoured stages

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced today, construction on Highway 87 east of Hubbard will begin May 20. The project includes reconstructing Highway 87 from Third Crow Wing Lake to east of Hubbard. The project also includes shoulder widening and culvert replacements.

Staging information and detour routes are subject to change.

Estimated durations and detour routes are as follows:

Stage 1:    Hubbard CR 20 to CR 13

  • Detour: Hubbard CR 17, Hubbard CR 20, Hubbard CR 13
  • Work to complete: grading, aggregate base
  • Duration: mid May – early August

Stage 2:    179th Ave. to Hubbard CR 20

  • Detour: Hwy 87, Hwy 71, Hwy 34, Hubbard CR 20, Hubbard CR 17, Hubbard CR 13, Hwy 87
  • Work to complete: grading, aggregate base
  • Duration: early August – late August

Stage 3    Hubbard CR 13 to Blackberry Drive

  • Detour: Hubbard CR 20, Hwy 34, Hubbard CR 33, Hwy 64
  • Work to complete: grading, aggregate base
  • Duration: late August – mid September

Stage 4    179th Ave. to Blackberry Drive

  • No detour, lane closures with flagger/pilot car
  • Work to complete: bituminous surfacing, shouldering, signing
    • Duration: mid September – early October

The project is expected to be complete early-October, weather permitting. For more information as well as a detour map, visit the project website: www.mndot.gov/d2/projects/hwy87-hubbard.  

Project benefits and cost

Benefits of the project include a safer road, improved drainage, and a smoother and longer lasting driving surface. Anderson Brothers is the contractor for the $6.2 million project.

Important reminders for motorists regarding work zone safety:

  • Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution.
  • Stay alert; work zones constantly change.
  • Watch for workers and slow-moving equipment.
  • Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300.
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel.
  • Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

Please join the MnDOT District 2 Facebook group for updates on construction, road conditions and other transportation related topics. www.facebook.com/groups/mndotnorthwest/

Highway 34 Akeley construction resumes early-May

Motorists will detour utilizing Hubbard CR 25 and Highway 64

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced today, construction on Highway 34 in Akeley will resume in early May. The remaining project elements include resurfacing and sidewalk upgrades on Highway 34 from the Hulet Avenue to Hillside Avenue. Motorists will detour utilizing Hubbard CR 25 and Highway 64.

The project is expected to be complete in mid-June, weather permitting. For more information as well as staging and detour maps, visit the project website: www.mndot.gov/d2/projects/hwy34-akeley

Stay connected

Project benefits and cost

Benefits of the project include a safer road, smoother and longer lasting driving surface, as well as intersection and pedestrian improvements to enhance safety for all users.

Young Excavating is the contractor for the $3.6 million project. Construction was paused in November 2023, with the remaining work in Stage 3 to be completed in 2024.

MnDOT invites and encourages participation by all. If you need an ASL, a foreign language interpreter or other reasonable accommodation, or need documents in an alternative format (such as braille or large print) for this email or event, please email your request to Janet Miller at ADArequest.dot@state.mn.us or call 651-366-4720.

For more information on projects in northwest Minnesota, follow us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/groups/MnDOTnorthwest and Twitter at @mndotnorthwest. For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org.

White Earth Reservation Unofficial Primary Election Results

4/3/24 Press Release:

WHITE EARTH, MINN. – White Earth Reservation held their Primary Election on Tuesday, April 2. Here are the unofficial results:

Chairperson

Michael A. Fairbanks (Incumbent)              658

Eugene “Umsy” Tibbetts                            605

Donovan G. Burnette                                      140

Karen Marie Manypenny                                21

 

District III Committeeperson *

Cheryl “Annie” Jackson (Incumbent)       

Laura Lee Erickson 

* Only two candidates were certified to run for District III Committeeperson so they bypassed the Primary Election and will compete in the General Election.    

The top two candidates for Chairperson and the two certified candidates for District III Committeeperson will now move on to the General Election scheduled for June 11.  The election results are expected to be certified later this afternoon.

$1000 Donation Supports Local Students with Nutritious Weekend Meals

PARK RAPIDS, MN (March 15, 2024) –
CHI St. Joseph’s Health is happy to announce that a local couple made a generous $1,000 donation to support the Menahga/Sebeka Backpack Program.

The Backpack Program provides bags filled with nutritious foods to children from Menahga and Sebeka on weekends throughout the school year.

