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2.2 mile reconstruction of County 9 by Pelican Lake set

Reconstruction of  two miles of Otter Tail County Highway 9 is scheduled to begin in August.
A concrete sidewalk will be incorporated, as well as six foot grass boulevards where possible.
Estimated cost of the project is $2.8 million.
This phase of the project will improve the stretch of County 9, from South Pelican Drive north to the Becker County border–north of Zorbaz on Pelican Lake.
A center median is planned at the Yacht Club site and the intersection of County 9 and County 20, near Zorbaz.
Four foot paved shoulders, including curb and gutter will be constructed on a northwesterly section of the road.
The section of Highway 9 from the Highway 34 intersection, north to southwest side of Pelican Lake, was rebuilt three years ago.  read entire story. . . .

Bonding for county roadway projects backed by residents

Gas tax...wheelage tax...bonding...Otter Tail county board decision to finance roads expected soon

Many residents attending a public meeting in Pelican Rapids on June 17, concerning county highway maintenance, expressed support for county bonding as a way to come up with revenues for highway preservation.
The evening gathering was held at Lake Region Electric Cooperative.
“The interest on 20-year bonds currently has a rate of close to two percent,” said Pelican Rapids County Commissioner Wayne Johnson. “This would be one way to help close a $10.3 million funding gap for roadway preservation.”
Half cent gas sales tax another option
Other options include implementation of a half-cent county sales tax that would generate close to $4.3 million annually. A wheelage fee of $10 per vehicle would add $586,650 annually for county roadway maintenance.  read entire story. . . .

‘Old Man’ Earl Erickson gets  his FFA jacket, 65 years later

1950 Pelican High graduate was in first FFA Chapter

Nearly seven decades after graduating from Pelican Rapids High School, a former hometown boy now has an official FFA jacket.
Blaine, Washington resident, Earl Erickson was a Pelican Rapids FFA member–and in fact, was the local chapter’s second president, before graduating in 1950. His high school years were in the post-World War II era, and simple pleasures like a special jacket were “luxuries”for small town schools and students’ families.
Earl and  his family were invited to attend the Future Farmers of America awards banquet in May, in Blaine, Washington.
For Earl, 83-years-old, it was  a fun night to re-live old memories. They arrived at the Event Center and were greeted by girls in FFA jackets and escorted to the awards program. Many awards were given to Ferndale FFA members, who had distinguished themselves in chapter activities.
“What I saw was politeness, enthusiasm, comradeship and dedication to chapter duties. A tribute to Ferndale High School, their FFA chapter and their advisors,” noted Earl.  read entire story. . . .

Researchers continue to probe avian flu in wildlife

After collecting and testing more than 3,300 samples from wild birds, nearly all of the test results are back and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has found only one positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), a Cooper’s hawk from Yellow Medicine County reported in late April.
The researchers plan to conduct expanded surveillance this summer and fall by testing ducks and geese handled as part of normal banding operations and by sampling hunter-harvested waterfowl throughout the state.
“We know that waterfowl serve as reservoirs for avian influenza because they contract the virus, but normally are not killed by it. However, what we don’t know is what role wildlife may have played in recent infections in domestic poultry,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager. “We’re continuing to take a science-based approach to testing so we can obtain meaningful results.”
To help identify wildlife’s role in the disease, DNR researchers conducted an initial three-pronged surveillance effort beginning as soon as the disease was discovered in the state’s domestic turkeys in March. Researchers:  
• Collected more than 3,000 fecal samples from wild waterfowl in a statistically designed surveillance effort. Of those, half were collected from around infected facilities and half from control areas where DNR manages specifically for waterfowl but where the disease had not yet been found in domestic poultry.
• Tested hunter-harvested wild turkeys in the five counties with the highest number of infected poultry facilities.
• Collected dead birds reported by the public, with an emphasis on raptors, wild turkeys, and bird die-offs of five or more.
No HPAI positives were found in the 3,138 fecal samples collected, but 3 percent of the samples were positive for low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).  read entire story. . . .

Avian flu concerns prompt cancellation of Pelican Fest Turkey Race event

The Avian Influenza epidemic has taken a toll on the Pelican Rapids Pelican Fest.
Numerous poultry-related events have been cancelled in the wake of the crisis–including poultry shows at the Minnesota State Fair.
Now, the popular “Turkey Race” event, which has been a Friday night activity for the past two Pelican summer festivals, has been cancelled.
The event features a race of locally raised turkeys. Pelican Rapids Area Jaycee Greg Sjostrom confirmed that the Jaycees will not be hosting the races–in response to the Avian Flu situation.
The Jaycees will continue with a Friday night, July 10 line-up, however, which will include the beer garden and an “Olympics games” theme event.  
On Saturday, July 11, during Pelican Fest, the Jaycees will again be serving beer in the Beer Garden, and also will host the big Bean Bag Toss tourney–which has been highly popular over the past several years.  
The Jaycees  Pelican Fest street dance Saturday night, July l1, will feature the band “Giving Back Jack.”

‘Ike’ forever linked to area

Future presidents Eisenhower, Nixon both visited Otter Tail County

The story of future President Dwight (Ike) Eisenhower’s visit to Battle Lake in 1952 is a narrative that needs to be kept alive from generation to generation in all of Otter Tail County.
After all, how many counties in this area can say they hosted a person who served in the highest office of the United States of America?
Ike, during an overnight stay at Glendalough near Battle Lake in early September 1952, was confident that in a little over four months he would be sworn in as president of the United States.
In those days Glendalough was owned by Minneapolis-based Cowles Media Company, several years before becoming a state park.
Eisenhower, 63 years ago, took a break from his presidential race with Adlai Stevenson to spend a couple days at Glendalough. He enjoyed some fishing at Annie Battle Lake and attended Sunday church services in Battle Lake, at First Lutheran Church.  read entire story. . . .



