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Wadena native, author to offer writing class

■ Lakewood to offer

Better Beginnings class

STAPLES — The Obstetrics department at Lakewood Health System is offering Better Beginnings, a program for mothers-to-be and new mothers.

The program seeks to combat obesity in the community by offering classes that will give mothers access to information about nutrition and fitness, greater access to a board certified lactation consultant and the opportunity to explore the health benefits of good nutrition as well as food demonstrations, tastings and recipes.

These nutrition-related classes, taught by a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, will take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on April 7, June 23, Sept. 22 and Nov. 3.

Classes for April and September will be in the boardroom on the lower level of Lakewood’s main campus, while the June and November class locations have yet to be determined. Childcare will be provided during these classes.

The classes are free. Registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Stephanie Rodriguez at 218-894-8846 or, or visit

■ Breastfeeding class to be held

CROSBY — Cuyuna Regional Medical Center is hosting a breastfeeding class from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1, in its Birthing Center, 320 E. Main St., Crosby.

A certified lactation consultant will provide information on the benefits of breastfeeding, feeding techniques, what to expect when breastfeeding and overall breast care. There is no charge for the class and registration is not required.

For more information, visit or call 218-546-4350.

■ CLC students win grape

growing scholarships

Central Lakes College Viticulture Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) students Christy Paulson and Luke Sombke were awarded the Elmer Swenson Scholarship at the Cold Climate Conference at the Grand Awards Banquet in St. Paul.

This is the second year Paulson received the award. Minnesota Grape Growers Association award of $1,000 is for full-time students in Viticulture (grape growing) and Enology (wine chemistry).

■ Day of Caring

set in April

Wadena-Deer Creek High School’s seventh annual Day of Caring is slated for Wednesday, April 30, and students are looking for individuals who would like their help.

The Day of Caring is a day set aside for Wadena-Deer Creek students to give back to their community by volunteering to help people with outdoor clean-up projects.

That could mean raking leaves, weeding flowerbeds, washing windows or any other tasks around the yard in the immediate Wadena, Deer Creek and Bluffton areas.

This year’s event will include the largest number of students and staff ever a assembled for the Day of Caring. More than 150 student-volunteers in grades 10-12, along with school staff will work on projects from about 9 a.m. to into the early afternoon on April 30.

To request help from the students, call the Day of Caring phone number at 218-632-2444. Requests are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those who put in a request can expect the student coordinators to visit their home prior to the Day of Caring, so they know what needs to be done and how long it may take. Deadline for requests is April 16.

There is no charge for this community service.

In case of severe weather, the back-up day is the following Wednesday, May 7.

■ Foreign affairs expert to speak at CLC

The Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government will host a presentation by world-renown foreign affairs expert and speaker Tom Hansen at 7 p.m. Monday at Central Lakes College’s Chalberg Theater in Brainerd. The event is free and open to the public.

Hansen delivers the annual University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute’s State of the World address and other presentations through the Minnesota International Center. Hansen currently serves as a diplomat in residence at the UMD’s Alworth Institute for International Affairs, has opened new U.S. embassies in Mongolia and Estonia, worked on the Foreign Relations Committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and served as director for NATO and European affairs at the Atlantic Council of the United States.

■ Faith in Action spaghetti dinner

a success

The spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Faith in Action for Cass County was a success. It was held March 11 at Lucette’s Pizza and Pub in Hackensack. Over 90 people attended.

Those who missed out can attend the Chocolate and Wine Affair from 3:30-6 p.m. on March 23 at the Northern Lights Event Center. This event supports Faith in Action for Cass County and HOWA Family Center’s Kinship Program.

■ Health

classes offered

Mommy and Me: Cuddles and Coffee will run from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, April 8, at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center’s Birthing Center, 320 E. Main St., Crosby. It’s a free gathering offered by labor and delivery providers for new moms and their new (or newest) babies. Call 218-546-4350 for more information.

Reflux Relief will run from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, at the Baxter Medical Clinic, 13205 Isle Drive (behind Walmart). The free presentation by surgeon Paul Severson, M.D., is about a new acid reflux treatment.

Call 218-545-4447 for more information.

■ Staples Public Library offers programs

Steampunk Jewelry

Teens and adults are invited to a Steampunk Jewelry class from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, at the Staples Public Library.

Steampunk combines the Victorian aesthetic with recycled elements and technology to create a unique and distinctive style. The jewelry may combine watch parts, keys, ribbons, chains and more. All supplies are included and patrons are encouraged to bring old jewelry pieces to include. Attendance is limited to 12 and registration is required.

Book Club for Adults

The Staples Book Club for adults will meet from 5-6 p.m. on Thursday, March 27. Contact the library for book information. Newcomers are welcome.

