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DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - It was a day like any other for Anna Lehrke, a senior at Waubun High School — totally normal, that is, until she "won the lottery." Lehrke came home from school, left her backpack by the door, and turned on the television, ready to relax before starting in on the homework stack when her cell phone rang. "I saw it was from North Dakota," she said, "So I figured I better answer it—seemed important."
The White Earth reservation has a problem—one that just continues getting worse with every spring mating season: strays. Stray dogs running around, forming packs, getting into garbage cans and, sadly, freezing to death in the winter. So Sandy Pilman and Kurtis Rogers, employees at the White Earth Police Department, decided it was time to do something about it; it was time to start sheltering the strays.
Pregnancy, even of the "normal" variety, is no easy task. Forty weeks of mood swings, strange cravings and swollen feet being just a few of the more common inconveniences, but Kelsey Zitzow received a more disheartening shock around the 21 week mark when doctors told her and her husband Greg (Goob) Zitzow that their child's arms and legs were growing shorter than normal. "When they told us (it was probably) a form of skeletal dysplasia, it was like 'Ok, we'll deal with that'," said Kelsey. "You know, we'll love him no matter what."
FARGO — Forty four days after a car-pedestrian accident Christmas morning left 18-year-old mother-to-be Kitti McLaughlin dead and her boyfriend, Mauricio Guerra, fighting for his life in a Fargo hospital, Guerra took his first steps. "It was so painful. I felt each one (step)," said Guerra, adding that he was glad to be out of his wheelchair and able to use a walker to get around, slowly but surely.
VERGAS, Minn. — It's not always easy being a local farmer, but they seem to find a way to make the gig work. Whether it's getting creative and harvesting local, seasonal crops or building a deep-winter greenhouse, they stay busy. Adam Bickell, who has a farm in Vergas, tends to go the seasonal crop route, harvesting wild chanterelles, wild rice, and maple syrup to deliver to local restaurants like the Brew. "The chanterelles grow so much around here — we get pounds and pounds," said Bickell.
AUDUBON, Minn. — A phone call that every parent prays they never get — least of all on Christmas Day — told Brent Mclaughlin and Tommie Sue that their daughter, Kitti Mclaughlin, had been killed in a car-pedestrian accident early Sunday, Dec. 25.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — Known by many as a "silent killer," carbon monoxide, a tasteless, colorless, odorless gas, tends to strike, poisoning victims before they are even aware of what is happening. "You don't know that you're actually being poisoned with it," says Matthew Massman, a physician assistant with Essentia/St. Mary's-Detroit Lakes. "You just don't know--it overcomes you quickly." And this time of year, when it gets cold and people are cranking up the gas furnace and spending more time indoors, is a peak time for carbon monoxide poisoning.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — When Park Rapids, Minn., woman received a call a few weeks ago, she answered, not thinking much of it. The caller ID had said it was Essentia Health, after all, where Stephanie Kern and her family have gone before. On the other end, an automated response told Kern she was eligible for a reduction in her bill due to an accounting error. Press one if interested. At this point Kern grew suspicious, unaware of any debt she owed to Essentia, but she pressed one anyway. The call was from Essentia, after all.
Out with the old and in the with new in a "bittersweet" police chief switch, as Steven Todd will take over where Chief Tim Eggebraaten leaves off Wednesday, Nov. 16. "It's bittersweet," Eggebraaten said, reflecting on his time with the Detroit Lakes Police Department. "A lot of people look at their career as a prison sentence, and they tick off the days until they're done...I still look forward to coming to work."
The back end of a Willow Street home was engulfed in flames when the Detroit Lakes Fire Department arrived at the scene just after 10 p.m. Thursday. Denise Kieselhorst, a woman who noticed the fire while driving home, stopped and watched the flames before any emergency crews were there. She said she remembers mistaking the fire for a large bonfire in someone's yard before realizing it was actually the house that was ablaze.