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Creativity unleashed in downtown Pelican Rapids

Scattered canvas and spattered paint was the landscape in downtown Pelican Rapids March 28, as 18 “art students” enjoyed a painting session –where everybody had an opportunity to create a scenic birch tree image.
The even was hosted at the Muddy Moose, jointly sponsored by Pelican Rapids Community Education and “Creativity Uncorked,” a Fargo-Moorhead based business that specializes in “social painting” gatherings.
( More photos and information in the April 1 print edition of the PELICAN RAPIDS PRESS and online at pelicanrapidspress.com )

Hit-run gained widespread news coverage

Incident ended 2015 season for Pelican youth wrestler.

A fast-moving four-wheel vehicle motored past Ashley Heintzelman–just east of the Pelican Rapids Viking Elementary School.
The young mother, making the rounds with her daughter for Girl Scout activities, thought to herself that the ATV was clipping along unusually fast–considering the residential characteristics of the neighborhood.
She couldn’t have known at the time that, through a fateful  turn of events, her six-year-old son would  later be struck by what she believes is the same four-wheel vehicle and driver.  
The hit and run incident last week, when her son Jaxn sustained minor injuries at a youth wrestling pizza party, has gained widespread publicity. In fact, as the news spread on social and mass media, a rather incriminating profile of the hit and run suspects emerged: Young woman behind the wheel; red four wheeler; blonde hair; with a male passenger.  read entire story. . . .

Bird with bleeding, broken wing transported to U of M

One of our national birds was grounded in Pelican Rapids with a severely broken wing last week, prompting rescue and transport to a Twin Cities rehabilitation center.
The downed bald eagle was discovered a few hundred feet east of Pelican’s Viking Elementary School March 17.  The bird was near the tall wire fence that separated the residential neighborhood from the football field.  
The adult eagle’s wing was severely broken and bleeding, unable to even fly over the fence.
Homeowner Zelandra Zantreece made several phone calls, including to the Department of Natural Resources.  
Several roaming dogs in southeast Pelican Rapids were a concern, so Zantreece, Chris Madole and other neighbors “stood guard” over the downed bird until help arrived.  read entire story. . . .

Death of two bull elk under investigation in northwestern Minnesota

Two bull elk were illegally shot and killed near Grygla in an area that holds Minnesota’s smallest elk herd and has been closed to hunting since 2012, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“Our investigation found that these elk had been shot and left,” said Lt. Pat Znajda, a supervisor with the DNR’s Enforcement Division. “The illegal killing of these bulls chips away at the outdoor heritage valued by law-abiding people in this state.”

Wildlife officials spotted the dead elk in late February on state land while conducting an aerial elk survey. An onsite visit revealed a dead bull and a younger dead bull with spike antlers that were found in thick willow cover. Both animals were frozen and had been dead for some time. DNR conservation officers were called to investigate.
 read entire story. . . .

Public invited to have a say in trails planning at meeting April 2

West Central Initiative (WCI) invites west central Minnesota residents to attend one of two public input meetings for regional trails planning.
Pelican Rapids will be the site for a meeting Thursday, April 2 from 5-7 p.m. at the Pelican Rapids Library, 25 W Mill Ave. The first meeting will be in Morris March 31.
WCI is currently updating the West Central Minnesota Multi-Use Trails Plan (MUTP). The purpose of the plan is to provide guidance to develop trails in west central Minnesota.
Closely watched in this area is the proposed Pelican Rapids to Maplewood State Park to Perham trail, which has garnered both support and opposition.  read entire story. . . .

State Legislators Ingebrigtsen, Nornes set area Town Hall forums

State Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) Representatives Bud Nornes (R-Fergus Falls) and Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) will be hosting several town hall meetings to listen to concerns and ideas from constituents.
Pelican Rapids Town Hall
Tuesday, March 31, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Pelican Rapids Library-25 W Mill Ave, Pelican Rapids, MN 56572
Fergus Falls Town Hall
Tuesday, March 31, 8:15-9:15 a.m.
Viking Cafe- 203 W Lincoln Ave, Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Battle Lake Town Hall
Tuesday, March 31, 12:15-1:00 p.m.
Shoreline Restaurant-505 Lake Avenue North, Battle Lake, MN 56515
Constituents wishing to find out more information or contact Senator Ingebrigtsen can do so by calling (651)297-8063, by email at sen.bill.ingebrigtsen@senate.mn, or by sending mail to his Senate office at 143 State Office Building Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN, 55155.

