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They're already allowed on the edge of county and township roads, but Marlin Martin would like to be able to drive his Side by Side within Wadena city limits as well. On behalf of several UTV owners, the rural Wadena resident asked the council at its Sept. 9 meeting to consider amending the ordinance that regulates all-terrain vehicles, which are almost entirely banned on city streets. "We're not looking for joyriding around town or anything like that. It's basically for business," said Martin, a former councilman.
In a southwest Wadena subdivision, there's too much water and nowhere for it to go. Ever since more than five inches of rain fell within a few hours July 11, residents of low-lying properties in Carter's Addition have been fighting a high water table that has threatened their homes. Recent heavy rains exacerbated the problem and now residents fear snowfall on the saturated frozen ground will produce a disaster when the spring melt begins. Four families attended the Sept.
As a late summer storm pummeled the area before sunrise last Thursday morning, residents headed to their basements and got an early start to the day. Straight-line winds of up to 72 miles an hour downed trees and briefly knocked out power to parts of Wadena, where 2.38 inches of rain fell in less than two hours, according to Vince Godon, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Grand Forks.
Carol Aspengren's backyard along Kingsley Avenue in southwest Wadena is her retreat. There, she tends to countless varieties of plants in several themed areas. The Wadena Garden Club honored the Aspengrens as the September Yard of the Month. "Every year it gets a little bigger and a little different," Aspengren said.
Sitting in a recliner one night last February, Rhonda McManigle knew she was not alright. Her dogs sensed it, too, and their persistent concern prompted the rural Wadena woman to call a neighbor, who rushed her to the Tri-County Health Care emergency room. She had been there the day before, when doctors discovered a kidney stone they expected she would quickly pass. They had sent her home with antibiotics and pain medication. But her condition worsened and the stone didn't pass. "I couldn't breath. That's what really scared me," McManigle said.
Ron Lawlor always wanted to go to college, but he ended up living in a different kind of dormitory. In prison. "I wanted to be a police officer, but that didn't work too good," the 36-year-old Wadena man said with a chuckle. These days, he's trying to straighten out his life. And through a free certificate program at M State Wadena, he's getting a chance at an education he could never afford on his own. This fall, seven students are enrolled in M State's new one semester 12-credit industrial electric program.
Long-time Hewitt resident Jackie Hendrickson died suddenly in June, just days after being diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia To raise money to help find a cure for the rare form of cancer and to defray travel expenses for those afflicted with it, Hendrickson's daughter, Rebecca Hendrickson Mondry, has organized an ATV run from Hewitt to Bertha and back. The "Jackie's Angels" ride costs $20 and will leave from Jimmy's Wurst Saloon at 5 p.m.
From preschoolers to octogenarians, 80 volunteers from Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wadena spent Sunday afternoon giving back to their community. It's the first time the congregation has participated in "God's work.
After trimming a few requests and shelving some others, the Wadena City Council agreed at a special meeting last Thursday to dip into reserves to finish balancing the 2015 general fund budget without raising taxes. At a four-hour special meeting the week before, department heads pitched their budget wish lists.
The city council has granted a local volunteer group authority to decide how to spend money raised to help victims of the July flood. At a special meeting last Thursday, council members approved an agreement with Neighbor to Neighbor, the successor to the Long Term Recovery Committee, which handled disaster assistance requests following the 2010 tornado. As of last Thursday, the Initiative Foundation's Wadena Area Relief Fund (givemn.org/project/Wadena-Area-Relief-Fund) had received $2,825 in donations. The Little Falls-based nonprofit will match $2,500, bringing the fund balance to $5,325.