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DEER HUNTER WIDOWS (AND WIDOWERS!) SHOPPING TOUR…an alternative for the deer hunting season!
Look for details on this special advertising feature in the
For information on how area businesses can participate, phone Pelican Rapids Press advertising representative CINDY HENSCH at 218-863-1421

How low can you go...?

Two downtown break-ins net burglars little more than a few bucks–some heisted from ‘Friends of Feral Cat’ non-profit donations box .

By Louis Hoglund

Front doors of two downtown Pelican Rapids establishments were battered and bashed in on a Monday evening, Oct. 17.
Little gain was realized by the burglars; but the scoundrels broke apart a donation box to the “Friends of the Feral Cats” non-profit organization, reported Chet Nettestad, Pelican Pool Hall.  Nothing appeared to be missing at the hair stylist shop–but the door damage was extensive.
Envy Salon and the Pelican Rapids Pool Hall were both entered, apparently some time between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Pelican Rapids Police Chief Jeff Stadum discovered the door to the Pool Hall damaged.  About an hour earlier, a report came in that the glass door at Envy Salon was shattered.  
“It is unusual, at that time of the evening, because there is still plenty of traffic on the streets,” said Chief Stadum, who said he had been patrolling probably minutes before the salon break-in. Stadum speculated that the break-ins were somewhat random and not particularly pre-meditated. “It was a quick entry and they were gone.”
“Bless his heart...Chief Stadum was checking doors, as he often does,” said Nettestad.  Checking doors on patrol is a fairly routine practice for the Pelican Police Department. Stadum notified a pool hall representative immediately.  read entire story. . . .

Pelican’s Faith Lutheran bids farewell to Pastor Rotvold

By Brenda Brand
Special Correspondent

Little did Pastor Roger and Kathy Rotvold know when they accepted the call to Faith Evangelical Lutheran in Pelican Rapids, that they would find family history in the area.  
That was back in October of 2006 when they arrived in Pelican and later would find that Kathy’s great-great-grandfather and great-grandfather were responsible for starting the Ringsaker Church and were be buried in the Ringsaker Cemetery.
High school sweethearts, Roger and Kathy graduated from high school in Hillsboro, ND. They were married on December 18, 1972.
Having been raised attending Our Savior’s Lutheran in Hillsboro, Roger was active in the church even doing a sermonet in his senior year. After graduation, Roger attended NDSU receiving his degree in Horticulture - Landscape Design. He served two years in the Army and was honorably discharged.
While working in Colorado as a landscape designer, he and Kathy also worked with the youth at their church. One day Kathy told him that he should go into the ministry. That was what was on Roger’s mind too. They both realized that God was calling them to his ministry.
After attending Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, Roger was ordained on June 28, 1980 at  read entire story. . . .

Pelican school buys lot east of new Fine Arts Auditorium

A lot to the east of the Pelican Rapids High School campus has been purchased.
The lot, which has been operated as a used auto sales lot, was purchased for $125,000. The Pelican Rapids  School Board finalized the acquisition at the Oct. 17 meeting, approving the purchase by a majority vote.
The lot is located across from the new Fine Arts Auditorium, and is expected to  provide valuable parking space for events at the auditorium and new gymnasium.
The school purchased the lot from Ronald and Elizabeth Winter.  It is identified legally as Lots 7-12, Block 5, Blyberg’s First Addition to Pelican Rapids.  
The lot will be undeveloped  and unpaved for the near future, said Superintendent Deb Wanek at the Oct. 17 meeting, until such time the school district has sufficient funds to blacktop and finish the lot.  

 read entire story. . . .

Focusing... On birds of prey

Birds of prey have been in the viewfinder of Roland “Jordy” Jordahl, and he captured one of them in the confines of his back yard in rural Pelican Rapids.
The sharp-shinned hawk, above, was lurking around Jordy’s songbird feeders–no doubt looking for easy pickings and a free meal.
The sharp-shinned hawk is the smallest of our accipiters, and is also usually the most common.  
Below, an osprey Jordahl photographed on the Pelican River, barely a block north of the downtown Pelican business district. The osprey has sometimes been called the “fish hawk.” They soar high above water and plunge feet first to grab a fish in its talons.
Our national bird, bottom, photographed by Pelican Rapids businessman Andrew Johnson (Riverview Place) while on a trip to Minnesota’s North Shore earlier this year.
 read entire story. . . .

A vexing vandalism at Dunvilla

Parking lot spree at Lakeland General Store resulted in damaged sign post; tipped diesel pump; torched truck

By Louis Hoglund

A bizarre case of vandalism has been a head-scratcher for the small community of Dunvilla–and a headache of about $30,000 in damages to a local business.
The neighborhood is collectively baffled why  a young man would pull into the Lakeland General Store lot in the wee hours of the morning–and proceed to smash a stolen truck into a light post and also rammed it into a  diesel pump.
The incident occurred at 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 25. And, like many businesses today, security cameras are installed–so the destructive  spree was on video–and potentially incriminating.
The 21-year-old suspect has been a customer at the Dunvilla hardware and convenience store for several years, said store owner Robin Johnson.  
“We have no idea why he would do this,” said Robin. The suspect lived northwest of Dunvilla, and visited the store about twice a week, said Johnson.  “All of us, including our customers, are just shaking our heads.”
When Robin Johnson and his crew came to work Sunday morning, they found a light fixture and sign lying in the driveway.  Nearby, the diesel fuel pump was knocked off its foundation.  read entire story. . . .

Abatement [uh-beyt-muh nt]

...an amount deducted or subtracted, as from the usual price or the full tax...

