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Lakes Radio News
Vergas Loon Turns 50
Minnesota is noted for its larger-than-life roadside sculptures. This year, the Big Loon in Vergas will turn 50. Standing 20-feet tall and containing a ton of steel, the Big Loon is located on the end of Long Lake within the Vergas city limits. Commemorative T-shirts have been designed and will be on sale at Billy's in Vergas beginning May 25th. The logo reads "It took 50 years to look this good". A community picture will be taken on Saturday, June 29th at 4 p.m. down by the Big Loon.
Naked Man Arrested, Escapes from Patrol Car in Richland Co
LIDGERWOOD, N.D. (AP) - A Lidgerwood man has been arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after walking around naked and then breaking out a patrol car window and escaping after an officer arrested him.
The Richland County Sheriff's Office says the 35-year-old man was arrested for disorderly conduct after police received a call about him walking around Lidgerwood naked around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
When he was being transported to the Richland County Jail, police say he broke out the rear window of a patrol car and escaped. He was apprehended in a field about a 1/2 mile from where he escaped.
The man was taken to the Richland County Jail and is being held on charges of disorderly conduct, escape and resisting arrest.
1 Child Dead, 1 Missing in Minn. Park Landslide
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Officials say one child is dead and another is unaccounted for after a gravel slide in a St. Paul park.
The children were at the park near the Mississippi River as part of a school field trip when the slide happened early Wednesday afternoon.
Two other children were rescued. Authorities say the ground is soft after several days of rain.
Nornes wants Gas Prices Investigated
Representative Bud Nornes wrote a letter to the Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson to look into gas prices in Minnesota: “The only people concerned about it are our constituents. But nobody is doing anything about it that I could tell. We are just kinda starting to accept this as normal business but with this dramatic increase I decided, hey, We’ve got an attorney general that needs to take a look at this from all directions. Why refineries can’t schedule their maintenance so that it doesn’t impact the distribution, why they always seem to do this right at the peak of travel time. So I’m asking her to just investigate the whole cause of why we have these peaks and trying to take the pressure off the retailers and the people that work there cause they are not responsible for it.”
Gas in Fergus Falls has been $4.19. Nornes says he was paying more in the twin cities area.
Escamilla Arrested on a 12 Year old Warrant
A traffic stop lead to the arrest of a Pelican Rapids man on a 12 year old warrant.
A state patrol officer stopped a pickup for speeding last Friday (May 17.)
The man at first gave a name and date of birth that didn’t work, he then changed the date of birth and that didn’t work. He then admitted to the officer his real name.
31-year-old Nelson Nery Escamilla was arrested. Charges include giving a false name and date of birth to the officer and driving after revocation.
Escamilla was to appear in August of 2000 for a pretrial hearing. When he failed to appear, a warrant for his arrest was issued. The charges from 2000 include burglary, trespass, criminal damage to property and underage consuming.
Man Cited for Purse Theft
A theft in progress was reported a laundry mat in Fergus Falls Tuesday evening. A woman had her purse sitting on top of a washing machine. A male and a female came in. The male grabbed the purse and ran out with it. The owner chased him out the door and he dropped it. Police were able to indentify the man and will mail him a misdemeanor citation for theft.
Comic Book Found in Elbow Lake Worth + $100,000
A contractor purchased a house in Elbow Lake intending to remodel it. As David Gonzalez was removing old newspapers that had been used as insulation, he found something else, a 1938 Superman comic book. It is the first time Superman is introduced as a new character.
The house was purchased for a little over ten thousand dollars. The comic book on an online auction site called ComicConnect is going for more than ten times that. The auction runs until June 11th.
Burning Restrictions Lifted in 32 Minn. Counties
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has lifted fire restrictions in all or parts of 32 Minnesota counties as wet weather lowers the fire danger.
The restrictions were lifted Tuesday
The counties are scattered across roughly the northern two-thirds of Minnesota. Restrictions were lifted for Otter Tail County.
Restrictions remain in 10 counties. The DNR expects those restrictions will be lifted soon.
