Phillips: Kindness isn’t about them, it’s about you

You can pick your favorites, create an online profile to share with friends and encourage others to give kindness a try.Kindness is ready to take over this nation, but we have to let people know how easy it really is. Here’s the scoop from the Random Acts of Kindness website.”Random Acts of Kindness week […] is an annual opportunity to unite through kindness. It’s backward, but it’s the way I’ve seen it work in my own life and the lives of others.We live in a world that prizes humility (probably because we don’t see it very often). Nicole is married to Ohio University’s men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. Of course you do. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. Wanna see it? It all starts with one act — one smile, one coffee for a stranger, one favor for a friend. He gave me the okay and the rest is history.Sure, I try to write from both points of view: those who have done an act of kindness and those who were blessed by being the recipient.But the truth I’ve come to learn since immersing myself in the study of kindness is this:Kindness isn’t about them. Formally recognized in 1995, this seven-day celebration demonstrates that kindness is contagious. Specifically, my book reviews.I wrote a book and because it was about kindness, I assumed everyone would love it. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. For reading book reviews. I did not expect that the stories would be told by the givers. Her column runs every Saturday. You can visit Nicole at ” target=”_blank”> So when someone left me a two-star review, I cried. We feel like bragging about our generosity or thoughtfulness in some way diminishes the eternal rewards for our actions. Only my personal opinion, but kindness & generosity is reduced when ‘declared,’ regardless of how great a gift or small the kindness given. Nicole Phillips, Kindness is Contagious columnistMy husband has banned me from Amazon. No superheroes needed.Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at Not for shopping. And if we’re running around yelling from the mountaintops about everything we’ve ever done, it probably does.But here’s the flip side: when we only talk about the recipients, we come to idolize the givers. Seriously, stupid I know, but I boo-hooed for almost two days. Here you go:”I would have enjoyed this book so much if it had been stories about people who received unexpected kindness and gifts from others. One day for each star. And we show them that it only takes a little sacrifice to make a big difference.Feb. It’s an opportunity for participants to leave the world better than they found it and inspire others to do the same.”There are all kinds of great ideas to get you started and spark your imagination at The review wasn’t even all that bad. We make other people want to try it. It’s about you.The greatest perks of kindness, the physical, mental and emotional benefits, are usually bestowed on the giver, not the receiver. We make it look fun. 12-18 is Random Acts of Kindness week. She is a gifted writer.”I read those words and wanted to scream, “Did she even read the whole book?” But somewhere between blowing my nose for the twelfth time and growing thicker skin, I remembered something. It’s meant to be a party, both online and in real life. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.Nicole J. I hope this author feels inspired to write another book that would be from the receiver’s point of view. The person who wrote that review feels the same way I felt six years ago.When I first started writing this column, I was worried because the very first story was about me and an act of kindness I had done for someone else.I was so concerned I was on the wrong path or in some way committing a cardinal sin that I sent the story to my pastor and asked him to read it. We see them as superheroes, someone we could never be because we don’t have their superpowers like time, energy and money.By sharing what we’ve done and how it’s enriched our lives with joy and gratitude, we make kindness contagious.

Woman enhances smiles in Kenya by ‘serving a purpose’

