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Minnesota DNR officials said Wednesday that plants and wildlife affected by last week’s massive wildfire north of Menahga would recover relatively quickly in the aftermath of the blaze that scorched 7,100 acres of land. “We’ve already seen some initial green-up just shortly after the fire,” said Area Wildlife Supervisor Rob Naplin of the Park Rapids DNR office.
Work on $3 million renovations to Tri-County Health Care (TCHC) has reached a fevered pace as construction crews were busy Tuesday altering both the first and second floors near the hospital’s entrance. As part of this phase of construction, which began in March, specialist exam rooms, obstetrics rooms and surgery exam rooms will be built on the second floor in what used to be the hospital administration space. The first floor will house a redone waiting area, gift shop, and coffee kiosk as part of Phase 4.
After ten years of serving as chief of the Wadena Police Department and almost 40 years in law enforcement, Bruce Uselman is finally willing to let someone else walk the beat. Although he is retiring as chief effective this July, Uselman said he may continue working in the general sense after he leaves. Now, however, he is focused on the transition to a new leader for the department. “I’d like to think that I left things in good order here,” he said.
National Police Week is May 12-18, and to help our readers better understand the job that puts men and women in harm’s way to protect their neighbors, the PJ interviewed members of the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office about what they do. Joe Schoon
After months of designing and changing their competition projects, three members from Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School chapter of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) are about to see the payoff for all their hard work. Shania Lannes, a junior at WDC, Hope Norenberg, a freshman and Angela Torkkola, also a freshman, are going to compete at the National FCCLA Conference from July 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn.
When a massive fire threatened the citizens of Menahga Tuesday evening, Sebeka Public Schools, the Red Cross and an assortment of average Sebekans stepped up to give shelter, food and comfort to their neighbors from the north, working late into the night and early Wednesday morning to make sure evacuees’ needs were met during the crisis. “I was very proud of our community coming together,” said Sebeka Public Schools Superintendent Dave Fjeldheim. “A lot of people came to help support.”
Five houses and 25 outbuildings were destroyed by a wildfire known by officials as the “Green Valley Fire” in Wadena County alone, Sheriff Mike Carr said Wednesday afternoon.
The Wadena Fire Department responded Tuesday evening to a brushfire on a farm west of town on Highway 29. Here, a barbed wire fence proves no difficult obstacle for a firefighter as he heads toward the blaze.
Since Monday, Wadena has had a new person in charge of its streets, sewers and parks: Public Works Director Dan Kovar, who moves up from his former post as manager of the Wadena Wastewater Treatment Plant. “I really enjoy the well-roundedness of everything,“ said Kovar of his twelve years already spent with the public works department. “I really enjoy this work.”
Kenneth J. Derby of Wadena, arrested April 30 after admitting to igniting a series of wildfires, has now pled guilty to two of three counts of felony wildfire arson. The charges are for offenses occurring on or about April 28 and 30 of this year, and May 10 of 2012.