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A local nursing home administrator is very concerned about a game-changing Republican plan to quit fully funding Medicaid. The plan would cap federal spending on Medicaid and force states, nursing homes, hospitals and others to make up the difference, which would grow over time. "What a huge impact this could have, even here in Detroit Lakes," said Janet Green, regional director of Ecumen, which owns Emmanuel Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes and manages Sunnnyside Care Center near Lake Park for Becker County.
If all goes well, Becker County will soon be the proud owner of a new 20-passenger transit bus, five new Armer radios for its transit system, and expanded service routes three times a week to Lake Park and Audubon. The county has applied for a $210,500 state grant for a service expansion pilot program for 2017 and 2018. The program, which includes $78,000 for the new class 400 bus, would be fully funded by the state for two years, and the county would get to keep the bus even if the program ends at that point, Transit Director Chris Damlo told the Becker County Board Tuesday.
A controversial North Shore Drive extension, from City Park to Zorbaz, which would create a new street through an established neighborhood a half-block away from the Detroit Lakes City Beach, has been taken off the table by city officials, and will no longer be eligible for funding under a proposed half-cent city sales tax.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has restored some of the tens of thousands of animal welfare documents that it abruptly removed from its website. But they are only a small number of the documents that were scrubbed from the agency's website on Feb. 3. The USDA announced that it is "posting the first batch of annual reports of research institutions and inspection reports" resulting from a "comprehensive review" that began with the complete removal of previously public documents that are generated by the agency as it enforces the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act.
Enjoy Airport Road while it lasts—which will probably be until next autumn. A public hearing on the proposed permanent closure of Airport Road, otherwise known as the back route to Menards and Walmart, will be held at 5 p.m. March 14 at Detroit Lakes City Hall. The road has to be closed, since an expanded runway and parallel taxiway will cross where the road now curves around between the airport and wetlands.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson met with about a dozen Internet service providers in Detroit Lakes Friday to help solve a nagging problem—how to get high-speed Internet service out to everybody, even rural areas where there is only one home or farm every mile or two. One possible solution—put funding for it in the new Farm Bill, which would cut red tape, simplify the regulatory and funding process, and put the focus on rural areas where the need is greatest.
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.