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Detroit Lakes and Becker County saw a few major stories in 2006.
Christmas is filled with traditions and memories for everyone. Whether it is sledding at Grandpa and Grandma's house, homemade Pound Puppies or baking goodies, this is the time of the year most people look forward to. Here are a few favorite traditions and memories from people throughout the area. Brenda Houts Christmas is such a time of memories and traditions. From baking the favorite Christmas cookies, picking out the best present, getting to see all my nephews and nieces. It is so hard to pick just one.
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.
If anyone is looking for Santa and his reindeer, they're hovering over Gary and Karen Klueneberg's house. Along with a few friends. Every year for the last 20 years, Gary Klueneberg has been adding Christmas lights and figurines inside and outside his house. "Karen takes everything off the walls and puts up Christmas," Gary said of his wife. Inside, the Kluenebergs have a village set up in the corner of their living room. It's no small, ordinary village though.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.