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■ Chef from Brainerd

is Beard semifinalist

Nick Weinhandl, a Brainerd High School graduate, is semifinalist for the 2014 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award. Weinhandl, competing in the Best Chef division in the Midwest, is currently co-executive chef at the HoDo Restaurant at the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo, N.D.

Weinhandl previously worked at a number of restaurants in Brainerd including Iven’s on the Bay, Lost Lake Lodge, Matty’s and Manhattan Beach Lodge.

He shares the nomination with his colleague, Ryan Nitschke.

The final Restaurant and Chef Award nominations will be announced at the Publican in Chicago on March 19.

The 2014 James Beard Awards will be held in New York City on May 2 and 5.

■ 55+ driver improvement program offered

The Minnesota Highway Safety Center will be offering a 55+ Driver Improvement Course on the following days: from 1-5 p.m. March 10 (four-hour refresher), St. Agnes Church, 210 Division St., Walker; from 5:30-9:30 p.m. March 11-12 (eight-hour first-time course), NJPA-National Joint Powers Alliance/Com. Ed., 202 12th St. NE, Staples; 5:30-9:30 p.m. March 12 (four-hour refresher), Crosby-Ironton Senior High/Community Education, 711 Poplar St., Crosby; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 13 (four-hour refresher), Crosslake Community Center-Community Education, 14126 Daggett Pine Road, Crosslake; and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 15 (eight-hour first-time course), Mills GMC/Buick, 14138 Dellwood Dr., Baxter.

The Driver Improvement course is open to the public; pre-registration is required. A Minnesota Highway Safety and Research Center certified instructor teaches this class. By utilizing the most up-to-date research in the field, participants will be provided the latest information in regards to driver safety, new laws and vehicle technology. The fee for the four-hour refresher course is $20 and the eight-hour course is $24. For more information or to register, visit or call 888-234-1294.

Persons age 55 and older who complete the course qualify for a 10 percent discount on their auto insurance premiums for three years, according to Minnesota law. First-time participants must complete the initial eight hours of training and a four-hour refresher class every three years to maintain the 10 percent discount.

■ Second annual

Central Minnesota

Tack Swap Saturday

The second annual Central Minnesota Tack Swap is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Legacy Stables, 10854 Greenwood Street, Brainerd.

Legacy Stables, formerly Aspen Hills Stable, was accepting all horse-related items from English and Western saddles, accessories, clothing to vehicles.

For more information, contact Carrie at 839-1798 or by email to

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