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News Briefs - July 20

Cravaack spokesman responds to DFL candidates

Ben Golnik, an adviser to Rep. Chip Cravaack’s campaign, released a statement Wednesday on the news conferences on mining from DFL candidates for Congress.

“Chip Cravaack will continue to be laser-focused on working to improve the economy and bring more jobs back to the 8th Congressional District,” Golnik said in the statement. “In his short time in Congress, Chip has worked to reduce excessive and duplicative red tape blocking economic development and job growth.  In recognition of his commitment to creating jobs in the 8th District, the local 49ers endorsed Chip’s campaign last week.”

Fire department training goes LightSpeed

STAPLES — Using the Blandin Foundation’s LightSpeed Grant, the Region Five Development Commission reported it intends to build a system that addresses the infrastructure issues and provide assistance, education and support on how to best use teleconferencing for training and communications for fire departments and affiliated agencies.

Region Five Development Commission, Staples, recently conducted an online survey of fire departments within Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Wadena and Todd counties. In the survey, they were asked how they delivered services and provided training, the number of calls, the number of employees. In addition the departments answered questions regarding their accounting systems used to track finances.

One of the highlights that stood out was the way training is currently being delivered. Each individual fire department is responsible for its training programs, sometimes they attend group seminars, but the majority of the training is provided in-house. The larger departments had no specific problem providing training, however, the smaller departments, which are all-volunteer organizations had considerable time and content constraints about providing the training essential to serve their areas. The challenges include the lack of infrastructure with the fire departments for such a service along with the inexperience of using such a system.

The overall goals of the project are to provide a communications infrastructure using teleconferencing to first connect fire departments to one another for training and education. The second goal is to increase communications and collaboration amongst the fire departments, their affiliated agencies and local units of government.

So far 11 fire departments are participating. Site visits have been conducted to determine infrastructure and equipment needs for each fire department. Purchasing recommendations are under way and installation of the teleconferencing equipment will commence in July.

The fire departments selected several training sessions that will be streamed live to each participating department. Training sessions will be held monthly beginning in August and running through the end of the year.

CLC will provide motorcycle rider training Aug. 11 and 12

Central Lakes College (CLC) in Brainerd is providing a Basic Rider course for motorcyclists Aug. 11 and Aug. 12.

Minnesota law requires motorcyclists under age 18 to pass an approved Rider Skills Training course. Students must complete 14.5 hours of integrated instruction — 4.5 hours in the classroom and 10 hours of practice on a training motorcycle (provided).

The Basic Rider Course offers the most complete motorcycle training available. The course is divided into two phases:

Level 1 concentrates on motorcycle familiarization, clutch control, throttle control, riding posture, and the four basic skills, which are straight-line riding, turning, shifting, and stopping.

Level 2 includes limited-space maneuvers, counter-steering, cornering, and swerving.

While no previous motorcycle riding experience is required, it can be beneficial. Students must be able to ride a bicycle and must possess a valid driver’s license or motor vehicle instruction permit.

A person older than age 18 is eligible for the skills test waiver (motorcycle endorsement) if one has a valid motorcycle permit in possession at the start of the course. For those who plan to get a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license, CLC reports it is their best interest to obtain a permit in advance.

This course does not issue motorcycle permits; they must be obtained from Driver and Vehicle Services. Those who have previously tested twice on their motorcycle permit, do not qualify for the skills waiver and must test at an exam station.

Each student must furnish his or her own protective clothing and Department of Transportation-approved helmet.

The fee is $160.

Times for the training in the parking lot across from the Brainerd campus of CLC are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Aug. 11 and 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Aug. 5.

Registration deadline is Aug. 4.

For more information, email, call (800) 933-0346 extension 8142 or (218) 855-8142 or visit and click on “courses.”

Brainerd PUC meets Tuesday morning

The Brainerd Public Utilities meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the commission meeting room at the Brainerd Public Utilities Service Center at 8027 Highland Scenic Road in Baxter.

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