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Local news briefs- Sept. 9

Girl Scouts to attend Our World, Our Family event

Nearly 1,000 Girl Scouts will be heading to Camp Lake Hubert and Camp Lincoln near Nisswa this weekend for the annual fall camping kickoff called Our World, Our Family. 

The Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines, which serves the Brainerd lakes area, and those from northern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, will choose from more than 60 small group activity sessions throughout the three-day event.

In addition to sessions introducing girls to science, nature and hobbies, this year’s event is the kickoff celebration for the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines’ celebration of the Girl Scouts of the USA centennial year. As part of the special 100th anniversary activities, an actress portraying Juliette Low, founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, will be on hand to make opening comments and talk with girls during a special session titled, Tea with Juliette. 

Big Equipment Show raises funds for early childhood programs

STAPLES —  The Staples-Motley Early Childhood Coalition will host the Big Equipment Show on from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Staples Elementary parking lot. 

All families and community members are invited to attend. Vehicles will be on display from Central Lakes College Heavy Equipment program, City of Staples, Fort Ripley, Staples Fire Department, Staples Police Department, and Lakewood Health Systems. Smaller vehicles such as a motorcycle and ATV will also be on display this year.

Admission is $1 per person ($5 maximum per family). Hot dogs and root beer floats will be available for sale. In addition, a plant sale will be held during the show. All proceeds will used by the SMECC to support early childhood programs in the Staples-Motley area. 

MnDOT seeks survey input on commutes, improvements

ST. CLOUD — The Minnesota Department of Transportation is sponsoring a project to evaluate the potential for new regional public transportation services and other commuter options in central Minnesota. 

Future transit services could be initiated from cities throughout central Minnesota to St. Cloud, Minneapolis, St. Paul and elsewhere, depending on the outcome of the Central Minnesota Commuter Study, which is scheduled to begin in mid-September. 

One of the first steps of the project is to ask central Minnesota residents about their current commutes, the challenges they face and what improvements they hope to see in the future.

The public is requested to share their responses to a MnDOT-sponsored survey about commuter behavior in central Minnesota. Survey researchers will be making random telephone calls during daytime and evening hours in  Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties.

The Central Minnesota Commuter Study also will include surveys at regional park-and-ride facilities, focus groups and an extensive analysis of travel patterns. The study is expected to be completed in 2012 and will serve as a roadmap for future investments in commuter transportation.  

Orphan trains gathering set for October

LITTLE FALLS — Have you ever wondered about the history of the orphan trains? From 1854-1929, an estimated 250,000-plus children born in New York rode the Orphan Trains to find new homes throughout the United States.

On Oct. 1, orphans, their families, friends and all interested individuals are invited to the 51st annual Midwest Orphan Train Riders and Friends annual gathering at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls.

Registration  begins at 9 a.m., followed by group photos. Event spokespersons and invited guests include Renee Wendinger, president of the Orphan Train Riders of New York; Pete Keaveny, Tina Stadick and keynote speakers, Harvey and Maxine Ronglien, historians for the Minnesota State Public School for Dependant and Neglected Children, Owatonna. Activities for the day also include a sharing of orphan train rider stories, lunch, a silent auction and  fellowship.

For more information on the annual gathering, or to register by Sept. 14, contact Joan Prochaska at (763) 389-4892 or email:

Brainerd Planning Commission to meet

The Brainerd Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the City of Brainerd Council chambers.

Crow Wing County Law Library Board to meet

The Crow Wing County Law Library Board of Trustees will meet at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Crow Wing County Law Library located on the third floor of the Crow Wing County Judicial Center, 213 Laurel St., Brainerd. Topics to be discussed include possible future capital improvements and the addition of new volumes to the library’s collection.

Morrison County Board to meet Friday morning

LITTLE FALLS — The Morrison County Board will meet at 8:30 a.m. Friday for a planning session in the county board room at the Morrison County Government Center in Little Falls.

The agenda includes: Boys and Girls Club report by Bernie Jube; public health report by Bonnie Paulsen; tobacco ordinance discussion by Paulsen; social service report by Brad Vold; planning and zoning report by Mark Anderson; auditor report by Russ Nygren; administrator report by Deb Gruber; and other business.

Aitkin DFL Party fundraiser will feature log splitter in auction

AITKIN — The Aitkin County DFL party will conduct its annual fundraiser dinner and auction on Sunday at the 40 Club Convention Center in Aitkin. The event begins with a social mixer at 3 p.m. followed by a dinner of all Minnesota-grown foods at 4:30 p.m. and a live auction at 5:30 p.m.

Special guests who will also act as auctioneers include Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids; former Rep. Loren Solberg, DFL-Grand Rapids; Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd; and candidates running for the 8th Congressional District seat in 2012, currently held by Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn. They are Jeff Anderson, Duluth; Tarryl Clark, Duluth; and Rick Nolan, Crosby. Candidates for state representative 3B, Joe Gould and Pat Madure, will also be on hand to meet and greet attendees.

Many items have already been donated for the auction including a 15-ton log splitter, a 40-foot dock, lamps, quilts, art work and six months of home-made pies.  The creative table centerpieces that have generated so much auction interest in recent years this year will feature birds of Aitkin County as they signify different DFL policy positions.

Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door. Items for Aitkin County food shelves will also be accepted at this event.