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Can women be funny as men? Three female Twin Cities actors will take the stage at Theatre L'Homme Dieu next week to prove that indeed they are. It all started when Daleko Arts, a theater group from New Prague, was trying to decide how to put its own spin on "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged]."
At its Wednesday, July 25 meeting, the Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District board unanimously approved the hiring of a new sewer chief to replace executive director Bruce Nelson, who will retire at the end of August. Scott Gilbertson, a water/wastewater supervisor at Detroit Lakes Utilities, will take over the top job beginning Sept. 6. Board chairman Roger Thalman said he spoke to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency about the hire. "Their comment was 'Fantastic, he's got a high reputation with the MPCA,'" Thalmann said. "He's respected throughout the district."
A list of demands made this month by a group of lakeshore owners seeking additional lake protections is receiving some pushback from local officials. "I'm a little disappointed with the word 'demand,'" said Alexandria Mayor Sarah Carlson. "Our community is more of a partnership kind of community, so I would have rather we worked together with everybody. Setting out demands doesn't exactly set the right tone."
A tornado ripped through Miltona in 1970, and the city has been partying ever since. Not because the twister touched down, but because the city survived and then recovered. "It was kind of an instant urban renewal," said city clerk Kevin Lee, who was a junior in high school at the time and remembers debris flying horizontally outside his family's window. The storm's path was a block-and-a-half wide and three miles long. It destroyed the lumberyard and café, the depot, gas station and elevator, and several homes, damaging many other buildings and farms.
The man with the white cowboy hat drawled instructions at the throng of novice donkey jockeys. Don't pull the donkey's hair. Don't pull each other's hair. Don't get behind the donkey's rear end. "If you get bucked off your donkey, what's the first thing you do?" asked the man, CJ Cordell of Wisconsin-based Dairyland Donkey Ball. He demonstrated: Roll sideways. Protect your most important parts. "I'm scared," a young woman confessed.
The bicycle bling was one clue that there was something unusual about the Habitat for Humanity home going up in Brandon. Bicycle tattoos were another. The third? Customized blue-and-white nail polish jobs proclaiming, "Habitat 500." "People notice them, especially if they're on gentlemen," said teacher Michaela Roske of St. Cloud, a cyclist and Habitat volunteer who said she painted them on at least 25 sets of fingernails. "They're a conversation starter."
Planned Parenthood representatives say a Trump administration effort to strip some federal funding from family planning clinics would adversely affect nearly half the patients it sees at its Alexandria clinic. The clinic saw 539 patients in 2017, and about 47 percent rely on that federal funding to help pay for services such as birth control, cancer screenings and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted disease, say Planned Parenthood officials.
Kensington is on its way to getting a new water tower. Last week, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced a $600,000 grant for the tower. It's the first large funding piece to be announced for the estimated $2.4 million project, which includes not just the tower, but replacing wells and deteriorating water mains and adding onto the water treatment plant.
The Art of the Lakes 2018 Studio Tour, which bills itself as "the largest art crawl in the rural Midwest," takes place next weekend, opening artist's studios to the public across a wide swath of Douglas, Grant and Otter Tail counties. "Many of us do not have galleries or places to put our art for sale so this is a chance to see it in person to get a sense of what we do," said artist Becky Albright, who uses a Japanese technique to make prints of real fish. The route winds past hills, lakes and farms, and features 56 artists in 24 studios.
A group of lakeshore owners on Wednesday unanimously approved six demands it plans to present to local government officials that it says will protect area lakes. "That's why this association was formed originally, to protect the water quality in our lakes, among other things," said Douglas County Lakes Association member Jeanne Johnson, who presented the demands that had been in the works for more than a year.