Keith Leiran was driving to work on County Highway 52 near Leaf River on Monday morning when he noticed something that wasn't normally there. After turning around, the Perham man came upon an overturned car submerged in water. Without hesitating, Leiran took his shoes off and got into the water. With the vehicle to hold onto, he helped heave the door open as the driver, 20-year-old Christian Koenen, scrambled out. "You'd be surprised how heavy a door is when you're working against gravity," Leiran said.
Calaib Heiderich is going the distance to fight kids' cancer. All month long, Heiderich is biking in the Great Cycle Challenge USA in support of the Children's Cancer Research Fund. The Great Cycle Challenge is made up of nearly 80,000 riders, who together have raised $4.6 million dollars and ridden over 1.3 million miles. Heiderich thought he was starting low with his pledge goal of $1,000 and 500 miles. "That is actually a daunting task, it really is," he said. "Once you get down to the actual miles, a mile in a car is a whole lot different than a mile on a bike."
The Perham City Council approved a motion to write a grant that would finance a budget shortfall in the PACC project. The grant will be written to the Otto Bremer Trust, but the exact amount won't be finalized until a June 27th deadline. The Council and City Attorney Dennis Happel discussed how much to ask for in a grant, in relation to the budget shortfall. Happel said he met with a regional representative from Bremer Trust last week who advised the city not to be afraid to apply for more money than they need.
The 35th annual Turtle Fest is set to kick off next week with a host of new events alongside the classic favorites. "I'm telling people it's a new Turtle Fest," Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dan Schroeder said. A Turtle Fest Committee was founded in January with 12 local business people to renew the festival and "put a little more jazz in it," Schroeder said.
Local guy Rich Luth was always interested in CB and Ham radios, but he never started paying attention to the trains roaring past his home on Perham's Main Street, until a fellow CB'er asked him to host an Advanced Train Control System (ATCS) monitor. "You know how a cuckoo clock is — after a while you never hear it," Luth said. "I got to that point with the trains, and then I found out about the rail cams. Now, I hear every last one of them."
For decades Connie and Steve Richter have been thanking their loyal customers, but recently their customers have started to thank them. "We don't know them personally, but they were just so happy, they thanked us," Connie said. "It's unbelievable how they do really miss service." This month, Richter's Men's Wear celebrates 50 years of business in an evolving retail landscape that continues to push out independents in favor of big box and online retailers.
A custom pink Dansons grill will be raffled off to support the Relay for Life. The wood pellet grill was donated by Louisiana Grills and is on display at United Community Bank until the relay on July 12. Louisiana Grills sales manager Duane Matz said the grill was made specifically for the American Cancer Society. Raffle tickets are available at United Community Bank and from team captains until the relay for $2 a piece.
The days are numbered for the old Perham High School building as it currently stands. The Perham City Council approved a conditional use permit for a new gymnastics building at a special council meeting on Wednesday night. The 214,000 square foot building will be located across the street from the Heart of the Lakes Elementary School on Second Avenue SW. The council voted to approve moving the required set back for school district buildings from 50 feet to 25 feet. The building needs to be closer to the street to still allow space for the soccer and football practice fields.
Veterans and family members gathered at Perham High School on Monday morning to honor and remember those who have died in the United States Armed Forces. The V.F.W. and Auxiliary Post 4020 hosted the event.
The class of 2019 tossed their caps on Friday night to become the first graduates of the new Perham High School. The bleachers in The Hive were packed with parents, friends and relatives as over 110 seniors received their diplomas. Colton Kastynick opened his speech by saying "you are by and far the most intelligent, best looking and funniest group of people that has ever graduated from this high school." Kastynick went on to say that the stuff that's important now will be of no significance in the future.