Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes, Perham and Wadena, all in Minnesota.
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To the students who walked out of class,
The story we ran recently on poverty in Wadena County sparked some interesting conversation on social media. The county story seemed to morph into criticisms of city leadership in Wadena, and although that wasn't an intentional outcome on our part, we believe there is some value in tough conversations. We were glad to see comments stay relatively respectful because we believe everybody involved has the same end goal—to strengthen and grow Wadena.
Once upon a time there was a jester who longed to be a star. But Colin Kaepernick was sad because although he once did a good job entertaining, Colin was going downhill, just like Jack and Jill - and he, too, lost his crown. Colin didn't like this, and so one day, as the kingdom's anthem played, he decided to take a knee. "I'm doing this for the people in our kingdom who are not being treated well by the paddy wagon-toting county mounties," he stated. "It is not attention I seek, but justice!"
There is so much back and forth over whether or not the smoking age should be raised to 21, as city councils in Detroit Lakes, Frazee and Perham contemplate the move. There are some legitimate arguments on both sides, but it does get a little tiring to hear people argue that, "If you can join the military, go off to war and give your life for this country at 18 years old, then you should have the right to smoke at 18". Um, what? Those two concepts have nothing to do with each other. Nothing.
It shakes a person's world when something happens like the murder/womb raiding of 22-year-old Savanna LaFontain-Greywind of Fargo. One of the people arrested for that crime is Brooke Crews, who spent time living in the Perham area. The arrest is fresh—she has not been convicted—but this story has made people question the world in which we live in and to question humanity. When it becomes obvious that evil can lurk in your own backyard, it has the ability to change the way you look at things. The world can most certainly appear darker and more hopeless.
Authorities in central Minnesota are looking for the person who stole a manure spreader. The Cass County, Minnesota Sheriff's office says a manure spreader was sitting by the side of the road near the village of Leader with a for sale sign next to it. Leader is just east of Wadena. The New Holland spreader was taken sometime last week and authorities haven't found the suspect yet. Anyone who has any information about theft is urged to call authorities.
A rural Wadena family is without a home after an early morning fire ripped through their house five miles north on Highway 75 Thursday. “I think the shock has finally hit me - to watch your whole life just burn and not be able to do anything,” said homeowner Misty Gustafson, who, along with her husband, Dan, was in the house when the fire broke out sometime around 2 a.m.
If one were to listen to the never-sleeping news cycle, it would appear as if we, American citizens, only have two options when it comes to our political beliefs - we fall straight right or we fall straight left. There are many talking heads popping up on these news cycles that would have us believe that all people on the "other side" are nothing but malicious scoundrels who would love nothing more than to destroy us and our way of life ... "us" being the people on the "correct side".
The American Red Cross is setting up in Wadena to take blood donations this week. The drives will be held Monday, June 19 from noon to 6 p.m. and Tuesday, June 20 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., both at the Elks Lodge at 647 Jefferson Street North in Wadena. Only about 3 percent of the U.S. population gives blood, which means a heavy reliance on repeat donors to maintain a sufficient blood supply.
MENTOR, Minn.—The Polk County Sheriff's Office has identified two people killed in an ATV accident Saturday night near Mentor, Minn. Noel William Schmieg, Mentor, and Crystal Rose Scott, Crookston, were pronounced dead at the scene after hitting an approach and being thrown from an ATV about 10 p.m. Saturday on Polk County Road 12 near Mentor. They were both 34 years old. Both were unconscious when first responders arrived and were pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff's office said. The accident remains under investigation.