The summer-fall edition of the "Lakes and Lifestyles" magazine will be at newsstands and counters this week.   The Pelican Rapids Press specialty publication is a guide to living and playing in the greater Pelican area.
Look for the special edition inside the June 24 PELICAN RAPIDS PRESS.  

To view our online version of LAKES AND LIFESTYLES, use this link


Or click on image to the left on this page.

From disciple pouches  to Jackie O. handbags...

History of the purse detailed at Zion Lutheran program

Purses–from the Egyptians B.C. to Jackie Onassis to Louis Vuitton–were the subject of a unique presentation at Zion Lutheran Church recently.
“Old home week” was how Jan Smith described her appearance at the Franklin Lake area church’s salad lunch. A 1958 Pelican Rapids High School graduate and retired educator, Jan (Stromstad) Smith, connected with old friends from the old hometown.
In retirement, the Battle Lake area woman has been active in a “second career” as a storyteller, lecturer, performer and author of several historical fiction books.
The “History of the Purse” was her program at Zion Lutheran June 6.  She accompanied her presentation with a variety of purses, as well as overhead graphics and illustrations.
Shoulder bags and pouches date at least to the Egyptians, based on heiroglyphics. Smith’s historic timeline showed examples through the centuries.  Relics, herbal medicines and religious articles were the frequent contents of purses through much of the world’s recorded history.  read entire story. . . .

City laws need fine-tuning to  keep vehicles off  lawns; front yards

Getting vehicles off the lawns and out of front yards has been an agenda item for nearly two months for the Pelican Rapids City Council.
Fine-tuning of the city’s ordinance may be necessary to fully enforce the effort.
Vehicles on lawns became more pronounced when the city approved a parking ordinance–aimed at clearing cars from streets and avenues during snow-plowing season.  Some of the cars that were moved from the street are now being parked on lawns.
Upon reviewing and re-reading, the city’s ordinance may need broadening, according to Don Solga, city administrator. The ordinance refers specifically to parking cars on boulevards–but the language does not aim at vehicles on lawns.  Other language specifies that front yards must have lawns–and indirectly, cars parked on lawns kills grass.  read entire story. . . .

Scammers posing as IRS agents making calls in  Pelican area, reports chief

A flurry of telephone scams has again been reported in the Pelican Rapids area, prompting a warning from the Pelican police department.
Posing as agents of the Internal Revenue Service, the scammers threaten people that their house is going to be foreclosed upon if they don’t withdraw money from their bank and transmit the cash from the nearest Western Union location.
Three calls were reported to the police in just two days,  June 17-18, said Chief Jeff Stadum.
“Don’t give out any personal information of any kind over the phone,” said Stadum.
There have been numerous reports of similar calls in Fargo as well, noted Stadum.  
People subjected to these scam calls are also urged to report them to the Pelican Rapids Police Department, at 218-863-1351.

Historic area family resort celebrates 100 years

After many years of dreaming about their summer vacation at the resort, the extended Leonard family is now living the dream.
For the past nine years, the Leonards have owned East Silent Lake Resort.  It is a family resort in the true sense of the term, with mom, dad, two sons and wives all involved in the resort operations.
East Silent is marking a century as a resort this summer. One of the early highlights of the centennial summer was a presentation on resort history, by Otter Tail County Historical Society director Chris Schuelke, which was held June 5.
East Silent is one of only two resorts remaining on the Silent Lake Chain; the other being Hollywoods Resort.
There are six equal owners of the resort, which was purchased in 2006. Parents Brian and Margaret; son Andy and his wife Kristen; son Nick and wife Bridget are active partners in the operation.  read entire story. . . .

Remembering June 1944

Pelican’s Sgt. Kratzke helped push the Germans from France to Berlin–connecting with Russian troops for victory in Europe

Pelican Rapids is home to so many remarkable people with incredible stories. But sometimes, it’s our senior citizens who carry some of the most remarkable life stories.
Pelican Valley Health Center is dedicated to honoring and recognizing the lives and stories our residents and tenants have lived. Many are a living reminder of the history of our area and our country, and many were part of important world events.
While many in town may know Ray Kratzke, they might not know about the important part he played in World War II as a squad leader for a tank company.
With the anniversary of D-Day and the 1944 invasion of Europe at hand, we are sharing the story of Ray during his 193 days in combat–as we honor this Riverfront Manor tenant for his service and dedication to our country.
Ray Kratzke was just 20 years old when he opened a letter in the mail that said he was being drafted into the U.S. Army.  read entire story. . . .

The Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair's 2015 Commemorative Art was unveiled this evening at 5 p.m. by Twin Cities illustrator Adam Turman. Surrounded by State Fair enthusiasts and Turman fans, he presented his original screen print to the public for the first time on the State Fairgrounds. The artwork will be on
display in the Fine Arts Center during the 2015 Great Minnesota Get-Together, Aug. 27 through Labor
Day, Sept. 7 and can be viewed online at
Turman's Minnesota State Fair illustration combines bold colors and graphics with nostalgic, vintage charm for a fresh, yet classic artistic interpretation of our Great Minnesota Get-Together.  read entire story. . . .