Attentive readers might have noticed we dropped the "Tribune Intern" label from Desiree Bauer's bylines.

That's because Desiree has come on board as our new, full-time reporter.

A native of Frazee, she earned her Bachelor of Arts from Southwest Minnesota State University in May (English with a Creative Writing emphasis, and a Public Relations minor).

Desiree has hit the ground running, with a lot of great story ideas and a can-do attitude. She has picked up several good business and retail stories for dl-online.com and the Tribune print edition, and has become our de facto pageant reporter this summer!

We're glad to have her on our team.

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Helping Hands debuts

In just a short time in Detroit Lakes and Becker County, I've learned how important volunteer power is to the lakes area.

Too often, our region's nonprofit groups go under-recognized for the good work they do on a daily basis. We might hear about an upcoming fundraising drive or a campaign goal, but the day-to-day efforts of staff, volunteers and supporters might fly under the radar.

Beginning Sunday, the Tribune will regularly publish columns from our local nonprofit community, highlighting their helpers, their successes and their challenges.

Our Helping Hands column kicks off Aug. 18 with a piece by Terri Darco, CEO at the Boys & Girls Club White Earth Reservation.

Each Sunday after that, a different nonprofit organization will get the column space to talk about their particular group.

The column was seeded with help from LuAnn Porter, executive director of United Way of Becker County, who shared her partner programs contact list with me to get the pieces scheduled.

I am waiting to hear from some of our 501(c)(3) groups, to continue to schedule the column for the remaining Sundays in 2019.

Those folks can contact me at jperry@dlnewspapers.com. Groups who haven't yet been invited but believe they could participate should also reach out to me at that email address.

Your opinions wanted

We don't get a lot of letters to the editor at the Tribune.

I'd like to change that.

The newspaper's Opinion page should belong to the community; the voice of the people is more important than any editorial board's take.

We will occasionally publish a "letters invitation" box, reminding readers of recent topics and how to submit their letters. Think of it as the old-school study guide from when we were kids. This might be the reminder of a thought you had earlier in the week, or spark a new thought that is best expressed in a letter.

In addition, I am looking for a group of readers who would want to receive a "question of the week" email to respond to recent topics in the news. The responses would be brief -- 50 words or fewer -- and answering questions would be optional.

I have done lists like this at previous papers I have worked at, and they have been popular with readers and the writers alike. It's lots of names and ideas on the editorial page, in a brisk, curated, easy-to-read format.

Reach out to me if you are interested in joining that readers' panel, or if you are submitting a letter to the editor: jperry@dlnewspapers.com.

Contact Detroit Lakes Tribune Editor J.J. Perry at 218-844-1466, jperry@dlnewspapers.com or follow @jjperry on Twitter.