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Michael Achterling

Multimedia News Lead

Multimedia Lead Reporter for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus.

Michael graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor's Degree in professional journalism from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. During his time at the UMN, Michael covered state legislature for the Minnesota Daily and interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

He is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy where he served, from 2011 to 2015, as a Mass Communication Specialist in Boston, Mass., aboard the U.S.S. Constitution, and in Sasebo, Japan, assigned to the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6).

Michael is originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota and is a proud graduate of the School of Environmental Studies, and Eastview High School.

When not in the newsroom, Michael enjoys spending time his dog: Pepper. He is also an avid video gamer, baseball purist, entertainment sponge, who also dabbles in table-top games.

Email story ideas to Michael at machterling@dlnewspapers.com and follow on Twitter @machterling.

Recent stories by Michael Achterling
The United States Space Force adopted "Sempra Supra" as the official anthem of the military branch in a video released on Sept. 20. Check out the new anthem below and also hear from Gen. John "Jay" Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, on how the song came to be.
"One of the old things we used to say is the lake is not a bathtub, it doesn't just lay at one level," said Pete Boulay, a climatologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "What I always point out, when people complain that (water levels) have never been this low, just go back farther and you'll find lower water than you have right now."
Travis "Bull" Johnson is running for Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District this November under the Legal Marijuana Now party and hopes his honesty, realism and political outsider status will be enough for voters to send him to Congress.
As more health facilities acquire 3-D mammogram technology, providers are seeing an increased detection in noninvasive breast cancer and a sharp reduction in the need for patient recalls. Every woman, especially those with dense breast tissue — which includes 40% of all women — can benefit from having a 3-D mammogram, according to the lead mammographer at Essentia Health St. Mary's in Detroit Lakes.
Rep. Michelle Fischbach, currently in the middle of a district-wide tour during the congressional August recess, made a variety of stops in Detroit Lakes on Aug. 17 as she met with local business and civic leaders to discuss their concerns. She even had time to sit down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with the Detroit Lakes Tribune.
The Bemidji man who escaped the Becker County Courthouse on July 6, after being sentenced to 20-months for a previous escape attempt, was arrested outside Casey's General Store on Highway 34 about eight hours after fleeing from custody.
Videos, aerial images and photographs: Fourth of July celebrations across the Greater Minnesota lakes area dazzle onlookers as the country celebrates Independence Day.
The Detroit Record used to advertise hair food. Yes, you read that right. Ayer's Hair Vigor, food for the hair that cured dandruff, falling hair and restored all of the hair's rich color of early life was advertised in a 1905 issue of the paper, but as one Sanford Health family nurse practitioner said, men experiencing baldness today should probably stick to Rogaine or Minoxidil.
Speaking at the end of a Detroit Lakes City Council meeting on June 14, the city's public utilities general manager, and chairman of the board for Missouri River Energy Services, presented the grim news that regional power generation may not meet the expected demand over the summer and rolling blackouts across the region are possible.
More than 100 classic automobiles and their owners descended on Detroit Lakes' City Park this Wednesday, June 8 to participate in the first DL Cruise Night of 2022, hosted by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. Check out the 6-minute video walkthrough with all of the cars.
Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Cory Hepola laid out his three major campaign 'pillars' in a speech to the Perham Noon Rotary on Thursday, March 24. He also addressed how his campaign plans to inspire voters by focusing on commonalities instead of differences.
The ice palace in Detroit Lakes was demolished by heavy equipment on March 1 following the conclusion of Polar Fest 2022, which ran from Feb. 11 to Feb. 27.
New garage camera video provided to the Tribune shows the moment two trains derail near Frazee, Minn., on Feb. 17. No injuries were reported in the incident and no hazardous materials were compromised, according to a statement from the railway company.
In a statement from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, the company expects rail traffic to resume late Friday on one of the rail lines following a derailment in Frazee, Minn., on Feb. 17. No hazardous materials were compromised in the incident, according to the statement.
Around 100 members of the Second Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry returned to eagerly awaiting families and friends at the Detroit Lakes Armory after completing an 11-month deployment to the Middle East on Feb. 2.
Since Dec. 29, 2021, the state reported an additional 33,913 COVID-19 cases, a 50% increase compared to the previous week, totaling 1,049,310 for the entire pandemic. Also, 203 new deaths were reported by the state in the last seven days, 11 fewer than the previous week, totaling 10,671 for the entire pandemic. Currently, Becker County reported 76 active cases, an increase of 5 active cases since Dec. 29. Statewide COVID-19 data is not being released on federal holidays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The man, whose name has not yet been released, had not responded to any messages or phone calls from family members for several days.
These traveling nurses book their temporary contracts, usually about 13 weeks, through various agencies and can make as much in a week as a regular staff nurse earns in a month, according to one of the travelers. However, a human resources director at Essentia Health said much of the demand is being driven by the pandemic and, once the case numbers recede, many of those contractual positions will no longer be necessary.
At a recent town hall in Frazee on Oct. 26, Sen. Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids, and Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston, promoted, corroborated and disseminated false COVID-19 vaccine information to their constituents to head nods, and cheers of confirmation bias from the crowd. This sort of misinformation puts Minnesotan lives in danger and continues the erosion of trust in public health initiatives, government and facts. It should not be applauded, it should be condemned and dismissed.
A bison that had broken loose from a nearby property in Waubun, Minnesota, was killed with the approval of the animal's owner because it had been off the property for too long to return safely.
WE Fest officially kicked-off Wednesday night, Aug. 4, 2021 with a pre-festival bash featuring performances on the Barn Stage and dancing in the Ranch House. On Thursday, Aug. 5, emerging artist Ingrid Andress performed on the Main Stage as one of the opening acts for first night headliner Florida Georgia Line.
While stream beds and topsoil in the area may be running dry, it hasn't affected the water levels of area lakes, according to officials.
The 2007 murder of Chad Swedberg in rural Ogema will be featured on the next episode of "Reasonable Doubt," an ID Network show that re-examines controversial murder cases, on Monday, July 19 at 9 p.m. Kenneth Andersen has been serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after being convicted of Swedberg's murder in 2008.
Frazee, Detroit Lakes, Wolf Lake and Vergas firefighters battled a large blaze for nearly 6 hours at a large hog containment building outside of Frazee on Friday night, July 9. All farm personnel were evacuated from the building, but up to 7,500 hogs were killed due to fire and smoke inhalation, according to a law enforcement incident report.
Indigenous and community leaders are facing mass arrests, and eviction, by Clearwater County law enforcement during their weeklong protest of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline after receiving an eviction notice for trespassing on its pipeline easement on Monday, June 14, 2021. According to a statement from the Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging (RISE) Coalition, the group had been occupying the easement since June 7 after the Treaty People Gathering, a gathering of around 2,000 marchers protesting the continued construction of the pipeline through Minnesota waterways.
Around 2,000 water protectors, Indigenous leaders and activists gathered on County Road 9 in Clearwater County, about 20 miles southwest of Bemidji, to protest construction of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline on June 7, 2021. After marching for nearly two miles from their staging area to the Mississippi River, indigenous leaders spoke to the crowd and demanded political leaders hear their voices over environmental, and other, concerns about continued construction of Enbridge's pipeline.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections issued an advisory on June 2 seeking the public's assistance in locating an escaped inmate, Robert Thomas Baca. The escapee was serving the remainder of his Minnesota sentence under supervised release in California, administered by the California Department of Corrections in San Bernardino.
Anglers began casting lines for the start of the 2021 Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener at 12:01 a.m., on May 15, 2021. Check out our best photos from the day's fishing.
After more than two years of planning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, anglers set out on Otter Tail Lake to fish the 2021 Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener on May 15, 2021. Though some of the public events operated at a reduced capacity, dozens of volunteers were still excited to donate their time and be a part of an annual tradition, one event organizer said.
Becker County Sheriff's Office K-9 Durman received custom fitted body armor from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by Ashley Fletcher, of Hawley weighs 4 to 5 pounds and will protect the dog from bullet, or stab, wounds.

