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2014 State Fair Results  West Otter Tail County

PHOTO: Mason Thornton, Pelican 4-H: Self-Determined-Grade 9+, PR.

Minnesota 4-H’ers from 86 counties brought over 2,600 exhibits, delivered over 200 demonstrations and participated in any of several performances at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair. These 4-H’ers all placed high at their county fairs with their projects or presentations, thereby earning them the top honor of participating at the State Fair this year.  
4-H youth are encouraged to select project areas that reflect their personal interests which leads to participation in self-directed and volunteer-led learning opportunities. In addition to growing in their knowledge and skills in specific project areas, 4-H youth have opportunities to develop 21st Century skills such as communicating, problem solving, collaboration, and decision making.  read entire story. . . .

West Otter Tail 4-H Awards Program

The West Otter Tail County 2014 Special 4-H Awards program was held Sunday, November 16 at Otter Tail Power Company community rooms in Fergus Falls. More than 80 4-H’ers and their families and friends came to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year.
Twelve Cloverbuds (kindergarten through second grade) were recognized for submitting records from at least one of their projects. In grades 3 through 5, 24 4-H’ers received recognition, and in grades 6 through 13, 38 4-H’ers submitted records for recognition. Twenty 4-H’ers were awarded Graduation Certificates after having completed as many as 15 years in 4-H. Youth may enroll in 4-H in kindergarten and remain in 4-H one year past high school graduation.  read entire story. . . .

MNsure Kicks-Off Open Enrollment with “Financial Help Week”

New online calculator can quickly inform consumers about potential financial help eligibility

 With the 2015 open enrollment period underway, MNsure is reminding Minnesotans about the unique financial help available to them only through MNsure by launching “Financial Help Week.” This is the first of many theme weeks MNsure will hold throughout open enrollment. Financial Help Week will include messages about the assistance available, as well as new tools to easily check financial help eligibility.
“MNsure is the only place to get advanced premium tax credits, or enroll in a no-cost or low-cost health insurance plan,” said CEO Scott Leitz. “Most Minnesotans qualify for some form of financial assistance and we want to make sure every Minnesotan that qualifies is taking advantage of this help.”  read entire story. . . .

Whitetail alert for motorists:  Five car-deer accidents reported in OT county

Deer, on the move a few days prior to the gun season opener, were involved in five car-deer accidents over a three-day period from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30. In most cases, deer tags were obtained in order for drivers to take possession of the deer that were killed.
The first reported car-deer accident, at 7:32 p.m. Oct. 28, took place at the intersection of Highways 65 and 134, south of Henning. A second accident was reported along County Highway 35, in central Otter Tail County, at 1:57 a.m. on Oct. 29.
The third car-deer accident took place at 7:57 a.m. on Oct. 29 at the intersection of Highway 82 and Swan View Road, southeast of Fergus Falls.
Sheriff deputies reported a fourth accident  read entire story. . . .

Ingebrigtsen appointed State Senate leader

Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) was appointed Assistant Minority Leader to the Minnesota Senate.  Senator Ingebrigtsen, the Minority Lead on the Environment, Economic Development, and Agriculture Finance sub division was honored to receive this position.
“I am honored to be appointed as Assistant Minority Leader to the Minnesota Senate, and grateful for the opportunity to serve in this leadership role within our caucus.”
Senator Ingebrigtsen, who represents residents in Douglas and Otter Tail Counties, is a lead voice on Greater Minnesota issues and is currently in his third term in the Minnesota Senate.  Senator Ingebrigtsen encourages folks to contact him with their legislative concerns.   Feel free to contact his office at 651-297-8063 or at sen.bill.ingebrigtsen@senate.mn at anytime.

Jingle bells, beer cans, and redneck holiday heroes...

A holiday spectatular for jackpine savages, backwoods characters and rednecks will be a full day affair in Vergas November 22.
“Beer Can Sculpture” will be among the features, with artists encouraged to show off their beer can collection with a lighted sculpture in their front yard.
The “Redneck Holidazzle Parade” will march at 5 p.m., with line-up at 4:30 p.m. at the Vergas Community Center.
The “Redneck Dating Game” will follow the parade, at 7:30 p.m. at the Vergas Event Center. The event will feature Mr. Redneck Vergas 2013, who was crowned last year.
Billy’s will feature Bingo at 2 p.m., as well as a dance with the band “Redline” at 9 p.m.
Vergas businesses and merchants will host sales and promotions throughout the day.
All proceeds from the Vergas Community Club-sponsored event will go toward portable sound equipment for Looney Daze.
 read entire story. . . .