During the last 21 years, she’s traveled to Kenya approximately 30 times doing humanitarian work — the latest project ensuring Kenyans get the oral health they so desperately need.According to the International College of Dentists, there are only 1,000 dentists serving the nation of 47 million.”The amount of poor oral health is incredible,” Secor says. It was them addressing the need and working to make it happen.”Hunter isn’t surprised by Secor’s humble attitude. William (Bill) Hunter that they were in need of a dental unit for the hospital.Hunter says Secor’s leadership resulted in a plan to form two committees — one in Fargo and the other in Kenya — to brainstorm possibilities. “The scarf I’m wearing is from there and the baskets in the corner are probably my favorites. Fundraising began for a state-of-the art eight-treatment room clinic where a wide variety of dental procedures could be performed and where Kenyans could learn more about oral health.After six years of planning and overcoming many obstacles, the clinic opened.”It’s been such an improvement,” Secor says. They also started a new venture: Kenyan Oral Health Initiative, which seeks to provide immediate, comprehensive and preventive dental services to the general population in Kenya. “I remember someone telling me, ‘Once you get the red dirt of Kenya on your shoes you’ll always come back.’ It’s no joke. It wasn’t us saving them. They’re also from Kenya. Secor calls it a “dot on the map” where the dentist to patient ratio is a staggering one dentist for every 378,000 people.By 2015, Secor, Hunter and the committee had helped raise enough money to build a four-room dental treatment unit at the clinic. “That’s from Kenya,” she says, pointing to the top shelf of her bookcase and a figurine of two people dancing. I have red dirt on all of my shoes. But Secor is quick to point out that she didn’t do it alone.”Bill is the real hero here. I still think I’m serving a purpose.” “She exudes humility,” he says.But Secor and Hunter’s work wasn’t done.Shortly after the Kikuyu clinic opened, they started work on another clinic in the rural town of Chogoria at the base of Mount Kenya. William Hunter of Fargo have helped raise funds to build state-of-the art dental facilities in Kenya. William (Bill) Hunter, left and Sharon Secor (right) both of Fargo stand beside lab technician Fred Okach at a dental clinic in Kikuyu, Kenya. “I’ve seen 3-year-olds whose teeth have been decimated by malnutrition and I’ve seen adults with unbelievable diseases in their mouths.”Back in 1995, Secor was serving as a youth director at First Presbyterian Church in Fargo, and she started exploring mission possibilities in Kenya. Special to The Forum5 / 5FARGO – If you go to Sharon Secor’s home for a visit, she’s bound to offer you a cup of coffee, a cookie and a virtual trip to Kenya. Hunter sponsored Okach's dental education. I’ve just been helping him,” she says. All of these things bring me so much joy.”The Fargo woman is almost as much at home in the African nation as she is in the United States. Special to The Forum4 / 5Sharon Secor and Dr. There, they put special emphasis on the poorest, most vulnerable segments of Kenyan society.”She is and has been an inspiration to countless, and I am just blessed to be one of those lives she has touched,” Hunter says, “None of the work accomplished in Kenya would ever have been possible without her persistent, dedicated and inspirational leadership.”In November, Secor — who graduated with a degree in sociology and has no formal dental training — was named an Honorary Fellow in the International College of Dentists for her work in Kenya; Hunter nominated her.This month, Secor will have yet another opportunity to visit the country and maybe even pick up more souvenirs and gifts to line her living room shelves. By 2000, hospital officials in the town of Kikuyu told Secor and fellow church member and dentist Dr. This was his vision. Dave Wallis / The Forum3 / 5Dr. She says this trip might be her last.”Of course every time I go I say that,” she says. The light from outside is the only light they have when they extract teeth.”By 2009, the clinic was financially self-sufficient. “Most dental clinics there have dirt floors with a chair by the window. “And the Kenyans themselves have been invested in the project since the beginning. It’s just so amazing there and I guess we’re just not done.
Special to The Forum1 / 5Sharon Sedcor, Fargo, sits with children outside a dental clinic in Chogoria, Kenya. Patients are given dental care at a medical camp near Chogoria, Kenya, where there is a shortage of dental care and facilities. Special to The Forum2 / 5Sharon Secor brought these items back to Fargo after her trips to Kenya where she works with an oral health project.

Growing Together: Gardening, the world’s leading pastime

Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor3 / 4Roses remain America's favorite perennial flower.Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor4 / 4What’s more popular than televised sports, shopping, playing golf or watching movies? households grow vegetables. Gardening, of course.Vegetable gardening, flower-growing, lawncare, tending backyard fruit crops, caring for houseplants and enjoying a home’s landscape engage more people worldwide than any other hobby, pastime or pursuit. A well-landscaped yard increases property value by up to 11 percent, according to the University of Michigan.• 54 percent of gardeners are female, 46 percent are male.• Males under age 34 are the fastest-growing gardening demographic.• Of gardeners surveyed, 35 percent said insects were the biggest nuisance, followed by weeds at 23 percent.• The average American spends 84 minutes a week on lawn, garden and yard care.• People who consider gardening a hobby spend an average of five hours per week in their yards.Don Kinzler, a lifelong gardener, worked as an NDSU Extension horticulturist and owned Kinzler’s Greenhouse in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor2 / 4Thirty-six percent of U.S. The mean garden size is 100 square feet, or approximately 10 feet by 10 feet, meaning half the gardens are larger and half are smaller. Ever since I can remember, we’ve declared gardening America’s most popular pastime. 1 / 4Seventy-five percent of U.S. , America’s top four leisure pastimes are reading (26 percent), watching television (15 percent), spending time with family (15 percent) and gardening (8 percent), with golf, hunting, fishing, movies and other hobbies lower on the list, according to Google Answers.Everyone enjoys being part of something successful, and with the gardening season not far away, it’s interesting to see what makes gardeners tick. households participate in gardening activities. It’s also a great chance for non-gardeners to ponder what they might be missing.The National Gardening Survey, conducted by the National Garden Marketing Research Company, gives interesting details about gardeners:• 75 percent of United States households participate in some gardening activity.• 36 percent of households grow vegetables.• 34 percent tend flowers.• The average amount spent by a household on gardening was $401 per year.• Gardening is big business with $36 billion in annual sales compared to $12 billion in Hollywood box office receipts.• Six million new gardeners were added since the previous yearly survey, which is a 7 percent increase.• Of the new gardeners, five million are millennials, which is a large upswing in gardening for the 18-to-34-year-old age group.• Of households with children, 25 percent more are actively gardening compared to five years ago.• Vegetable gardeners are growing more food in less space. When all sizes are averaged, the typical garden is 600 square feet, or 20 feet by 30 feet.• An average garden produces $600 worth of vegetables, with $70 expense.• The most popular vegetables grown, in descending order are tomato, cucumber, sweet pepper, beans, carrot, summer squash, onions, hot pepper, lettuce, peas and sweet corn.• Top reasons given for vegetable gardening are: better tasting (60 percent), saving money (57 percent), better quality (54 percent) and food safety (49 percent).• Participation in community gardening is up 200 percent in the last eight years.• Lawncare dominates gardening expenditures.• Favorite annual flowers continue to be geraniums, impatiens, marigolds, petunias and zinnias.• Roses maintain the lead in popular perennials.• Maintaining shrubs and trees in the landscape remains popular. Readers can reach him at also blogs at ” target=”_blank”>
Don Kinzler, gardening columnist

