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Candidates sought for  Miss Vergas, Princess Altona

This year will mark the 31st crowning of Miss Vergas and the 18th crowning of Princess Altona.
The pageants will be held in conjunction with one another on Thursday, August 11.
All young women ages 16 to 19 are encouraged to run in the Miss Vergas, three phase competition and vie for hundreds of dollars in educational scholarships. The eligibility criteria are as follows for Miss Vergas: you must be sixteen by September 1, 2016 and have not reached your 20th birthday by September 1st, 2016.  
All contestants must be a legal resident of the Frazee/Vergas, Perham/Dent, Pelican Rapids or Detroit Lakes School Districts, or have close personal ties with the community of Vergas.  read entire story. . . .

Otter Tail County board discusses drainfield policy

By Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail County Correspondent

County Public Works Director Rick West presented to county commissioners a Limiting Layer Determination/Soil Color Policy for the Otter Tail County Land and Resource Office.
The policy is for use in determining the limiting layer for drainfield installations.
Otter Tail County’s Public Works Committee sought a guide to provide consistency in the application of the Subsurface Sewage Treatment System rules.
“Biological indicators of soil health are valid tools to evaluate the success of a metal process in which plants remove dangerous elements of compounds from soil or water,” said West.  read entire story. . . .

Jennie-O to pay $492K in back wages to 339 female  applicants after Labor Dept. discrimination case

Jennie-O Turkey Store Inc. has agreed to hire 53 women and pay $491,861 in back wages to 339 female job applicants denied entry-level jobs at its Willmar turkey-processing facility.
The company’s action resolves a U.S. Department of Labor lawsuit alleging the global turkey products producer discriminated in its hiring practices.
The action does not appear to have connections to the Jennie-O West Central Turkeys plant in Pelican Rapids.  read entire story. . . .

Unusual exhibit focuses on blind, visually impaired

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County will bring visual artists a challenge like no other for the 7th annual Constraint Show – an art exhibit by visual artists meant for everyone, even those who are visually impaired.  
What would an exhibit like this look like? Maybe more like feel, hear, sound, or even taste like?  
“Touchable:  Celebrate the Senses” will open alongside “A Child in a Strange Country” focusing on Helen Keller and the history of education for people who are blind or visually impaired.
Audio and braille objectives and descriptions of artwork will be made available for the public.
A public reception: is set for Tuesday, July 19,  5-7 p.m.
Exhibit dates are July 1 through October 31, 2016. Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. & Sunday 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Location: Hjemkomst Center (lower level gallery), 222 1st Ave. North, Moorhead.

County Recorder Office scans land documents enroute to digital

By Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail County Correspondent

The County Recorder Office, headed by Carol Schmaltz, is the custodian of all records of the county pertaining to personal property, real estate transfers and all vital statistical records.
Scanning of land documents has taken place in recent months, and everything is moving to digital.
“This project will be completed by the end of this year,” said Schmaltz to county commissioners on June 7. “Needed finances come from our technology fund.”
Fine-tuning for marriage applications is forthcoming.
“Land record books are now on computer,” said Schmaltz. “Microfiche, representing flat pieces of film, is no longer needed.”
New technology has also allowed for enhancements to records of county veterans following their discharge from military service.
“Appraisal and abstract personnel throughout the county appreciate the updating that we’ve done,” said Schmaltz, “and they have mentioned that our upgrades will make their jobs easier when working with county government.”
Other duties of the County Recorded Office include keeping records of state and federal tax liens, filing plats and various governmental certificates.
All records of the Otter Tail County Recorder, with the exception of some vital statistics, are public records and may be viewed upon request.

