■ 55+ driver improvement
The Minnesota Highway Safety Center will be offering 55+ Driver Improvement four hour refresher courses on the following days: from 1:30-5:30 p.m. Nov. 28, Walker Area Community Center, 105 Tower Ave., Walker; from 8:30 a.m.. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 28, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 300 First St. N., Hackensack; from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 30, Lutheran Church of the Cross, 5064 County Road 13, Nisswa; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 3, Pequot Lakes School/Community Ed., 30805 Olson St., Pequot Lakes; from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 7, Aitkin Public Library, 110 First Ave. NE, Aitkin; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 10, Pine River State Bank, 103 Mill St. S., Pine River; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 12, Mills Ford, 14858 Dellwood Drive, Baxter; and from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Crosby-Ironton Senior High/Community Ed., 711 Poplar St., Crosby.
The Driver Improvement course is open to the public; pre-registration is requested. A MN Highway Safety & Research Center certified instructor teaches this class. By using the most up-to-date research in the field, participants will be provided the latest information in regards to driver safety, new laws, and vehicle technology. The fee for the four hour refresher course is $20 and the eight hour course is $24. For more information or to register, visit www.mnsafetycenter.org or call toll free 888-234-1294.
Persons age 55 and older who complete the course qualify for a 10 percent discount on their auto insurance premiums for three years, according to Minnesota law. First time participants must complete the initial eight hours of training and a four hour refresher class every three years to maintain the 10 percent discount.
■ Blood donation opportunities
For those interested in donating blood can do so at the following places: From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 6, Pierz Healy High School, 112 Kamnic St., Pierz; from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 14, St. Mathias Catholic Church, 4529 County Road 121, Fort Ripley; and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 15, Westgate Mall, 1272 Highway 210 West in Brainerd.
■ Seminar on coping with the holidays planned Tuesday
Good Samaritan Society (GSS) – Communities of Brainerd and Pine River will host an information session for those struggling with change, loss and loneliness during the holidays at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, at GSS-Woodland in Brainerd.
Survival Kit for Coping with the Holidays will be presented by Kris Kayser of GSS Home Care and Hospice, who will spotlight ideas for regaining some of the joy of the holidays during a time of change, loss or loneliness.
■ Crow Wing County receives historical and cultural grants
Crow Wing County has received $6,800 in grant money, according to Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter.
The Historical and Cultural Grant is funded by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.
This grant money will allow the Crow Wing County Historical Society to conduct a reconnaissance archaeological survey of a pre-historic portage trail.
In the 2011 legislative session, the Legislature appropriated a total of $5.25 million for partnership grants “for history programs and projects ... or for activities to preserve significant historic or cultural resources.” The Minnesota Historical Society then established procedures to award grant funds through extensive public input and a competitive grant process.
■ Good Samaritan Society
offers seminar for coping
with the holidays
Good Samaritan Society – Communities of Brainerd and Pine River — invite the public to an upcoming information session for those struggling with change, loss and loneliness during the holidays.
Survival Kit for Coping with the Holidays presented by Kris Kayser of Good Samaritan Society Home Care and Hospice will spotlight ideas for regaining some of the joy of the holidays during a time of change, loss or loneliness.
Survival Kit for Coping with the Holidays will be conducted at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, at Good Samaritan Society – Woodland, 100 Buffalo Hills Lane, Brainerd. Refreshments will be provided. The first 20 people to RSVP to 218-829-1429 will receive a free Holiday Survival Kit.
■ Little Falls OCC-U-PIE
event is Dec. 10
LITTLE FALLS — OCC-U-PIE Little Falls is calling for an action at bank square, downtown Little Falls, at noon Dec. 10 in honor of Human Rights Day. Interested persons may bring a sign or the group will supply one for them. The World March of Women in conjunction with Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, has called for women around the world to organize a one-hour action from noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 10, highlighting the values of equality, justice, freedom, solidarity and peace and showing resistance against militarization. These values are reflected in the WMW’s global charter for humanity as a vision of the type of world women want. Because of our common values, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the Cuba and Bolivarian Alliance Issue Committee have been part of the WMW network that is composed of hundreds of feminist organizations in five different continents, including the United States. OCC-U-PIE Little Falls will also host a showing of the film “Pink Smoke Over The Vatican” at the Carnegie Library beginning at 4 p.m. Dec. 10. This film depicts the struggles to achieve women’s ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. The organizers are calling for a pie potluck. Interested participants are asked to bring their favorite pie ...spinach, quiche, pizza, banana cream, pecan or another favorite. Hot coffee and other beverages will be supplied. There will be a discussion following the movie showing. Everyone is welcome. The event is free of charge to the public. Interested persons who can’t afford to bring a pie are invited to attend as well. Come anyway, we will have plenty. Those with questions may call 320–360–3931.
■ Ward encourages constituents to apply for appointments to Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council
State Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, is encouraging area citizens to apply for an appointment to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. The council makes recommendations to the legislature on appropriations of money from the outdoor heritage fund. Those funds go to the restoration, protection and enhancement of wetlands, prairies, forests and habitat for fish, game and wildlife, and that prevent forest fragmentation, encourage forest consolidation and expand restored native prairie.
“The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council plays a significant role in protecting our environment, which has a direct impact on the tourism industry that is so important to our area,” said Rep. Ward.
Application forms may be found at: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=5 or may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of State, Open Appointments, 180 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155-1299 or in person at Room 180 of the State Office Building.
If you have additional questions about the application process, you may also contact Rep. Ward at 651-296-4333 or 1-800-683-4205, by mail at 221 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 or via email at email@example.com.
■ Outpatient clinics
closed for federal holiday
St. Cloud VA Health Care System outpatient clinics and administrative offices, including Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Brainerd, Montevideo and Alexandria, will be closed on Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving Day, a federal holiday.
The Urgent Care Clinic at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center will be open. Hours of operation for the Urgent Care Clinic are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, including federal holidays.
The Community Living Center and residential treatment programs will be open.
■ Mask making for children
event at Brainerd library
Brainerd Public Library, as part of the local Legacy Program, is hosting two free workshops related to masks on Monday, a day off of school for children and youth.
“Masks are used throughout the world for their expressive power,” said guest artist Marie Olofsdotter. Olofsdotter will present two opportunities including one session for pre-schoolers with an adult, and a mask-making session for youth ages 9-15.
The pre-school workshop runs 11-11:45 a.m. that includes a story, a masked character and lessons on how to express feelings using masks. No registration is required for the pre-school workshop.
The second workshop, Mask-Making for Youth, runs 1-4 p.m. and includes making a 3-D mask starting with a basic paper-plate and growing it into a “wild and crazy character.” The workshop will include learning how to make the mask come alive using exercises many people use in theatre/acting. Sign up by Wednesday to reserve a spot by calling 829-5574. Space is limited to 25 youth.
Olofsdotter is an artist, author and illustrator of several books for children. She was born and raised in Sweden and now lives in Minneapolis. She received formal training in art history and sculpture in Stockholm. She also studied theatrical clowning and mask theater before moving to the United States in 1981.
“In my experience, the arts enhance personal growth and learning in all areas. My main goal when I teach is to provide an inspired and nurturing environment for students of all ages,” she said. “I set the stage for everyone to express their unique visual and literary vision.”
This free Legacy Program is funded in part or in whole with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008, which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s art and cultural heritage.