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Habitat for Humanity has lots to celebrate this month. On Sunday, the organization dedicated its newest house to the Alfred and Lillie Barnett family. Monday, it announced a grant that will fund 75 percent on a house in 2007. "We thank God and Habitat for Humanity," Alfred Barnett said. "It's truly a blessing for me and my family." The Barnetts, along with their five children, Ebony Barnett, Houston Moorman, Shanell Roberson, Dominique Barnett and Jasmine Roberson, moved into their new home just in time for Christmas.
Susan Morem has put out the book "101 Tips for Graduates: A Code of Conduct for Success and Happiness in Your Professional Life." Let's see if they hold true. Tip No. 7 is timing is everything. I'm going to have to agree with that one. Be on time. Nothing leaves a bad impression like being late. (That's not just for the interview, but in general.) Tip No. 12 talks all about marketing yourself. I couldn't agree more. It's all about selling yourself (in a good way).
Although she's written some books for herself, this is the first piece of writing Angela Cox has shown the community. Cox, 14, wrote "Jesus, the Gift from God," a narrative that will be read at this afternoon's (Sunday) Candles, Carols and Lessons at Trinity Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes. The program director Mark Berg asked the eighth grader if she would be interested in writing a piece for the program. She accepted. His guidance to her was simply to write on the subject of "gifts." "Some of the greatest gifts you can't put in a box," Cox said.
Connie Lund likes to take the Christmas message and write it into an original and unique storyline. This year she has written "The Mountie's Christmas" for her students at the Adventist Christian School and Koinonia for Kids. She has a group of nine full-time students from the Christmas school and nine home-schoolers from various areas. Not wanting kids to have to complain about playing a sheppard in another Christmas play, she pulled the story into a different setting. "I started to put the Christmas story in some other context," she said.
Detroit Lakes is about to grow by a fairly large portion. About 222 acres worth. Tuesday evening, the Detroit Lakes City Council approved a notice of intent to Detroit Township for annexing 222.04 acres around the Richwood Road area. The annexation area follows Richwood Road to North Tower Road, down and around Mud Lake. The city has received a petition signed by 54.5 percent of landowners in the area asking to be annexed. There are 22 landowners in the area, with 12 of them coming on board for the annexation.
The city of Detroit Lakes is taking steps to make the development process around environmentally sensitive areas clearer. The Detroit Lakes City Council decided to table the issue until the January meeting to make some changes to the establishment of an environmental review policy. The policy states that the city wants to encourage development that is sensitive to the natural environment, reduce survey and platting costs for developers and avoid unnecessary Environmental Assessment Worksheets.
Tuesday evening was filled with apologies. On the agenda for the Detroit Lakes City Council was the second reading and adoption of an ordinance rezoning the TS Recreational land, located along Highway 10 East, from one and two family residential to auto oriented business. City hall was filled with East Shore Drive and area residents upset about the rezone and the alleged salvage yard TS Recreational's land has become. To audience surprise, the rezoning of the area had become a moot point by that evening.
The birth of Christ is coming to life this season. Grace Community Church of Osage is performing a live nativity scene Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. outside the church. Faith Lutheran Church and Faith Christian School, Detroit Lakes, is also performing a live nativity Dec. 19-20 from 6 to 8 p.m. To get there from Detroit Lakes, go south on Highway 59 for 11 miles, then right on County Road 31.
Sixty acres of Minnesota land -- about the size of the Mall of America -- gets paved over per day. "We're consuming land faster than we're growing," said Philip Hunsicker, lakes region program director for 1000 Friends of Minnesota. 1000 Friends of Minnesota is a non-profit organization that promotes development that creates healthy communities while conserving natural areas, family farms, woodlands and water.
Last year, Inez Olson got a parade for her birthday. This year she's not sure if there is anything planned, but it's another major milestone. She's 101 today (Sunday). Olson, a resident at Emmanuel Nursing Home, grew up in Lake Park and taught biology there for many years. While her only immediate relative is a niece in Colorado, she has made friends with others here. Kathy Turcotte met Olson when Turcotte helped Olson to a dentist appointment.