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‘Cop dog Sarge’ put to sleep after faithful service to Pelican

Sad day as Pelican PDchr(8200)bids farewell to a best friend
“Sarge” the canine cop is in dog heaven.
The 13-year-old Belgian “Malinois” shepherd dog that served the city of Pelican Rapids police department for most of his career was put to sleep January 3.
“We had to put down Sarge,” reported Police Chief Jeff Stadum, sadly, at the Jan. 13 Pelican Rapids City Council meeting. His death follows less than five months since his official retirement from the Pelican P.D.
Sarge had been relatively inactive for a couple years, according to Stadum.  Early last fall, the dog overheated and Stadum was afraid he would pass away. Stadum was working on the adoption process, but Sarge’s condition declined over the past few months.  read entire story. . . .

Caring for grandpa...and grandkids

Pelican Valley proposal to add day care facility would bring young, old together

There is an undeniable demand for child care in the Pelican Rapids area, and Pelican Valley Health Center is testing the waters to determine if it can help meet that demand.
The lower level of Riverfront on Main is underutilized space which is well-suited for a day care operation. In collaboration with Children’s Corner Learning Center, Fergus Falls; Pelican Valley board and administrators have advertised for child care teachers in an effort to determine whether there are enough employee prospects to staff the facility.  An ad for child care teachers appears in this week’s edition of the Pelican Rapids Press.  read entire story. . . .

Gearing up for 2015–and beyond–for county, Pelican city

New year...new mayor...new council...new meeting times at Pelican city hall

The first meeting of the new yearwas a flurry of questions, discussion and actions, as three of the five-member panel were new to the Pelican Rapids City Council.
The 2014 election ushered three new faces into the council chambers. And the first session of 2015 set the stage for the coming 12 months–and beyond.
New to the mayor’s seat is Brent Frazier, though he is no stranger to municipal government–as he is retired from more than three decades with the Pelican public works departments. CJ Holl and Steve Strand also won election in November, and were sworn in along with Mayor Frazier at the Jan. 13 meeting.
For starters, the council voted to move the regular meetings from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.–in an effort to make the sessions more accessible to the public’s work schedules.  Meetings will continue to be the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, at 5 p.m.  read entire story. . . .

Otter Tail County bd. begins new year

Board set for 2015; annual budget at nearly $90 million

The first meeting of 2015 for the five members of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners was Jan. 6
Starting a one-year term as County Board Chairman is John Lindquist of Dalton, replacing 2014 Chairman Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids. Serving as new Vice Chairman for the next 12 months is Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls, replacing 2014 Vice Chair Roger Froemming of Parkers Prairie.
The other county board member is Doug Huebsch of Perham.
Johnson and Froemming were reelected in 2014 to new four-year terms on the county board of commissioners. The other three commissioners will be up for reelection in 2016.  read entire story. . . .

Valentine’s Day...New Orleans style

Mardi Gras event to fall on Feb. 14 in Pelican Rapids

It will be a Valentine’s Day celebration– Mardi Gras style–as the Pelican Rapids Chamber of Commerce plans its annual mid-winter fundraiser for February 14.
The Mardi Gras event has become an annual tradition over the past several years.
This year, Pelican Supper Club is the venue for the New Orlean’s style social event–conveniently falling on Valentine’s Day.
The Chamber will be having the silent auction again and donations are being sought for the event. For information on how to donate items for the auction, contact Jennifer Hams, office manager, at the Pelican Chamber.  read entire story. . . .

Sewer plant delays in Pelican could penalize contractor

Penalties of as much as $180,000 could  face the contractor on the Pelican Rapids wastewater treatment plant upgrade project–due to construction delays.
The contract for the approximate $6 million modernization of the plant spells out penalties at the rate of $1,000 per day.  With November and December completion deadlines already missed–combined with the prospect that the project could linger into June–Gridor Construction could see its profit nipped by nearly $200,000.
The Pelican Rapids City Council was updated on the project at the Jan. 13 meeting.
The council voted last month to enforce the clause, and collect damages for the missed deadlines.  
“There are all kinds of additional expenses that have to be covered (due to the delays)...and the taxpayers should not have to pay for it,” said Don Solga, city administrator.  read entire story. . . .

Broadband-tech, roads, recreation trail will be priority

Technology, recreation, and roads will be areas of special interest for the Otter Tail County Board member representing the greater Pelican Rapids lake country.
Improving technology, along with exploring the future of  recreational trails in the area, are two topics that will be on Wayne Johnson’s radar.
Johnson won’t be in the county board chairman’s seat for 2015–as he was last year.  It has been customary for the board to “rotate” chairmanships annually.  But he intends to investigate other avenues to represent the county.
“The recreational trail, roads, and broadband access are critical to Otter Tail County’s future,” said Johnson, with the start of the new year. Johnson is seeking positions on  three high-level  panels.  One is a St. Paul based taskforce on broadband; another is the West Central Initiative’s transportation  panel–which will be working toward solutions on road funding and policy.  read entire story. . . .

Jaycees gear up  for fishing contest;  Hillbillies to host  Lida ‘Polar Plunge’

The day that Lake Lida is transformed into a  sprawling  bustle of winter recreation is fast approaching.
The annual fishing derby is Jan. 24 on Lida, hosted by the Pelican Rapids Area Jaycees.
The ice fishing contest is believed to be the longest-running, continuous fishing derby in the state of Minnesota.  
Making a return engagement for the day’s festivities is the  “Polar Plunge,” hosted by Hillbillies’ “Ice Hole Bar.”
The Jaycees have assembled another great inventory of prizes, which will be awarded to the top 25 walleye, northern, and bass; and the top 10 sunfish or crappie.  Topping the list of prizes for winning fish are ice augers, heaters, ice fishing houses and a 32 inch flat screen television.  read entire story. . . .

High tech gift aids local charity with a human touch

Pelican community food shelf earns $5,000 grant to upgrade computer equipment, training

One of the Pelican Rapids area’s most active social service operations will improve efficiency and record-keeping through a $5,000 grant.
A touch of high tech will augment the human touch at the Pelican Rapids Community Food Shelf, with the addition of computer hardware, software and necessary training.  The grant was awarded by the Foundation for Essential Needs (FFEN), a charitable non--profit based in Edina. The foundation is dedicated to ensuring basic human needs are met, and community food shelves are among the organizaation’s largest recipients.
Two representative from FFEN visited the Pelican food shelf recently to formally present the grant. Susan Russell-Freeman and Tim Zija toured the local shelf and met staff and board members.  read entire story. . . .

Wrestling was biggest show in town, with mat action, song, dance–-and victory

It was showtime at the Pelican Rapids High School wrestling team hosted an extravaganza that included not only action on the mat.  The Vikings defeated Wadena-Deer Creek in a meet that went down to the final match.
The full evening also included
•JV action
•the Just for Kix dancers
•the big sound of the Pelican school pep band
• introduction of parents
•Introduction of the Pelican youth wrestlers.  

PHOTO:  Pelican Rapids Vikings wrestlers during the national anthem, prior to the Jan. 8 meet against Wadena-Deer Creek.   The meet came down to the final match, with Armando Diaz pinning his opponant to seal a 48-36 win for the Viking matmen.

(MORE INFORMATION AND PHOTOS IN THE JAN. 14 PRINT EDITION OF THE PELICAN RAPIDS PRESS)