County gains national, state honors
Crow Wing County's Solid Waste Department gained national and state honors in 2004.
The department was among four award recipients for the Minnesota Government Reaching Environmental Achievements Together, or MnGREAT!, awards.
The awards recognize environmental achievements by government employees in the areas of pollution prevention, toxicity reduction, waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, recycling and composting.
Recognized programs demonstrated economic efficiency, a high degree of commitment and leadership in waste and pollution prevention, employee initiative in developing the project, innovative and/or creative approaches and something that could be used as a model for others.
Crow Wing County's solid waste office was noted for its used oil collection program, which provides user-friendly and convenient used oil drop-off locations to residents and tourists. MnGREAT noted extensive education and advertising helped ensure the program's effectiveness and success. The county has eight drop-off sites -- in Emily, Crosslake, Crosby, Brainerd, Baxter, Barrows, Garrison and at the Crow Wing County landfill -- that were fully operational in 2004. That year the sites collected 13,098 gallons of used oil and 405 gallons of antifreeze.
On the national level, the county's solid waste office received the North America Hazardous Material Management Association's Program Excellence Award, which recognizes an outstanding program that addresses household and hazardous waste management.
The county's application for the award focused on its household hazardous waste management program, which is part of an integrated management program providing waste education, recycling, yard waste composting, used oil and filter and antifreeze recovery, tire processing, scrap metal recycling, electronic waste collecting and processing, lead-acid batteries, construction and demolition debris disposal and municipal solid waste disposal.
A second national award came with the Gold 2004 Special Waste Excellence Award by the Solid Waste Association of North America. SWANA recognizes "outstanding members and programs that promote socially, environmentally and economically sound waste management."
The county was in the special waste management category, which recognized work like its Household Hazardous Waste facility and its used oil collection sites in the county.
Pequot Lakes Angus breeders gain recognition
PEQUOT LAKES -- Flying W Ranch, which owns one bull listed, and WR Bar Ranch, which owns five bulls listed, both in Pequot Lakes, are in the 2005 Spring Sire Evaluation Report published by the American Angus Association in St. Joseph, Mo.
Issued in both the spring and fall, the new report features the latest performance information available on 5,271 sires, and is currently accessible at www.angussiresearch.com.
The report provides both Angus breeders and commercial cattle producers using Angus genetics with accurate, predictable selection tools for improving their herd, according to the American Angus Association director of performance programs. The semi-annual analysis for the Sire Evaluation Report contains more than 13 million measures used to generate genetic predictions for the Angus breed.
Thoennes joins CTC
Paulette Thoennes recently joined Consolidated Telecommunications Co., Baxter, as customer service and sales supervisor.
Formerly a supervisor with the residential sales department of USLink/TDS Metrocom, Thoennes also has experience with Frontier Directories and Cellular One.
In her new position, Thoennes supervises both the customer sales and service representative staff and service Help Desk staff and supervises the billing of services, collection of payments and collections efforts for delinquent accounts.
Kokesh captures state champion title
Kaija L. Kokesh of Reinhardt Auction Service, Palisade, won the 2005 bid-calling contest to become the first woman to capture the title of state champion.
The Minnesota Auctioneers had their 2005 conference earlier this month in St. Cloud.
Previously, Kokesh won the 2003 International Contest during the national conference in Texas. Kokesh was elected vice president and will serve as president in 2006. She will be the second woman to have served in this capacity.
Kokesh is a lead auctioneer with Reinhardt Auction Service and a licensed real estate saleswoman. As ambassador for the national and state associations, Kokesh will conduct seminars throughout the nation. She has a master's degree in speech-language pathology. Her seminars include vocal care and health and winning bid-calling techniques.
Also attending the conference were Lance Hoss and Steve and Carol Reinhardt, all of Reinhardt Auction Service.
Osterloh joins Close-Converse
Jody Osterloh joined Close-Converse Commercial and Preferred Properties.
She is responsible for land sales, business development and assisting in land development. Osterloh has been a businesswoman since 1972 and a real estate professional since 1981.
