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Clues published as Oktoberfest hunts underway in Pelican Rapids

The hunt is on...for Mr./Mrs. Oktoberfest
Pelican autumn celebration is October 5-9
First, second  clues for the Medallion, Oktoberfest royalty announced
Mr. and Ms. Oktoberfest
Here are the first and second clues in the hunt for Mr. and Ms. Oktoberfest, the mysterious man and woman who are cleverly hidden in the community of Pelican Rapids:
1. One Of Two
2. All Around

1. Smiley
2. Heinie

Medallion Search clues 1 and 2
1. Earthy
2. Info

1. Read
2. Command


No fishing allowed

Fishing in all forms will be banned from Pelican Pete platform, bridges, dam embankment
under newly proposed city law

Spearing, bow-fishing, and rod and reel fishing would be banned from bridge crossings in Pelican Rapids, under a proposed ordinance.
The new law will be the subject of a planning and zoning commission meeting Sept. 1, at noon, at the Pelican City meeting chambers.
Police Chief Jeff Stadum raised the concerns earlier this summer, regarding the safety of fishing at several locations in Pelican Rapids.
Under the language in the proposed ordinance, fishing would be prohibited in the Pelican River, from any part of a bridge that crosses the river.
Further, it would prohibit fishing from the Pelican Rapids dam embankment and spillway; and also from the Pelican Pete platform–where the town’s famous “world’s largest pelican” is positioned.

After half century, Rolling Hills golf course down to final strokes

Pelican Lake area nine hole will close down golf fairways after Labor Day

By Louis Hoglund

A half-century of fairway memories will be all that remains of the Rolling Hills Golf Course after Labor Day.
It was fifty years ago that the tidy nine-hole course opened, situated near the west shore of Pelican Lake.
Owner Cyril Flem will be closing shop, and selling off course equipment–at an on-site auction Sept. 10.
“Well, we made it 50 years,” said Cyril Flem proudly, sitting with his wife Carol in the clubhouse, built about 51 years ago.
“We’re going to miss the people...but its time for us to sit back and retie,” said Carol.  She’s been working the clubhouse, mowing the greens, and “ a little bit of everything” since marrying Cyril Flem 35 years ago.  
It was a sad day August 27, when the final Cormorant Pub Scramble golf tourney was held at Rolling Hills. Launched by then Pub owner Otis and Pam Hestness 29 years ago, the tourney has been a favorite for local and seasonal resident golfers. Pub owner Trisha Maloney has carried on the Pub tourney tradition.
When Rolling Hills opened the greens in 1966, it was basically one of three courses in the area–along with Fair Hills Resort and Birchwood in Pelican Rapids.  read entire story. . . .

Rolling Hills Trivia, Fun Facts

• A short course, hole-in-ones have been “too numerous to count,” said Cyril Flem, especially on the 120 yard number 7.
• On number 5, at 200 yards, there have been three aces–including one shot by Ricky Kohler.
• First golfer on Rolling Hills? Probably Nels Frederickson, a friend of Jim Flem, Cyril’s father–who opened the course in 1966. Jim Flem helped build Edgewood in Fargo, which was established in the mid-1920s. Rolling Hills was a retirement project for Jim.
• Father Jim Flem “built the course for families and average people...he kept the prices down,” said Cyril. Today, it is still among the best values, at $14 a round.
• Cost was 50 cents a round in the early days of Rolling Hills.
• Cyril Flem took over the course in 1974.
• In the old days, everybody walked the course. In fact, Rolling Hills didn’t even have golf carts until 1990. In recent years, 90 percent of golfers now ride carts, said Flem.
• Wildlife and livestock have also enjoyed the Rolling Hills fairways.  “We’ve had about everything out here,” said Cyril–black bear, moose, deer; plus a few escapees from nearby farms, including goats and a bison.
 read entire story. . . .

