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Cabin Close-up Time Ideal to Check for Invasives
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Experts say cabin close-up time is an ideal opportunity for inspecting boats and water equipment for aquatic invasive species.
The Department of Natural Resources is asking every cabin and lake property owner to carefully inspect for invasive species when removing docks, boat lifts, swim rafts and other equipment from the water.
People should look on the posts, wheels and underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons and rafts that may have been submerged for extended periods.
In newly infested waters, adult zebra mussels may not be abundant. On smooth surfaces, juvenile mussels feel gritty, like sandpaper.
If a new infestation is suspected, the exact location should be noted, a photo taken and a specimen should be kept for positive ID.


Hit–N-Run Reported near Deer Creek


A hit-n-run reported in a construction zone on Co Hwy 50 in the Deer Creek area.  The victim reported that a dark grey or silver Tahoe or Suburban sideswiped his boat and trailer causing substantial damage.  The suspect vehicle also hit several construction signs and will have front end and driver’s side damage.  Sheriff’s deputies recovered some fog lights and other vehicle parts that may help them identify the vehicle. This incident happened shortly before 8:45 pm Thursday.


Deputy Protected by Vest near Crookston
CROOKSTON, Minn. (AP) - Authorities say a northwestern Minnesota sheriff's deputy was saved by his bullet-resistant vest when he was shot by a suspect who was then wounded by police. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says officers answered a 911 call about shots fired inside a home near Crookston just after 1 p.m. yesterday. As deputies spoke with family members outside the home, the suspect began firing at them from inside. A Polk County deputy was struck in the back of his bullet-resistant vest. Shots were exchanged, and the suspect was injured and taken into custody.
Absentee Ballots Now Available
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota's early voting window officially opens today.  The state expanded its absentee process so people can vote early in-person or by mail without needing a valid excuse for doing so. Officials expect to see an uptick in ballots submitted well in advance of November 4th.




Decade High Enrollment For Kindergarten in Perham-Dent
Perham-Dent school reports highest Kindergarten enrollment for over 10 years. The numbers have been so large that a special meeting of the school board was held recently to approve creation of a sixth section for the 113 incoming students.  The large class of kindergartners appears to be a continuation of a growth trend with the district.

Presentation of New York Mills Housing Study September 25
A public information session regarding the results of the recent New York Mills Housing Study will be shared at a meeting at the Otter Tail County building meeting room in New York Mills on Thursday, September 25 at 8:00 a.m.  The presentation is expected to last about 45 minutes, with a 15 minute Q&A session to follow.  Scott Knudson of Community Partners Research will give the presentation and answer your questions.  Coffee and rolls will be served.

Wadena will host 2nd Annual Princess Warrior 5K Event Sept 27
The second annual Princess Warrior 5K Run, Walk, Roll, Stroll or Crawl will be held on Saturday, September 27 at Tapley Park in Wadena. The event is an opportunity to raise funds for childhood cancer awareness.  More information is available on the Princess Warrior Facebook Page. 

MNsure CEO: Help Coming for PreferredOne Customers
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The chief executive of Minnesota's health insurance exchange says help will be available for consumers as its largest carrier pulls out.
MNsure CEO Scott Leitz told the exchange board Wednesday he's disappointed PreferredOne won't offer new coverage when open enrollment begins Nov. 15, but four other Minnesota-based carriers will continue to do so.
He says MNsure plans to conduct targeted outreach efforts for current PreferredOne enrollees to help them pick new plans for 2015.
While PreferredOne customers can keep their current plans, their premiums could be higher next year. And those customers who now get tax credits to defray the costs will need to switch carriers to keep them.
PreferredOne grabbed 59 percent of all private-plan enrollees in MNsure's inaugural year by offering low premiums, but now says that's unsustainable.

