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Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena, commonly known as M State, reported it added a new hybrid program in massage therapy.

Mary Devine, director of communications and marketing at M State, reported the hybrid is being offered in response to student demand for more flexible options in higher education.

Devine said the program “will allow students to take many of their courses online and come to campus for hands-on work just twice a week which makes it feasible for people with busy lives and jobs to work on a new career opportunity — a career that is growing and provides several different job opportunities.”

Up to 20 students are being accepted for the spring semester, which begins Jan. 9 and ends May 4. On-campus lab courses meet Tuesdays in the late afternoon and night, and Thursday night courses are planned from 3:30-8 p.m. M State reports it has offered a massage therapy diploma program since 2003. The career may pay $18 an hour in Minnesota, M State reported, adding career opportunities are expected to grow by 24 percent, well above average, by the end of this decade. For more information, contact M State at (218) 450-3322, or go online to

The Burn, a nutrition club business, is opening in the Midtown Shopping Center by Verizon and near the historic Brainerd water tower at the corner of South Sixth and Washington streets. Karl Larsen, personal wellness coach, said the shop is expected to open the week between Christmas and New Year’s, just in time for those resolutions for greater health and fitness. The business offers meal replacement shakes, individual help with weight loss and personalized meal plans. Larsen said a similar concept in Detroit Lakes has been well received and while other shake and wellness shops have come and gone in Brainerd, he believes The Burn can fill that void and succeed.

“I’m confident the market is here,” Larsen said.

Larsen’s business partner is Matt Gookins.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at or 855-5852. Follow on Twitter @Dispatchbizbuzz.

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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