Although state burning restrictions are lifted in the 32 counties, local areas, counties or municipalities may have regulations or restrictions on burning. Check with local authorities to obtain proper permits before burning.
Nornes Says RTC Extension Granted
Monday at midnight was the last day of the Minnesota legislature session. At times the Extension for the former state hospital was stalled and Rep Bud Nornes had said he didn’t know if it would be passed. He is happy to declare victory for Fergus Falls:
“I guess probably the best victory that I’ve had during the session and that’s the extension for agreement we have with the state of Minnesota that affects the Regional Treatment Center in Fergus Falls. Very happy about that, and so I can go home and work with the city to find a new use for that.”
The extension gives the city a longer timetable to work with developers and also some more flexibility in how they can use the funds.
Two RTC Developers Join Forces
The Fergus Falls City Council as well as the public came to the council meeting expecting to hear a second proposal on reuse for the former state hospital. Instead, developer Terrance Scholz made this announcement: “Historic Properties also came to visit. They made their presentation two weeks ago. Since that point, most all of you have received a letter of understanding that the two groups have now come together and are now together and are now looking to join forces to work together on the development of the facility.”
Since the last council meeting Scholz and Historic Properties CEO Ray Willey have been talking and came to an agreement to work together.
The plan would still be for low income housing and a hotel but Scholz explained that it would be a luxury spa hotel that would focus on wellness and things like weight loss.
Scholz and Willie have also been talking to Michele Anderson with Springboard for the Arts on having artist residences and other plans.
He also spoke about bringing in an international school. He estimated that the remodeled complex would employee more than 300 people.
He gave a timeline of being operational in 2 years after starting renovations.
Scholz also said they are talking to the owner of the former nurses cottage and some other buildings, Jeff Schlossman, and he too is interested in joining their master plan.
The council directed staff to draft a document of support for the project.
Manslaughter and Interference with a Dead Body Charges: Qualley and Simon Charged
Two rural Fergus Falls people are charged with interference with a dead body and manslaughter.
Court documents allege that 31-year-old Melissa Ann Qualley and 33-year-old Travis Charles Simon were in a Fergus Falls residence using prescription drugs when 53-year-old Marsha Schloesser overdosed last November (2012.) Instead of reporting it to authorities, they left, came back and cleaned up the place, stole prescription medication and then faked a 911 call.
Schloesser was found under a table in a more advanced state of death than the story told to officers.
Qualley and Simon are each charged with a gross misdemeanor of interference with a dead body and three felony charges of: manslaughter, burglary and theft.
B. Christ Charged with Criminal Vehicle Operation
An Underwood woman is charged in Otter Tail County District Court with ten counts of criminal vehicular operation.
The Minnesota State Patrol was called January 10 (of this year) to an accident on Hwy 210 west of Underwood. They found that a vehicle driven by 60-year-old Brenda Glee Christ of Underwood had crossed the center line and hit a van head-on. The driver of van and four passengers all were treated for injuries including fractures, bruises, abrasions and a mild concussion.
Court records alleged that Christ was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.
Perham Rotary Peace Pole Dedicated Today
The Perham Rotary Club along with the Interact Club dedicated a Peace Pole on the east side of Perham High School this morning, May 21st. The inscription on the pole, "May Peace Prevail on Earth", is inscribed on every Peace Pole in the world. For the Perham Peace Pole, Interact students chose six languages for the inscription representing that of various exchange students, English, German, French, Spanish, Arabic and Japanese. Peace Poles have been dedicated in 180 countries and the Rotary District Governor has encouraged placing Peace Poles in all the communities of this district.
Woman Finds Man in Living Room
A woman taking a shower Friday had a scare. She went out to see why the dogs were barking and found a man standing in her living room. He asked for a former renter of the property and after being told repeatedly that the man no longer lived there and being asked to leave, the man left. The renters asked for extra patrol in the area on the south side of Fergus Falls. Law enforcement has not been able to indentify the man.
Alcohol Possibly a Factor in One Vehicle Crash
According to the sheriff’s office, alcohol was possibly involved in a crash on County Hwy 82 near Dalton.