Pelican city, Otter Tail County deploying tax abatement to foster affordable housing; spur economic development

By Louis Hoglund

Housing is one of the top priorities for Pelican Rapids city officials, who are preparing to roll up their sleeves–and roll out the incentives–to bring a 32-unit apartment complex to town.
The $3.6 million project was discussed at the Oct. 11 city council meeting, with developer Skip Duchesneau, of DW Jones Inc., based in Walker.
The site is west on Highway 108, just west of the former Soberg construction shops.  Proposed are one to three-bedroom units, with rents ranging from $735 to $1,045 per month.
The apartments would be “market rate” as opposed to subsidized rental units.
Legwork has been happening behind the scenes for several months, including meetings with the developer, Mayor Brent Frazier, City Adm  read entire story. . . .

OT County sets policy for tax abatements

By Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail County Correspondent

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners, on Tuesday, Oct. 11, agreed to an amended county tax abatement policy. Passed unanimously were tax abatement minimum requirements.
Abatements may be either permanent forgiveness or temporary deferral of property taxes.
“Tax abatement is one technique to encourage private development projects,” said County Economic Development Director Nick Leonard.
He said the county, through adoption of minimum requirements, can allow the rebate of property taxes to an owner, reallocate taxes to pay for public infrastructure costs or defer the property taxes and rebate the interest penalty.
“At the time an application for an economic development tax abatement is submitted, all current and past due property taxes must be paid in full,” said Leonard.
The use of abatements can serve similar purposes to Tax Increment Financing (TIF), a widely used economic development tool. TIF enables cities to use additional property taxes generated by a new development to pay for certain development expenses.  read entire story. . . .

Packing 17,000 lunches in one evening...

Assembly line volunteer crew of 100 forms for ‘Kids Against Hunger’ at Cormorant Lutheran

By Louis Hoglund

“Wow” was the one word reaction from church volunteer Carol Erickson as she scanned the troops amassing in the Cormorant Lutheran Fellowship Hall Oct. 12.
A one-hundred-volunteer force had gathered for an intense couple hours of food packaging. By the time the job was done, about 17,000 meals were packaged–all for the “Kids Against Hunger” program. The packaged meals are headed for food pantries as nearby as the Pelican Rapids Area Food Shelf–and as far afield as Haiti, and beyond.
About 50 volunteers were expected for the evening of assembly line-style food packaging.  Instead, an estimated team of 100 showed up.
“Wow” was Erickson’s response to the turnout.  Of course, an impressive, yet traditional, Lutheran church potluck may have been a factor in enticing the large crew. Everybody was fed a home-cooked meal of casseroles, hot dishes, baked goods, fruits and vegetables–and there was still food to spare.
More than $4,000 was raised through various fundraising efforts at Cormorant Lutheran, said Erickson, who is a member of the church’s Global Missions Committee.  read entire story. . . .

‘Kids Against Hunger’ plans to expand  capacity to  produce a billion meals per year

Kids Against Hunger packages highly nutritious, life-saving meals for starving children and malnourished children and their families in developing countries and the United States.
The goal of the organization is for its meals to provide a stable nutritional base from which recipient families can move their families from starvation to self-sufficiency. Kids Against Hunger accomplishes this by mobilizing the energy and caring of American children, teens, and adults on behalf of hungry children around the world.
Fulfilling Kids Against Hunger’s mission requires a vast food packaging capacity to meet an endless demand for food. Because physical constraints of the International Headquarters facility initially prevented further growth in production, the organization began expanding its operations by setting up food packaging “satellites” including the facility in Nisswa.
Kids Against Hunger believes that the best way to engage the largest number of people is through a decentralized, locally-based network of food packaging satellites that are active in their community.
It is Kids Against Hunger’s goal to develop this food packaging network, over the next ten years, with a two-tiered approach of local packaging satellites and regional divisions. Through this structure, Kids Against Hunger expects to generate the capacity to produce over one billion meals per year.

Legislative candidates agree road repairs crucial in state

By Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail Correspondent

Candidates for Minnesota Senate District 8 and State House District 8A all agree that maintaining roadways in Otter Tail County and across the state needs to be addressed.
Incumbent State Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, opposed by Shawn Olson, and incumbent State Rep. Bud Nornes, opposed by C.J. Holl, addressed transportation and roadway maintenance Friday, Oct. 14, during a noon candidate forum at A Center for the Arts, Fergus Falls.
The gathering was sponsored and organized by the Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.
Incumbents Ingebrigtsen and Nornes, both Republicans, prefer to supply transportation dollars from the state general fund. They both oppose increasing the state gasoline tax.
The current state tax on gasoline is 28.5 cents. A proposal by Senate Democrats to raise the tax by 16 cents, to 44.5 cents in order to fund more road projects, was turned down by legislators.
House Republicans, in turn, proposed that roadway projects come from the general fund and using bonding and initiation of new license tab fees.
“Otter Tail County has 1,017 miles of roads  read entire story. . . .

Pelican Rapids site eyed for new OT County centralized road crew facility

By Louis Hoglund

Pelican Rapids may become the regional hub for the Otter Tail County highway department road crews.
A new garage facility, which would combine scattered county garages in Erhard, Vergas and Pelican, may be constructed in or near the city of Pelican.
That was the word from Otter Tail County Commissioner Wayne Johnson, at the Oct. 11 Pelican Rapids City Council meeting.
It could mean that all six county workers, now scattered at three locations, will now base out of Pelican Rapids–in a brand new facility.
Present facilities in Pelican, Erhard and Vergas are antiquated, said Johnson.
Pelican is attractive to county officials, including Otter Tail Highway Engineer Rick West, because of its central location.  Also, the county would prefer city sewer and water service–though it wouldn’t be an absolute criteria, said Johnson.
Engineer West has also had discussions with Pelican city administrator Don Solga on a site for the new garage.  read entire story. . . .