Bunkey had weeded a flower bed that had been almost taken over by quack grass. The next day he broke out in very itchy bumps. Most of them were around his waist and ankles. He swore that he didn’t see any mosquitoes or ants or any other biting bugs. And how the heck did they get inside of hi…

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I’ve never really enjoyed the Fourth of July as a holiday entirely because I’ve always been afraid of fireworks, which actually makes it difficult to enjoy lots of holidays (in Venezuela people set fireworks off for Christmas and New Year’s, in China people set off fireworks for every holida…

I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll say it again, I like my food to do more than one meal. I don’t like buying a specific ingredient, use it in one recipe only to have it sit on the spice rack or shelf, until I toss it. With that said, I do like to plan several meals around a specific ingredie…

After about a year of being single, I’ve decided to dip a toe back into the dating pool. It’s a really weird time to do so with a pandemic going on, and honestly probably not a good idea, but three months of quarantine has exacerbated an already pervasive feeling of alone-ness. I won’t say l…

George, Bunkey’s neighbor, has a swampy area in the back of his yard. It is too wet to mow so it always looks messy and George doesn’t do messy. He decided that this year he was going to beautify that area one way or the other. He started in the library researching flowering plants that grow…

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Kennedy Secondary School (KSS) orchestra director Craig Peterson has been announced as a quarterfinalist in the 2021 Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum. He makes the list of 216 music teachers who made it to quarterfinals out of nearly 2,000 initial nom…

Taking the stage for the fourth annual Kiwanis Blues, Beer & BBQ event and providing a variety of blues, bluegrass and great summer music will be Whiskey Business, T-Roy Anderson Blues Band and local Detroit Lakes cult favorite Hardwood Groove on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 at a new venue, th…

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, I am planning a steak dinner for my dad and I might even let mom come too. I have the steaks purchased, side dishes chosen, wine selected and the steak seasoning made.



I was able to submit a completed draft of my novel’s manuscript to a publisher Wednesday night (actually 2 a.m. Thursday morning) for the first time. I’m fully expecting a rejection because that’s how these things often go but it feels good for my work to be in a position to be sent out.

It seems that every gardener wants to plant tomatoes. You can find them in pots, hanging from porches, in raised beds and of course, in regular gardens. Unfortunately, tomatoes can have all sorts of problems. Some you can either prevent or fix; weather isn’t one of them.

Stacy Lundquist, local board member of the Lake Region Art Council presented Sue Kalseim with a grant  to hold a number of workshops guiding students of all ages in creating abstract and representational subject matter in a wide variety of techniques using alcohol ink to create jewelry and c…

So what is an ephemeral anyway? It’s tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and all the other spring blooming minor bulb plants. When they begin to die down, they look pretty messy. The leaves sprawl and they drive the Martha types up the wall. Martha recommends braiding daff leaves! Go ahead if you d…

What did you do this past week to learn more about the situation America has found itself in and educate yourself about racial injustice in the United States? It might feel like you know enough because you watch the news or scroll through social media, but take a look at your bookshelf, at t…

For many of you, a drive-in movie theater is a nostalgic look back at the way things were. Pull into the lot with your vehicle, go to the concession stand, grab popcorn and a soda, and sit back in your car enjoying the latest movie on the big screen. While drive-ins have faded away in recent…

A Center for the Arts and executive director Michael Burgraff were bursting with joy Thursday as the performance art theater in Fergus Falls sold out all the seats in their building as a part of the Stay at Home Sellout fundraiser.

If you’re tired of watching all those television home makeover shows, you can learn about real-life architecture with four books recently honored with the Gebhard Award, a biannual recognition of Minnesota architectural history research presented by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Ar…

There are lots of misconceptions about native plants. Admittedly, some can be invasive like the oxeye daisy, but not all of them are. Most aggressively invasive plants are imported from either other countries or other parts of the country. Actually, any plant can become invasive if given the…

Earlier this week I think I reached an anxiety event horizon where, at this point, nothing can make me any more anxious than my daily baseline. I had only recently “recovered” from the stress of the pandemic, I was finally sleeping through the night and was able to get up at my alarm instead…

Its tomato planting time! Are you ready? The first thing you must determine is where you are going to plant the tomatoes. They need slightly acidic soil and at least six hours of full sun a day. They don’t like a windy area but will tolerate it if you plant a barrier to at least slow the pre…

In my younger years, we would celebrate certain milestones, like confirmation or birthdays, by going to Sunday brunch at a local hotel. I liked going to these buffets because we were able to try lots of different foods. One of my favorite discoveries was chocolate mousse.

I recently started attending a Friday night Zoom meetup called “Home, Like NoPlace Is There: A Quarantine Emo Nite,” organized by Buzzfeed pop culture editor Tatiana Tenreyro alongside music industry artist managers Lindsey Miller and Melanie Grinberg. Each night features five non-male DJs p…

Shooting Star Casino will resume operations at both its Mahnomen and Bagley locations on June 19 with limited venues, occupancy and hours to keep guests, team members and the community safe from COVID-19. The reduced hours will allow time for heightened cleaning and disinfecting.