Blue Saturn Missing from Fergus Falls
Law enforcement is looking for a stolen vehicle.  A blue 2006 Saturn View SUV was taken Tuesday evening or early Wednesday from a driveway in the 700 block of South Union Ave in Fergus Falls.  The license plate is 072 NEZ.  If you know where this vehicle is, call police. 
Pernu Gets Time Served for Drug Soaked Photos
A man convicted of smuggling drugs into a treatment facility in Fergus Falls was sentenced to time served. Hank Thomas Pernu, age 28, had someone from outside the facility sending him packages.  The photos on a card had been soaked in methamphetamine.
As part of a plea deal, Pernu was sentenced to 124 days in jail, which is the amount of days he spent in jail since his arrest.  A one year plus one day prison term was stayed for the 4 years of probation.  He was ordered to pay a fine and to not use mood-altering chemicals, unless prescribed by a doctor.

15 Yr Old Arrested for West Acres Assault
Fargo Police have made an arrest in the assault and attempted abduction of a woman in the parking lot of West Acres Mall last Thursday.
A woman who works at the mall was leaving work when a man hit her in the head and tried to take her belongings.
Police say a 15-year old boy has been referred to juvenile court on kidnapping and assault charges.

Enterovirus 68 confirmed in Minnesota
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota is the latest state to detect a case of a respiratory illness caused by the virus known as enterovirus 68.
State health officials announced Wednesday that a case had been confirmed in a child who was hospitalized with acute symptoms. The child has since been released and is recovering at home, the agency said.
The Health Department said the lab results Tuesday night confirmed suspicions that enterovirus is circulating in Minnesota. Some hospitals have reported an increase in children being brought in for respiratory problems.
At least 12 other states have confirmed cases of the virus, many in the Midwest. It can cause mild to severe illness, and may even require breathing help for patients with the worst cases. But no deaths have been reported.

Pumpkins Catapult to Stardom in Battle Lake September 27
Not every festival provides people with the opportunity to watch pumpkins be launched into the air by a catapult.  But Battle Lake's Pumpkin Fest on Saturday, September 27, includes a "Punkin Chunkin" demonstration that will include various means to get the orange globes airborne from slingshots to air cannon.  Other pumpkin related events and contests will be held throughout the day.  For more details and events and contests visit them on facebook at:  Battle Lake Pumpkin Fest.

Library Design Needs to Reflect the Community
The design team for the Fergus Falls Public Library met with the public in two meetings Tuesday.  A group brainstorming session was held to list the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the community.
A strong economy, redevelopment of the former state hospital, access to medical care and access to technology listed as strengths while average age of residents and reluctance to change listed as weaknesses.
Ann Voda with the design team said what makes up the community needs to be reflected in the library design: “Its important that your library reflects who you are, whether it’s local artists on display or the kind of events that the library plans to hold, it’s got meet your needs and reflect your  strengths and maybe your weaknesses.”
Voda then presented trends in other libraries such as using daylight, alternative energy, self check outs and automated sorting. 
No design or plan has been chosen yet for the Fergus Falls Library.

City of FF to Allow Tap Rooms, Brew Pub and Growler Sales
The city of Fergus Falls is in the process of updating their liquor ordinance.  Lynn Olson with the City Administrators Office: “We had a request from someone that would like to start a tap room and brew pub and allow growler sales now these are things that the state does allow but we didn’t allow it by our local code.”
These are things that the state changed but now the city is changing to keep up.  The first reading was given this week. The second reading will take place at the next council meeting and the changes will be published before they take effect. 

Morning Watch Turns 75 Years Old
The longest running radio show in Minnesota is celebrating this week.  The “Morning Watch” is turning 75 year old.
This is Allen Westby from Hope Lutheran: “It was on Sept 18th 1939 that Pastor S.L. Tallakson and Herman I. Muus, those two pastors began the devotional broadcast on station KGDE here in Fergus Falls. Then from 1942 to 1946 the Lake Region Morning Watch was beamed Norby’s Department store and then the program was moved to Studio G in Glende-Olson Building and in 1947 Pastor O. A. Aason started broadcasting it in Norwegian every Friday of the week.”
The show devotional show was first broadcast on Monday evenings.  They moved to the mornings in 1941.  All week former pastors have been sharing memories.  The most common ones are that they always hear comments from listeners that they heard the program and comments come from surrounding towns like Wadena and Pelican Rapids.
Thursday will (8:45 am) will be a special show with history of the program. Following that on Morning Talk Magazine, Pastor Jon Olson will take calls from listeners from 9 to 10 am.

