Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 14 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as obituaries. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
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DETROIT LAKES -- Though Becker County Community Health has only been in existence since Jan. 1, 2005 (when it took over the county's public health programming from Multi-County Nursing Service), it's already outgrowing its home on the first floor of the County Human Services Building. Yet if you ask people on the street what it's all about, chances are they won't have a clue. "We're one of the best kept secrets in town," said Community Health Supervisor Ronda Stock. But that's really the way it should be, she added.
DETROIT LAKES - It's the latest word in rural economic development: Entrepreneurship. Gov.
Illinois Senator Barack Obama grabbed the majority of presidential straw-poll voting in Democratic caucuses throughout the state of Minnesota Tuesday -- and Becker County was no exception. Obama received 262 votes in the Becker County straw poll, to 172 votes for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. No other candidate's vote total went beyond single digits; there were also six votes listed as "uncommitted." Television networks began projecting Obama the Minnesota winner at 9:20 p.m.
PONSFORD - In 1947, Ray Vlasak's family decided to take their first vacation at Veronen's Resort on Bad Medicine Lake. A little less than 20 years later, in 1964, his parents bought a cabin on Bad Medicine, and nine years after that, purchased the property down the road from Veronen's that would become High Pines Resort. "It's a small resort -- there are just three cabins -- and we only rent on a long-term basis," Vlasak noted.
Detroit Lakes -- Al Franken, the comedian-turned-U.S. Senate candidate, thinks the current state of health care in Minnesota -- and the United States as a whole -- is anything but funny. "Every other industrialized country in the world has universal health care -- we're the only industrialized country that doesn't -- and I think it's no coincidence that we spend twice as much per person as any other industrialized country on health care," Franken said during a visit to the Detroit Lakes Newspapers offices on Friday.
DETROIT LAKES - Polar Fest: As the name implies, it's a celebration of all things winter -- an opportunity to experience all that Detroit Lakes has to offer when the temperature drops below freezing. "Detroit Lakes is so well known for its summertime fun," says Kesley Myhre, one of the 2008 festival's many organizers. "But we have so much to offer in winter as well -- cross country skiing and snowmobile trails, ice skating at Lincoln rink (outdoors) and Freeman Arena (indoors), sledding on the hill behind the Boys & Girls Club...
DETROIT LAKES -- Every year, when New Year's Day comes around, people start making resolutions to start fresh, get healthy, get fit, eat better, and ultimately, to lose weight. And yet, obesity rates continue to soar, as that January zeal to get in shape gives way to old, ingrained habits.
Lake Park-Audubon High School teacher Cheryl Hogie loves what she does for a living, and it shows. "I always wanted to be a teacher," she says. Ever since her two great aunts, also teachers, started giving her their discarded books and classroom materials when she was a young girl, Hogie has been teaching anyone who would listen -- including dolls, pets and family members. "One summer, I taught Vacation Bible School in a one-room schoolhouse for children ages 3-12," she said.
DETROIT LAKES -- It's been just a little over 20 years since Paul and Madalyn Sukke moved to Detroit Lakes from Willmar, Minn., in 1987. But in those 20 years, Paul Sukke became an integral part of the community. Through the years, Sukke -- who passed away Jan. 19 at age 61 -- quietly made his presence felt in a wide variety of service organizations, from the Jaycees to the Chamber of Commerce to Rotary to the West Central Initiative Fund. "Paul was really active in the Jaycees, and Rotary," said longtime friend Mark Hagen.
DETROIT LAKES -- The Becker County Veteran's service office has seen a 21 percent increase in client contacts over the past year, according to Veteran's Service Officer Lauri Brooke. "That's across the board," she informed Becker County commissioners in her annual report to the county board on Tuesday. "We've seen a 32 per-cent increase in phone calls... the toll-free number you authorized is a great success." Brooke's office has also brought in $7.26 million in compensation and pension claims for Becker County veterans, and another $7.5 million in assistance with medical expenses.