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Ben Walther is a hard-core WE Fester -- going up and down the campgrounds at 4 a.m. He is looking for trouble, and he'll be the first to tell you that. That's because he is part of the Chaplains Program -- a volunteer organization that is growing at WE Fest. Walther says he knows some people think ministers and church leaders don't belong in a WeFest campground at 4 a.m. He thinks that's exactly where he should be. "I see all these young girls who get separated from their groups," Walther says, tooling around on a go-cart. "They're lost and there they are...
David and Michelle Bellefeuille were friends and co-workers growing up in the Detroit Lakes-Frazee area. She was 15, he was 16. "We both worked at the old Evan's Grocery Store in DL," said David Bellefeuille, as his wife added, "Yeah, I was a cashier and he was a bag boy," she laughed with an expression that suggested it was a million years ago. It was actually more like 23 years ago. But after he graduated from high school, David's buddy suggested they join the Navy. "So I did," he said, simple as that. But during his first Christmas leave home, his friendship with Michelle took a
How do you take an idea and pound it into a young person's brain? According to mental health experts, you give them some drumsticks and let them do it themselves. Educators, health experts and child advocates are teaming up for the 11th annual Communities Collaborative Brain Development Conference in Mahnomen -- the largest conference of its kind in the Midwest. Their goal is to provide cutting edge ideas designed to help bring out the very best in a child -- starting with their brains. This year, the White Earth Child Care Program, along with several other regional agencies that mak
War has a way of leaving soldiers fighting a battle within themselves long after they are home safe. "When I left Iraq I had a lot of aggression issues," said retired Marine Geoffrey Zehnacker, who worked did three tours in Iraq in a patrol that searched for mines and set off improvised explosive devises (IED's). The ones they found on purpose they set off at a distance. The ones they found by accident could be deadly. "One went off five feet from me, and it gave me a concussion," said Zehnacker. Not realizing he had a concussion, Zehnacker continued his duty, but with every new expl
Local businesses are gearing up to give shoppers a huge dose of retail therapy, as preparations are underway for Detroit Lakes' Crazy Daze. The one-day event is set for the traditional first Tuesday in August, which this year is August 2. "This has been going on for such a long time," said Crazy Daze Co-Chair Beth Pridday, who noted it is the largest one-day sale in Detroit Lakes. "We close off the 800 and 900 blocks of Washington Avenue, and invite all the retailers to bring their things outside." Pridday says shoppers will find deep discounts as businesses up and down Washington Aven
School districts across the state have some hefty summer homework as they assess how the budget deal will affect their bottom lines. The Minnesota legislature used schools to help close the state's budget deficit by once again delaying payment of money promised to them. The education bill, signed on July 20, gives the go-ahead for legislators to delay $780 million in aid to schools, bringing that total up from last year's delayed payment to $2.2 billion. What was once a 90-10 plan (meaning schools received 90 percent of their state aid for the year right away and 10 percent the following
The entrepreneurial spirit is going strong in the Detroit Lakes area, even as the economy's "return" takes a turtle's pace. "This is something I've always wanted to do -- own my own business," said Melody Kruckenberg, who recently started her own Budget Blinds business in Detroit Lakes after 18 years working for a non-profit organization in Bismarck. "I just got to a point where I was sick of working for a board of directors and knew it was time -- it was now or never." Although she had worked her way up to executive director, Kruckenberg left good pay and security for a chance at someth
The Waubun-Ogema-White Earth School District is seeing a big change in leadership this summer. Brandon Lunak has officially taken over as the school's superintendent, while Frazee native Travis Nagel is the district's new elementary school principal. Previously, the two positions were combined into one, which Mitch Anderson held. Before leaving, Anderson recommended to the school board that the position be split up in order to better focus on school improvement initiatives. The board agreed, and Lunak and Nagel were hired with a July 1 starting date.
There's been a lot of trash-talking in Becker County lately -- and the news keeps recycling around town. You might have noticed the new, big, blue bins sitting where recycling sheds once were (and many still sit). Those are part of Becker County's efforts to step up its recycling program in what they say is already proving to be a very efficient manner. "It's going to save the county money in the long run, and so far we've heard that everybody just loves it," said Sandy Gunderson, recycling coordinator for Becker County. Gunderson doesn't refer to common waste generated in the county a
For 57 years, the people of Frazee have come together summer after summer for one reason -- Frazee Turkey Days. "This is a big one for us," said Dave Jopp, chairman of the event, "There are so many organizations around town participating and putting on events -- it really brings the community together." The weekend-long celebration begins Friday, July 29, but a "pre-event" on Monday, July 25, will see the crowning of the new Frazee Care Center King and Queen. The more "seasoned" royal couple get their crowns at the Frazee Care Center at 2:30 p.m. "It's really cool," said Jopp, "My mom