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On a warm sunny day a couple of weeks ago, 27 Perham High School students headed out to the school greenhouse with their teacher Carl Aakre for some hands-on learning. With temperatures outside warm and breezy, walking into the hot and sticky greenhouse took students by surprise, and many quickly decided to do most of their work outside. Aakre had stations set up throughout the school shop, where students could prepare their planting trays. After dipping their media trays in a sanitizing solution, the kids took turns filling them with potting soil.
New York Mills School is going back to two full-time principals for the 2012-13 school year. The school board unanimously approved the discontinuation of Travis Hensch's dean of students position at a meeting March 26, as well as the hiring of a full-time elementary school principal. The administration model has been under discussion at school board workshops for many months. The board agreed the current model of a full-time high school principal, a split elementary principal/superintendent and a split dean of students/athletic director was not working.
A Perham man turned himself in and was arrested Tuesday afternoon after a 14-hour standoff with law enforcement. The incident began late Monday night when Harold Wayne Pyle, age 42, allegedly attempted to strangle two people at a home on Toad River Road in Perham. Otter Tail County Sheriff Brian Schlueter said at the scene that officers received a report of a domestic situation at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. Two individuals reported that a man attempted to harm them by strangulation. Both were able to escape unharmed.
New York Mills School held its kindergarten roundup last week, bringing in 51 future students - 42 were interested in kindergarten and 9 in junior kindergarten. Dean of Students Travis Hensch said 78 kids within the school district are eligible for kindergarten, so he expects this number to grow by September. The future Eagles played in the kindergarten rooms and took a tour of the school while the parents listened to basic information in the school commons.
Despite budget cuts, New York Mills High School will have well stocked greenhouses this year, in time for their May plant sales. During the school district's April 2011 school board meeting, the board agreed to cut greenhouse costs by at least $2,500 by increasing efficiency, choosing plants wisely and lowering heat costs. In an effort to increase efficiency, NY Mills' agriculture teacher, Luke Becker, and his class spent the first part of the year making upgrades to the doors and insulation on the backside of the greenhouse.
Thanks to bond refinancing, New York Mills' bond payments will be lower in 2013, easing the tax burden on citizens. Since city bond payments have directly affected levy increases, City Clerk Darla Berry said when the bond payments are lowered; the annual tax levies are less likely to increase. Announced at the March 13 city council meeting, the city's annual bond payment will be reduced by roughly $5,000, thanks to a recent 'A' bond rating which opened the door to low interest rates.
Midwest Industries, a ShoreLand'r Boat Trailers assembly company, became a permanent fixture in New York Mills last month on completion of its new building next to Brunswick. In an interview last week, Operations Team Leader Bob Walker said the 18 employees at Midwest Industries are glad to be out of the former, temporary setting - the company had been operating out of a large tent.
New York Mills dropped the 'livestock at large within the city' fee of $150 before making a single collection. City council members unanimously agreed to take the fee off the books after much discussion at their regular meeting March 13. The fee was enacted in July 2009 in response to a number of escaped livestock from the NY Mills Locker Plant. At that time, Mayor Larry Hodgson suggested the fee as compensation for the use of city services.
Rumors of a business incubator program in New York Mills were finally confirmed by the NY Mills Economic Development Association (EDA) at its March 6 meeting. According to the approved plan, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to rent eight fully furnished offices located in the old creamery building, recently acquired by the New York Mills Cultural Center. Business incubator sites are on the rise thanks to sponsors like M State's Business Entrepreneurial Service (BES).
In 400 unpaid hours this summer, 20-year-old Tyler Schwartz will experience a sample of small town police life. From May through August, Schwartz will complete an internship - about 25 hours a week - with the New York Mill's Police Department. Schwartz's internship will include a combination of shifts, allowing him to experience a variety of duties. NY Mills Police Chief Jim Van Schaick said routines in the shifts vary greatly. Day shifts typically consist of making follow-up calls, cleaning, and finishing paperwork.