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A week ago, three Detroit Lakes High School students were involved with setting off homemade bombs in the school. The investigation is still pending. Detroit Lakes Police Sgt. Tim Eggebraaten said two Drano -- or "MacGyver" as they are sometimes called -- bombs made out of household chemicals were placed in garbage cans in the high school. According to the ICR at the police station, the garbage cans were located in the commons area. The bombs exploded about 3:35 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25, after school was out.
Rather than burning the waste from logged land, there's a new alternative coming to Becker County. The Becker County division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources took part in their first biomass sale earlier this year. Although not lucrative at this point, using the "non merchantable wood that can't be used at the sawmill or paper mill" to sell for alternative fuel will pick up in the future, DNR Forester Howard Mooney said. Plants are "using different types of fuel for energy production, heat, ethanol products," he said.
March 10 will be busy with township elections throughout Becker County. Of the 37 townships, 30 will be hosting elections, mainly for supervisor and treasurer. Seven of the townships -- Eagle View, Evergreen, Forest, Maple Grove, Pine Point, Round Lake and Savannah -- held their elections in November. Three of the townships will also have special items on their ballots. Detroit Township is filling a supervisor vacancy, Hamden Township is filling a clerk vacancy, and Lake Eunice Township will vote on a proposition to increase its board size from three to five supervisors.
Two people are dead after a garage fire was reported early Friday morning in eastern Becker County. A nearby resident reported a structure fire located near the intersection of Becker County Highway 40 and Becker County Road 119 at 1:24 a.m. on Friday. Upon arrival, Wolf Lake Fire Department, with the Frazee and Menahga fire departments providing assistance, found the structure completely engulfed in flames.
Daniel Kurt Vernier has pleaded not guilty in the case against him involving the shooting of Mahnomen County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Dewey. Vernier, 27, appeared Thursday morning in the Ninth District Court of Minnesota, Mahnomen, for his Rule 8 hearing. He has been charged with 16 felonies and one misdemeanor. Thomas Lee Fairbanks, 33, who has been charged with 22 criminal charges in the same case including attempted murder, will appear in court March 5 at 9 a.m.
The Detroit Lakes City Council has decided on many of the cuts that will make up for local government aid cuts, low interest returns and tapering off of building permit values. Earlier this month the council approved four changes including the Regional Drug Task Force membership fee; single only hospitalization for council, mayor and public utilities commission members; reduce capital equipment budget; and combining the garbage and solid waste hauling for the city. Last night, Tuesday, the council approved five more components of the budget revision recommendations.
When Rick Phillips attended a meeting with the Department of Natural Resources about housing loons, he took the matter to flight -- right back to the Franklin Lake Association. Members of the association were more than happy to take up the project to help along its decreasing state bird population.
With some off-road trails here, some paved trails there and some shared roads everywhere, Detroit Lakes has just over 26 mile of paths for bikes. The next step is a design to link them all together, including linking them to the nearly 5 miles of existing county trails and 9.9 miles of undeveloped trails. That's what the Detroit Lakes Public Works Department and the park board is working toward, and is asking the public's input on Tuesday evening.
The standoff brought out 18 different law agencies and the first court appearance of Thomas Lee Fairbanks and Daniel Kurt Vernier, though on a smaller scale, brought out a large variety of law enforcement as well. The two men, involved with the shooting of Mahnomen County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Dewey and a standoff with police after the incident, made their first court appearances Friday morning in Mahnomen County Court.
Detroit Lakes is feeling the crunch of possible local government aid cuts. But there are other cities with worse cuts and some that won't feel the cuts much at all. With Detroit Lakes, a total of $187,493 is proposed to be cut from the $1 million 2009 LGA allotment. In 2010, there's a proposed $391,518 cut in LGA. The way LGA cuts are determined, "they take what you levy and what your state aid is, find a total and the deduct 5.1 percent," City Finance Officer Lou Guzek explained.