For more information, contact the Staples Public Library at 218-894-1401.

■ Seventh annual Purses Plus to be held

The seventh annual Purses Plus will be held on Saturday, April 12, at 11:30 a.m. in the Gull Lake Center at Grand View Lodge.

The event is a women’s and girl’s luncheon and purse auction to benefit Kinship Partners. It includes a silent and live auction consisting of purses, fashion accessories, gift certificates, jewelry and more. Some of the purses will have a special surprise gift inside.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for girls 12 and under. Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling the Brainerd Kinship office at 218-454-8017 or online at

■ Toastmasters

to meet

LITTLE FALLS — Residents are invited to listen in and join the Humorous Toastmasters for the Club Speech Contest at 6:30 p.m. on March 20 at the Lindbergh Room of the Unity Specialty Center, St. Gabriel’s Hospital, 808 Third St. SE, Little Falls.

There is also a speech contest at 6:30 p.m. April 1 at the Brainerd Library.

Free to the public. For more information contact Phil McCoy at 320-360-5535 or

■ Try-A-Triathlon

to be held in July

STAPLES — The second annual Lakewood Beginners Try-A-Triathlon will take place on Saturday, July 26, at the Dower Lake Recreation Area in Staples.

Proceeds go to the Lakewood Foundation and the Staples Community Center.

The event includes a quarter mile swim, six mile bike ride and a one and a quarter mile run. Participants may compete as an individual or as a three-person team. The cost per individual is $35 and $90 per team. Each participant will receive a free pass to the Staples Community Center pool to begin training for the event. No special equipment is needed.

An informational meeting will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2, in Classroom A on the lower level of Lakewood’s main campus. Those unable to attend this meeting and those interested in volunteering to assist the day of the triathlon are encouraged to contact Megan Kruse at 218-894-8508 or with questions.

To learn more and to register for the event, go to

■ WDC students roll up sleeves for NHS blood drive

WADENA — Wadena-Deer Creek High School’s National Honor Society (NHS) conducted a blood drive recently where students and staff rolled up their sleeves to help save lives, as well as establish a college scholarship fund.

NHS members Paige Hartman and Hope Theisen coordinated the blood drive as their community service project for NHS. They pre-registered donors, recruited NHS members to help serve as “blood buddies” and assisted the American Red Cross’s phlebotomist team from St. Cloud.

The NHS blood drive’s goal was 50 pints and after the day-long blood drive on March 6 at WDC Middle/High School, they surpassed that goal with 55 pints.

“It’s great to see this kind of support from our students and to surpass our goal,” said Theisen, co-coordinator of the blood drive. “We had several first-time donors, which is fantastic.”

The American Red Cross Blood Services is now inviting schools to participate in the “Young Minds Change Lives Educational Scholarship” program. According to Rachel Bounds, NHS co-adviser, the scholarship is based on the total number of pints collected at all of the school’s blood drives combined. The blood drives also need to include a certain percentage of donors under 30 years of age.

“This Red Cross program is promoting young donors who will hopefully continue to donate throughout their lifetime,” Bounds said.

WDC’s National Honor Society organizes a summer blood drive and two blood drives during the school year. So, far, they’ve collected 177 pints this year. The Red Cross donates $500 for each 50 pints, so NHS will be given a $1,500 scholarship.

In addition, Bounds said the students who organized the summer blood drive will receive a scholarship too. Community members can help by donating at WDC’s next blood drive, which will be held in August 2014.

“By doing so, they can help save a life and give a scholarship,” Bounds said.

■ CWRBFC holds winter workshop

The Crow Wing River Basin Forage Council held it’s 14th annual winter workshop Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Central Lakes College, hosted by the Ag and Energy Center.

The workshop was sponsored in part by the Keep Cattle in Minnesota Project, a collaborative project of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative and the Sustainable Farming Association.

The focus of the presentation was on soil health and the benefits it provides to farm profitability and landscape ecology.

Through diverse cover crops, rotational grazing, and crop rotation, presenters explained how farmers have increased soil carbon, reduced inputs of fertilizers and herbicides, and increased farm production all while improving wildlife habitat and water quality.

For more information about the Crow Wing River Basin Forage Council contact Jim Chamberlin at

■ Wadena native, author to offer

writing class

Wadena native and published author Monica Wallgren Lee will present “How to Write about a Challenging Life Event” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 7, in the Robertson Theatre at Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School.

Lee is a published author of her memoir, “The Percussionist’s Wife.” She will discuss how to begin by teaching how to write about challenges, how to go deep, along with writing exercises. She will explain how to decide to publish and the advantages of self-publishing. She will discuss how to start writing and re-writing.

To pre-register or for more information, contact Sandie at 218-632-2396 by March 31. Cost is $10 per person.

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