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Kids enjoyed the new "winter recreation" program at the Detroit Lakes Community Center last week -- even those that just showed up and had no idea it was going on. They were able to just join in, with no signing up or red tape, because the program is modeled after the popular "summer rec" program. The idea is to provide structured events -- anything from dodgeball to crafts -- and let anybody participate. "I like kickball the most, and whiffleball," said 9-year-old Gage Rogstad.
Natural gas customers of Minnesota Energy Resources Corp.
Having trouble coming up with money to heat your house this winter? You're in good company. There has been a steady increase the past few years in local families seeking help with paying home heating bills. The good news is there is money still available for those who qualify. Nancy Cummings, energy programs coordinator for Mahube Community Council, says 2,920 applications have been completed so far this fiscal year for LIHEAP -- an acronym for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a federal program that provides help with heating bills. All but 172 were approved.
Detroit Lakes tow truck operator Mike Smith lost a leg in a disaster drill gone wrong last year, but he's back at work -- thanks to a new truck, a prosthetic leg, and a lot of help from his family. "I've always liked to be around the sheriff's and fire departments," Smith said.
Most people in Becker County will see their property tax bill stay the same or even go down a bit next year. But changes in the state-orchestrated system have created some definite winners and losers, with some reporting big increases in their tax bill, while others (disabled veterans) are eligible to pay nothing at all. Lakeshore takes a hit For years, the state has shielded land that has rapidly grown in value, notably lakeshore, from the full impact of property taxes. But no more. The "Limited Market Value" safety net has been removed for property taxes payable in 2010.
With the cold snap, area lakes have been making ice like crazy -- bait shop owners report 3-5 inches on most lakes, and fish houses are sprouting up. But Little Detroit Lake just iced-over last Saturday, and Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon is advising no motorized travel on lakes this weekend. "We're looking at a good 4 inches (of ice on Little Detroit Lake) and growing," he said Thursday. "But we're advising, for the next week or so, no vehicles -- walking only.
Good news for those most at-risk of catching the H1N1 flu virus. Becker County Community Health has finally received a sizable shipment of H1N1 vaccine -- both nasal and injectable -- and will hold a public immunization clinic from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the armory in Detroit Lakes. This clinic is for: pregnant women, caregivers of infants under 6 months of age, children 6 months to 9 years needing first or second doses, healthcare workers and emergency responders, and those 10 years to 24 years old with health conditions.
'Tis the season to enjoy Christmas lights, and for those who like to decorate their homes, the time and money spent is a holiday gift to their families and the whole community. John Mitchell, of 1315 Lake Ave., in Detroit Lakes has always enjoyed decorating for Christmas. He and his wife, Jody, have a houseful of four grandkids ages 3 to 9, and John keeps them in the Christmas spirit with lights and decorations inside and out. "I like getting into the spirit of things," he says, "and the kids enjoy it." Their small yard is filled with inflatables -- a Christmas train, Santa on a motorc
Sharon Westerholm of rural Detroit Lakes is the go-to person at the Lake Region Builders Association. For the past several years she has served as the organization's executive officer, and for 15 or so years prior to that she was an active member of the governing board. Her half-time job as executive officer shares something in common with most of the other jobs she has had held over the years -- she was recruited for the position. "I've never had to look for work, they come and find me," she said with a laugh. As executive officer for the builders association, she organizes the big an
Teachers in the Lake Park-Audubon School District want a raise.