Former astronaut Harrison (Jack) Schmitt, a resident of New Mexico who comes to a family cabin at West Battle Lake during the summer months, landed on the moon in 1972. This summer he is taking part in the 50th anniversary remembrances of the first U.S. landing on the moon in July 1969. Schmitt appeared Sunday, July 14, on "CBS Sunday Morning." Reporter Tracy Smith interviewed Schmitt, a geologist who collected rock samples while on the lunar surface in 1972.
Otter Tail County commissioners have approved the date for reconvening the public hearing on Ditch 52, east of Dalton. This public hearing will be reconvened at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 at the county Government Services Center in Fergus Falls. Earlier, the county ditch inspector reviewed how crop prices and production were calculated by the ditch viewers to determine land value and the reason Eagle, Middle and Torgerson Lakes were not included in the benefitted area.
Sheriff deputies, on July 2, reported that an 18-year-old man was seriously injured during a fall from rafters while a barn was under construction northeast of Bluffton. The accident took place at 3:51 p.m. on July 1 near the intersection of Highways 75 and 68 in Blowers Township of northeastern Otter Tail County. County Sheriff Administrative Lt. Keith Van Dyke said the Sebeka Fire and Rescue personnel arrived on the scene as did Wadena Ambulance. The victim was later airlifted to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo. Two-car accident along Highway 59
A resident of New York Mills, 28-year-old Joshua Steven Bernu, will have a felony conviction of fourth degree drug sales reduced to a misdemeanor if he stays law abiding during a probationary period of 15 years. The offense dates back to Nov. 14, 2018. The conviction and court decision took place in county court, Fergus Falls, on May 6, 2019. Bernu was credited with 59 days in the county jail. Court fee totals for Bernu will amount to $1,160, with restitution of $800.
Four decades have gone by since four young men left from East Leaf Lake, north of Henning, entered Otter Tail Lake by canoe and paddled all the way to Hudson Bay. Dennis Weidemann authored a book, "This Water Goes North" (2008), which chronicles the 1979 adventure from Otter Tail County and ending at York Factory trading post, on the southwest side of Hudson Bay, on July 12, 1979. His book is a recount of the 1,400-mile canoe route taken with his three fellow Iowa natives and grads of Iowa State.
The Perham to Pelican Rapids Regional Trail, when completed, will be a 10-foot wide, 32-mile long, multi-use recreational trail connecting the communities of Perham and Pelican Rapids via Maplewood State Park. The trail is being constructed in phases. "There will be considerable community outreach and opportunities for feedback throughout the planning and construction phases," said Rick West, public works director for Otter Tail County.
Sheriff deputies reported that two Otter Tail County women were injured in a one-vehicle traffic accident Saturday, June 27, along Interstate 94, near Fergus Falls. The accident took place at 6:57 a.m. A westbound Oldsmobile entered the median of the interstate highway and rolled several times. Taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries were Amanda Rebecca Karch, 26, of Dalton, and Tabitha Lee Pritchard, 32, of Fergus Falls. A third person in the vehicle was not injured. Seat belts were used by people in the vehicle, according to the sheriff's office.
The latest bear sighting in Otter Tail County, according to the sheriff's office, took place June 24 at Lizzie Lake, north of Pelican Rapids. Black bear sightings in the county have been commonplace since about 2015. These bears were previously more prevalent in northeastern Minnesota. However, during the past few years, more bears have been spotted while seeking food on farmlands and in other areas of western Minnesota. Cougars, similar to mountain lions, were spotted on the west side of Fergus Falls earlier in June.
Former Ashby grain elevator operator Jerry Hennessey, 56, who earlier pleaded guilty to the theft of $5.3 million from the cooperative, was sentenced June 21 to eight years in prison. U.S. District Judge John Tunheim issued the sentence at the federal courthouse in Fergus Falls. Over a period of 15 years, starting in 2003, Hennessey wrote checks from the farmers cooperative in Grant County to cover personal expenses for big game hunting and other large purchases.
Five people were injured Sunday evening, June 23, in a two-vehicle accident north of Pelican Rapids. The accident took place at 8:46 p.m. Sheriff's deputies, working in conjunction with the State Highway Patrol, said a Chevrolet Silverado was westbound on Fish Lake Road when it failed to yield right of way at Highway 59 and pulled out in front of a Chevrolet Trailblazer that was northbound. The Trailblazer t-boned the Silverado.