More than 200 children are enrolled in the program this school year, the most there have ever been. Many families struggle with food insecurities and the hope is to be able to continue to grow and expand the Backpack Program and provide additional food for more local area children who need our help.

Robert and Sandie Nelson presented the donation to Donna Anderson, SNAP Education Health & Nutrition Program, and Christa Palubicki, Menahga School Social Worker.

The bags are assembled by students on Thursdays and then distributed to the enrolled students on Friday for the weekend. One hundred percent of all donations are used to purchase the food to fill the backpacks for deserving local area children and donations to this cause are tax-deductible.

To make a donation, contact CHI St. Joseph’s Health Foundation at 218-616-3383. Donors can also donate online at www.chisjh.org/foundation or by mail to CHI St. Joseph’s Health Foundation 600 Pleasant Avenue South, Park Rapids, MN 56470

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Funding for Housing Project in Hubbard County

House Passes Funding Bills with Resources for Minnesota Projects Secured by Klobuchar, Smith

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the House of Representatives passed legislation that included $3,111,000 in funding for a workforce housing development project in Hubbard County. These projects would expand access to housing through the Heartland Lakes Development Commission. The bill now goes to the Senate for final passage. 

“Employers in Hubbard County are reporting that the housing shortage is impacting their ability to recruit and retain talent. I worked to secure resources for the Heartland Lakes Development Commission to expand access to workforce housing in Hubbard County,” said Klobuchar. 

“Without a safe, decent and affordable place to live, nothing in your life works and it becomes nearly impossible to hold a job, go to school, or stay healthy,” said Smith. “This project would build 50 new affordable housing units, bolstering economic opportunities in the area and supporting working families.” 

Klobuchar and Smith have been actively involved in securing this federal funding for projects benefiting communities across the state through a process called “Congressionally Directed Spending” (CDS). During the CDS process, Klobuchar and Smith have considered project proposals and advocated for funding in close coordination with leaders from across the state.

Notice of Public Accuracy Test for Hubbard County

Notice is hereby given that a public test of electronic vote tabulating equipment and assistive voting equipment will be conducted on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

The equipment will be used for vote tabulation for the Presidential Nomination Primary Election to elect a candidate that will be held on March 5, 2024.

The test will be held on the third floor of the Hubbard County Courthouse, South Conference Room, 301 Court Avenue, Park Rapids, MN  56470.

Public accuracy testing is one layer of security to ensure our elections are fair, secure, and accurate.  Public testing is done after each piece of equipment is tested preliminarily by officials to ensure accuracy and boost transparency in the election system.  State and federal authorities test and certify all election equipment used in Hubbard County before it can be purchased.  All election equipment is stored in a secure location. 

Learn more about Minnesota’s election administration at www.mnvotes.org/facts.  

The public accuracy test will be conducted in accordance with Minnesota Statute 206.83 and is open to the public.

Kay Rave

Hubbard County Auditor-Treasurer

Death Reported at Crow Wing County Jail - Investigation Ongoing

February 23, 2024 Press Release from Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office:

On February 22, 2024, at approximately 9 PM, Crow Wing County Jail Staff discovered an unresponsive male in a jail cell. The male had been booked in earlier in the evening for a DWI. Life saving measures were attempted by jail correctional officers, jail medical staff and paramedics, but they were unsuccessful. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Minnesota Department of Corrections is investigating the incident.

Clarification on NOAA Weather Radio Broadcast

The Grand Forks National Weather Service is considering discontinuing the regional weather summary at the end of December 2023. The regional weather summary is a brief statement that is broadcast on
the NOAA Weather Radio and the information is also delivered in many other products issued by the NWS. There is a public comment period open through December 2023. Comments or concerns can be
emailed to the NWS Grand Forks at nws.grandforks@noaa.gov.


Some NOAA Weather Radio users have mistaken the statement as the discontinuation of the NOAA Weather Radio broadcast. The NOAA Weather Radio will continue to function as normal with all other
weather information provided. Bemidji’s NOAA Weather Radio has a call sign of WXM99 and broadcasts at a frequency of 162.425mghz. The radio broadcast is also rebroadcast on cable television

Hubbard County Property Tax Correction Notice

2024 Property Taxes will include correction for 2023 collections for cross-county school districts. 

Property owners in Bemidji, Cass Lake Bena, Walker, and Menahga School districts will see a correction to their 2023 taxes on their 2024 tax statement distributed in March 2024. The property tax rates collected in 2023 were not updated with the correct tax rates, leaving a shortfall in the levies these school districts approved in 2022.

