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Lakes Radio News
City to Update RTC Appraisal, Project Moving Forward
The Fergus Falls City Council voted to spend fifty-five hundred dollars to update the appraisal on the RTC property. The project with Historic Properties took another step forward last (Monday) night as the council closed the meeting to discuss their offer and counteroffer on the property. They announced that they would NOT reconvene the meeting so there was no announcement of a sale agreement yet.
The last appraisal concluded that the best use the property would be “green space” by tearing down the buildings and created a negative value meaning that the developer could buy the property for one dollar.
Ray Willey sent an update to the council that they conducting due-diligence on the project. He says they have submitted the next step where they would enter a formal development agreement on a conditional basis. He also says he proposes a specific plan for work to be completed by the city but does not go into detail. He also outlined several minor changes to the project including less hotel rooms, adding a brew pub in addition to the four restaurants.
City of FF Removed More Trees than Budgeted
The city of Fergus Falls removed more diseased trees than they budgeted for causing an overage in the forestry budget. The council voted to move thirty-three thousand dollars from two accounts, the street seal coat and street materials to cover the overage in the 2013 budget. Next years budget includes a fifteen thousand dollar increase towards tree removal.
Driver of semi hit by train got out just in time
The driver of the semi-trailer that was hit by an eastbound BNFS train last Saturday night reported that his truck had become stuck in the snow and unable to get over the tracks at the 6th Avenue crossing in Perham. Juan Pablo Esteva, a driver for Werner Enterprises of Omaha, had been on his way to Barrel O' Fun when the truck got stuck. He backed up and tried again. On his second try he saw the train coming and got everyone safely out of the cab before the train hit. The cab of the semi was wrapped around the front of the train which came to a stop after 8 blocks.
Police chief, Jason Hoaby, commented that the committee that has meeting regarding a whistle-free zone for Perham has looked at safety implementations for every crossing. This accident could affect the risk index. The 6th Avenue crossing remains closed.
Nornes Comments on Affordable Care Act
He is not hearing anyone glad for the Affordable Care Act says Rep Bud Nornes (R district 08A.) He is hearing comments about higher premiums and higher deductibles. Nornes says the plan is not good for Minnesota:
“I think the plan was a bad one and I personally think that it is really destroying what’s been a pretty good healthcare system in our country, specifically in Minnesota where we had the highest percentage of insured individuals in the nation and now we’re messing with that and I think that is not a good thing.”
Problems with the website and security concerns and long wait times on the help line have also been reported with MNSure. The deadline to sign up for coverage is December 23rd for the policy to be in effect on January 1st.
Half Way to the Kettle Goal
As of Tuesday morning - the Salvation Army has reached $45,000 of their $85,000 goal --- so just a little over half way there. Bell ringers will be out until Christmas Eve with the red buckets.
The Salvation Army could still use donations and bell ringers. Call 739-9692 for more information.
Perham's Concert Location Changed
The location for the holiday concert including performances from various choir's from Perham high School and Middle School has been changed. The concert has been moved to the Perham High School Auditorium at 7:00.
Woman Arrested for Vandalism to a Vehicle
Vandalism to a vehicle was reported at a business outside of Perham Saturday evening. The sheriff’s office says that a hammer and nails were used to pop three of the tires. The vehicle has broken side view mirrors, tail lights, scratches to the paint and a broken door handle. A 21 year old woman was arrested for criminal damage to property.
Horse Rescued after Falling though the Ice
A horse that fell through the ice Friday was rescued. The call came in at 2:20. The woman said the horse fell in a slough was unable to get out. Battle Lake Fire Department was able to get a tow rope around the horse and one of the men got into the freezing water to get the horse up onto solid ground. The horse should recover and the owner was grateful.
Fatal in Clay Co Monday Morning
Minnesota State Patrol is on the scene of a fatal crash in Clay County. They were called shortly after 4 am this (Monday) morning.
The crash is on I 94 near mile marker 22, near Barnesville. 32 year old Vincent O’Conner of Antigo, WI was killed. The driver of the semi, from Dickinson, ND was taken to a Fargo hospital.
A woman is in the Otter Tail County Jail after fleeing from police Sunday evening. According to a press release, police were called just before 8 pm to a domestic call within the city of Fergus Falls. As police arrived, the suspect was leaving in a vehicle. Instead of stopping, she drove around a mile downtown but did not pull over until stop sticks were used near the intersection of Vernon and Union. 37 year old Stacey Lynn Bengston is charged with fleeing in a motor vehicle, obstructing the legal process, 4th degree assault with body fluids –for allegedly spitting on officers during the arrest, and 5th degree assault.
