Business Notes May 20

CAREER Wilderness Resort opening new clubhouse PEQUOT LAKES -- The Wilderness Resort located on Middle Cullen Lake in Pequot Lakes is building a new clubhouse, which is scheduled to open June 1. The resort, located on 31 acres with more than 2,50...


Wilderness Resort opening new clubhouse

PEQUOT LAKES - The Wilderness Resort located on Middle Cullen Lake in Pequot Lakes is building a new clubhouse, which is scheduled to open June 1.

The resort, located on 31 acres with more than 2,500 feet of shoreline, consists of newly built townhomes, twin homes and newly remodeled cabins.


Wilderness Resort is managed and being developed by Lakeshore Properties which also operates and manages Good Ol’ Days Resort on Lower Cullen Lake in Nisswa and the Quarterdeck Resort on the west side of Gull Lake.

The new clubhouse at Wilderness Resort includes an indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna and a fitness center with various cardio and weight lifting machines. There will also be a large game room, including dart boards, race car driving machine, ping-pong, pool tables and video games, and an outdoor patio adjacent to the pool.

Wilderness Resort will be making the clubhouse available not only to guests at the resort, but the public as well.


Widseth Smith Nolting welcomes Ramerth

BAXTER - Tim Ramerth recently joined Widseth Smith Nolting, Baxter.

Ramerth is a professional engineer in Minnesota and North Dakota with 18 years of civil engineering experience in the public and private sectors. His expertise includes design of municipal infrastructure and stormwater management plans and reports, as well as providing guidance on wetland delineations, mitigation plans, and banking. He also has experience on environmental-related issues including Environmental Assessment Worksheets (EAWs) and Alternative Urban Areawide Reviews (AUARs).

As a civil engineer at Widseth Smith Nolting, Ramerth is responsible for project management and design in several areas including municipal engineering, water resources, transportation, and private development.




Iowa news anchor, BHS grad interviews Obama

Bruce Aune, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, news anchor and Brainerd High School graduate, interviewed President Barack Obama last month in Washington, D.C.

Aune, who began his broadcast career while in high school when he worked at KLIZ radio in Brainerd, interviewed the president in the aftermath of comments by a Democratic consultant who had criticized Ann Romney, wife of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Aune has been anchor on the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts since he joined the station in 1986.


Steam Brothers receives recognition


Steve and Stephany Hanson, Steam Brothers of Brainerd, were recently recognized at the 2012 Steam Brothers Annual Conference in Bismarck, N.D. Steve and Stephany Hanson have owned Steam Brothers of Brainerd for 10 years.

The two-day event featured industry specialist Doug Heiferman, from New York City, speaking about new techniques for carpet and rug cleaning.


De sign student earns magazine showcase

AITKIN - Chris Smith of Aitkin, a Central Lakes College (CLC) student in Communication Art and Design (CAD), had his illustration chosen for a Lake County Journal essay called “The Whole Tooth” published in the March/April 2012 edition.

He earned $50 for the effort, a collaboration between the magazine and the CLC program. Students were assigned the task to create the visual component for the essay by Kathy Schroeder that appears on page 18. The project fits a program objective: relevant, high-impact, effective communication. Smith said he discovered a passion for art after experiencing Photoshop and drawing programs, all part of the CAD toolbox aimed at graphic design careers for graduates. “I’m leaning toward being an illustrator and working with the arts side of things,” Smith said.


Lakewood gains re-designation for level 3 trauma

STAPLES - The Minnesota Department of Health recently re-designated Lakewood Health System, Staples, as a level 3 trauma hospital.

Lakewood and staff participated in the intense re-designation process to remain part of Minnesota’s statewide trauma system.

The process included an outside review of the hospital’s resources and capabilities to care for trauma patients. Lakewood met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources and staff training. The hospital also participates in a continuous performance improvement process.

“Trauma is the third leading cause of death in Minnesota,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Edward Ehlinger in a news release. “The goal of the trauma system is to decrease injured patients’ time to care by making sure their medical needs are appropriately matched with hospital resources. With the re-designation of Lakewood as a level 3 trauma hospital, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that seriously injured Minnesotans have access to an organized system of trauma care wherever they are in the state.”


