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UPDATE: Final Minnesota legislative bills may be passed in middle of the night

Brainerd native honored for work with AmeriCorps in Joplin

Brainerd native honored for work with AmeriCorps in Joplin

On Jan. 31, the Missouri House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing the service of AmeriCorps members, including Ethan Meyer of Brainerd, for their indispensible role in the recovery efforts following the devastating tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011. AmeriCorps members will also be recognized on the floor.

Meyer, who served with Conservation Corps Minnesota, was one of 300 AmeriCorps members from across the country that deployed to Joplin following the tornado.

The resolution, sponsored by Representatives Bill White (R-Joplin) and Charlie Davis (R-Duquesne), applauded the “history, goals and accomplishments associated with the AmeriCorps program and conveys to all of those involved this legislative body’s most heartfelt commendation of their efforts in Joplin and Duquesne following the devastating EF-5 tornado.”

Meyer served for 30 days with an 11-person Conservation Corps crew, working alongside other AmeriCorps teams, including National Civilian Community Corps, AmeriCorps St. Louis, Washington Conservation Corps and Hoopa Tribal Civilian Community Corps. Crew members worked 14-hour days, many taking lead roles in overseeing as many as 2,000 volunteers in the field. Work involved search and rescue, managing volunteer intake, staffing the disaster response call center, helping disaster victims secure Electronic Benefit Transfer support from the city and coordinating volunteers citywide.

The Joplin tornado was the nation’s deadliest in more than 60 years, killing 161 residents and destroying more than 7,000 homes, churches, schools and businesses. Within eight hours, AmeriCorps members arrived in Joplin and began working with local authorities to establish a missing person’s hotline. During the past seven months, AmeriCorps members have performed vital services, including managing the volunteer reception center, providing homeowner assistance and casework, removing tons of debris and operating donation and distribution warehouses.

AARP Tax-Aide free tax help - including E-Filing

Starting Feb. 7, the AARP tax aide site at the Sylvan Town Hall will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on subsequent Tuesdays through April 10.

The volunteers at the site have been trained and certified by the IRS and the state of Minnesota. The Sylvan Town Hall, 12956 24th Ave., is about three miles east of Pillager off Highway 210. Appointments are preferred. For more information, call the Sylvan Town Hall at 746-3652.

The AARP Tax-Aide program provides free tax help in the preparation and e-filing of tax returns for taxpayers with low- and middle-income, and with a special attention to those ages 60 and older. Please bring: Social Security cards or other official documentation for yourself and all dependents: W-2 forms, Unemployment compensation statements: SSA-1099’s if receiving Social Security: 1099R if you received a pension or annuity: 1099 MISC for miscellaneous income: all other 1099 forms, (1099 INT, 1099 DIV for interest or dividend income): dependent care provider information: all receipts or cancelled checks if itemizing deductions: all forms showing estimated federal tax that has been paid and any other tax related documents such as your 2010 tax return.

The Tax-Aide program will also file the state income tax plus the Minnesota Property Tax Refund forms for you. There is no charge for this service. For more information, about the Tax-Aide program contact Chad Converse at 352-6987

.Second annual ‘Seriously Local Beer’ tasting event planned

The Farm on St. Mathias is currently finishing a Hops Feasibility Study funded by a Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The 2011 hop harvest is being highlighted at the second annual “Seriously Local Beer” Tasting 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at Prairie Bay restaurant in Baxter. Participants will taste various brews ranging from dark porters, Belgian and American IPAs, and a Minnesota Ordinary brew paired with appetizers for just $15 per person. Brew masters along with the growers will be on hand with demonstrations on hop growing, harvesting, preserving and brewing, along with the three-year study on hops feasibility. For more information, visit The Farm’s website at For reservations, call Prairie Bay at 824-6444.

Operation Round-Up

offers impact grant

The Crow Wing Power Community Trust is offering an Impact Grant of up to $12,000.

The purpose of the Impact Grant will be to give a boost to a project/program, organization or community and ensure its success.

Applicants must show this one time grant would have a major impact for their project, organization or community. The organization needs to show they have a history of success, or if a start-up project the business plan must be strong and show large community support. Projects that focus on human health and well-being will be given additional consideration.

Operation Round-Up is funded by participating members of Crow Wing Power who allow the cooperative to round up their electric bills to the nearest whole dollar. The additional change is pooled and distributed quarterly to local community programs. To qualify for an application, contact Char or Jolene at Crow Wing Power, 829-2827 or (800) 648-9401. Applications must be submitted by March 30.

Ag department compiling a database of artists

Funded by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, commonly known as the “Legacy Amendment,” the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is responsible for administering the County Fair Arts Access and Cultural Heritage Grant programs.

These grants fund projects that enhance arts access, arts education, and preserve and promote Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.

In hopes of bringing programming to every corner of Minnesota, each of the state’s 95 county fairs is eligible to apply for the County Fair Arts Access and Cultural Heritage grants. While artists do not directly receive these grants, it is an opportunity for county fairs to collaborate with Minnesota talent. The MDA hopes this database can encourage and strengthen relationships between communities and artists, and cultivate our state’s creative resources, Region Five recently reported.

Those interested in being a part of this database, or those who want to learn more about the County Fair Arts Access and Cultural Heritage grant programs, may contact Emily Murphy at the MDA at or (651) 201-6648.

A direct link to the website:

Ward, Mahoney to discuss

DFL jobs plan at CLC

State Reps. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, and Tim Mahoney, DFL-St. Paul, will conduct a news conference from 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at Central Lakes College in Brainerd,

The topic of the news conference will be the DFL jobs plan. It will be conducted at the college’s Small Business Development Center at the Fireside Room. The college is located is 501 West Campus Drive.

Firefighters have busy Thursday

The Brainerd Fire Department responded to several calls Thursday:

• At 3:13 a.m., firefighters were called to 423 First Ave. N.E., to a burning smell coming from the furnace. The call was unfounded.

• At 5:50 a.m., a call at 315 Charles St., to what turned out to be a false alarm.

• At 9:21 a.m. and then again at 11:52 a.m., firefighters were called out to Stepping Stone Day Care, north on Highway 371, to what turned out to be false alarms.

• At 9:27 a.m., a call to First Presbyterian Church, 512 South Eighth St., to a faulty detector.

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