Court appearance   on Pelican Lake  area RV park issue on docket this fall

By Louis Hoglund

Scambler Township is awaiting word on court appearances regarding the proposed Rolling Hills RV Park.
Earlier this year, the Scambler Town Board approved a permit for the 150 unit camping park–proposed at the Rolling Hills Golf Course site. The permit was quickly challenged by the Pelican Lake Property Owners Association.  The challenge, which seeks overturning the permit on mostly environmental grounds,  has been filed in District Court in Fergus Falls.
The Pelican property owners, through attorney Tami Norgard, Vogel Law Firm, named both the Scambler Township Board and golf course owner Cyril Flem in the case.
Meanwhile, the longtime owner-operator of the golf course will be closing the nine hole operation after this season.
An auction at the course is set for Sept. 10, 10 a.m. The auction billing, from Seifert Auction Company, Pelican Rapids, lists items ranging from tractors to course maintenance equipment to mowers.  
Flem’s father launched the course in 1966 on Country Road 9, near the northwest shore of Pelican Lake. Flem, 74, has been aiming to retire for several years.  His efforts to sell the property as a golf course were unsuccessful, which led him to the concept of re-developing the site as an RV camping park.  read entire story. . . .

Renaissance Festival

Crews continue renovation work as Pelican school  prepares to open doors

Concrete workers were at full production mode last week, pouring sidewalks and pads in front of the Pelican Rapids High School campus. The $24 million renovation and expansion is rapidly moving toward completion, though some of the improvements will not be fully done when the Pelican Rapids school doors open Sept. 6.

Soccer Town USA: Pelican is regional hub for global game

Soccer: A global sport for the ages–and for all ages–is fast becoming a signature for Pelican Rapids.
Reflecting Pelican’s position as a geographic hub for soccer and multi-cultural diversity are these youngsters, Omar and Tony Morelos, from the Melrose area, who traveled with their parents to the community for the summer adult league championship game August 21. Playing for the title in Pelican were a team of Somali players from the Fargo-Moorhead area, and a predominately Hispanic team from Melrose.
This is a big week for “Soccer Town USA,” with the first Viking high school soccer team taking to the turf August 27, 1 p.m. at the Chauncey Martin football field; followed the next day with the third annual Pelican American Cancer Society soccer fundraiser.     PHOTO BY LOUIS HOGLUND

Work at feverish pace at renewed Pelican schools

By Louis Hoglund

From milk and lunch prices--to  buildings and facilities that have been significantly renovated–all the little and big details for the start of the 2016-17 school year are taking shape in Pelican Rapids.
“What we did with $22  to $23 million is amazing,” said  building superintendent Trevor Steeves, as he led the Pelican school board on a tour of the new gym, auditorium, science rooms and renovated hallways.  “Every improvement has been important, not just lipstick.”
Superintendent Deb Wanek said she is anxious to host an open house for the general public–but a date has not been set. “There have been some snags here and there,” said Wanek, “But we’re excited to show it off.”
“Substantial completion”of the project will be  reached by school start, which is Sept. 6, but there will be dozens of small projects remaining, said Wanek.
The new gym, for example, cannot be used until state inspectors sign off on a certificate of occupancy. The bleachers and seating for the gym were being installed last week. The first home volleyball games of the season will be held in the existing, “Legends” gym.  read entire story. . . .

OT Lake Coalition honors Lida’s John McMillen as Volunteer of Year

By Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail County Correspondent

The Otter Tail County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) has honored John McMillen, past president of the Lake Lida Property Owners Association, east of Pelican Rapids, with the Volunteer of the Year award
The award was presented Thursday evening, Aug. 18, during COLA’s gathering at the community room in Ottertail
“John has spent more than 200 hours at our public boat access, distributing aquatic species information,” said Peggy Peterson who nominated McMillen for the award. “He also spearheaded the effort that resulted in the training of six volunteer boat inspectors.”
McMillen has given presentations on how lake property owners can create buffers along their shoreline, and also how rainwater can be collected to prevent runoff.
“John has a passion for protecting our lake, and wants to educate others to see the benefits of native plantings as lakeshore buffers,” said Peterson.  read entire story. . . .

