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Like some young, outdoorsy men, Linden McNeilus had a dream of his own log cabin in the woods. So at age 25, he built his first one. "I got books out of the Detroit Lakes library. That's how I learned," he said. Now, years later, he's working on his third house, located near Big Floyd Lake on Tamarack Lake. When completed, it'll be a weekend getaway for he and his wife, who live south of Detroit Lakes near Vergas Trails. "I said I wouldn't build another after the last one," he said with a laugh.
North Washington Avenue may be seeing some redevelopment in the near future. Roger Winter, Casey Bristlin and John Winter came before the Detroit Lakes Development Authority Tuesday afternoon to request tax increment financing to refurbish and build new at the Washington School site. The project would include 30 apartment units, likely to be used for senior housing. The cost is estimated at $2.3 million. In the original proposal, which has since changed, Union Central LLC asked the city for $350,000 in tax increment financing (TIF), with $150,000 upfront.
Like so many people, Pat Petermann is hoping for a major swing in temperatures. About 25 degrees above zero with no wind would be ideal, the Boys and Girls Club of Detroit Lakes executive director said. Although some people would like those weather conditions pronto, Petermann is hoping for them in mid-February. Valentines Day to be exact. That's because the club's 13th annual Polar Plunge is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. on Little Detroit Lake in front of Lakeside Tavern.
When Jerry Walden was nominated as sock chairman for the annual Eagles sock drive, he took it very seriously. This year, he helped bring in a record 1,866 pairs of socks. "Every year we do a sock drive. We go around and get contributions from everyone and within the club," he said. The past record of 1,600 socks was easily broken this year. Those socks are then donated to Mahube Community Council. Marcia Otte, family development director with Mahube, said the housing case workers at Mahube determine where the socks should go, including to homeless people and fire victims.
The Detroit Lakes City Council approved labor agreements with the unions and the non-union personnel policies representing its employees. Non-union employees will receive a 2 percent raise the first of 2009 and another 2 percent as of July 1, 2009; 3 percent as of Jan. 1, 2010; another 3 percent as of Jan. 1, 2011. Health premiums for 2009 are $750 for singles and $1,500 per family; $500 for singles and $1,000 for families in 2010; in 2011 it will be $250 for singles and $500 for families.
Here's a colorful thought for a white winter: Buy a bouquet of bright yellow daffodils, and support the Becker County chapter of the American Cancer Society. Now through Feb. 13, Becker County residents can order daffodils to brighten up a day. And there are several choices for purchase. There are the standard bunches daffodils, the Boyds Bear, the Dainty Daffodil and the business bouquets. There is also the Gift of Hope, anonymous gifts of daffodils to cancer patients. Volunteers like Bob Hoover make purchasing these daffodils easy.
The Frazee-Vergas School Board is looking at ideas to retain students and keep them happy with their choice to stay in the district. First of all, students are being given the opportunity to select their own classes, besides the core requirements. Principal Brian Koslofsky said students are registering this month so they will know their schedules for next fall sooner. He said he and staff are looking into six-period days versus seven-period days as well.
As soon as the Nov. 4 election was over, maybe even the day of, Ellie Hauser of Detroit Lakes sent an e-mail to U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson requesting tickets to the presidential inauguration Jan. 20. She found out Monday, she and her husband are going. "I thought I'd give it a long shot," she said. She and her husband were both involved in making phone calls for the DFL, asking people to get out and vote. Sharon Josephson, who runs Peterson's office in Detroit Lakes, said Peterson was given 200 tickets to give out and had over 700 requests for them.
Tuesday afternoon, friends and families gathered in Detroit Lakes City Hall to watch as the elected officials were sworn into office at the council's annual meeting. Larry Buboltz called his last meeting to order as mayor. "All these years, thank you for your support," he said to his wife in the audience.
It may not be an enjoyable task to some, but to AARP volunteers, it is. Volunteers have teamed with Mahube Community Council again this year to help the public with tax preparations. "I enjoy the work," Mary Kessler said. She has been volunteering for five years. "It's a (good feeling) to help people," added Don Olson, who has volunteered for four years. Curt Lundeen, a volunteer of four years, admitted, "Some days are real good, other days..." Overall though, Jim Langemo said it's the "satisfaction of people appreciating what we are doing," that keeps him coming back.