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Area news briefs

■ Diabetes support group to meet

People at risk for developing diabetes are encouraged to participate in “I CAN Prevent Diabetes!,” a group-based program soon starting in Baxter to learn how to change lifestyle habits in an effort to prevent diabetes and be healthier.

Weekly classes will begin Wednesday, June 4, and be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center’s Baxter Clinic, located behind Walmart at 1320 Isle Dr. The 16-week program is taught by a registered dietitian and trained lifestyle coaches to help participants lose weight, eat healthier and increase physical activity.

The program is open to people who have pre-diabetes or at least two risk factors for diabetes: are overweight, have family history of diabetes, high blood sugar, or had gestational diabetes while pregnant. The fee is $144 and is required before beginning the program. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required by calling Tracey Tuper at 218-545-4491.

■ WDC sixth-graders

graduate from DARE program

On April 9, Wadena-Deer Creek sixth-grade students graduated from the DARE program in a special ceremony held in the WDC Middle/High School Gymnasium.

Wadena Police Officer Nick Grabe taught the DARE curriculum, “Keepin’ It Real” to WDC sixth-graders. DARE stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Students participated in a 10-lesson program that not only teaches students the dangers of drug, alcohol and tobacco use, but also ways to deal with a variety of situations they face at school and in everyday life.

During DARE classes held Wednesday mornings, students were asked to write an essay on what they learned. DARE essay winners were Maggie Carlson, Quinlan Edwards and Kennedy Gravelle, who each read their essays during the graduation ceremony.

WDC Activities Director Norm Gallant welcomed parents, grandparents and guardians to the graduation ceremony, while Wadena Police Chief Naomi Plautz gave the DARE Address.

“These young boys and girls have already faced some tough life situations and now they have been taught some good decision-making skills — put them to good use,” said Chief Plautz.

“Parents, grandparents, friends ... talk with your children about drugs, alcohol, tobacco, over-the-counter medicines, prescription medications and how to weigh their options when making a decision. Your reinforcement is desperately needed in helping them develop good self-esteem and a positive attitude toward their peers and of themselves.”

Seventy-seven sixth-graders from Ms. Berg, Mr. Ferris and Mrs. Grendahl’s classes filed up front to receive their graduation certificates.

Wadena County Sheriff’s Deputy Bryan Savaloja and his German shepherd, Zeus, gave a demonstration on how Zeus is trained to assist law enforcement. Deputy Savaloja answered numerous questions from students and the audience about Zeus too.

The ceremony concluded with DARE Coordinator Lori Grendahl recognizing Nick Grabe and Linda Youngbauer, who represented the Wadena Elks Lodge. The Elks donate $2,500 toward the DARE program. Afterwards, families and graduates enjoyed cupcakes and refreshments in the Commons.

■ Free breast, cervical

cancer screenings in Crosby

Free breast and cervical cancer screenings are being offered at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby on Thursday, May 1, to uninsured and under-insured women age 40 years and older who meet income guidelines.

May Day Mammo is an opportunity for women to learn about breast cancer and the benefits of screening and early detection of the disease. The screenings are being offered from 4-6 p.m. through SAGE, the Minnesota Department of Health’s cancer screening program.

Annual mammography has been reported to reduce breast cancer deaths in women age 40 and older by detecting the disease in its earliest stages when it is most easily treated.

For eligible women, Sage provides free office visits for breast and cervical exams, as well as a screening mammogram and Pap tests. If a woman’s screening tests show a problem, Sage covers many diagnostic services and can often connect to treatment coverage, if needed.

Women seeking eligibility information should call Sage at 888-6-HEALTH (888-643-2584). If a woman does not qualify for Sage, she can also apply for assistance through CRMC’s Courage Cabinet. For an appointment at CRMC or more information about May Day Mammo, call 218-565-7000, ext. 2135.

■ Evening of Transition event to be held

An Evening of Transition will be held on Thursday, April 24, in room W127 at the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College.

This training will provide information to help professionals and families build successful pathways for young adults to transition into life beyond high school.

The professional session runs from 3:30-5 p.m. (clock hours provided) A resource fair and light dinner will run from 5-6 p.m. A family session will run from 6-7:30 p.m.

The event is presented by Brainerd Area Community Transition Committee, Central Lakes College and Check and Connect.

The Guideposts for Success reflect what research has identified as key educational and career development interventions that can make a positive difference in the lives of all youth, including youth with disabilities.

It is presented by Sean Roy from Pacer Center and Jayne Spain from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Contact for more information or to RSVP (requested, but not necessary) Ann Chouinard at 218-855-8117 or

■ March of Dimes walk to be held

STAPLES — Lakewood Health System invites community members and their families to be part of Lakewood’s 2014 March of Dimes-March for Babies Walk at 9 a.m., Forestview Middle School.

Sign up now to be part of the event to support the March of Dimes mission: To help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.

A minimal donation is suggested. Checks should be made out to March of Dimes, and can either be dropped off with Lakewood Health System’s Marketing Department or brought to the May 3 event.

For more information or to register for the walk, please contact Emily Waldahl at or 218-894-8579.

■ LHS to host Screen-Free Week event

STAPLES — Lakewood Health System will host a National Screen-Free Week special event from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, April 25, on the Lower Level of Lakewood’s Main Campus.

The event will include crafts, games and snacks. Kids will receive health and wellness tips for the whole family.

National Screen-Free Week is May 5-11 and families, schools and communities across the country are encouraged to turn off entertainment screen media, like TVs, video games, phones, etc., and read, play, daydream, create, explore nature and spend more time with family and friends instead.

For more information and to register, please call 218-894-8623.

■ Unlimited Learning bog event to be held

Unlimited Learning presents Sparky Stensaas and the inhabitants of the bog near Lavalle at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at Heartwood Senior Living, Crosby.

This Minnesota Important Birding Area (IBA) has long been known to birders and photographers as the place to find some of our most secretive boreal birds including the mythic Great Gray Owl. Through Stensaas’ video and still images, attendees will explore Black Spruce and Tamarack Bogs.

Stensaas is an author, naturalist, photographer based in Wrenshall.

Cost is $5 for non-members;

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