Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent
A gas drive-off in Perham resulted in the chase of a vehicle that had been stolen in Detroit Lakes on July 12. “The chased ensued along Highway 10 between Perham and Wadena,” said Otter Tail County Sheriff Lt. Barry Fitzgibbons. “The chase ended and an arrest was made at a construction area in Wadena.” Arrested was 22-year-old Brooke Louise Johnson-Jenkins.
A 16-year-old male is being charged with close to 15 burglaries in the past several months on the east side of Franklin Lake, northeast of Pelican Rapids. "Detectives have also linked this same juvenile to other burglaries in the Lida Shores Loop area on the north side of Lake Lida, also near Pelican Rapids," said County Sheriff Brian Schlueter. The Sheriff's Office reminds county residents to always lock doors and windows on property and to be sure to lock vehicles. Other thefts reported
Residents of Otter Tail County are among those nationwide becoming victims of identity theft refund fraud. People who expected a federal tax refund find that someone else has already filed for and received a tax return in their names. On March 31, a Henning area resident called the sheriff’s office to report that he and his wife were victims of someone else filing their tax return. Personal information from the man’s wife was illegally obtained and given to the IRS.
Broadband options, roads and bridges, and mental health reforms are likely topics the Otter Tail County Board will discuss when they meet with legislators in April, according to County Administrator Larry Krohn. “We have input from the various departments within county government here in Otter Tail County,” said Krohn. “Each of these issues is important to the well-being of residents throughout our county.”
Deer Creek school staff member assaulted On March 1, officials at the Deer Creek school reported the assault of a staff member by a 10-year-old male juvenile. The juvenile was cited for fifth degree assault, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities later worked with the county’s juvenile court system. The incident took place at 2:28 p.m. at the school.
The Otter Tail County Public Works Committee has met with the White Earth Nation to talk about the impact a proposed casino will have on county resources, Public Works Director Rick West told county commissioners Jan. 26. SRF Consulting provided a proposal for conducting a Star Lake Resort and Casino Development Review and Assessment with cooperation from the White Earth Nation, West said.
The vision of the Otter Tail Family Services Collaborative is to respond to and focus on family weaknesses and strengths throughout the county, by providing education and support. The county board lent its support to the organization during last week’s meeting.
Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Deputies urge county residents to beware of deer on roadways, particularly during darkness. They urge drivers to slow down a little, especially when driving in wooded areas. One resident near Vergas swerved to avoid a deer shortly after midnight in the early morning hours of Jan. 19. The accident took place near Loon Lake, at the intersection of Highways 4 and 41, southwest of Vergas. “The driver hit the ditch and a trailer became detached from a pickup,” said Sheriff Lt. Barry Fitzgibbons. “The pickup then went through a barbed wire fence.”
Otter Tail County Engineer Rick West told county commissioners Tuesday, Jan. 19, he is disappointed that no money for proposed road maintenance is included in the governor’s $1.4 million bonding bill proposal, which means fewer projects will be completed this year. “Roadway funds are traditionally part of the bonding process,” said West.
A Perham man has been arrested after a construction company west of the city, on Harvest Avenue, reported a burglary to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 20. The number of items and what was taken was not immediately available. The call came in to sheriff’s deputies and staff at 6:53 a.m. Later, deputies arrested 33-year-old Jay Mark Loerzel with third degree burglary, according to the sheriff’s office. Loerzel was expected to be charged and appear in county court in Fergus Falls.