Presidential candidates on hand for Duke’s  Cormorant inauguration

It was Duke the Dog’s third inauguration as “mayor” of Cormorant Village and this year, the occasion attracted two special guests with international notoriety.
Pictured with Duke, who won the election 52-3, are Hillary Clinton, left, and Donald Trump, after the pooch was sworn in August 20 during Cormorant Daze. (Playing the role of the presidential candidates, Mary Rappa and Kath Thom.) Preventing Duke from a total, unanimous landslide vote were two ballots for an ordinary human–and one ballot cast for Lassie.
Background, Duke’s “publicist” David Rick and Cormorant Township officer Steve Sorenson, who swore in Duke. The Great White Pyrenese, a familiar sight in Cormorant, captured international attention when the Cormorant community elected Duke mayor as a gag.

‘Bridging the Gap’

Pedestrian traffic was constant in Cormorant as new bridge introduced to masses at summer festival

The centerpiece of the 2016 Cormorant Daze celebration August 20 was the new bridge, connecting the village’s “uptown and downtown.”
Hordes of visitors walked the pedestrian bridge, from the community center to the Kiddeland Amusement Park, car show, retail stores and other activities on the east side.
A decorative fountain was also added to the wetland.  Heavy rains on August 18 turned the park area into a muddy landscape. Superior Lakeside went to work on Friday, putting down beds of straw and string mesh for dry walking area’s–before visitors swarmed into the village Saturday.
Also pictured at the bridge, Cormorant clowns Jo Downs and Nick Bates.
The Cormorant Township Board completed the bridge, along with landscaping and beautification, for about $50,000.
“Bridging the Gap” was the theme for the 2016 Cormorant Daze, and limited edition t-shirts were created with the slogan–and image of the the bridge and Mayor Duke, the famous dog that has been voted to the post in three consecutive gag elections.  read entire story. . . .

Early morning walk-run in rural  Cormorant was for a healthy cause

Area Special Olympics athletes and Global Missions benefitted from the annual Cormorant Daze 5K Run/Walk on August 20.
About 40 participants enjoyed a back road trek out of Cormorant Village, on a pleasant–but slightly cool morning.
Cormorant Lutheran Church hosts the event annually as a fundraiser.

Election 2016 New candidate seeks school seat; ballots set for city, hospital district

Ballots for local elections are coming into focus, following the August 16 filing deadline.
For the first time in several election cycles, there will be a contested Pelican Rapids School Board race.
Four candidates have filed for three open seats.
Challenging the three incumbents is Anne Peterson.
Meanwhile, three current board members all filed for re-election: Michael Forsgren, Jon Karger and Mitch Monson.
Question on clerk will be on Dunn Twsp. ballot
In Dunn Township, there are no contests for four elected positions.
However, township voters will have a question on the ballot.  The question will determine whether the board can appoint a clerk as a staff position, rather than the conventional election of a clerk.  
Specifically, the ballot question will read: “Shall Option B, providing for the appointment of the clerk by the town board, be adopted for the government of the town?”
Until the vote on the clerk question is determined, Doug Winter has filed and will be on the Dunn ballot.  
Meanwhile, incumbent Dunn Township supervisors Bob Dalman and David Johnson will run unopposed for the two elected supervisor seats. The lone filing for township treasurer was incumbent Sue Peplnjak.
Five file for six seats on  read entire story. . . .

County makes strides to stop spread of AIS

By Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail County Correspondent

“Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers: Clean, Drain Dry” is a sign in place near Swan Lake and other lakes throughout Otter Tail County.
County AIS Specialist Spencer McGrew, making a recent stop at Swan Lake, is proud of the Otter Tail County Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Task Force, lake associations and county residents in general who are working hard to stop the spread of invasive species.
Since 2012 Otter Tail County, led by the County Board of Commissioners in association with the AIS Task Force and area lake associations, has taken the lead in the fight against aquatic invasive species.
Boaters and fishermen throughout Otter Tail County, residents and visitors alike, have the responsibility to inspect boats, trailers and equipment and remove visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels and mud.
“The next step, before leaving a lake, is to drain water from boats, motors and livewells,” said McGrew. “Boat owners also are urged to perform water draining away from boat ramps.
“Lake water stays at the lake. Subsequent steps include disposing of unwanted live bait and worms in the trash.”  read entire story. . . .