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Two hurt in crash in Aitkin County

MCGREGOR — Two people were injured early Saturday after the vehicle they were in left Highway 65 about 12 miles south of McGregor and struck a tree, the State Patrol reported. 

The driver of the vehicle, Kathleen Stevens, 25, Isle, suffered minor injuries and was transported to Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin. Information on her condition was unavailable Sunday. 

Stevens’ passenger, David Bolling, 26, was transported to Kanabec County Hospital in Mora with non life-threatening injuries. Information on his condition was unavailable Sunday. 

Alcohol may have played a role in the crash, the State Patrol reported. The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Department assisted at the scene of the crash.

Brainerd School Board Personnel

Committee meets in closed session

The Brainerd School Board Personnel Committee meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday in a closed session to discuss contract negotiations strategy. 

The meeting will be in the Washington Educational Services Building at 804 Oak St.

USDA reminds producers of

sign-up for ACRE and DCP programs

BAXTER — Trisha Koepplin, USDA Farm Service Agency County Executive director for Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing and Itasca counties, would like to remind farmers and landowners that the sign-up for the 2011 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program and the Average Crop Revenue Election Program is underway. Participants must enroll their eligible farms no later than June 1, 2011, to take advantage of this important program.  

Producers may complete and sign 2011 ACRE election forms and DCP and ACRE contracts at their local Crow Wing-Cass USDA- FSA at 7118 Clearwater Road in Baxter, phone 829-5965, or at the Aitkin-Itasca USDA-FSA at 130 Southgate Drive in Aitkin, phone 927-2912. 

Area community members honored 

at ‘A Night of Inspiration’

Miss Minnesota Kathryn Knuttila recently presented “A Night of Inspiration” at Tornstrom Auditorium. Several area community members were recognized as being inspiring Americans.

Darlene Blazina, Aitkin, was honored and nominated by a childhood friend, Kathleen Lordbock, and also the Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association in Crosslake. Blazina has Cerebral Palsy, but was a member of the Sheriff’s Patrol and was the founder of the NMRHA in Crosslake and a permanent vice president of that organization.

Other community members honored include DeLynn Howard, John Paul and Rochelle Ruiz, Mike Padgett, John and Sally Ward, Bill Musel and Parker Gordon-Klein.

Home Stretch class offered in Brainerd

A first-time homebuyer workshop, Home Stretch, will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 12 at the Central Lakes College in Brainerd. 

Registration is required and participants will receive a completion certificate at the end of the day. 

 Pre-purchase counseling is also available by appointment and is strongly suggested prior to taking Home Stretch. This is a free service to anyone who wants to speak with a certified homeownership counselor about their personal situation pertaining to buying a home.

Participants have the opportunity to free themselves from some of the complications and stress of buying a home by participating in a Home Stretch Workshop offered by Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, the partnership reported.

In one day, participants will learn about qualifying for a mortgage, financing a home, budget and credit issues, real estate, the closing process, basic home maintenance and affordable mortgage products that may be available to first-time homebuyers. 

Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, a nonprofit organization providing affordable housing services to the central region of Minnesota, coordinates the Home Stretch workshop. Community lenders, real estate lenders and other housing professionals volunteer their time to bring first-time homebuyers the most important and current information about the home buying process.

“It’s a great time to be a first-time homebuyer,” Stacy Esboldt, CMHP program coordinator, said in a news release.  “There are so many opportunities out there for homebuyers at the moment and Home Stretch will provide the needed information a first-time homebuyer should know before beginning the process.”

Some affordable mortgage products, first-time homebuyer products and government loans may require a buyer to receive a Home Stretch certificate.     

“Pre-purchase counseling and Home Stretch are the best ‘first-steps’ in the home buying process,” said Esboldt. “Buying a home is usually the largest investment an individual or family will make in their lifetime. The more educated a person is on the homebuying process, the better decisions they will make about this large investment.”

There is a $25 fee per household to participate in Home Stretch and registration is required. To register for the Brainerd Home Stretch workshop please contact Stacy Esboldt, program coordinator, at Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, (320) 259-0393.