Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes, Perham and Wadena, all in Minnesota.
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The Detroit Lakes Drum and Dance team will be living out a bit of a dream this weekend, as they host the state competition for the first time ever. It’s a goal the team has had almost since its inception 10 years ago. Typically the school that wins state gets the opportunity to host the big event the following year, but last year’s state champion, Deer River, wasn’t able to host the competition. Next in line was Detroit Lakes.
The CBS reality show Big Brother wants you! The longest-standing reality show on television is sending its casting crew to Fargo to recruit its newest batch of reality stars. “And we know Detroit Lakes is only about an hour away, and so we wanted everyone there to know about this,” said Big Brother Casting Director Robyn Kass, who has been with the show since the second year of its 15-year run. The open call will be held Saturday, March 23 at Fargo Billiards and GastroPub from noon to 3 p.m.
It may be slow in coming, but signs of spring are everywhere … and on March 23 and 24, it’s all over the Kent Freeman Sport Arena in Detroit Lakes. The annual Lake Region Builders Associa-tion Home and Sports Show is once again popping up, and it’s sure to be jammed packed with everything spring. “We are sold right out of booths,” said Brenda Eidenschink, the executive officer of LRBA. “We have over 100 booths and depending on the year, we can get anywhere from 900 to 1,500 people attending the show over the weekend.”
Fifth grade teacher Ryan Zunich is the Detroit Lakes teacher of the year for the 2012-13 school year, but as he sits behind his busy desk at Rossman Elementary, getting him to take the credit is tough. “It’s great to be recognized, but you do these things with the people around you,” said Zunich, “and I work with such a great group people who are so helpful, and it’s just cool to be a part of such a great school district. And it goes way beyond the teaching aspect, it’s a caring community that takes care of each other.”
They say domestic abuse goes much deeper than the bruises or emotional pain … it is the systematic suffocation of another person’s spirit. And while the Lakes Crisis Center in Detroit Lakes can provide safety, food and some professional therapy, advocates there are now pleading with the community to help with some much needed, deeper healing. “Our shelter is almost filled,” said Jan Logan, who continually has to try to stretch the facility’s budget and its staff. “We need help,” she said, “Anything anybody can do … we’ll take it.”
On the roller coaster of unemployment statistics, Becker County is currently slightly up. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, as of January, Becker County’s unemployment rate is at 8.4 percent – up from 7.6 in January of 2012 and 9.5 percent two years ago. Those rates are not seasonally adjusted, and should be compared to the not seasonally adjusted statewide and national rates, which were at 6.7 percent and 8.5 percent respectively in January.
Snow may be on the ground, but spring is in the air. Easter events are right around the corner, including a couple of big ones that are free and open to the public. Easter Eggstravaganza This event is happening Saturday, March 16, in the Lakes Area Vineyard Church in Detroit Lakes.
Right now there are 10 children staying at the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center in Detroit Lakes. Some of them are very little, some are school-aged children … all of them have been through too much. But what they don’t know as they snuggle into their new, colorful fleece blankets is that somebody cares about them … somebody they’ve probably never met … somebody who just turned 11 years old.
Ly Mai and Sandy Ta both have a thing for beauty. “I like to make people more beautiful … I like to take care of people,” said Mai, smiling. The ladies, originally from Vietnam, are just about ready to swing open the doors to a business where they’ll be offering up the “cure” to unsightly nails. One of the last spaces in the third building of the Downtown Crossing is now home to Marvelous Nails —co-owned by Mai and Ta.
Cocktail, Swedish, mozzarella, Italian or the kind you throw onto a plate of spaghetti --it rarely matters because the meatball seems to have a gravitational force capable of pulling in just about anybody. That's why the Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary is once again planning its spring fund-raiser around the meatball, as they prepare to raise money for the Becker County Food Pantry. The Meatball Supper is being held Tuesday, March 12, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.