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ST. PAUL—The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld a 2015 law that lets counties save money by bypassing the state auditor's office and hiring private accounting firms for their annual financial audits. State Auditor Rebecca Otto challenged the law on constitutional grounds. She sued Becker, Wright and Ramsey counties, which did not agree to hire her office to check their books. Becker County alone has spent some $80,000 on the lawsuit. Otto's office has spent more than $250,000 of tax money on it.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—There are a lot of development possibilities for West Lake Drive: -- A two-level parking deck could stretch across most of the existing Lakeside Tavern parking lot and replace the Holiday Haven motel. A mixed-use project would line the front of the parking deck next to Lakeside Tavern, with a rooftop deck that overlooks the lake. Special features like awnings, goose-neck lighting and quality materials would help the parking deck blend in with its surroundings.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — It may not be "Duck Dynasty," but a Detroit Lakes partnership has found its own small niche in the duck call business — it allows hunters to put cremated ashes from their beloved hunting dogs into the duck call itself. No, you don't get a mouthful of ashes whenever you blow the duck call — Deadshot Custom Call Company uses custom high-grade acrylic resins and hermetically seals the ashes into the duck call, said co-owner, founder, and self-described "head quack" Brian Rubenstein.
MAHNOMEN, Minn.—The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe's Executive Committee on Thursday voted to censure White Earth Secretary-Treasurer Tara Mason, while exonerating White Earth Tribal Chairman Terry Tibbetts in an emotional, tension-filled hearing. With no love lost between them, Tibbetts and Mason had filed dueling complaints, each seeking to have the other censured.
LAKE PARK, Minn. — Navy veteran Tony Baker of Lake Park joined the Army National Guard right after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and went through a lot during the Red Bull's 15-month tour of duty during the ugliest part of the Iraq war in 2006-07. He saw how bad things can be, so perhaps it's karma that he just got to enjoy a fantastic hunting trip in South Africa, expenses paid by the Disabled American Veterans organization.
LAKE PARK, Minn. — Jay Peterson has been reinstated as head coach of the Lake Park-Audubon girls basketball team, and Assistant Coach Ashley Tingelstad has also returned to the team, which played Fosston at home on Monday, Jan. 29. Conflict between Peterson, some players and some parents led to complaints to the school board, which caused Peterson to be placed on paid administrative leave last week during an investigative process.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—A large Lake Region Electric Cooperative power outage in the Lake Eunice area south of Detroit Lakes left more than 2,000 households without power Thursday evening in frigid, below zero weather and also left skiers stuck on stalled ski lifts at Detroit Mountain. The outage in the 8 below zero weather also affected a large area around Detroit Lakes, according to Wild Rice Electric Cooperative, including The Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, which had to take emergency action to get the ski lifts moving again.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — A man accused of letting three horses die from starvation, exposure and neglect has been sentenced in Becker County district Court. Michael Erwin Dahl, 42, of Shakopee, Minn., was sentenced Dec. 27 on a felony charge of mistreatment — torture of animals. Two identical felony charges were dropped in a plea agreement. According to court records, on Jan. 24 the White Earth Tribal Police Department was contacted about three dead horses on property near Strawberry Lake Store, on the White Earth Reservation in Becker County.
A large power outage in the Lake Eunice area south of Detroit Lakes has left more than 2,000 households without power, according to the Lake Region Electric Cooperative website. As of 9:45 p.m. Thursday, no power had been restored. The temperature in Detroit Lakes was eight below. The outage was caused by a broken switch on a Great River Energy transmission line near Audubon.
DUNN TOWNSHIP, Minn. — Lake Region Electric Cooperative has axed a proposed wind turbine-solar power array in Dunn Township, near Pelican Lake. "We have cancelled the community based renewable project, which was a wind/solar hybrid project," Lake Region CEO Tim Thompson said in an email. "The project was being developed by Juhl Energy and we would purchase the energy from the project. Based on the feedback from our members, our board of directors decided it was best to not proceed."