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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Three years ago, to commemorate the Minnesota State Sesquicentennial, Detroit Lakes was one of several cities in the state chosen to be Capital for a Day. On that day in May 2008, a community picnic was held. Though it was intended to be a one-time-only event, it was so successful that Detroit Lakes Mayor Matt Brenk decided last year that it would become an annual celebration -- and a new community tradition, Parkfest, was born. The second annual Parkfest celebration is slated to take place Thursday, May 13 at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion.
LAKE PARK -- A long-standing streak at Lake Park-Audubon High School is about to get a little longer. For the eighth year in a row, the LP-A Knowledge Bowl Team has earned a slot in the state tournament, which takes place this Thursday and Friday, April 15-16 at Cragun's Resort in Brainerd. "This is the eighth consecutive year we've been able to earn our way to the state tournament," said Knowledge Bowl coach Laureen Svobodny. "That's the beginning of a nice tradition." It's not a tradition that's easy to uphold, however.
Though attendance at Thursday's focus group meeting was lower than some of the previous public meetings on the development project, Detroit Mountain Recreation Area board members felt it served their purpose. About 30 people showed up for the Thursday night meeting at Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Detroit Lakes. "We would like to have seen a few more," said Jeff Staley, president of Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, Inc., the nonprofit organization formed to help develop the project.
With unusually low precipitation and warm, windy weather, the grass fire season had an early start in the lakes area this spring. "Normally, we do not have grass fires in March, because we still have snow on the ground," said Howard Mooney, a forester with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Detroit Lakes. This year, however, the first grass fire in the area was reported on March 24, and since then, Mooney said, area fire departments and DNR firefighters have been kept busy. "As of this point, between ourselves and the area fire departments, I'm sure there have been at least
RURAL VERGAS -- Life is sweet for Jerry Jacobson and D. Mae Ceryes. Since they first began the enterprise known as Jake's Syrups & Natural Products in 1994, the rural Vergas residents have parlayed their hobby into a successful part-time business. From March to mid-April, the couple's chief occupation is producing maple syrup. Jacobson taps the trees -- about 1,600 taps on 120 acres -- and Ceryes handles the evaporation process. "I started tapping on March 10, but (the sap) didn't run until about March 17, which is still early," he said.
"It was a long month -- but a good one for us." So said Jack Berenz, president of the Becker County Food Pantry, in an interview earlier this week. Berenz was talking about the fact that March was Minnesota FoodShare Month -- the time of year when the local Food Pantry receives incentive grants based upon the combined amount of dollars and food donations collected during the course of the month. Last year, the Food Pantry did not reach its goal for the March fund-raising drive.
Do you have some mismatched pieces of old silverware collecting dust in a drawer somewhere? To Lake Park resident Joanie Schiffner, such a collection would provide a wonderful trove of treasure. When Schiffner looks at an old silver-plated teaspoon, knife or fork, she envisions a unique piece of jewelry. The woman known by some as "The Spoon Lady" has gained local renown for being able to create pendants, bracelets, rings and letter openers from antique silverware. "I started out with bracelets, and branched out from there," she said.
A concept plan for the Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Detroit Lakes was given a green light from the Detroit Lakes Park Board Wednesday. The plan now awaits approval by the Detroit Lakes City Council. It will be discussed at the next council meeting, set for 5 p.m. April 13. Members of the Detroit Lakes Park Board listened to a presentation of the park's design concept by city engineer Jon Pratt at a special board meeting late Wednesday afternoon. The design had been approved by area veterans the previous week.
It's been 21 years since Jon Wee and Owen Morse first formed the comedy-juggling duo known as The Passing Zone. "So you'd think we'd be good by now and never drop anything -- but it still happens," Wee joked. "Yeah, we're still trying to figure out that part," Morse added. The pair, who will take the stage of Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre this Friday, April 9, met after being invited to take part in a juggling convention in California. "We were both still in school, trying to figure out what we wanted to do for a career," Wee said. Not long after they met, they were inspired
It was less than four months ago that Port-au-Prince native Miquette Denie was working as a school nurse and part-time biology/anatomy teacher at a small school in Haiti's capital city. In her free time, she was helping 170 Haitian students in grades 1-12 to stay in school and get an education, through the TeacHaiti non-profit organization that she had founded a couple of years earlier. Then, on Jan.