Pancake Supper at England Prairie September 19
The England Prairie Pioneer Club will hold a Pancake Supper on Friday September 19 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The annual fall fundraiser features Phyllis' Famous Pancakes and Jimmy Dean Sausage.  The mission for the England Prairie Pioneer Club is to preserve the farming history of the local England Prairie community and the surrounding area and to share this knowledge with others.  England Prairie is located 4 Miles South of Wadena on Highway 71 and 2.5 miles East on County Road 1.

Weed Trimmer Theft
A weed trimmer has been reported stolen from the 600 Block of Laurel Street in Fergus Falls. It was a Stihl Brand, orange and white in coloring and valued at $200. The trimmer was reported stolen from an unlocked shed and nothing else was reported taken from the premises.
Man Involved In Horse Abuse Arrested For Domestic Assault
William Vance Tompkins age 21 was arraigned on Wednesday morning and charged with 2 counts of domestic assault. Judge Mark Hansen ordered a bail study. Tompkins was arrested over an argument about a job. He is currently on probation for a May 2013 theft conviction and was also convicted of a felony in an April 2013 horse abuse case. 

Trailer Stolen North Of Fergus Falls
A reported theft of a 2 wheel trailer with ramps on the back at 11:45pm Tuesday north of Fergus Falls on County Highway 18 on the west side of the road. The trailer was valued around $750. The suspects also cut 3 padlocks to get into another trailer which was full of decoys, but it was unknown at the time of the report to the Sheriff's Office that anything was actually missing from that trailer.
Fergus Falls Levy Set
The preliminary levy for the city of Fergus Falls was set last night at 5.34%, which is a slight increase.  The levy cannot increase but can decrease.
The new city budget includes a 20-thousand dollar increase for removal of diseased trees and the city is seeing a 25% increase in some healthcare premiums.
The public meeting to discuss the levy and budget is 6 pm December 1st in the city hall chambers.
The budget will be posted on the city website. 

CAPX2020 Power Line Requires FF Utilities to Move
The installation CAPX2020 power line will require that some Fergus Falls utilities to move.  Three power line foundations will go in on the east side of Walmart, between the store and the interstate. The city has a sanitary sewer line and a 16-inch water main in the area.  City Engineer Dan Edwards explained that the foundations would be too close for maintenance or repair.  Cost of moving the utilities is more than $68-thousand dollars.  Xcel Energy has agreed to reimburse the city for the cost of the move. 

Woman Arrested after Disturbance
A woman is under arrest after creating a disturbance. Police were called to the 400 block of West Alcott in Fergus Falls around 8:30 Monday night.  A woman was yelling at renters because they were behind on the rent.  Police found the woman highly intoxicated. The 35 year old woman was arrested for disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. 

Chase Ends in Bean Field
Police received a report of threatening text messages Sunday evening.  The messages included a picture of a gun.  They found the man they were looking for and conducted a felony stop in the area of Pebble Lake Road and Hwy 210 in Fergus Falls.  The man initially complied and got out of the vehicle but then got back in and took off.  He drove down Vernon, north on Union and out of town on Co Road 88.  Speeds in town were allegedly 70 miles per hour and 100 miles per hour out of town.  Otter Tail County Deputies and State Patrol joined in the chase; they were later joined by Wilkin County Deputies.  He stopped after his vehicle went off a minimum maintenance road and landed in a bean field in Wilkin.  He fled from the vehicle and was captured by Officer West and his dog Exel.
33 year old Grant Strader faces charges of felony terroristic threats, felony fleeing.  Police say there was not an indication of drugs or alcohol used. They recovered what turned out to be an airsoft type weapon.
Two Arrested after Chase near Henning
Another chase took place in Otter Tail County Sunday night.  An officer stopped to check on a vehicle near the intersection of Hwy 108 and 295th Street.  He asked if they needed any assistance and instead of answering, the vehicle took off.  The deputy chased them until just outside of Henning.  The passenger, Nicole Fanaselle, age 20, from Detroit Lakes was arrested on a warrant out of Becker County.  The driver, Donald Kellogg the 4th, age 34 of Perham was arrested for fleeing an officer and possible driving under the influence of a controlled substance. 

