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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.
The PRCA Rodeo packed the Double S Arena in Detroit Lakes on Aug. 27 and featured a night of riding, roping and kids chasing calves.
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.
Hundreds of thirsty craft connoisseurs sampled beers, 2 oz. at a time, as the Detroit Lakes Craft Beer Tour, hosted by Leighton Events, stopped at Washington Ballpark in Detroit Lakes on Aug. 20.
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.
Hundreds attended Pioneer Fest in Perham on Aug. 13 and were treated to steam engines, a threshing demonstration and nearly 100 entries in the event's antique tractor pull.
GOP primaries in Minnesota Senate Districts 4, 5 and 9, and House District 5B, have finalized the legislative candidates for the November election. One senate candidate said he's excited to get out and meet as many residents as possible over the next three months.
Thousands of country music fans gathered at Soo Pass Ranch, outside of Detroit Lakes, on Thursday for the annual WE Fest country music festival, which runs through Aug. 6. Country music superstar Jason Aldean headlined the first night's music, which also included performances from: Chris Janson, Blanco Brown, Elvie Shane, and Hitchville, throughout the day.
Event attendees enjoyed exotic reptiles, a myriad of carnival rides and games, and 4-H members competing in the annual Barnyard Olympics as part of the East Otter Tail County Fair in Perham on Saturday, July 23.
Check out all of the photo and video coverage from the East Otter Tail County Fair in Perham from July 22-24.
Fireballs, smoke and costume changes all featured prominently during Friday night's Bash on the Beach in Detroit Lakes as Hairball performed the classics and thrilled the outdoor, sold-out crowd as part of the 86th Northwest Water Carnival on July 15.
For all a patient's medical accessories needs, Sanford Health Equip in Detroit Lakes is hoping to become a local one-stop shop for home care in the lakes area. The store will have its grand opening and ribbon cutting on July 12 at 1 p.m.
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.
Candidate filing will open Aug. 2 for 23 school board seats, spread across six lakes area school districts, and 11 city council seats in Detroit Lakes, Perham and Wadena. Candidates must pay up to a $5 filing fee, verify their address and complete registration for those elections before filing closes on Aug. 16 at 5 p.m., said one city clerk.
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.
SCORE Prairie and Lakes, based in Fargo, N.D., offers free mentorship opportunities and a large resource library for businesses of all sizes who may need help improving their operations. SCORE also provides a start-up consultations for new business owners to ensure they have all the knowledge they need before officially signing on the bottom line, one SCORE official said.
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.
About 120 racers participated across a dozen racing classes at the 5th Annual Turf Wars Racing. The event brought adrenaline seekers from across the region to the Becker County Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 4.
Members of the Wadena County Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation about the growth in the county's 4-H club over the past year and purchased a 40-acre piece of land for nearly four-times the assessed value during their most recent meeting on May 17.
More than 400 acres of farm land, homesteads and outbuildings in Frazee, Minnesota will be auctioned off live on May 4 beginning at 10 a.m. during an event hosted by Bachmann Auctioneers of Perham. The total 2022 assessed value of the six land parcels is $1,391,800.
After nearly 100 years of family ownership, the Sprafkas are preparing to move out of their historic Detroit Lakes home, designed by renowned Polish architect Victor Cordella and completed in 1924.
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.
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.
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.