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Jan Lang of Missouri began the Marine Comfort Quilt Club when 18 members of her son's Marine unit were killed in Iraq. Since then, she has sewn about 1,000 quilts for military families who have lost a soldier in battle. One of those families is the Linden family of Detroit Lakes, whose son, Troy, was killed this summer in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee. "The quilt squares are from all over the country," MerryLee Linden said.
The region's first Kids Café is opening this month in the Boys and Girls Club of Detroit Lakes. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for Dec. 7. After applying for a grant from ConAgra Foods for several years and being turned down because of low numbers at the club, Director Pat Petermann said they decided to try applying again. "Our numbers weren't high. We weren't feeding many kids in the evening," he said.
A dry fire hydrant. Sounds a bit like an oxymoron. Or a useless hydrant anyway. Audubon Fire Department installed three dry hydrants, the first in the area. "It's a fairly new practice," said Dean Schmidt, WesMin Resource Conservation and Development coordinator. A dry hydrant consists of PVC pipes running from a lake to a hydrant where fire departments can hook up to drain water from the lake during fires. The pipes are trenched eight to 10 feet deep, about four to five feet below the water level.
Frazee's Festival of Trees is adding another weekend this year, the 11th year of the event. The event is Nov. 24-26 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Dec. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m., and Dec. 2-3 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Frazee Event Center. "Last year, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, it was so icy no one could come get their trees," Jay Estenson said. Estenson serves as co-chair of the festival along with Diane Mistelske and Ruth Ewanika. The group was able to keep the decorated trees up for the following weekend and had a great turnout of people.
Last month, Dan Holzgrove purchased a piece of property from the city of Detroit Lakes at the corner of Ox Cart Trail and East Shore Drive. Now he's asking for his money back. In a letter to the city, Holzgrove, who also restored the DL Pavilion this summer, said after he purchased the lot, he was told he would have to provide soil borings before the land could be built on.
With no for-sure timetable in place, the Detroit Lakes Development Authority is putting off purchasing any land in the Highway 10 gateway redevelopment area. The area that includes businesses such as Floral Impressions, the vacant lot where Hardees sat, and Miguels is set to be turned back to the city in 2009.
The Detroit Lakes Schwarzrock siblings seem to be playing a game of follow the leader. Steven, 23, Paula, 20, and Scott, 18, are all enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Their mom, Candy, said if Steven had gone to college, the others likely would have followed in his footsteps there, too. Since he joined the Navy and could tell of its benefits though, his siblings followed his lead. While they may have followed in Steve's footsteps, the three are geographically many steps apart. Steve is a cryptologic technician networks 2, stationed in Columbia, Md.
While Park Rapids School District passed its referendum, Frazee-Vergas and Lake Park-Audubon did not. The Frazee-Vergas School District asked two questions, with funds going specifically to certain needs of the district. The first question had monies going to fund all-day, every-day kindergarten. That voted failed with 1,233 "no" votes and 1,051 "yes" votes in Becker County. The question did pass in Vergas, located in Otter Tail County, with 94 "yes" votes and 85 "no" votes. Total votes for the district were 1,495 for no and 1,362 for yes.
It was the year for incumbents at the city level. Many ran unopposed, keeping their seats in city government. In Detroit Lakes, Leonard Heltemes, Ward 1, Dave Aune, Ward 2, and G.L. Tucker, Ward 3, ran unopposed and were all re-elected to a four-year term on city council. Aldermen at large incumbents Matt Brenk and Walt Tollefson had some competition with Beatrice Tessman and Bob Renney, also on the ballot for the two seats. Brenk and Tollefson won though, with 1,789 and 1,700 votes respectively.
A Children's Service Program will hopefully soon be a permanent part of Lakes Crisis and Resource Center. LCRC received a $75,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation, and is hosting its first Crisis Center Children's Breakfast on Wednesday, Nov. 15. Executive Director Jan Logan said when she came to the Crisis Center, she noticed "a distinct absence of formal children's programs." While United Way funds a portion of child services yearly, there hasn't been enough funding for a full-time social worker for children.