The preliminary tax estimates sent in November of 2023 for proposed taxes in 2024 showed a correction to these rates that unfortunately collected tax based on 2023 values often resulting in excess increases.  

The 2024 rates have been corrected, and the actual shortfall from 2023 will show up on 2024 tax statements as a separate line item “2023 school tax correction” and will be based on 2022 values. In most cases, the taxes assessed for school district levies will be less than what appeared on the preliminary statements received in November.

Please contact the Hubbard County Auditor with specific questions. 

United Way Allocates Funding to 7 Hubbard County Agencies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2023
United Way Allocates Funding to 7 Hubbard County Agencies

HUBBARD COUNTY - United Way of Bemidji Area’s Board of Directors recently approved the United Way’s Hubbard County Community Investment Cabinet’s recommendations for grant allocations to 7
non-profits serving residents who live in Hubbard County.


The Hubbard County Community Investment Cabinet is comprised of local volunteers who vet the grant requests, interview the agencies’ directors, tour their facilities, thoroughly review financials, and come
to a recommended consensus for the Board of Directors to review and approve.

The Community Investment Cabinet included Kathy Henry, Ben Koppelman, Bill Steen, Brian Hall, Connie Carmichael, Derek Ricke, and Brian Ophus.

Funded agencies include the Akeley Regional Community Center Emergency Shelter, Park Rapids Armory and Events Center, Support Within Reach, North Country Food Bank, Family Safety Network, Kinship of the Park Rapids Area, and Hubbard in Prevention Coalition.

100% of the funds raised through the Hubbard County Campaign for the Community is from the area’s community residents, businesses, and foundations.

To learn more about how you can get involved, visit
www.UnitedWayBemidji.org/hubbard-county or www.VolunteerHeartlandLakes.

CHI St. Joseph's Health Hospice Care Light of Hope


In memory of David “Larry” Johnson

PARK RAPIDS, MN (NOV. 13, 2023) – The memory of David “Larry” Johnson, will be honored this holiday season during CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care Light of Hope celebration.

For 36 years, CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care has been honored to provide compassionate end-of-life care for patients - no matter where they call home. As part of our commitment and dedication to serve through our ministry, we also play a pivotal role in supporting the patient’s family and caregivers throughout their hospice care journey.

As we enter this holiday season, we are grateful to partner with another one of our special families to share their hospice experience. This year we honor David “Larry” Johnson, a longtime resident with a “huge” sense of humor who knew everyone and enjoyed life to the fullest.

Larry’s first adventure was patriotic. He joined the US Army and served with distinction, receiving two Army Commendation Medals for heroism and, as a Sergeant, earned two medals in one day. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry when he returned home.

Back in Minnesota in the early 1970s, Larry vowed to serve and protect as a police officer with the Park Rapids Police Department and Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office. Larry retired as Sheriff in January 1999, but didn’t sit long. Boredom set in and he started a new adventure as a United Nations Peacekeeper, deploying to Bosnia-Herzegovina for 18 months. Larry was happy to fulfill his duties there and returned home eager to enjoy his many hobbies.

His love for his family and the outdoors were calling and many meaningful moments were spent riding on his ranger, golfing, hunting, telling stories with friends, and being with his best canine friend, Molly. His fun, competitive side showed when Larry sang to his plants during tomato growing wars with his daughter.

In January 2021, Larry was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He fought hard with a strong love of life and will to live. His aggressive treatments helped to tackle the cancer, but also took a toll on his heart.

Larry lived each day to the fullest before falling ill unexpectedly with congestive heart failure and passing away on September 25, 2022, with his daughter Jill and dog, Molly, by his side. Jill shared that Larry had gone out bow hunting in early September and how happy he was to be outdoors doing what brought him joy.

The word joy was shared by Larry over and over in his last days. JOY was the feeling Larry wanted to embrace before passing into a new chapter in his life. To him, it meant laughter, smiles, story sharing, and making memories with family and friends…

Larry cherished time with children Jill Christenson, JoLynn Johnson, and Buck Johnson along with eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Larry also enjoyed his visits from the hospice care team and was fond of the conversations and stories shared.

Jill and JoLynn expressed their appreciation for the comfort and guidance hospice provided during a time when they wished life would stand still.

“The care team was a lifesaver for us. They were all so wonderful, patient, welcoming and provided relief in a hard time. We felt comfortable asking questions and they took control when we needed their help the most,” said Jill.

