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DETROIT LAKES - Minnesota could see the highest voter turnout in years this November, and state and local officials are doing what they can to be prepared, according to Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. "We're in the process of getting people ready for the biggest year -- 80 in '08," Ritchie said in an interview.
LAKE PARK - How about a new pre-K-6 elementary school in Audubon this year and new 7-12 school in Lake Park next year? That was the idea proposed by Lake Park-Audubon School Board Member Dale Binde at a special meeting Monday in Lake Park. "If I'm going to have a (referendum) vote, I want it to pass," he said. "If it isn't going to pass, maybe it's time to move on to something else. Maybe it's time to ask the community -- do you want a school, or not?
LAKE PARK - After a long discussion Monday evening, one thing was clear: The Lake Park-Audubon School Board is torn over whether to put a building bond referendum on the November ballot. On the one hand, high gas prices and concerns about a shaky economy have some school board members wondering if the district should "take a breather," as Dale Binde put it, and leave the referendum off the November ballot. "Over the last couple weeks, I've talked to several community members that are for the new facility, but think we should take a breather and come back at it later," Binde said. "I thin
DETROIT LAKES - Judicial elections in Minnesota have traditionally been pretty tame affairs, but the State Bar Association is preparing for the worst. Judicial canons once limited what Minnesota judicial candidates could say during a campaign -- nothing about issues that might come before the court, nothing on how they might rule on certain cases. No endorsements were allowed, or personal solicitation of campaign funds. That system was struck down on the basis of free speech in the Republican Party of Minnesota vs. White case that went to the U.S.
Fresh from being endorsed in the first-round at the DFL state convention this weekend in Rochester, Al Franken said he's ready to take on Republican Norm Coleman for the Senate seat once held by Paul Wellstone. "Norm Coleman has not brought people together to get things done -- he has sold people out to get ahead," Franken told a crowd of supporters at the Brewed Awakening coffee shop in downtown Detroit Lakes Tuesday. He accused Coleman of working on behalf of special interests rather than the people of Minnesota. "Coleman worked for the oil companies -- he voted for billions of dollars
Energy consumers in Detroit Lakes and across north central Minnesota should prepare to pay higher rates, regardless of whether the Big Stone II power plant is eventually built. But energy costs will be a lot higher in a few years -- to the point where industry will start fleeing the state -- if opponents successfully kill coal power in Minnesota, according to Detroit Lakes Utilities Superintendent Curt Punt. "We won't see the brunt of this until the 2015-2020 period,' he said.
Score one for civil society. Four members of the "vote no" group sat down with three members of the Lake Park-Audubon School Board Tuesday night and nobody got hit. Or even shouted at. The four -- Ellis Peterson, Roland Lampton, Dan Hughes and Jim Lund, all of the Cormorant area -- met with school board members Jeff Swetland, Dale Bind and Rick Olson, as well as Superintendent Dale Hogie. There was no group hug, but they actually had a pretty decent discussion, cleared the air, and explained where they were coming from on the contentious issue of new school facilities in LP-A.
The Lake Park-Audubon School Board decided against holding primary elections at a special meeting Thursday evening in Lake Park. A primary election used to be required whenever there were more than two people filing for one seat on the School Board. But the Minnesota Legislature changed the law this year, and school boards now have the option of whether they will be subject to the primary election system. The LP-A Board voted unanimously to drop the primary system, with members Rick Ellsworth and Dale Binde absent. "Historically, LP-A hasn't had a big number of candidates," said Superi
The Becker County Recorder's Office is going digital, one step at a time, and for those in the home mortgage business, it's the greatest thing since the latest Fed rate cut. Becker County Recorder Darlene Manavel went before the County Board Tuesday to talk about progress in electronic recording: In a few months, the recorder's office will be electronically recording assignments of mortgage, satisfaction of mortgage and certificates of release. That will save a lot of time for banks, title companies and attorneys, she said. "Within minutes they will be able to complete what it takes week
For the promoters of WE Fest and the 10,000 Lakes Festival, the cost of doing business in Becker County has just gone up -- a lot. Concert promoters will now pay $2,000 a year for WE Fest and another $2,000 a year for 10,000 Lakes Fest to defray the county's administrative costs of reviewing each year's mass gathering plan. The annual cost has been $500 since the county first issued a conditional use permit to WE Fest in 1983. But the biggest new cost to concert promoters will be a "supplemental fee" of $20,000 each year to defray county costs associated with the 10,000 Lakes Fest. The