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The New York Mills Independent School District's credit rating has been downgraded from A2 status to A3.
Some parents are asking the Perham-Dent School District to rewrite its attendance policy, wanting it to be more transparent about the practice of allowing kids to leave school to receive mental and physical health care or substance abuse care - without parents knowing about it. School board members and administrators say the policy follows Minnesota's minors' consent laws. These laws, first enacted in 1971, give kids under the age of 18 the right to confidential medical attention for pregnancy, venereal disease, alcohol or drug use.
For the first time in over a decade, New York Mills kindergarten enrollment numbers justify an additional section. But before the school board will support the hiring of a fourth teacher, Superintendent Todd Cameron and business manager Marsha Maki have to find a way to cut $20,000 in expenses. Kindergarten enrollment numbers currently stand at 67 students, with an additional student enrolling next week. This leaves the kindergarten class sizes right around 22 or 23 kids per room.
After 42 years as postmaster of the New York Mills Post Office, Duane "Buzzer" Koehler will retire on July 31, at the age of 72. Back in 1969, when the cost of a stamp was 6 cents, Koehler was hired to cover two-hour Saturday shifts at the post office. Just a few years later, in 1973, he was appointed to postmaster after the former postmaster retired. The interview process the post office system had in the '70s called for postmaster candidates to travel to Fort Snelling to be interviewed by eight to 10 businessmen and women from across the nation.
Three New York Mills school board members and two city officials will not be seeking reelection this fall, leaving behind five open seats. New York Mills Mayor Larry Hodgson announced in a letter to the newspaper on Monday that he will not be seeking reelection. Councilmember Richard Rankka stated in an email that he will be retiring from public office at the end of this term and will also not seek reelection. In a school board workshop on Monday, board members Josie Hendrickx, John Peeters and Dan Welter stated that they wouldn't be running for office again.
Two recently awarded grants will help expand culture and arts in New York Mills. One will bring the arts outdoors for the public, and another will expand the technical aspects of operating the NY Mills Regional Cultural Center. One grant, from Lake Region Arts Council, was awarded to the city and will fund improvements to the alleyway behind the library, the cultural center, and Sugar Creek Woodworking.
Stepping Stones, a New York Mills-based chemical dependency treatment center for women, is planning an expansion. The city recently finalized the sale of the Straightline Graphics building, and the parcel of land it sits on, to ShareHouse Inc., which owns Stepping Stones. ShareHouse purchased the property for $105,000. Located in the former motel across from Dean's Country Market, Stepping Stones has helped women and children in the area for the last five years. It offers rooms for 14 moms and up to 27 children. "It's a very much needed service," ShareHouse Inc.
Bikers in the Perham area will soon partake in two dramatically different rides with one shared purpose - raising funds to grant the wishes of seriously ill children in the area. The first is a solo rider attempting to go 4,000 miles in five days. After that rider's return, a couple hundred other area bikers will join in the cause, taking part in the 7th Annual Dreams for Kids Ride, covering a 130-mile loop around Perham. Paul Buendiger, in his second annual solo cross-country ride, hopes to raise more for Dreams for Kids then he did last year, an impressive $7,445.
Celebrating life one small victory at a time is essential in the battle against cancer. Celebrating those victories becomes even more jubilant when surrounded by hundreds of supportive community members. Signs of the Perham community coming together to fight cancer have been in the air all year. The town is the host of many fundraisers and benefits that receive considerable support all year long. But Friday's Relay for Life event, held at the Perham track, was undoubtedly the year's biggest sign of that support.
For the first time in Minnesota history, collaboration between a farmer and homeowners will help battle a flooding lake. Devil's Lake Association members have recently voted to invest in the infrastructure of underground pipes to a neighboring farmer's irrigation system. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Hydrologist, Julie Aadland, said the DNR has no experience issuing permits of this kind. While it's not new for farmers to use lake water for irrigation, this is the first time lake residents are paying for the necessary infrastructure in order to save their shorelines and homes fro