“We were always kept in the loop, which gave us comfort during the times we couldn’t be with dad. We were more prepared and allowed dad to be at home, where he wanted to be,” said JoLynn. 

Light of Hope.

You can honor your friends and loved ones by supporting CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care this holiday season. Your donation of $25 or more will help provide transformational care now and for years to come. Thank you for shining your light with others. To donate online go to chisjh.org/shine.

Community tree lighting.

Join us as we celebrate and remember loved ones during the Heartland Lakes Community Tree Lighting ceremony on November 24, 2023. Held in downtown Park Rapids, the ceremony will begin at 6pm. You can also join us virtually on our Facebook page or the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce website at parkrapids.com. 

We also invite you to place an unbreakable ornament on the memory tree, which will be located in Pioneer Park on Main Street, in honor or in memory of a loved one this holiday season.

Thank you for choosing us to care for your loved ones and for your continued support of CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care. Our dedicated team is inspired by the strength of our patients and the families we support.

Becker County Asking for Information on Investigations, Missing People

RUSNESS
On April 2, 1976, a fire engulfed the residence of Bernard Rusness, his wife, Peggy McKay, and their 8-year-old son, Brian, near Wolf Lake, MN. The body of Brian was recovered at the scene of the fire, but Bernard and Peggy’s remains were not identified after the fire. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact the Becker County Sheriff’s Office at 218-847-2661.

EAGLESHIELD & MCQUILLAN
On October 5, 2014, at the age of 42, Melissa Eagleshield was visiting friends at a residence near Co. Rd. 126, near Island Lake. After family and friends did not hear from her the next day, she was reported missing to authorities.
On June 17, 1975, at the age of 71, Milda McQuillan left her residence on Round Lake in northern Becker County in route to visit friends on the west side of Bad Medicine Lake. Although her vehicle was located in a heavily wooded area west of Bad Medicine, McQuillan has been missing since that day.

There have been numerous searches for Eagleshield and McQuillan over the years, but neither have been located. If anyone has any information regarding Eagleshield or McQuillan’s disappearance, please contact the Becker County Sheriff’s Office at 218-847-2661, or your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with their families.

Hubbard County Capital Plan

Hubbard County Jail Updates Planned

 Hubbard County is planning for some updates to the Jail and Law Enforcement Center that will provide safer working conditions for county staff and more secure intake services to the public.

When the county created its current Strategic Plan in 2021 several buildings were at the top of the list for repair, maintenance, or remodel to continue to provide the best possible services to the community. When the county developed a Capital Plan in 2023, the proposed Jail and Law Enforcement Center updates were on top of the list on the five-year project plan.

The county is working with the BKV Group out of Minneapolis to identify needs and determine the scope of the proposed project. The primary objectives of the project are to address space and flexibility issues, increase security and safety for staff and the public, provide better working conditions, and increase overall operational efficiency. Several areas in the Government Center are also scheduled to be remodeled within the scope of the same project. Space needs for the County Attorney’s office are on top of this list.

The Hubbard County Board will review a proposal for the next phases of design and architectural development in November. Design and Planning will take approximately one year with a proposed two year phased construction schedule to begin in 2025. The approximate cost of the improvements is estimated to be $7.2 to $8.6 million dollars in 2026 dollars. The timing of this project will be coordinated with the retirement of current debt service so that there will be no new tax impacts to county residents.

MnDOT, White Earth Nation seek public input for Hwy 113 pedestrian study

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation and White Earth Nation are currently seeking the public’s feedback for a pedestrian safety and improvement study of Highway 113 between Highway 59 and Highway 71 within the White Earth tribal boundaries.

The public can share their experiences walking or biking along or across Highway 113 via an online survey on the study website. The survey will be open to the public until Oct. 27, 2023, and can be taken using a phone, tablet or computer.

MnDOT and White Earth Nation have partnered to study the existing pedestrian infrastructure on Highway 113, between Highway 59 and Highway 71 with the White Earth tribal boundaries. The purpose of the study is to identify existing issues and develop short-term and long-term solutions that can help improve safety for people who walk, bike or roll in this area. 

For more information about the study and to take the survey, please visit the study website at mndot.gov/d4/projects/hwy113elbowlake/

MnDOT invites and encourages participation by all. If you need an ASL, foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodation, or need documents in an alternative format (such as braille or large print), please email your request to Janet Miller at ADArequest@state.mn.us or call 651-366-4720.

