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Community Watch

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Robbery Attempt Uncovered as a False Police Report
Fergus Falls Police have come to the conclusion that a robbery attempt reported Sunday did not happen.
The 15 year old male reported that two men in an alley demanded his stuff and he told his mother one of them punched them.  He did have a facial injury and after questioning, he admitted that he made the story up to protect a friend that punched him.
Charges for making a false police report are being considered. 

Taylor Charged with Taking Computer Tablets from Pelican Rapids School
A Pelican Rapids man is charged with taking computer tablets from the Pelican Rapids School.
18-year-old Charles Edward Taylor is charged with felony burglary and felony theft.  According the criminal complaint, the iPad mini tablets went missing June 27th.  School staff and others reported seeing Taylor in the school that day “acting suspicious.” During an interview with law enforcement, Taylor allegedly admitted to officers that he took eight iPads worth $8050 from the school. 

Mikkelson Charged with Assaulting an Officer
A man is accused of assaulting an officer during an arrest.  Police were called to a disturbance at an apartment in Pelican Rapids last Monday.  They found 45-year-old Trevor Charles Mikkelson yelling and swearing outside as well as using racial slurs. Officers tried to talk to Mikkelson and determined that he needed to go to detox.  As they were trying to restrain him, he allegedly swung the apartment door hard and hit a deputy in the head.  He is charged with gross misdemeanor assault of a peace officer, disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. 

Walking tour of downtown Perham July 31
Join the Otter Tail County Historical Society and the History and Cultural Association of East Otter Tail County for a tour of downtown Perham on Thursday, July 31, at 6:00 p.m. The tour begins at NP Park. The tour goes beyond architectural details to reveal stories about people and events that make up Perham’s history.  Cost for the tour is $6. Refreshments will be served after the tour at the History Museum of East Otter Tail County, 230 1st Avenue North in Perham.

FF Streets to be Open During Crazy Days
Fergus Falls City Council approved a change for downtown Crazy Days.  In the past, the entire street has been blocked off to traffic.  This year the street will remain open but some parking spots will be blocked off with cones as “buffer zones” between merchants outside on the sidewalks and traffic.  The change passed the committee and was approved by the full council.  Crazy Days is this Thursday (July 24) in Fergus Falls. 

Combination Bike Lane & Parking Lane Planned for Fir Avenue
The motion to add bike lanes on Fir Avenue that was tabled at the last Fergus Falls City Council meeting failed five to three on a vote last (Monday) night.
The plan would have added two bike lanes one on either side and would not have allowed street parking on one side; on Fir Avenue from Union to Friberg.  The city received 24 responses to their request for comment on the idea.  One-half of those (12) were opposed to the plan. All of the residents speaking at the meeting spoke out against the plan.
Instead, another motion to have combined parking, bike and pedestrian lanes passed along with the possibility of a sidewalk.  Dan Edwards said they would need to come with some kind of signing for the combination lane. 

Sign Fee Not Waived for Classic Car Club
The city sign ordinance was once again discussed at last night’s (Monday’s) city council meeting. The Classic Car Club came with a request to waive the fee for their 12 signs or to pay just one $50 fee.  12 signs at $50 each would be $600 just to put up signs for a couple of days.  Don Lynn told the council that the club has lost money or barely broke even at their last six car shows.
The council voted to deny the request to waive the fees and discussed setting a work session to look at the sign ordinance to possibly waive the fees in the future for non-profits.  No date for a work session was given at the meeting. 

Stolen Car Recovered in Fergus Falls
A car stolen in Fargo was recovered Monday night in Fergus Falls.  The vehicle was spotted parked in front of a residence in the 1100 block of Whitcomb Street. An officer verified that the Pontiac G6 was stolen, waited for someone to come to the vehicle and made the arrest.  33-year-old Sean Meyer of Fargo was arrested on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and DWI refusal to test.  He will also face vehicle theft charges in North Dakota. 

Three-Wheeler Impounded by Police
A man was cited by police after he ignored a warning that he could not drive his three-wheeler on the city streets. 21-year-old William Campbell was warned Sunday that the three-wheeler did not have turn signals or tail lights or other things required to make it street legal.  Monday afternoon he was again stopped in Fergus Falls while driving the three-wheeler. He was cited for operating an unregistered vehicle on the public road way and for operating without insurance.  The three-wheeler was impounded. 