Sen. Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids, introduced legislation to promote healthier eating habits for Minnesota children. The Healthy Kids Meal bill would require restaurants operating in Minnesota offer a healthy default beverage option, a healthy side fruit or vegetable and not contain more than 600 calories.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry required TBCT Management LLC, owners of Spitfire Bar and Grill in Detroit Lakes, to pay back 52 employees for forced tip-pooling, according to a statement from the MN DLI. Each employee received an average of $282 in back wages.
March 1 is the deadline for removing fishing houses off of area lakes south of Highway 10 and Highway 34. Anglers on lakes north of the two highways have until March 15 to remove their huts, but a Department of Natural Resources fisheries specialist recommends against waiting.
Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, and Sen. Paul Utke, GOP-Park Rapids, both oppose the recreational, adult-use marijuana measure and said the bill isn't expected to be brought up for a vote in their chamber due to strong opposition by Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, GOP-Baxter.
Fergus Falls opened a COVID-19 vaccination site on Friday, Jan. 22 as part of a statewide pilot vaccination program involving nine sites across the state, which aims to administer vaccines to individuals older than 65 years old, or individuals involved in education and childcare. Vaccinations at the pilot sites are by appointment only and individuals should check the state's website to see if they qualify for an appointment slot.
Arnie and Tammy Krejce lived in their house in Frazee for 30 years and raised four children under its roof. On Saturday, Jan. 2, a fire erupted behind a dryer, spreading through the walls and ending in the total loss of the residence.
The crash occurred on County Road 37, one mile north of Highway 34, in Toad Lake Township. The driver, an adult passenger and two, of the four, children were transported to area medical facilities with non-life threatening injuries, according to a statement from the Becker County Sheriff's Office.
The owner of Hooligans Lakeside, on Becker County Highway 6, south of Lake Park, Minn., said, he's cut more than 90% of his staff since pandemic began and doesn't understand why large retailers are allowed to operate in Minnesota, but the small bars and restaurants are not.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was administered to 10 health care workers at White Earth Health Center, near Ogema, Minn., Tuesday with additional vaccinations occurring throughout the week to more staff members until the center's initial allotment of 120 doses is completed.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was administered to 10 health care workers at White Earth Health Center, near Ogema, Minn., Tuesday with additional vaccinations occurring throughout the week to more staff members until the center's initial allotment of 120 doses is completed.