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Pine River youth volunteer with Faith in Action

■ Property taxes explained at Crosslake Chautauqua

“Property Tax 101 and Economic Development Made Simple” is the title of the next Chautauaqua program at the Crosslake Community Center.

Questions about how property taxes are calculated and what they are used for will be addressed by presenter Sheila Haverkamp at the May Chautauqua

The program is set for 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, at the Crosslake Community Center. Haverkamp, executive director of the Brainerd Lakes Economic Development Corp., will explain how property taxes are derived and how they are used for community and economic development. She will share local examples of tax calculations and highlight several local economic development initiatives.

Chautauqua takes place on the second Wednesday of the month from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Crosslake Community Center. The event is free.

■ Leadership change at Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation

The Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation (LLAWF) announces the arrival of Lindsey Ketchel as its new executive director.

Ketchel recently transitioned from her role as executive director for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. Ketchel has over 15 years of experience with environmental and land-use nonprofit organizations

Paula West held the position for the past seven years.

West said LLAWF will need to continue to focus its efforts on priority areas. “With limited dollars we must invest in protecting the most critical areas.”

Ketchel can be contacted at the Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation at 218-675-5773 or For more information on LLAWF’s work, see

■ Plant swaps

to be held

PINE RIVER — A Spring Plant Swap will be held from 2-7 p.m. on May 16 at the Hunt Utilities Group Campus.

Plant and garden swaps are a way to diversify a vegetable garden or landscape without cost. The idea started with swapping seeds but gradually grew into an opportunity to trade all kinds of plants, plant materials and garden supplies. Typically these are free events with few rules. Just prepare garden surpluses and bring them to trade.

The event is co-sponsored by Happy Dancing Turtle and the Sustainable Farming Association, Central Chapter. For additional information and table reservations (suggested, not necessary) contact Jim Chamberlin at or 218-587-2303.

■ Pine River youth volunteer with

Faith in Action

A group of youth from Pine River-Backus High School volunteered to help older adults in the community. They visit and help with household chores once or twice a month.

One volunteer connection has resulted in a friendship. Faith in Action volunteers Bobby Brunhuber and Rachael Biggar are AmeriCorps Promise Fellows who work with Pine River-Backus High School youth to engage them in community activities and service learning projects. Since Fall 2013, they have lead a group of up to eight students in helping Alvina Dale of Backus with homemaking and chore services ranging from raking and snow shoveling to vacuuming and bathroom cleaning. The students visit with her a couple of times a month and spend an hour or two each time providing friendship and chore services that help her remain in her own home.

For more information on Faith in Action for Cass County services or volunteer opportunities, call 866-675-5435 or check out the website at

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