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So far this year, Perham's Someplace Safe outreach center has served 327 people - victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or general crimes. With an average of 30 new victims each month, the total number of individuals helped is expected to be close to 400 by the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. This is almost 80 more people than last year, and 160 more people than the year before that. This growth has been the trend since the organization was established in 1998.
Due to a recent recall of Chevrolet's newer Impala squad cars, the New York Mills Police Department has been temporarily operating with one lone vehicle. At a city council meeting last week, Police Chief Jim Van Schaick reported that the police department had parked the two Impalas until more is heard about the recall. Initial information indicated potential defective control arms associated with the wheels, which could lead to loss of control. Van Schaick expected the Impalas to be back in operation by the end of this week.
Perham-Dent School Board members unanimously approved this year's student handbook at a meeting last week, despite continued parental concerns about the verbiage of the attendance policy. As at the July board meeting, a handful of parents told the board the attendance policy was inadequate in disclosing to parents that in cases of certain medical problems, students may leave the building without parental knowledge.
The golden arches have made their way into 119 countries around the world. Now, the internationally recognized symbol can be seen right here in Perham - as McDonald's opened its doors Thursday morning. At 5:30 a.m., McDonald's fired up its grill for the first time, offering customers everything one expects from the fast food chain restaurant, including burgers, french fries, and drinks from the McCafé menu. By all accounts, the restaurant was busy for the opening, with people lined up at the drive-thru and crowds packing the inside. Summer hours will be 5:30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m.
St. Paul's Lutheran School in Perham has two separate open houses planned to help prepare families for the coming school year. On Monday, Aug. 20 from 3:30-7 p.m., all preschoolers are welcome to the school. The school-wide open house will be held a week later, on Monday, Aug. 27 from 3:30-7 p.m. Students are welcome to come in to meet teachers, find their desks and drop off supplies. Parents can take the opportunity to pay for their children's lunch accounts and tuition. For the first year ever, students will have the opportunity to use iPads in the classroom.
Typical doesn't describe the start of the upcoming school year in Perham, especially for those starting at Perham High School. With the iPad initiative kicking off, as well as some significant building changes, this is the "most different start to a school year ever," Superintendent Mitch Anderson said in an interview last week. Anderson said school staff could really use another month to complete the entire to-do list. But because of time constraints, administrators prioritized and held off some projects for future breaks.
St. Henry's Area School in Perham will hold its annual open house on Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 4-6 p.m. All students in grades k-6 are welcome to come in and meet teachers, drop off supplies and get a tour. In a telephone interview, Principal Jason Smith said, "We are excited about our new technology." With a gift from a parishioner family, the school now has 20 MacBook Pros, 10 iPads, wireless internet throughout the school, multimedia projectors in every classroom and updated sound systems. Enrollment is up from last year, with 16 kindergarten students registered.
With federal guidelines pushing for wholesome lunches, area schools are trying to find healthy alternatives that kids will still like to eat. Take pizza as an example: to fit the guidelines, the crust must be made from whole wheat and the toppings need to have a lower fat and sodium content. Making it that way, and still keeping it tasty, is the trick. The guidelines do not become mandatory until 2014, but area schools have been slowly adjusting their menus over the past two years to get a jump on things.
Sept. 4 is right around the corner, and like it or not, that first Tuesday after Labor Day marks the first day of school for area children. Shortly after the hallways cleared out last spring, the summer projects began. The floors were waxed, some lockers repainted and the new carpet was laid in the high school media center. The telephone system and computer labs were updated, and various landscaping projects were completed outside. This year, the school will have a full-time principal on both sides of the building after three years of operating with a part-time elementary principal.
By the end of the year, Hardware Hank will move from downtown New York Mills to a new location next to the Cenex convenience store near Highway 10. Both Cenex and Hardware Hank are part of Coop Services, which began in 1924. Through the past 88 years, Coop Services has been part of the NY Mills community, operating various businesses in its downtown location, including grocery, clothing and finally hardware.