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It's that time of year again where people go nuts in Walker over the ugliest fish this far to the north. Eelpout, burbot, ling, lota lota - or whatever other name you prefer it by - tries its hardest to be unlovable. They are long and attempt to wrap around your arm like a snake. They have whiskers and slime. Naturally, the reputation for such a fish isn't kind, and that extends to its table value. I think this is an undeserved reputation.
On her second visit to Pine River Community Bowl, Sandi Zoldey simply told her husband, "I want it," and that was that. Zoldey had been in the bowling alley two weeks earlier during Thursday youth leagues when she sat and watched the bowlers interact for the first time. Afterward, she met with her daughter, Tami Zoldey, who had long ago agreed to help her if she found a business she liked.
For the first time in 27 years the Backus gym hosted a Backus Wolverines game on Feb. 17. This is the second time the Wolverines faced off against the Lake Region Christian School from Baxter in a non conference game, but the first home game for the Foothills Christian Academy team. Coach Micah Eveland said his team kept on Lake Region's tail throughout most of the game, showing improvement over the last game in Baxter.
The city of Pine River could be contracting with Cass County for criminal prosecutions as soon as March 1. During the Tuesday, Feb. 14, regular Pine River City Council meeting, city attorney Ted Lundrigan informed the council that he is in the process of working with the Cass County Attorney's Office to officially resign and transfer criminal prosecution to the county. The change in prosecution comes as a method of cost savings.
In a hall of the former Backus School building there was a display case, and in it the shiny symbols of the school's pride - the Backus Wolverine trophies. With the merger of the Pine River and Backus schools in 1991, those trophies were put into storage. Where they were was a mystery, until now. "When you went to school in Backus and then we joined with Pine River, that always went through my mind," said Backus alumnus Butch Lodin. "What happened to everything?"
The Pine River-Backus School Board on Monday, Feb. 13, approved sale of a bond of $1.985 million to fund a project to create a more secure high school entryway and to update the high school offices. Gary Olsen, of Ehlers Inc., presented the sale authorization to the board along with information on the school's credit rating and the conditions of the bond sale.
Jim Fruth, of Brambleberry Farms in Pequot Lakes, returned to Back to Basics on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Pine River-Backus School where he was not only a vendor but also a presenter on maple syrup production. Fruth brought the tools of the trade with him in a large suitcase and presented them one after the other along with handouts showing the leaves of trees that can be tapped for syrup. With maple syrup likely flowing soon, the information presented at the event is timely. Necessary tools Fruth presented included:
There have been no Wolverines in Backus since the school merged with Pine River in 1991, but on Friday, Feb. 17, the Wolverines will return to their den in the old Backus gym. Though it might seem like adults would be responsible for the return of the Backus Wolverines basketball team, credit goes to two local "cubs." "The boys did all of the work," said team mom Carrie McAllister. "It kind of started with Clayton Borman (15) and Isaac Krecklau (16) having an idea. They did most of the footwork."
It took Pine River-Backus School District spelling bee champion Kyana Vondal-Parsons, a fifth-grader, two tries to claim victory during the Thursday, Feb. 9, competition. The bee was down to Vondal-Parsons and sixth-grader Emily Holtti starting in round 10. Holtti spelled "engineering" flawlessly, and Vondal-Parsons had no trouble with "feckless." Holtti stumbled on "compatriots" in round 12, but she returned after Vondal-Parsons misspelled "indifference."
Since September, twin brothers Cole and Zack McAllister, 12, of Backus, have been collecting items of comfort for those less fortunate than themselves. "We got our inspiration from my mom's friend because when she was younger she was taken out of her home a lot due to bad circumstances," Cole said.