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The latest jobs numbers from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) have local officials talking optimistically about the economic future of Wadena County. The unemployment rate for the county in December 2012 was 7.6 percent, down from 8.2 percent for the same month in 2011 and 10.5 percent in 2010. The national unemployment rate in December was also 7.6 percent. “There’s no question that the drop that we’ve seen in the published percentage each month is really good news,” said Paul Sailer, director of Wadena County Human Services.
A free Kitchigami Regional Library service that delivers books to seniors and the home-bound is soon to disappear. Kitchigami Regional Director Marian Ridge said the decision to eliminate the program was based on data that suggested not enough people were using the service to justify the cost of running it. Ridge said that until Kitchigami began scaling back the program in 2011, it cost between $20,000 and $30,000 annually, or “well over” $1,000 per participant. “This program simply did not have legs to stand on,” Ridge said.
A winter storm warning from the National Weather Service is in effect for Wadena and will remain so until 6 a.m. Tuesday, according to AccuWeather. As of around 11:20 a.m., AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines said Wadena can expect total storm snowfall to range between 6-10 inches over the next 24-30 hours, with the heaviest snowfall occurring Monday afternoon into the overnight hours. "A lot of times when we get snowstorms, it all comes at once over the course of 10-12 hours," Kines said.
5 Years Ago Excerpts from the Feb. 28, 2008 Pioneer Journal School Board settles on budget cut: $769k After much wrangling and a pair of 3-2 votes, the Wadena-Deer Creek School Board approved a figure of $769,700 in budget cuts for the 2008-2009 school year. "This is never fun," said board chairwoman Judy Taves, leading off the discussion. "This is always very, very difficult." County considers dog bite policy for strays Stray dogs are a problem in Wadena County, according to Carolyn Hartman, coordinator of the Wadena County Humane Society.
Members of the Wadena-Deer Creek seventh- and eighth-grade girls' choir, under the direction of Mike Ortmann, perform during a concert Monday in the WDC gymnasium. They were accompanied by Gabi Ross.
Those who have been kept up late at night or had their conversation with friends drowned out by the horns of trains passing through Wadena will most likely will have to continue dealing with the noise. There is a solution that exists for noisy trains, called a "quiet zone," which is an area the Federal Railroad Administration sets up so that train operators don't have to automatically sound their horns as they go through town.
After experiencing a devastating electrical fire last fall, Family Life Church in Verndale is coming back with plans to become stronger than ever in its new space. "It's exciting to see what God is doing," Pastor Amos Self said. "We never would have imagined that we'd be sitting here like this dreaming about what God could do with something this big." The church has big ideas for its new location at what used to be a defunct rafter factory complex on the east side of town.
If a snowplow should happen to damage a mailbox during the long winter months in Wadena, it's likely nothing to get bent out of shape about. That's because in some cases, one may have a new mailbox put in for free, courtesy of the city, county or state government, depending on which one is in charge of plowing the road in question. County road mailboxes fall under the jurisdiction of County Highway Engineer Ryan Odden, who said this snow season has seen about 15 complaints county-wide of plows damaging mailboxes.