An October unemployment number of 8.4 percent is down a little from September, which had a rate of 8.8 percent, according to the Wadena County Social Services Recession Watch. It is the lowest unemployment so far in 2009 in the county. The number is still above the state average at 6.9 percent in October, said Paul Sailer, the county's human services director. The county's caseload continues to grow, he said. The unduplicated case count was 1,757 in October of this year compared to 1,582 a year earlier.
An H1N1 vaccine clinic was held in Wadena-Deer Creek Memorial Auditorium Monday afternoon. There wasn't enough for everyone so doses were prioritized, County Public Health Director Karen Nelson said. Eligible recipients were children ages 6 months to age 9 and children ages 10 to 18 who are high risk. The scheduling was done by appointment so people wouldn't have to wait and so there would be proper staffing, she said.
A crew of 75 volunteers prepared, served and cleaned up 480 meals at this year's Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the Wadena-Deer Creek High School Commons. Visitors enjoyed heaping plates of turkey, mashed potatoes and all the traditional fare. Volunteers served 281 meals in the commons, delivered 120 to homes and dished up 79 meals for take-out, according to organizer Richard Paper. More than $1,000 and a pickup load of food items was raised for the Wadena Food Shelf. Entertainment at the event was provided by the Singing Grandmas and Alvin Koplin.
The Wadena County early retirement incentive program is anticipated to provide a net savings of $217,000 during the next three years at social services, according to a proposal approved by the social services board. Three long-term social services employees took advantage of a temporary $20,000 incentive the county offered eligible employees with 20 or more years of service for the county who retired under the program this fall.
5 years ago Excerpts from the Nov. 25, 2004 Pioneer Journal Workers want pay change A group of county supervisors and other non-union employees is asking for more than $218,000 combined in raises for 2005. In a letter to the Wadena County Board, the 14 employees said their wage and benefit package should be equal to similar and proportional positions at the social services department, which are based on the Minnesota Merit System.
The Miracle Mansion in Wadena is hosting its first-ever Christmas Boutique featuring home decorating products and homemade baked goods this weekend. "I want them to walk in here and just feel like something wraps around them," the Rev. Carol Carroll said. "I always want people to feel very at home in here." Carroll's son, Russell Staton Jr., will welcome people at the door. The event started Friday and continues through Sunday. Coffee and treats are available and high tea is at 3 p.m. The boutique features Celebrating Home products. Alaskan homestead honey is for sale.
5 years ago Excerpts from the Nov. 18, 2004 Pioneer Journal Wadena-area soldiers see first week in field Captain Mike Pazdernik of the Wadena National Guard Unit wrote in his column: "We just completed our first week in the field (in New Jersey). It was cold, but we have been lucky so far and only had one day of rain. We're lucky we're from Minnesota and have an understanding about how to deal with living out in the cold.
The Wadena City Council gave Planning and Zoning Director Byron Larson permission to apply for a grant to prepare for an invasion of the emerald ash borer. Larson anticipates the application to be for about $10,000. Cities can apply for up to $100,000 from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Forest Protection Reserve -- Planning & Preparedness grant. The grant requires a 15 percent match from the city, which can be in-kind, Larson said. The grant would be used for educating the public and contractors who work with trees, equipment and a tree inventory.
The stop signs on First Street Southeast will remain in place until the issue of making them permanent is discussed at next month's Wadena City Council meeting. Police Chief Bruce Uselman said several people have approached him and want the city to maintain the four-way stop. He asked council members if they had any objections to extending the two temporary stop signs' placement after the detour signs are removed for the U.S. Highway 71 project. They did not. "My feeling is it's well worth the discussion," Uselman said.