Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their young son and daughter, and their yellow Lab.
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Of all the memorable and emotional moments that Clarence Merle "Andy" Anderson had during his recent Veterans Honor Flight tour, he says the best was when he spotted his little granddaughter at the airport upon his return. He watched her fearlessly fight her way through a large, cheering crowd of supporters, eager to be the first to welcome her grandpa home.
If environmental scientists spoke in baseball terms, they might say Detroit Lakes High School's freshman science classes have hit a home run in the major leagues. The students started a new water quality testing project at Sucker Creek this year, and their research has already yielded some far-reaching results.
When Lynn Anderson lost her daughter, Jennifer, to cancer nine years ago, that was devastating enough. Now she's watching as her only other child, Jean—Jennifer's twin sister—suffers through cancer herself. The situation would be heartbreaking for any good parent. Lynn describes herself as a strong woman, but that terrible feeling of powerlessness, of not being able to ease her daughter's pain, brings tears to her eyes.
Detroit Mountain Recreation Area is expanding its footprint and adding some fun new features thanks to a $1.2 million grant from the state's Legacy fund. The mountain's leadership has already used the grant dollars to acquire nearly 150 additional acres for the property, and plans are underway to develop a treehouse and playground area, create some new bike trails, add paving and landscaping around the tubing hill, and make other improvements around the grounds, all within the next year or so.
Detroit Lakes High School band members recently returned from a trip to California, bringing some big-time hardware—and even bigger memories—back home with them. About 80 students from the Laker Wind Ensemble and Laker Jazz Band traveled to Los Angeles for five days in mid-April to perform in a music festival and visit popular tourist areas like Universal Studios, Santa Monica Beach and Hollywood.
"They called me stupid." "They called me a retard." "They told me I didn't look right for the game they were playing." Just about every fourth-grader in Mrs. Courtney Qualley-Landor's class has a personal story about other kids being mean to them. Wearing their new, bright red "Be Buddies Not Bullies" t-shirts in their classroom at Roosevelt Elementary on Tuesday, the kids talked about times they'd been bullied, and then pledged to always treat others with kindness.
The Detroit Lakes community is embarking on its first-ever Feed My Starving Children food packing event, a charitable effort to feed malnourished children in some of the world’s poorest regions. Led by area church pastors from the Detroit Lakes Ministerial Association, the event calls for 500 local volunteers and $22,000 in donations in order to purchase and pack up 100,000 meals.
Laker sophomore Grant Fritch-Gallatin has made it into Minnesota's All-State band. He is the first Detroit Lakes High School student in six years to be accepted into the prestigious program. All-State is offered through the Minnesota Music Educators Association. Top brass (pun intended) music students from all over the state go through a rigorous audition process in hopes of being selected, and competition is tight. "This is the highest honor in the state of Minnesota that a (band) student can get," said Tim Siewert, DLHS band director. "It's a big deal."
There's a clear and enthusiastic consensus among Frazee High School's Adaptive Bowling Team members that the best things about bowling are "Knocking down pins!" and "Getting strikes!" Having tons of fun, making new friends and becoming better bowlers ain't bad, either. The five team members—Bethanie Skunberg, Nic Nolan, Zac Nolan, Jeremy Hausmann and Ashley Moltzan—haven't taken long to warm up to their new sport. The Adaptive Bowling Team just got rolling (pun intended) this year.
Ken Mattson looks forward to counting the loons every summer. "It gets me out on the water," he says, and that's one of his favorite places to be. The longtime Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge volunteer has taken part in the annual loon monitoring program there for about the past 10 years. With paddles in hand and binoculars at arms' reach, he kayaks and canoes the refuge's waterways to look and listen for loons.