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Local briefs- Nov. 6

Organizations may apply for workforce development grants

Rep. John Ward, DFL – Brainerd, is encouraging area organizations to apply for Youth Workforce Development Grants. These grants generally go to summer employment programs for disadvantaged youth (Learn to Earn, Boys and Girls Club).

“This is a terrific grant program to help disadvantaged and underprivileged young people in our area gain work experience,” Rep. Ward said.

Grant awards may range from $50,000 to $850,000. Eligible applicants must be youth-serving organizations with significant capacity, demonstrable youth development experience and outcomes to operate a youth workforce development project during the contract period.

Organizations interested in applying must submit a Statement of Intent by Jan. 9, 2012 and a final proposal by Feb. 10, 2012. Applicants may download the Request for Proposal application at .

Statements of Intent and proposals should be sent to: John Olson, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic DevelopmentWorkforce Development Division/Office of Youth Development, First National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E-200, St. Paul, Minn., 55101-1351 or or (651) 259-7547.

Cravaack mobile offices Thursday

Mobile offices will be conducted at two locations on Thursday by staff members of Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn.

The mobile offices will be at Kathio Town Hall (44364 Timber Trail Road) in Onamia from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday and at Crosby City Hall (2 Second St. SW) from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Nisswa City of Lights scheduled Nov. 25

NISSWA — The city of Nisswa will welcome in the holiday season with a countdown to lighting up the town! Downtown, Nisswa Square will light up all at once at 5:30 p.m. — lights will be all over Nisswa. Activities for the day include horse drawn wagon rides, storytelling, food merchants, bonfires, smores, hot cider and doughnut holes (at the Pioneer Village), carolers and holiday music. Santa arrives by fire engine at 6 p.m. and fireworks at 7:30 p.m. will wrap up the festivities. Love Lights, a tree celebration takes place right next to the chamber building where an evergreen is lit with shining lights, each light donated in memory or honor of a loved one. All honored names are read aloud during the lighting ceremony at 5:45 p.m.

Second-half taxes due

Crow Wing County Auditor-Treasurer issued the following reminder for owners of property in Crow Wing County.

The second half of agricultural and mobile home/personal taxes are due Nov. 15. If mailed, timeliness is determined by the postmark. Payments may be made by mail or in person at the Auditor-Treasurer’s Office on the second floor of the historic Courthouse.

Crow Wing County has partnered with Official Payments to offer taxpayers an option to pay their tax electronically either over the internet by going to or by calling (800) 272-9829. All Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover credit and debit cards are accepted. If using these methods, the county jurisdiction code is 3329 and you also need the property ID number. There is an additional transaction fee charged.

Ex-college students are urged to re-enroll

Minnesota’s working adults who have earned some college credits are being urged to re-enroll and complete their two- or four-year degrees at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, including Central Lakes College in Brainerd and Staples, to boost their job prospects and help meet the state’s workforce needs.

The message is part of a new statewide outreach initiative called “Graduate Minnesota — Complete your degree. Anytime. Anywhere.”

The initiative is designed to connect former students with advisers who can help them find the best and fastest route to complete their associate or bachelor’s degree.

Each of the 31 state colleges and universities has at least one designated adviser to assist students in figuring out how to resume their studies and explore financial aid options. Returning students might be especially interested in taking online courses, enrolling in accelerated programs with flexible start dates and receiving course credits for work experience.

To connect with an adviser, interested individuals can call a toll-free number, 1-800-366-7380, seven days a week or visit

The Admissions Office at Central Lakes College is available at 800-933-0346 ext. 8037 or 218-855-8037, or email

CLC receives job training grant

LONG PRAIRIE — Central Lakes College has received a $178,406 grant from the state Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Minnesota Job Skills Partnership to train 279 workers at CentraCare Health System, Long Prairie.

CentraCare Health System operates a hospital, clinic, and long-term care facility which serve the nearly 18,000 residents of Todd County and the surrounding area.

Nurses, emergency medical technicians, medical technicians and medical transcriptionists will learn technologies to improve quality and safety of patient care using a national program developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and offered by Central Lakes College.