Minnesota’s snowmobile trails officially open Dec. 1, but depends on snow conditions in local areas

Despite the recent snowfall throughout much of Minnesota, snowmobile trails are not yet ready for riding, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota’s snowmobile trails officially open Dec. 1; however, several conditions must be met before trails open and are ready for travel:
•Ground must be frozen allowing for crossings in wet areas.
•Trails must have adequate snow cover – about 12 inches – on the ground to allow for trail packing and grooming.
•Landowner permits that allow trails on private land must be in place.
•Trails must be cleared of dead fall, signs need to be in place and gates need to be opened.
The vast majority of the state’s 22,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trail system exists on private property with written permission from the landowner. The permission allows snowmobile use only from Dec. 1 through March 31.  read entire story. . . .

Concerns raised on Veterans Day

Federal cuts to funeral service funds prompts Pelican veterans to issue plea to lawmakers

Concerns that rural veterans will be deprived of military honors at funerals was an issue raised at the Pelican Rapids Veterans Day observances last week.
Veterans and families gathered at the Pelican Rapids VFW Post 5252  club to honor those who served November 11.  
The informal program included brief remarks by several local veterans, including Dan Welle–former VFW Commander.
Downsizing of the federal budget, including defense spending, has resulted in the elimination of federal funds for military funerals, said Welle.
“Of all the things they could have cut, they shouldn’t have cut funeral funds,” he said, urging the crowd of about 75 to contact their lawmakers and let their voices be heard.
Deceased Pelican area veterans are not as affected–thanks to a stable, local American Legion and VFW color guard that is available for funeral services. But Welle’s concerns were for the numerous other rural  read entire story. . . .

Area septic  service among  65 pollution control violation cases

In its ongoing efforts to promote environmental compliance, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency concluded 65 enforcement cases in 37 counties throughout Minnesota during the third quarter of 2014.  
Penalties from all 65 cases totaled $281,960.
An area firm was cited in the third quarter MPCA actions, Seifert Septic Service, Pelican Rapids, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations. The firm was penalized for $10,000.
Environmental enforcement investigations often take several months, and in highly complex cases more than a year. Although, in rare instances, they can involve courts, they are most often negotiated settlements where the goal is compliance with environmental rules. Fines issued are targeted to match the environmental harm, economic advantage gained or environmental corrective actions.
Fines ranged from as high as $40,000, leveled against St. Paul Park Refining Company; to  $125 for a feedlot violation.  read entire story. . . .

Area Habitat for Humanity seeking home prospects for 2015 construction

The Board of Directors has announced that the Fergus Falls based Habitat for Humanity affiliate will begin taking applications for a house to be constructed in 2015.
The application process is time sensitive, so interested  parties are urged to contact as soon as possible.
To apply go to the website http://fergushabitat.com/ click the link for the application, complete the application and mail the signed original to the Affiliate. Or stop in to the warehouse at 421 W Fir Ave. in Fergus Falls.  read entire story. . . .

Dropping in on the veteran  in your neighborhood

A few weeks ago, I dropped in on Russ Post, an 89-year-old war veteran who happens to live on my street. What followed was a memorable Saturday afternoon, as Russ took my teenage son and I on a roller coaster ride from his youth in Western Pennsylvania to the Pacific theater to Korea.
John Russell Post was born February 6, 1925, the product of a mother who lived to be 100 and father who lived to 106. Long before we got to his humble beginnings, Russ quickly started sharing stories about World War II. His bunkmate during the war was movie star Tyrone Power. Power kept a photo of his lovely, Hollywood-looks girl next to the bunk. When Russ impolitely gave the photo a good, long stare, the swashbuckling movie star reprimanded him: “I wish you’d quit ogling my wife!”      
The two laughed it off and became good friends.  read entire story. . . .