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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The Detroit Lakes City Council proved that citizen input can make a difference at its Tuesday night meeting, as not just one, but two items on the agenda were shot down by opposition from local residents — although it may only be a temporary delay in one instance. By a 6-1 vote, action was tabled on a resolution authorizing Mayor Matt Brenk and City Administrator Kelcey Klemm to seek special legislation from the Minnesota State Legislature to implement a local option sales tax.
It may have started as a joke, but the women of Grace Lutheran Church have turned their winter supper into a Detroit Lakes tradition that spans more than a decade. When Ruby Kiihn, then president of the Grace Lutheran Church Women, first proposed that the group host a Cabin Fever Supper back in 2007, it was done with tongue firmly planted in cheek. "I said it as a joke," Kiihn recalled. "But the others all thought it was a good idea."
Though the Dakota Access Pipeline has been dominating regional news headlines for several months now, there is another oil project on the horizon that could have much bigger implications for northern Minnesota: Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline. Similar in size and purpose to the recently defeated Keystone XL pipeline, the $7.5 billion Line 3 is proposed to transport tar sands oil over 1,000 miles, from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wis. — right through northern Minnesota.
Do you love that old time rock 'n' roll? Does it make you reminisce about the days of old? Then you might want to head on over to the Detroit Lakes Public Library this Monday, Feb. 13, for a free presentation by Minnesota author Rick Shefchik. Shefchik is the author of "Everybody's Heard About the Bird: The True Story of 1960s Rock 'n' Roll in Minnesota," and his 7 p.m. talk will be all about the Minnesota-grown bands and songs that made it big during that era.
Though the first weekend of Polar Fest 2017 is already in full swing, there's still time to sign up for — or make a pledge to — the 21st Annual Polar Fest Plunge, which is set for 1 p.m. this coming Saturday, Feb. 18 in Detroit Lakes. "If you go to our website, www.bgcdl.org , there's a link to our Polar Fest Plunge toolkit," says Pat Petermann, executive director of the Detroit Lakes Boys & Girls Club, which is the beneficiary of the annual community fundraiser. The downloadable kit includes frequently asked questions, a list of fundraising incentives and more.
"It's a long way from Nashville," says country singer Zach Stone of Mahnomen's Shooting Star Casino, Hotel & Event Center, where he will be playing for three consecutive nights this Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 9-11. But Stone is happy to be back in the northern part of the country again. "We've played there (at Shooting Star) twice before and they really like us there," he added. "I've been doing shows since I was 12 years old — it's been a lifelong dream, for sure."
The weather outside may have been a bit frightful of late, but come this weekend, temperatures are slated to rise into the upper 30s — just in time for the start of Polar Fest 2017. Detroit Lakes' celebration of all things winter is actually slated to kick off on Thursday, Feb. 9, with the unveiling of Polar Fest's "official beer" at Lakeside Tavern. For the second year, Polar Fest Committee members will tap into the first keg of "Winter Shanty" — brewed especially for Polar Fest at DL's own Tavern Brewery — promptly at 4 p.m.
A 15-year quest by Detroit Lakes Public Library Director Mary Haney has finally come to fruition: Garrison Keillor is coming to DL on April 27 to do a free presentation at the library. "We've had a long history of bringing Minnesota's 'literary lights' to our library to speak," says Haney. "He's one of the few that we've never had here."
For the past 11 years, on an enchanted evening in February, princesses from throughout the land of lakes have been bringing the special men in their lives — be it their dads, granddads, uncles or family friends — to Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre to enjoy a night of dancing, crafts, food and fun that was created just for them. Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance will celebrate its 11th anniversary this Friday, Feb. 10, once again kicking off Detroit Lakes' annual Polar Fest celebration in style.
As Neil Diamond might say, it's time to "turn on your heartlight." For the 10th straight year, Dakota Medical Foundation and Impact Foundation of Fargo are joining forces to help nonprofits and charitable organizations throughout western Minnesota and North Dakota raise money through Giving Hearts Day, a 24-hour online fundraising event set for this Thursday, Feb. 9.