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2017: A year in review - Take a look back at the year's highlights

SIDEBAR: Find a month-by-month roundup of 2017 highlights from the Echo Journal on page A11. As we prepare to welcome 2018 in just a few days, it's time to take a look back at 2017 highlights in the lakes area and reflect on the news and people t...

SIDEBAR:

Find a month-by-month roundup of 2017 highlights from the Echo Journal on page A11.

As we prepare to welcome 2018 in just a few days, it's time to take a look back at 2017 highlights in the lakes area and reflect on the news and people that made headlines.

For the second year in a row, we believe the massive Highway 371 project was one of the biggest stories of 2017. Can you believe the highway project is complete? After being talked about for at least two decades, a completed four-lane highway from Nisswa to Jenkins was officially dedicated and celebrated in mid-October.

After years of controversy in Pequot Lakes over a through-town or around-town highway route, a final decision was made in 2010 to have the highway veer east of downtown. Then funding surfaced in 2014 to start the project in 2016.

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After two years of highway construction that included detours that disrupted Pequot Lakes businesses and residents, the $50 million, 9.5-mile highway was completed. To us - and to all who drive the highway, live on or off the highway, and do business on or off the highway - that's big news.

As usual, Echo Journal stories in 2017 also included a lot of lakes area names that made the news, ranging from high school athletes to scholarship pageant winners, and from state and local leaders to area educators.

Find our month-by-month look back at the Echo Journal news-makers of 2017 on page A11. Here's to a healthy, happy and safe 2018. We hope you continue to read the Echo Journal to learn about all the names that will make news in 2018.

Happy New Year!

Related Topics: EVENTS
Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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