Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
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When most Catholic priests are assigned to area parishes by the bishop of the Crookston diocese, it's usually for a period of six years. Occasionally, they might be asked to stay for a second six-year term. Father Jerry Rogers has been the pastor of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit Lakes for 15 years. "Which is about nine years longer than I had expected to be here," Rogers says. When Rogers first came to the Detroit Lakes community in June 1994, he had been serving as a missionary in Africa.
Testimony began Wednesday in the Becker County jury trial of a former Lake Park-Audubon High School teacher who is accused of having a sexual relationship with a female juvenile during the spring of 2005, when she was under 16 years of age. Among those to take the stand: the alleged victim. Jared Lee Sanborn, 26, of P.O. Box 122, Lake Park, is facing a felony count of third degree criminal sexual conduct.
For the second time this month, the West Central Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Moorhead was a focus of discussion at the Becker County Board meeting on Tuesday. This time, however, the facility was seeking a more definite commitment from Becker County -- in the form of a fixed commitment to fill four beds at the 24-bed facility, at a rate of $200 per day. The $305,000 total annual commitment would be considerably more than the average $262,000 per year that the county has been paying for the past five years.
It's become something of a summer tradition in the lakes area. Once every year, toward the end of June, a pair of actor-directors from the Missoula Children's Theatre in Missoula, Mont., makes the journey to Detroit Lakes for a weeklong children's theater workshop at the Historic Holmes Theatre. Each year's workshop culminates in a live performance by the budding thespians -- and this year is no exception. MCT's latest pair of wandering minstrels, Kay Akervik and Merelee Robinson, have been in Detroit Lakes since Monday.
Despite a soggy start, the 16th annual Becker County Relay for Life was a success. The festivities were set to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 19, but were interrupted by a torrential downpour. The rain lasted less than an hour, but left a soggy mess in place of the luminaries that had once lined both sides of the track at Detroit Lakes High School. Still, the ceremonies went on. And while it was a bit darker than anticipated when the main event began, the Survivor's Walk that began the Relay was as touching as ever.
FOLEY -- Frazee hog farmer Robert Briard was found innocent of second degree criminal sexual conduct today in Benton County District Court. A 12-person jury deliberated for roughly an hour following the conclusion of closing statements early this afternoon. "Justice was done for the second time," said Briard's attorney, Earl Grey, as he left the courthouse. After the prosecution rested its case this morning, Grey called four witnesses in quick succession -- all of them teenage relatives of Briard, and cousins of the victim. A key element in the defense's case was the fact that the cous
FOLEY -- Testimony began Wednesday in the jury trial of Frazee hog farmer Robert Briard on a criminal sexual conduct charge. As is often the case when members of the same family are on opposing sides of a court trial, the proceedings included a few dramatic moments. The alleged victim in the case was the first witness called, and though she admitted to being nervous, she was seemingly calm in answering questions from both the defense and prosecution.
FOLEY -- The trial of Frazee-area hog farmer Robert Briard on a felony charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct began Tuesday at the Benton County Courthouse in Foley, Minn. After a selection process that lasted through the morning and continued until about mid-afternoon, a panel of 14 jurors -- eight women, six men -- was sworn in by Becker County District Court Judge Peter Irvine.
It's been 40 years since Tom Hanson opened the first Zorbaz on West Lake Drive in Detroit Lakes. Since then, he and operating partner Rick Jansen have expanded the business so much that a ninth Zorbaz restaurant just opened in March. They have also have passed on much of the day-to-day operation of the business to their sons, Cole Hanson and Tate Jansen. "We're the second generation," said Tate Jansen earlier this week. But both original partners -- along with their sons -- will be present for the restaurant's 40th birthday bash on June 26-27.
Though Heather Bridgeman has never been diagnosed with cancer, her life has been inexorably affected by the disease. Bridgeman's mother, Michelle Harris, a Detroit Lakes Middle School EBD teacher, passed away on March 9 of this year -- less than a month after being diagnosed with colon cancer. Seven years earlier, in 2002, her father Bob Harris died from pancreatic cancer, and Bridgeman lost a grandfather to the disease as well. "I've been involved with the (American Cancer Society) Relay for Life off and on since 2002," said Bridgeman, noting that she and her husband Brett had lived in