Car-Jacking and Arrest
One person has been arrested in a carjacking and police chase in Wahpeton and Breckenridge.
Wahpeton Police Sergeant Dan Nordick says shortly before 5 am Saturday, a man was sitting in his van with the engine on, when he was confronted by two men armed with a knife. The victim jumped out of the van and the suspects took off.
Wahpeton police spotted the stolen van and chased it into a trailer park. The suspects ran off. One of them was chased on foot into Breckenridge. A 30-year-old Sioux Falls man is in the Wilkin County Jail in Breckenridge.
Police recovered the van and knife. The second suspect wasn't immediately located. No one was hurt.
Minor Car vs Pedestrian Accident Reported
A sixty-seven year old man was taken to the hospital after a car-pedestrian accident in Fergus Falls Thursday morning.
Police say that the 67-year-old Fergus Falls man walked out between two cars. The 24-year-old driver was driving in the 500 block of Spruce Street. He was doing less than 15 MPH and attempted to stop.
The pedestrian had a cut over his right eye and he was taken to the hospital by ambulance but police did not issue any citations.
Don’t Use Cruise Control in Winter
You probably have heard state troopers talk about not using the cruise control in the winter. A rural Fergus Falls man found out why the hard way. He was on Co Road 1 in the 50 MPH zone doing 50 with the cruise control on Thursday morning. He hit a patch of black ice. The vehicle rolled and landed up-side down in the ditch. Both the man and his wife were wearing seat belts and have only minor injuries.
Woman Arrested after Douglas Co Stabbing
Douglas County authorities have a woman under arrest after a stabbing. They were just after midnight this morning (Friday) to a rural address. A 34-year-old man from Nelson, MN was suffering from multiple stab wounds. He was airlifted to a St Cloud hospital.
33-year-old Vanessa Rae Zephier was arrested
Fake $20 Bill Found in Wahpeton
Wahpeton Police are investigating a fake twenty dollar bill passed at a local retailer. The twenty is slightly different in size and color from a real one but was the police chief said it was “well done” as a counterfeit.
So far, only one fake twenty has been found.
Twins Caravan Announced
The line-up for the Twins Caravan has been announced. Glen Perkins, Brian Dozer, Dan Gladden will be in Fergus Falls January 21th. It will be held at the PioneerCare Celebration Center starting at 6:30 pm.
Advance tickets go on sale Monday in the lobby of Lakes Radio. Ticket price is $7.
Christmas Light Show in Wadena
“Christmas In Wadena” is a free animated light and music display running nightly thru the holidays in Wadena. The display runs Monday -Thursday from 5:30 - 9:00 pm and Friday - Sunday 5:30 - 10:00pm with special holiday showings over Christmas. Located at 414 3rd St. SW, Wadena, the show attracts thousands of visitors each year. GP Anderson, creator of the display, works with other Christmas light enthusiasts from around the world to create this spectacular show. Additional information can be found on the web at christmasinwadena dot com. (http://www.christmasinwadena.com/)
The Perham School Choir Christmas Concert will be held at the Perham Center for the Arts on Sunday December 15th and Monday December 16th at 7 pm. The concert will feature Prairie Wind Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Choir, the Perham High School Swing Choir, Perham High School Concert Choir, and the Heart of the Lakes Honor Choir.
Man with No Alcohol Restriction Arrested for DWI
A driver in Fergus Falls was arrested after a short chase. When the officer turned the overhead lights on the squad car instead of stopping the driver sped up and allegedly attempted to flee.
Police arrested 39-year-old Donavan Richard Braeger for 3rd degree DWI, fleeing a police officer. The man has a limited driver’s license with a no alcohol restriction on it.
Santa Day Saturday in FF
Saturday is Santa Day in Fergus Falls. Lisa Workman with the Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce says they have activities for the kids:
“Plan a whole bunch of other activities that the kids can do in town, possibly while their parents are off shopping. Encourage folks to keep their money in town when doing their holiday shopping. When you’re buying online it doesn’t help our community at all. We’re doing some great things that make it easy here, as far as paying for the movie so the kids can watch them for free at a Center for the Arts.”
Storytime at the library from 10 am to 11, there is make it, break it Pinatas at Don Pablo’s from 11 am to 1pm
Movie “The Muppet Christmas Carol” at 12:30, “Elf” at 2 pm.
Santa arrives via train at 4 pm.
Find more details on the chamber website.
