Photos by Barbie Porter
Above: The Frazee Vergas Forum offers school features, Hornets sports coverage and a lot of community pride. Below: The Frazzee-Vergas Forum is offered online, where articles can be read in a click to a specific story format, or page-by-page PDF. The option of home delivery is also availble, and includes online access.

By Barbie Porter


At times, important information needs to be brought to the masses. When those moments arrive, the suggestion of putting it in the local newspaper is recommended.  

Occasionally, someone states not everyone gets the paper. What a wonderful opportunity to give the gift that keeps giving all year long. Whether you know someone who wants to be informed, a college kid who would benefit from strengthening their roots to the community they grew up in or an outdoors person who can use a weekly supply of fish wrap and wood kindling. 

Subscriptions start at $20 for online only, $35 for the paper sent to anywhere in the counties of Becker or Otter Tail and $45 for everywhere else.

To sign up for a subscription, call (218) 334-3566, stop by 112 West Main Avenue (the office is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or  by going to the newspaper website and clicking the subscription link on the top right corner of the page. 

Those who receive the print edition also receive online access for free.

“While our focus remains on providing a quality print newspaper each week we understand some people prefer to read their news on their phones or other electronic devices. Our new website allows us to offer our subscribers the ability to take their newspaper with them wherever they are,” said Publisher Chad Koenen.

The  Frazee Vergas Forum is a hyper-local newspaper that showcases the talents of the residents in Frazee and Vergas. 

“If you want to read about what is happening in the Fargo-Moorhead or Twin Cities area we probably aren’t for you. Our focus is keeping people of the Frazee and Vergas areas informed about what is going on at the school, about a new building going up on Main Street or who won an award at the local fair,” said Koenen.

The newspaper also stretches to Perham or Detroit Lakes for occasional feature stories, as many have ties to Hornet country or shared experiences to those in neighboring towns.

While features on residents and hardworking and talented students are always at the forefront, there is no skimping on local government. 

“Years ago there was a resident at a school board meeting who said he felt like decisions were being made behind close doors,” said editor Barbie Porter. “A board member said the committee meetings are open to the public. The man noted the committees met during the work day. That is when I saw I wasn’t doing my job. I stepped in to cover the committee and regular meetings so those who get the paper are truly informed.”

The photographs taken at events, pep fest, sporting competitions or portraits from stories are available for purchase on the website, too. Simply go to Click on the “galleries” link at the top of the page. Then select the picture (or date) the picture was published and view the photos. Click the ones for purchase and the pictures will be printed and sent to the address provided. A gift message can also be added. Prints start as low was $2.50.

Family-owned tradition for newspaper continues

Chad and Dani Koenen purchased their first paper in 2010. The two were living in Glenwood, Minn; Chad was working as a sports writer and his wife at a nursing home. The two wanted to move closer to Deer Creek, Minn. where Dani grew up. 

The parents to two girls saw the Henning paper was for sale and in 2010 became publishers. Dani tackled the business side of the venture while her husband put pen to paper. 

By 2013 the residents and businesses in New York Mills noticed the Citizen’s Advocate’s focus on local stories and community. The Koenen’s were approached and asked to consider starting a paper in NY Mills. The Koenen’s obliged and in 2013 opened the NY Mills Dispatch.

As is the case in many business communities, publishers talk to other publishers. It happened the Koenens path crossed with the former owners of the Frazee-Vergas Forum, Delair and Gale Kaas. The Koenens mentioned they would be interested in purchasing the paper, whenever the Kaases were ready to retire. 

Wanting to keep the paper family-owned, when the time for retirement struck the Kaases fancy, they called to see if the Koenen’s were still interested. Wheels turned and soon after the Henning Publishing Group welcomed the Frazee-Vergas Forum into its family.