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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How does a farm boy from Ogema, Wis., (yes, there's one in Wisconsin, too) end up as the owner of a travel company that specializes exclusively in booking vacation packages to Belize, Central America? For Pep Simek, owner of Detroit Lakes-based Magnum Belize Tours -- as well as its sister agency, Travel Travel -- the answer is: frozen pizza. Simek made his fortune as the founder of Tombstone Pizza -- which, contrary to what its name might imply, did not get its start in Tombstone, Ariz.
Last weekend, Aug. 2-3, there was more activity at the Hubbel Pond Dam than at any point in the lcentury or so since loggers stopped flating logs down the Otter Tail River to the Frazee sawmill. The Friends of History and Tamarac Interpretive Association sponsored a reenactment of a 19th century logging camp at Hubbel Pond, as part of Minnesota's Sesqhelpinguicentennial (i.e., its 150th anniversary of statehood) celebration. "The event went better than any of us imagined it would," said Joann Sponskowski, one of the event's principal organizers.
A severe case of tonsillitis has sidelined country vocalist Leann Rimes on the eve of her WE Fest debut. In a statement published Wednesday, Aug. 6 on her official Web site, www.leannrimesworld.com , Rimes' publicist said that she would be postponing her performance at US99.5's Live Country Event in Chicago on Thursday, Aug. 7 and canceling her performance at WE Fest on Friday, Aug. 8. "The Grammy award winner has a severe case of tonsillitis which has inflamed her vocal cords," the statement read.
The lineup of artists for the 26th annual WE Fest country music festival -- which gets underway this Thursday, Aug. 7 at the Soo Pass Ranch -- includes a lot of newcomers this year. Taylor Swift, Leann Rimes, Jason Aldean, Sugarland and Little Big Town will all be making their debuts at the festival -- as will Andy Griggs, who just began a cross-country tour with Rhett Akins that will swing through Detroit Lakes on Saturday, Aug. 9. "I'm very excited about it," he said Tuesday in a telephone interview.
Lyme disease is one the fastest spreading infectious diseases in the United States today, with some 200,000-plus people stricken each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Spread by deer ticks, it hasn't been much of a problem in northwest Minnesota -- until now. "The last few years, if you look at the maps of distribution (of reported cases), you'll see it's been marching westward across Minnesota," said Dr. Mark Lindquist, director of emergency services at St.
DETROIT LAKES - Despite high gas prices and a sluggish economy that has curtailed many people's vacation travel plans this summer, Detroit Lakes' 26th annual WE Fest country music festival is expecting another sellout crowd this year. "We're almost sold out," said Chyrll Sparks, vice president and national promotions director for Festivals And Concert Events (FACE), Inc., which runs WE Fest each year. "We have maybe 1,000 tickets left (as of Friday)." With three more days before the festival's official start on Thursday, Aug.
DETROIT LAKES - The Minnesota House of Representatives is controlled by the Democrats -- but come election time this fall, the Republicans are hoping to change that. On Tuesday morning, the candidates seeking House seats in Districts 2A and 10B -- Steve Green and Mark Murdock, respectively -- joined House Minority Leader Marty Seifert at the Detroit Lakes Country Kitchen for an interview with Detroit Lakes Newspapers.
DETROIT LAKES - Looking for a way to save a little money at the gas pumps this year? If you own a diesel car, or are thinking about purchasing one, Dan Eischens might have a solution for you. The Park Rapids resident, who works as a manufacturing and technical product director at Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Detroit Lakes, has converted his Volkswagen Jetta to run on a slightly different kind of fuel...vegetable oil. That's right.
This Saturday and Sunday, for the first time since it became a DNR-protected wildlife management area, Hubbel Pond Dam will be opened to the general public for a special historical reenactment commemorating Minnesota's Sesquicentennial anniversary. Step back into time and visit an "Early Settlers and Logging Encampment" at the Hubbel Pond Dam, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug.
For the first time in roughly two decades, this year's Becker County Fair marked the return of the Beard & Mustache Competition, held on Thursday afternoon. Organizer Roger Winter, who acted as master of ceremonies for the event, noted that the turnout had been very good; most of the seats under the big tent were filled. Earlier in the day, however, he was a little worried about whether he would have anyone to judge the competition. "At noon today, I didn't have any judges," Winter said.