She is past president of the Pine River Chamber of Commerce, former board member of the St. Joseph's Medical Center Foundation and a participant in the Healthy Communities Program and the Blandin Community Leadership Program. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Pine River Chamber of Commerce for outstanding service.
She will assist in the growing land development part of the business where she is currently marketing non-commercial land for recreation, home sites and investment. Additionally, she is responsible for new business development for the commercial brokerage division of the company.
Mohs attends conference
BAXTER -- Bill Mohs, Mohs Auctions, Baxter, attended the Minnesota State Auctioneers Association's 56th annual conference earlier this month in St. Cloud.
Seminars addressed fair housing, agency, disclosure, technical aspects, legislative issues, motivation and real estate at auction. Each year MSAA donates $500 to an area charity and awards scholarships to college-bound students. Mohs has been conducting auctions in the lakes area for 17 years.
Odegard joins The BodyWorks
BAXTER -- Doug Odegard recently joined The BodyWorks Super Collision Center as manager of The BodyWorks Truck Accessory Sales Department.
The BodyWorks is a division of the Mills companies, which include Mills Fleet Farm, Mills Ford and Mills GM.
Odegard, an area resident for 38 years, has more than 18 years of experience in the sales field, including work in the insurance/real estate fields.
Gmeinder receives certification
EAST GULL LAKE -- Christopher Gmeinder, East Gull Lake Gardens & Landscapes, recently was awarded the designation of certified professional by the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association.
Gmeinder had to pass a comprehensive exam administered by the MNLA and the University of Minnesota. All certification recipients must accumulate a minimum of 2,000 hours in horticulture-related employment or two years in an educational program that includes a structured internship.
The certification exam consists of plant identification, landscape planning, sales and marketing procedures, general knowledge of horticulture and practical application skills.
Paulsons gain designation
Erik and Tam Paulson, who own Paulson Travel Service/Carlson Wagonlit Travel, attained designation as Disney specialists as recent graduates of the College of Disney Knowledge, designed to provide more knowledge of Disney vacation properties.
CHOW Time South luncheon set Thursday
The Brainerd Lakes Area Chambers of Commerce January CHOW Time South luncheon event will be noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Ramada Inn on South Sixth Street in Brainerd.
This event is sponsored by Lakes Area Women's Expo. The fourth annual event is at the Brainerd Area Civic Center in March.
CHOW Time is a networking lunch activity highlighting what's new at the chamber. New members are introduced and everyone has an opportunity to promote their own business. Cost to attend is $3 with advance reservations or $5 at the door.
For more information, call 829-2838, extension 801.
'Going Into Business' class set Feb. 10
A "Going Into Business for Yourself" seminar will be offered 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 10 in Room E208 of the Business and Industry Center at Central Lakes College, Brainerd.
The seminar covers all areas of business startup, helpful advice on how to get one's dream off the ground, and how to become and stay profitable, including financing a new venture. Jay Bock is the instructor.
This session is designed to assist the potential business owner through the process of developing the project, provide the opportunity to have questions addressed and identify other helpful resources. The instruction includes business structure and required government filings.
Free follow-up counseling is available from the Small Business Development Center's team of consultants. Pre-registration is required by Feb. 3. Cost is $40 per person or $60 for participant and one additional business partner.
For more information, call 855-8142 or (800) 933-0346, extension 8142.
UPS Store plays Cupid
The UPS Store in Brainerd is providing free first-class postage of 37 cents for one-ounce valentines and letters to U.S. military personnel stationed overseas or to veterans in VA hospitals.
Eligible mail must be addressed to a specific U.S. serviceman or servicewoman at an assigned APO/FPO address or a specific veteran living in a VA hospital and must bear a valid return address. Mark Smith, UPS Store franchise owner, recommended greetings be sent by Jan. 31 for overseas delivery by Valentine's Day, although cards and letters will be accepted through Feb. 14.
Smith said people who do not know a specific service member may go online to www.americasupportsyou.mil for information on a variety of programs to show support for military personnel.
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