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UPDATE: Final Minnesota legislative bills may be passed in middle of the night

Local news briefs

■ Upcoming blood

donation opportunities

Those interested in donating blood may do so at the following locations: from 1-7 p.m. June 4 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 5 at the American Legion in Nisswa; from 1-7 p.m. June 12, Light of Cross Church, Garrison; and from noon to 6 p.m. June 13, Westside Church, Aitkin.

Call 800-733-2767 or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

■ Three area farms

named Century Farms

The Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Farm Bureau recognize 215 Minnesota farms as 2014 Century Farms. Qualifying farms have been in continuous family ownership for at least 100 years and are 50 acres or more. Century Farm families receive a commemorative sign, as well as a certificate signed by the State Fair and Minnesota Farm Bureau presidents and Gov. Mark Dayton. Since the program began in 1976, more than 9,900 Minnesota farms have been recognized as Century Farms.

Century Farms families in the Brainerd lakes area include:

• Mickelson’s Chosen Acres, purchased in 1915, is located in Isle.

• Stangl Family Farm, purchased in 1907, located in Pierz.

• Dale, Denise, Karen and Thomas Pederson, farm purchased in 1913, is located in Staples.

■ Nolan sets Veterans Roundtables

to discuss VA issues

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., has announced the locations of several Veterans Roundtables to be held across the 8th Congressional District in June.

Among the cities where roundtables are scheduled are Little Falls and Brainerd.

“I hope to return to Washington prepared to address the concerns of the 60,000 veterans in Minnesota’s 8th District — whether it be wait times at the VA, unsubstantial benefits, or issues with access to care in rural areas.”

Among the items for discussion will include H.R.635, the HEALTHY Vets Act, which would enable veterans in rural areas to visit their local doctors, rather than travel to the nearest big city for VA facilities. Nolan is a co-sponsor of this bill.

Congressman Nolan is additionally working on bills to increase funding and VA personnel to eliminate the backlog, fully fund the National Guard, boost veterans benefits and housing, expand services for mental health issues, and establish a Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration to help vets return to the workforce.

The Little Falls roundtable is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. June 13 in meeting room 1 of the Morrison County Government Center (213 SE 1st Avenue).

The Brainerd session is from 2 to 3:30 p.m. June 13 with Bob Nelson, director of the Crow Wing County Minnesota Veterans Service Office. The meeting will be in meeting room 1 of the Crow Wing County Land Services Building at 322 Laurel St.

■ Fishing clinic to be held Saturday

The Brainerd Parks and Recreation annual fishing clinic will be held from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Saturday at Lum Park.

This is a free event for the community ages 5–16. All participants will get some tackle to take home, a free shore lunch and possible fishing rods for the fishing contest winners. There will be several educational stations where children will learn about knot tying, fish identification, boat safety and invasive species.

■ Ride for Clean Water to be held

The Central Lakes (Pequot Lakes) and Brainerd Lakes Sunrise Rotary clubs will hold the Ride for Clean Water June 21.

Choose from four routes — seven, 16, 30 or 54 miles — all starting and finishing in Pequot Lakes.

Registration starts at 6:30 a.m. and the ride starts at 7 a.m.

For costs and other details, go to

■ Highway 169 in Aitkin

scheduled to close May 29

Motorists traveling both directions of Highway 169 in Aitkin will encounter a detour and delays as the road closes at the railroad crossing south of First Street NE and north of First Street SE beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday, May 29.

All lanes of Highway 169 will open by 6 p.m. Thursday, May 29.

A short signed detour will direct motorists along Highway 47/Fourth Street SE and County Road 12, a distance of 1.5 miles. A detour map can be downloaded and printed at

The closures are needed as crews repair the railroad crossing.

The project is led by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit

■ Lane closures on Highway 10 between Motley and

Cushing begin Monday

Motorists may encounter daytime delays and uneven lanes on both directions of Highway 10 between Motley and Cushing as segments of the roadway are reduced to a single lane beginning Monday.

The closures are scheduled to occur during daytime hours through July 3.

Motorists approaching the daily work zones should slow down and be prepared to stop as crews complete the work.

The closures are needed as crews resurface the roadway. When complete, the project will extend the life of the roadway and provide a smoother ride along nearly 16 miles of Highway 10.

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit

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