Dan Swenson, CentraCare administrator, said goals include improvement of quality and safety of patient care in medical and surgical units, increase the vitality and retention of nurses, engage and improve patient and family members’ experience of care, and improve the effectiveness of the entire care team.

A Medical Spanish course delivered to 58 employees will incorporate basic to intermediate Spanish language skills to improve communication efforts with the Hispanic population, which constitutes about 30 percent of the population in Long Prairie and the surrounding area.

Eloise Thorson of Browerville, a customized training representative, is project coordinator for CLC. She will direct the training. She has directed staff training for employees at Lakewood Health System, Staples, and Riverwood HealthCare Center, Aitkin.

This is the 19th MJSP grant awarded to Central Lakes College since 1998, said Rebecca Best, dean of workforce, economic and regional development at CLC.

The project’s total value is estimated at $423,312, according to Paul Moe, executive director of the Workforce Development Division of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. He said that in addition to the $178,406 from DEED, the healthcare system is contributing $238,343 – including in-kind contributions. CLC is investing $6,563 in the partnership.

Others at the grant signing were Rick Utech, executive director of the Todd County Development Corp; Lyle Danielson, Economic Development Authority director with the Long Prairie Chamber of Commerce; Kathleen Nauber, President of the Long Prairie Chamber of Commerce; Kim Burkett of the Chamber staff; CentraCare officials Roxanne Ostendorf, Long-term Care Director of Nursing; Donna Bartels, Director of Nurse Education; Jodi Hillmer, Director of Patient Care Services; Larry Knutson, Chief Financial Officer; and Rona Bleess, Director of Support Services; and CLC officials Dr. Suresh Tiwari, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs; Steve Waller, Public Information Specialist; and Kori Busho and Bev Berg of the Customized Training Program.

Businesses invited to participate in Staples

STAPLES — Lakewood Health System invites area business owners to participate in Lakewood’s biennial women’s “Laugh and Live Well” expo. The expo will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 25th at Central Lakes College in Staples.

The event attracts more than 350 women from across central Minnesota to view vendors, attend health-related breakout sessions and enjoy lunch and door prizes. The day is designed to empower and pamper women, while maintaining a fresh take on new and innovative ways to look at healthcare. The keynote speaker will be award-winning humorist, inspirational speaker and author, Renee Rongen.

Only 90 booth spaces are available for the event, ranging in price from $75 to $100. Exhibitor applications received by December 1st will receive a $10 discount on their booth space rate.

To reserve a booth space at Laugh and Live Well, contact Nola Varilek at 218-894-8586 or

Gazelka, Ward to speak to League of Women Voters

Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, and Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, will speak at the monthly meeting of the League of Women Voters Brainerd Lakes on Thursday. The meeting begins at 11:30 am at the Brainerd Public Library. The LWVBLA has asked area state legislators to reflect on the past legislative session and on what the issues will be addressed at the upcoming session. They will also be asked to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of creating law by legislative action or constitutional amendment.

The program is being presented by the League of Women Voters of the Brainerd Lakes Area and is open to the public. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government. For more information on the League of Women Voters of the Brainerd Lakes Area visit its Facebook page or call President Sandy Reuther at 562-4748.

Hope for the Holidays offers supportive group

Hope for the Holidays is for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one and wish to join in a supportive and caring group to help them through the holidays.

By long tradition, the holiday season is the best of times. But when a loved one is missing from these traditions it can be the worst of times, casting a harsh spotlight on pain and loss. The flood of memories triggered by the season’s familiar sights, sounds, and smells can create an overwhelming yearning for the return of the absent loved one.

The pressure to balance personal grief with the expectations of “joyful” social obligation is a common experience. The Hope for the Holidays Presentation, facilitated by professionals, will provide an opportunity for honest dialogue and tools for coping with the upcoming weeks.

The presentation is 4-6 p.m. Thursday at Essentia Health - St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd. For more information about Grief Support, call 828-7442.

