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Becker County commissioners interviewed three finalists for the county administrator's position on Thursday. One of them will replace Brian Berg, who left in July to take the top administrative job with Clay County. In addition to the five sitting commissioners -- Larry Knutson, Gerry Schram, Barry Nelson, John Bellefeuille and Harry Salminen -- the two newly elected commissioners also sat in on the interviewing process. Don Skarie and John Okeson will replace Bellefeuille and Salminen next month. Also on the interviewing panel were Acting Administrator Nancy Grabanski and County Attor
Becker County commissioners were praised at a public hearing Tuesday evening for keeping the 2011 tax levy hike to a relatively small 3.14 percent. Several farmers at the meeting -- while unhappy about a steep increase in their land value -- told commissioners they had done a good job with the county budget. "We know times are tough and we're not going to contribute to the stress that's out there," said County Auditor-Treasurer Ryan Tangen. The levy hike, along with taxes from new construction, will bring in an additional $549,000 next year. The county's total tax levy will increase fr
Detroit Lakes water treatment facilities should be in good shape for the next 20-25 years, following an extensive rehabilitation project now being wrapped up on the city's water treatment plant. The city received a $2.1 million low-interest loan to expand and upgrade its water treatment plant last year, and the work is now essentially done. The final cost is expected to be under $2.2 million, which includes about $1.8 million for construction and $364,000 for engineering. Final payments to the contractor are being made, except for $5,000 contingent on final clean-up and corrections. "A
City workers took advantage of a chilly day Tuesday to start flooding the relocated Lincoln Rink ice skating park. The rink, with two hockey pens, a scenic skating area and a new warming house, is now located at Peoples Park, near the Becker County Fairgrounds. "We're aiming for Dec. 20 -- to open that week," said Brad Green, public works director for Detroit Lakes. "We blew the snow off it yesterday to let the ground freeze hard," Green said Tuesday.
Detroit Lakes residents may as well get used to clearing snow off their front sidewalks. For years, the city's public works department sent a man around in a Bobcat to clear residential and business sidewalks. That policy has not changed, even though Bobcat appearances have been rare so far this winter. City workers will still clear sidewalks when they have time, but because of staff cutbacks, the more it snows, the less time they'll have for sidewalks. "The sidewalks we have done (in the past) are just a service we have been able to do -- home and business owners have always been resp
Ice fishing is getting into full swing in the area, with 5-6 inches of ice now formed on Little Detroit Lake -- but caution is still needed because of high water levels in rivers that connect lake chains, according to Sheriff Tim Gordon. "Due to high water in the Pelican and Otter Tail river chains, the ice will be thin quite a way out there compared to most years," Gordon said.
Two people were injured Thursday morning in a broadside crash at Highway 34 and County Road 29 (near the Four Corners restaurant) in Becker County. Jessica J. Stockstrom, 28, of Frazee and Karen A.
The recount between Republican Tom Emmer and DFLer Mark Dayton took just one day to complete in Becker County. "It went great, it really did," said Becker County Auditor-Treasurer Ryan Tangen said of the recount on Monday, which started at 9:30 a.m.
You can't keep a good woman down. Vonnie Johnson, for example, likes to be about seven or eight feet up during deer hunting season -- in her tree stand. Never mind that she's 80 years old and just had chemotherapy the day before. Johnson went hunting deer this season on the 40 acres of land she lives on about five miles east of Detroit Lakes on Highway 34. She hunted mostly with granddaughter Chrissy and her husband, Jamie, although she also went out alone once. "I've been hunting for 57 years," she said.
Mark "Chip" Lohmeier, who has run Becker County's natural resources and parks department since 1993, has accepted a similar job with Hubbard County. He will resign effective Dec.