Fielding Questions: Growing gardenias is a challenge

Don Kinzler, gardening columnist
The plant appears to want to grow as it produces new leaves but mature leaves turn dark, dry up and fall off. But I learned much from old gardeners who delighted in figuring out how to successfully grow things, rather than automatically saying it can’t be done. Rotate neem oil with insecticidal soap for insect control.Q: I read where you said Osmocote can recharge potting soil. Outdoor summer vacations on the patio in partial sun help stimulate new growth. Flower buds form more reliably if night temperature drops to 60 degrees.Insects love gardenias. Keep soil moist, but not soggy. We kept it in a planter, and it appeared to be doing all right in the summer. We brought the plant inside this fall. Indoor daytime temperature around 70 degrees is good. Daytime temperatures are 70-71 degrees and with night at 68 degrees. The white mold continues to exist. — Art Mitzel, Jamestown, N.D.A: Gardenias — with their large, creamy white, heavenly perfumed flowers — are not easy plants to grow indoors. I’ve found this works well, supplementing slow-release with Miracle Gro especially for container plants that are heavy feeders, like geraniums.For fertilizing container plants, Osmocote feeds for up to four months through plants’ root systems. These beads can also be seen in potting mixes that advertise feeding plants all summer.Slow-release fertilizer is great for recharging high-quality potting mixes that we’d like to use for multiple years in outdoor containers. The Osmocote company says homeowners can do the same, and suggests using the water-soluble types at half the recommended rate. High humidity is crucial. Store in a lidded jar or other closed container in the refrigerator.Generally, smaller seeds can be stored longer than larger seeds. Any advice would be appreciated. Place plants on water-filled pebble trays with the pot’s bottom above water level. The small, round, creamy tan beads can often be seen in the soil of plants purchased from garden centers. I’ve sprayed it with Bon-Neem, an insecticide, miticide and fungicide. —Jody Gerszewski, Grafton, N.D.A: Osmocote is a slow-release fertilizer that works well for indoor and outdoor plants. Olson, Fargo.A: Most vegetable and flower seeds can be successfully stored from one growing season to the next if kept cool and dry. I also saw what looked like white mold on some of the wood. — R. I also have a humidifier in the house. The label describes how much to apply for various pot diameters.Professional greenhouse growers often supplement Osmocote with water-soluble fertilizer. Then some leaves began to turn dark and fall off, along with some blossoms. Q: I’m having problems with a gardenia tree. It’s always a good idea to replace about one-fourth of the mix with fresh. Apply acid-type fertilizer labeled for azaleas, rhododendrons and other acid-loving plants. Water-soluble fertilizer feeds not only through the roots, but through the leaves, which is why Miracle Gro suggests also wetting foliage with the solution. Inexpensive humidistats can monitor humidity levels around the plant, which should run between 40 to 50 percent. I am a fan of Miracle Gro Bloom Booster. Water thoroughly, then allow the top inch to dry somewhat, while still being able to feel moisture below.During winter months, gardenias need direct window sunlight. Water-soluble fertilizer typically impacts plants for about two weeks.Q: How long can you store leftover garden seeds? Try misting twice a day.Potting soil must be high in acid-rich peatmoss. All questions will be answered, and those with broad appeal may be published, so please include your name, city and state for appropriate advice. Mix Osmocote with the older soil before combining. The white mold could be the white coating of mealy bugs, or white fungus growing on the sticky honeydew secreted by insects. Sometimes the fun is in the challenge, as long as we don’t get too discouraged if it takes a few trials before success.Gardenias have specific requirements. Monitor for aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs. This “foliar feeding” is quickly absorbed for a quick plant boost. When, if at all, would you recommend using both, or would that be overkill? For example, tomato seeds remain viable for years, while sweet corn germination diminishes more quickly.To test germination of questionable seeds, count a specific number of seeds, roll in a moistened paper towel, enclose in a plastic bag in a warm spot and count the sprouted seeds in one to two weeks.If you have a gardening or lawn care question, email Don Kinzler at I keep the soil damp but not soggy.

