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Hop to Smith Park for egg hunt

This Saturday there are two children’s Easter Egg Hunts planned, one in New York Mills and one in Ottertail.
Hop on over to Smith Park in NY Mills on Saturday, April 4 for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.
Registration begins at 10:15 a.m., with the big hunt beginning at 10:30 a.m.
“The NY Mills Easter Egg hunt brings kids, businesses and great volunteers together at an event where kids have fun searching for eggs, winning prizes and playing with friends,” said Latham Hetland, this year’s organizer.  
Children in the sixth grade and under are invited to scour behind trees and under bushes throughout the park for 1,500 hidden eggs. In the case of snow or rain, the hunt will take place at the NY Mills School.  
To help the egg hunt be fair, children will hunt within their age group. The groups are infant through preschool, kindergarten through second grade and third through sixth grade. At the end of the hunt, each age category will draw for grand prizes.
The hundreds of plastic eggs will mostly be filled with candy. However, special eggs in each category will contain a prize slip. Children with the prize slips will be able to choose a toy.  read entire story. . . .

More than 868 people needed to win Guinness Record

Dig those Superman suits out of the back of the closet and help place New York Mills in the Guinness World Record book.
On June 13 in Smith Park, everyone is invited to don blue spandex tights and a red cape for a group picture at 4:01 p.m. In order to be counted, each person must wear the underwear on the outside of the tights.
“Just to clarify, the underwear on the outside should be the red spandex ones that Superman wears,” said event organizer Lipra Loof.
“We chose June 13 because that’s the day in New York Mills in which we do all sorts of famous stuff. We have the Great American Think-Off, which receives essays from all over the United States. Then there’s the Ronald McDonald House Ride, which has been recognized as the world’s largest benefit motorcycle ride. So, we just thought, why not try for a world record on this day, too,” said Loof.
The current record of people dressed as Superman is 867 people, set by a group in the United Kingdom. Loof stressed that pretty much everyone needs to participate in order to be successful. It’s an event for both men and women.
“Only Elders’ Home residents don’t have to show up,” said Loof.
For people who honestly don’t own a Superman costume, Loof will have some for sale closer to the big day.
People are encouraged to wear their costumes when they line the streets in NY Mills to cheer on the motorcyclists. People may also wear their costumes on the motorcycles, although some precautions should be taken with the cape.  On the other hand, the Cultural Center is asking everyone to put real clothes on for the Think-Off, held later that evening. Of course, as Superman has already demonstrated, his outfit may be worn under other clothing.
Souvenir t-shirts will be available that read: “I ride, I think, I beat records. No, I’m not Superman, I’m just from NY Mills.”
Another shirt will read: “Small town, three big events, one day.”
Shirts will be available at the office of the Dispatch, who wrote this article as an example of an April Fool’s joke.
That’s right, an April Fool’s joke.  read entire story. . . .

Last smile on the City’s time

After 37 years with the City of New York Mills, Neil Perala is moving on.  
He began full-time with the city utility department in 1978, two days after high school graduation. He first worked with the utility department in the summers starting at the age of 14.
The city hosted an open house in Perala’s honor last week. Family, friends and other utility department workers stopped in to wish Perala good luck in his retirement. Over coffee and cookies, community members quizzed Perala on his future plans, thanked him for all his work over the years and also shared a story or two about the antics of the Perala boys back in the day. It was there, during final hours working for the city, that Perala visited with the Dispatch.  
So, what are Perala’s future plans?
Well, it actually includes a lot of work: “I have a pile of work (at home) that I haven’t got done. I will probably help the brothers out with the auction one or two days a week (his brothers own an auction company). I will continue to work at R&J Horse Sales in Verndale and Mid-State Auto Auction,” said Perala. He added with a smile, he’s leaving the full-time job and continuing with all the part-time ones.
Even with the multiple part-time jobs, Perala is looking forward to having time for hobbies again. This summer he’s planning to pull his canoe back out and take a trip down the Crow Wing River, something he hasn’t done for 10 years. Plus he’s hoping to fit in a horse riding trip or two like he used to do. It’s been a while since he went to the Black Hills in South Dakota just to ride horse.  read entire story. . . .

