Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
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Detroit Lakes' Festival of Birds is turning 20 this year — which means a big crowd is expected for the community's annual birding extravaganza on May 18-21. The Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the festival in conjunction with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and a variety of partnering agencies, is gearing up for four days of birds, birds and more birds — with a program on bats thrown in as well.
It's going to be a fun, funky and fabulous time at this year's Motion Fundraiser for the Arts at the Historic Holmes Theatre. The annual event will be held in the Holmes Ballroom on Friday, April 28; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Neon is the theme of the night, so come dressed in your brightest and funkiest, says the theater's executive director, Amy Stoller Stearns. "Motion is going funk this year," she added, noting that Post-Traumatic Funk Syndrome (PTFS) will be the featured entertainment.
It's London, circa 1599. The Globe Theater has just premiered William Shakespeare's "Henry V," the last in a series of five history plays dramatizing the lives of the British monarchy. The Globe's lead comic actor, Will Kemp, was dumped unceremoniously from the script just days before its debut, and he's in a snit, to put it mildly. "There was a lot of backstage drama surrounding Shakespeare's plays at that time," says Nikki Caulfield, the director of Detroit Lakes High School's spring play production. "These events really happened."
When the Lakes Area Community Concert Band takes the stage at the Historic Holmes Theatre on Sunday afternoon, fans of the group may notice that there is a familiar face missing in the percussion section. Susan Kunz, who has been a loyal member of LACCB for the past eight years, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, April 9 at age 63. "I was just at her funeral today," said the band's director, Gene Gaffney, on Tuesday.
The preliminary design work on a planned $34 million upgrade to Detroit Lakes' wastewater treatment facilities is done, according to the city's public utilities department. Now all they're waiting on is the go-ahead from the state of Minnesota. But in order for the bid opening to proceed as scheduled in September, three things need to happen, says Vernell Roberts, general manager of Detroit Lakes Public Utilities (DLPU).
Every year, the National Association for the Education of Young Children sponsors a weeklong celebration known as the Week of the Young Child, which brings public awareness to the importance of early childhood development and education. In the Detroit Lakes area, the April 24-30 event has been expanded to include events taking place this week, as well as in early May.
There are some big changes coming to the Becker County Historical Society & Museum in the coming months, according to the museum's executive director, Becky Mitchell. A broadening of focus to include more science and children's activities, as well as an expanded gift shop are in the works — and as of May 1, the museum will begin charging admission for the first time, though children will still be admitted for free.
It's been 10 years since Miquette Denie McMahon founded the nonprofit educational organization TeacHaiti, yet her voice remains just as animated when talking about its future as it did a decade ago. "My dream of a school in St. Michel (McMahon's hometown) is finally happening," she said in a Thursday telephone interview. "It's almost done! It's a beautiful facility; every time I go there I'm so shocked (to see the progress). I just can't believe my name is associated with that school."
More than 100 people packed the Forest Conference Center at Ecumen Detroit Lakes on Monday night for a Legislative Town Hall hosted by the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. State Rep. Paul Marquart and Senators Kent Eken and Paul Utke spoke for a little over two hours on topics ranging from aquatic invasive species to private school vouchers. Rep. Steve Green, who was originally slated to attend the forum, bowed out late Monday afternoon, citing illness.
With 34 entries before Saturday's deadline — and one latecomer who brought their entry in too late to be considered — Vergas's inaugural Maple Syrup Taste Test Challenge was a solid success. Judges Dave Lee of KRCQ Radio, Cornelius Hocker of Valley News Live and Lou Hoglund of the Pelican Rapids Press chose Spirit Lake resident David Trickle's entry as the winner. "We were looking for clarity — and taste," said Hocker. "We all came together on one (winner)," said Lee, adding that Trickle's entry scored 28 out of a possible 30 points.