Sheriff deputies reported that a female county resident, on Oct. 2, fled from a possible abduction attempt at Inspiration Peak, southeast of Battle Lake and west of Parkers Prairie. The woman was with her five-year-old son close to 4:30 p.m. when a male between the ages of 30 and 40 requested that he take a photo of the mother and son. When the woman declined the offer, he attempted to twice grab the woman by the wrist as she walked away with her son.
As of Sept. 25, only six weeks remained until election day 2018. The final candidates for county sheriff are Barry Fitzgibbions and Kile Bergren.
In the early 1980s the primary waste disposal concern was that landfill space was filling up, and Otter Tail County would soon be out of disposal capacity. Thus the Perham refuse burner came into being, in 1986, first operated by a subsidiary of Otter Tail Power Company. Fast forward to 2018 and ownership of what's now called the Perham Resource Recovery Facility includes Otter Tail, Becker, Todd, Wadena and Clay counties.
On Sept. 25 the county board of commissioners approved a preliminary gross (net) tax levy of $40.15 million.
Sheriff deputies reported that a 38-year-old Urbank resident was arrested on Sept. 25 at Millerville, southwest of Urbank in Douglas County. The Urbank resident, a male, was later charged with obstructing official duties of area firemen in extinguishing a car fire. The person arrested insisted that he continue to use a fire hose he had obtained nearby. Authorities said the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Sheriff deputies said the resident also was wanted with a warrant issued from the state of Arkansas.
Sheriff deputies warn county residents that different types of financial scams are being attempted by criminals, on an increasing basis. As an example, some county residents are receiving automated phone calls saying they have tax judgements against them, and to call a number to clear up the matter and avoid arrest. Instead, hang up and call the county sheriff office at (218) 998-8555.
County commissioners, on Sept. 12, reversed a previous plan to remove all or parts of the Phelps Mill dam associated with a rockway fish passage project. Board members opted for a plan to keep the entire Phelps Mill dam intact and install a rockway fish passage downstream, below the dam, instead of upstream. The new plan, if it meets environmental approval, would also divert water turbulence away from the mill building. Several county residents, at recent public meetings, expressed opposition to removal of the dam at Phelps Mill.
County board members, on Sept. 12, turned the clock back 150 years to 1868 when the county was established. The board held its 9:30 a.m. business meeting at Old Clitherall, site of the first non-Native American settlement in Otter Tail County. The first county board meeting was held in Old Clitherall on Sept. 12, 1868. Marcus Shaw and Chancey Whiting were the first county commissioners, 150 years ago. Previously a state legislative act formally organized Otter Tail County, on March 16, 1868, ten years after Minnesota became a state.
Scammers, always looking for ways to steal money from law-abiding citizens, are making fraudulent phone calls related to jury duty. If you are called by someone who says there is a warrant for your arrest related to missed jury duty, do not make payments to them. Instead, call the Otter Tail County sheriff office at (218) 998-8555. Keep in mind that members of the public are never contacted by phone or email for jury service. Prospective jurors first receive an official court mailing. If you get a call about jury service, this likely is a scammer.
Current road funding from the Minnesota state legislature has not met the needs of counties such as Otter Tail County in recent years. To that end, some lawmakers in St. Paul are exploring the possibility of raising more roadway funds by raising the state gasoline tax, currently at 28.5 cents, and establishing a state tax on auto parts. "Democrats lean toward an increase in the gas tax and Republicans favor a tax on auto part sales, rental vehicles and leases," noted Steven Novak of the Minnesota Inter-County Association (MICA) who spoke Sept.