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Cousins share ultimate bond

By the end of 1944 the Allied forces were marching across Europe in a bloody and unified front against the Nazi regime.
Just six months beforehand, the United States of America and its allies stormed the beaches at Normandy in an attempt to drive the Nazi’s from France. The operation, known as D-Day, began the liberation of northwestern Europe and contributed to the Allied victory on the Western Front. It was a turning point in the war that was still more-than one year away from coming to an end.
An estimated 60 million people and over 400,000 Americans were killed during the war. Among those killed were 15 individuals from the communities of Henning and Vining, including family members, classmates and friends.
Two deaths in late 1944 rocked the Henning community as cousins, PFC Edwin Stueve and PVT Ervin Eckhoff, were killed within one week of each other on opposite sides of the world.
“It was really tough on us,” said Eldon Stueve, who was just a child when his brother Edwin was killed.
Eldon, who would later serve in the military during the Korean War, said it is always difficult to lose someone to war. However, when a family has to go through that difficult time twice in just seven days that hardship becomes magnified.
Edwin was inducted into the service at Fort Snelling on September 17, 1942. After training at Camp Roberts and Ft. Ord in California, he went with the 32nd Infantry through the Aleutian Islands campaign and the Leyte Invasion. It was there that he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country on November 25, 1944.  read entire story. . . .

Ottertail to install bathroom at Pelican Bay

On any given night a handful of fishermen young and old flock to the Pelican Bay Fishing Pier in Ottertail.
The fishing pier, which was installed just a couple of years ago, has grown into a popular destination during the summer months partially due to its handicapped accessibility.
Despite its popularity the Ottertail City Council heard on Thursday night that one thing is missing from the fishing pier area—a handicapped accessible bathroom. During its regularly scheduled meeting, the council heard from Councilman Ron Grobeck who said the fishing pier has grown in popularity, but lacks a bathroom that could be used for elderly, children and those needing a handicapped bathroom.
The closest bathroom to the fishing pier is located across the highway at the public access on Otter Tail Lake.
“You just don’t want someone to go across Highway 78 with the busy traffic,” said Grobeck. “I think it would be good if the city put a handicapped accessible bathroom.”
Grobeck said the original design of the Pelican Bay Fishing Pier project included a spot for a bathroom, although one has yet to be put at the fishing pier in the past. The idea would be to install a porta potty from the middle of May until the middle of September at a cost of $125 per month.
Councilman Darold Woessner said a number of children use the fishing pier with their family and having a bathroom on that side of the highway would be a benefit for them as well.
Since the Ottertail Rod and Gun Club paid for the construction of the fishing pier the council said it will ask the club if it was interested in paying for the porta potty at the pier. Regardless, the council approved the installation of the porta potty for up to four months.  read entire story. . . .

Memorial Day programs to be held in Heninng, Deer Creek

Military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice will be honored at a number of Memorial Day programs on Monday.
In Henning, the Memorial Day program will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the school and once again feature the American Heritage Girls, as well as the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.
This year will feature a variety of musical selections, guest speakers and highlight the American flag. As part of the program flags that are no longer in service, which includes those that are worn and torn, will be used to help honor the 26 people from Henning and Vining who have been killed while serving their country.
The program typically lasts 45 minutes and also includes the Star Spangled Banner, Taps, as well as the Pledge of Allegiance. It is open to the public.

Deer Creek
The Deer Creek Community Center will play host to the annual Deer Creek Memorial Day program. The day will begin with a free-will breakfast from 7:30-10 a.m. The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. and feature the laying of the wreaths, Honor Guard by American Legion Post 283 and honoring deceased members.  read entire story. . . .

Wheelage tax to help fund road projects

In 2015 the County Board of Commissioners, after a public transportation hearing, approved a wheelage tax. This allowed for a charge of $10 added to vehicle license tab renewals, starting in calendar year 2016 in Otter Tail County.
Funds will go to specific county roadway improvement as part of a 25-year transportation plan also approved by county board members.
The wheelage tax will increase to an additional $20 per vehicle starting in calendar year 2018.
“Most counties in Minnesota are like our county and have instituted a wheelage tax of $10,” said Otter Tail County Engineer Rick West.
“This revenue goes directly to the individual counties for road and bridge construction and repair,” he added.
The additional tax will be added onto the vehicle license tabs each time the vehicle registration is renewed.
Otter Tail County is larger in size than the state of Rhode Island and paved roads total 1,062 miles.
“The backbone of the highway system in Otter Tail County requires lots of financial investment,” said County Engineer West.
He said a wheelage tax of $10 per vehicle, authorized for counties by the Minnesota State Legislature, adds close to $600,000 annually for roadway maintenance in Otter Tail County.
In addition, proceeds to Otter Tail County from a one-half cent sales tax will yield close to $4.3 million annually. This money also will be used for road repairs and maintenance.
Area counties which also have half-cent sales taxes for roadways include Becker, Douglas and Wadena counties.
West said the county sales tax applies to items already taxed as part of the state sales tax system. He said the tax does not include a tax on food, clothing or other items that are not taxable in Minnesota.  read entire story. . . .

Henning School to co-op with WDC for hockey

Minnesota is known as the “State of Hockey” and now students at Henning High School will have the opportunity to participate in the popular winter activity at a high school level.
During its regularly scheduled meeting last Tuesday night, the Henning School Board approved a co-operative agreement with the Wadena-Deer Creek School District to pair in boys and girls hockey. Currently, Henning does not offer hockey as a winter sport.
Tyler Reese, who is a ninth grader at Henning School, currently participates in the WDC hockey program and asked the board to consider the co-op. The co-op agreement would allow him and other Henning students to join the sport under the WDC umbrella.
“I just like hockey,” he said.
Henning School Superintendent Jeremy Olson said the district looked into pairing with WDC last year, but the timing didn’t work out for the school’s in the program. He approached WDC again this year and was met with a warm reception.
Currently, the WDC hockey program includes students from Sebeka, Verndale and New York Mills. The cost for the co-op agreement is based on the amount of participants. For instance, all of the expenses, less revenue, are divided evenly among the member schools based on the amount of participants each school has in the sport. Olson said the cost to the district varies from year-to-year, but on average the cost would be approximately $850 per participant. The athletes are responsible for their own transportation to practice in Wadena.  read entire story. . . .

Colorful kick off to Memorial Day weekend

The Henning area will have a colorful way to get their Memorial Day weekend started.
On Saturday morning the third annual Henning Military Park 5K will get underway and will once again feature a color splash with patriotic colors. Participants in this year’s event will be splashed with red, white and blue cornstarch at different stations throughout the 5K route. Those who participate in the run are encouraged to wear white T-shirts to show off their colorful splash of patriotism.
Tammy Williams, who helps organize the annual military park 5K for the park, said there will be one another patriotic twist this year with the new costume contest. Runners who choose to participate in the contest can dress in their favorite patriotic outfit like the Statute of Liberty, Uncle Sam, an American flag or just about anything the mind can imagine. Those who participate in the costume contest will be judged by a group of volunteers with prizes being awarded for the three most patriotic outfits.
Last year’s event raised $5,000 for the Henning Military Park and another $1,000 was donated to the Wounded Warrior Foundation.
This year the hope is to raise $6,000 to purchase additional lighting at the military park, landscaping and continued development, as well as another $1,000 that will be donated to the VFW and the Legion for area veterans funeral fund.
The event begins on Saturday morning with registration kicking off at 7 a.m. A ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. with the 5K run/walk starting after the program. All of the events are being held at the military park.  read entire story. . . .