The Wadena County Board approved a $74,400 purchase of recycling equipment to increase the county's recycling potential and the efficiency of the operation. The county could use more recycling bins, said Mike Gibson, a consult who is overseeing the solid waste department. For example, Verndale is without a bin. The purchase includes four recycling bins with four compartments each for a total of $24,800. A $22,600 hook truck "pup" trailer will improve how efficiently recycling is hauled, Gibson said.
Improving language skills is a top priority for Wadena-Deer Creek High School's nine foreign exchange students this year. While proficiency in English pronunciation is important, having fun tops their list, too. Daniela Mancuso, Brazil, wants to have a life experience and learn another culture, she said. She's played games and visited surrounding towns with her host family. She joined the volleyball team and likes her classes. "The teachers are nice," she said. German student Michelle Weber's sister was in North Carolina two years ago and told her all about the United States.
Times, locations and event details are being finalized for an All-School Reunion next June for anyone who attended school in Wadena and Deer Creek. The reunion is scheduled for June 17-20 and is for "anybody and everybody" who attended school in Wadena and Deer Creek or knew someone who did, event organizer Janice Stahl said. People from surrounding towns are welcome. You don't have to be a high school graduate to come, she emphasized. Stahl is organizing the event with class of 1958 classmate Carol Taggart.
People whose mail was found in trash they dumped at Wadena County recycling stations will soon receive a letter from commissioners informing them they will be fined for their illegal waste disposal. Consultant Mike Gibson, who is overseeing the solid waste department, said he has about five pages of names found in debris. County workers have recorded the dates bags were found, how many bags and in what bin. The names were found on envelopes and prescription drug labels. "In any case we have identified whose garbage was in those bags," Gibson said.
Wadena County commissioners approved a resolution to allow Otter Tail County Solid Waste Director Mike Hanan to serve both counties after the Otter Tail County Board voted in favor of the idea. Otter Tail commissioners are excited about the concept and look at this as a stepping stone to more collaboration, Hanan said. It's also an opportunity to show other counties that collaboration is something that will be beneficial.
The Wadena County Board approved an early retirement incentive plan as a way for the county to deal with difficult economic times. The goal of the plan is to replace higher wage long-term employees with employees on a lower step. Reducing hours for positions and not replacing positions are other options, said Paul Sailer, the county's human services director. With any plan, personnel costs must be reduced by a minimum of 25 percent over three years. The county will pay out $10,000 to $20,000 prorated for part-time employees.
The number of non-custodial parents receiving unemployment benefits is much higher than last fall with human services officials expecting numbers to rise again this winter. There were 12 non-custodial parents out of 853 child support cases receiving unemployment benefits in September 2008. Eleven months later in August that number rose to 54 out of 846 child support cases. The numbers peaked in March when 78 non-custodial parents out of 871 child support cases received unemployment benefits. Wadena County Human Services Director Paul Sailer explained the significance of the numbers.
The Wadena County Board adopted a 2009 payable in 2010 preliminary levy of $7,680,053, an increase of 3.23 percent over last year's final levy. Commissioners met Tuesday to approve the preliminary levy prior to the Sept. 15 deadline. The increase the board approved reflects a combination of all special levies the county is eligible for, according to Auditor/Treasurer Char West. The special levies include the amount of funds Wadena County was unalloted by the state, West said after the meeting. The county was unalloted $133,049 by the state in December 2008 and $100,295 in 2009.
Vaccine shots, hand washing and thermometers are some of the most important tools to fight flu activity now classified as "widespread" in Minnesota, according to county public health officials. Cases of influenza have been reported in at least half of the state's regions, which fits the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for "widespread," according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Health.
5 years ago Excerpts from the Sept. 16, 2004 Pioneer Journal Guard unit headed to Iraq Veterans embraced soldiers about to be deployed as the Wadena VFW officially adopted Wadena's National Guard Unit before they leave for Iraq in October. The A Company 1st Battalion got its orders about two weeks ago, and plans are in motion for the soldiers to leave. Spc. Bill Hanson of Nevis said he comes from a long line of soldiers including a great-uncle who survived the Bataan Death March.