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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Dan Holm has worn many hats in his 12 and a half years with Becker County. Emergency management, planning and zoning, environmental services... Holm has served at the helm of all three departments at various times.
A special bond forms when a mother holds her child in her arms for the first time. Kandi Adkins knows that feeling well, despite the fact that her daughter Morganne was adopted. "It was love at first sight," she says, recalling the day she and her husband, B.J., were first introduced to Morganne at an orphanage in Bogota, Colombia, last August. "We couldn't take our eyes off of her," Kandi adds. "When we held her for the first time, it was incredible!" B.J. and Kandi waited for almost a full year after filing the paperwork with Lutheran Social Services in Moorhead.
Once every two years, the two Detroit Lakes branches of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) -- Chapters DQ and FG -- get together to host their Biennial Garden Tour & Tea. This year's incarnation, with the theme "Artists in the Garden," gets underway on Thursday, July 27, and though tickets don't go on sale until June 1, local gardeners and artists are already hard at work, making sure the annual event will be a feast for both the eyes and the palate. "Each artist will be displaying their own work," says PEO member Joann Knapp, who is also one of the five contributing artis
Though she may not look -- or sound -- much like a rebel, pianist Lorie Line does have a bit of the iconoclast inside her. For one thing, she has her own, independent music label, created solely for the purpose of producing and marketing her work. "My whole career, I have had my own label," she says. "I started it when it wasn't fashionable, when people were thinking it was pretty pathetic. Now I'm in the most coveted position in the music business." Her reasons for going the independent route were simple. "I started out not really having a choice," she says bluntly.
Ron Sprafka has been a familiar presence in the halls of Rossman Elementary School in Detroit Lakes for some 23 years now. Before he began shaping the young minds of Rossman fifth graders, however, he spent six years at Lincoln Elementary (which has since closed), teaching third grade, and also spending a year as a Title I instructor. "This is my 29th year of teaching in DL... it's also my last," Sprafka says. "It's sweet sorrow, but that would be true no matter when I left. I have to quit sometime. To everything there comes an end...
When children graduate from high school and head off to college, their parents usually send them off with lots of hugs, tears and a few extra dollars in their pocket "for necessities." Sometimes, they accompany their child to the college or university to help them move in. But when Elaine Pechnik Reller accompanied her daughter Christy to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., in 2000, she ended up staying there.
Recently, a lot of attention has been focused on the prevalence of methamphetamine and recreational drug use, through community presentations by nationally renowned speakers. But while these presentations did much to highlight the scope of the problem from a national perspective, they did not give a clear picture of how the problem has impacted local communities -- and particularly, the area's teen population. To bring this local impact into better focus, the Community Relations Committee of the St.
Detroit Lakes' annual Festival of Birds attracts hundreds of visitors to the community each year. Now in its ninth year, the festival will once again take place from May 18-21. The four-day schedule will include activities for youth and adults, birding enthusiasts and the merely curious. Field trips, seminars, workshops demonstrations and even a "birder's bazaar" are all part of the planned festivities. In addition to this increasingly popular annual festival, DL also boasts the Lakes Area Birding Club, not to mention the Pine to Prairie Bird Trail...
Mankind used to hold some strange views about animal migration. Mike Murphy, Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge manager, recently presented a program on "Flyways and Migration of Birds" at Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Detroit Lakes. It was the latest in a series of monthly environmental forums presented by the Detroit Lakes-based environmental education group Natural Innovations. Murphy is one of the members of the planning committee for the Festival of Birds.
The annual Becker County United Way Celebration of Heroes luncheon went off without a hitch this past Wednesday, as dozens of local individuals and businesses were honored for their community spirit and service. This was despite the fact that several of this year's recipients were completely unaware that they were about to be honored. But no one was more surprised than United Way Executive Director LuAnn Porter, who was one of two recipients of this year's Bob Harris Memorial Award. Tears were welling in Porter's eyes as she declared, "I don't stand here alone." "I've been helped by so