The pickleball association in Aitkin did an about-face and decided to decline the funds approved by the Aitkin School Board to use toward courts, the Aitkin Independent Age reported Wednesday, June 5. Following approval for $10,000 from the district's facilities funds, an outpouring of concern about the decision led the Aitkin Area Pickleball Association to turn down the money. Association members noted they did not want the reputation of the club tarnished by the funds.

Among concerns expressed were a number of items lingering on facilities wish lists for much longer than the pickleball courts, including some involving improving safety. Other groups-such as those who raised money recently to replace decades-old choir robes-asked the school board why this project was deserving of funds when others were not. Members of the facilities committee also stated the project did not come before them prior to board approval.


Years in the making, a splash pad will soon become reality in Deerwood, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported Wednesday, June 5. Construction on the splash pad is expected to begin Monday, June 10, and will last seven to 10 days. The splash pad will be added to the playground park in Deerwood and will be free to use.


In a 4-1 vote at a special meeting, Mille Lacs County commissioners voted to not reappoint the county engineer, the Mille Lacs Messenger reported Wednesday, June 5. Commissioners previously tabled the matter at a prior meeting, but was required by state law to make a decision concerning Bruce Cochran's four-year reappointment in the month of May. Commissioners did not offer their reasons for voting against Cochran's reappointment. Cochran expressed surprise to the Messenger, noting he knew of no performance issues that would've led to the decision.


Late fees will no longer be charged on children's and young adult materials at Great River Regional Libraries, the Morrison County Record reported Sunday, June 2. Library officials said doing so would decrease barriers to library use for young people. Overdue notices will still be sent out after 10 days and materials lost or damaged will continue to require payment. The decision will not apply retroactively, but patrons do have an option to "read down their fines." Great River Regional Libraries serve Morrison, Todd, Benton, Sherburne and Wright counties, including area locations in Eagle Bend, Grey Eagle, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pierz, Royalton, Swanville, Staples and Upsala.

-- Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, community editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at