“Day by day” is the message from Pelican Rapids school as the doors opened Sept. 7.

The other three-word message: 

“Masks strongly encouraged.” 

Otter Tail County has had a steady uptick in COVID-19 cases from July to August. 

Fortunately, at the Pelican schools, there was only one active case in the entire student and staff population—numbering about 1,000 in total.

Superintendent Brian Korf was pleased to report a favorable COVID-19 landscape—for the moment. 

“In-house, we’re doing really well,” said Korf.  But he and the school’s COVID team is closely watching county, region, and state data. 

Masks are federally required aboard the busses, but school officials are advocating masks on school facilities—but no mandate.  

Two Pelican grads—and former Viking wrestlers—deployed to Afghanistan evacuation

Two Pelican Rapids natives were in uniform and on duty for the evacuation of Afghanistan: Doug Aas and Jimmy Cossette. 

Little detail is available, even to immediate family. But retired Pelican teacher-coach Harold Holt tipped us off as to the whereabouts of these young Army National Guardsman.  Harold stopped by the Press office last week with the news. There was a detectable bit of pride in his voice when Harold noted that Doug and “Jimmy” were both matmen in Harold’s wrestling program.  

Both soldiers are with a proud Minnesota outfit: the 136th “Red Bull” Army Guard Division. According to Doug’s (Pelican Class of 2005)  father, David Aas, they were stationed in Kuwait for a one-year deployment in the Middle East when they were sent over to Afghanistan during the withdrawal. The Red Bull is a mechanized infantry unit. 

“They were there when the 13 were killed,” said David Aas, though he wasn’t aware if they were in the same sector and witnesses to the suicide bombing. Actually, as is typical with the military and sensitive troop movements, parents David and Lois and Jeff and Darla Cossette know few details at all, at this point.  

Doug Aas was probably still sore and aching from Viking wrestling when he signed on,  in 2004 during his junior year at PRHS.  His basic training was the summer prior to his senior year.   It wasn’t long before young Doug shipped out to Iraq, for a 22-month stint from 2005-2007.  

Doug Aas was probably still sore and aching from Viking wrestling when he signed on,  in 2004 during his junior year at PPRHS.  His basic training was the summer prior to his senior year.   It wasn’t long before young Doug shipped out to Iraq, for a 22 month stint from 2005-2007.