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A TERRIFIC PERFORMANCE by the cast and crew of The Phantom of the Opera, held last Friday and Saturday at the Ortonville High School Auditorium. Pictured above is a scene from the musical. In front at right are Jordan Oland (Ubaldo Piangi) and Rhaelee Gronholz (Carlotta Guidicelli), along with the dancers. The play was under the direction of Mrs. Lisa Berdan and assisted by Laurie Maas.

Graceville couple charged with drug possession

A Graceville man and woman were charged in Big Stone County Court on Friday, April 17 with the sale and possession of drugs.

Josh Kafka, 31, was charged with two counts of 1st degree sale of 10 grams or more of cocaine, heroin and meth within a 90 day period; controlled substance crime in the 1st degree; and storing meth paraphernalia in possession of a child or vulnerable adult.

Kayla Fuhrman, 32, was charged with one count of a controlled substance crime in the 2nd degree and one count of storing meth paraphernalia in possession of a child or vulnerable adult.

On Wednesday, April 15, the Big Stone County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 617 5th St. W. in Graceville. The search warrant was in relation to an on-going investigation into the sale of methamphetamine in the Big Stone County area.  Members of the Big Stone County Sheriff’s Office seized methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, cash, and other items related to the investigation.

Both Kafka and Fuhrman were taken into custody and transported to the Traverse County Jail. Fuhrman  was released on her own recognizance while Kafka remains in the Traverse County Jail. Both will make their second appearance in Big Stone County this Wednesday, April 22. 

OHS FIRST Robotics team competes at Williams Arena

The Ortonville FIRST Robotics Team Midwest Warriors Team #3300 traveled to Minneapolis on Wednesday, April 1 for the 10,000 Lakes Regional held at Williams Arena. The game this year was called Recycle Rush.

The objective of the game was to stack totes as high as a team is able to. The higher the stack the more points scored. Also, a part of the game was to stack a recycling trash can on top of the totes to double the stack's points. If the recycling trash can had "litter" in it; there were additional points scored. The "litter" was pool noodles.

Teams could also have a human player throw "litter" across the field of play to land in the opposing team's area for points. Team #3300 finished 33 out of 63 teams at the competition. The robot for the team functioned well and had little repairs that had to be completed between matches.

The mentors for the team Gary Pfleger, Joan Foley, Bob Foley, Zach Larson, Jake Meyer, Lisa Merritt, and Brian Merritt were extremely proud of how well the team performed and  how well built the robot was. The team is planning a public presentation of the robot on Wednesday, May 13 at the high school.

Reminder to landowners to obtain a burning permit

With the spring season upon us, many area landowners are cleaning up their properties. For many, this includes burning.

The Big Stone County Sheriff’s Office reminds all landowners that a burning permit is required to legally complete these burns. This permit, which costs five dollars, can be obtained at the Big Stone County Sheriff's Office, Bobby Jo's in Beardsley, Titan Machinery in Graceville and the Stock Service in Correll.  Once the permit is obtained, which is good for a calendar year, it must be activated by phone each time a burn is conducted.

With the dry weather and high winds, the Minnesota DNR often restricts burning. If burning is restricted, you will be unable to activate your permit.  If you burn without a permit and did not activate it, you are subject to a citation. Additionally, if the fire is reported by a passer-by or other persons, you may be subject to fees assessed by the responding fire departments.

As a general rule, if a fire department in Big Stone County responds to a fire that has a burn permit activated for such a fire, no fees will be assessed. Fire Departments would rather respond and find out it is a controlled burn than to not be notified, only to find out later it was an out of control fire. Burn permits are not required if there is three inches of snow on the ground.

Time to line up excursions through “Let’s Go Fishing”

Ortonville’s “Let’s Go Fishing”, in its ninth year, is a non-profit organization with a goal to provide fishing and boating excursions for senior citizens and youth.

The pontoon is now docked at the Peninsula public access, holds 11 people which includes a driver and one other volunteer so it provides rides for nine other people. The pontoon is handicap accessible and can fit two wheelchairs at a time.

Volunteers must complete a water safety training for liability and insurance purposes. The training consists of viewing a video on water safety. They are in need of volunteeers so if anyone would be interested please contact Maureen at 701-520-3761.

Given the opportunity, many senior citizens love to go fishing and boating, but are no longer able to go on their own. Best of all, this provides an outing for you. This is a great opportunity for fishing enthusiasts to help senior anglers back on the lake. You are required to have a current fishing license.

Boat rides are free and all bait and tackle, poles and life jackets are provided.

Excursions go out as often as people are interested and as often as volunteers are available. Trips are anywhere from one and a half hours to three hours long. They want you to enjoy your ride.

Rides can be organized for groups or organizations from the local and surrounding areas including those from South Dakota.

This year, they would like to encourage youth groups, veterans, nursing homes and group homes to take an excursion. Anyone interested in arranging a ride may contact Darlene Loeschke at 320-305-0480.

Seth Parker