Jennifer Smith of Baxter was hired Monday as the new executive director of the United Way of Crow Wing and Southern Cass Counties. Starting Sept. 3, Smith will take over from Executive Director Monica Nieman who has served in that role since 2010.
Smith has worked at the United Way since May as community relations specialist. In the news release announcing her hiring the United Way cited her diverse experience with nonprofit work and leadership.
She moved to the Brainerd area from the east coast but grew up in Litchfield. Smith said she has had family living in the Brainerd area for about 17 years.
Smith said her predecessor has done a fantastic job and she looks forward to building upon that and spreading the message of the good that the United Way does.
“As a community we can come together to face challenges and find opportunities to help support individuals get back on track and become self-sufficient,” she said in a news release. “As director of United Way, I hope to lead these efforts in creating lasting change for the benefit of our entire community.”
Nieman is currently in graduate school at St. Cloud State University and is working toward her license in counseling. She starts an internship in January. Nieman will help support the transition at the United Way through the fall campaign.
■ Blood drive planned
NISSWA — On Sept. 5-6, the bloodmobile will be at Lutheran Church of the Cross, south of Nisswa, at Schaefer’s corner. Those who are in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds are 17 years or older (16 with parental permission) may be eligible to donate blood. The hours are noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 5 and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 6. Interested persons may make an appointment by calling 963-2564 or visit redcrossblood.org. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins welcome.
■ Ward attends school
trust fund meeting
Rep. John Ward, DFL – Baxter, recently participated in a meeting of the Legislative Permanent School Trust Land Commission. The commission examined school trust land revenues and investment returns, and received an update on the management of the land.
“We had a productive meeting, and our school trust lands continue to generate additional income for our schools and are being well managed,” said Rep. Ward. “The Permanent School Trust Land Commission will continue to provide adequate oversight of the DNR’s land management policy going forward.”
When Minnesota became a state in 1858, the federal government granted sections 16 and 36 of every township, or their equivalent, to the state for the use of schools. The Minnesota Constitution established the Permanent School Fund (PSF) to ensure a long-term source of funds for public education in the state. The PSF consists of the accumulated revenues generated from the land. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is responsible for managing the school trust land, which currently totals about 2.5 million acres, plus an additional 1 million acres of severed mineral rights.
■ Airport Commission
to meet Sept. 5
The Airport Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 5 in the Airport Conference Room at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.
Immediately following the regular meeting Sept. 5, the Commission will hold a closed meeting to address the probationary evaluation of the airport manager.
Any individual needing special accommodations, please call 218-825-2166.
■ Extra enforcement of the Ted Foss Move Over law set for Aug. 31
Motorists are required to move over for stopped emergency vehicles that have emergency lights activated — it’s the law in Minnesota. Law enforcement agencies around the state will increase enforcement of the Ted Foss Move Over law Aug. 31 to remind motorists that emergency responders need room on the road to conduct their work safely.
The move over law is named after State Patrol Trooper Ted Foss, who was killed 13 years ago by a passing vehicle as he was making a traffic stop on the shoulder of Interstate 90 in Winona.
Minnesota’s “move over” law means:
• When traveling on a road with two or more lanes, you must keep over one full lane away from stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated — ambulance, fire, law enforcement, maintenance and construction vehicles.
• Reduce speed if you are unable to safely move over a lane.
• Failing to take these actions endangers personnel who provide critical and life-saving services. Fines can exceed $100.
The “Move Over” enforcement and education campaign is a component of the state’s Toward Zero Death initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.