Minding Our Elders: Be smart, plan for your own care needs ahead of crisis

It could be some time before you need a medically trained person, and you seem comfortable with this woman’s help. I’ve slowly recovered enough to enjoy life. I also have neuropathy, which affects my balance. My wife had a great attitude during her illness, and I’m determined to use her as my example for dealing with my own challenges.We had no children, and I have no siblings, but I have many wonderful friends who have been helping me with shopping. 18, 2011, in Fargo, N.D.Dear Carol: My wife died of cancer three years ago. Look for an agency with a good overall reputation. I know that I would feel strongly about that if I were in your shoes. You have a wonderful attitude and you are realistic that you can’t wear out your friends with your daily healthcare needs. Photograph was taken on Jan. Your attitude to try to match your wife’s courage is a loving tribute to her.It’s wise to map out your future care the best that you can. If she works for an agency, they may be willing to extend her hours for you. However, I’ve now been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease (EOAD). Photograph of author Carol Bursack of Minding Our Elders by Ann Arbor Miller, She can be reached at I’ve appointed a close friend as Power Of Attorney for health and financial reasons and hired a housekeeper who cleans and does some light cooking. If they don’t have firsthand information, they can probably ask their other friends. When you begin to need assistance managing your medications, bathing and getting dressed, you may want someone with more training. Then, as your disease progresses, you will not need to be arranging help in a crisis mode.I understand your wish not to lose privacy too soon. Find people you trust and whom you enjoy. Word of mouth is your most valuable tool when it comes to finding a qualified, reliable agency. She’s wonderful, and we get along great, but the time will come when I will need more care.How do I start setting up help now, without going overboard and losing my privacy before I need to? For now, it seems that if your housekeeper is able to gradually give you more time she may become your first caregiver. If she works for herself, you could talk with her about what she’s willing to do.If your housekeeper can fit in the time take you out to grocery shop, drive you to medical appointments and cook more meals, that kind of help may be enough short term. Much depends on your comfort level.You can hire someone with the qualifications that you need through an agency. This respectful attitude toward your friends’ time will help keep them by your side when you need them.Carol Bradley Bursack is the author of a support book on caregiving and runs a website supporting caregivers at PRDear PR: I’m sorry about your health issues. This is a tough combination, but I admire your determination to make the best of it. The hours for agency people can generally be gradually increased for your needs.Because you don’t have family members to supervise your care, I’d suggest that you should start testing agency employees well ahead of any dire need for them. Ask for references and check them.Because you have a network of friends, ask them for ideas, as well. Her decline was long and slow, so when the end came there was some relief, along with the agonizing grief. It will be up to you to decide if you can have more privacy with continuing in-home care than in assisted living, but this is the time to look at all options and rough out a thoughtful plan.I hope that your friend whom you appointed as POA is willing to check on you often enough to make certain that you are getting the care that you need.

Rural schools lead Minnesota teacher shortage

“That creates a drain in the smaller communities.”Fred Nolan, executive director with the Minnesota Rural Education Association, said the shrinking and aging populations create a “double effect” for rural school districts looking to replace retirees.”The student population is declining, the whole age of the community and county gets older, so a young teacher is more out of place,” he said. James in September.He grew up in the area and said he enjoys the opportunities for outdoor recreation and familiarity the small class sizes offer. 1 / 42 / 43 / 4Senate Education Finance Chairwoman Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, supports a bill that would restructure the teacher licensure system to broaden the scope of licenses educators in Minnesota can obtain. Median incomes in urban areas top all other geography types by about $10,000, a trend which generally applies to teachers.Although cost of living usually is lower outside of bigger cities, Assistant State Demographer Andi Egbert said the disparity raised concern in her department.”Your take-home pay is your starting point for how you make decisions about how you plan for the future, and non-urban Minnesotans are at a disadvantage,” she said. “We want to keep our highly-qualified teachers, we want to make it less onerous for qualified teachers from other states who transfer to get licensure in Minnesota, and encourage more people to enter the teaching field.”Key findingsOther key findings from the 2017 Teacher Supply and Demand report include:• Although the number of teachers leaving their positions has increased by 46 percent since 2008, the total number of teachers has grown. Rural counties, counties with small towns and counties with urban/rural mixes all experienced migration out of the area between 2010 and 2015.”The message can sometimes be in smaller towns to get your education and get the heck out of here and that your goal should be somewhere big,” Carlson said. “If you grew up in Minneapolis or St. Collin Nienhaus, a recent Minnesota State University Moorhead grad, will start teaching high school science in St. “They simply don’t have as much take-home pay for the same amount of effort.”To help offset some of the financial struggles teachers in rural may face, Nolan said the rural education association will push for legislation to increase loan forgiveness in areas of service shortage.The group also supports legislation to simplify the state’s teacher licensure process.A bill working its way through the Senate calls for a restructuring of the licensure process, which would create a tiered licensing system to expand the types of licensing teachers could receive.For example, professionals in trades like welding and construction could obtain instructor licenses to teach their skills in schools.Senate E-12 Finance Chair Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, said the new system would streamline what she called a “broken” process.”Our current system has too many very narrow-focused areas, and then they only cover a very narrow band of grade levels,” she said. There were more than 4,000 fewer white students in 2016 than in 2015. “They just don’t feel as accepted as if they were in a metro area.”Rural schools struggle the most to fill positions for special education, math and science teachers. PAUL—When Lee Carlson entered his career in public education nearly 30 years ago, aspiring teachers could expect to compete with hundreds of other applicants hoping to work in a Minnesota classroom. Paul and went out to a small town to teach, I feel like it would be somewhat of a culture shock.”Higher pay also can steer new teachers away from rural areas and into bigger cities.Residents in non-urban counties who work full time are twice as likely as their urban counterparts to live in poverty. James, a small town about 40 miles southwest of Mankato, where he still teaches high school English.This year, the community’s 1,000-student school district offered its newest teacher a job months in advance of the September start date.”In the past, schools kind of waited until the academic year was done, then they’d go about trying to find people to fill the positions,” Carlson said. However, he can see why other teachers his age might not share his preference.”I think there would be more challenges if you weren’t from that general area,” he said. “Now, you need to be out as far in front of that as you can, because if you don’t get to them soon enough, someone else will.”The school’s urgency to recruit new faculty reflects a growing shortage of teachers throughout the state.The 2017 Teacher Supply and Demand report released by the Minnesota Department of Education this month found that more than 6,500 teachers throughout the state left their jobs during the 2014-2015 academic year. In the last six years, the number of full-time teachers in the state has increased by 5.8 percent, while student enrollment grew 3.8 percent.• While the total number of white students is shrinking, the number of students of color throughout the state is growing. Carlson described a “gauntlet” of applications and interviews before landing a job in St. During that time, the state’s enrollment gained 748 Native American students, 1,941 Asian/Pacific Islander students, 3,000 Hispanic students and more than 5,000 African American Students.• District and charter school survey results indicate that there is access to effective teachers that reflect the student population for white students, but not for Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaskan Native, or Hispanic student populations.• The percentage of newly licensed white teachers has decreased in the last three years, while the percentage of newly licensed black teachers has increased slightly. That is a 46 percent increase since 2008.On average, about one-quarter of teachers leave their jobs after three years, and 15.1 percent leave after one year.The most common reason teachers cited for leaving their jobs were personal reasons, which accounted for about 25 percent, followed by retirement at 22 percent.Although the percentage of teacher retirements has dipped slightly in the past decade, the total number has grown.The shortage is especially palpable in rural areas, where baby boomers — people approaching retirement age — comprise a larger portion of the population.A study from the State Demographic Center found that people older than 50 account for about 44 percent of rural Minnesotans and 41 percent of people who live in towns with fewer than 10,000 people, compared to 32 percent in urban areas.Rural areas also have experienced an overall decline in population.In entirely rural counties, deaths have outnumbered births since 2000. Teachers of color make up 4.23 percent of Minnesota teachers and 7.7 percent of new teachers licensed in the 2015-2016 school year. (Forum News Service photo by Maureen McMullen)4 / 4ST.

