Weather Forecast


Registration open for Brainerd Polar Bear Plunge

■ Plan for safe and sober rides

Added DWI patrols out in December

To identify and arrest impaired drivers and encourage motorists to make safe decisions, the Minnesota State Patrol will participate in the annual December drunken driving enforcement wave along with officers and deputies from about 400 other Minnesota law enforcement agencies.

“We all need to work together to make a strong traffic safety culture in Minnesota,” said Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, in a news release. “One way to do that is to make impaired driving socially unacceptable.”

Holiday parties and special local events in regions around the state will be targeted. Specific dates and times for the project will be ongoing the entire month of December.

In 2011, Minnesota recorded 136 alcohol-related traffic deaths — accounting for 37 percent of all traffic deaths — matching historical trends.

Alcohol-related crashes, injuries and fatalities continue to be a serious problem in Minnesota, the state patrol reported. Overall, males and young adults are overrepresented in alcohol-related crashes and account for a disproportionate share of fatalities.

Aside from the injuries and deaths, penalties for drunken driving may range from hundreds to thousands of dollars-worth of fines, loss of driver license, loss of license plates and even the individual’s vehicle.

“We strongly encourage drivers to plan ahead not to drink and drive instead of causing needless tragedies or facing arrest,” said State Patrol Lt. Jason Hanson. “We also want everyone to support this project by reporting impaired drivers.”

The state patrol is asking everyone to plan ahead not to drink and drive and to report those drivers who are believed to be driving impaired.

DWI enforcement and education is a component of the state’s core traffic safety initiative, Toward Zero Deaths (TZD).

TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.

Law enforcement agencies in the Crow Wing County area working this project include: Minnesota State Patrol troopers, Crow Wing County deputies, and officers from the police departments of Brainerd, Baxter, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Deerwood, Emily, Crosby, Cuyuna, Crosslake and Breezy Point. The Crow Wing County Passenger Safety Coalition strongly supports all of these enforcement efforts.

■ Merrifield farmer

attends state MFU convention

John Borden of Merrifield attended the Nov. 17-18 state convention of the Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) in St. Paul.

In a statement Borden said the policies passed at the convention will be used to push for fair prices and common sense solutions to agriculture issues. Policy and special orders were passed and delegates were elected for the National Farmers Union convention in Springfield, Mass., in March.

■ Pine River Community Education

classes start soon

PINE RIVER — Pine River Community Education classes are beginning next month.

The classes include:

• Fit Club Mondays — Starting 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 10, free, in the elementary music room.

• Holiday Cards — 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4, $15 fee, high school room 53.

• Winter Wonderland 1 — 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 5, $5 fee, room 107.

• Holiday Baking with Kids — 3:15 to 5 p.m. Dec. 11, $20 fee per couple, PRB Commons.

• Holiday Crafts — 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 11, $15 fee, high school room 53.

• Game Day — 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 11, $7 fee per family, Central Lakes College classroom.

• Winter Wonderland 2 — 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 12, $5 fee, room 107.

• Snowmobile Safety — Early December (to be announced).

Interested persons may call Pine River Community Education at 587-2080 or register online at

■ Registration open for

Brainerd Polar Bear Plunge

Registration is now open for the 2013 Brainerd Polar Bear Plunge, presented by Minnesota law enforcement to benefit Special Olympics Minnesota. The Brainerd plunge will be conducted at 1 p.m. March 2 at Breezy Point Resort.

Plungers define what it means to be “freezin’ for a reason” by raising funds to jump into Minnesota’s frigid waters. The funds raised benefit more than 7,100 Special Olympics Minnesota athletes as they train, compete and transform themselves, their communities and the world.

The plunge will be at Breezy Point Resort, 9252 Breezy Point Drive in Breezy Point. Check-in will be at the plunge site. In 2012, nearly 380 people took the plunge in the Brainerd area and raised approximately $75,000 in support of Special Olympics Minnesota.

Interested persons may register online at Participants may plunge as individuals or in teams. They are also encouraged to wear unique and outrageous costumes on plunge day. Participants are asked to recruit donors to pledge to their plunge. Each participant must raise a minimum of $75. The average plunger raised $198 in 2012. Plungers should check-in on plunge day and bring their pledges with them. Shoes and towels are also required.

For more information or to register, visit or email

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