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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It's almost Thanksgiving weekend — which means the community of Lake Park will soon be busy putting the finishing touches on its annual Christmas kickoff celebration, the Parade of Trees. Starting on Monday, and continuing through Wednesday, community businesses, church groups and artistically inclined individuals will be setting up their creatively decorated trees in the Lake Park American Legion, transforming its interior into a festively lit winter wonderland.
It was another successful year for the Detroit Lakes Area Chapter of Let's Go Fishing, the local non-profit that offers free fishing and boating excursions to area youth, disabled persons, veterans and senior citizens. "We completed 135 trips from May through September, which is our most ever (in a single season)," says Dave Hochhalter, treasurer for the Detroit Lakes LGF chapter (and one of its founding members).
Construction of Detroit Lakes' new wastewater treatment facility is tentatively slated to begin late next fall, with an anticipated price tag of $34 million — and the 2017 monthly rates approved for all city utility customers at last week's council meeting reflect that fact. Wastewater customers will see a 25 percent increase in their monthly bill, starting in January. That's about $8.85 more per month for the average residential customer, and about $33.55 more for commercial users, says Vernell Roberts, general manager of Detroit Lakes Public Utilities.
Just in time for the holidays, Detroit Lakes-based Manna Food Co-op is offering community residents a unique opportunity to donate memberships for those in need. The LOCAL JEWEL (Leaving Our Community A Legacy Joining Everyone With Excellent Living) Sponsorship Program, launching this month, allows anyone who would like to donate either a full lifetime membership of $150, or money towards a membership, for a person or family that has applied to the program for sponsorship.
Hammerschlagen, Jumbo Jenga, Beer Pong, a costume contest, even a redneck-themed version of the popular comedy improv show, "Whose Line Is It Anyway"... it's all part of the fun planned for the Vergas community's fifth annual Redneck Holidazzle, set for this coming Saturday, Nov. 19. Though the Vergas Community Club has hosted the event in the past, Billy's Corner Bar and Skal Bar & Grill have joined forces to host this year's celebration, according to Vergas City Clerk/Treasurer Julie Lammers.
Each year on Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, Americans all over the world remember the military servicemen and women who have given their strength, their skill, their courage, and sometimes, their lives to protect this nation and its freedoms. One of the young men who made that ultimate sacrifice for his country is Becker County's own David A. Hurr, who was killed in battle near Kumch'on, Korea, during the overnight hours of Aug. 1-2, 1950. Just 19 years old, he became the first soldier from Becker County to die in the war.
The first Becker County soldier who died in the Korean War will be the focus of a presentation by "Prairie Boys at War" author Merry Helm at the Detroit Lakes Public Library, set for 4 p.m. this Thursday, Nov. 10.
Abandoned pets are, sadly, pretty much an everyday occurrence at animal shelters like Detroit Lakes' Marshmallow Foundation. But the kitten that was rescued by local resident Kyle Braaten from the city's yard waste dump site on Oct. 22 was a bit unusual, in that he was barely more than a week old. "We don't usually get anything that small," said the shelter's manager, Cassi Ohman. "He was just a baby." In fact, the kitten was so tiny that Braaten almost didn't find him at all.
Santa Claus is coming to town on Nov. 28 — and he's looking for Detroit Lakes area residents and businesses that are willing to brave the winter chill to take part in his annual Grand Parade of Lights. "The parade had almost 30 entries last year, but we would love to have more!" exclaimed Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce President Carrie Johnston. "It's free to register," added Natalie Bly, who is co-chairing this year's parade along with Marjorie Berg. "And it's open to anyone!"
So was it Duck for President, or Farmer Brown? Turns out, it was neither. The mock election held Saturday at the Becker County Historical Society & Museum was as hotly contested as Tuesday's race for the White House, with voting ending in a dead heat between the contenders. Yes, it was a tie, which might have tilted one way or the other if not for an unexpected write-in vote cast for Curly Howard (of "Three Stooges" fame).