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Otter Tail County Emergency Management and Code Red Coordinator Patrick Waletzko was aware Perham was in a tornado warning Sunday evening as a storm struck the northeastern Minnesota community and sirens went off. "There was some rotation in the clouds but no actual tornado formation or a touchdown," Waletzko said. Waletzko said the sirens were activated by the OTC Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center in Fergus Falls which received a warning from the National Weather Service.
Squirtle the Turtle and his audacious friends have been busy sharing the adventure of turtle racing this summer. It was 40 summers ago when Perham's International Turtle Races were born. The 2018 racing season marks the Ruby Anniversary of the downtown Perham races. Squirtle is Perham's most famous mascot. He has brought generations of visitors to the Otter Tail County community for fun and to promote youth.
Jim Bretz can hardly remember a time when he was not in hardware. From time to time over the years he has been asked the question "How long have you been in business?" It makes the 61-year-old smile. "When people ask me that question I always say, "When I was old enough to say, 'May I help you?'" Bretz laughed as he took a break behind the counter in his store His father, Al, opened the store in downtown Perham in 1962. What was a business for him was a sort of playground for his son.
For Ron Anderson, the Relay for Life is about learning and enjoying - not simply raising money. "It's not so much a fundraiser but it's an event where people can come and learn and enjoy and get a feeling for what it's all about," said the man who started the relay with the help of his wife 23 years ago. Anderson is proud of the fact that from the beginning, the Relay for Life has been popular with people in Perham and the surrounding area. "It just seemed to hit a responsive note," Anderson said.
The Perham City Council held a public hearing at Monday's July meeting before approving a Sunday Liquor License and an On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor License for Destination Dining LLC. Jake and Kellie Smith, who applied to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division for both licenses, plan to operate their business at 165 West Main Street in Perham, a property formerly occupied by the Whisk from Scratch Coffee Shop. "They will be a restaurant with a full-scale bar," City Manager Jon Smith said. "They are hoping to be open by August 1."
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that during the last two weeks, between the hours of 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., a Dead Lake Road resident has seen individuals with flashlights coming off the lake and trespassing onto his property. It has been reported the night visitors have been using their flashlights to look through the windows of out-buildings. They are believed to be using a canoe or some other small watercraft for transportation.
If there anything wrong with the employment situation in Perham this summer it appears to be hiding pretty well. Despite signs advertising for help at several Perham businesses, employers seem to be okay with the status quo.
Population counts showed good results for several species of ducks that nest in Minnesota, according to the results of the annual Department of Natural Resources spring waterfowl surveys. "Mallard, blue-winged teal and Canada goose counts were all improved from last year," said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. "The survey is designed for mallards and our breeding mallard population remains above its long-term average."
Perham Superintendent Mitch Anderson is moving later this summer and he is taking hundreds of teenagers, faculty and support staff with him. With summer pushing its way into July, work at the new Perham High School is about five weeks away from a point where the $40 million, 151,000-square foot house of learning can be occupied by school staff instead of construction workers. The new school will be opening 102 years after the one opened on 200 Fifth Street SE.
A fire call to the Perham Fire Station at 12:28 p.m. Monday sent units to the nearby Shearer's Snacks plant where firemen discovered a fire in one of the cooking stacks. Perham Fire Chief Mark Schmidt said the a fire will occur from time to time. He recalled attending about three such fires in his time with the department. "Basically it is a grease fire," Schmidt said as his units cleared the scene shortly after 1 p.m.