A group of five concerned citizens were part of a planned peaceful protest in front of the Wadena County Courthouse Thursday night. The group had a bit of a shiver in their step as they held signs along Jefferson Street in the 14 degree weather. Some of the signs read "Protect the Investigation Now," and "No One is Above the Law."
The 21 precincts voting for three Wadena-Deer Creek School Board members all voted for new members to join the board in the new year. Those include Melissa Seelhammer, Ryan Damlo and Peter Hayes. Melissa Seelhammer shared that she was honored and excited to be elected to serve in this capacity. "I was glad to see so many candidates running," Seelhammer said. "I'm excited to work with the rest of the school board members." Seelhammer shared how she is looking forward to getting all children and parents involved in all that the school district offers.
Verndale resident, Heather Olson is the new auditor/treasurer for Wadena County in 2019. Voters showed their support for Olson, as she came out ahead of Brian Hagen by about 15 percent (2,980 to 2,253.) Olson expressed excitement Wednesday morning despite only running on a couple hours of sleep. "I'm very excited," Olson said. "Wadena County is in need of change badly and I'm going to be that change."
Dealing with issues arising from absentee ballots, no Wadena County election results were made available Tuesday night, as Wadena was one of the last three counties in the state of Minnesota to report results heading into Wednesday morning. Based on results from the Wadena-Deer Creek School District voters, not including Wadena County, Melissa Seelhammer, Peter Hayes and Ryan Damlo were leading the pack of eight for the three spots on the board.
A friendly competition between two precincts stationed in the lower level of the Wadena County Courthouse grew even more exciting as voter turnout was strong in this midterm election. Wadena and Leaf River townships both have their polling place in the large meeting room, just a few feet from one another. In front of them were tables and voting booths that at many times were filled with voters.
Few residents outside of law enforcement and elected officials attended a public notification meeting regarding two Level 3 sex offenders returning to Wadena in November. The city has not had a public notification meeting of this kind since 2012, and Wadena Chief of Police Naomi Plautz said, that meeting also had limited participation.
For 63 years, people in need of shoes have stopped at Lyle's Shoes in Wadena, and the new owners hope that tradition continues, under the same name. Bob Tubandt handed over the business to new owners Lisa Baymler and Brian Koons Friday, Oct. 25 after owning the business 40 years. Tubandts history in the shoe business goes back 58 years, when he drove off the family farm at age 17 and started as a trainee at Lyle's Ready-to-Wear, working for Lyle Goodrich. He said milking cows by hand was not his cup of tea, he prefered not to be tied down by such a profession.
Those hoping to harvest a white-tailed deer this weekend should have a better chance as area residents and wildlife officials say the population looks to be on the upswing. The increase in the deer population is attributed to less severe winters in the past few years. And as that deer population rises, so do the amount of permits allowed per hunter in the region for the 2018 deer firearm season.
Wadena County election coordinator Joy Weyer informed the Wadena County Commissioners Tuesday, Oct. 30 that a ballot error is being resolved. When residents of Shell River Township and the city of Nimrod opened their ballots Oct. 20, many knew there was an error. Their ballots contained candidates from other precincts. "It was human error," Weyer said. The vendor creating the ballots was off by a number, resulting in the wrong ballots being mailed to two of the three mail-in precincts in the county.
VERNDALE—A Republican-heavy panel of 2018 election candidates descended on the Verndale Lions Community Center, Tuesday, Oct. 23, to answer questions of the public and the local electric cooperative.