Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their young son and daughter, and their yellow Lab.
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Phillip Rotz fears for his family's future in dairy farming. His small 55-cow farm, Twin Oaks Dairy near Dunvilla, has been around for about 45 years. Rotz and his brother took it over from their parents and now run it together. They're both married and have four children each, so the farm is supporting 14 people. As Rotz says, "That's a lot of people to support with 55 cows."
They're tiny, they're hungry, and they're here. If you think the ticks seem bad this spring, your suspicions are correct. The Detroit Lakes area, along with the rest of Minnesota, is crawling with ticks this season, and doctors and veterinarians are reporting steadily increasing cases of tick-borne diseases in people and pets.
Jim Dorrance went through six months of extra-intensive physical therapy to be able to go on the local Honor Flight's most recent tour. The U.S. Merchant Marine World War II veteran knew he was being pushed to do more than usual in therapy — he could feel the added strain in his arms — but in all those months, he never knew the secret reason behind it. His friends at Ecumen Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes planned it that way. They wanted to surprise him. When they finally revealed their true intentions, Dorrance couldn't have been more delighted.
When Lynn Anderson lost her daughter, Jennifer, to cancer nine years ago, that was devastating enough. Now she's watching as her only other child, Jean—Jennifer's twin sister—suffers through cancer herself. The situation would be heartbreaking for any good parent. Lynn describes herself as a strong woman, but that terrible feeling of powerlessness, of not being able to ease her daughter's pain, brings tears to her eyes.
He's been flexing his brain muscles every day for decades as a respected surgeon; now, he's flexing all his other muscles, too, as a bulky bodybuilder. Dr. Francis Cormier, an orthopedic surgeon at Essentia Health-St. Mary's in Detroit Lakes, shed his signature scrubs in favor of a new pair of boxer shorts on Saturday for the NPC Upper Midwest Bodybuilding, Physique, Figure and Bikini Championships in Fargo. The shorts were a compromise with his prep coach for the competition, Cormier said, who wanted him to wear bikini briefs.
Editor's note: This is the second of two feature stories in today's newspaper on local families that are thankful to have gone through the adoption process. November is National Adoption Month. Krystal Boyd had long suspected that she might end up adopting a child. She knew from a young age that she would one day want to be a mom, and she also knew she might not be able to have kids of her own due to issues with diabetes.
Editor's note: November is National Adoption Month, and what better time to talk about family than at Thanksgiving? Family, in all its many modern forms, is truly a thing to be thankful for.
Just before 9 a.m. last Thursday, the crew of that day's Vic's Popcorn packaging line arrived for its shift at Shearer's Snacks, ready and raring to go. The five-member team, donning matching hardhats, safety glasses, hair nets and green shirts, stepped off the Otter Tail Express bus and through the front door of Shearer's.
Duane Lysne still remembers the first time he crossed the equator. That was the day he graduated from a "slimy pollywog" to a "trusty shellback." It was June 26, 1957, and he was travelling through the Panama Canal to Chili, South America with the rest of the crew of the U.S.S. Harlan R. Dickson, DD-708. He had been at sea with the Navy for about three years already, but had never before gotten the chance to cross over to the southern hemisphere—an accomplishment considered a crucial rite of passage for any "seaworthy" sailor.
Do you have an adoption story you’re thankful for? Or do you know of a family that does? November is National Adoption Month, and we’re looking for a Perham area family to share their story of adoption with us and our readers for our Thanksgiving Day issue. Please email Perham Focus writer, Marie Johnson, at email@example.com with ideas and contact info.