The Region 5 Development Commission will host a meeting 6 p.m. Thursday in Brainerd to discuss the Self-Help Housing Program.
The meeting will be at one of the houses in the program that is under construction at 920 28th St. S.E.
The Self-Help Housing Program is a Rural Development home-construction program wherein low-income families help build their home, as well as help others build their homes, and pay for it through a low-interest rural development loan.
There is no down payment and participants receive 100 percent financing. Families do not need any construction experience.
Region 5 is looking for additional families to participate in the program, as well as volunteers to assist the families.
For more information, contact Shannon Worden at (218) 894-3233.
Blaine backs House call for citizen vote
ST. PAUL -- Rep. Greg Blaine, R-Little Falls, helped approve legislation in the Minnesota House recently that gave voters the choice of banning same-sex marriages in the state.
The bill calls for a constitutional amendment to be placed on the November 2006 ballot that would ask voters whether marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman. The House bill passed by a 77-56 vote.
Koering authors bill on identity theft
ST. PAUL -- Sen. Paul Koering, R-Fort Ripley, introduced legislation last week to help consumers protect themselves from identity theft and provide them with tools to help clear their name if they become a victim.
He also detailed two separate projects for the Paul Bunyan Trail in this year's bonding bill that was signed by the governor recently.
One bill would allow victims of identity theft free access to their credit report for six months. The other bill would require a company to include their contact information on all credit reports.
The bonding bill projects for the Paul Bunyan Trail include $1.5 million for a bridge across Excelsior Road to link the trail with the Oberstar tunnel in Baxter. It also allocates $900,000 for right-of-way acquisition and rehabilitation on the trail.
Koering supports teacher mentoring plan
ST. PAUL -- Rep. Paul Koering's legislation to provide for regional mentoring sites for school districts to offer a support network for new and beginning teachers will be included in the Senate Education Committee's omnibus bill.
The program will be based on the Brainerd Teacher Support System, which was cited by Minnesota Board of Teaching as a model program and was one of six programs in the nation to be recognized for the 2004 NEA-Saturn/UAW partnership award.
Loretta Norgon, coordinator of the Brainerd Teacher Support System, and Allison Derby, a Brainerd teacher, joined Koering at the committee hearing.
Gazelka backed House health care legislation
ST. PAUL -- Rep. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, supported legislation that would help small businesses obtain affordable health insurance for their employees.
The bill would ease state health care mandates and authorize flexible benefit plans for small employers to expand their health insurance options.
Brainerd man joins Independence committee
Larry M. Anderson, who ran for the District 12A House seat in 2004, was elected recently to the executive committee of the Minnesota Independence Party.
Anderson, of Brainerd, will concentrate on the issues of candidate and campaign support. He is a veteran and a life member of the VFW. He has served as a commander of Minneapolis Fire and Police Post 396, Department of Minnesota vice commander and district commander of the American Legion. He is a member of the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, a retired senior court manager, past president of the Minnesota Association of Court Management and a past chair of the Higher Education Board of North Minneapolis.
Oldest member of Kiwanis Club dies
Technically, Warren J. Murphy was not a charter member of the Brainerd Kiwanis Club.
But Murphy, who died Friday at 95, joined the club one week after it was chartered 50 years ago. He was the oldest surviving member from the club's founding days.
Club officials recalled he was a dedicated and outstanding Kiwanis Club secretary for 12 years. He worked on many of the club's projects and fund-raisers even into his 90s. At the time of his death, he was an active member of the Interclub Committee.
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