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LAKES RADIO FIRST NEWS
The city of Fergus falls still has one of their refuse trucks down. Due to the situation, commercial crews will be out collecting into the overnight today(Thursday), Monday and Tuesday stretching to the 2nd shifts. Rob Skidness with the Fergus Falls Public Works Department says it may be Wednesday next week before they will resume normal service, and have the other truck back up. City residents are asked to have bins out by 6:00am, with no exceptions, due to the current situation.
Evansville Rollover Crash
An Evansville woman was injured when her pickup went into the ditch along Harvest Avenue northwest of Millerville Monday morning and rolled.
Otter Tail County authorities were tipped off about the crash from a county resident who reported the crash happened at the end of his driveway. The caller said the pickup apparently rolled onto its wheels on his driveway.
The pickup left the scene and was later located in Millerville. The driver, 22-year-old Kallee (KAL-EE) Jo Hanson, showed up at the Douglas County Hospital emergency room. She was transported to the St. Cloud hospital with unknown injuries.
It appears alcohol was involved in the crash. No citations have been issued at this time.
Rental Registration Work Session
Renters and landlords, as well as the general public, are encouraged to attend a special Fergus Falls City Council work session Monday. The work session will be used to further discuss the city’s proposed rental registration plan. The work session will be held in the Fergus Falls City Council chambers beginning at 4:00 pm.
The Fergus Falls Finance, Personnel and Development Committee is recommending the full city council approves a Housing and Redevelopment request to levy a tax of .0185 percent of the taxable market value in the city. It’s an annual request that has been approved for the past 27 years.
HRA Directory Jeff Gaffney says the levy is used for operational funds to administer state and federal programs. But he says that amounts to only half of what is raised.
The HRA levy is a separate levy that doesn’t affect the city’s allowable levy limit for other projects.
Gaffney says the city’s HRA levy is very important as administrative funds received from the federal and state programs they administer have been cut severely.
The city council will likely approve the request at their next meeting July 6th.
A Fergus Falls resident reported to police that their credit union debit account was compromised and that someone made a charge on their account for $1,000. The purchase from Nordstrom’s was made online. The victim notified their bank
Summer Food Safety
With Summer Picnic Season here food safety is very important. One of the uncommon foods we do not usually think of is ice. Julie Hamre, Lead Clinical Dietician with Lake Region Healthcare advises extreme caution when dealing with this and other lesser known foods that can cause food poisoning if not cared for properly. To make sure you handle packaged ice safely, treat it like it's a food. Use clean, non-breakable utensils to handle ice, such as tongs or an ice scoop. Also, avoid touching ice with dirty hands or glasses. Raw foods that will be packed with loose ice in a cooler should be wrapped securely to prevent water from the melting ice from cross-contaminating the foods in the cooler, for example, carrying juices from raw meat to vegetables.
For over a hundred years Sturgeon nearly vanished due to unregulated commercial fishing during the 1890’s. In Otter Tail County and Statewide, you can now fish for Sturgeon, although it’s just catch and release, this is the first time in many, many years that anglers in Otter Tail County can fish for Sturgeon, according to Jim Woltor, Area Fisheries Supervisior with MN DNR. Lake Sturgeon almost disappeared from Minnesota in the early 1900's. During the 1800's sturgeon were considered a nuisance fish because they easily broke through commercial fishing nets. They were taken out of the rivers and lakes they inhabited and stacked on the shorelines like logs. Sturgeon were also used to power steam boats because their meat has a high oil content. They were harvested by the 1000's for their caviar until the population crashed in the early 1900's.
Fergus Falls police were busy handling reports of magazine door to door sales Monday. One complaint came from the 900 block of Westside Drive. Police talked to a man who said he wasn’t aware of the city ordinance requiring a permit to sell door to door. The man was advised to contact his boss to have him apply for a permit. Another incident was reported in the 3500 block of Pebble Hills Drive. A man was going door to door selling magazines in that area. Apparently, when the homeowner tells the seller that they’re not interested, he calls them racist and becomes very upset with them. Another call came from the 2800 block of Bayview Heights Drive. In that case, a man was going door to door to allegedly improve his public speaking skills. The man and his boss were advised to leave the city limits or get a permit if they wish to sell magazines. Apparently, the county has no permit requirement to sell door to door.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a house burglary on the west side of Lake Lida east of Pelican Rapids.
The house was entered by busting the inside glass door on the porch. The owner wasn’t sure if anything inside the house was taken.
A red welder was taken from outside the home.
Motorcycle versus Deer
An Ottertail man was injured while driving his motorcycle and trying to avoid three deer in the roadway.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office says 62-year-old Steven Streff was southbound on county highway 61 southeast of Ottertail just after 11:00 am Monday.
Streff laid the motorcycle down and was thrown. He was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Streff was wearing a helmet.
