Collin Peterson, who represents Otter Tail County in the U.S. House of Representatives, says more federal research dollars are needed in order to curtail the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in west central Minnesota and in other areas of the Upper Midwest. "The University of Minnesota has a AIS research center, which is well and good," said Peterson, "but they can only do so much. We need a massive amount of federal dollars to not only help stop the spread of invasives, such as Zebra Mussels, but also to come up with ways to eradicate invasive species."
The Otter Tail County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) has named the Star Lake Property Owners Association with COLA's annual Association of the Year Award. This award was presented August 17 at the community center in Ottertail. At the same evening gathering, COLA presented Brenda Ebanks with the Volunteer of the Year Award. She is communications director for the Star Lake Property Owners Association. In addition, she is an active participant with most events associated with the Star Lake Property Owners Association.
Sheriff deputies reported that the driver of a riding lawn mower was rescued after the mower tipped and pinned the driver. The location was near Highway 3, northeast of Erhard. "The man was pinned under the three-point hitch," said County Sheriff Administrative Lt. Keith Van Dyke on Wednesday, Aug. 16. Deputies were able to lift the mower just high enough for the man to get out from underneath the hitch. He sustained injuries to his left side.
A spool of copper wire and welders were among the items taken from property on 535th Avenue, south of New York Mills. The incident was reported on Aug. 7 but the burglary likely took place several days earlier. The theft took placed at abandoned farm property near Highway 135. "The owner has been taking inventory regarding a list of other missing items, and the investigation is continuing," said County Sheriff Administrative Lt. Keith Van Dyke on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Disorderly conduct alleged on north side of OT Lake
An outlet plan for Little McDonald, Kerbs, Paul and Devils lakes west of Perham took a big step forward July 25 with support of the county board of commissioners. The five county board members approved advertising for bids, with awarding of the bid likely in September 2017. State funding for the project amounts to $10 million. Excess water will be pumped eastward to the Otter Tail River, north of Perham.
West Central Initiative (WCI) representatives, meeting July 11 with members of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners, are in agreement with county board members regarding economic goals. "Four of the big issues facing both WCI and Otter Tail County are attracting workers to fill open positions, housing affordability, increasing wages and the need for adequate day care," said Greg Wagner, WCI business and economic development director.
The county board of commissioners, on July 11, accepted a recommendation from a consultant to continue its environmental review of the proposed Star Lake casino complex on Tuesday, Aug. 22. The board addressed issues related to the recently completed Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) as it pertains to the proposed casino on the southwest side of Star Lake.
The sheriff's office reported on July 10 that one person received minor injuries in an accident along Interstate 94 near Rothsay. "A truck hit rumble strips and the driver over-corrected," said County Sheriff Administrative Lt. Keith Van Dyke. "This caused the truck to tip onto the passenger side." Van Dyke said the truck came to rest off the asphalt into the medium. "The diver received a minor laceration to the right hand," he said. "An evaluation of the driver was performed by members of the Rothsay Rescue Squad. Beyers was contacted for towing of the vehicle."
A summer storm that rolled through Otter Tail County included dangerous lightning at 3:42 a.m. on Thursday, July 6. One result was lightning hitting a cabin at Rush Lake, south of Perham and north of Otter Tail Lake. A fire ensued, with substantial damage to the cabin. The storm also included heavy rainfall in many parts of Otter Tail County. Thefts reported at Dent and Long Lake, Vergas A bank in Dent reported the theft of flower pots from in front of their business.
The county board of commissioners, many residents believe, is on the right track regarding future public notification and public hearings regarding Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) approvals for turkey barns and feedlots. Turkey barns are being positioned near Highway 210 and less than 800 feet from some houses near South Turtle Lake, east of Underwood. Residents did not find out that two barns were being erected until dirt work started on June 10.