CLC launches mobile Internet site

Central Lakes College is now mobile with the recent launch of the new mobile internet site:

A mobile device enables the user to access the following:

- Academic/Events Calendar

- CLC News Blog

- Campus Directions

- Academic Program Directory

- Class Cancellations Notification

- Raiders Athletics Blog

- Entry for D2L and Student Gmail

- CLC Social Media

- Interactive Directory

“Mobile is the future of internet browsing,” said Kenn Dols, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “We have developed a mobile presence to meet the current and future needs of our students and the communities we serve.”

Nearly half (48.7 percent) of smartphone owners in the U.S. are between the ages of 25 and 44, with younger users between the ages of 13 and 24 representing nearly one-fourth of all smartphone owners (23.8 percent). That’s according to comScore MobiLens for a three-month average ending last April.

Statistics show that over the next four years mobile internet will surpass desktop internet usage. “This is a significant change in consumer habits, which we cannot ignore,” Dols said. “CLC is focused on meeting the needs of students.”

Lakewood Health System eyes veterans

STAPLES — This Veterans Day, Lakewood Health System will thank and honor military veterans for their service to our country.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. Coffee and cookies will be served to all veterans. The refreshments will be located near the Guest Services counter, just inside the main entrance at the Staples Main Campus (49725 County 83), to all veterans.

Free screenings offered Nov. 15

Good Samaritan Society – Brainerd will join organizations nationwide in offering free memory screenings on Nov. 15. The community is invited to stop by the Brainerd Lakes Area Senior Center from 9 to 11:30 a.m. for a confidential screenings. Refreshments will be provided.

National Memory Screening Day is organized by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The purpose is to provide free, confidential memory screenings to the public and distribute educational materials about memory concerns, dementia, caregiving and successful aging.

Memory screenings are a significant first step toward finding out if someone may have a memory problem. Memory problems could be caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other medical conditions. The screening is non-invasive, consists of a series of questions and tasks, and takes five to ten minutes to administer. All of the NMSD materials that AFA provides clearly emphasize that memory screenings are used as an indicator of whether a person might benefit from an extensive medical exam, but that they are not used to diagnose any illness and in no way replace an exam by a qualified healthcare professional. Medical follow-up is encouraged.

Timberwolves’ foundation at Ripley

CAMP RIPLEY — The Minnesota Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation's Operation Minnesota Heroes Month, presented by the Roger and Nancy McCabe Foundation and POPP Communications, begins a month-long focus on honoring, serving and recognizing Minnesota's troops and military veterans.

For this year's Operation Military Heroes Month, the FastBreak Foundation will unveil a new event. On Thursday, the Foundation will host Camp Ripley Military Appreciation Day for soldiers, families and employees of Camp Ripley near Little Falls, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day will include lunch and beverages, families connecting with their soldiers in Kuwait and kids activities. The event will culminate with a concert by Good for Gary, a Twin Cities cover band that specializes in current and past dance hits. The Timberwolves Dancers and mascot Crunch will also be in attendance.

The Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation provides and supports hands-on programs that positively affect Minnesota youth.

Crosslake Chautauqua Program on computers

CROSSLAKE — Crosslake Communications network engineer Paul Davis will speak on computers from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the next Crosslake Chautauqua Program at Crosslake Community Center.

His presentation is entitled “Beep! Beep! Beep! How to Properly Back Up Computer Files.”

Organizers said the program will offer tips on how to back up files such as records, photos, or other documents.

Lindbergh home to evoke memories

LITTLE FALLS — Return to the Christmas of 1918 at the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 26.

Costumed characters will portray family members and hired workers readying the house for the holiday festivities.

Charles A. Lindbergh Sr., father of the famous aviator did not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1917, so he and his wife, Evangeline, and their teen age son, Charles spent their Christmas together in Little Falls.

Cost of the event is $7 for adults; $6 for seniors and college students; $5 for children, age 5 and under and Minnesota Historical Society members. The fees will increase by $1 by Dec. 1.

The historic site is located at 1620 Lindbergh Drive S., Little Falls.