Car Strikes House
The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a motor vehicle crashing into a house shortly before 1:00 AM on Saturday morning. When deputies arrived, they found that the truck had caught fire and subsequently caught the house on fire. Fire departments from Wadena and Verndale arrived and quickly extinguished the fire. The house sustained severe damage in the fire and the truck was a total loss.
The driver of the vehicle, 23 year old Joshua Farber, was taken to Tri-County Healthcare by Tri-County Ambulance for injuries sustained in the crash. A passenger in the vehicle was not found on scene but was later located with minor injuries.
The five occupants of the house were sleeping at the time and all were able to escape without injury. The case is still under investigation but it is believed that alcohol and speed played a factor in the crash.
Highway 75 realignment project near Kent begins July 6
Work on the Highway 75 realignment project near Kent will begin Monday, July 6, weather permitting. Traffic impacts will be minimal this construction season, but motorists should be aware of the potential for high volumes of truck traffic.
The project will move one mile of the highway north and east of its current location. It will address three deficiencies with the current roadway: repeated flooding on this highway segment, a bridge requiring replacement over Whiskey Creek and reduced height clearance on the BNSF Railway bridge.
As part of the roadway realignment, crews will construct a new bridge over the BNSF Railway and a new bridge over Whiskey Creek.
Riley Brothers Construction of Morris is the prime contractor for the $9.7 million project. The project will continue through the 2016 construction season.
The final numbers are not yet in but National Weather Service Meteorologist Greg Gust says storms that roared through Eastern North Dakota and Western Minnesota produced a lot of tornado's:
No injuries or structural damage was reported but one brief touchdown tracked on the ground for nearly a mile near Milton in Cavalier County, tipping over 8 empty grain cars. A tornado that took out shelter belts northeast of Hatton is rated an EF-2, with estimated peak winds of 120 MPH. A EF-1 tornado with winds over 100 mph damaged trees and downed power lines near Hope. Tornado's also touched down west of Fairmount, in Richland County, and in Southeast Clay County, East of Downer. Gust says Saturday's severe weather outbreak is the worst since June, 2010 when 48 tornado's touched down in Minnesota, The single most active day in the state's history, killing four people. That storm system also produced several tornado's in North Dakota.
Burglary Cases Wrapped Up
Fergus Falls police have wrapped up their investigation into several business burglaries that occurred from August to October last year.
David Jay Crillo was identified as the suspect in burglaries at the Hanley Murphy Dental Office, Companion Animal Hospital and Thrifty White Drug Store. The businesses were all forcibly entered and items were taken.
Charges have been requested and filed by the Otter Tail County Attorney’s Office for two counts of second-degree burglary and one count of third-degree burglary.
Crillo is not in custody. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Lake Lida Burglary
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office has no suspects in a burglary on the north side of Lake Lida east of Pelican Rapids.
The homeowner got to their lake home Saturday night and noticed that their home had been entered. It’s possible the break-in happened between 2:00 am and 3:00 am Saturday when the neighbor’s dog was barking.
The burglar or burglars stole three rings and a tool kit. A neighbor in that area reported their car was rifled through but noting was taken.
Dent Money Theft
A resident living north of Dent on County Highway 35 reported the theft of money from a cash box. The theft was reported Sunday morning. The cash box is from an honor system bait store. And estimated $500 to $700 dollars is missing. There are no suspects.
Norman County Crash
A Frazee resident was injured when the van he was driving ran off the road in Norman County early this morning.
The State Patrol says 27-year-old Jessie Feldt was northbound on Highway 32 when his van went off the right side of the road north of Twin Valley. The van traveled in the ditch for about one-quarter mile before coming to rest in the river.
Feldt had non life-threatening injuries.
Douglas County Crash
A Fergus Falls woman was involved in a two vehicle crash Sunday evening west of Alexandria.
An SUV driven by 61-year-old Debra Welch was eastbound on Highway 27. An SUV driven by 55-year-old Steven Novak of East Bethel, Minnesota, was northbound on Highway 114.
Welch did not stop for a stop sign at Highway 27, entered the intersection and struck Novak’s vehicle.
Welch was transported to the hospital for treatment of non life-threatening injuries. Novak suffered minor injuries.
Stolen Catalytic Converters
The Alexandria Police Department is asking for the public’s help in solving a theft case.
Police say they received a report from Alexandria Opportunity Center that seven catalytic converters were stolen from their vehicles over the weekend. The thief or thieves also syphoned a tank of gasoline.
Anyone with information about the thefts are asked to contact the police department.
Fergus Falls police received a report Tuesday morning of a stolen van from a residence in the 400 block of West Fir Avenue.
The van had reportedly been stolen sometime between the hours of midnight and 7:00 am Tuesday. Also missing was a tablet personal computer.
Later Tuesday, just after 6:00 pm, the owner called to say his van had been located parked by the service doors at Mills Fleet Farm. The stolen key was located under the gas cap. The stolen computer was not located.