Otter Tail County Listed in Top Ten for Boating
Otter Tail County is rated in the top ten for places to live and boat according to Boating Magazine.
The magazine gave locations a score of one to five in four areas.
Otter Tail County scored a 5 in waterfront availability, a 4 for ease of boaters, a 3 in strong boat related business and only a 2 in number of good boating days.
Boating Magazine says; “What the area loses to a short summer, it more than makes up for with some of the most passionate boaters in the country.”
Other places making the list include Seattle, Washington; Tampa Bay, Florida and Benton County, Arkansas.  You can find the complete list online.

Surgery Lands GOP Candidate Johnson in Hospital
 ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Republican candidate for Minnesota governor is recovering after emergency surgery to repair a small perforation in his stomach.
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson was resting after a successful procedure on Monday afternoon at Maple Grove Hospital. Johnson checked himself into the hospital earlier Monday.
Scot Crockett, his campaign manager, says Johnson will remain hospitalized "for a short period of time." Crockett could not elaborate on how long Johnson's recovery will last.
Johnson's surgery comes just three weeks before an Aug. 12 primary to select the Republican candidate who will challenge Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton in November. Johnson has the GOP endorsement. State Rep. and former House Speaker Kurt Zellers, former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert and Orono businessman Scott Honour also are running in the primary.

Governor says WahpetonLawmaker Improved Education
(AP) - A Republican state lawmaker from Wahpeton has died.
The North Dakota governor's office says Rep. John Wall died Friday. He was 70.
Wall was elected to the North Dakota House in 2004. That came following his retirement from a 34-year career of teaching high school English and journalism.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple says Wall worked hard on improving education funding for kindergarten through high school and on education policy in general. 
Dalrymple says Wall was an "outstanding legislator" and a "kind and thoughtful person."

Police Investigating a Robbery Attempt
Fergus Falls Police are investigating a report of an attempted robbery. According to the police report, a 15-year-old male was in the alley in the 500 block of West Lincoln when he was approached by two males. The two demanded that he “give them his stuff.”  The 15 year old did not give them anything and was punched in the face several times.  He was treated and released at the hospital.
He describes them as two black men, one was skinny but muscular, wearing a red baseball style hat, the other man was fatter, wearing a striped shirt with cornrows in his hair.  Both were wearing baggy jeans. 
Anyone with more information is asked to call Fergus Falls Police at 332 5555.  The robbery was reported at 9:46 pm Sunday. 

Officers Check on Barricaded Man
Officers went to a welfare check just before 9 pm Friday evening in rural Ottertail.  A man, who reportedly suffers from PTSD, had barricaded himself in a garage.  It was also reported that he may have a gun. Deputies set up a temporary perimeter that included blocking some roadways in the area. They also evacuated the home.  The sheriff’s office says that they determined the male suspect had not made any threats to harm himself or others and had not committed any crime.  No arrests or other action was taken. 

Comedian and juggler in Perham July 23
The Perham Area Public Library will host a comedian and juggler on Wednesday, July 23 as part of their summer reading program for children.  Jason Huneke will perform for the kids, and adults too, at 2 p.m.  The summer reading program events are sponsored by the Friends of the Library and are free and open to everyone.


Man Spits on Police Officer During Arrest
A man arrested over the weekend will have an additional charge for his conduct during the arrest.  Police were arresting a 30-year-old man in the 300 block of North Mill Street. They had been called there at 2:45 in the morning Friday on a report of people screaming.  As the man was handcuffed and lead to the squad car, he allegedly turned his head and spit on a police officer.  Assault with bodily fluids is a felony charge. 

Dog Helps with Kids Locked in the Car
A woman called the sheriff’s office yesterday (Thursday) morning because her kids were locked in a running car at a rural address near Perham.  She called back in about 10 minutes later. She said she no longer needed any help because the dog had hit the button to roll the window down. 

Serious Injuries in Tractor Accident near Underwood
An Underwood man was air-lifted with serious injuries after a farm accident last (Wednesday) night.
49-year-old Dean Christenson was putting the hitch pin to hook up a baler to the tractor.  The tractor operator thought it was in neutral but it was not. The tractor backed over Christenson. He was taken to Lake Region Hospital and then air-lifted to Hennepin Medical Center with injuries to the hips and legs. The call came in shortly after 7 pm at the farm on 265th Ave west of Underwood.

