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Welcome to spring: higher gasoline prices have been clobbering Minnesota since two large Chicago-area refineries shut down for extended maintenance. The price of a gallon of regular gas averaged $3.42 on April 21. On Friday morning it was $4.15 at most Detroit Lakes gas stations. “Yeah, we’ve been hearing from the customers — I’ve been hiding in the office,” joked Lynn Westphal, assistant manager at Cenex in Detroit Lakes.
Becker County has hired a new highway engineer. Jim Olson has 17 years of experience in civil engineering working at various government agencies. He has been engineering project manager for the city of St. Louis Park for the past nine years. He managed the development, design and construction of the city’s public works improvement projects.
Zebra mussels reared their ugly little heads at the Becker County Board meeting Tuesday. Members of the county’s aquatic invasive species task force sparred with county officials over whether the county is doing enough to keep zebra mussels and other aquatic invaders out of county lakes. Specifically, they want the county to join neighboring counties in signing a boat inspection "delegation agreement" with the DNR.
What happens when the Humane Society of the Lakes meets the Mid-Minnesota Harness Club? A trail ride, dance and campout to remember. The Waggin Trail Ride set for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday is a fundraiser for the Humane Society, and features a short ride Friday evening and a long ride on Saturday, followed by a barbecue meal, a live auction, music with deejay Jim Colby and camping both nights.
The late ice-out on area lakes this season has put a damper on the walleye fishing opener. “We don’t make any money, and it’s a weekend we don’t get back,” said John Store, owner of Quality Bait & Tackle in Detroit Lakes. Resorts that cater to anglers have been seeing cancellations and reschedulings, said Dan Berg, owner of Lakecrest Resort on Long Lake near Detroit Lakes, and president of the Minnesota Resort and Campground Association. “If people are there to fish, and they can’t put their boat in the water, they’re not going to come,” he said.
Josh Mason would like to see more Detroit Lakes businesses and organizations follow the lead of United Methodist Church. Mason, an energy services specialist with the city, wants everyone to know about the city’s commercial rebate programs for lighting retrofits and new construction lighting. United Methodist took advantage of those rebates to retrofit its church lighting. Of course, it helped that Al Johnson is on the church board of trustees.
Board members for the local Habitat for Humanity organization were taken by surprise recently when the occupants of a Habitat-built home at 523 Union Street walked away, leaving almost everything behind. “This one was a shock, to say the least,” said Steve Hanson, president of Habitat for Humanity of the Detroit Lakes Area. “The family just walked away from everything — it’s hard for us to grasp that.” The family had never missed a house payment, always paid on time and always the correct amount, as required by escrow adjustments, he said. The parents put in a combined 500 hours of
Manufacturers in the lakes area will be hosting the 2013 Tour of Manufacturing on Saturday. Five local companies will be opening their doors for free guided tours, information on their companies and open houses. From 9 am to 1 pm BTD Manufacturing, Bergen’s Greenhouses, Forum Communication Printing, Lakeshirts andTEAM Industries in Audubon will be showcased.
Chuck Collins may be one of the few people in town who not only know what an optical time-domain reflectometer, is, but knows how to use one. For Collins, a Detroit Lakes native who splices and tests fiber optic cable, the optical time-domain reflectometer, or OTDR for short, is a tool of the trade. He uses it to check his finished work and ensure the quality of his splices. Collins has owned and operated Collins Cable Construction since 2008. If you need fiber optic cable installed or repaired, he’s your man.
The Foltz family has taken Foltz Trucking from its roots on the family farm near Callaway to one of the largest bulk agricultural commodity truck fleets in the region. Along the way it’s won accolades for developing programs to improve driver health and wellness — and by treating employees like family, it’s seen a turnover rate way below the industry average. Clem and Kathryn Foltz moved to the Callaway area from Nebraska in the early 1950s. They raised 14 kids, eight boys and six girls.