Drivers on I-94 this week will notice a new billboard just south of exit 55. Visit Fergus Falls is sharing with passersby that “We’re Ready When You Are.” This soft-sell message is one of awareness and hope as travelers gradually begin moving about the region. “We want visitors simply to kno…

Despite working as a fifth-grade teacher at Fergus Falls Public Schools and raising three small children, Amelia Lemar has found time to finish writing her book, “It’s Okay: The 8 Things All Children Need to Hear,” and self-publish it. It’s now sitting at No. 39 in Amazon’s new releases in e…

With Memorial Day weekend here, summer is kicking off. I think we are all excited to be outside. I know I will be planting all kinds of plants and flowers for my garden. Everything from potatoes to petunias and all the good stuff in between.

First off, I want to apologize to readers if you showed up here looking for a column from reporter Johanna Armstrong. I have commandeered her column this week (she will be back next week) to talk about a TV show that I have gotten great enjoyment out of the last two years — “Rick and Morty.”

A dwarf weeping crabapple in the middle of a flower garden will immediately catch your eye. It adds color and height in a dramatic way.

The Blondeau Arts Festival, which began at Kennedy Secondary School in 1998, was on the verge of missing its 22nd year this year due to COVID-19. “During the two week planning period that Gov. Tim Walz granted educators before distance learning began with students, the art department was rea…

Otter Tail County wants you to build your future here... and you can with local supports for housing investment. Be a part of the “The Big Build” initiative launched in December 2019. The goal of The Big Build is to build new or rehabilitate 5,000 housing units by 2025. Building towards the …

It’s been a rough week for me even without the continuing pandemic. First, my car broke down on Friday and I had to get a jump from the first person to walk out of my building which was, of course, my landlord. I drove to work and tried cleaning the battery contacts, in case corrosion build-…

Now that the snow is gone, you are able to see all the grass problems you ignored last summer. Dead patches smaller than a dinner plate will fill in by themselves. If the patches are bigger, it depends on the soil. If it is very sandy or heavy clay, get thee to the nearest place that sells g…

A Center for the Arts (AC4TA) is looking at a year unlike any other and trying to adapt to regulations that run counter to their business model. The nonprofit relies on producing shows for 80% of its funding, but COVID-19 has shuttered the theater and made even outdoor get-togethers unsafe. …

John Perkins and Mindy Pribbernow would like to announce their wedding engagement.

Last Mother’s Day I talked about how, for the past three years, I haven’t been able to celebrate with my mom because I was living in Shanghai. This year, I’m not able to celebrate with her because of COVID-19.

A lot has changed in our world over the last few months but one thing that remains the same is the increase in the number of abandoned and stray cats every spring. While life has been turned upside down for most, no one notified the cats that now would not be the best time to reproduce and s…

Tom and Stephanie O’Brien are celebrating 50 years of marriage.  They were married on May 9, 1970, at Augustana Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls.  Both are retired local school teachers. They enjoy their extended winters in Bonita Springs, Florida, pontoon rides on Pickerel Lake, cheering on …

If they aren’t up yet, your spring bulbs will soon be popping up and starting to bloom. Or as the rabbit and deer call it, “time for lunch.” The emerging crocus flowers, fat tulip buds and just emerging asters are top choice lunchables to these stinkers.  So, what can you do to keep your flo…

Cody and Danielle Call, of Fergus Falls, are happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Emilia Bette Call, on March 17, 2020. She weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces. 

Sarah McClure and Richard Sonju, of Battle Lake, are happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Ezra Grace McClure. Ezra was delivered by Tonya Diggins, Midwife, CNP, at Perham Health on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 11:50 p.m. She weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. 

Hulu recently added the TV show “What We Do in the Shadows” to their streaming service and, although I’ve only watched the first season, I already love it. It’s based off the movie of the same name, directed by Taika Waititi of “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Boy” (although “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”…

What do the people in Okinawa, Japan, Costa Rica, Sardinia, Greece, Italy and Loma Linda, California, have in common? They are all famous for their longevity. They got that way by eating healthy, daily exercise, social support systems, and they gardened well into their 80s and 90s.  

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, with Minnesota’s hospitalization peak forecasted for July, summer events are shrouded in uncertainty. Many organizers are waiting to hear from Gov. Tim Walz on May 4, the day that the current stay-at-home order expires, to see what changes he’ll be maki…

Despite living in New England for the last 20 years, Joe Berman has stayed connected to his roots in Minnesota through his writing. Recently, 25 years of that writing has come to fruition in the form of his first novel, “Fergus Falls.”

If you’ve previously read my columns, you might know that I have a serious fascination with ghost stories. Lately, I’ve been thinking about Chinese folktales about ghost women. My freshman year of college I took a class about women in Chinese media and then my senior year I did my capstone p…

I don't know about you but I miss my social activities, especially the people. I miss the bright smiling faces I would see at the Y or my fellow church members I chat with at coffee hour on Sundays. To be honest social distancing is no fun.