Close-Converse named top land broker

The Land Report magazine named Close-Converse, Brainerd, as a top land broker in its Spring, 2012 edition.

Jody Osterloh, Close-Converse, was cited in the magazine for her experience and knowledge of land for sale in the area. She has been a real estate professional since 1980. is the website utilized by Close~Converse to market land for clients like Potlatch Corporation, a timberland REIT, and other private landowners. Potlatch Corporation is one of the largest landowners in Minnesota with approximately 220,000 acres. Potlatch’s lands consist of commercial and residential development property in Baxter as well as thousands of acres of timberlands throughout the northern region of Minnesota. Land Report’s quarterly magazine features top land properties in the U.S.



Essentia Health - Sleep Center receives accreditation

Following a rigorous application process and site visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recognized the Essentia Health - Sleep Center in Brainerd as an accredited sleep disorders center.

Dr. Jared Rustad, Medical Director of Essentia Health - Sleep Center, said in a news release: “The accreditation is the standard by which the medical community and the public can evaluate sleep medicine services as it ensures that sleep medicine providers display and maintain proficiency in areas such as testing procedures and policies, patient safety and follow-up, and physician and staff training.”

Since 1977, the AASM Accreditation of Sleep Disorders Centers acts as an indicator to patients and referring physicians that a facility is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care. With more than 30 years as the leader in setting clinical standards in the field, the AASM has earned recognition as the authority in sleep center recognition.

Christopher Fink is laboratory manager at Essentia Health - Sleep Center.

Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union announces elections

Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union’s (MMFCU) recent annual meeting resulted in the retirement of a board member, the election of a new director, and the re-election of two existing board members.

Bruce Pederson announced his retirement after serving 20 years on the board. Filling his position is Al Kolling. Kolling has served on the MMFCU Staples Advisory Council since October 2005. He is CEO/Owner of Precision Polishing & Plating, Inc. of Staples.

Board Incumbents Bunny Johnston and Mark Korwin- Kuczynski were re-elected to three-year terms. Johnston was originally elected in 2005, while Korwin-Kuczynski began his service in 1988. Both have served in numerous capacities on the board.

Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union’s Board of Directors are volunteer representatives of the entire Credit Union membership. Their focus is on providing leadership that helps MMFCU achieve its vision of being its members’ first financial resource for a lifetime of services.

Mid-Minnesota Federal is a member-owned financial cooperative serving central Minnesota with offices in Alexandria, Brainerd, Baxter, Crosby, Little Falls, Pequot Lakes and Staples.



Staples physicians attend spring refresher

The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians hosted its annual Spring Refresher in Minneapolis in April.

Nearly 400 family physicians attended for what the academy describes as the biggest continuing medical education session for family doctors in the state. Dr. Christine Albrecht, Dr. Sheila Froemming, Dr. Julie Benson and Dr. Sarah Israelson from Lakewood Health System in Staples attended the event. The conference gives family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students the opportunity to learn about trends in caring for patients and their families.




Little Falls chamber to sponsor Business After Hours

LITTLE FALLS - The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce will conduct its next Business After Hours networking event 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at 111 Fifth Ave. SE in Little Falls. Hosting the event is Gold Cross Ambulance. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to all chamber members and their employees. For more information, call the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce at (320) 632-5155. No RSVP needed.


Cuyuna Lakes Chamber hosts Business After Hours

The Cuyuna Lakes Chamber is hosting Business after Hours from 5:30-7 p.m. Monday at the Cuyuna Country Club.

Deerwood Bank and Cuyuna Country Club are hosting the event from 5-7 p.m. with hors d’ oeuvres and raffle prizes.

Business after Hours events are open to all businesses and their employees and costs $2.


CTC hosts membership meeting June 6

Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) with offices in Brainerd and Baxter will host its annual membership meeting at 11 a.m. June 6 at the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds, Brainerd.

