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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The community lost a beloved member on Saturday, with the passing of Tanya Sazama. About 14 months after receiving a devastating diagnosis of terminal cancer, and just three months after residents of Perham, Richville and the surrounding area rallied around her at the ‘Time Race for Tanya’ benefit, the young mother of four is gone.
Will this year bring another invasion of the cheese snatchers? After suffering through what one news story called "mouse madness" last summer and fall, a lot of Lakes Area homeowners are wondering what rodent-related headaches the season ahead might bring. Answers from experts basically amount to a leery "we'll see..."—a discouraging message for those hoping to avoid, or at least prepare for, another big influx of outdoor mice.
Lourdes Anderson remembers what it was like to come to a new country and not speak the language. Born in Nicaragua, Central America, where Spanish is the main language, she was adopted by her Perham family and moved over here at the age of 12. She spoke no English whatsoever.
An 18-year-old Fergus Falls woman suffered minor injuries in a one-vehicle rollover on Highway 210 on Saturday. The Minnesota State Patrol reports that Kayla Ruby Rastedt was driving a 2007 Mercury Grand Marquis eastbound on the highway when she drifted off the right side of the pavement and overcorrected, entering the right ditch and rolling. The vehicle landed on its roof.
An Elizabeth man was injured after rear-ending a Yamaha motorcycle with his Harley-Davidson. Donald Morlan Cariveau, age 72, suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the incident, the Minnesota State Patrol reports. He was driving a 2005 Harley Sportster when he rear-ended a 2007 Yamaha motorcycle driven by Thomas David Miranowski, age 66, of Breckenridge, Minn., according to the patrol.
Perham-Dent School District administrators say there are more nonnative speakers of English in the district today than ever before. The district currently has 51 students enrolled in its ESL program (English as a Second Language), a number that has grown substantially in recent years, according to high school principal Ehren Zimmerman. Three years ago, there were about 30 students in the program. The makeup of those students is also changing. It used to be that most of Perham's ESL students were at the high school, Zimmerman says. Now, about half are at the elementary school.
It was a historic moment in Perham yesterday as shovels hit the dirt at the site of the future Perham High School. It’s been 100 years since the community last celebrated the construction of a new high school, and it could be that long before such an occasion is marked again. The pivotal event was commemorated with a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site Wednesday afternoon.
The height of tick season has arrived, and Perham area residents will want to be aware of how to protect themselves and their pets from contracting tickborne illnesses. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Otter Tail County residents are at high risk of contracting a tickborne disease like Lyme, anaplasmosis and babesiosis.
Stop spending your summers swatting. A new business is coming to Perham, and it's on a mission to "make outside fun again." Mosquito Joe, a nationwide mobile mosquito prevention business, will soon be covering the local area, and its owners promise to provide some real relief from the summer's biggest little pests.
Perham High School and Prairie Wind Middle School have received state recognition for two separate, innovative educational programs. The schools have been named 2016-2017 Star of Innovation Award recipients by the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP). The high school was named a Silver Star winner for its English Language Learners Immersion-Interpreting Program, while the middle school was named a Bronze Star winner for its "Got Clean Water?" initiative.