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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Though this Thursday, Feb. 8 is already shaping up to be a "red letter day" in Detroit Lakes, with the evening's Ice Palace Grand Lighting Ceremony set to bring in excited onlookers and news media from around the region, eight local nonprofits are hoping to make the day memorable for an entirely different reason. That's because this coming Thursday is also the date set for Giving Hearts Day, a 24-hour online fundraising event that has raised over $41 million for charities throughout North Dakota and Minnesota since its inception in 2008.
For the past month or so, ice harvesting, King Isbit and the Polar Fest Ice Palace have been dominating local headlines... and the Becker County Museum's "History of Ice Harvesting" exhibit at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion has been right at the center of the action. As the official Grand Lighting Ceremony for the ice palace approaches, the museum is preparing for one last big influx of visitors to the Pavilion exhibit, which will be open to the public for three more days during the community's upcoming Polar Fest celebration, which runs Feb. 8-21.
Got a complaint to register about the parking regulations — or lack thereof — in downtown Detroit Lakes? The city's Public Works Committee and Chamber of Commerce want to hear from you.
A 2017 audit of the City of Detroit Lakes' stormwater management standards and practices by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has resulted in a $7,000 fine being assessed against the city. The fine was announced in a Jan. 24 press release from the MPCA. "The audit took place on Jan. 19, 2017," said Detroit Lakes City Administrator Kelcey Klemm. "But even before the audit took place we had already begun to address some of the MPCA's concerns."
For more than a decade now, the Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance has been the unofficial "kickoff" event for Detroit Lakes' Polar Fest celebration — but not this time. "This year we got trumped by the Ice Palace," joked Beth Horslev Gilbert, who has been coordinating the event since she became the theater's arts outreach director in 2015. "But that's OK. Every princess needs a palace, right?"
It's time to pull those old Arctic Cat, Polaris and Ski Doo sleds out from the shed, shine them up and fire up the engines: The Midnite Riders Snowmobile Club is hosting its annual Old Timers Run this coming Saturday, Feb. 3. A tradition among lakes area snowmobiling enthusiasts since the early 1990s, the run is an opportunity to enjoy a fun ride along tree-lined trails while testing out your riding skills and the durability of your sled. Prizes are also awarded to the best looking and most creatively decorated sleds in several categories prior to the start of the run.
Twenty-eight chapters. Twenty-eight days. No meetings, no travel required — just you, a Bible, and whomever else you want to invite to take part in this special community reading project... That's all you need to participate in "Fire in February," a month-long initiative to get as many people as possible to read the Bible's Book of Acts between Feb. 1-28. Organized by Detroit Lakes resident Barry Schoder, this project is intended to engage people of all races, ethnicities, gender and ages, regardless of their religion — or lack thereof, Schoder says.
A local option sales tax to raise funds for a new police department building? That's one of the goals that came out of a special strategic planning meeting of the Detroit Lakes City Council on Thursday. The council has been considering implementation of a new local option sales tax since 2016 — in fact, special legislation for the tax was drawn up during the 2017 session of the Minnesota Legislature, but never introduced.
There was an empty seat at the table for Monday night's meeting of the Lake Park-Audubon School Board — and it's going to be up to the other board members to appoint someone to fill that chair, starting next month. Board member Corey Askin has resigned his position, effective immediately. In an emailed statement, Askin said simply, "My wife and I are currently having some difficult times, so I had to find an apartment in Detroit Lakes. Because I moved out of the district I unfortunately had to resign."
Motorists along West Lake Drive toward the end of this past week could be seen noticeably slowing down, or even pulling over and stopping as they approached the Washington Avenue intersection. That's because construction of King Isbit's Ice Palace on the city beach — which is clearly visible from the street during daylight hours — has begun. But as of this Wednesday night, motorists along the roadway between the Pavilion and Rossman Avenue might have noticed that there's something new to see during the evening hours as well.