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Special guest, former NFL football pro Randy Moss attends Pelican Rapids High School graduation

Seventy two graduates of Pelican Rapids High School walked the stage May 22, at a commencement ceremony that included a visit by former Minnesota Viking professional football player Randy Moss.
He traveled to Pelican Rapids to fulfill a promise to graduaate Kassi Spier, who met Moss at an autograph session in 1998–and forged a lasting friendship.
Moss is pictured here, after presenting Kassi with her diploma.

(Details in the May 27 print edition of the PELICAN RAPIDS PRESS)

85 year anniversary of ‘Pelican  skeleton’ to be observed in 2016

A milestone date for the most famous “citizen” of Pelican Rapids is on the horizon.  
The “Minnesota Woman” skeleton was discovered north of Pelican Rapids 84 years ago.  A group is already planning for the 85th year, with an event planned June of 2016 in Pelican.
“We’re promoting her legacy here in Pelican Rapids,” said Phletus Williams, a retired scientist who has been reviving research and raising awareness of the discovery–one of the oldest known human remains ever found in North America.
Williams and his wife Sally, who has also been active in the process, attended the April 28 council session. On the agenda was a request to reserve the park shelter at E.L. Peterson Park for an event that will observe the 85th year since the discovery was made.
Meanwhile, “things are percolating” with the committee, noted Williams.  In addition to the 2016 event, the committee’s plans include creation of a sculpture and other art work celebrating “Minnesota Woman.”  
Long term, the committee is planning to expand on the Minnesota Woman story, including more detailed information and more features at the site of the historic marker–north of Pelican Rapids on Highway 59.  read entire story. . . .

Rosiles, Haiby top Pelican Class of 2015

The top students of Pelican Rapids High School  have been announced, and will walk the stage with about 70 of their Class of 2015 classmates May 22.
Class Valedictorian is Guillermo Rosiles.  Salutatorian is Lincoln Haiby.
Commencement is 7 p.m. May 22 at the high school gymnasium.
Rosiles, son of Guillermo and Gloria Rosiles maintained a 4.0 GPA for grades 9-12 of his high school career. Mr. Rosiles has actively participated in National Honor Society holding the office of President during his senior year. On the  Student Council he held the office of Vice President during his junior year; and  was S.A.D.D. (Students Against Destructive Decisions) Officer 2013-2015.  read entire story. . . .

Road preservation project in west central Minnesota begins May 20

Motorists can expect brief delays on three highways in west central Minnesota beginning Wednesday, May 20, as crews complete a seal coating project.
The project will extend the life of the pavement surface.
The highways included in this project include:
·         Highway 55 from Glenwood to the west Douglas County line near Hoffman
·         Highway 9 from Interstate 94 to Highway 10
·         Highway 75 from Highway 12 at Ortonville to Graceville
During this work, a pilot car and flaggers will control traffic, and motorists should plan for daily lane closures in the area where crews are working. Drivers are urged to slow down and be alert for loose gravel and oil spraying in these areas.
Crews will work during daylight hours.
The work is expected to be done by May 29, weather permitting.
This project helps ensure MnDOT’s transportation system will continue to serve the state for many years.
For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org or dial 5-1-1.

Memorial Day program  at Trinity church May 25

Memorial Day observances will be in different surroundings this year, as Pelican Rapids veterans organizations prepare to host the service at Trinity Lutheran Church.
With the Pelican Rapids Fine Arts Auditorium demolished as part of the school renovation project, the program will be moved–for probably one of the only times in the past eight decades.
The program is 10 a.m. at Trinity,  located east of the Post Office and Pelican Valley Health Center.
The park ceremony will follow, next door to the church, at about 11.
The parade from the park to the Pelican VFW Post will then proceed–some time between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The Pelican American Legion 17 and VFW Post 5252 will jointly host the program.  read entire story. . . .

Short-term ban on storage buildings imposed while city reviews housing

The Pelican Rapids Council issued a six month moratorium on storage buildings in residential areas at the May 12 meeting.  
The measure passed unanimously and was recommended to the council by the planning commission.
City Administrator Don Solga said that the moratorium is in place to give the planning commission time to evaluate and clarify existing ordinances. The moratorium will expire in November if no further action is taken, but the planning commission will take up the issue at its next meeting. They will make a further recommendation for council action once a policy is hammered out.  read entire story. . . .

Jack Marko: Witness to history  during conflict that spanned the globe

World War II vet saw Pearl Harbor attack’s aftermath...witnessed flag-raising at Iwo Jima... helped deliver war-ending A-Bomb...landed in Tokyo after fall of Japan

Pelican Rapids is home to so many remarkable people with incredible stories. But often, it is our senior citizens who carry some of the most remarkable life stories.
Pelican Valley Health Center is dedicated to honoring and recognizing the lives and stories of residents and tenants.
Many are a living reminder of the history of our area and our country and many were part of important world events. We are honoring our residents with a Senior Spotlight to shine a light on these incredible accomplishments. In honor of Memorial Day, we are featuring the story of Riverfront Manor tenant Jack Marko.  read entire story. . . .

Fellow Pelican grad honored with yearbook dedication

Honored with a full page spread in the 2015 Pelican Rapids High School yearbook was a fellow Viking.
The school’s yearbook was off the presses last week, and in a presentation May 12, it was announced that the year book would be dedicated to Pelican school system educator Cary Haugrud.  Haugrud himself is a 1985 graduate of Pelican High School, and is a social studies teacher in the school district.
Yearbook staff have established a unique tradition over the years, with each yearbook being dedicated to an individual that has had a special influence on the class. The dedication is a surprise; announced at a gathering of the entire student body each May when the yearbook is published.  read entire story. . . .

Minnesota State Fair Cancels 2015 Open Class and 4-H Poultry Shows

The Minnesota State Fair has canceled its poultry shows for the 2015 Great Minnesota Get-Together. The cancellations are in response to the directive issued by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

For the 2015 State Fair, the Poultry Barn will feature interactive displays and presentations about Minnesota's poultry industry and its huge contribution to the state's economy.

Throughout its 160-year history, State Fair livestock shows have been modified, restricted, and even canceled for animal health reasons. The most recent occurrence was in April of 2014 when no regional horses were displayed during the Minnesota Horse Expo due to an equine virus.  read entire story. . . .

4-day week official;  but questions linger

Does shortened week affect learning process?

The four-day school week is official in Pelican Rapids–at least through the 2015-16 school year.
It was largely a formality when the Pelican Rapids school board, May 6, approved the four-day week. But there was discussion of the matter, nonetheless.
“It boils down to the budget,” said Board member Mitch Monson.  Though he echoed concerns of other board members as to whether or not the four-day week has an impact on academic performance.
“Catch 22” is how board member Dena Johnson described the situation.  The four-day week saves money, projected at about $120,000 a year. Under a five-day week, it would likely require cutting the equivalent of two or more teaching positions. Fewer teachers and larger class sizes will also impact academic performance.  read entire story. . . .

‘Swan song’ for standout  Pelican high school musicians

A pair of exceptional Pelican Rapids High School musicians performed their final act at the May 7 Pelican Rapids spring concert. Seniors Sydney Haugrud, left, and Carly Black were featured in “Concertante for Two Flutes and Band.”  
It was a very rare honor that two students–from the same school–playing the same instrument–were selected for the All-State Symphonic Band earlier this year. Black and Haugrud have that distinction, and performed in February at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.