Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 17 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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The Sons of Norway, Vikingland Lodge No. 495 has a big anniversary coming up in 2019. But the Detroit Lakes-based lodge got its 50th birthday present a little early this fall, in the form of its international parent organization's most prestigious award: International Lodge of the Year. "It's the highest award our international organization can bestow," said Vikingland Lodge President Joe Merseth. "I've never heard of any lodge receiving it twice, so we kind of look on this as a once-in-a-lifetime achievement."
The nights may be getting darker and chillier as the fall season progresses, but that doesn't mean you can't get out and have some fun! Live music can be heard throughout the lakes area nearly every night this week — all you have to know is where to buy the tickets, and when and where to show up. See below for details. Three Dog Night at Fargo Theatre Thursday
Aspiring young baseball players in the lakes area, take note: The new baseball diamond east of the Detroit Lakes Middle School could be ready to host its first game as early as next summer. This past Saturday, Sept. 29, a crew of about two dozen community volunteers took on the task of sodding the infield, outfield and areas in front of the dugouts and stands, while nearby, about a half dozen more were working on raising the rafters and sheeting the roof for the new picnic shelter across from the outfield, which is also surrounded by fencing for the very first time.
A LifeLink III helicopter landed at the Essentia Health St. Mary's helipad in Detroit Lakes around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 1. It was the first time the brand-new helipad had been used, for landing or takeoff. Shortly after the test landing was completed – to rousing applause from the 30 or so people on hand to witness it – the crew had to take off again, as they were dispatched to provide emergency patient transport to an undisclosed location.
October is almost here, and every year, the month brings with it a slew of German-themed Oktoberfest celebrations, typically featuring a feast of Deutschland delights. Last year, the Detroit Lakes Shrine Color Guard decided that they wanted to get in on the fun — but as local Shriner Steve Larson describes it, the October calendar was already full. "So we decided to have a 'Septober Fest' instead," he said.
A simple blood test, now available at Sanford Health's Detroit Lakes clinic, can help determine whether a person's DNA puts them at greater risk for various diseases, including certain types of cancer. Sanford Chip genetic testing is offered to eligible patients through their Sanford Health primary care provider. "The patient comes in and has their blood drawn, just like they would for any other screening," says Dr. Nicole Cox, who works in Sanford's Internal Medicine department at the Detroit Lakes clinic.
"We help people get to work." That, in a nutshell, has been the mission of the Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program (CEP) since its inception 50 years ago, according to its executive director, Dan Wenner. And over that time, the program has helped more than 500,000 people do just that, he added. "I'd say we've averaged about 10,000 enrollees a year," Wenner said, explaining where he arrived at that half-million total.
Feeling a little lost in the sea of political ads and campaign signs in people's yards? The League of Women Voters (LWV) chapters in Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids are both planning a series of candidate forums in October that could help make your decision a little easier come Election Day.
Autumn has officially arrived at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, and while the leaf peeping opportunities have not yet reached their apex, the Refuge's annual Fall Festival this Saturday, Sept. 29 nevertheless promises to offer a feast of fall colors. "We're not quite at the peak yet, but it's changing every day," says Janice Bengtson, volunteer services manager at Tamarac.
When author Jill Hannah Anderson first moved to Detroit Lakes with her parents, Hal and Bunny O'Connor, in 1977, she wasn't particularly happy about what she termed a "forced relocation" from her childhood home in Maplewood, a suburb of the Twin Cities. "I had just graduated high school, but I was still 17, so my parents couldn't just leave me there," she recalled. "My dad worked as a State Farm Insurance agent, and he had applied for a transfer to Detroit Lakes, so I knew as soon as I graduated, we were going to move... I didn't want to go and leave all my friends."