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Friday morning's Economic Development Summit at M State in Detroit Lakes was a time to reflect on community successes, like the recent completion and "pummeling" of the ice palace and a time to look forward at what's to come. Road construction and housing have been hot topics in the area lately, with the West Lake Drive plans and affordable housing being slim pickings in the area.
It was a fairly seamless transition Monday, Feb. 5 when Curley's owners of nearly two years, Mark Porter and Paul Okeson, signed over the place to new owners Deanne and Art Kohler. "It just happened to be the right sale at the right time," said Deanne Kohler, explaining what drew her and her husband to the property. The two have been looking around for some time, hoping to finally jump at that long time dream of being bar owners
Wednesday, Feb. 28 is officially Bus Driver Appreciation Day, declared last year by Gov. Mark Dayton, a day to take a minute to thank those who get our community's kiddos to and from school safely and on time each day. It can be a cold gig, with early mornings, getting to the shop a little early to start up the rig and warm it up before starting out on the route. But it seems to suck people in, like it did for Carol Hanson, who has been driving bus number three for Olander Bus Service for an impressive 38 years.
How many times have you thought of a great idea, the next best invention, and said, "I should make that" but then just let it fall by the wayside and never got around to it? Well, three Detroit Lakes High School seniors didn't let their brainchild go—they had an idea, and they made the leap—no fears of failure—just an idea they thought would be fun. It started with a need for a gift. One of the high schoolers, Isaac Eggebraaten, was trying to decide what to get his girlfriend for Christmas, and bath bombs came to mind.
With rumors flying in small town Detroit Lakes about the Speakeasy selling, the potential buyers who will close on the purchase negotiations March 15 have decided to release some information before lying low during a total renovation of the building.
The Speakeasy in Detroit Lakes has sold after just a few short weeks on the market. Jack Chivers, who handled both ends of the sale, confirmed Tuesday that a buyer by the name of Tyler Brandt purchased the business. He plans to lease it to another entity, the Spitfire Bar & Grill, an American eatery offering BBQ and wood-grilled meats that is based in Fargo.
Over the next five years, it's estimated that the Fargo-Moorhead region, along with nine of its surrounding counties (including Becker County), will have 55,000 job openings, a staggering statistic in the wake of a already-present worker shortage. Of those 55,000 job openings, some will be new jobs, but many of them will be replacement jobs from natural workforce turnover and the Baby Boomers retiring.
Between 2006 and 2015, Minnesota saw a 27 percent decrease in in-home daycares, eliminating 36,500 spaces for children, and Becker County was no different. About a decade ago, Becker County reported having over 100 licensed daycares, but that number has steadily dropped over the years, with the county now reporting only about 75 licensed providers—and it doesn't look like the decline is set to slow down anytime soon.
Another year, another dollar, another Economic Development Summit hosted by the Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce at M State in Detroit Lakes. "The idea is to look at the economic impacts for the area," said Chamber of Commerce President Carrie Johnston, adding that they look at both past factors impacting the local economy as well as the present and future factors. This year's theme is the arts in Detroit Lakes, with the "keynote" speaker being Sheila M. Smith, the executive director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.
The Detroit Lakes School Board has decided to enter negotiations with an architect for an upcoming bond referendum. Zerr Berg, an architect out of Fargo that is already set to begin working on the Detroit Lakes Middle School project this summer, will be the lucky first contender for the project, if bottom dollar ends up matching the district's need.