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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.
Detroit Lakes owns and operates its own electrical utility, and that’s good for business in a number of ways. “We really put a premium on the credibility and reliability of our service,” said City Administrator Bob Louiseau. “That reflects directly on the community in the form of property taxes — we have one of the lowest (property tax levies) in the area.” While everyone loves low property taxes, the city-owned utility makes Detroit Lakes a better place to live in several other ways as well.
Looking for a business loan from $5,000 to $20 million? That’s an unusual range, but the Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corp. MMCDC is an unusual organization. With headquarters in Detroit Lakes, the MMCDC is a non-profit organization that provides capital resources and innovative ideas to assist in successful business and community development throughout Minnesota and the Midwest. The MMCDC is one of the largest non-profit lenders in the state.
The Business and Entrepreneurial Center at M State offers services for start-up companies that need a little extra boost. It operates from offices at M State in Detroit Lakes and has satellite sites in Frazee, Perham, Park Rapids, New York Mills and Hawley. The Business and Entrepreneurial Center originally opened in October of 2009 with eight offices at M State. In addition to the office space grouped around the BES administration center, the site offers light industrial space in an area that had been used by the neon sign and tube program.
The Detroit Lakes-Becker County Airport is a publicly-owned, public-use airport located two miles west of the central business district of Detroit Lakes. The airport covers 288 acres and has two runways — a 4,500-foot by 75-foot asphalt surface open year-round and a 1,880-foot by 250-foot turf surface which is closed during winter months. It is managed by Detroit Lakes Aviation, a full-service FBO, which provides hangar space, maintenance, fuel and rental cars. It currently maintains light sport aircraft, piston twins, turbo props and jet aircraft.
Spring is here, but the maple trees don’t believe it — the sap isn’t running yet. What with the deep snow and the lingering winter temperatures, it’s been a tough year so far for maple syrup producers in the area. “Last year we were done at this time, we’d pulled all our equipment,” said Jerry Jacobson, who taps about 2,000 trees on 120 acres near Vergas. “This year we don’t even have a drip in the bucket,” he said on Tuesday.
It’s pothole season again — time for motorists to dance around those jarring annoyances, and hope there’s not one hidden under that puddle in the road. “We were out on Monday doing cold patches, and we were out doing hot patches Tuesday and Wednesday — they last longer,” said Jona Jacobson, maintenance supervisor for the Becker County Highway Department. The cold patches are used “in the dead of winter” and dumped in the pot hole and left there. The hot mix bonds better with the pavement, but requires warmer temperatures.
The increase in number and severity of child protection cases in Becker County is taking a toll on child protection workers. The county is starting to see higher turnover among child protection social workers. High turnover in that area is something other counties have long dealt with. Human Services Director Nancy Nelson said it is typical of most county social service agencies to see new, inexperienced social workers take the child protection cases — and as they become more experienced, move to another job.
With Democrats in control of the Minnesota Legislature and governor’s chair, talking budget and taxes was almost a pleasure for Rep. Paul Marquart and Sen. Kent Eken, both DFLers. After all, not too long ago they were in the minority in a Republican-controlled Legislature, trying to fend off constitutional initiatives on gay marriage and absentee voting — and watching established programs like the Homestead Tax Credit come to an inglorious end.
Fifty years ago the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Gideon vs. Wainwright decision guaranteed a state-paid lawyer for people facing prison time who can’t afford a private attorney. The Minnesota public defender system has come a long way since then, but things were not as bad pre-Gideon as you might think — and the current condition of Minnesota’s public defender system is not as rosy as many believe. Minnesota out front Minnesota has a long history of trying to ensure a fair trial for the indigent.