Around 9:30 am Sunday, the call came in of a one vehicle crash on Co Hwy 82 near the intersection with Co Hwy 12.
A pickup went off the roadway, across an approach, through the ditch and stuck a second approach & culvert.
The pickup vaulted and was airborne, came down nose first and stopped. Both the driver, 28-year-old Timothy Lang of Ashby and his 28-year-old male passenger were taken to the hospital by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.
Potato Barn Fire
A potato barn owned by RD Offut Farms was reported on fire Saturday.
A witness saw lightening hit the building on St Hwy 29 around 2:30 am. The Wadena, Deer Creek and Bluffton Fire Departments were called out.
This building is used to store equipment and potatoes. The sheriff’s office did not have a report yet of the damages.
Extensive Damage from Dryer Fire
A house in the 100 block of West Channing in Fergus Falls has extensive smoke damage from a dryer fire.
When the homeowner started the dryer shortly after 5 pm Saturday, she saw fire at the fuse box.
The lower level and main level has extensive smoke damage, a wall has fire damage. A cat living in the home was reunited with the owner.
Pelican Rapids to Discuss Building Tuesday
The Pelican Rapids School District will hold a work session Tuesday to discuss what to do about the school building.
Voters in the district rejected a referendum to remodel the current school in March.
The meeting is 5:30 pm Tuesday before the regular school board meeting.
Wahpeton High Risk Sex Offender Meeting
There will be a community information meeting Tuesday on a high risk sex offender moving in to Wahpeton.
28-year-old Aaron Paul Bever will be living on Vantura Drive in Wahpeton. He is considered a high risk sex offender.
The Wahpeton Police Department along with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office will hold the meeting at 6 pm Tuesday in the lower level of the Law Enforcement Center.
House Fire from Candle
Just before 9:00 AM Saturday morning, a house caught on fire in Dent, MN. The house is in foreclosure and the homeowner was cleaning out the home with the help three kids. The owner was in the garage and noticed smoke coming from the house. Inside the kids were using a candle for light source, as the utilities had been cut-off. The fire quickly became out of control and the occupants had to leave the house. Dent, Vergas, and Underwood Fire and Rescue responded to the call. The incident is still under investigation.
Dream Big Tour Update
The cross-country Dream Big Bike Tour got underway last week. Student Life Director for M-State Fergus Falls, David Jensen, is biking across America to raise money for the Dream Big Scholarship.
He left California Tuesday and hopes to be in Georgia by the end of May.
Saturday he entered New Mexico. The low temps in Fergus Falls were in the upper 30’s when he left and Jensen finds that the desert temps were a shock. Some of the route takes him along the interstate, which he says is legal since there is no other route in the area. Some of the back roads have been very rough. You can follow his progress and donate to the fund online at http://dreambigtour.net/
Final Concert of the Season for Perham School Orchestra May 21
Perham Public School will hold its Spring Orchestra concert on Tuesday May 21, at 7:00 p.m. in the High School Auditorium. The concert will be directed by Rachel Mertens and will showcase each of the orchestras she directs: 4th Grade beginners, 5th and 6th combined, 7th and 8th combined, and High School. The concert will include classical selections as well as some lighter pieces such as "The Adventures of String Girl" and music from the movie "Brave". The program will conclude with a combined performance of "Simple Square Dance". Joining the combined orchestra will be students who have been unable to participate in orchestra this year as well as several alumni of the program. This concert will be the final one for the season and for orchestra instructor Rachel Mertens whose resignation was accepted at the last school board meeting. There are currently 35 students in the program. Recently, the Perham-Dent school board removed orchestra from the regular curriculum, changing it to co-curricular. Ms. Mertens has led the program for the past 2 years.
