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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Since purchasing their farm in rural Ogema almost 40 years ago in the fall of 1972, Curtis and Darlene Ballard have seen many changes. The home where they raised their five children is now inhabited by daughter and son-in-law Angie and Tim Lehrke, and their three children. Curt and Darlene now live in a comfortable two-year-old home atop a hillside that overlooks the farm, less than half a mile away. Daughter and son-in-law Annalee and Shawn Kologi live in the Rochert area with their four children, while the other three siblings have ventured a little farther afield. Son John Ballard a
It's been 32 years since Rotary Youth Exchange student Nori Shiiya came to Detroit Lakes from his parents' home in Chiba City, Japan, to spend the 1978-79 academic year living with three host families in the community. But Nori and his wife, Chizuka, have maintained close ties to former host parents, David and Shirley Fihn -- even during the recent earthquake that devastated the tiny island nation that Nori has called home for most of his life. "Dear Nori, we are saddened by the earthquake devastation in Japan. And we are concerned about you.
In looking over the biographical information for the string band known as daisy mayhem, one comes across a couple of informational gems. For instance, the band's founder and lead singer, Rani Arbo, is a "self taught" fiddle player. How exactly does one go about learning how to play the fiddle without formal instruction? According to Arbo, she just rented a violin from the college music department and started practicing. "I had just broken up with someone, so I had plenty of time and energy to pour into practicing," she said in a telephone interview, in preparation for the band's visit
One day in January 2009, Roxana Saberi was finishing up interviews for the book she was working on, packing and getting ready to leave her father's native country of Iran, where she had made her home since 2003. The next day, her life had taken a drastic, dramatic turn: Four members of the Iranian military police showed up at her front door, ready to place her under arrest for espionage. "I was terrified," Saberi said -- not only did she have no way of contacting her family back in Fargo, but she wasn't sure anyone had seen her being taken from her home, so there was a possibility that no
There are certain playwrights whose theatrical works continue to have cultural and literary relevance long after they completed their last manuscript. One of the most enduring names in that pantheon is the Norwegian-born Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), often referred to as "the father of modern drama." Ibsen pioneered a new theatrical era with works such as "The Pillars of Society" (1877) and "A Doll's House" (1879), which were grounded in the social issues of the day. What has made these stories so enduring, however, is their underlying foundation: a subtle analysis of human character and mot
Have you ever found yourself wondering whatever happened to Fonzie, Richie and the rest of the "Happy Days" gang? There will be not just one, but two chances to revisit these beloved TV characters when "The Big Doo Wop Show: Fonzie Returns to Happy Days" comes to Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes this weekend, April 1-2. Actors portraying Fonzie, Richie, Potsie and Ralph will share the stage with some of the area's best a cappella singers in this musical revue, which comes to the Fergus Theatre in Fergus Falls on Friday, April 1, and Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre on Saturday, April 2
For 33 years now, Denise Kettner has been teaching Detroit Lakes kindergartners the basics of reading, writing and math. In fact, Kettner even did her student teaching at Washington Elementary, before graduating with a bachelor's degree in elementary and early childhood education from Bemidji State University. She has also been a loyal member of the local teacher's union since joining the staff at Rossman Elementary -- and for the past five years, has served as president of Education Minnesota-Detroit Lakes. Before that, she was on the negotiating team for five consecutive master teachin
In light of this past week's late season blizzard, it's hard to envision spring ever arriving in the lakes area, but organizers of an upcoming promotional event for the non-profit organization Let's Go Fishing With Seniors (LGFWS) are already putting the finishing touches on the schedule. Volunteers from the Duluth chapter of LGFWS will be making stops in the host communities for all 27 Minnesota chapters of the non-profit organization -- including Detroit Lakes -- during the inaugural "Joy Ride for LGFWS." The 1,449-mile bike ride will begin on Thursday, May 5 in Duluth, arriving in Detro
"The arts are our gift to the next generation." This quote from Robert Bluestone is printed on a note attached to the computer in Amy Stoller Stearns' office at the Historic Holmes Theatre -- but it might just as easily have come from Stearns' own lips. As the theater's executive director, Stearns has become a driving force in bringing the arts, in all their many forms, to residents of the lakes area. And on Monday, Stearns and the theater's staff were honored for their efforts in a big way. Stearns and the Historic Holmes Theatre were the recipients of the Ordway Center for the Perfo
For almost as long as she can remember, Emma Wood has loved to sing. "I've done it forever -- it's just a part of me," says the Detroit Lakes High School sophomore. Wood began taking private voice lessons from DLHS vocal music instructor Kathy Larson when she was 7 years old. "She's like my second mom," Wood says of Larson. But Wood has known classmate Shea Henderson even longer than that -- since kindergarten, in fact.