By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent 

Billy’s Corner Bar in Vergas was burglarized in the early morning hours of March 27. Stolen was a 9mm handgun which was scheduled to be raffled off.

A search warrant was conducted and on March 28 the handgun was recovered. Arrested was 2 4-year-old Donald Merrill, Jr. of Vergas. He was taken into custody.

Entry into the building, according to sheriff deputies, was gained by smashing out a front window. Once inside, the suspect smashed a glass showcase containing the handgun.

Merrill later appeared in county court, Fergus Falls, and was charged with first degree burglary.

House heavily damaged by fire

Fire heavily damaged a house in eastern Otter Tail County on March 31, northeast of Bluffton near Highway 75.

Responding to the scene of the fire, in addition to sheriff deputies, were fire departments from Bluffton and Sebeca, the latter town located in Wadena County.

“The fire, which was called in at 8:39 p.m., was extinguished. The house was not considered to be a total loss,” said a sheriff deputy.

The Red Cross was contacted to provide assistance to the residents. There were no injuries. Astera Health of Wadena also responded to the scene of the fire.