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Candlelight ski-hike at Maplewood was at sub-zero trek for about 50

The day started with crystal blue skies–with a chill that never left the air.
The cold weather didn't stop area visitors from strapping on skis and snowshoes to take part in the candlelight ski event at Maplewood State Park on Feb. 21.
 The annual event, held by the park and the Friends of Maplewood, is an event that was scheduled to happen no matter how much or how little snow graced the area.
There were about 50 people on hand, with most of them choosing to hike the beautifully lit trail over skiing. Even though the light snow received recently has made for decent skiing it was still shallow enough to allow for less graceful participants to make their way across the trails.  
The trails were lit with 150 candles, or one about every 20 steps. Between the lights on the trail and the clear crisp stars overhead the trails were a loop of beauty for the enjoyment of all.  read entire story. . . .

‘Bike Rodeo’ planned in Rothsay  with ‘Safe Routes to School’ grant

The Minnesota Department of Transportation today announced the recipients of $250,000 in Safe Routes to School grants that support walking and biking programs at K-12 schools in the state.
Among the area recipients is the Rothsay Public Schools.
A mini-grant to Rothsay will go toward a bike rodeo, in which Rothsay students will get instruction on proper riding technique and road safety guidelines.
The bike rodeo is planned for  the weekend before May 6, which is International Bike to School Day, Ambrose said.
West Central Initiative is helping the Rothsay school with obtaining and administering the $1,800 grant.  read entire story. . . .

Army Private with Pelican-Rothsay area connections earns high honor

A soldier with Pelican Rapids area connections earned the “Expert Field Medical Badge” following a rigorous two week testing process.
Private First Class Nicholas A. Baum, who is presently serving in Kuwait, is a native of Hastings–but he is the grandson of Rodney and Terri Zentz.
Of the 117 Service men and women in the training and testing, only 24 were successful.
The pass rate is about 17 percent, making the badge one of the most prestigious and coveted awards a medical professional can obtain in the Army.
The Expert Field Medical Badge is awarded to military medical personnel who demonstrate exceptional competence and outstanding performance during a 120-hour testing event.  read entire story. . . .

Officers find too many cases of ice anglers leaving trash behind

Recent weekly activity reports from conservation officers (COs) with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are full of evidence of various types of refuse being discarded along frozen waterways.
“Once again, the most common complaint dealt with while on patrol involved anglers leaving their trash behind,” said CO Bret Grundmeier of Hinckley.
Grundmeier spends hours each ice fishing season checking anglers and encouraging them to clean up after themselves and remove garbage from lakes. “It is disappointing to find so much trash left on our lakes,” Grundmeier said. “Anglers are urged to police themselves and others.”  read entire story. . . .

Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign drawing near

The official start of the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign is nearing, including a range of local activities to support the Pelican Rapids Community Food Shelf.
Even with the improving economy and jobs outlook, more than 500,000 Minnesotans are still going hungry. The March Campaign, the only food and fund drive of its kind, raises more than half the food distributed by 300 food shelves and every dollar donated to Minnesota FoodShare during the March Campaign goes directly to these food shelves.  read entire story. . . .

Driver fined for hauling zebra mussels to building site

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has issued a civil citation and a $500 fine to a construction company truck driver for transporting zebra mussels.
In mid-December, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and contract inspectors found dead zebra mussels on a delivery of temporary sheeting materials to the Winona bridge project and reported the finding to the DNR.
“We take our role seriously, whether it’s constructing the new bridge or protecting the environment, so that’s why we investigated the presence of zebra mussels on the sheeting and researched how the materials were delivered,” said Terry Ward, MnDOT project manager for the Winona bridge.  read entire story. . . .

Consumer alert issued for Tuffy’s pet food

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is alerting consumers about the recall of Nutrisca Dog Food manufactured by Tuffy’s Pet Foods, Inc. of Perham, Minnesota. Tuffy's is voluntarily recalling specific lots of 4 lb. bags of Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
The recalled product was distributed nationwide to distributors, brokers, retail stores, and internet retailers. MDA inspectors are working to ensure the recalled product is removed from distribution in Minnesota.  read entire story. . . .

Earl Rydell re-elected on Lake Region co-op bd.

The round of district meetings and elections has concluded for the Pelican Rapids-based Lake Region Electric Coopperative.
Sessions were held early February in Fergus Falls, Pelican Rapids and Dent.
Re-elected to the cooperative board at the Dent session, held at the old Dent elementary school, was Earl Rydell.  
At the Dent area meeting, Earl Rydell was re-elected to the District 4 position on the Lake Region Electric Cooperative board. Nearly 60 people were on hand in Dent, which was on Feb. 6  at the school–which is now the Dent Community Center.  read entire story. . . .

Commissioners shed new light on proposed pipeline

Canada-based Enbridge Energy, according to county commissioners, does not have Otter Tail County in its plans as part of the proposed Sandpiper Pipeline route.
The original plan, preferred by Enbridge, includes a section from Clearbrook (northwest of Bemidji) to the Park Rapids area and eastward to Duluth-Superior.
However, environmentalists oppose the pipeline cutting through areas near Itasca State Park, headwaters of the Mississippi River and north of Park Rapids.
The final decision on this issue will come from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Until they hear differently, according to Otter Tail County commissioners, Enbridge Energy plans to move forward with the Park Rapids route and not northeastern Otter Tail County.
Enbridge reportedly is also proceeding with right of way negotiations in the Park Rapids area.
 read entire story. . . .

Area 4-H’ers win championship in wildlife contest

The West Ottertail Junior 4-H Wildlife Project Bowl team of fifth graders (pictured left to right) Alex Lindgren of Fergus Falls, Sam Heeter of Dalton, Anna Erickson of Dalton, and Erika Lahti of Fergus Falls, won the championship at the Northern Minnesota 4-H Project Bowl Invitational at University of Minnesota Crookston  February 7.  
In their first experience in 4-H Project Bowl, they competed against  a senior team and another junior team, based on their ability to buzz in and answer questions about Minnesota animals, plants, and natural resource management.
They are all members of the Dalton 4-H club.

Pelican second grader awarded for patriotic coloring contest entry

“Americanism” was the theme for the elementary school coloring contest sponsored by the Pelican Rapids Post 5252 Auxiliary. Winning the competition at Viking Elementary School was Anna Roisum, a second grader.
Anna displays her poster here with Auxilliary representative Ruth Holmgren.  Anna won $10 cash, along with a patriotic flag decal and pencils.

Mobile food drop coordinated for people in need

United Way, Federated Church & Friends of Friends Fighting Hunger are coordinating a Mobile Food Drop for people in need, Friday, March 27 according to Christi Stoll, United Way of Otter Tail County Volunteer and Events Coordinator.
There will be a mobile food drop for residents of Otter Tail County in Fergus Falls on Friday, March 27 at the Fergus Falls National Guard Armory. Registration will start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and food will be distributed at 11:00 a.m. You must be a resident of Otter Tail County and in need of food to participate. Please bring boxes or baskets to carry the food. Participants will also be able to connect with human service organizations, receive gently used clothing from “Caring Neighbors” and many other programs during the morning.  read entire story. . . .