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 - Almost seven years ago, the tragedy of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks inspired the United Way of Becker County to find a way to honor the area's emergency workers, law enforcement and firefighters. "We got to talking about how we take for granted the people who are there every day, who make such a difference," said LuAnn Porter, executive director of the United Way of Becker County. "We wanted to have a luncheon for our firefighters, law enforcement and emergency services personnel." So they came up with the idea of having a luncheon in their honor.
Only 200,000 Americans can claim Feb. 29 as their birth date, according to U.S. Census statistics. But as of this year, five of them can be found in the lakes area. On Friday, Feb. 29, 2008, five babies were born at St. Mary's Regional Health Center in Detroit Lakes. Yes, that's right. Five "Leap Day" babies -- all born in the same year, in the same hospital. "It's an enjoyable coincidence to have five Leap Year babies, but we delivered a record 556 babies last year and expect a record month for deliveries in March," said St. Mary's CEO Tom Thompson.
DETROIT LAKES - As anyone who keeps track of U.S.
For almost 20 years now, Nancy Lickiss has been caring for the residents of Emmanuel Community, and her enthusiasm and passion for her work continues unchecked. "I get so much more than I give," she said Thursday. "The feeling I get when I walk into a (resident's) room and their face lights up with trust -- I just don't think it gets any better." And the feeling is mutual, according to the staff and residents at Emmanuel. Lickiss was recently honored with a Leadership Award from the Minnesota Health and Housing Alliance (MHHA), at its annual Institute for Older Adult Services.
DETROIT LAKES - The Nintendo Wii has become something of a cultural phenomenon over the past couple of years, bringing the video game into the 21st century by making it more interactive and accessible. At Emmanuel Community, the residents of the nursing home and its adjacent assisted living facility, The Madison, recently acquired a pair of Wii systems for use by residents and staff. The Wii is an especially popular addition for the students of Mrs. Gilson's class at Rossman Elementary School, who come to Emmanuel twice a month to visit with nursing home and Madison residents.
DETROIT LAKES - With the addition to the Becker County Courthouse nearing completion, the County Board approved a bid for the second phase of the courthouse project Tuesday. The second phase, which will include remodeling and updating the heating and cooling system in the existing courthouse building, is slated to begin construction on June 1, said County Administrator Brian Berg. "Phase 1 (which also includes a third-floor prisoner walkway from the county jail to the new addition, where the courtrooms will now be located) is on schedule for completion in May," Berg added. Bob Bristlin &
When Suzie Porter left her native community of Willmar to pursue a degree in elementary education at Concordia College, she had visions of becoming a teacher. But then she heard from a friend about an opening for a program director position at Luther Crest Bible Camp in Alexandria, and decided to apply for the job. Four years later, she learned about another position that was opening, for a director of youth ministries at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Alexandria. "I took the job at Bethesda as an interim position, and I ended up staying three years," she says.
BECKER COUNTY -- Roger Engstrom remembers milking his first cow when he was just 12 years old. "I used a milk machine -- my dad had one of the first milk machines in Becker County," says the retired Detroit Lakes dairy farmer. Engstrom, who still lives in the home where he was raised, says that his grandfather first homesteaded the property in 1893. "There's a reference in my grandmother's diary, from May 1895, about when she made her first (shopping) trip into Detroit (the 'Lakes' was added later)," Engstrom says.
DETROIT LAKES -- Sixty years ago, in July 1948, the Becker County Soil and Water Conservation District first came into being, with its official certification by the state of Minnesota. But its roots actually go back a little farther than that, explained County SWCD Administrator Brad Grant. "A group of farmers in northwest Becker County began talking about forming a conservation district in 1944," said Grant. "In order to get federal assistance for drainage (projects), you had to form a district." And in 1944, drainage was a priority.
For almost as long as she can remember, music -- particularly inspirational music -- has been part of Janice Ramsey's life. "When I was about seven years old, my parents, Gilbert and Adeline Olson and sister Elsie attended revival services at the Alma Lutheran Church in rural Marshall County (Minnesota)," says Janice, who grew up in the small southwestern Minnesota community of Newfolden. Inspired by the message of those meetings, Janice discovered her faith in God, and shortly afterward, sang in public for the first time. "My mother taught me a song to sing at the 90th birthday party fo