Fire destroyed a house at Marion Lake, southeast of Dent, early Friday morning, Feb. 10. Sheriff deputies and firefighters from Dent, Perham and Vergas responded to the fire at 3:16 a.m. Three adults (Michael, Tara and Roger Thompson) and two young children made it out of the house without injury. The family's two dogs had not been located as of late Friday morning. "The house is a total loss, and cause of the fire was under investigation," said County Sheriff Chief Deputy Barry Fitzgibbons. "It was believed that the fire originated in the kitchen."
Tires were slashed on three vehicles owned by fishermen who found the vandalism after returning from a ice fishing outing at Rankle Lake, northwest of Pelican Rapids. The incident took place at the intersection of Highway 34 and 165th Avenue. The vehicle owners called authorities at 3:13 p.m. on Jan. 15. Otter Tail County Sheriff Deputies said there were no immediate suspects.
Emergency Management Director Patrick Waletzko, has developed an emergency management plan for Otter Tail County should operations have to be housed in another location. He works in cooperation with the board and county employees and the plan is updated periodically. Waletzko works in coordination with the county board of commissioners and county employees. During a recent board meeting, Waletzko led an emergency operations exercise with county board members and county department heads at the county Government Services Center in Fergus Falls.
Erin Houselog, 24, was recognized with the Lifesaving Citizen Award by the Otter Tail County Sheriff's office last week after rescuing several duck hunters from Christopherson Lake on Sept. 24. The Henning native heard hollering at about 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 24 and found five duck hunters in the water after their boat capsized on the lake, located southwest of Erhard. Putting her own safety at risk, Houselog removed her heavier outer clothing, put on a lifejacket and swam about 50 yards with lifejackets for the hunters.
An outlet for land-locked lakes west of Perham has a new route, according to the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners. The old plan, with support of a $10 million grant from the Minnesota State Legislature, included moving water from the northeast side of Little McDonald Lake into the Otter Tail River, to the north. Devils Lake, northeast of Little McDonald Lake, would have tapped into the outlet.
Dogs which reportedly killed 30 chickens north of New York Mills were in turn shot and killed by the owner of the chickens. This incident, which occurred along Highway 67 north of New York Mills, was reported to the sheriff's office at 9:11 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27. "The owner of the chickens also reported that the dogs, a St, Bernard and White Shepherd, also chased and accosted his cattle," said Otter Tail County Sheriff Office Administrative Lt. Keith Van Dyke. Loss of the chickens was estimated at $750.
Candidates for Minnesota Senate District 8 and State House District 8A agree that maintaining roadways in Otter Tail County and across the state needs to be addressed, though disagree about how to fund transportation. Incumbent State Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, opposed by Shawn Olson, and incumbent State Rep. Bud Nornes, opposed by C.J. Holl, met for a candidate forum last Friday, in Fergus Falls. The forum was sponsored by the Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. Ingebrigtsen and Nornes, both Republicans, prefer to supply transportation
County sheriff deputies continue to alert Otter Tail County residents to beware of scam artists. While most county residents do not take the bait from these illegal contacts via phone, e-mail and letters, every now and then a county resident gets taken in by the scams. The result is oftentimes loss of a substantial amount of money and possible identity theft. A case in point was Oct. 6 when a resident east of Fergus Falls sent three money grams to a location in Jamaica, totaling $3,250.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, meeting with Otter Tail County board members and other local officials in Fergus Falls on Sept. 7, praised the county as a leader in lake preservation buffer zones and other water quality initiatives. Conservation buffers are best described as strips or other areas of land in permanent vegetation that help control runoff pollutants in county lakes. Examples include field borders, field windbreaks, shelterbelts and contour grass strips.
A truck hauling 900 bushels of spring wheat in a dump trailer collided with a train engine north of Parkers Prairie at 5:11 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30. The driver escaped injury but the entire load of wheat was lost. The truck was heading east on 150th Street and the train was heading south near 555th Avenue (Elmo Road). The train engine is owned by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. "The train engine struck the trailer, severing it in two," said county Sheriff Brian Schlueter during a press briefing Wednesday morning, Aug. 31, at the county courthouse in Fergus Falls.