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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Unsolved murders, poisonings, lynch mobs, hangings, inns of "ill repute" ... These aren't the kinds of things you'd normally associate with small, rural communities like those that dot our local landscape — yet this county's history does have its dark side, says Emily Buermann, programming director for the Becker County Museum in Detroit Lakes. "This isn't the kind of historical information that we normally share here at our museum," she added.
It's been almost 25 years since Park Rapids area native Will Weaver wrote "A Gravestone Made of Wheat," the short story that inspired the movie "Sweet Land," and later, a musical theater adaptation of that movie — but the theme behind that story "has never been more relevant than today," the award-winning author says.
Dance, music, art, poetry... the Ragamala Dance Company's upcoming performance of "Sacred Earth" at the Historic Holmes Theatre combines all of these elements into an unforgettable theatrical experience. "'Sacred Earth' is a signature piece," said dancer Tamara Nadel in a presentation to Lake Park-Audubon High School instructor Christopher Ward's art class Tuesday afternoon. "It's one of our favorites. "'Sacred Earth' was created about six years ago by our artistic directors (Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy), who are also mother and daughter."
Are you ready to kick up your heels and dance? Then pull those cowboy hats and boots out of the closet and hoof it on over to Detroit Lakes' Shorewood Pub this Friday, Oct. 6 for the 5th Annual Hoedown for the Lakes Imagination Library. "We've kept the theme the same since the beginning," says event organizer Amy Erickson, who is also one of the founders of the Lakes Area Imagination Library. "People can dress in western attire if they like, but it's not required."
He may be just 13 years old, but Detroit Lakes native Tye Wilke already has seven years of motor racing under his belt — first behind the wheel of a Go-Kart, and for the past two seasons, as the youngest member of the INEX Legends Young Lions racing division. "He's been racing almost since before he could walk," says his dad, Travis Wilke, who adds that they put him behind the wheel of his first 4-wheeler when he was just two years old — "and he's been driving a motorized something-or-other ever since."
When the Becker County Historical Society embarked on a $3.2 million fundraising campaign to build a new county museum last fall, they knew the need was urgent: The current facility, located at 714 Summit Ave., had developed significant structural issues, particularly with its leaking roof. But this past week, it was once again illustrated just how critical this issue has become, as the museum's research library sustained "significant damage" from a leak that had expanded during a recent spate of rain, says the museum's executive director, Becky Mitchell.
Autumn may have just officially gotten underway this past Friday, but area communities, state parks and other recreational venues are already gearing up to showcase the best sights, sounds and tastes of the fall season this coming Friday through Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Lake Park's annual Pumpkin Fest, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge's Fall Festival and Maplewood State Park's final weekend of Leaf Days are all on tap, as well as special events at Itasca State Park throughout the day on Saturday. Here's just a small taste of what's going on in the coming days.
Homecoming Coronation festivities were held this past Monday, Sept. 25 at Detroit Lakes High School.
When the seven children of Doris and Harold "Smokey" Johnson were growing up in the family home at the corner of Holmes Street and West Avenue in Detroit Lakes, they enjoyed playing and relaxing amongst the beautiful trees, flowers and green lawns that surrounded them. They also remember how their mother loved the fall colors in the big maple tree she had planted in the back yard, and how their dad enjoyed feeding the ducks and deer that came up for a drink from the pond.
Though the United Way's annual Community Celebration is traditionally held at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion, Executive Director LuAnn Porter would like everyone to know that the event is intended not just for the locals, but all Becker County residents to enjoy. "We are a county-wide organization," says Porter. "We, and our partner agencies, provide services for all of Becker County." Those 32 partner agencies will each have a booth at this year's Community Celebration, which is set to take place this Thursday, Sept. 28 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.