Ballots for the election of directors have been mailed and should be returned by May 30. Candidates for directors include: District 1, Lincoln, Randall, Little Falls – Morris Nelson, Kathy Kobliska; District 4, Leader, Motley, Pillager, Staples – Edward “Bud” Swecker.

Following the Annual Membership Meeting, CTC will be hosting its community picnic starting at noon. Families are welcome.




EDC Computer Lab hosts workshop

“Google Map Listing and Marketing your Website” with Ryan Pesch of University of Minnesota Extension 5-8 p.m. will be presented Thursday at the Cass County EDC Computer Lab, 980 First St. N. in Pine River - just north of the high school.

More than 50 million people use GPS units, while even more use Google Maps or Bing or Yahoo to find goods or services. In this workshop you will gain the know-how and learn the tools to get on digital maps.

Explore strategies for getting a website found by customers. This hands-on workshop will help participants understand how customers find websites and how to improve their chances. The course also explores how social media like Twitter and Facebook, online advertising, blogs, and e-newsletters can drive traffic and business to websites.

Pre-registration is required. For more information, call (218) 947-7523 or email . Space is limited.

The Cass County Economic Development Corporation is a local nonprofit corporation supported by Cass County, local members and services. For more information, go online .


Math and blueprint reading classes set at CLC

The Business and Industry Center of Central Lakes College (CLC) is providing two 16-hour classes - Trade and Industry Math and Blueprint Reading - on the Brainerd campus.

Trade and Industry Math will be Tuesdays and Thursdays May 22-June 14, and Blueprint Reading will be Tuesdays and Thursdays June 19-July 19 (no class the week of July 4).

Both classes meet in Room E317 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The fee for each is $169, payable to Central Lakes College.

Trade and Industry Math covers an introduction to applied mathematics. Work will be done in percents, decimals, and fractions. Lines, angles, two- and three-dimensional shapes, ratios, and proportions will also be covered. Students will solve a variety of problems on paper, in their heads, and with the use of calculators.

Blueprint Reading will teach skills in practical blueprint reading, interpretation and development. Welding symbols are taught and drawings will be made. With conventional blueprint reading methods, the student will gain necessary interpreting skills to develop a working knowledge on a variety of blueprint types from various fields with great emphasis on welding.

For more information for these limited-space courses, go to (click on “courses”) or call (800) 933-0346, ext. 8142. Advanced registration is required.

Information is also available by emailing

Directions to the Business & Industry Center at Central Lakes College, Brainerd Campus: Park in “main entrance” parking lot, go to entrance #6 (Business and Industry Center). Signs will be posted directing you to the appropriate classroom.




Mille Lacs Band donates more than $67,000

ONAMIA - The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe donated $67,024 in monetary and in-kind contributions to a variety of nonprofit organizations and other charitable causes in March.

Each month the band and its businesses make contributions to community organizations including schools, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, food shelves, and others in Minnesota and nationwide.

In March, the Mille Lacs Band contributed $5,000 to the American Diabetes Association to help fund diabetes awareness programs in Minnesota. American Indians and Alaska Natives are nearly 2.2 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Indian populations in the United States. The band also gave $3,000 to the Mille Lacs Area Health Foundation to help fund a new transfer ambulance to help meet the emergency pre-hospital care needs of the Mille Lacs community.

Additionally, the band donated $1,000 to the Central Lakes College Foundation to support the Third Annual Celebration of Nations festival, which showcased ethnic music, dance, food and activities. The band also contributed $1,000 to Otsego Elementary School’s “Raise the Bar” playground initiative whose proceeds will help fund new outdoor playground equipment that meets today’s safety and physical fitness standards.

Other notable contributions include those to the Minneapolis Firefighter’s Hall and Museum to fund a permanent exhibit commemorating the response effort during the 35W bridge collapse; Nisswa Community Children’s Library’s summer reading program; Morrison County Food Shelf; Rush City’s youth summer recreation program; Fast Cop Inc., a nonprofit organization located in Ironton that offers a variety of car safety educational programs for teenage drivers.

I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with numerous job titles since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently as Digital Editor. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work these 30+ years. I was present and worked on the our web page when our original website first went live on April 26, 1994.
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