Looking Back - May 31 edition

10 years ago o 2008 PHS graduates Applause for their past--and for their future "Do not only applaud what we have done, but what we will do in the future," Jennifer Riestenberg said in her opening speech at the 2008 Commencement Ceremony May 25 a...

Perham High School Class of 2008 grads toss their hats into the air at the end of the May 25 graduation ceremony. Rebecca Huebsch/Perham Enterprise-Bulletin photo

10 years ago

• 2008 PHS graduates Applause for their past--and for their future

"Do not only applaud what we have done, but what we will do in the future," Jennifer Riestenberg said in her opening speech at the 2008 Commencement Ceremony May 25 at the Prairie Wind Middle School Gymnasium.

Remind the graduates to not only celebrate what they have done in high school, Riestenberg also reminded classmates what they have the potential to do in their futures.

At the 2008 Commencement Ceremony, 137 students received their diploma.


The ceremony included a wide variety of speakers including teacher and wrestling coach Robb Moser, who spoke about the challenges the world is facing and how to 2008 graduates can help to overcome these challenges.

Other speakers included: David Tomporowski, Becca Peloquin, Audrey Huwe, Allison Januszewski, Principal John Rutten, Amanda Wothe and Amanda Snyder.

Amanda Wothe, one of the guest speakers, nearly brought the house to tears with her speech about the trials and challenges she faced in high school.

"I am not like you...I have Down Syndrome."

Wothe has won an amazing 29 medals in Special Olympics. She explained to the audience that she had the same goals and likes (boys and music!), as the rest of her classmates.

She ended her speed with an enthusiastic "I did it!" which earned her a standing ovation from her classmates and the audience.


• Perham egg plant to close


Primera Foods Corporation announced on May 21 that they are closing their manufacturing facility in Perham,

Some 57 employees at the Perham egg processing plant will be affected by the closing.

Ron Ashton, President and CEO of Primera Foods said, "This difficult decision is necessary to keep Primera Foods viable in the highly competitive and volatile egg market."

For Perham, the plant closing not only means a loss of jobs but also a potentially empty structure in the industrial park.

"They say the may be able to sell part of the facility, but there aren't any details," said Kelcey Klemm, Perham city manager. "They don't want to make any promises to the city or the employees."

Earlier this year, the company announced the purchase of a facility in Britt, Iowa.

From the Thursday, May 29, 2008 Perham Enterprise-Bulletin

20 years ago


• It's starting to look like a museum

It's starting to look like a museum. The history museum of East Otter Tail County, that is.

Cabinets are in place, photos are going up; artifacts are being displayed and history is being told.

Lina Belar, who is directing the project, took time from her hectic organizing/construction schedule for a tour of the museum Monday afternoon. There's still quite a bit of turf to be covered but that's nothing compared to what's taken place in the past several months. It's starting to take on a museum-like personality.

It's clear to see it won't be dull and boring.

A special preview evening takes place Friday, June 12, for museum members and people who have helped with the museum. It runs from 6-9 p.m. on the 12th.

The public is invited to an official grand opening Saturday, June 20. It starts with a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. and runs all day.

"It's funded by donations and memberships," Lina describes. "The museum is intended to preserve the history of the area and to educate people about it. I feel this is like the public library, and there shouldn't be a charge for it."


• All's quiet on Big Pine duck pond site

All's quiet at the Pat and Louise Tower property on the east end of Big Pine Lake these days.

The bulldozers are gone, replaced by a couple of wildlife ponds and growing trees and plants.

Quite a bit of the dirt is gone, trucked away from the site in accordance with the Wetlands Preservation Act.

The restoration order is gone, replaced by a "certificate of satisfactory restoration" from the Technical Panel that ordered the restoration to be done.

Pat and Louise Tower began work on a series of wildlife ponds last winter, after receiving a conditional use permit to do so last fall from the Otter Tail Planning Commission. Then in the midst of work, they decided to expand the scope of the project and went back to the Planning Commission this spring to ask for permission to also develop residential lots on the parcel, 6 lake lots and 3 back-lots.

The project came under the scrutiny of the Technical Panel, empowered to enforce the Wetlands Preservation Act.

They decided Towers' work had violated the Wetlands Protection Act and was causing drainage into Big Pine and ordered an order to restore, with a deadline of May 30 to do so.

Tower feels t4he county erred in granting the original use permit, and he has had to pay the price for their error through additional construction costs.

Tower figures he has about $20,000 tied up in the wildlife ponds, $13,000 originally, plus additional costs to comply with the order.


From the Thursday, June 4, 1998 Perham Enterprise-Bulletin

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