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Like a lot of M State students, Oshane West is happy-go-lucky, outgoing and athletic. Unlike most M State students, West hails from Jamaica. He's excited about his future, loves snowboarding on Detroit Mountain, and is a big fan of Minnesota. "I love American culture and I love this area—horseback riding, hunting, American Indians—it's an amazing place," he says.
Supporters of the American Legion Campground in Detroit Lakes were heartened to find that an original deed prohibits commercial development at the site. But they shouldn't pop the champagne cork just yet.
Emergency responders came to the aid of a dog that fell through the ice on a slough near the junction of East Shore Drive and South Shore Drive in Detroit Lakes on Tuesday morning. Becker County Deputies and Detroit Lakes firefighters responded to the scene, and the airboat arrived on its trailer, but before they could take any action the dog was able to get out of trouble on his own, clambering into nearby bulrushes and making his way through them to a wooded area, from afterwhich he was seen running through backyards in the South Shore Drive neighborhood.
Detroit Lakes, Perham and Wadena all did well with their city-owned liquor stores last year. The Detroit Lakes liquor store had sales last year of $6.3 million and made $758,000, a 12 percent profit margin. That allowed it to transfer $484,000 to its general operating fund.
Detroit Lakes native Jeff Johnson came within 5 percentage points of denying Mark Dayton a second term as governor in 2014, and he hopes to again win Republican endorsement and win the governorship next year. A former state legislator and current member of the Hennepin County Board, Johnson said one of his main goals is to change the sometime-overbearing attitude in some state agencies.
Unhappy with the terms of a land swap proposed by the city of Detroit Lakes, Becker County may forego a shared-use compound off North Tower Road and build its own public works facility near the jail now being built on Highway 59 North. The county wanted an even swap with the city—about 7.5 acres of buildable land at the North Tower Road site for about 7.7 acres of land at the Highway 59 North site. But the city wasn't willing to go with an even swap, and asked the county to offer a counterproposal if its initial proposal was not acceptable.
Kathe Schaffler, 71, is the uncrowned queen of Detroit Lakes memories. The Pavilion, the Red Hen, Fairyland Cottages, the diving tower off the Legion Club, Norby's, the mile-long beach, and thousands of other things that made Detroit Lakes special over the years are posted on her popular Facebook page, called "Detroit Lakes 50-60s Memories." That time period has since expanded to the 1930s, 1940s, 1970s and beyond, but she originally focused on the 1950s and 1960s because that covered her time in Detroit Lakes.
The two roundabouts on Highway 59 South near Detroit Lakes are doing a good job of preventing serious accidents while keeping traffic moving, even during WE Fest. "They really have been very safe, said Tom Swenson, a traffic engineer with the Minnesota Department of Transportation in Detroit Lakes. "Now we have roundabouts on both sides of WE Fest, which can get 40,000 visitors, and (the roundabouts) are still handling it quite well—they handle a lot of cars and are still safe."
Military veterans are invited to enjoy a good breakfast, attend an assembly and tell their stories to small groups of students at Detroit Lakes High school on Nov. 8. "We have 38 confirmed vets so far," said social studies teacher Gail Kotschevar. "We'd love to have everybody here—we want to make sure we don't miss anybody." At the last event two years ago, more than 50 veterans participated, she said. They talked individually or in pairs to groups of 20 to 25 students about their lives and their experience serving their country.
In the next few years, Detroit Lakes is going to be making major improvements on West Lake Drive, which runs alongside the mile-long beach. One of the ideas floating around is to eliminate all or part of the Legion Campground and replace it with a residential neighborhood.