Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 15 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as obituaries. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
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The Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes will officially launch its 2009-10 season this Thursday, Oct. 1, by presenting the innovative and authentic music and dance of West African group, The Kusun Ensemble. Based in Ghana, West Africa, the Kusun Ensemble was founded in 1997 by Nii Tettey Tetteh, as a means of keeping his culture's musical traditions alive -- by bringing them to the world. In Africa, music permeates just about every aspect of human culture.
Though they were both born and raised in the Twin Cities, Harland and Vera Grones have called Detroit Lakes home for the past 29 years -- a little less than half the time that they've been married. Harland and Vera were married on Oct. 7, 1939, by a Catholic priest in Minneapolis. Seven decades later, they're still together. "When you got married 70 years ago, you made a commitment to live together, and that was it," explains Harland. "We're definitely happy with each other," Vera added.
When Rhonda Hanson saw the advertisement for a job opening as coordinator of a new literacy program through Mahube Community Council's RSVP program, she quickly realized it would be a great fit with her past experiences. A former preschool and early childhood instructor, Hanson left the education field for a while, and embarked on a new career as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) at St. Mary's Innovis Health in Detroit Lakes. "I really enjoyed working with the elderly, but I was missing that kid element -- I was missing (being in) education," she said.
Even before the fifth annual United Way Community Celebration got underway late Thursday afternoon, people were waiting in line to get inside the Detroit Lakes Pavilion. "They were here at a quarter to four," said LuAnn Porter, executive director of the United Way of Becker County. "That's a first." Part of the reason may have been the smell of the pulled pork sandwiches that were being prepared inside. Or maybe people wanted to be the first to sign up for the two free bikes that were being given away.
Congressman Collin Peterson announced late last month that the Becker County Developmental Achievement Center in Detroit Lakes has been awarded a $63,000 low-interest loan through the U.S.
When Renee Bondi says it was a freak accident that left her as a quadriplegic 20 years ago, she means just that. The California native was just 29 years old, just weeks away from her wedding and at the beginning of a promising career as a music teacher. Then one night, Bondi awoke from a deep sleep to find herself inexplicably taking a swan dive off her bed -- onto her head. "I went to bed really excited," she told a noon luncheon audience at Holy Rosary Church in Detroit Lakes on Monday.
The new house being built for Detroit Lakes' Baumgartner family by Habitat for Humanity is about halfway to completion, according to local Habitat president Steve Hanson. "It's about 50 percent completed," Hanson said. "We're about 99 percent done with the exterior, and we'll be starting to insulate it this weekend." Completion is expected by late November or early December, Hanson said.
The stage is almost set for one of the most unique events to ever take place at Washington Square Mall. "Rescues & Runways," a fashion show sponsored by Maurices to benefit the Humane Society of the Lakes, will take place this Thursday, Sept.
For the first time, the Detroit Lakes campus of Minnesota State Community & Technical College is offering a two-year associate of science degree in early childhood and paraprofessional education this fall. Though it was offered for many years at the M-State campus in Wadena, the program was transferred to Detroit Lakes this year because, as instructor Leann Scalia put it, "the demand seemed to be here." And judging by early attendance this fall, that assessment appears to be justified. "The week before school started, there were 18 enrolled," Scalia said.
Fargo businessman Mike Marcil is currently the CEO of an investment company that has expanded its assets from $2 million to $100 million in the past three years. By any standard, that would be a success -- but as Marcil told a room full of students, business people and other interested listeners Friday at Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Detroit Lakes, "I really don't get up in the morning feeling like I'm very successful." Instead, he often feels sick, anxious, and worried about the future.