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DNR postpones invasive species training and trailer decal program

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will postpone the new aquatic invasive species training and trailer decal program that was due to launch at the end of the month while legislators consider changes to the program.

Under a law passed by the state Legislature in 2012, anyone trailering a boat or water-related equipment such as docks and lifts in Minnesota is required to take aquatic invasive species training and display a decal on their trailer. The effective date is July 1, 2015.

“With the legislative interest in this educational program and ongoing discussions about possible changes, we are postponing the launch until we see if the Legislature acts this session to modify the program,” said Bob Meier, DNR assistant commissioner.
 read entire story. . . .

Anglers, ‘plungers’ enjoy  day on frozen Lake Lida

The second annual “Hillbillies Ice Hole Plunge” and Pelican Rapids Area Jaycees ice fishing derby combined to draw record crowds to Lake Lida Jan. 24.
First “plunger” in the line-up was Brian Jones, pictured top, as he struck a classic swimsuit model pose before taking a dive into open water.  Inset, Dillian Umalt sported pink for his plung.
Also pictured, hundreds of anglers, plungers and fans gathered for Jaycees ice fishing tourney and the plunge.

Legislature may keep door open to four-day school week alternative

The future of four-day school week schedules in Minnesota are back in the spotlight at the legislative level.
With new legislation being discussed in St. Paul this session, the door may have cracked open for Pelican Rapids schools to continue the four day schedule.  
There are two initiatives moving through committee meetings at the state capital, reported Superintendent Deb Wanek at the Jan. 21 school board meeting.
•One proposal would essentially “grandfather in” four day schedules.
•Another initiative would give school districts local control over schedules–giving local school boards the authority to decide.
Deadline pressure faces Pelican school administrators.
The application process to extend the four-day week for at least another year would need to start almost immediately, and is due in April.
The legislative proposals are at odds with position of Gov. Mark Dayton and the Department of Education–which have generally opposed four-day schedules. Their concerns center around beliefs that the four-day week has not produced improvements in academic performance.  read entire story. . . .

Lack of snow has impact– both positive and negative

The weather this year has been less winter and more like late autumn, and depending on what activities one wants to participate in it's either heaven or hell.  
People all over the area are giving mixed reviews of the changes in the weather– which is often knee-high snow by this time of year.  
It isn't just the humans who feel the changes this time of year. Wildlife is also effected by the changes in the weather.  Some species of animals are thriving with the current low amounts of snow fall. The amount of unusual song birds that can be seen this time of year is one thing that is most obvious. The song birds might be designed for living outdoors, but this year they are finding it easier to search out food than on average years.  This means that they aren't going to have to go as far south to keep fed.  read entire story. . . .

Norwegian Grove receives cash gift

A near-century old man with deep immigrant roots  in Norwegian Grove Township has sent goodwill–in the form of donated cash–from the grave.
A $2,500 donation to the township is courtesy the late Ralph M. Holman, whose parents and grandparents are buried in the tiny Norwegian Grove Cemetery.  
Holman died in spring of 2014 at age 99 in Montana, and the township recently learned that .5 percent of his estate was earmarked for the care and upkeep of the Norwegian Grove cemetery.
“It was a total surprise to us,” said Norwegian Grove town board member Thomas Axness.
Holman’s connection to the Scandinavian community of Norwegian Grove:
Parents:  read entire story. . . .

Valentine’s Day...New Orleans style

Mardi Gras event to fall on Feb. 14 in Pelican Rapids

It will be a Valentine’s Day celebration– Mardi Gras style–as the Pelican Rapids Chamber of Commerce plans its annual mid-winter fundraiser for February 14.
The Mardi Gras event has become an annual tradition over the past several years.
This year, Pelican Supper Club is the venue for the New Orlean’s style social event–conveniently falling on Valentine’s Day.
The Chamber will be having the silent auction again and donations are being sought for the event. For information on how to donate items for the auction, contact Jennifer Hams, office manager, at the Pelican Chamber.  read entire story. . . .

Enrollment gains recorded at Pelican Viking elementary school

Enrollment gains have been recorded at the Pelican Rapids Elementary School, reported Principal Ed Richardson at the Jan. 21 school board meeting.
January student counts totalled 473 in grades K-6; up from 465 in December.  A refugee family from Somalia, with five youngsters, is expecting to enroll this month.  Richardson said charitable organizations are contributing clothing and winter gear for the children.  
High school enrollment has been mostly steady, with current grade 7-12 numbers at 423, reported high school Principal Brian Korf.  read entire story. . . .

Tucker Hibbert wins historic eighth straight X Games Snocross gold medal

Tucker Hibbert put on a dominating performance at X Games Aspen 2015 to win a record eighth-consecutive Snocross gold medal. Now with 13 overall medals, he’s tied for first on X Games’ list for the most medals in a single winter discipline.
Hibbert, who is headquartered in Pelican Rapids, is sponsored by Monster Energy / Arctic Cat / Ram Truck’s.
Typically, the X Games Snocross course features a wide start line, massive big-air jumps and sweeping banked corners but, this year, it was more like a minefield. Riders struggled to find rhythm on the rough, 45-second track. With his sled setup perfected for Aspen’s high-elevation, Hibbert relied on his years of experience and fitness to navigate the grueling course.  read entire story. . . .

Caring for grandpa...and grandkids

Pelican Valley proposal to add day care facility would bring young, old together

There is an undeniable demand for child care in the Pelican Rapids area, and Pelican Valley Health Center is testing the waters to determine if it can help meet that demand.
The lower level of Riverfront on Main is underutilized space which is well-suited for a day care operation. In collaboration with Children’s Corner Learning Center, Fergus Falls; Pelican Valley board and administrators have advertised for child care teachers in an effort to determine whether there are enough employee prospects to staff the facility.  An ad for child care teachers appears in this week’s edition of the Pelican Rapids Press.  read entire story. . . .

‘Cop dog Sarge’ put to sleep after faithful service to Pelican

Sad day as Pelican PDchr(8200)bids farewell to a best friend
“Sarge” the canine cop is in dog heaven.
The 13-year-old Belgian “Malinois” shepherd dog that served the city of Pelican Rapids police department for most of his career was put to sleep January 3.
“We had to put down Sarge,” reported Police Chief Jeff Stadum, sadly, at the Jan. 13 Pelican Rapids City Council meeting. His death follows less than five months since his official retirement from the Pelican P.D.
Sarge had been relatively inactive for a couple years, according to Stadum.  Early last fall, the dog overheated and Stadum was afraid he would pass away. Stadum was working on the adoption process, but Sarge’s condition declined over the past few months.  read entire story. . . .