Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 15 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as obituaries. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
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For 37 years now, Karen Hagen has spent every weekday working at the same Detroit Lakes bank. During that time, her job title has changed from teller to loan officer to personal banker, and the name of the bank has changed too -- from First National to Norwest to Wells Fargo. She's had several different bosses, including Arnie Porkkonen -- who gave Hagen her first job as a bank teller -- the late Bob Harris, and most recently, Ladd Lyngaas. But the biggest change of all, Hagen says, has been the technology bankers use to do their business. "When I started in banking, we did a lot of h
There was a buzz of excitement in the air at the conference center inside Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Detroit Lakes this Saturday. As attendees at the city's 12th annual Festival of Birds converged on the M-State campus for a special luncheon, they learned that their area birding opportunities were about to get a considerable boost. Presenters Carol Henderson of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Christine Tymchak of the Department of Manitoba Conservation revealed that on Tuesday, Minnesota's Pine to Prairie Birding Trail would take a "historic leap to
When the Detroit Lakes City Park Bandshell was renovated a few years ago, it opened up new opportunities for outdoor concerts and activities -- including live theater. This June, the bandshell will be the setting for the first-ever Shakespeare in the Park production by the Historic Holmes Theatre. Directed by DL native Nikki Caulfield, the production will be a "play within a play," putting a modern spin on William Shakespeare's classic comedy, "The Taming of the Shrew." Auditions begin this Thursday, May 21 at the Holmes Theatre, from 7 to 8 p.m.
Several years ago, when the Becker County Board of Commissioners began discussing plans for a courthouse expansion, the commissioners approached area veterans' organizations to see how they would feel about relocating the veterans' memorial park to a new site. A meeting was called to discuss the possibility of establishing a new veterans' park at another location.
Sometimes, a simple clerical error can turn out to be pretty complicated. Just ask the Becker County Board of Commissioners. On Tuesday, the commissioners were asked to correct a previously undetected error in the county board minutes from a meeting held more than three years earlier, on April 25, 2006. That error was at the core of a zoning dispute between the county and local landowner Joey Kaiser, who owns the property that was once home to a bar and restaurant known as The Landing. Kaiser had sought a change of zone for the property from agricultural to commercial.
"It's been an interesting ride." That's how Detroit Lakes native John Flatt describes his 33-year career in education -- a career that began in industrial arts, and culminated in the development of the School to Work program at Detroit Lakes High School. "It's certainly a major diversion from where I thought my original career plan was going to take me," added Flatt, who will retire as the district's School to Work coordinator at the end of the 2008-09 academic year. Though Flatt had always envisioned a career in education, it was a two-year detour into working at SJ Electro Systems (now
Though the issue of whether ATV users should be granted full, or even limited access to forest trails in Becker County remains hotly contested, one thing that both sides of the issue can agree upon is that a comprehensive, county-wide recreational plan is needed -- and soon. That was the gist of more than 90 minutes of discussion at Tuesday night's public hearing on forest land classification in Becker County. Specifically under scrutiny was a proposal by the county's Natural Resources Committee to "opt out" of the state's classification system regarding motorized vehicle use on county-adm
Though hospice is a relative newcomer to the healthcare industry, it has been a part of the Detroit Lakes community for a quarter of a century now -- and on Tuesday, a large group of supporters gathered at the local offices of Hospice of the Red River Valley (HRRV) to celebrate its success. As HRRV Executive Director Susan Fuglie put it, the hospice movement "was created as a rebellion" -- rebellion against the often cold, clinical environment of end-of-life care, by people who were "caring enough to say we have to find a better way." In Detroit Lakes, the first community task force meetin
The Becker County Highway Department and Detroit Lakes Public Works Department are working together on a grant proposal for funding the construction of a joint city-county maintenance facility. County Highway Engineer Brad Wentz outlined the proposal at Tuesday's county commissioners' meeting. Preliminary estimates put the cost of the joint facility at around $7.5 million.
Detroit Lakes High School vocal students did extremely well in the recent Minnesota State High School League solo ensemble and large group choir competitions for Region 8AA North. DLHS had 60 entries in the solo ensemble competition, held on April 16 in Bemidji. Of those 60 entries, 52 earned superior entries, and seven more were rated as excellent, said DLHS vocal director Kathryn Larson. "Many entries (from Detroit Lakes) scored a perfect 40," said Larson, noting that a perfect score is "a rare thing" in regional competition. "I was in shock," she added.