The suspect is known to the victim, who had been staying with him. The suspect has not been located.
Two Physicians at Lake Region Apply For Medical Cannabis Training
With the adoption of medical cannabis by the Minnesota Legislature in May of last year, two local physicians will be applying to get certification, in the event that they will enroll patients in the system. Lake Region Healthcare CEO Larry Schulz says they wanted to provide another option for patients at their facilities. Also according to Schulz, of the 8 state dispensaries, the closest would be Moorehead. He also pointed out that the drug will only be available as a liquid, or oil, or in pill form.
Aldi Coming To Fergus Falls, Construction Set To Begin In Fall
It has been confirmed that Fergus Falls will be getting an Aldi’s Store by the summer of 2016 on the West End of town. While the building will be smaller than most regular discount stores, according to Division Vice President Matt Lilla, the store will distinguish itself because of its private labeling system and will also have all the regular staples for much less that the supercenters or grocery stores.
Construction is set to begin this fall, with completion by next summer. The final subdivision plat was approved by the Fergus Falls City Council in March.
School Athletics Turf
The Fergus Falls High School athletic complex continues to be a beehive of activity this week as contractors put together a football field and track along with other amenities.
RA Morton Construction Manager Michael Beach told the school board that every subcontractor is on track and the new football field should be ready for use this fall.
The next phase will bring artificial turf to the new football field, the installation already underway.
Workers are pouring sidewalks, gravel and asphalt are being applied to a running track, fencing is being installed and grass is being seeded. Bleachers are expected to arrive in late July, along with a press box. A large scoreboard still needs to be installed and concession stands built.
Beach says once the artificial turf is completed, in two to three weeks, it will be immediately playable.
Perham Turtle Race Seeing Huge Numbers and International Competiters
The numbers seem unreal, but the response has been outstanding for Perham International Turtle Races. Just race entrants alone have numbered over 200, with 500 not out of the question. Perham Chamber President Dan Schroeder says they are coming from many different states and countries.The weekly races are being held in the City Hall Park in Perham, which is right on Main Street next to the Perham Area Chamber.
The JOYRIDE Alternative Transportation Program is beginning its third year of providing sober rides home from establishments in Perham, Ottertail and Battle Lake.
The program is provided through grants obtained by the Otter Tail County Safe Communities Coalition to try to reduce the number of alcohol-related driving fatalities in the county.
Safe Communities Coalition Coordinator Jane Patrick says it’s everyone’s hope that the JOYRIDE program continues to grow.
Five businesses are helping to grow the program by participating financially. They are The Brew Ales & Eats in Perham, the Wild Stallion Lounge in Richville, The Otter Supper Club and Beach Bums in Ottertail and the Shoreline Restaurant in Battle Lake.
The $8.00 per person rides are offered from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am weekends and also runs on key holidays during the year from participating establishments.
An update on negotiations concerning the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center was provided at Monday night’s city council meeting.
City council negotiator Anthony Hicks says city representatives met with Historic Kirkbride representatives since the last update to the council. In addition, emails and phone calls have been going on from both sides of the development contract negotiations.
Hicks says contract obligations should be finalized in the next two weeks. He says a final agreement should be available to council members at least one week prior to the council’s July 20th meeting.
Hicks says the two sides had a good meeting Tuesday, but there is still work to be done.
The council went into a closed session after Monday night’s meeting to discuss the business piece of the contract.
Ronald McDonald House Ride Results
The 14th annual Ronald McDonald House Ride held in New York Mills Saturday raised $110,000.
Motorcycles traveled from New York Mills and made a 75 mile round trip with stops in Henning and Parker’s Prairie.
All proceeds from the benefit ride go toward the Ronald McDonald Foundation which provides housing for families of children undergoing medical treatment.
There were 953 registered motorcycles. Participants ate 1,300 hot dogs in an hour in Henning, breaking the goal of 1,000. A free-will donation there raised just over $3,000.
Tony Nadeau won the top prize of a 2015 Harley-Davidson Street Glide. Mark Maninga from Fargo won $1,000. Mike and Missi Isola of Wadena won $500 in the raffle held as part of the event. There were also 10 $100 winners.
Fergus Falls city staff are making progress on a rental registration policy and rental inspection plan. As previously noted, under the plan rental units in the city will be inspected and the units, depending on how many violations are found, will be placed into one of four tiers of license types.
The vast majority of rental units will likely be placed in Tiers 1 & 2. The lower the tier number, the fewer problems the units have, and the less expensive license fees will be for landlords.
There’s also a component involving the conduct of renters. Public Safety Chief Kile Bergren says the new policy will encourage landlords to deal with renters who cause problems that require police action.
The city hopes to eventually have the proposed licensing and inspection information on-line on the city’s website so landlords have a chance to look at the proposed changes and voice concerns before the city council gets something final to vote on.