Marie Johnson joined the Perham Focus more than five years ago, and has since worn many hats as writer, editor and page designer. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their one-year-old son, Simon, and their yellow lab, Louisa.
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It's a good thing Odelia Wegscheid likes hugs. Now that she's a Foster Grandparent to young students in Perham, she gets an awful lot of them. 'Grandma Odie,' as she's affectionately known, can hardly get into a classroom without being stopped for a quick squeeze by one happy kid after the next, all of them excited to see her. "Everyone just love, love, loves her," says Darla Guehna, a kindergarten teacher at Heart of the Lakes Elementary School.
Arvig plans to make a major hiring push in the near future. The Perham-based internet, television, phone and security systems company has announced it will hire about 200 additional employees as part of a national effort to improve internet access in some of the country's most underserved rural areas. Lisa Greene, Arvig's senior manager of marketing, said the new hires will be needed across the company's entire service area, probably starting around Pelican Rapids and Ada, and then eventually affecting Perham and other areas.
Jen and Keith Carlson, the owners of Second Hand Rose, are "very happy" in their new space. The couple moved their Perham consignment shop from its Main Street location to 120 Second Street SW (formerly Elegance by LinDee Bridal and Formalwear) on Halloween Day, and the change has been a real treat—no trick.
Perham High School student Morgan Hanson was in the spotlight at this year's National FFA Convention. She was one of just five students from Minnesota selected to perform with the National FFA Band. Hanson had the honor of playing alongside 92 other talented young instrumentalists from all across the country, in front of huge crowds at multiple concerts throughout the convention. A record 64,000 young people reportedly attended this year's convention, held Oct. 19-22 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Most people know Don Seifert as the 'Voice of the Yellowjackets.' For more than 20 years, the Perham native announced at football games in town. He also spent time behind the mic for basketball, wrestling, track and other sports. Those who didn't know him for his evening gig at games probably knew him for his day job at the school. Now retired, he's still well respected as a longtime business manager at Perham-Dent School District, a post he held for 32 years. "My first budget was $250,000 when I started," he recalls today. "When I ended, it was $8 million."
A new career unit is giving Perham High School seniors an important lesson in after-school life. Students in Amy Braukmann's 12th grade English class just finished a four-week unit designed to teach them how to find and snag a job after graduation. Over the past month, they've searched for jobs online, filled out mock applications, written cover letters, developed resumes and reference pages, and taken part in mock interviews with real-life professionals. After the interviews, they sent out follow-up emails or thank-you letters.
Perham resident Doug Huebsch is keeping his seat on the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners. With all 17 precincts reporting late Tuesday, Huebsch won the race for the District 1 seat on the board with 59 percent of the vote (3,827 votes) in his favor out of a total 6,466 votes. The incumbent's challenger, Richard Snelgrove, of New York Mills, received 2,622 votes, or 40 percent. There were 17 write-in candidates.
Two Perham City Council candidates and the mayoral candidate, all of them incumbents, faced no opponents in this year's election and will be back for another term. Perham's Mayor will remain Tim Meehl, who received 1,280 votes. There were 24 write-in candidates for mayor. James Johnson and Eric Spencer will both return to the city council. Johnson garnered 1,041 votes, while Spencer got 927. Fourteen voters wrote in other candidates.
Bongards has plans to relocate and expand its cheese store in Perham. The creamery company has purchased the empty log building on the corner of Main Street and 2nd Avenue SE, kitty-corner from the Perham Chamber office, for the operation of its retail shop. Daryl Larson, plant manager in Perham, said Bongards closed on the new building in October. Remodeling is slated to begin soon and will continue through the winter. The company is hoping for an early spring opening.
Aaron Wegscheid has reached the highest pinnacle of scouting. After nearly a decade of active involvement in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, the Perham High School junior just received official word last week that he is now an Eagle Scout. Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America scouting program. Only 4 percent of scouts achieve the distinguished title.