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The Detroit Lakes School District saw a pretty big change recently in regards to transportation. In an attempt to get students to school a little later in the mornings and get them on their busses a little earlier in the afternoon, some of the routes were shuffled around, a plan that went into effect Jan. 2 and impacted roughly 500 students. The district's Business Manager Ryan Tangen says the first few days of implementation were a little rough, with some kids missing their initial bus and one bus that was running about 20 minutes late, but the kinks have since been worked out.
A 54-year-old Fargo man was rescued from a deer stand just outside of Detroit Lakes Thursday morning after spending what had to have been a long, harrowing night there. According to the Becker County Sheriff's Department, the man had been trying to hitchhike, but was unable to catch a ride when the blizzard rolled in Wednesday night, forcing him to find shelter in a nearby deer stand. The chilled traveler, Michael James Tye, was able to call 9-1-1 from a cell phone around 9:30 a.m. and reported he was in need of assistance because his feet were frozen.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Detroit Lakes has recently gone from a part-time service to full-time, offering that much more assistance for anyone with a disability who is looking for work in Becker County. Maureen Lilleby, who heads up the service in the Minnesota Workforce Center, says she has been in Detroit Lakes since 2008. Though, until recently, she was only in town for two days a week, spending the other three work-week days in Moorhead.
After an "amazing" 16-year run in Detroit Lakes, Michael Mercil, owner of the Speak Easy has announced he is looking to sell his restaurant. "I just feel I am ready for a new chapter in my life," said Mercil, adding that deciding to sell wasn't easy. "This is my child. It is a very sad decision, and I'm very sad over it." Mercil brought the Speak Easy to Detroit Lakes in 2002 after working for many years at the Speak Easy his parents ran in Moorhead. "I started in Moorhead when I was nine years old bussing tables and washing dishes," recalled Mercil.
Just a few short years ago, Circle of Life Academy on the White Earth Reservation opened up to a rough start academically. Test scores were low and seemed to just continue dropping until they finally reached rock bottom in 2015. "Back in 2015, Circle of Life Academy was identified as one of the lowest five percent, compared to bureau schools—tribal schools—in the nation," said Ricky White, the "proud, proud, proud" superintendent of Circle of Life Academy (COLA).
Detroit Lakes has seen another crime spree. This time, several unlocked cars that were mainly parked along Long Avenue and North Shore Drive were entered in the early-morning hours Thursday, Jan. 4. "Lock your doors, take your keys and hide your belongings," reads a Thursday-morning Facebook post from the Detroit Lakes Police Department. "Overnight in Detroit Lakes, about 12 vehicles were entered, rummaged thru and had property stolen from." The incidents are supposedly all connected, and a suspect is already in custody as of Friday morning.
The Four Seasons Car Wash in Detroit Lakes upgraded its wash this September, going above and beyond and installing a premium car wash experience with a dual conveyor belt, the first-ever to be installed in the state. A little smoother, a little slicker than other conveyor belts that latch onto a vehicle's tire, this wash begins with an attendant pre-rinsing the vehicle, power washing off bugs and other hard-to-remove debris.
As technology changes society it inevitably impacts our jobs, making them easier or more frustrating depending on your perspective but, despite your personal feelings towards smartphones and their numerous apps, change keeps coming, for better or worse. The Detroit Lakes Police Department is going through one of those changes right now, being the very first department ever to test out a new app that basically allows them to hold dispatch records in the palm of their hands as they're out in the field, among other features.
Former Frazee High School student Samantha Riggles was reunited with her six-month-old son, gaining back full custody of him the day after Christmas this year after a difficult battle with an addiction to meth. Riggles remembers the spiral into addiction clearly. Back in the fall of 2015, she was 19 and had recently purchased her own home in Audubon. She was doing well for herself until she noticed something wasn't quite right: her boyfriend at the time would go off the radar for days on end, leaving Riggles wondering what was up.
What do you know? Technology is on the rise. Lions Member Pete Granger says since last year, the club has doubled the number of people they have been able to screen with their new sight-testing tool, which figures out in minutes if someone needs to schedule a visit to the eye doctor. "We've been able to screen 2,000 children and adults just this year," said Ganger, adding that most of those benefiting are kids, since a large number of the 19 sites they visited were schools.