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Meghan Wellnitz's blonde curls, shoe obsession, "Daddy's Little Princess" T-shirt and upcoming Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World lend this 4-year-old Wadena resident the appearance of a perfectly normal girl. However, "normal" holds a different definition for the Wellnitz family when speaking of Meghan and her siblings.
The 113th annual Wadena County Fair begins Thursday (today) and features lots of fun family events. The gate admission to the fair is free. Fran Kueker, Ag Society president, said one of the exciting new events this year is the Extreme 4x4 Challenge. It is the grand stand event and features an obstacle course and mud pit for trucks. "I think that should be something really good," Kueker said. The race features three classes divided by tire size including stock, mod, and open. Registration for the 1 p.m. race on Sunday, July 30 begins at 10 a.m.
gh temperature have sprouted talk of drought in Minnesota. Doug Holen, regional extension educator in crop production, said there are certain criteria for drought and west central Minnesota is not at that point yet, although there is cause for concern. Holen said there are other areas of Minnesota that are doing much worse than this region because this is the first time in the season western Minnesota has been dry, whereas it is the second time for other regions. Holen said the extremely dry, hot period the region is experiencing affects row crops such as corn and soybeans the most.
Wadena resident Norie Trout has an ideal name for a fisherwoman and a fish story to match. On Sunday afternoon she accomplished a feat sure to strike envy into the heart of thousands of Minnesota anglers when she landed a 46-and-a-half-inch muskie. Norie said she and her husband, David Trout, were on their pontoon "for a little ride" around a lake they prefer to remain nameless when the magnificent moment of muskie fishing occurred. "I thought, 'Holy cow, how am ever going to get that in the boat?'" Norie said recalling the moment she realized the enormity of the creature.
The dog days of summer have arrived in Wadena and local veterinarians encouraged pet owners and farmers to protect their animals from the sweltering summer sun. Elderly lap dogs, horses working in the sun and cattle at home in their stalls can all suffer in the heat. Bridget King, veterinarian at Homestead Veterinary Clinic, said a pet's living environment, breed and age can all affect their vulnerability to hot weather. She said outdoor dogs such a Malemutes and Siberian Huskies are vulnerable to the heat due to their thick, heavy coats and exposure to the sun.
County officials addressed concerns about the future of the fair at the county budget meeting Monday.
The Wadena County Historical Society is hoping to salvage a towering remnant of community history Saturday when it will remove the old Wadena County Courthouse tower from the county fair grounds. The society planned to move the structure July 8, but a crane malfunction delayed the project. The cedar shake-shingled tower topped off the courthouse from 1886 until it was demolished in 1970.
State and local mental health professionals, social services officials and politicians gathered in Wadena to celebrate the opening of the Behavioral Health Hospital Friday. The hospital will serve as an in-patient facility for individuals with acute mental illness. The 16-bed hospital is part of a statewide effort to replace large mental health institutions such as the Regional Treatment Center in Fergus Falls with smaller hospitals closer to the homes of consumers, according to mental health officials.
On June 27 Wadena native Chris Thorstenson celebrated the birth of his second son, Carson, and nearly 18 months of continuous heart beats after Chris's January 2005 heart transplant. Chris's parents, Les and Sarah Thorstenson, are eager to share the good news of his recovery and the importance of organ donation with his community. "It was a modern-day miracle," Les said about his son's rapid recovery and second child. "Chris is living a good life and has a new son to prove it.
Brilliant blue ribbons, children laughing on carnival rides and the sweet aroma of cotton candy have woven into the traditions of the Wadena County Fair over the decades. But now, these memory-filled sights, sounds and smells of summer festivity have an uncertain future in Wadena due to major financial short falls, according to fair officials. At the July 7 Wadena County Board meeting, Tim Nolte, Ag Society vice president, said the $11,000 yearly budget the county allots the Ag Society is not sufficient funding to put on the fair and maintain the fair grounds.