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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Since its inception five summers ago, the 10,000 Lakes Festival has been growing in attendance at a rate of between 10-20 percent every year, according to Chryll Sparks, vice president and national promotions director for Festivals And Concert Events, Inc., which hosts the annual event. "We had 15,000 people Wednesday night, and I believe we'll be pushing 20,000 (by the end of the festival)," said Sparks on Thursday.
Since Aug. 8, 1966, Don Koosmann has been making sure the newspaper that arrives at your front door every week looks as good as it possibly can. From hot type to cold type to digital film to lasers, he's been witness to sweeping changes in the printing industry, and has taken those changes in stride. But at the end of this month, the Forum Printing prepress technician, proofer and platemaker will leave the printers and ink behind, and ease into retirement. "July 27 is my last day," he says.
When the announcement came that legendary country music superstar Willie Nelson would be canceling his entire summer tour due to exhaustion, it was anything but good news for WE Fest organizers, as the entertainer was scheduled to be one of the headline acts for the country music festival's 25th anniversary celebration. "We have been trying to get him to come for years, and we are deeply disappointed, but we understand," said Chryll Sparks, vice president and promotions director for Festivals and Concert Events, Inc., which hosts the annual festival.
With Sunday's game in Fargo cancelled, the Detroit Lakes American Legion Post 15 baseball team should be well-rested and ready to defend its home turf in the 13th Annual Northwest Water Carnival Legion Baseball Classic, which gets underway Thursday at DL's Washington Ballpark. "My anticipation for this weekend is that we play well, get all the guys into the game at their own tournament, and hopefully win a couple of games," said Post 15 head coach Keith Blattenbauer. The tournament, which runs Thursday through Sunday, July 12-15, will be played in round-robin format.
The Becker County Board voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of appropriating $10,000 from the 2008 county budget for the creation of a Becker/Clay County Drug Court. This program, which is slated to go into effect on Jan. 1, is modeled on similar programs in other counties, and other states, that seek to stop the continued abuse of drugs and related criminal activity. "Many drug addicts will serve their sentence (for a drug-related crime), then go right back to using when they get out," said Don Kautzman, coordinator for the Drug Court program in both Becker and Clay counties.
Detroit Lakes United Methodist Church's new pastor, Rev. Brenda North, knew she was called to the Christian ministry when she was still in high school. "My family never used to go to church," she says. "But one day, a friend of mine invited me (to come to church), and eventually, my whole family started going. It made a huge difference in our lives. "We'd always been a good and loving family, but (finding faith in Christ) made us happier... we had a sense of larger purpose.
The Otter Tail River was the place to be on July 4, judging by the crowds that were gathered there Wednesday. "We had a substantial amount of traffic problems," said Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon. "The Otter Tail River kept us pretty busy...
Though Detroit Lakes' 72nd annual Northwest Water Carnival doesn't officially get into full swing until next week, there are a few "warm-up" sporting events scheduled for this weekend. First up is the Lake Swim, which takes place from 8-10 a.m. on Saturday, July 7. As the name suggests, this competitive racing event involves swimming on Detroit Lake itself. There are half-mile and one-mile events, divided into age and gender categories.
By the time you read this article, Detroit Lakes native Lisa Briggs will be back on her home soil, preparing to give her first live performance in the lakes area in more than three years. "I'll be in Minneapolis on Saturday," Briggs said in a Wednesday telephone interview. "I can't wait." Briggs, who is a 1990 graduate of Detroit Lakes High School, has made her home in Nashville since moving there in 1996 to pursue a career in music. But she had already experienced some success as a performer before she made the move to Tennessee's musical mecca.
Since 2004, Detroit Lakes has played host every summer to a unique "party in the park" known as Family Jam. Billed as a "concert and fun in the light of the Son," this Christian-themed, family-oriented summer event has been growing steadily in popularity. So much so, in fact, that parking for the Family Jam has been expanded from the lot next to the City Park (where the event is located) to include the lot at Detroit Lakes High School, which is just a block away. "We're expecting even more people this year," explained Kathy Nelson, Family Jam committee member and marketing chair. From