"Opening Windows to Your Past," a Family History Conference, is scheduled from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls. Registration begins at 8 a.m.
Harold Hinds, professor of history at the University of Minnesota-Morris and Duane Swanson, government records specialist at the Minnesota History Library in St. Paul will be the speakers.
Cost is $25 for the conference and includes four lectures, program handouts, a box lunch and treats during the morning and afternoon breaks.
For more information about the Family History Conference and for registration materials, contact Duane Welle at (320) 632-2527 or email@example.com or Kristin Olsen at (320) 632-1773 or KristinKOlsen@q.com or write Morrison County Genealogy Society, P.O. Box 385, Little Falls, MN 56345.
The Initiative Foundation is located at 405 1st St. SE in Little Falls.
Night of Fine Dining scheduled Oct. 24
BAY LAKE - The sixth annual "Night of Fine Dining" is scheduled at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge.
Cost is $35 for Unlimited Learning members and $40 for non-members, tax and gratuity included. Checks should be sent to Unlimited Learning Night of Fine Dining, P.O. Box 455, Deerwood, MN 56444. Deadline is Oct. 17.
Minnesota's cowgirl poet, Diane Tribitt, will entertain. Ruttger's chef Terry Dox will prepare the meal.
For more information, call Kristy Tesdahl at (218) 546-5036.
New Mexico man wins chain saw event
HACKENSACK - Steve Higgins won the fourth annual National Chain Saw Sculpting Invitational on Sunday at Hackensack City Park. Higgins won $3,000 and took high honors for his quick carves.
Steve Higgins posed with his winning sculpture.
Higgins, 23, of Sunland, N.M., said that the log he drew was "skinny," so he got suggestions from another carver in designing his winning design - an eagle diving toward a rabbit. This was Higgins' first appearance in Hackensack.
Dayton Scoggins, Sandersville, Miss., was second. Scoggins won the first National Chain Saw Sculpting Invitational in Hackensack in 2005. Third place went to Brad Sharp, Rio Dell, Calif., who won in 2006 and 2007.
Refuge to close early for disabled access deer hunt
The Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge will close the main wildlife drive and all hiking trails to the public at 11 a.m. through Sunday for a disabled access deer hunt.
Small game and archery hunters also must follow closure times through Sunday. However, the area west of the Rice River and east of the South Trail service road will remain open for hunters the entire day. Access to the area will only be allowed from the south, via County Road 4 and 240th Place.
For more information, call the refuge office at 218-768-2402.
Also, the west end gate of the refuge will be opened from Oct. 11-20 to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week. During this time, people are encouraged to drive through the refuge to enjoy the scenery. The waterfowl migration typically reaches its peak in this part of Minnesota during the second or third week of October.
Hutchinson man wins pheasant stamp contest
A painting of roosters in a cattail swamp by Dean Kegler of Hutchinson was chosen as the winning design from among 22 entries in the 2009 pheasant habitat stamp contest, sponsored by the DNR.
Nine entries advanced to the second stage of judging, from which four finalists were selected Sept. 18 at DNR headquarters in St. Paul. Laurence Huls of Avon was second and George Sierakowski third.
Dean Kegler's winning effort in the 2009 pheasant habitat stamp contest.
The $7.50 pheasant stamp validation is required of all Minnesota pheasant hunters ages 18 through 64. Individuals who want the actual stamp pay an additional $2 to have it mailed. Stamp validation sales generate money for habitat enhancement efforts on public and private lands in the pheasant range of Minnesota.
The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner but the winning artist retains the right to reproduce the work, which is usually done as limited edition prints. The 2009 Pheasant Stamp goes on sale in March.
DNR issues duckboat safety reminder
With duck hunters preparing for Saturday's Minnesota opener, the DNR reminds people to make sure they pack the one thing that could save their lives - their life jackets.
Twelve hunters have drowned in boating accidents since life jackets were first required on duckboats 20 years ago. And according to national statistics, more hunters die every year from cold-water shock, hypothermia and drowning than firearms mishaps. There have been no duck hunter drownings in Minnesota during the last two waterfowl seasons.
Minnesota law requires a readily accessible U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest for every person on duck boats. Plus, for boats 16 feet and longer, there must be one U.S. Coast Guard-approved flotation seat cushion on board to throw to someone in distress. Seat cushions are no longer approved as primary flotation devices. Everyone on the boat needs a wearable personal flotation device of the proper size and type.
The DNR offers these safety tips:
Wear a life jacket to and from the blind.
Don't overload the boat; take two trips if necessary.
Learn how to float in waders and hip boats or don't wear them in the boat.
Stay near shore and avoid crossing large expanses of open water, especially in bad weather.
Let someone know where you are going and when to expect your return; tell them to call the authorities if you don't return on schedule.
In case of capsizing or swamping, stay with your boat; even when filled with water, it will provide some flotation and is easier to see by potential rescuers.
DNR prepares official map of state forest roads
The DNR will share information and accept public comments on its prescriptive easement proposals for state forest roads in Aitkin County at a public meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Long Lake Conservation Center in central Aitkin County. The meeting will be co hosted by the DNR and Aitkin County.
At the public hearing, DNR and Aitkin County land managers will present the proposals, respond to questions and accept public comments. While all those wishing to speak will be allotted time to do so, only those comments that are submitted in writing will be entered into the permanent record.
The DNR prescriptive easement proposal, supporting documentation and related maps may be found on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/easement/index.html. Click on the county of interest, either in the map or drop down list.
Written comments, questions and requests to view supporting documentation should be directed to Jerry Bourbonnais, DNR Forestry, 500 Lafayette Road N, Box 44, St. Paul, MN 55155; or at (612) 259-5252 or (612) 390-4012 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIP call in Cass County results in $2,600 in fines and restitution
Two Ohio anglers have paid fines and restitution of $2,600 for taking 99 sunfish over the legal limit.
Conservation officers from the DNR received a Turn-In-Poachers call Aug. 13 that two individuals were over their limit of sunfish after fishing Lake Hattie in Cass County for several days. The anonymous TIP caller also provided Conservation Officers Cary and Nikki Shoutz with a vehicle description and license plate number.
Upon confronting the men, the officers asked if they could see the fish the men had caught earlier in the week. A look the in freezer of the men's cabin revealing 20 bags of frozen fish. One of the bags was marked "crappie" and two others were marked "bass." The remaining 17 bags contained 130 sunfish. The nine undressed sunfish caught that day made for a total of 139 sunfish, or 99 over the legal limit. Minnesota's daily/possession limit is 20 sunfish.
The men were each issued a citation for being 49 sunfish over the limit. Each man paid an individual fine and restitution amount totaling $1,342.
"Over the years, the DNR has received valuable information through the Turn In Poachers hotline, assisting us in ending a variety of natural resources violations," Nikki Shoutz said. "This case is another example of how the concern of Minnesota sportsmen and women can be used to protect Minnesota's natural resources."
Established in 1981, the TIP program allows Minnesotans to call a toll-free number from anywhere in the state to report natural resource violations. Calls regarding violations can be placed anonymously at (800) 652-9093. Cash rewards are given for tips.
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