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Close to 500 people flock to Dent for the annual Dent Daze, more than doubling the town's normal population of 194. This year's "Beach Party" themed event will be held Saturday, July 14. Dent Community Club member Stacey Fresonke invites everyone to come and "see a lot of people you don't normally get to see." The festivities have expanded over the last couple of years, growing from a parade into an entire day of family-friendly fun and games. For the athletic sort, the day begins early with a 5K race.
That "place with the best ribs around," Elmer's Texas Barbeque, is now open and running again, with a new business partner in the mix. Rodger Heaton bought into the business, located between Ottertail and Battle Lake on Highway 78, sharing ownership with Mary Wilson. Wilson, who owned Elmer's for the last five years, closed down last October and spent the winter looking for a new business partner. She found one in Heaton, an old friend. The two graduated from Henning High School together, and have been best friends since they were 14.
Despite wet weather last Friday, New York Mills Lund Mania events were well attended. The rain and wind that persisted throughout the morning dwindled down by afternoon, just in time for families to enjoy a free pony ride and petting zoo, the first ever Boatville Drags and a parade. The day began with the Fourth Annual Lund Mania Fishing Tournament, with 50 teams competing for their chance to win $40,000 worth of prizes. The top 10 teams were announced before the parade. Teams won three Lund boats, a variety of fishing gear, fishing trips, gift certificates and cash.
Last week, the New York Mills School Board approved a fiscal year 2013 preliminary budget with a surplus of around $33,000. Though the budget is not yet final, a slight bump in revenue is expected due to increased enrollment. Sixty-six kindergartners are already enrolled for fall, replacing 41 recent senior graduates, Superintendent Todd Cameron stated in a follow-up interview.
Monthly evaluations taken throughout last school year at the elementary and middle schools in Perham had teachers anticipating better results on state standardized tests. District leaders are now looking into the discrepancies between those preliminary evaluations and actual student test performance. In a written report presented to the school board at a recent meeting, middle school Principal Scott Bjerke said the preliminary data was off-base in all grades at the school - five through eight - with student scores generally 14 to 22 percent lower than expected.
The Perham Area Cruisers classic car club will be celebrating its 20th annual car show this Sunday, July 8, at the East Otter Tail County Fairgrounds in Perham, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Long-time club members LeRoy Wegscheid, Wally Morton, Jerry Teig and Shawn Weatherhead described in an interview all the changes they have made to their own classic cars over the years. Each of the four own two collector cars, though they joked about having plenty of pieces of other cars at home. They all agreed that customizing the classic cars is what makes owning them so enjoyable.
The Minnesota Bankers Association recently honored Ed Buerkle II, of Farmers and Merchants State Bank in New York Mills, for 50 years in banking. The association inducted Buerkle into its Pioneer Club during the group's 123rd annual meeting last week. According to a press release, Buerkle has a lifetime of banking at Farmers and Merchants State Bank in NY Mills.
Tom Tomporowski wonders what happened to the avid high school reader. As Perham High School's media specialist, he's noticed a serious decline in recent years in the number of kids interested in books. According to circulation records at the school, students aren't checking out books anymore - at least not the ones lining the shelves in the media center. He assumes it's because of hectic high school schedules - jobs, academics and extracurricular activities.
East Silent Lake Resort, nestled on 50 peaceful acres just outside of Dent, has been featured in the new book, "Resorts of Minnesota." One of just 37 resorts chosen for inclusion in the book, it is the only one from Otter Tail County. The book's author, Neil Johnson of Hibbing, Minn., said he selected East Silent Lake Resort because he could easily see himself taking his own family of six there.
Preemptive spending on technology will create a temporary deficit in the Perham-Dent School District's general fund. At a meeting last week, the school board approved a preliminary 2012-2013 budget with a general fund deficit of $781,919. Superintendent Mitch Anderson explained that preliminary expenditures are high because of the district's payments toward technology improvements, including infrastructure upgrades, the purchase of equipment for iENGAGE and the necessary increase in technology staffing. iENGAGE is the district's plan to provide iPads for students and staff.