Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune as a reporter and magazine editor in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in Detroit Lakes with her husband, Dan, their 3-year-old son and baby daughter, and their yellow Lab.
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A new group of young worker bees is buzzing around Perham High School's Career Tech Center. The school has started a manufacturing education class that's giving students the chance to learn valuable business skills while earning course credit — and cash. The name of the class, Jacket Manufacturing, is a play on the school's Yellowjacket mascot.
Otter Tail County on Tuesday became the first county in Minnesota to raise the legal purchasing age for tobacco products from 18 to 21. In a unanimous 4-0 vote, the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance commonly known as Tobacco 21, or T21, at their regular meeting Nov. 13. The new regulations will begin in January, on a phased-in basis.
The treasurer of the Honor Flight of North Dakota/Minnesota program visited Perham on Monday to speak at the In Their Own Words Veterans Museum (ITOW) and accept a donation check from United Community Bank. David Brunsvold, himself a Vietnam veteran, has taken seven Honor Flights since joining the organization about a decade ago. The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit created to honor American veterans for their service and sacrifice; it has about 140 regional hubs across the nation, including the local Honor Flight of North Dakota/Minnesota.
Junior speech competitor Grace Kalina brought people to tears with her poetry performance about a WWII soldier's death and the high cost of war; the choir's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner had veterans in the audience standing at attention and saluting; guest speaker Major Shaun Carlson got parents nodding along as he spoke about the importance of making and living up to commitments; and the many veterans in the room received a standing ovation when they stood up to be recognized.
After 36 years in business, Doug and Sue Eckes have retired, turning over the reins of Perham Office Supply to a Houston-based businessman with an online presence in office supply sales through Amazon. Levi Gottlieb, who lives in Texas with his wife and their two children, said he and a silent partner purchased the Perham store as a "pilot project," and he hopes this will lead to further brick-and-mortar store purchases in additional communities.
The race for Perham-Dent School Board was a tight one, with one candidate squeaking onto the board by just eight votes. Five candidates were vying for four open seats on the board, including three incumbents — Nathan Rooney, Christi Stoll and Arnie Thompson — and two challengers, Justine Anderson and Michael Hamann. Sue Huebsch, who would have been the fourth incumbent, did not seek reelection.
Betty Murphy has won a seat on the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners. Murphy is best known in Perham for her role as director of the Perham Area Community Center. She beat out her opponent, Robert Lahman of Parkers Prairie, with 52.73 percent of the vote, compared to Lahman’s 47.11 percent.
Perham voters have shown the love for their community center. In Tuesday’s election, they gave a big nod of approval to the Perham Area Community Center’s “Fit-Up” plans for an expansion and improvements, authorizing a local option sales tax that will raise up to $5.2 million to put toward the project.
The nationwide fervor surrounding today’s midterm election seems to have reached into local polling places, where record numbers of early votes were cast and election officials were reporting uncommonly high turnout as of mid-day. The polling site at Perham City Hall was “busier than during a (typical) general election,” according to City Manager Jon Smith, who was helping to direct incoming voters.
A driver was injured on Halloween day after flipping his pickup truck on Highway 78 south of Battle Lake. According to a report by the Minnesota State Patrol, Benjamin Henry Erholtz, age 44, of Morris, Minn., was traveling northbound down the highway when his Ford F150 hit an approach on the east shoulder and went airborne. The truck landed front end first, causing it to roll end-over-end before coming to a rest on the driver’s side.