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Nicky Haverland in 2006, right after winning the East Otter Tail County Fair Demolition Derby. Derbying ran in the family, she said, and she learned how to build a car when she was just a teenager. She competed for a few years, winning two derbies and finishing third and fourth in two others. Submitted photo

Former Miss Perham on her way to a Ph.D. in biomedical research


Remember Nicky Haverland, the 2005 Miss Perham who wasn’t afraid to get her crown dirty at demo derbies?

Well today, the pageant winner has traded her glamorous gowns for a white lab coat. Next month, she’ll be triumphantly holding up her Ph.D.


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Marie Johnson
Marie Johnson (formerly Nitke) came to the Perham Focus after several years as the Education and Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Herald-Review of Grand Rapids, Minn. She lives in rural Ottertail with her husband, Dan, and their spunky yellow lab, Louisa.
(218) 346-5900