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Cedar Walters of Fergus Falls has been working as a public information and education officer for the Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department for the past few years. Her wealth of knowledge regarding what actually happens after tossing trash and recyclables into the bin is plentiful.

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The Otter Tail County Long-Range Strategic Plan (LRSP) defines a 20-year vision for the county by establishing a long-term plan for managing growth and development decisions. The effort was initiated from the county board’s desire to understand “what do we want our communities to look like i…

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November 15 is America Recycles Day, and the Otter Tail County Recycling Center wants to show you what your recycling can do! Take some time this month to learn about recycling right, and on Monday, Nov. 16 join them on your lunch break for their interactive America Recycles Day celebration …

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Kurt Mortenson and Dan Bucholz were selected to join returning incumbent Lee Rogness Tuesday on the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners in 2021.

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Erhard resident, Cyndi Abbott is a familiar face at the Otter Tail County Motor Vehicle Department, as she has worked there for nearly a quarter of a century. Working through many changes over the years, Abbott is dedicated to getting the public everything they need in accordance with state …

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The Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department has installed a Precious Plastic Mix Workspace at the Otter Tail County Recycling Center in Fergus Falls, thanks to a Community Changemaker Grant from West Central Initiative and collaboration with project partners Springboard for the Arts and Pop…



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Stephanie Retzlaff is a seasoned employee of Otter Tail County, working as their human resources professional for the past 13 years, where she tackles a wide variety of challenges with respect and professionalism, no matter what the situation. Daily Journal Media visited with Retzlaff about …

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With the general election coming up Tuesday, Nov. 3, Otter Tail County citizens are looking to cast their vote for their respective candidates. Here is what you need to know for voting in the county.

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The County Highway 41 bridge at Star Lake near Dent was set on fire in September. Upon survey of the bridge by engineers, additional safety measures have been put in place. The weight restrictions for the bridge are 14 tons for conventional vehicles and 22 tons for semi-trailers. The detour …

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Election Day is Nov. 3, only a little more than two weeks away. COVID-19 hasn’t changed much about the process of voting, although many people are choosing to vote early or vote by mail instead of going to the polls on Tuesday.

Should I get tested? Where can I get tested? What do I do if I test positive? What if the test is negative, do I still have to quarantine? During these uncertain times we all have questions about what to do surrounding COVID-19 symptoms and testing. Otter Tail County Public Health is here to…

Tamra Jokela has been awarded the 2020 Child Welfare Exemplary Service Award. The Child Welfare Exemplary Service Award was developed in 2015 by the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) to recognize Minnesota county and tribal child welfare supervisors and front-line workers …

Public safety officials in Otter Tail County announced recently another step to improve public safety services countywide, this time for businesses and organizations.

The Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department would like to remind residents that those dumping garbage at recycling sites or other locations not intended for waste disposal are committing a crime and misusing county resources. Additional surveillance will be installed at select recycling sit…

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Brian Armstrong, Otter Tail County’s long serving Land and Property Services Division director, will retire from Otter Tail County. He served for over 35 years in a variety of roles throughout county government. In his tenure he is recognized for initiating the county-wide emergency response…

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the flu vaccine is available now to protect people and their families from flu viruses this fall and winter. Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Widespread flu vaccination will also help redu…

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The County Highway 41 bridge at Star Lake near Dent was set on fire Sept. 6. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office reports Ryan Curtis Johnson, of Mapleton, North Dakota, was arrested for arson after allegedly trying to burn down the bridge. The bridge is closed, and a detour has been set u…

This year the Otter Tail County Auditor’s Office has been asked many questions about voting. The pandemic has given rise to new precautions at polling places and questions about alternatives to voting in person. Minnesota has several options available for those who choose not to vote in pers…

Have you experienced financial difficulties or fallen behind on housing payments due to unemployment, illness, or another issue that occurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic? On Sept. 1, the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners approved a policy authorizing deployment of community resil…

