■ Students complete heavy equipment program
STAPLES — Central Lakes College honored fall 2012 graduates of its Heavy Equipment Operations and Maintenance and Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology programs on Nov. 30 at a mid-day celebration on the Staples campus.
Guest speaker was Greg Huiras of Mathiowetz Construction Co., Leavenworth, who was superintendent of the Highway 10 North-South Overpass in Staples that was completed by a crew including 10 CLC Heavy Equipment graduates.
Huiras said CLC-trained employees show a base of knowledge with which to acclimate to their jobs.
“Graduates have good attitudes, show up every day and are willing to learn,” he said. “And they know how to take care of the machinery” that he said is evidence of safety and maintenance training. Thirty-two students completed the Heavy Equipment program and one finished the Diesel program. Area graduates include: Joshua Bulcher, Bertha; Billy Yezek, Brainerd; Brandon Stine, Menahga; Marcus Evenson, Pequot Lakes; Andrew Gorman, Staples.
■ MMFCU announces merger
BAXTER — Officials at Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union (MMFCU) announced this week the organization acquired about 500 new members through a merger with the Ashby Federal Credit Union. MMFCU President and CEO Chuck Albrecht said the Baxter-based credit union was contacted earlier this year regarding a potential consolidation with the smaller organization.
“The Board of Directors from the Ashby Federal Credit Union approached us to merge their credit union into MMFCU due to the difficulty of being able to offer the services their members were requesting and the increasing compliance burden,” Albrecht shared. Recently, the Ashby Federal Credit Union Board of Directors and members voted to approve the merger, providing about 500 new members with access to MMFCU services and facilities, including their full-service branch in Alexandria as of December. Ashby is located about 30 miles north-west of Alexandria.
Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative serving central Minnesota.
■ MDA offers winter workshops
Grass fed cattle genetics, meat processing/marketing, soil health and specialty mushrooms are all featured in January Minnesota Department of Agriculture workshops.
Four workshops on a diverse array of farming topics will be offered Jan. 10 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. Registration materials are available at www.mda.state.mn.us/amd or by calling the MDA at 651-201-6012 and asking for a “Winter Workshops” brochure.
Workshops include: Building Better Bovines, Meat Sales, Understanding Soil Health, along with Growing and Marketing Specialty Mushrooms. Although they immediately precede the two-day Minnesota Organic Conference Jan. 11-12, also in St. Cloud, these workshops are designed for all kinds of farmers – beginning and experienced, young and old, conventional and organic. More information about the Minnesota Organic Conference is at www.mda.state.mn.us/organic.
■ Jeans 4 Nonprofits
The 2012 “Jeans 4 Nonprofits” Bremer Bank employee program of the Brainerd Charter with branches in Aitkin, Baxter and Brainerd contributed $5,260 to the following nonprofits during the months of February through November: Aitkin County Habitat for Humanity, Alex & Brandon Child Safety Center, Brainerd Lakes Early Childhood Coalition, Junior Achievement, Kinship Partners of the Brainerd Lakes Area, Kinship of Aitkin County, The Salvation Army, Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity, Operation Christmas of Aitkin County, Remnica House in Aitkin, Susan G. Komen Foundation, The Women’s Fund of the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation and Wreaths For The Fallen.
■ Good Samaritan Society receives Bremer Foundation grant
Through a “Project Dignity” fund drive Good Samaritan Society — Communities of Brainerd — is raising funds to replace aging buses and update and remodel resident rooms and bathing rooms.
The Otto Bremer Foundation is awarding Good Samaritan Society a $65,000 grant toward the project to be used specifically for transportation. The foundation recently announced 103 grants totaling nearly $6 million is being distributed in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
“We are amazed by the generosity of this foundation and the ability it has to make a lasting difference in our local communities through its thoughtful grant process,” said Mike Deuth, Good Samaritan Society – Communities of Brainerd executive director. “We are honored to be among the long list of organizations receiving generous gifts from the Otto Bremer Foundation. They truly make our communities stronger, better places to live and work through the work they do.”
■ Bremer Bank looks for help
in giving away money
Bremer Bank is hoping fans of local nonprofits will help the bank give away $2,000 before the year ends. Continuing its commitment to build healthy communities through partnerships, Bremer Bank will make a $2,000 donation to one 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in its footprint of Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin during its Holiday Nonprofit Giveaway via Facebook.
Voting is simple. Visit Facebook.com/BremerBank and click on the Bremer Holiday Nonprofit Giveaway tab underneath the main timeline image or visit http://apps.facebook.com/bremerbankgiveaway/. Once you’ve voted, Bremer Bank encourages you to share with your friends, family, and colleagues.
Encourage them to vote for your nonprofit of choice.
Only one vote per individual will count toward the final results and the vote must be cast on the contest tab.
The nonprofit that receives the most votes will win the $2,000 donation. Contest entry deadline is Dec. 20, 2012. No purchase or account at Bremer Bank is required to win.
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BUSINESS NOTES may be found in the Dispatch’s Business/Money section on Sundays and in Business/Money Extra on Mondays.