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■ MLB chair to discuss

Tribal Law and Order Act

Melanie Benjamin, chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians, will present the Nov. 1 Cultural Thursday program at noon in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College (CLC). The 50-minute program is free and open to the public.

This program marks the start of National Native American Indian Month. The program focus will be the Tribal Law and Order Act, which helps address crime in tribal communities and places a strong emphasis on decreasing violence against American Indian and Alaskan Native women.

Benjamin will examine the act and relate the act to issues facing American Indian women in Minnesota and the Mille Lacs Band community.

“This is a rare and unique opportunity to hear from our neighboring culture, the Ojibwe,” said Cultural Thursday coordinator Jan Kurtz.

One of the six constituent bands of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe has become one of the largest employers in Minnesota with more than 3,000 employees.

Benjamin has a long history of implementing positive change for her tribe. She has served as commissioner of administration, the Band’s highest appointed position, from 1989–1997, and chief of staff to the late chairman Art Gahbow. She has also been senior vice president of administration and finance at Grand Casino Hinckley. Benjamin was elected to her first term as chief executive in 2000 and again in 2004.

During her terms as chief executive, Benjamin instituted several programs and services that focused on improving youth, education, care for elders, housing, economic and business development, land acquisition, job creation and preserving the Ojibwe language. And under her administration’s leadership, the Band’s businesses showed record profits.

Benjamin has a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Bemidji State University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

She is currently on the boards for Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations, Indian Law Resource Center, is co-chair of the Leadership Circle for the White House Project, American Civil Liberties Union and chairs the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee for the Federal Home Loan Band of Des Moines.

Information on Cultural Thursday at CLC is available from Kurtz at 855-8183 or

■ Pequot Lakes writer

included in breast cancer book

Mary Jo McCarthy of Pequot Lakes writings about her daughter, Kelly, who was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago is included in “Upon Arrival of Illness.”

McCarthy, who began her own journey of hope, supporting her young daughter through chemo, surgery and radiation, heard about a story contest from a relative, so she sat down to write her experience from a mother’s perspective. Along with 93 additional authors, McCarthy has written, from her heart, the reality of this disease; she shares her role of being supportive of her daughter throughout Kelly’s detection, treatment and triumph over breast cancer.

“It was an experience that led our family closer to the Lord and to each other,” Mary Jo McCarthy said in an email release. “Kelly was and continues to be a person of deep faith. Now, a survivor of breast cancer, she encourages and speaks to individuals and groups about her own experience of survival.”

To purchase a copy of “Upon Arrival of Illness,” contact Savage Press at

McCarthy is a free-lance writer and has had publications in several other anthologies and has written articles for Guideposts.

■ Crosslake Art Club officers installed

CROSSLAKE — The Crosslake Art Club recently installed new officers at their October meeting.

Laurel LaBorde was installed as president; Barb Wessman, vice president, Carol Engebrit, treasurer; and Wini Kristufek, secretary.

Events coming up in November for the art club include its business meeting at 1 p.m. Nov. 5 and a mini-workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 19, both held at the Crosslake Community Center. The workshop will feature Christmas card making.

■ Brainerd writer to read her poetry

DULUTH — Charmaine Donovan, Brainerd poet and writer, will read poetry from “Tumbled Dry” her first collection of poetry from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, in the Fourth Floor Library Rotunda at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

This book won the 2011 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for Poetry in May 2012. The reading and reception is free and open to the public.

■ Kraa to perform Friday

NEW YORK MILLS — Kraa, a six-person band from Sweden, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the New York Mills Cultural Center.

Kraa, a punk rock band from Sweden, started nearly eight years ago in a little northern city of Sweden called Härnösand. Since then the six-member group has driven through a landscape of progressive rock and folk music and on their way got inspired with disco, punk and pop music. They gradually morphed to become entirely independent of any genre.

During the summer of 2010, Kraa began a collaboration with “Nordic Arts Alliance” in Minnesota, an organization that works to spread Nordic music in the United States. After two years of cooperation, Kraa will make the same journey that so many Swedes did a century ago, the trip to Minnesota.

In the meeting of American culture and Scandinavian roots, the band wants to explore how environment and culture shape identity and music. They also are interested in preconceptions that people may meet about the Swedish identity, and also compare their own ideas about the country beyond the sea with the reality.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Lake Region Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

■ Author book-signing event planned

REMER — Author Margo Hansen will appear for a book-signing event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday during the Remer Holiday Bazaar held at the Northland High School in Remer.

Hansen of Bovey will sign copies of her newest book in A Newly Weds Series, “Emma’s Marriage Secret.”

“Emma’s Marriage Secret” follows the second generation of the Newly family in a romantic mystery novel that will keep you guessing until the final secret is revealed. Discover with Emma and Simon how God takes uncertainties in life and works them out for good.

■ League’s poetry contest is on

The League of Minnesota Poets invites all students in sixth through 12th grade to compete in their annual student poetry contest: The 25th annual Manningham Poetry Competition.

There are two divisions: The Junior Division is for grades sixth through eighth and the Senior Division is for grades ninth through 12th. There is no entry fee. Poems must be original, but may have been published and/or have won previous prizes. All students in Minnesota attending public, parochial or private schools and those that are homeschooled are eligible. Only one entry per student is allowed.