Attempted Pharmacy  Robbery in Breckenridge
BRECKENRIDGE, Minn. (AP) - Authorities say an hours-long standoff at a western Minnesota pharmacy has ended after SWAT team members swept the building and found no one inside.
Breckenridge Police Chief Nate Harder says a deputy and police officer showed up Wednesday evening within 30 seconds of a call reporting an attempted armed robbery.
Police believed the suspect remained inside Thrifty White Pharmacy. But Harder says there was mass confusion as customers and employees were fleeing, and the suspect apparently got away before officials secured the building.
Harder says police will monitor surveillance footage and they have identified a "person of interest." Traffic in the area was blocked off during the standoff.
UPDATE: police now say no weapon was used and they are not expecting robbery charges however other unspecified charges are expected. 

Water Level Going Down in Wadena


Water level is going down in Wadena. Water south of Olmsted Ave is down over 12 inches and in Tapley Park it is dropping fast as well. There have been 62 registered calls with Minnesota 211 with residents who are in need of assistance with debris. The City Council met in emergency session Wednesday morning to discuss next steps. The Wadena City Council Declared that  until 4 p.m. on July 31, it will take financial responsibility for disposal of flood related items at the County Landfill. The debris must be flood related from any home or business anywhere in the City of Wadena. This debris must be separated by type. 

Residents in Hewitt, Verndale, and township residents around Wadena are having many of the same water related issues.
Wadena County Emergency Management Office has cleanup buckets at the Courthouse for those needing to clean their basements. 
Water Death in Douglas County
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is reporting a water related incident.  A 911 call came in early Wednesday evening of a possible drowning at Maple Lake.  23-year-old Ryan Douglas Dodds from Alexandria was pulled from the water. Resuscitation was discontinued and he was pronounced dead at the scene.  The cause of death is still under investigation. 

Wilkin Co Semi Sideswipe
A side-swipe crash between a Pontiac Grand Prix and a semi-truck reported in Wilkin County yesterday (Wednesday.) Minnesota State Patrol says 22-year-old Jessie Fahje of Breckenridge was south bound on Hwy 75; the vehicle crossed over the centerline on a curve and made contact with a north bound semi.  The driver of semi from Florida was not injured. Fahje has minor injuries. 

Camp Madhatter begins July 21 in Wadena
Camp Madhatter 2014, a workshop directed by Robin Jensen, begins July 21 at the Wadena Memorial Auditorium.  This year's camp will focus on the American Musical.  Frank Loesser wrote over 700 songs, winning Tony awards for the lyrics of "Guys and Dolls" and many others.  The campers will meet daily for two weeks and present a showcase performance on August 1. There are still a few openings for young campers.  For more information visit Wadena Madhatters Community Theatre on Facebook. 

Wadena County Historical Society Awarded Legacy Grant
The Wadena County Historical Society has recently been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Minnesota Historical Society to purchase equipment and software for their research library. The new equipment will help WCHS staff and volunteers handle requests for information more quickly and provide easier access for visiting researchers. This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society. The equipment is scheduled to be installed by the end of the summer.

Lake Region Healthcare and Barnesville Area Clinic to Merge
Barnesville Area Clinic and Lake Region Healthcare will merge effective September 1.  Patients will see very little in the way of changes as a result of the merger. Changes will primarily be seen in the billing, registration and medical records processes that will be transitioned to LRH. Various specialty providers from the LRH medical staff will be brought in and plans are in place to recruit an additional full-time nurse practitioner or physician assistant to join the clinic as well.  The Barnesville Area Clinic was formed in the late 1970s by community members who raised money, bought property, built and equipped the clinic in order to ensure quality health care would be available in the community. 

60th Annual Frazee Turkey Days has Interesting History

The 60th Annual Turkey Days in Frazee on July 25 to 27 features a host of activities, many with a distinctive theme like Turkey Bowling, Turkey Trot and 5K run/walk, Turkey Luncheon and the Gizzard Eating Contest on Friday evening at the Frazee Liquor Store. 
Over the past 60 years, Frazee has celebrated Turkey Days in many exciting ways.  In the old days, according to one city official, they used to throw live turkeys off the tops of buildings and the person who caught the turkey got to keep it.  One year, two people caught the same turkey and the struggle for ownership was too much for the bird.  That was the last year of that particular event but that shouldn't deter anyone from enjoying this year's Turkey Days.  Frazee, home of the world's largest turkey, welcomes you.