Phelps Mill plan includes kayak, canoe opportunities

By Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail Correspondent

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proposing a modification to the Phelps Mill Dam, currently only in the conceptual stage.
The county board of commissioners, which would have the final say on the matter, pledged  June 14, to make no decision until county residents express their opinions at upcoming public forums which will be announced later this summer.
The latest DNR proposal is an update from a proposed fish passage project at Phelps Mill Dam.
The latest concept includes removing a portion of the dam, near the walking bridge, to allow for a rock rapids with recreational opportunities for kayaking and canoeing.
A portion of the dam would remain in place, closest to the mill.  read entire story. . . .

Amor crash leads to arrest of driver

By Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail County Correspondent

A driver was charged with child endangerment after crashing his vehicle close to 3:30 a.m., June 16, near Amor and northwest of Otter Tail Lake. A four-year-old family member sustained minor injuries, as did the driver, 34-year-old Joshua McConnell of Battle Lake.
The one-vehicle crash took place near the intersection of County Highway 1 and Larson Road.
“The driver was traveling northbound on Highway 1 when he claimed to avoid hitting a deer in the roadway, entered the ditch and rolled the vehicle,” said County Sheriff Lt. Barry Fitzgibbons. “However, there was no evidence of swerving nor of the deer.”  read entire story. . . .

Amish horse buggy, vehicle collide

By Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail County Correspondent

Three people were injured when a vehicle collided with an Amish horse and buggy at 4:58 p.m. on Friday, June 10, near Bluffton in eastern Otter Tail County.
This mishap took place on Highway 29, near 320th Street, south of Bluffton at 4:58 p.m.
The Minnesota State Patrol said a Ford Edge was eastbound as was the horse and buggy.
“The Ford went into the westbound lane to pass the buggy, but was forced back into the eastbound lane, striking the horse,” said a Highway Patrol spokesperson. “The horse and buggy went off the roadway and they both rolled into the ditch.”
The horse was severely injured and had to be put down at the scene of the accident.
A mother and infant in the buggy were both ejected. However, the infant was secured in a child safety seat which likely prevented a more serious injury.
“Both parties from the buggy and the driver of the car were transported to an area hospital, Tri-County in Wadena, for treatment,” said the Highway Patrol.
The driver of the car was later identified as Ruth Ramsey, 58, of Perham. In the buggy were Ruth Gingerich, 24, and the infant, Mattie Gingerich.

MnDOT hosts open house June 23 to showcase  maintenance positions

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is hosting an open house Thursday, June 23, to showcase several year-round highway maintenance position openings.
MnDOT is seeking a diverse pool of applicants for several full-time Transportation Associate trainee positions throughout west central Minnesota.
Anyone interested in learning more about these positions is invited to the MnDOT District 4 headquarters, 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
The open house will include the opportunity to look at the MnDOT facilities, check out some of the MnDOT maintenance equipment and meet with MnDOT employees working in the maintenance area.
If you have questions about the positions or open house, call 218-846-3646.

Smile! Fun facts about cheese

While some might believe photographers tell their subjects to “Say cheese” in an effort to get their mouths to form smiles, I choose to believe it’s because the very thought of this delectable food makes people grin (wink, wink).
Okay, so I’m dreaming a little bit; but when you think about cheese and everything it has to offer–taste, nutrition, variety and versatility– hopefully you can see where I am coming from. And now that you are smiling (you are smiling, right?), here are fun facts about cheese that will keep you flashing those pearly whites.
Fact #1 – Speaking of pearly whites… Cheese is good for our teeth! Research shows that cheese helps fight cavities by protecting tooth enamel. In fact, both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recognize cheese’s positive role in dental health  read entire story. . . .


Protein in Cheese:
An 8-ounce glass of milk contains about the same amount of protein as 1 1/2 ounces of Wisconsin cheese.
Cheese Consumption:
U.S. per capita cheese consumption was 33.9 pounds in 2014. Our average consumption of cheese has increased 59% over the last 30 years.
Americans eat about 350 slices of pizza per second. That's enough to cover more than 90 football fields a day.
Tooth Decay:
Cheese helps prevent tooth decay. Firm cheeses, such as Cheddar, are most effective.  read entire story. . . .