Beavers claim MacNaughton Cup

Those results helped the first-place Beavers clinch the Western Collegiate Hockey Association crown for the first time since joining the league in the 2010-11 season.”Any conference championship is very difficult, because it’s a marathon. Instead, it was an added bonus.The Beavers beat the Chargers 3-2 on Friday night at the Von Braun Center, about an hour after Ferris State’s 3-2 win over second-place Michigan Tech went final. “These guys earned it.”Save the first weekend of the season (when they were idle), the Beavers (19-11-3, 19-4-2 WCHA) were on top of the WCHA standings from wire-to-wire. — As it turns out, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team didn’t need to beat Alabama Huntsville to win their first-ever MacNaughton Cup title. Thanks to a 13-game conference win streak to start the season, their status as contenders was never really in doubt.Second-place Michigan Tech made a mid-season run and and nearly caught the Beavers, but the closest the Huskies got was four points back.BSU never let Tech get any closer and all but eliminated them from contention with a series sweep last weekend at the Sanford Center. The Beavers came into Friday’s game knowing a victory over the Chargers or a Huskies loss to Ferris State would clinch the league championship.The Beavers did their part, but not without a late push by UAH (8-20-3, 8-14-3 WCHA).After a scoreless first period, senior forward Nate Arentz put the Beavers on the board first, netting an unassisted tally more than halfway into the second frame.BSU held onto that lead after the second period and had a 5-on-3 power play to start the third thanks to a few extracurricular activities near the end of the second.With three Chargers in the box early, BSU junior forward Gerry Fitzgerald made it 2-0 with a shot from the left circle just 1:15 into the final frame.Junior forward Jay Dickman made it 3-0 five minutes later, getting a rebound goal past UAH goaltender Jordan Uhelski (22 saves) after junior forward Myles Fitzgerald’s initial shot.UAH, though, made it interesting late.The Chargers’ Brennan Saulnier capitalized on a penalty on BSU’s Phil Marinaccio at the 7:46 mark, knocking in a rebound for a power play goal to make it 3-1.UAH made it 3-2 just 38 seconds later, when Brent Fletcher redirected Connor James’ point wrist shot past BSU goaltender Michael Bitzer (17 saves).The Chargers had a late flurry and some prime chances to score after Marinaccio was called for interference with less than two minutes to play; UAH had several opportunities with an extra attacker and a 6-on-4 power play but couldn’t net the equalizer.The teams will return to the ice this afternoon for the series finale; the game is set to begin at 3:07 p.m. The Bemidji State men's hockey team celebrates with the MacNaughton Cup after beating Alabama Huntsville 3-2 on Friday, Feb. It’s 28 games, 18 weeks. You put a lot into it,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore told the Beaver Radio Network in the postgame show. The win helped the Beavers clinch their first-ever WCHA league title. 10, 2017 in Huntsville, Ala. Photo courtesy the Univesity of Alabama Huntsville athleticsHUNTSVILLE, Ala.