Roder named director at Cultural Center

The Cultural Center, named Betsy Roder as its next executive director, beginning April 22. Current Director Jamie Robertson will leave his post of eight years  to pursue personal and family interests.
Roder holds a Master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas, as well as Bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance, from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind. Upon completing her graduate degree, Roder worked for the Target Corporation, where she held a variety of management positions; including business analyst, buyer, and merchandise planning manager. While at Target, Roder was Recipient of Target.com Honors Leadership Excellence Award, Target Best in Community Award and the Merchandising DMM Award.
A native of New York Mills, Roder brought her family back to NY Mills in 2010, after almost 10 years away from her home town.  
Roder said, “Though I didn’t realize it when I chose to move back home from Minneapolis, I am part of a movement called “Rural by Choice,” a growing trend among people in their 30s to be intentional about living in a rural community because of the many benefits that lifestyle offers. One of the things that can be a trade off is when moving from the city to a small town is giving up access to the arts. However, in the case of NY Mills, the Cultural Center provides that access, making the rural by choice decision an easy one to make.”
Since 2011, Roder has worked at the Cultural Center as the arts retreat coordinator and gift store manager. In 2012-2014, she was selected to be part of the Cultural Center’s ArtsLab Cohort, which is a two year program of Arts Midwest, that provides intensive training and mentorship for leaders of arts nonprofit organizations. During this two year period she learned about best practices in the areas of arts nonprofit capacity building, strategic planning, fund development, marketing, leadership development, and more.  read entire story. . . .

Second literacy coach to join NY Mills Elementary

The New York Mills Elementary School has been awarded two full-time Minnesota Reading Corps positions for the next school year.
Ever since Reading Corps began in NY Mills in 2012, the school qualified for one tutor. This year, the NY Mills Principal Judith Brockway applied for two positions, and learned recently that both were awarded. She reported this to the school board during last week’s meeting.
The Minnesota Reading Corps Literacy Tutor is currently filled by Brooke Kupfer. She works one-on-one with students in kindergarten through third grades on reading skills. Kupfer attended a special training program prior to the start of her position.
One position will be like the current job, in which the literacy coach helps develop reading skills for students in grades first through third grades. The second literacy coach, which will be new to the school, will be full-time in the kindergarten department. This individual will help children develop core reading skills in their first year at school.
The literacy tutors have been beneficial in the NY Mills Elementary.  
“The Minnesota Reading Corps Tutors over the past three years have served approximately 120 students and we have seen a good 90 percent make their goal in reading,” said Brockway, in a follow-up email.
Besides the benefit to NY Mills students, there is no cost to the school district for these positions. The Minnesota Reading Corps program pays the literacy coaches.  read entire story. . . .

Deer Creek mayor says city needs more money

Deer Creek property taxes might have to go up next year to cover the city’s bills, Mayor Tom Svarvari told the city council at its March 23 meeting.
The city’s balance is about $75,000. It still owes $20,000 for the new ballpark and $20,000 for the 2015 payment on last year’s loan to repair the sewer system.
“That doesn’t leave us a whole lot,” said Svarvari. “Be aware, we will be looking at raising taxes this year.”
Despite the tight purse strings, council members agreed to raise firefighters pay from $6 to $10 per hour per call, and from $4 and $5 per meeting to $10 per meeting.
The council is also considering a request for a raise from maintenance worker Joel Roggenkamp, who said his wages are below that for maintenance workers in surrounding cities. The council will address his request at its April meeting.
Council officials also agreed to pay $10,000 for snow plowing and blading work and $1,200 to clean the water tower. But they’re looking for ways to cut spending, such as an unused fire hall phone line that would save about $400 a year.
The council also debated cashing in a mature $17,000, CD, but ultimately decided to renew it for six months. It will take about that long before the city would need that cash anyway, the mayor said.
“We’re going to be a lot worse off than we were last year,” said Councilwoman Brenda Lee. Last year, the city’s revenue fell short of its bills by about $5,000, the mayor said.  read entire story. . . .