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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A program in Perham has been offering people a ray of light as they struggle through dark times. For the past two years, Celebrate Recovery has provided a sense of human connection, empathy and support to those feeling unhappy, scared and alone. Every Tuesday evening at Calvary Lutheran Church, anywhere from 30 to 50 people from Perham and the surrounding area gather to get real and honest about difficulties they're facing in life. The program offers a safe and confidential space for them, where they can speak freely without judgment or fear.
The message is loud and clear when it comes to high-speed broadband internet services in Otter Tail County: "Please wait... Your options are still loading." The county has some catching up to do. Currently, Otter Tail is the fourth-worst in the state when it comes to fixed, non-mobile broadband internet service speeds, ranking 84th out of Minnesota's 87 counties.
Emily Dreyer is just one of six women featured in the 2016 edition of Luminous, which highlights some of the movers and the shakers in Perham. This year, Focus staff looked at young women in leadership roles within the community. Pick up your Luminous at the Focus office or at locations throughout the area. It's a good thing Emily Dreyer likes to be busy, because she's had a whirlwind year.
The last time the Focus checked in with Ted Meinhover, he was on his way to Beijing, China, to work as a foreign diplomat for the U.S. That was three years ago, and a lot has happened in China in the last three years—much of which Meinhover has witnessed, researched and reported on to government leaders back home, in an effort to build rapport between the two countries. Last week, the 2001 Perham High School graduate was back in town for a visit, and he stopped by the Focus to update us on his many undertakings in Beijing and beyond.
Editor's note: This is the final story in a weekly series of feature articles on new teachers in Perham this year. David Ogroske says teaching at St. Henry's Area School in Perham is "like a homecoming for me." A product of Perham, Ogroske is a former St. Henry's student himself. He returned to the school this year as a fifth grade teacher, standing in front of the desks instead of sitting behind one like he did as a kid all those years ago. He also teaches fourth grade science.
The 89-year-old Otter Tail County man who had been missing since Sept. 28 was found deceased Thursday, Oct. 13, and an autopsy indicated he died of natural causes. The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office reports that the body of Thomas Allstopp was located shortly after noon on Thursday, Oct. 13, in Leaf Mountain Township near Urbank and west of Parkers Prairie, approximately two miles from his cabin where he went missing. Midwest Medical Examiners Office in Anoka conducted the autopsy. The case remains under investigation.
Birds, Blossoms and Beyond is undergoing a transformation. After 11 years of owning and operating the Perham garden center, Nick and Jodi Theroux have sold the business. Chris and Shelly Mensing, of Lakes Country Landscaping and Irrigation, purchased the property in July, and will officially take ownership on Jan. 1, 2017. "It's exciting," said Jodi Theroux in a recent interview with both couples. "It's good for them and it's good for us. It's a good fit."
4-H is a longstanding tradition in the Hendrickx family. Mom Kris serves as a 4-H club leader, dad Pat has been involved in one way or another since he was a kid, and their sons, Ben, 15, and Isaac, 12, have both been active members for years. The family says 4-H has been an important social and educational outlet for them — a way to meet people, learn new skills, share ideas and information, and grow and develop into community leaders.
The Perham Focus is planning a new series of feature stories, tentatively titled, "Characters, kind folks and curmudgeons: Portraits of some of the Perham area's best-known residents, living or otherwise."...
The Perham area just got another Little Free Library. Aerovilla Road residents (on Devil's Lake northwest of Perham) are invited to a ribbon-cutting for the new little structure this Saturday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m., at its location at the end of Marion and Donna Gill's driveway, at 40122 Aerovilla Road. Attendees are asked to bring a book to share. Donna Gill, who helped initiate this latest Little Free Library, said it's intended for everyone in the neighborhood, young and old, so books for all ages are needed.