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A new home for unwanted pills

Henning residents now have a way to keep unwanted prescription drugs from getting into the illegal drug scene and the environment. They can deposit them in a locked box inside city hall’s front door day or night.
“It’s a way to get illegal drugs off the street,” said Police Chief Mike Helle, who wrote a grant to CVS Pharmacy for the box. “We’ve seen a big rise in teens using prescription drugs, and adults, illegally.”
Similar to a mailbox, the box has a compartment on top for deposits that then drop into a locked lower compartment. Two law-enforcement officials remove the drugs, weigh them and deliver them to an incinerator, where they are weighed again and then destroyed.
Helle said prescription drugs are the most abused drugs today, especially narcotics pain killers. Proper disposal prevents theft and other forms of misuse. The box takes pills, patches, vitamins, pet medications and prescription ointments, but not inhalers, hydrogen peroxide, thermometers, or medications from business or clinics. Needles are also not accepted, although Helle said a box accepting used needles might be available someday.
Besides preventing illegal drug use, the drop box provides an environmentally safe alternative to flushing medications down the sink. Time-release capsules, for example, might make it through the sewer system and be ingested by birds.
Or, said pharmacist Ben Geyer, drug residue might go through the sewer system, get irrigated onto hayfields and then be eaten by cattle.
People come into Seip Drug “all the time” carrying bags of unwanted pharmaceuticals, he said. Geyer can’t take them, because federal law prohibits pharmacies from accepting any leftover medications.  read entire story. . . .

Relay for Life to be held in Henning

Organizers of Henning’s Relay for Life event on May 9 are looking for more teams to join.
So far, two teams have registered to walk in the cancer fundraiser, which will be held at the high school.
Henning High School senior Britta Torgerson, who is organizing the event for her National Honor Society service project, said sign-up and donation forms will be available in the school district office. Teams can also register online at
“Cancer has affected our community a lot and I thought it’d be a good way to raise money for cancer awareness,” said Torgerson.
Relay for Life, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society, began in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt spent 24 hours running and walking around a track in Tacoma, Wash. to raise money to fight cancer. He walked 83.6 miles and raised $27,000. Each year, 4 million people take part in the event and have raised $5 billion in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.
In Henning, the Relay will kick off in the high school gym at 6 p.m. with games, activities and prizes. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. followed by a survivor’s walk on the school’s outdoor track. The teams will walk next. Each team needs at least one person on the track until midnight.  read entire story. . . .

Henning to add half-time teacher

To split or not to split? That has been the ongoing question for Henning School Board members over the past several months.
Last Tuesday night’s regularly scheduled school board meeting was no different as board members weighed two more options for additional teacher time next year that included a .5 FTE addition and a 1.0 FTE addition. Ever since the board received the 2015-16 proposed schedule in February, it has been looking at ways the district could decrease class sizes, especially at the junior high level.
Henning Superintendent Jeremy Olson said from a fiscal standpoint he was hesitant to add instruction time to the schedule since the district is already facing a fairly substantial projected budget deficit of approximately $240,000.
However, Board member Deb Hart said even if the district adds $30,000, or the projected cost for a half-time teacher to its projected deficit, it still has a sizable fund balance that is above the board’s recommended 25 percent of expenses policy. In addition to its fund balance, the board said it could unreserve some of the money set aside for transportation prior to the capital project levy referendum last fall to offset a portion of that projected budget deficit.
Prior to voting, Board member Matt Reinbold said the district needs to be careful as the fund balance the school has accumulated could be gone quickly if it overspends revenues year-after-year.  read entire story. . . .

Construction on track for Ottertail campground

Development of a campground near the southeast side of Otter Tail Lake is on schedule. Homestead at Ottertail RV Park and Resort was previously approved by the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners.
The location is near Highways 78 and 5, in Section 29 of Otter Tail Township.
Previously completed was a mandatory Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) in conjunction with public meetings.
“We’re constructing our campground in three phases and are currently working on phase one,” said developer Greg Swanberg who met Tuesday, April 14, with county board members. “Construction is right on schedule.”
Swanberg later said on April 22 that work is proceeding on roads, pads and trenching in the electrical and plumbing aspects of the project.
“That work is coming along nicely with roughly half of it done at this time,” he said. “We’ve gotten the pool started and that will be completed before Memorial Day. The bath/shower building is started.”
The five-person county board previously reduced the number of camping units from 186 to 141.

Campground environmental
concerns addressed
Despite opposition to the project from area lakeshore property owners, the county board previously agreed, in 2013, with the county planning commission. Both panels emphasized that the campsites, near Highways 78 and 5, will be outside the shoreland area.
Since the campground will be located on the southeast side of State Highway 78, not directly adjacent to Otter Tail Lake, surface water runoff from the campground was not deemed to be an issue.  read entire story. . . .

WDC teacher charged with molesting student

A Wadena-Deer Creek social studies teacher has been charged with molesting a student at his rural Henning home.
Brian Kenneth Maki, age 57 of rural Henning, has been charged in Otter Tail County District Court of one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree-position of authority.
According to the complaint, Maki offered a Wadena-Deer Creek student, who she said she looked to as a role model, a job cleaning cabins for him. The two met on April 16 at a tire store in Deer Creek where he gave her money to drive to his rural Henning home. He told the student he no longer had cabins for her to clean, but invited her to his residence anyway. When they arrived, Maki gave her a tour of the home and the student said she started to get a bad feeling.
Maki removed the student’s shirt, began touching her breasts and asked if she could remove her pants, according to the complaint. When the student said no, Maki gave her an additional $40 and told her not to tell anyone as he could get in trouble.
The student left and later said she was very upset and contemplated suicide, according to the complaint. A detective met with Maki and he “acknowledged he had done a lot for the student” including giving her money due to troubles of her family life and said he had never brought other students out to the residence or done anything like this before.  read entire story. . . .