OutgoingNew York MillsSuperintendent accepts position at Ulen-Hitterdal
The outgoing superintendent of New York Mills schools has accepted a part-time position as superintendent of Ulen-Hitterdal. Todd Cameron still has a two month contract with New York Mills this summer but both boards are expected to approve a plan to share him between the two schools for those months. "Sharing resources is nothing new for rural schools," he said. "It's a way for schools in small communities to retain their identity and still offer full services." Ulen-Hitterdal is about half the size of New York Mills. Both schools are small in comparison to big city schools but that's what Cameron says he knows and likes best. Todd Cameron is an avid sportsman with an appreciation for the arts. He co-hosts "Gone Fishing", a regular feature on Lakes Radio and is involved with trap shooting. His involvement with the arts included a stint on the board of directors of the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. One of the things he's looking forward to at Ulen-Hitterdal is the "Top Hat Theatre", a performance space created in 2005 by an extension of the Community Education program at the school.
Robbery Suspects Arrested
Wahpeton Police Department arrested two adult male suspects around 10:00AM Friday morning in connection with an armed robbery. The two suspects allegedly entered the Northside Tesoro gas station in Wahpeton around 2:00AM Friday May 17. Forcing the clerk to open the registers, the gunmen took the cash before fleeing the scene. The two suspects could face ten years imprisonment, a fine of $10,000 or both penalties for the felony of Robbery. Assisting the ongoing investigation are the Richland and Wilkin County Sherriff’s Offices, Breckenridge Police Department, North Dakota State College of Science Police Department and the Southeast Multi- County Agency.
OTP Customers Could See Rate Increase due to Mandate
A new mandate that looks like it will make it into the final bill would require power companies to use solar power. The cost of building the solar power would be passed unto customers. Otter Tail Power Spokeperson Chris Oehler “Our company would be subject to a 1.5 percent solar standard mandate by the year 2020. We estimate that would be a rate impact of 6.2% because we would have to build a solar farm, probably about 28 megawatts and that would cost 83 million dollars.”
Oehler says that it only affects some power companies: “Interestingly it is only the four investor owned utilities that this applies to. All the municipal utility companies and all the electric cooperatives are exempt from the law.”
Customers will also see other costs down the road due to the phase out the Hoot Lake plant.
Semi Truck Starts Four Fires on Hwy 10
Thursday around 8:00pm, the Minnesota State Patrol responded to the report of a semi on fire on Hwy.10 near 470th Avenue in Otter Tail County. A semi-trailer loaded with silage caught fire while proceeding westbound on Hwy.10. The driver of the semi, Peter Mursu, 36 years old of New York Mills pulled over. The trailer completely engulfed in flames. The fire might have been caused by a wheel bearing lock up. The area around the trailer was burning and three other areas of grass in the ditch and were also on fire. The New York Mills and Perham Fire departments assisted with extinguishing the fires. Hwy.10 westbound was closed for approximately 15 minutes until the fire and smoke was no longer a safety issue. The truck-tractor was not damaged, the trailer and load was considered a total loss due to the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department also assisted.
State Hospital Myths Presented Tonight
Myths and Legends of State Hospital tonight at 5:30 pm
It’s a “Story Telling Walking Tour” led by Chris Schuelke, Executive Director of the Otter Tail County Historical Society. This popular program is not an architectural or facilities tour. It presents the history and legends of this remarkable institution in a story telling format. You will discover why the hospital was such an important institution for over 110 years. Fee: $5.00 per person. All proceeds benefit the Otter Tail County Historical Society. Park in the Government Services parking lot and walk over to the western most part of the building.
Wahpeton Convenience Store Robbed at Gunpoint
WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) - Police in Wahpeton are investigating the armed robbery of a convenience store.Two masked men with handguns entered a Tesoro station just after 2 a.m. Friday and forced the clerk to open two cash registers.
The suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. The clerk was shaken up but not hurt.
14 Year Old Arrested
A Fergus Falls juvenile was arrested last (Wednesday) night after allegedly firing a pellet gun at a vehicle and people in the 500 Block of West Lincoln.
The first call came in just before 11 pm. A woman had a minor injury above her left eye and the skin was broken. Another call came in of someone that thought their car had been hit by something in the same block. They stopped and got out and thought something went passed their heads. A 14-year-old juvenile with a pellet gun was arrested. Possible charges include 2nd degree assault, terrorist threats, 5th degree assault, disorderly conduct and firing a gun within city limits.