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By tweaking the way it levies money from local taxpayers, the Verndale school district stands to get tens of thousands of dollars more in state aid -- however, officials are concerned that the public might perceive the changes as an unnecessary increase in the wake of the recently-passed building bond referendum.
Five Wadena residents who have run afoul of the city's nuisance ordinance will pay for mandatory clean-up of debris on their property in the coming weeks that presents a safety or health hazard to the public, the city council decided on Tuesday. The council directed Interim Police Chief Naomi Plautz to begin working with the five owners to schedule a day before Oct. 15 where city crews can come in and abate each property.
At the Sept. 10 special board meeting, Wadena County Commissioners voted not to increase the 2013 pay 2014 property tax preliminary levy. The preliminary levy was set at the same amount as last year: $7,902,775. The preliminary levy is set after commissioners conclude most of their work on the proposed county budget for the following year. A final levy amount will be voted upon on Dec. 19.
The Minnesota State Patrol is reporting that two people are deceased and at least two others seriously injured following a head-on collision of two vehicles near the intersection of Highway 108 and County Road 16 west of Henning Wednesday night. One male, age 34 from Deer Creek and his wife, age 26, were killed in the crash. Sgt.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office released an investigative report Wednesday on the shooting that took place in rural New York Mills July 31, with witness names censored in the interest of their safety. Administrative Lieutenant Matthew McGuire of the OTCSO said Thursday that the sheriff's office was still waiting on a final report from the medical examiner's office before they could close the case completely.
Tornado sirens sounded on the streets of Wadena Monday night as the National Weather Service issued several tornado warnings for Wadena County. According to the NWS website, at 8:15 p.m. a local spotter took video of a brief funnel cloud touchdown 100 yards northwest of the intersection of US Highway 10 and County Highway 75, just over the Otter Tail County border to the west of Wadena. Observers had also previously spotted a funnel cloud for a short moment near New York Mills at around 7:50 p.m., but rain obscured their view of the cloud.
Donations received by the Wadena United Way were low again last year, but that isn't stopping them from carrying on with their annual fundraising drive beginning this September. As of Aug. 26, contributions were more than $2,000 behind last year's total, although yearly contributions are not measured until Sept. 30 of each year. The Wadena chapter had a deficit of more than $2,500 in 2012 and is currently operating at only $752 under budget, according to budget reports. Budgets for the past four years ranged from around $23,700 to $26,000.
The builders attempting to complete renovations on the Tri-County Health Care campus in Wadena will face another intense stretch of construction work from Sept. 6-9 as they're slated to transform the hospital's registration space in four days. The hospital's main (south) entrance will close after clinic hours end at about 6 p.m. that Friday evening and will reopen on Monday at 7 a.m. Hospital officials are asking visitors to use the north entrance instead during the closure.
As the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center project gets going to help the people of Wadena improve their bodies, there's another initiative in the works to help their minds.
More facts have come to light in the case of Sebeka Police Chief Eric Swenson allegedly assaulting his girlfriend earlier this summer. In a formal complaint submitted to the Seventh District Court Aug.15 by the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office, both Swenson and the girlfriend, identified only as M.H., relate their version of what happened in the incident to police. According to the complaint, Swenson told authorities that he had been dating M.H.