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Imagine an F-16 fighter jet, a Navy patrol boat, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and an M1A1 Abrams tank permanently on display in Veterans Park along Highway 10 in Detroit Lakes. Yes, they would all fit there, according to local veteran Dave Coalwell, who is leading the effort to boost the visibility of the park, and to honor all the branches of the military. Before anything could happen, the city would have to approve the plan and would need to be the entity that requests the items from the military, Coalwell said. "We can't do that."
Becker County Transit may start providing dedicated service to Lake Park and Audubon, like it already does with Frazee. The county dial-a-ride bus service may start providing late-night service one day a week. Heck, Becker County Transit may even buy a trolley and hire a new driver to provide easy transportation around town during special events. All these ideas are under consideration, to a greater or lesser degree, because the Minnesota Department of Transportation is willing to consider funding 100 percent of new transit services for the next two years.
For the first time since 1992, all 12 library systems in Minnesota agree it's time for the state to change the formula that provides their funding. Even the metro systems that have benefitted the most under the existing formula have joined in the effort to get the Legislature to revamp the system, said Liz Lynch, director of Lake Agassiz Regional Library. The seven-county Lake Agassiz system includes libraries in Detroit Lakes, Moorhead, Mahnomen and Hawley and LINK sites in Lake Park, Frazee, Cormorant and Ulen, among many others.
The good old days were a lot of work. On Saturday, visitors at Itasca State Park got a look at how timber was harvested the old-fashioned way — with teams of horses pulling logs into position, men with saws and axes trimming the trunks, and others with peaveys and cant hooks moving logs close enough for horses to pull them onto heavy transport sleds. Stacked high with logs, those sleds in the old days were used to "skid" the logs to the local sawmill, pulled down iced-over roads by horses wearing spiked shoes.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has removed Animal Welfare Act inspection reports from its website. That's bad news for puppies being raised in large breeding facilities, research animals, and animal performers at roadside zoos and circuses. The action was taken just two weeks into the Donald Trump administration.
The new Becker County Jail design is beginning to take shape. Based largely on the Kanabec County Jail in Mora, the preliminary design involves pods grouped around a central control area. On one end of the building will be a highly-secure maximum security area and a larger medium security area with a more open floor plan, according to Matthew Keenan of Klein McCarthy Architects of St. Louis Park, Minn. The centralized control area will allow for a much more efficient staffing ratio of officers to inmates than now exists in the maze-like jail attached to the courthouse.
Opponents of the Star Lake Casino say the White Earth Nation project is still along ways from being built. It faces environmental obstacles, internal opposition within the tribe, and a shortage of potential workers, says Ty Dayton, president of the Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group (and a distant relative of the governor).
No one ever accused Dan McLaughlin of not being able to see the forest for the trees. McLaughlin, 44, has the big picture in mind as he manages tax-forfeited county land for timber and recreation as supervisor of the two-man Becker County Natural Resources office (the other man is Forester John Vaida.) The easygoing McLaughlin has had a steady hand on the tiller for about eight months now, and reports to Steve Skoog, who runs the Land Use Department, overseeing all land-related offices in the county.
An Ogema man under investigation for the starving death of three horses in his care has a Go Fund Me site seeking $10,000 to create a "family horse rescue ranch." Michael E. Dahl, a White Earth spiritual leader and Ojibwe teacher at Detroit Lakes High School, set up the still-active Go-Fund-Me site on Sept. 25, 2015 and has so far received donations of $841 towards his $10,000 goal.
The new White Earth-owned Star Lake Casino near Dent could be the catalyst for developing the Star Lake, Dead Lake and Mud Lake area in Otter Tail County. The tribe is moving forward on plans to build a 30,000-square-foot casino with 180 hotel rooms, convention space, a 15-stall RV park, three restaurants and other amenities on trust land on Star Lake, which sits between Dent and Maplewood State Park. The casino would sit on 15 acres of trust land and another 225 acres of "fee land" that has been purchased by the tribe.