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Do You Remember When?

Apple Pie, Baseball, 4th of July in Pelican, 1917

Baseball, apple pie, small town celebrations and the 4th of July–few things are more “Americana” and nostalgic.
This photo is dated almost a century ago. The photo is labeled “The Slats in the ball game, July 4th, 1917.” Beyond this label, we know virtually nothing about the picture. Pelican Rapids Press reader Keith Homan, who is also a local history enthusiast, recognized some of the topography in the background (note the hill); and the structures; from other historic photos from the period. (It is important to note, however, Keith was NOT around in 1917!)
The individuals in the photos are also curious. There are nine ballplayers–enough to field a team. But there is a woman, with a sailor type outfit and scarf in the center, standing. At far left, two women (we think) wearing unusual, patterned garments.

Free nitrate water testing clinic

The West Otter Tail County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will offer a free nitrate water-testing clinic at 506 Western Ave N in Fergus Falls on July 9 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  
The East Otter Tail SWCD will host a free nitrate testing clinic at the Ottertail Community Center on July 21 from 10 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Nitrates are the most common contaminants in Minnesota’s groundwater, and in some areas of the state a significant number of wells have high nitrate levels. With that in mind, experts recommend that private well owners who get their drinking water from wells should test their water regularly.  read entire story. . . .

West Otter Tail 4-H team in Science of Agriculture challenge

Team researched genetic evaluation in sheep industry, economic impact

A dozen teams of 4-H youth from across Minnesota came to the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus in June to present their research and solutions for important agriculture-related issues.  
Their projects were part of the 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge. The first of its kind in the country, the new program is part of an effort to create excitement about agriculture and expand the pipeline of youth studying agriculture and pursuing agriculture-related careers.
4-H asked teams of Minnesota youth to identify agriculture-related issues in their communities and develop science-based solutions. Over the past nine months, the youth worked with adult mentors and agriculture experts to identify their issues and develop their solutions using science and engineering practices.  read entire story. . . .

OT County joins association of larger counties in state

Otter Tail County now has membership in an organization comprised of the larger counties in the state of Minnesota. Those counties, with higher populations, are able to combine their efforts in being able to influence regional and state programs while saving taxpayer dollars.
The organization is known as the Minnesota Inter-County Association (MICA).
Otter Tail County will continue to be a member of the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC). All 87 counties in Minnesota are part of this organization.
“As a new member of MICA, we’re able to derive benefits for Otter Tail County through the formulation of ideas of common interests to larger counties,” said County Commissioner Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids.
Johnson and fellow Commissioner John Lindquist of Dalton represent Otter Tail County on the MICA Board of Directors.  read entire story. . . .

Otter Tail County board approves managed health care plan

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners approved the recommendation of Otter Tail County Human Services and the County Public Health Department to allow Blue Plus, Medica and UCare as Managed Care Organizations (MCO) providing managed health care service in Otter Tail County.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services (MnDHS) previously published a Request For Proposals (RFP) to provide health care services to recipients of Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare in 87 Minnesota counties, including Otter Tail County.
“MnDHS requested county evaluations and recommendations regarding the RFP proposals from each respective county,” said Diane Thorson, Otter Tail County Public Health Director. “Blue Plus, HealthPartners, Medica and UCare submitted proposals to provide managed health care services in Otter Tail County.”
Otter Tail County Human Services and the Otter Tail County Public Health Department reviewed and evaluated the proposals. They determined that Blue Plus, Medica and UCare submitted proposals suitable to meet the needs of residents in Otter Tail County.  read entire story. . . .

Motorcycle rider deaths reach 25 for year

Deadly year for motorcyclists; rider deaths up 56 percent over last year

Motorcycle rider deaths are significantly higher compared to this time last year. Twenty-five riders have died on Minnesota roads so far in 2015, which is 56 percent more than this time last year when there were 16 motorcycle fatalities.
The latest motorcycle death happened Thursday, June 18, around 9:30 p.m. during a pursuit on County Road 75 near County Road 7 in Stearns County. The driver was thrown from the motorcycle and pronounced dead at the scene. The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating.
So far this year, there have been 158 traffic fatalities in Minnesota; nearly 16 percent of those are motorcycle riders. In 2014, 46 motorcyclists were killed in crashes, according to preliminary reports.
Public safety officials are asking motorcyclists to take safety into their own hands and motorists to look twice for motorcycles.  read entire story. . . .

Cormorant Art Group wins funding

The Lake Region Arts Council, Fergus Falls, MN has awarded $2,180 to the Cormorant Area Arts Council through a Minnesota State Legislative appropriation. Don Clark, LRAC board member representing Lake Park and Becker County, made the presentation.
The Cormorant Area Art Club will use the funds to support a watercolor workshop scheduled for August 11-13. Instructor will be Eden Prairie artist Karen Knutson, RRWS. Knutson, an nationally acclaimed artist, will teach students the basics as well as new techniques in painting with watercolors and using collage materials.
 read entire story. . . .

Pack insect repellent to fend off ticks

If your summer plans include walks through wooded or brushy areas, make sure you pack the insect repellent – and use it – to ward off tick bites.
Health officials warn that blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks) like to hang out in many of the same places as Minnesotans this time of year. Using insect repellent and taking other precautions can help reduce your risk of getting one or more of several serious diseases carried by ticks.
Mid-May through mid-July is the period of highest risk for blacklegged ticks in Minnesota. Memorial Day weekend is often the first time of year when large numbers of Minnesota residents venture into tick habitat, those brushy or wooded areas of southeastern, central and north-central Minnesota.  Recent field sampling by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) found that the immature blacklegged ticks (called nymphs) are out now and will likely become even more active in the next few weeks.  read entire story. . . .

Public can buy bricks to build trails

The City of Vergas is a city on the grow.
Several major projects are in the works that should give visitors and residents alike new and exciting things to do.   One of these projects is the Long Lake Trail.  
The trail that covers a mile and a half of undeveloped lake front is part of the larger trail that will link the cities of Vergas and Frazee.  
The previous trail, which was worked on between 2006 and 2007 cost $328,857 and was paid for by a DNR Grant of $272,330, a second DNR Grant for $100,000, a city contribution of $10,000 and various fund raising efforts.  
The City of Vergas Trail Committee hopes to get the same kind of help for the new part of the trail.  
One idea that the city has is the sale of specialized bricks, which will be part of a community container flower garden at the head of the trail.  read entire story. . . .