CASS COUNTY, MN – SEARCH TO REVISIT PETER ACHERMAN CASE

Cass County Sheriff Bryan Welk reports during the next month, officials will revisit the area of 85th Ave SW in Becker Township, rural Staples MN, in Cass County Minnesota, where missing person Peter Achermann’s vehicle was located on July 25th, 2009.
 
Sheriff Welk reports that over the past 14 years since the disappearance, numerous tips have been received and leads followed up on but nothing significant to the ongoing investigation has been revealed.
 
During this time, the landscape and terrain of the area that Achermann’s vehicle was located in has changed. The ongoing drought has provided an opportunity to search dried ditches and lowlands that were once filled with water, and timber harvesting has been done on neighboring parcels, with some parcels changing ownership. Initial Investigators assigned to this case have retired or moved on, both at the County and State level, and reassignments to the case have been made.
 
Revisiting the initial search area will give officials an opportunity to learn about and reorient themselves with the area and the search that was done for months following the disappearance of Peter and the locating of his vehicle.
 
Sheriff Welk reports that it is important to note that while nothing significant has been recently learned about the case, the public will see officials and a number of agencies searching in the area this fall as the foliage changes.
 
The Sheriff’s Office is not requesting any additional assistance from the public while searching and revisiting the area over the next month. While many of the original staff who responded to the disappearance and search of the area are still involved, several new staff have joined departments and agencies.
 
Working together to re-familiarize ourselves with the area and investigation that has been conducted will give agencies the opportunity to continue to work together to seek answers to this case and hopefully someday bring closure to the Achermann family, Welk states.
 
Peter Achermann, age 82, was last seen in the Staples Motley area on July 24, 2009. His vehicle was located the following day on a minimum maintenance road in Becker Township in Cass County. Any information regarding the disappearance or case can be directed to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at 218-547-1424 or by submitting an anonymous Crime Stoppers Tip through a web portal HERE.

Group Meets to Discuss Possibility of a Community Center

A group of approximately 25 people gathered at the Armory Arts Center to discuss the possibility of a Community/Wellness Center. The attendees broke up into groups and wrote down things they felt the community was doing well, things the community would like to see and 3rd things that are problems/barriers.

Several talked about forming a small group to visit with other community centers to understand the financial stability and identifying stakeholders in the community for funding support. Ideas thrown out included if individuals would be willing to set up endowments that could help with continue funding.

This is just the start of planning and more meetings will be scheduled said, facilitator Donna Anderson.

De La Hunt Media in the News: We Double Flipped!

If you tuned into KQ 101.9 FM this morning, you're not imagining things! We've switched to a Classic Hits format. A few weeks ago, we changed KAKK to a Fox Sports affiliate. Here's more info, as written in Radio Insight:

"De La Hunt Media has performed a double flip at its stations in Walker MN.

Classic Hits 1570 KAKK/93.7 K229DJ Walker has flipped to Sports utilizing Fox Sports Radio. KAKK is running the national lineup around the clock as well as carrying Minnesota Wild hockey.

Concurrently, Soft AC “KQ 102” 101.9 KQKK Walker has picked up the Classic Hits mantle as it is now branding as “101.9 The Arrow” positioned as “Leech Lakes’ Classic Hits”.

What do you think of our new sound? Love it? Hate it? Think we need to play more Foghat? We'd love to hear your thoughts at butch@delahuntmedia.com

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Hugo's Crash

05/25/2017, 3:15pm CDT, By Cody Booker

Graduation Dates

05/24/2017, 3:00pm CDT, By Cody Booker

Body Found in Lake Bemidji

05/16/2017, 3:45pm CDT, By Cody Booker

Bemidji Bus Crash

05/03/2017, 11:30am CDT, By Cody Booker

Man On Lose Captured in Park Rapids

04/11/2017, 5:00pm CDT, By KPRM

Frederick Bachman apprehended Tuesday in downtown Park Rapids

White Earth Shooting

04/07/2017, 3:00pm CDT, By Cody Booker

Itasca Man On the Loose

04/06/2017, 2:30pm CDT, By Cody Booker

Propane Tank Explosion

03/10/2017, 2:00pm CST, By Cody Booker

Park Rapids Once Act Play in State

02/13/2017, 3:00pm CST, By Cody Booker

House Fire Fatality in Motley

01/19/2017, 2:00pm CST, By Cody Booker

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