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For the most part, the Highway 10 project is finished. It's now up to the city of Detroit Lakes to complete the redevelopment and beautification work around town. When the project bid was let a couple years ago, Hoffman Construction of Black River Falls, Wis., was awarded the second phase of the project -- the major portion of it -- with a price tag of $32.5 million. That made up for about half of the total project cost. After 85 work orders and 16 supplement agreements, the construction phase of the project increased to $33.8 million total.
The City of Detroit Lakes will likely move forward on possibly selling the Lincoln skating rink property to MeritCare and relocate the rink to Peoples Park, next to the skate park. The Community Development Committee met Thursday afternoon to discuss MeritCare's request to purchase the property for enlarging its existing facility, as well as parking and stormwater retention. "We don't necessarily want to sell the property, but because of who they are and where they are, we might have a willingness," Community Development Director Larry Remmen said.
Rather than spending $240 a hour to take a snow plow truck out for training, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is doing the same training, only more conveniently, for only $30 an hour. Statewide coordinator Andy Kubista was in Detroit Lakes earlier this week, training MnDOT snowplow drivers on a simulator, to prepare them for any situation they could encounter on the highways. Kubista said MnDOT started looking at the simulators eight years ago for "training for drivers to reduce accidents.
After a two-week redraw, Union Central LLC came back to the Detroit Lakes Development Authority with an updated proposal to redevelop the former Washington Elementary School, and this time went away with some assistance. Union Central LLC -- named for being at the corner of Union Street and Central Avenue -- representatives Roger Winter and Bob Bristlin appeared before the authority members to ask for $350,000 in tax increment financing for their $2.7 million project.
In May of 1984, hospice served its first patient out of the Detroit Lakes office. Back then, the entire staff was volunteers and it was called Lakeland Hospice, under the umbrella of Mahube Community Council. On Nov. 1, 1993, Lakeland Hospice merged with Hospice of the Red River Valley out of Fargo and now, while they depend heavily on volunteers, there are paid staff members as well. Hospice of the Red River Valley in Detroit Lakes is celebrating 25 years of service to the Detroit Lakes area, and would like some help in that celebration.
When asked back in October about an upcoming mission trip to Uganda, Royal Herbold stated it would be "an interesting experience." Now, one month after the Dec. 29-Jan. 12 trip, several of the Zion Lutheran Church travelers sat around a table and couldn't stop talking about that interesting experience. "We got off the plane and were hit by the heat," Herbold said of the 70-80 degree weather. "Then you got off the plane and saw armed guards." They soon found out that armed guards would be everywhere.
This past weekend, Aaron Marshall received a surprise -- he may have a daughter he never knew about. The Virginia man found out via the Internet site zabasearch.com that someone was looking for her daughter's biological father and had contacted him. Only problem was the request was posted Nov. 16, 2006, from someone in Detroit Lakes, but two years later, now posting a response, Marshall has yet to hear back from the original poster. "I saw that a friend of mine was trying to contact me. We were stationed at George Air Force Base in California, and said that we have a daughter together.
"Fantabulous." That's the word Ellie Hauser uses to describe what it was like to attend the presidential inauguration. "I don't think they even have a word to describe it," she said. After requesting and receiving an invitation from Rep. Collin Peterson, Ellie Hauser, Detroit Lakes, and her husband Bob, flew out to Washington, D.C., to watch Barack Obama be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. Their standing-room-only tickets got them about a block and a half away from the platform.
Q: What do ugly sweaters, nursing homes, Internet advertising and the Chamber of Commerce have in common? A: The DL Young Professionals, of course. "There are lots of places to socialize and see some people," co-organizer Josh Hochgraber said. "I wanted an avenue to meet people in a different setting." When then-Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce president Dave Hochhalter sent out a notice that there was interest in starting a Young Professionals club in Detroit Lakes, Amy Jacobson and Hochgraber answered the call. They got together and brainstormed about how to start the club.
The Mark and Julie Berg family of Detroit Lakes had the perfect winter getaway vacation. They traveled to the south of France Dec. 25-Jan. 6, and enjoyed the beautiful weather, green grass and trees, an "absolutely fantastic" rented villa and the old city of Avignon. They enjoyed great baguettes and croissants -- among other foods -- excellent shopping and all the sights of a foreign country. Life was good. Then they attempted to return home. "It was a great trip," Mark Berg said.