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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For 20 years, Roy Estes has served as street commissioner for the City of Detroit Lakes. During that time, the city's street and parks department has grown dramatically in its scope and focus -- so much so, Estes notes, that his job title has become obsolete. "I'm the last street commissioner Detroit Lakes will ever have," he says. After officially retiring from that position on Friday, Dec. 22, he is going to be replaced by a public works director. "The title (public works director) is more representative of the department as we operate now," he says.
For 10 years now, the members of the Mount Tabor Masonic Lodge in Detroit Lakes have been using the proceeds of their "Photos With Santa" program at the Washington Square Mall to spread a little Christmas cheer to families who can use it more than most. Whether those families have a loved one who is severely ill or recovering from injury, or are suddenly rendered homeless, or living through some other unexpected hardship, the Masons have been there, accompanied by the man in the red suit. "We have given out over $30,000 (in Chamber dollars and presents) to families since we started doing t
Like so many young women, Nancy Nelson's first career was as a wife and mother. "I married young, and started raising a family," she said. "It was never my intention to go into social work." It was a college guidance counselor who suggested social services might be a career field Nelson would want to look into. She decided to heed the advice -- and never looked back. On June 1, Nelson became the director of Becker County Human Services, replacing Matt Casey. Her life and career have taken many twists and turns in the intervening years.
Three years ago, Roosevelt Elementary School in Detroit Lakes received a "three star" rating for its state reading and math assessment test (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment, or MCA) results. A "three star" rating means that a school is meeting state standards for "adequate yearly progress," or AYP. But according to Jerry Hanson, principal of Roosevelt Elementary, that star rating was "a low three and three." "We were very close to a 2 (star rating)," he added.
Despite some wet, heavy snow that soaked through the winter wear of those gathered to watch the show, the turnout for Thursday night's Detroit Lakes visit by the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train was outstanding, according to organizers. Hundreds of local residents lined up along the Soo Line's Holmes Street crossing to watch the arrival of the 1,000-foot train, resplendent with holiday lights that spelled out the words "Canadian Pacific Holiday Train" in glowing red and green letters.
The Detroit Lakes School Board got a little dose of holiday cheer at Monday's board meeting, courtesy of Acting Superintendent Lowell Niklaus and Business Manager Ted Heisserer. With district enrollment counts starting to stabilize for the year, Niklaus reported that early projections of a substantial boost in kindergarten numbers have held true.
Since Friday, Dec. 1, the Canadian Pacific Railway's brightly-lit Holiday Train has been riding the rails from Pennsylvania to Minnesota, spreading Christmas cheer with its lively music shows --and good will toward men with its gifts to local food shelves. This Thursday, Dec. 14, the Holiday Train will be stopping in Detroit Lakes at the Soo Line's Holmes Street crossing, near the Community & Cultural Center.
It's been almost 25 years since Huron, S.D.
Since September, the 18 kids enrolled in the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center's first-ever Afterschool Program have been hard at work, creating an original theatrical production to be presented on the stage of the DLCCC's Historic Holmes Theatre. Though it premiered on Friday, Dec. 8, the public will have one more opportunity to view the production on Monday, Dec. 11, at 4:15 p.m., as part of the DLCCC's fifth anniversary celebration.
It's been five years since the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center officially opened its doors to the public on Dec. 14, 2001. In that time, the $10 million, state-of-the art facility has grown its membership to more than 4,000. Annual usage has increased from 108,000 "check-ins" -- i.e., the total number of people who walk in its doors -- in its first year to an estimated 200,000 in 2006. "For more than 20 years, this place was always a want and a need," says Stu Omberg, the community center's current CEO.