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Fun in the limelight

In this year’s fairytale production, the New York Mills High School musical cast is enjoying their time in the limelight.
In the past few weeks, students have perfected their waltzes and royal accents in preparation of  “Cinderella’s Glass Slipper.” The musical will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
Although it’s a classic story, the cast of 22 new and returning high school actors puts a spin on the traditional characters. Perhaps the fact that two males have been cast as the ugly stepsisters emphasizes the fun, lighthearted angle in this year’s production. And if last week’s practice is any indication, Joe Bessler and August Johnson-Ding are the perfect choice for the gangly, obnoxious stepsisters.
In these final days before the show, the cast has been working out the kinks in various scenes. Under the direction of Rebecca Imsande and Maggie Nelson, the students slip into character and move past the awkward moments. As they gain stage confidence, the students aren’t afraid to ad lib, make suggestions, and perhaps most importantly, have fun.
The shoe scene during last week’s practice is a good example of the atmosphere. Remember when Prince Charming fits the glass slipper on Cinderella’s foot? Much to the enjoyment of the rest of the cast, the prince (Damon Tumberg) made a rather ridiculous face as he confessed his love to Cinderella (Samantha Salo). Though the actual performance will likely take on a more loving tone, it’s the little moments that make the fall musical a lot of fun.  read entire story. . . .

School Carnival to be on Friday

New York Mills Elementary students are excited the NY Mills Elementary Carnival is finally back in town. Set for this Friday from 4-7 p.m., the fourth annual carnival has students buzzing.
Third grader Abby Riedel is excited about the carnival because it gives her a chance to “see my friends and play the games and get lots of cool things.”
Classmate Kyra Haman agreed, “I’m excited because we get to play games and have fun.”
Fifth grader Jacob Guck has a more specific goal in mind. He wants to see how fast he can throw a baseball at the baseball toss booth, which utilizes a radar gun from the NY Mills Police Department to measure the speed of the ball. Last year Guck clocked 50 mph. “I’m looking forward to doing better than that this year,” he said.
Put on by the Community Supporting Classrooms committee, the elementary carnival hosts throwing games and games of chance, as well as fun favorites like the photo booth and mini-golf. For the cost of a few tickets, children can run through a large inflatable obstacle course, become a superhero or sport an intricate face painting.  read entire story. . . .

Council holds off decision on administrator structure

The New York Mills City Council once again held off making a decision about switching to a city administrator structure. The structure has been discussed a number of times throughout the past couple of months, including at a public hearing. The topic surfaced again at last weeks regularly scheduled city council meeting.
Although counselors agreed to gather more information before making a decision, they responded to some of the concerns voiced by the public.  
Counselor Josh Hoaby said the city clerk position is “a little contradictory of itself in certain points,” because the clerk does not have the authority to make decisions. He feels like the clerk already has all the necessary information, yet the current process is difficult and frustrating because she has no authority.
In last months meeting, the issue of too much power in the hands of the administrator was raised. Counselor Marsha Maki said, “If people fear that the job will have extra power, then they should be assured that the council will still have that (power).”
As far as the cost of moving to an administrator, both Hoaby and Maki, who have been gathering the data on the issue outside of the city council meetings, suggested the change would not be a significant. They estimated, at the most, a $6,000 increase to the current clerk salary.
Public Works Director Kyle Mattson asked the council to provide a checklist of all the things that could change for him under the administrative structure. He said if this was clear from the start, then it could prevent butting heads in the future. The council agreed to put together a list of potential changes for the department heads.
Hoaby said that in the end, if the council decides not to make this change, then the council should be ready to step up and take over some of the responsibilities that the clerk is currently doing that are not technically in the clerk’s job description. If they do not value what the clerk already does to keep the council informed on day-to-day issues, then they shouldn’t expect her to do it. Hoaby indicated that Clerk Darla Berry already does many of the tasks outline in the administrative structure.  read entire story. . . .

NYM freshmen mourn classmate’s death

Monday was a rough day for New York Mills High School students, as they continued to mourn the loss of their classmate Levi Roggenkamp, who died from a tragic accident last Friday.
Although there was no school on Friday, following the news of his death, administration opened the school as a safe place for students to gather. Students made posters, decorated Roggenkamp’s locker and shared stories. On Monday, the mourning process continued as students and staff wore camouflage in memory of their friend.
Superintendent Blaine Novak and High School Principal Michelle Young went from classroom to classroom throughout the morning on Monday, not only to clarify the incident, but also to explain all of the support services that are available at the school.
On Thursday morning at his home in rural Wadena, Roggenkamp suffered a deadly head injury.
According to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s report, “The 14-year-old victim was playing a game with a .38 caliber revolver when he was struck in the head by a self-inflicted gunshot. It is not known if the victim knew there was a live round in the weapon at the time.”
A 12-year-old sibling was home at the time of the incident.  read entire story. . . .

City moves forward on Miller Street

The New York Mills City Council gave the go ahead to design the Miller Street improvement project.
After a public hearing last week with most of the property owners present, the council agreed to work closely with the business owners as they move forward. Due to flooding issues along Miller Street, an urban storm sewer system is being designed, which includes curb and gutter and lift station.
A variety of concerns were brought forward during the public hearing, including the idea of curb and gutter. Some businesses wondered if the curb would hinder parking Subway owner Ken Hendrickx said most of the businesses along that street rely on street parking. Dean Simpson also mentioned that curbs could limit delivery trucks too.
The new street would start at the corner by Casey’s gas station and end right after the car wash. Jerry Larson asked why the project had to go in front of his business. He instead suggested that the project stop right before the car wash.
A big part of the discussion was the cost of the project—estimated around $695,000. Although the estimates are on the higher end, Apex Engineering estimates $193,000 would be assessed directly to property owners. The assessed rate is $155 a linear footage. A 50-foot lot would be assessed nearly $7,750, 100-foot lot will be assessed  $15,000 and a 200-foot lost at $31,000.
But its not just the special assessments that have business owners concerned. The other two-thirds of the street costs ($502,000) would be paid for by the city. The city’s share would be split between state funding (if available) and city taxes.  read entire story. . . .