To enter a poem, a student must submit two copies of their poem.

On both copies include (in upper left hand corner) the name of the division entered (either Junior or Senior). One copy must also contain in the upper right hand corner, the following:

• Student’s name and complete home address

• Student’s grade and division (Junior or Senior)

• Name, address and phone number of the school

• The following signed statement: “This is my original work.” Then, student’s signature

• The poem must be typed or computer-generated. No handwritten copies will be accepted and no more than 50 lines long. If the poem continues on more than one page, staple the pages together

• No large print, illustrations, unusual typefaces or colored fonts. Be considerate of your judges. Nationally recognized poets judge the contest. The 10 top poems in each division will be selected at the Minnesota State level for submission to the National Manningham Contest. There, they may win cash prizes and publication. Poems selected at the state level will be published in a chapbook which will be forwarded to the student authors and to participating schools

Mail entries to: Peter Stein, MN Manningham Poetry Competition Chair, 2029 – 103rd Ave NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433.

All submissions must be postmarked by Dec. 21.

■ The Accidental Hero performance set

Patrick Dewane’s grandfather refused to tell stories about his service in World War II, yet when he died, his basement yielded a trove of typewritten accounts, photos and rare film footage. Dewane brings this archival material to glowing life in a one-man, multi-media show that offers an enthralling, humorous and heart-warming tale of miraculous escapes and astonishing coincidences.

The performance, part of the Staples Motley Area Arts Council’s season, is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Centennial Auditorium in Staples. It is underwritten by Mayer, Porter, & Nelson, Ltd., Certified Public Accountants, of Staples.

Dewane takes on a dozen different roles as he powerfully recounts his grandfather’s journey through the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of Czechoslovakia and the poignant rediscovery of his own roots. There is humor, drama and a great scene described where a Nazi gets punched in the face. What more do you need. There is even a funny story about him being captured as a German spy during the Battle of the Bulge. English not being his native language left him with an accent and his attitude didn’t help matters.

Dewane’s grandfather was a man whose seemingly goofy CB radio-handle during the 1970s — ”The Accidental Hero”— was really a clue to his incredible story as a WWII Czech-American soldier fighting in the forests of his family’s ancient homeland.

Dewane’s grandfather, Matt Konop, rarely talked about the war, but years after his death Dewane was handed a pile of typewritten pages that a family member had discovered in a box in a basement. For more information on the concert series to

Tickets are $12 for adults in advance, or $15 for adults and $1 for students at the door. Tickets are available online and at the Staples Motley Public Schools Community Education Office at 218-894-2497.

Anyone purchasing five or more advance sale tickets to any event, or series of events, at the Community Education Office will receive a special season price of only $10 per ticket.

The five ticket discount is not available online.

■ ‘The Legend of Sleepy

Hollow’ to be performed

STAPLES — Lamplighter Community Theatre presents “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” at 7 p.m. Friday and Tuesday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Assembly Room at Central Lakes College in Staples.

This family friendly musical version of the classic story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.

“It’s been a joy to see these actors make their characters come alive,” said Amy Hunter, director. “It is truly a community effort when you have participants in their first play as well as seasoned actors involved. This is a show not to be missed.”

Hunter also noted that four family groups were involved in the show, three brothers, a husband-wife-daughter group, a father and son and a mom and two sons.

Performing at Central Lakes College in Staples is a new venue for the group. The Assembly Room provides a smaller venue and more intimate space than an auditorium and seats 180 people.

“The college staff has been warm, helpful and welcoming. We appreciate their letting us use this space,” Hunter said. “Because the stage area is small, we have added risers to extend the performance area and most of the exits and entrances will be through the audience which draws them into to the show.”

Tickets are available at Staples Campus office of Central Lakes College, Miller True Value and Staples World in Staples and at Unity Bank in Staples and Motley or call Judy Richer at 218-894-3050.

This activity is funded in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

■ NJPA Global Sponsor of book

“The Trust Edge” by David Horsager of Verndale recently was launched and the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) of Staples was present at Minnesota’s biggest book launch of the year as a trusted Global Sponsor of the event in Minneapolis.

The book was published by Free Press, the business division of Simon & Schuster Publishing. David Horsager argues a message of trust in the book.

“We are in a trust crisis and organizations are slow to realize the bottom line implications,” said Horsager. “From massive fraud in business to scandals in politics and athletics, the headlines point to a persistent problem of modern life and business, we’re lacking in trust.”

“The Trust Edge” is based on Eight Pillars of Trust: Clarity, compassion, character, competency, commitment, connection, contribution and consistency.

NJPA recently had Horsager speak on his message of trust.

Horsager shared that “The Trust Edge” will help all leaders in producing a successful organization or business.

NJPA has been a great example of leadership through trust. Throughout the years NJPA has built trust with its 35,000 members through time, effort, diligence, character and contributing to the growth of the community.

NJPA members include those in education, government and non-profits. NJPA solely works at creating legal and cost effective ways of purchasing by being the middle person between buyers and suppliers.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889