Cheesehead Chatter: My Valentine’s challenge for you

Those are all valid feelings that I think should also be celebrated on Valentine’s Day.And some people already do. Or friends? That’s your call. Or even appreciation for classmates or co-workers? 14.But don’t let your acts of kindness stop there either. Stores are outfitted in red and pink decorations, and shelves are stocked with chocolate-filled hearts. If you have a significant other, you’ll probably exchange gifts or go out to a nice dinner or at least do something to commemorate the day.But where does that leave the rest of us – those of us without significant others? People in romantic relationships aren’t the only ones who feel love. Just do something. When I was growing up, I remember waking up on Valentine’s Day to find a small, heart-shaped box of chocolates or a little stuffed animal holding a heart sitting on the foot of my bed. Make a card, buy some chocolate, or maybe just smile and say “Happy Valentine’s Day.”Because everyone deserves to feel loved and appreciated on Feb. And I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who feels that way.This heart-filled holiday is usually thought of as a celebration of love between couples. Or don’t. Flower shops are in overdrive, restaurants are turning people away for reservations, and places like Hallmark are in the midst of one their busiest seasons. The gift was always from my parents.Even when I studied abroad and lived in Spain for a few months, my mom still took the time to send a sparkly pink card on Feb. Remember that, while Valentine’s Day only comes around once a year, there are still 364 other days where you can make someone feel special as well.Happy Valentine’s Day, readers. Strange, right?Maybe so, but I think these people are onto something.Why does the holiday dedicated to love seem to cater primarily to couples? Some singles see Feb. Yes, that means Feb. First of all, if you have a significant other you want to celebrate with, go for it. Or as many call it – Valentine’s Day.Valentine’s Day is a weird holiday to me because my celebrations – or lack thereof – seem to depend upon my relationship status. 14.These were all small gestures, but they meant so much to me because they reminded me that I am loved.With those memories in mind, I have a challenge for everyone this Valentine’s Day. What about love for family? 14 as just another day, and others have bitter feelings toward the holiday.Then there are some who fall into another category. 14 is around the corner. There are a few people I’ve come across in my life who love Valentine’s Day – regardless of their relationship status. But I challenge everyone reading this to do something special for someone – whether it’s a friend, family member, co-worker or even a total stranger you meet in the grocery store.

Breezy Point: Council approves CSAH 11 project

Bakken said the Parks Committee has already unanimously approved the project.• Approved the annual transfer of funds, which includes scheduled transfers as well as transfers to and from the Revolving Capital Fund to deal with expenses and revenues that occur during the year.• Acknowledged a petition to vacate Channel Road, which is technically a city right-of-way, though the city no longer maintains the road. It allows for better bid prices,” Melby said.Mayor Tom Lillehei expressed concern about summer construction, as that is the city’s busiest season, and he asked what traffic control would be like.Melby said flaggers will direct traffic during the paving portion of the project and miscellaneous work will need to be done beforehand, but he didn’t think traffic would be greatly impacted.Melby also confirmed that since this is a county project, the city of Breezy Point has no financial responsibility.The council unanimously approved the project, though council member Gary Mitchell was not in attendance.In other business Monday, the council:• Scheduled a Board of Equalization meeting for 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 19. The plan primarily consists of putting an overlay on a portion of the highway. An assessment hearing will take place Monday, Feb. If the city decides to vacate the road, ownership would go to the adjacent property owners. Bypass lanes will be added at Buschmann Road and County Road 39.Crow Wing County representative Mark Melby spoke at the council meeting and said bids for the project will be opened March 8, and the county will award the contract March 14. Work on the road is then scheduled to begin sometime between June 1 and Sept. 1, and Melby estimates the project to take about two weeks to complete.”We don’t specify too much because contractors get busy with schedules and we give them a little bit of freedom. It also includes adding two new right turn lanes. Because the council recognized the petition, the vacation process can begin. The Breezy Point City Council approved Crow Wing County’s plans for improvements to County State-Aid Highway 11 at its Monday, Feb. One will be northbound at Weavers Point Road, and the other southbound at Ski Chalet Drive. Lillehei and council members Gary Bakken and Rebecca Ball will attend.• Accepted a bid of $199,699 from Pratts Affordable Excavating for the Whitebirch 6th Addition paving project. 6, meeting. Several more steps must be taken before the city vacates the road, including a public hearing May 1.• Renewed the city’s contract to provide police services to Pelican Township for another year.The Breezy Point Police Department responded to 187 incidents in January, including 11 crashes, four traffic arrests and two thefts. 27.• Authorized the Parks Committee to use $17,215 to turn the fishing boardwalk on Breezy Point Drive into a floating dock because of various issues the boardwalk has presented.

Letter to the editor: Obama’s legacy?

