Gert Larson, who still lives in her own home on the southeast side of Lake Alice, turned 105 on Easter Sunday. 

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Dan Sternberg and Kevin Pearson, both teachers in the Fergus Falls Public School system at Kennedy Secondary School, recall a classic basketball rivalry. They point to the 1989-90 season when, as starters, they played for the Otters twice against Staples-Motley.

Temperatures were minus 20 degrees and even lower on Feb. 21, 1965, when the Fergus Falls Otter boys basketball team bus departed for Bemidji. Awaiting the Otters were the perennial powerhouse Lumberjacks who seldom lost at home.

Those in Texas who signed on as wholesale buyers of electricity, prior to the recent winter blast, opted to do so when sales pitches promised lower bills. That held true for many of them, until Mother Nature hit hard at the Lone Star State.

A surprise to many is that Bill Gates of Microsoft fame is now the owner of a company running tests to become the builder of next-generation nuclear reactors.

In January Fergus Falls Otters boys’ basketball head coach Matt Johnson emphasized to his players that it’s an honor to participate in Otter athletics. And with that honor comes responsibility.

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners has a reputation of working in a bipartisan manner to address a problem and find a solution for the betterment of county residents.

Back in the mid-1950s, when kids in Fergus Falls played sandlot baseball, the Milwaukee Braves were considered “our team” as far as major league baseball was concerned.

Election vote tabulations in Otter Tail County (OTC) in November 2020 were secure and free of irregularities, says OTC Auditor-Treasurer Wayne Stein. That’s good news for county residents.



Aircraft hijacking incidents between the United States and Cuba were at their height between 1968 and 1972. These incidents were attributed to extortion, flight for political asylum and mental illness.

The passing of “Jeopardy” game show host Alex Trebek on Nov. 8, 2020, was like losing a member of one’s own family.

Budd Andrews of Pelican Rapids, who turned 100 on Dec. 22, over the years had a long list of hobbies that won him the admiration of relatives and friends.

On Dec. 23, 1966, the night before Christmas Eve, Fergus Falls Otter boys basketball fans packed the old high school gym next to Roosevelt Park. Fergus Falls was the heavy underdog against Moorhead which eventually advanced to the state boys basketball tournament.

Many longtime residents of Fergus Falls recall the days in the 1950s and 1960s, when they were kids, of being dropped off at 940 W. Cavour Ave., to take piano lessons from the legendary Hazel Van Dyk.

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Minnesotans, and people all across the nation are politically divided. The reasons are many, and not the least of these are divisions between metro and rural areas.

Many older residents of Fergus Falls, while experiencing the challenges with COVID-19, recall the early 1950s when the polio outbreak also was a scary time.

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Fergus Falls retiree Steve Johnson, FFHS Class of 1972, played in six different bands between 1966 and 1989, and then ran a mobile disc jockey service called Steve’s Audio Plus for 22 years, until 2012.

Roger Bjorklund, a 1966 graduate of Fergus Falls High School who played baseball in this community, enjoyed attending college baseball games as a resident of Southern California.

Guy Snoeckx, an exchange student from Belgium to Fergus Falls High School in 1964-65, now finds himself locked down in his home country due to COVID-19.

Sid Hartman, several years before his passing, finally came around in his support of women’s athletics. For many years the Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist operated in the old boys club, almost adhering to the saying of “no girls allowed.”

One of the lasting legacies of President Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower, who left office in 1961, was construction of the interstate highway system.

I grew up on the 900 block of West Cavour Avenue. John Runningen, currently a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, grew up on the 1000 block of West Summit Avenue, the street just north of Cavour Avenue.

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Many people, while driving across the bridge just north of the roundabout on the west side of Fergus Falls, witness construction at the nearby Pisgah Dam.

The first TV presidential debate took place 60 years ago, on Sept. 26, 1960. Participating were the Democratic candidate, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, and Vice President Richard Nixon, a California native.

Sixty years ago the Fergus Falls Red Sox town baseball team had to wait more than a week to play in the state Class B title game. That’s because rain fell day after day, after Labor Day, at the state tournament baseball field in Springfield, west of Mankato.

Longtime football fans of the Fergus Falls Otters and Pelican Rapids Vikings recall the Labor Day classics between the Otters and Vikings in the years following World War II, from the late 1940s to the early 1960s.

Many baby boomers have good memories of Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Byrds, widely acclaimed pop rock bands who performed in the mid-1960s, at the Balmoral Pavilion on the southeast side of Otter Tail Lake.

Over the years many Wheaton natives have found their way to live in Fergus Falls, and the same holds true for Fergus natives ending up in Wheaton.

Tourism is a big part of the North Shore economy, all the way from Duluth to Grand Marais near Lake Superior in northeast Minnesota.

Many people who grew up in Fergus Falls, when heading north over the Union Avenue bridge, remember the old Lincoln School that was situated a short distance north of the bridge, on the west side of the street.

The passing of 1963 Fergus Falls High School graduate Chuck Beck on May 23 in Bend, Oregon, has led to several accolades from his classmates and relatives.

Downtown businessman Bob Allison, in May 1950, was president of the board of directors for the Fergus Falls Red Sox town baseball team. He was highly optimistic at the start of the season. 

Some long-time residents of rural Henning and Ottertail city recall the days in the summer of 1970 when former New York Yankee player and former Minnesota Twins manager Billy Martin stayed with his wife and son at Leaders Resort at Leaf Lakes.

Sixty years ago, on April 12, 1960, Minneapolis Lakers’ star Elgin Baylor and his teammates came to Fergus Falls to play a group of local all-stars in a benefit basketball game sponsored by the Fergus Falls Jaycees.

I have covered meetings of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners as a columnist and part-time newspaper reporter for the past eight years.

Jim Bohannon, a Vietnam veteran and conservative late-night radio talk show host, admonishes both Republicans and Democrats for a federal deficit that now exceeds $1 trillion on an annual basis.

Sixty-three years have past since the 1957 Otter boys basketball team bus went off the road near Carlisle and hit the ditch during a snowstorm. Fortunately nobody was injured enroute to Region 6 tournament action in Moorhead, prior to the days of the interstate highway system.

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Four years ago Donald Trump garnered many votes in rural Minnesota, including widespread support from farmers. He came within one percentage point of taking all of the state’s electoral votes in the 2016 presidential election.

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Will Robertson, who was newsroom editor at The Daily Journal for half a century, never deviated from his support of Republican presidential candidates from 1912 to 1962.