Weather Forecast


Local news briefs- June 23

1st Battalion welcomes new commander

CAMP RIPLEY — The 1st Battalion (Officer Candidate), 175th Regional Training Institute, Camp Ripley, welcomed a new battalion commander as Minnesota National Guard Lt. Col. Michael J. Lins passed the reigns of command to Lt. Col. Stefanie K. Horvath in a ceremony held at Camp Ripley June 17.

“The change of command ceremony is a bitter sweet event for a commander,” said Col. Gregg L. Parks, 175th Regimental commander.  

For Lt. Col. Lins he will be able to look back at this moment as an apex in his career, said Parks. For Lt. Col. Horvath this command is a reward for a job well done throughout her career.

Lins took command of 1st Battalion in 2008 and his next assignment will take him to the 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division Headquarters.

Lt. Col. Stefanie K. Horvath comes to the battalion from the 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division where she was assigned as the Division G-6, Information Officer. During her tenure at the division she deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was responsible for the voice capabilities and data networks in the nine southern provinces of Iraq for U.S. Forces.

The 1st Battalion is composed of the Officer Candidate program and Warrant Officer Candidate program.

Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers claims process detailed

USDA Farm Service Agency in Minnesota announced the establishment of a process to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who assert that they were discriminated against when seeking the U.S. Department farm loans. In connection with the announcement community based organizations, stakeholders and partners that provide services to Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers are encouraged to inform potential clients about the Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers claims process.

Two area meetings are scheduled about the claims. They are at 10 a.m. Monday and July 6 at the Baxter Service Center, 7118 Clearwater Rd., and at 8 a.m. Tuesday and July 7 at the Aitkin Service Center, 130 Southgate Dr., Aitkin.

The claims process offers a streamlined alternative to litigation and provides at least $1.33 billion in compensation, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief, to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers.

Individuals interested in participating in the claims process may register to receive a claims package by calling (888) 508-4429 or on line at

Brainerd Parks and Recreation Board meets Monday in Brainerd City Hall

The Brainerd Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at Brainerd City Hall.