Dec. Counting it, $1 for every second 24/7 would take 31,688 years, 269 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes, 40 seconds. And he wants us to think he left a legacy to the American people.In reality, his presidential terms were a pathetic failure and he will go down as America’s worst. 21, 2016, 4,412 killings; 762 killings in the year 2016. That’s $9.3 trillion under his watch.What’s a trillion dollars? This list goes on also.Our national debt – Obama’s eight years in office: Dec. He didn’t back up his “red line” in the sand that cost 300,000 lives. Nothing, along with ABC, CBS, NBS, HLN, CNN, Washington Post or the New York Times. 29, 2016, $19.3 trillion. His welfare programs weren’t cheap, and now we’re in $19.3 trillion. That’s one year.What did he do? A real loser – that’s a sure bet!Jack Schmidt,Pequot Lakes
Recommended for youLetter to the Editor: Trump could winLetter to the editor: Obama: ‘He didn’t know’Letter to the editor: PTA appreciates support for Community Carnival Recommended for youLetter to the Editor: Trump could winLetter to the editor: Obama: ‘He didn’t know’Letter to the editor: PTA appreciates support for Community CarnivalHe endorsed partial birth abortion, transgender bathroom use, sanctuary cities, 11 million illegals to stay, overturned “don’t ask, don’t tell,” same sex marriages. 29, 2008, the debt was $10.6 trillion. Obama lied to Americans about many things over the last eight years: Benghazi, NSA spying on Americans, Justice Department investigating conservative journalists, Fast and Furious, VA scandal, Obamacare, losing health insurance, Hillary’s email – all lies, and the list goes on. That’s talking some pretty serious money.Obama’s hometown (his and hers), where Obama sent his friend, former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, to become Chicago’s 55th mayor May 16, 2011, when he became a White House embarrassment.Obama’s eight years as president, and with very strict gun control laws, had as of Dec. It was always hands off Obama’s presidency.He lived in his own little world of contempt, arrogance, mightier than thou, lied and deceived at will.

Pequot Lakes teacher ‘saws’ a good time down under – Wiste competes in chainsaw carving contest in Australia

Hackensack, incidentally, is where she got her start in chainsaw carving.”I went into a shop in Hackensack just to get a slab (of wood) for a project at our house,” she said, “and the guy was really friendly and found out that I was an art teacher and … Her hair was turning into the water, and she was disappearing into the water. “But that was a little different because you get really used to your saws and exactly how they’re set up.”Wiste also had to adjust her cutting technique, as the cyprus wood used in the competition was a lot harder than the white pine she is used to carving.Despite the challenges, Wiste was pleased with her piece, which had to stay in Australia after the competition. Open in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a lot, so I sent in a lot of my work from there, and I was accepted.”Wiste has been carving for several years, and though she usually tries to keep competitions as a summer activity so they don’t interfere with her teaching, this was too big of an opportunity to pass up.”This is such a big honor,” she said. “The woman in the piece was kind of the water – in the water, part of the water. And then at the bottom was the coral reef, and then there was fish around the back.”The challenge, however, was not being able to use her own tools. And they were great about sharing,” she said. Open, Wiste has also competed in the Oregon Divisional in Reedsport, Oregon, and usually takes part in the Hackensack Chainsaw Event each year. he said, ‘If you come back with a chainsaw, I’ll show you how to carve.'”Wiste didn’t want to pass up a free lesson, so she took the shop worker up on his offer and has since turned into the master carver she is today.This summer she will compete in the Chainsaws and Chuckwagons competition in Frederick, Colorado, and she has an application in for another international event, this time in Canada. But I really wanted to know where I was at, so I went and talked to a bunch of the judges.”Different judges ranked Wiste between fifth and seventh place. Wiste's carving, titled "Spirit of the Water," features a women who is disappearing into the water. The artists' creations had to be Australiana-themed.2 / 2Competing among the best of the best, Molly Wiste carved her way to Melbourne, Australia, as a participant in the 2017 Australian Chainsaw Carving Championships in January. But the exact placement didn’t matter to her that much.”I feel like I did really well,” Wiste said. Mine was called ‘Spirit of the Water,'” Wiste said. “They do it out of respect just so people aren’t so down on themselves. “It’s a very prestigious competition, so I thought, ‘Even though it’s during the school year, I need to go.'”As one of two carvers from the United States, Wiste competed against artists from Canada, Australia, Japan and the Czech Republic in the Australiana-themed competition.”I went with an ocean theme. “I just want to make sure that I am improving, so I always ask the judges for feedback and their critique. Wiste, who teaches art at Pequot Lakes High School and lives in Hackensack, was chosen as one of 10 carvers in the world to compete in the event.”To be in it, you have to apply,” she said. “I’ve been in the U.S. But the carving is up for sale, and when someone buys it, the artist will get the profits.Even though Wiste feels like she did well, she doesn’t know exactly where she placed amongst the other carvers.”They just do first, second, third place,” she said. It’s better not to get it sugar-coated because then you can improve.”Aside from self-improvement, Wiste also used this competition as a way to teach her art students a valuable lesson about persistence when her original carving idea that she spent months preparing didn’t pan out.”I came back to my students and said, ‘All these months of work (and) I’m totally scrapping this plan,'” she said, adding that taking her students through the creative process with her let them see “that persistence and that grit and that drive to get it really good and get it perfect and improve.”Above, all Wiste said she got to show her students that she’s an artist just like them and goes through the same trials.Along with the U.S. Stihl company, who sponsored the event, provided chainsaws, but because other carving tools aren’t allowed on international flights, Wiste had to improvise.”You just had to talk to carvers from Australia that had all their tools and try to beg, borrow, steal.
Pequot Lakes High School art teacher Molly Wiste poses with the chainsaw carving she created at the Australian Chainsaw Carving Championships in Melbourne, Australia, in January. Submitted photo
1 / 2Submitted photo

