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Time to upgrade that aging election equipment: Counties including Becker, Otter Tail, Wadena and Hubbard are taking advantage of $7 million in state matching grant money. It provides up to a 50 percent match for mandatory equipment, such as optical scan precinct counters, optical scan central counters, or assistive voting devices, and up to a 75 percent match for electronic rosters. Becker County asked for, and was granted $71,000 for new equipment. That means the county will have to kick in another $71,000 towards the total purchase price.
If you want a say in politics, it all starts with the precinct caucuses on Tuesday evening. Members of major parties in Minnesota won't endorse candidates at their precinct caucuses, but they will elect delegates to the county convention, which will endorse legislative candidates. And they will get to weigh in on who they want to see run for governor. Gov. Mark Dayton has served two terms and isn't running for reelection, so there won't be an incumbent defending the office.
A lifetime of hunting and fishing trophies went up in smoke with a devastating fire at Toad Lake Taxidermy last week.
Jay Peterson is back as head coach of the Lake Park-Audubon girls basketball team, and Assistant Coach Ashley Tingelstad has also returned to the team. The team played Fosston at home on Monday. Conflict between Peterson, some players and some parents led to complaints to the school board, which caused Peterson to be placed on paid administrative leave last week during an investigative process. LP-A High School Principal Mary Merchant completed the investigation last week and school district administration acted to reinstate Peterson as head coach.
First things first: The owner of Nature's Design Landscaping and Retail Center in Pelican Rapids is named Lance Akers. An incorrect name was used in a recent story in our special section on the ice palace. Like everyone else working on the ice palace near the Pavilion on Little Detroit Lake, Akers is a volunteer. All the equipment, time and labor are being donated. "Every man-lift, every crane — we had two different cranes out here — every last thing is donated," he said.
For local Vikings fans who went to Philadelphia for the playoff game against the Eagles, it was the Trip from Hell. Many left the stadium early because they didn't feel safe, and interviewed separately, they all described it the same way: "It was horrible." Seems like a trip to the Philadelphia Prison System would have been friendlier, and less stressful.
It's an interesting scenario: An employee experiences back problems and is no longer able to do the job they were hired to do in a safe manner. How far should an employer have to bend to accommodate them? Should they be fired? What kind of rights does that employee legally have? It's a scenario that has been brought from a Detroit Lakes company to the Minnesota Appellate Court. An injured employee of Team Industries is batting zero in her legal efforts against the company, which has engineering and manufacturing plants in Detroit Lakes, Audubon, Park Rapids, and other cities.
After an amazing victory over the Saints on Sunday, Minnesota Vikings fans have been floating on purple and gold clouds all week—special events at the schools, Purple Pride celebrations at work, shoppers blitzing store shelves and clearing out Vikings jerseys, and a general feeling that all is right with the world, at least for now. "My voice is hoarse, I've been talking about the playoffs so much," said "Barber Jon" Stone, a die-hard Vikings fan who watches the games on a big screen TV at his shop in Detroit Lakes.
A benefit is planned for later this month for longtime Frazee-Vergas High School teacher and coach Parker Williams, who recently had a large aggressive tumor removed from behind his tonsils. He is currently undergoing radiation for stage 4 cancer and has a long road of recovery ahead of him. Parker has been a solid part of the community since he landed a job teaching and coaching at Frazee in 1970-1971. Through the years he taught high school economics, government, world history, physical education, health and sociology.
Lawrence Jacob Bruguier, 27, of White Earth, has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony third-degree assault. According to court records, on Jan. 1 tribal police were called to a residence in White Earth, where Bruguier had allegedly punched his former father-in-law in the face multiple times, breaking his jaw and inflicting damage that required a metal plate and reconstructive surgery to repair. Bruguier allegedly assaulted the older man, with whom he shares a residence, because he thought the man was "talking down" to him.