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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Starting this Friday afternoon and continuing through Memorial Day, the avenues of Detroit Lakes' Oak Grove Cemetery will be lined with large cotton flags, honoring local veterans who have served this country. The Detroit Lakes VFW and American Legion together started the Avenue of Flags in 1990. According to VFW member Dave Coalwell, it began when local veteran Herschel Koenig saw something similar to the Avenue of Flags in another Minnesota community and suggested the locals do something like that.
It's hard to imagine that the biological impact of an oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico more than seven years ago could still be showing up in Minnesota's Common Loon population in the present day — yet that's exactly what's happening.
When Detroit Lakes native Melissa Longoria dropped out of high school in 2006, it wasn't because she lacked the grades to graduate with her classmates. "I was an honor roll student," she says. And it wasn't because she had to leave the foster home she had been living in after she turned 18. "They gave me the option to stay there and finish school," she added, "but I had other priorities."
In communities across the United States, Memorial Day marks the official start of summer — and Detroit Lakes is no exception, with a wide variety of events slated to take place in the lakes area over the long holiday weekend. For local motorcycle riding enthusiasts, the Detroit Lakes Eagles Club is the place to be, as Eagles Aerie 2342 is gearing up to host its second annual Leather Up for Lupus Charity Ride on Saturday, May 27.
The residents at Ecumen Detroit Lakes' long term care, transitional care and senior housing facilities now have a new place to enjoy an afternoon picnic, or just relax and soak up the summer warmth, thanks to Detroit Lakes High School senior Cody Christen and the Boy Scouts of Troop 646. Last fall, Cody took on the design and construction of a new picnic shelter at Ecumen as a Boy Scouts service project — the last step he needed to take toward earning the rank of Eagle Scout.
Fishing and boating means so much to thousands of people in the Detroit Lakes area every year. But what about those who do not have ready access to the water, either due to decreased mobility, or a lack of someone to take them there? Since 2008, the Detroit Lakes Area Chapter of Let's Go Fishing has been filling that gap, serving over 6,874 seniors, veterans, youth and physically challenged people of all ages.
Servant leadership: It's a term that, at first glance, may seem contradictory. But it's a premise that Tom Thibodeau, a 30-year professor at Wisconsin's Viterbo University, believes in wholeheartedly. Calling himself "an ambassador for goodness," Thibodeau presented his case Tuesday night at a gathering of local service club members, city and school officials, church leaders and other distinguished guests, hosted by Essentia Health St. Mary's at the Holiday Inn in Detroit Lakes.
Spring has finally arrived in the lakes area and, with it, the Lakes Area Farmers Market is set to open for the season this Saturday, May 20 in Detroit Lakes' Peoples Park. "We've actually opened as early as Mother's Day in the past, but for the past couple of years we've been doing it on the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend," says John Skarie, farmer's market co-president (along with Marty Jorschumb).
It's been 10 years since the Humane Society of the Lakes opened the doors of its animal shelter on Highway 59 just north of Detroit Lakes, and the staff and volunteers are planning to celebrate the milestone. The shelter will host an open house Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. "It'll be the first time we've held an open house there," says HSL volunteer Beth Pridday, who was one of the people involved in initiating the fundraising drive to build the shelter back in 2007.
For the past 25 years, on the second Saturday in May, postal carriers across the United States have been collecting donations of cash and food for their local food shelves during their regular mail delivery routes, as part of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, sponsored annually by the National Association of Letter Carriers — and Detroit Lakes is no exception.