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Bemidji author and playwright DeeJay Arens said that it took the eight years he spent writing his prize-winning novel, “The View From A Rusty Train Car,” to exorcise the fears he felt as a young gay man growing up in middle America. MONTE DRAPER | FORUM NEWS SERVICE

Writing award-winning book was catharsis for author

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Everyone has the right to expect safety in the streets; secure in the knowledge that one can walk in the dark or in the light without fear of being molested by another person.

We take that right for granted until something happens to someone we know and we are shocked into reality that “yes, bad things do happen.”

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