Food Drop in Perham Dec 20th
The United Way of Otter Tail County will hold a Food Drop at Perham Calvary Lutheran Church next Friday, December 20th for residents in need. Volunteers are needed for this event. Please call Tracy at 218 346 4780 if you would like to help out.
Dancing Light Show near Butler every night until Christmas
The joy of the holiday season is being celebrated in an amazing display of light at the home of Mike and Tammy Schmidt. Mike, who designs award-winning fireworks displays in the summer has created a different kind of light explosion in this hour-long light show of dancing lights. The public is invited to drive by and watch the show which runs every evening from 5 to 9 p.m. The light show is located near Butler on County Highway 62- just off the intersection of Hwy 67 and 62.
Fairmount Residents Asked to Continue to Boil Water
FAIRMOUNT, ND. The boil water order remains in effect for the small Richland County community of Fairmount. The town's two wells failed Tuesday.
The mayor says there was a crack in the casing of one of the wells and that forced packing sand around the well into the city's water system.
There's been a temporary "fix" but again, residents are being asked to boil their water.
Shoremaster Holding Dealer Training
Instead of doing ten regional trainings, Shoremaster is hosting a dealer training in Fergus Falls this year. Marketing Director Ashley Bruggeman says they are some are coming from Minnesota and Wisconsin and some other states as well: “We have dealers coming in from New York, Ohio, Main, North Carolina, Georgia, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, California, Missouri.”
They will learn more about the Shoremaster products. Attend training on how to run a boat show, have tours of the Shoremaster facility. Top dealers will be honored at a banquet. They are already joking about how cold it is in Fergus Falls.
Electrical Equipment Damaged & Vehicle Left the Scene
The sheriff’s office is investigating the report of a vehicle that hit a power pole and electrical box on Co Hwy 35 near Dalton Tuesday night.
Lake Region Electric owns the equipment. According to the report, the driver was helped out of the ditch by someone but they did not stay to talk to law enforcement or to make an accident report. The sheriff’s office is investigating.
Swanson Sentenced for Hitting Horse Driven Buggy
A Deer Creek man will need to report to jail before January 10th for failing to report an accident, after hitting a horse drawn buggy.
36-year-old Anthony James Swanson admitted to the judge that he knew he hit something the evening of May 30th (2013.)
He parked the pickup behind a semi truck so his father wouldn’t see the damage.
Swanson had stopped in a bar in Deer Creek that night. The driver of the buggy saw Swanson coming up behind him on Co Road 73 and tried to move as far as he could.
The buggy was hit from behind. One of the children was ejected, landed on the pavement and suffered a skull fracture. His mother thought her arm was broken but was severely bruised.
Swanson received a 110 days in jail with all but 10 days stayed for two year probation and a $900 fine.
Remove “Snowbirds” from FF Streets
If you have a vehicle parked on the streets of Fergus Falls and have not moved it, you may want to move it soon. Fergus Falls Police plan to place tow tags on what they call “snowbirds” the vehicles that snow plows have been plowing around.
They are giving plenty of notice; the tow tags will be placed on the vehicles Thursday and Friday but vehicles will not be towed until Tuesday December 17th.
Penny and Bill Fick Sentenced for Animal Mistreatment
As part of a plea agreement, both Penny Fick and Bill Fick pled guilty to one gross misdemeanor count of mistreatment or over work of animals. The other 20 counts, including felony counts were dismissed.
The case involved horses and other animals at a farm near Vergas. Penny Fick told the court that she was in Montana at the time to attend to some family business and left “an irresponsible person,” her son, in charge of feeding and watering the animals. A truckload of hay was delivered to the farm but was not feed to the animals. The animals were surrendered last February after the sheriff was called about the condition of the horses. Malnourished and dead horses were found on the farm.
Her son, Billy Tompkins was sentenced in September, also for one gross misdemeanor count.
All three received one year suspended jail sentence and each pay one third of $4585.75 restitution.
Additional conditions not owning animals except one dog and one cat and an animal control officer can stop and check their property to make sure these conditions are met.
OTC to Hold Meetings on Master Trail Plan
Otter Tail County will hold two public meetings on the Perham to Pelican Rapids Multi-use Trail Master Plan will be held in December.
The meetings will be open house style starting at 7 pm, with a formal presentation at 7:30 pm.
The project scope, project schedule, route alternatives and other information on the 30 mile trail will be discussed.
The first meeting is Monday Dec 16 at Lake Region Electric Cooperative, (1401 S Broadway) in Pelican Rapids.
The second meeting is Tuesday Dec 17 at Perham City Hall (125 2nd Ave NE) in Perham.
Written statements on the plan or oral statements will be accepted for 10 days after the meetings.