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Although burning garbage in a burn barrel or stove has been illegal for more than four decades, up to 25% of rural residents still burn their own garbage. The Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department asks residents to finally put the burn barrel away, as the practice is a misdemeanor offense…

With elections right around the corner, Otter Tail County auditor/treasurer, Wayne Stein has been busy. The 61-year-old Fergus Falls resident has been with the county for over three decades and continues to put forth maximum effort as he tries to help county residents with their questions. W…

Do you have personal property close to the highway right-of-way? Otter Tail County Highway Department reminds you to move property, signs, and items for sale back from the roadway. Public safety for all drivers including snow plow drivers is critical. We do not want your property damaged. Pl…

Do you have past due rent or mortgage payments related to the COVID-19 public health crisis?  In July, Gov. Tim Walz announced that up to $100 million of funding would be allocated from the state’s COVID-19 Relief Fund to create a new housing assistance program. MAHUBE-OTWA has been selected…

On Aug. 18 the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of establishing a 30-day no-wake zone at Twin Lakes, located west of Otter Tail Lake.

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In response to overwhelming interest in water test kits, Otter Tail County has responded. Beginning Sept. 8, 2020, the Land and Resource Management Department will make available water test kits to the public. The water test kits test private drinking wells for coliform bacteria, arsenic, ni…

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This year returning to school is very different than in the past. Most parents and caregivers have been faced with choices about how their child will return to school this fall. The Otter Tail County Public Health  is here to assist parents, caregivers, students and staff as they return to a…

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The Census Bureau is scheduled to end data collection this month on Sept. 30 and Otter Tail County is sitting at only a 55.3% self-response rate, one of the lowest in the state, compared to a state-wide self-response rate of 73.9%.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is going to be equipping deputies with body worn cameras. To be compliant with Minnesota state law, they would like to allow the public to comment on the cameras being purchased as well as the policy they will be adopting for them. The cameras and policy info…

Census takers are currently in the neighborhood. Even though census takers began visiting the area households can still respond online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by mail until Sept. 30. By answering a few questions, you will help shape the future of your community for th…

The Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers (AMEM) announced Patrick Waletzko, Otter Tail County Emergency Management director, has been named the 2020 Joe Strub award recipient.

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Tens of thousands of children could miss out on healthy food if their families don’t apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, also referred to as P-EBT, benefits by July 31. About 350,000 Minnesota school children who qualify for the federal free and reduced-price meal program are eli…

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Recently, Otter Tail County suffered extensive property damage and loss of life as a result of four tornadoes in a single day. As the county recovers from this disaster, it seeks to identify ways it can continue to prepare for future tornadoes and other natural disasters.

Residents of Otter Tail County may have heard a lot of news about federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding.  The funding was authorized under the federal CARES Act. The funds can be used to support local government services as well as grants to businesses, hospi…

Recent weather may have residents and visitors wondering why they may not have received weather warnings they were used to receiving through the county’s emergency notification system. Otter Tail County reminds everyone that beginning July 1, the county replaced its countywide CodeRED emerge…

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Lake recreation became a topic of general discussion at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting. The board discussed issues that were occurring on a lake in front of a constituent’s home. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office has responded to complaints of gatherings of many boats on popul…

Recent weather may have residents and visitors wondering why they may not have received weather warnings they were used to receiving through the county’s emergency notification system. Otter Tail County reminds everyone that beginning July 1, the county replaced its countywide CodeRED emerge…

After a violent EF4 tornado swept through Otter Tail County residents are pulling together in the aftermath. Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office continues to patrol the area and Fergus Falls Public Works crews continue to clean up debris from the right of ways while the assessor’s office and …

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As we continue to navigate the road ahead, the well-being of residents, visitors, business community and employees continues to guide the work of Otter Tail County. In the next phase of the preparedness and reopening plan Otter Tail County will reopen county buildings to the public. County a…

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Even more businesses, organizations and outdoor activities will begin to expand opening or open in Otter Tail County. As businesses began to develop their preparedness plans it became apparent that personal protective equipment (PPE) was in short supply or required large quantities to place …