When Jamie Holt and his longtime buddy, Michael Grove, decided to challenge each other to a song playoff over Facebook, they thought it was just going to be a little one-time jam session among friends. A fun way to beat the COVID-19 social distancing blues.
The Detroit Lakes natives never expected that, within a matter of days, their idea would take on a life of its own and grow into an online hub for amateur musicians all over the world. The “Lockdown Lounge Open Mic” public Facebook group has more than 13,000 members, from at least 30 U.S. states and several foreign countries.
Performances are casual, open mic style, with the performers posting videos of themselves singing and playing guitar in their garages, or livestreaming from their living rooms. Most of the videos are posted at random times throughout the day and night by individual performers, but there are also some scheduled group events, such as Friday Night Live virtual concerts.
Detroit Lakes senior basketball captain Tate Kerzman has been honored with the first-ever Tom Critchley Sr. Leadership Award.
Kerzman was nominated by Detroit Lakes head coach Markus Okeson. Candidates were required to write essays on values and leadership on and off the court in the school and community. Kerzman was chosen by a committee of coaches from around the state, the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association president and vice-president, Critchley and his family.
“It’s cool that I got an award based on leadership and he’s (Critchley) been in basketball for so long,” Kerzman said.
Kerzman received a plaque along with a scholarship check for $750. He will attend Concordia College in Moorhead majoring in biology. He joins his siblings Karli and Jake as fellow Cobbers.
A popular country store has brand new owners.
Justin and Kerry Swiers are the new proprietors of the Richwood Store.
“This is a store that we both grew up going to,” Kerry Swiers said. The couple has four boys, ages 3 to 13, who will lend a hand at the store as well.
The Richwood Store has a little bit of everything: fishing bait, milk and bread; car batteries and movie rentals; sweet rolls and soda pop.
That’s how long-time owner Pete Johnson liked it. Johnson bought the property, then called Lidstrom Grocery, in 1977. He sold to the Swiers on April 1.
The store has been around more than 100 years, but it has only had a few owners. Like Johnson, who owned the store for 43 years, they were all in it for the long haul.
Ski club heats up
“We’ve had a good year,” ski club President Lin Peterson of Detroit Lakes said. “A lot of people pitched in to help, and there were a lot of people out skiing this year -- more than I’ve seen before. Everyone was really fired up and grateful.”
After an organizational meeting in November, about two dozen people joined together to form the new cross-country ski club, which groomed 70 kilometers of trails at a half-dozen sites over the season.
The club now has a board of directors, has become a registered nonprofit with the state, and has a good, user-friendly website at dlxcski.com. The site offers grooming updates for trails, a trailhead map and information and maps on six trail sites and three area resorts with trails.