Garage Burns in Erhard
A fire reported Sunday just before noon at the Jason Thorson residence in Erhard.  The garage was engulfed in flames. Pelican Rapids and Elizabeth Fire Departments extinguished the fire. The garage and all contents were a total loss. The sheriff’s office says that the cause of the fire is undetermined and it does not seem suspicious. 

Ten Mile Church Hit by Vehicle
Damage reported to Our Savior’s Ten Mile Lutheran Church in Dalton after a vehicle hit it Saturday evening.  The sheriff’s office says that a 59 year old Dalton man was driving south on Central Avenue, he turned unto Summit Street but crossed the street and drove on the lawn of the church.  They believe a medical issue caused the crash.  Minor damage to church, the man did not have any injuries but the Ford Explorer has severe damage.  He was found in his vehicle on the church lawn around 10:40 Saturday night.

VFW is NOT Calling
Some locals are getting phone calls from an organization that claims to be calling on the behalf of the VFW for veterans with PTSD.
Rick Bugbee says they are NOT with the VFW: “The VFW at this time does NOT have any telemarketers hired to use their name and the National VFW does not hire telemarketers at all.”
Bugbee is involved in his local VFW and he holds the statewide office of Judge Advocate.
The Fergus Falls VFW has fundraisers of Bingo & meat raffles.  You can also make a donation to them in person. 

Police Advice to Brothers Having Argument
Police were called to a Perham address in the early morning hours of September 14 because two brothers were having an argument over who was the better father.  The argument turned into a wrestling match.  There were no injuries, no punches thrown, and no one wanted charges.  Police advised that this was not the best way to show children how to be a better father.

Red Horse Still Plans to Host 2015 Rodeo
The Red Horse Ranch Arena has issued a press release to dispute an article in a newspaper that said they would not be holding the rodeo at the arena.  Nicole Rostad said she wants to make clear that the rodeo is still happening in 2015.
They will not be hosting some events such as competitions and auctions that they have in the past because Otter Tail County would change their tax classification from agricultural to commercial and they would be taxed at a higher rate.
The press release says they will continue to horse boarding, training and other ag activities and they are open to hosting other events if an agreement on tax classification can be reached with the county. 

Barter Fest in Hewitt is September 20

The early settlers had very little paper currency. Instead they relied on each other and traded their hard work, talents and know how in order to survive. The little town of Hewitt, Minnesota, population 266, aims to rekindle community resilience on a regional scale by hosting the 5th annual Barter Fest on Saturday, September 20.  The all-day event features an exchange of produce, arts, goods and services.  There is no admission fee but attendees are encouraged to barter for their desired items, although dollars may be accepted.  There will be an open mic stage where barters will have a chance to swap their songs, talents and stories.  The day's schedule and a map to the event can be found at  (

Otter Tail County Photo Contest Ends Oct 10

If you have a picture that tells the story of the Otter Tail County area you could win money.  The contest is sponsored by the Fergus Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Entry forms are available in the city hall lobby or at  Five honorable mentions win $50, top prize is $100.   Entry deadline is October 10th.

Retired museum director to present at History gathering
The annual meeting of the American Association for State and Local History will be held this year in St. Paul on September 17-20.  One of the largest national gatherings for history professionals and those who work in the field of state and local history, this year's conference features Garrison Keillor, Dr. Anton Treuer and Marilyn Carlson Nelson.  Hosting a workshop at the conference will be Lina Belar, creator of the ITOW Veterans Museum in Perham and founder and retired director of the Friends of the Museum in Perham.  

One Good Turn" Woodturners Exhibit at the Cultural Center in New York Mills
Local artists from Otter Tail, Wadena, and Becker Counties are featured in the Minnesota Lakes Woodturners Association exhibit now on display at the Cultural Center in New York Mills.  The exhibit, “One Good Turn,” will continue in the Cultural Center’s ground-floor gallery through Wednesday, October 15.   Woodturning demonstrations will be featured on Friday, September 19 from 6 - 8 pm.
Cultural Center Gallery hours are 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday – Friday and Saturdays 10 am to 3 pm. There is no charge for admission to the gallery or for the demonstrations.