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Most days, Sgt. Shane Richard loves his job at the Becker County Sheriff's Department. Then there are those days he dreads. The ones where a deadly automobile crash has him walking up somebody's steps with horrid news. "It's almost like it's in slow motion," he said. "You know they have no idea why you're there, but you know how it's going to play out.
Snowmobile enthusiasts are getting revved up for one of the largest sled runs in the area. The annual Midnite Riders Old Timers Run is set for Saturday, Feb. 2, and it expected to once again bring in hundreds of sleds -- both classic and new -- to the event. Registration for the ride begins at 8 a.m. in Lake Park. "And of course we need the biggest parking lot in town for that, so we'll be at the Liquor Store," said Bud Hovelson, who is a member of the Midnite Riders Snowmobile Club.
We see the letter "e" everywhere -- e-mail, e- commerce, e-cards, egads! And just like everything else "e," e-cigarettes are also growing in popularity. "They just keep rolling and rolling," said Pam Do, manager of The Tobacco Shop in Detroit Lakes, who says since they started stocking the product two years ago, sales for the e-cigs have gone up by more than 30 percent.
The Detroit Lakes School District could be forced to say goodbye to over half a million dollars in continued revenue. Or not. On Tuesday Gov. Mark Dayton will roll out his budget proposal, and local educators will be anxiously waiting to hear whether he adopts a plan to get rid of something called "extended time revenue," which are the funds allocated to larger schools like Detroit Lakes for after-school academic programs such as Targeted Services for children that need extra help.
If you can't beat the weather, join it. That's what nature experts at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge are saying as they're offering up several free winter activities, and they have it all down to a science. Snowshoe Science Strap on your snowshoes (or the ones available for loan at Tamarac) and head out into the woods for a scientific adventure. "We'll have a master naturalist who knows a lot about the area and wildlife heading that up," said Janice Bengtson of Tamarac.
Little 19-month-old Ryan Larsen thinks he's a funny man. "He is funny," said his mom, Nikki, "he's like a class clown goofball ... he makes us laugh." He makes himself laugh, too, as he tots around exploring the rural Detroit Lakes home that he clearly owns.
Detroit Lakes Schools saw a bump back in its enrollment growth last month. Calling it "a little bit of a disappointment", Superintendent Doug Froke reported to the school board Monday night that in December alone, 26 students dropped off its roster. The sharp drop came almost entirely from the elementary schools, with the exception of one from the high school. "Roosevelt had lost 17, and then 15 ... that's the largest drop in an elementary school in my 20 years here," said Education Director Lowell Niklaus, who says Roosevelt is getting some of those back this month.
There's no place like home -- that's why those in and around the Emmanuel properties in Detroit Lakes are teaming up to make sure their residents feel at home. The 21st annual Emmanuel Foundation Charity Benefit is set to kick off Friday, Jan. 25, at the Holiday Inn, and this year, it's to raise money for the purchase of additional large beds for residents at the nursing home and the Short-Stay Rehabilitation Center. "This is something we've been working on for the past three years," said Sandy Lia, who is coordinating the event.
Local contractors have certainly been putting the hammer down this year. "It's been a very good, busy year," said Detroit Lakes Building Official Dave Neisen, as the 2012 annual building report has been released. According to the report, there were 33 new homes built in the city this year -- an increase from 20 new residential in 2011. Although new home construction has been scattered throughout the city, both the south side of Detroit Lakes and the Long Lake area saw the most activity.
Getting a little stir crazy all cooped up indoors? Folks at the Itasca State Park are hosting several outdoor events that are free and open to the public. I Can Ice Fish! I Can Ice Fish! is a program that Itasca officials have been putting on for a couple of months now. "It's introducing beginners to ice fishing," explained Connie Cox, lead interpretive naturalist for Itasca.