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The Wadena-Deer Creek one-act troupe placed third in section competition on Saturday in Pequot Lakes. Park Rapids High School took first place, while Eagle Valley High School earned second. WDC performed "Marie Antoinette," a play based on the life of the legendary French queen. Students hosted a free public performance last Thursday night at Memorial Auditorium. Jay Patterson, a WDC English teacher, directed the play.
The M State Wadena student government association is bringing a up-and-coming country rock trio to the Memorial Auditorium next Tuesday at 7 p.m. Named one of Billboard Magazine's "Top 10 Country Artists to Watch in 2013," Scarletta may be best known for their breakout single, "Right Here, Right Now." The Nashville-based group includes lead singer Emilee Allan, fiddle player Nathan Stoops and Benji Harris on guitar.
Approximately 800 people attended the 24th annual February Festival of Health at M State, Wadena campus on Saturday. This free event featured more than 75 exhibits from local agencies promoting health and wellness. In addition, several booths provided free health screenings, such as blood pressure, blood glucose, body fat analysis and more. Wadena County representatives were available to discuss MNsure, Healthy Homes, Family Health, Reproductive Health and Emergency Management.
When Camille and Mark Stone graduated from high school in the 1970s, the few crude home computers were a hobbyists novelty. These days, the couple Skypes with family members and updates their Facebook accounts. "We weren't kids that grew up with these technological things," Camille said. "But we're learning and we want to keep learning so we don't get left behind."
When the inventory started dwindling at Evergreen Equipment west of town last fall, the coffee shop chatter was that Wadena would either be losing its only John Deere dealership or that it would turn into a parts depot. "Midwest Machinery laid that rumor to rest," said Dean Torgerson, store manager for the company's Wadena location, which opened in October. "We're here and we mean business."
For Friendly Rider passengers, it's business as usual. But for the county officials in charge of the transit service for Wadena and northern Todd counties, 2014 will be a year of transition. After a decade in a small office in the human services building, transit dispatch will move into more spacious digs in a building that formerly housed Bob's Auto. So will the buses, which currently operate out of a facility next to human services.
At several locations in the area, Republicans and DFLers in Wadena County will gather Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the 2014 precinct caucuses, where they will discuss party platforms and elect delegates to county conventions. Precinct caucuses also mark the beginning of a multi-step process the parties use to nominate candidates for local, statewide and national office. It ends at state conventions, which both parties have scheduled for the last weekend in May.
The last comprehensive infrastructure project in Wadena in the late 90s revamped the water network, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, streets and sidewalks on the north side of the city. With that project nearly paid for, it's the southeast section's turn. "We're trying to work our way around the city. This will be a never-ending process," said Brad Swenson, city administrator. "You can only do so much at a time because of the cost."
Last week, a chiropractor in Henning recommended physical therapy to four patients. But without a nearby facility, Dr. Mike Mortenson's clients needed to drive to Wadena, Perham, Fergus Falls or Alexandria to get those services. "The last thing you want to do is drive from Henning to Wadena with a bad hip," he said. "The unfortunate part is many of them aren't going anywhere. They just aren't doing the therapy they need because they don't want to travel for it." Last week, two patients went to Wadena while the other two opted to wait.
Last year's retirement of Chief Bruce Uselman combined with Officer Josh Winter taking a job with the Todd County Sheriff's Office prompted a ripple effect for the Wadena Police Department that's extended into 2014. "It's probably easier if I draw a grid," said Chief Naomi Plautz as she explained the personnel changes. For more than a dozen years, Plautz served as a Wadena patrol officer and sergeant before the city council appointed her as the department's first female chief last fall following a stint as interim leader.