Spring burning restrictions in effect this week in much of Minnesota

The Department of Natural Resources will restrict debris burning in many northwestern, southern and central Minnesota counties this week, beginning Wednesday, March 25, and in other parts of the state beginning in April.
Burning restrictions mean the state will not allow the open burning of brush or yard waste. Debris burning is especially dangerous during April and May when most wildfires occur in Minnesota.  
Spring burning restrictions coincide with increasing fire potential throughout much of the state due to the early snow melt and dry fuels like grass and leaves. With the snow gone, exposed dead grass and brush can light easily and fires can spread quickly. Restrictions last until sufficient green vegetation forms, normally from four to six weeks.  read entire story. . . .

Pelican River crossing may be demolished

A bridge no more...

A bridge will no longer cross the Pelican River near the downtown business district and the public library.
Good news: Taxpayers will save upwards of $600,000.
Bad news: There will be one less passage across the river, just west of the rear entrances to several downtown businesses.
The bridge may be replaced with an inexpensive pedestrian bridge, enabling visitors to park near the Veterans Memorial Park and walk to the downtown area.
About 15 attended the informational meeting March 16 at Pelican city hall.
The general concensus was that the bridge was probably unnecessary, from an access standpoint.
It took about seven years to arrive at this conclusion. In 2008, there was a general view that the large parking area near the Senior Citizens Center needed a second river crossing.
 read entire story. . . .

Getting back to better

Workshops energize people with ongoing health conditions; new sessions start April 13.

Living day to day with a chronic condition is a situation Julie Morgan and Deb Bruns can understand–from a first hand perspective.
The two Pelican Rapids area women are teaching the multi-week “Living Well with a Chroinic Condition” starting in April at “The Welcome Place.” Both have special training to teach the workshops–but both also have their own health challenges: Bruns with chronic head and neck pain; Julie a kidney transplant recipient seven years ago.
The classes are offered free, as a public service from Pelican’s Welcome Place.  Participants will also receive a free copy of the book, which has become a well-known guidebook for those with chronic conditions.
The first time the classes were offered  last year, it filled to capacity. Thirteen participants is about as large a group as the Welcome Place can accomodate. It is appearing the classes will again fill up, said Morgan, so those interested should contact the Welcome Place soon. First class is April 13.  read entire story. . . .

A brigade of beagles

55 dogs rescued, Pelican animal clinic among those assisting.

By Louis Hoglund

They have names–now they need homes.
A total of 55 beagles were rescued from a home in the northwest Minnesota town of Shelly, last week.  Thirteen of the dogs ended up in Pelican Rapids, at Weckwerth Animal Hospital.
Bella... Wally... Harold... Buford... Lydia... Shy Guy... each dog was christened with a name, as rescue workers unloaded the beagles and transported them into the Weckwerth kennels for a full range of veterinary services.
The 55 dogs will be up for adoption, and many of them have already been spoken for–following the publicity and news coverage after the dogs were rescued from crowded conditions.  read entire story. . . .

Bluebirds bring happiness  of spring to lakes area

The signs of spring are always under close watch by Pelican Rapids widlife and outdoors photographer Roland “Jordy” Jordahl.
The arrival of the eastern bluebird is one of those sightings that confirms that spring is not far. Jordy spotted his first bluebird on Friday, March 13.
“Always a joy to see the various birds return to the area,” noted Jordy in his message to the Pelican Rapids Press.
With high temperatures in the 60’s last week, spring was definitely here–for now.

Two resign from school positions

Resignations of two key positions at the Pelican Rapids schools have been received–including the woman who founded the high school competitive dance program.
Tami Seifert, who formed the “Vakyries” dance team a dozen years ago, submitted her resignation.  Also submitting a letter was Jonathan “JJ” Fankhanel,  REACH program director.
The Pelican school board was expected to discuss the resignations at the March 16 school board meeting, after this edition of the Pelican Rapids Press went to press.
“Thank you so much for always being so supportive of our sport here in Pelican,” wrote dance coach Seifert in her letter to the board.  read entire story. . . .