Revolution kick fifth, jazz seventh at section meet

We are very happy with our placements. The Pequot Lakes Revolution dance team finished its season with a fifth-place meet at the section meet at Rocori Saturday, Feb. Sauk Rapids- Rice (20)5. Sartell- St. St. 4.The Revolution ended their competitive season on Saturday, Feb. We are going to keep working hard in the offseason when we are able and plan to come back next year even stronger.”The Revolution Dance Team will host an end of the season fundraising dance show on Friday, February 10 at 7:00 at the Pequot Lakes High School Athletic Center. Pequot Lakes (26.5)Varsity Jazz1. Their technique in both kick and jazz has improved immensely, as has their execution and timing. “All of the teams in our section are strong and talented and it makes for an exciting and challenging day of competition. Rocori (8)2. Our athletes gave 100 percent in both routines and had a couple of their best performances of the season.”It has been an exciting year and the coaching staff is incredibly proud of the work the team put in this season. Albany (31.5)7. The athletes danced very well together this season and had great team toe-touches, kicks, and turns. Rocori (11.5)3. Pequot Lakes took fifth place in high kick and seventh place in jazz out of a field of 13 teams.”It was a tough day of competition,” coach Melissa Holland said. Cloud Cathedral (13)4. The state dance competition will be held on February 17-18 at the Target Center in Minneapolis.Varsity Kick1. Pequot Lakes (34) Cloud Apollo (28.5)6. St. 4, at the Section 4-2A meet at Rocori High School. The top three teams in each category earned a trip to the state competition. Cloud Cathedral (14.5)5. Sartell- St. Stephen (10)3. Stephen (5)2. Sauk Rapids- Rice (11.5)4. St.

Mayor’s Notebook: Community help needed for Trailside Park plan

This group, led by Molly Zins with council members, park board members and those from the community, will be researching, figuring how to make this plan a reality and then submitting it to the council.Phase 1 will be the first step. Many of you may have seen or heard about the selection of “Plan A” for Trailside Park.The history of this is approximately one year long, including three public meetings, discussion at the Thriving Communities Initiative and ongoing discussion at the council level. We truly want to have Phase 1 paid for BEFORE the city takes control of the road so things can move swiftly.That means the flag display (donation already given), the splash park (money given, but additional needed) and the path that will connect it all. You can see the plan on the city’s website under “Parks/Trailside Park.”What does this all mean? Rather overwhelming.The park board added its support for Plan A, and then the council voted unanimously for Plan A. If your business, organization or you personally would like to step forward, contact Nancy Malecha, city administrator, at 568-2352, and she’ll tell you exactly what to do.This is beyond exciting and we all need to help. As mentioned in last month’s Mayor’s Notebook, on Jan. After his explanation and questions from the approximately 30 people in attendance, the only way I could figure out how to get a true sense of what everyone felt was to say, “Would those who favor Plan A, please stand up.”Of those in the audience, all but three stood up; when asked for those who favored Plan B to stand up, no one did. 17 there was a final community meeting where the landscape designer presented final plans of Part A and Part B for Trailside Park. In all honesty, it is a living/breathing PLAN, not something written in stone. There is overwhelming evidence that this park will stimulate our quality of life and the economy of Pequot Lakes. Very good additional comments/suggestions were made from the audience to the designer, so some changes will most likely occur.The council has assigned the furthering of this project to the Thriving Community Initiative’s Quality of Life group. Therefore, it is up to each and every one of us to decide just how much we want this to happen and step up to the plate.Look at the plans on the city website, decide what amenity you really are excited about, and make your donation. The money for the project is going to have to come from you – the community. Among other things, Phase 1 will include the flag display, a splash park and lovely walking paths throughout the area from Woodman all the way to Sibley Street to tie it all together.Do understand that this will take a lot of effort and time and cannot really occur until the city takes control of the current Highway 371 sometime in 2018 (but remember, it’s already 2017).How are we going to pay for all of this?

Nisswa: City considers how to replace city clerk

7. 15, regarding an interim clerk and how best to fill the position. The council is in the process of reviewing applications for that position.Heidmann encouraged city staff to share ideas and concerns.”Every question you have, concern you have should be put in an email and gotten to the clerk’s office to be distributed to council so they continue to make good choices,” he said. Weiers said Scott Saehr, former Pierz city administrator, worked as interim clerk/treasurer in Motley, and he has indicated he would be willing to help Nisswa.Weiers said he also could help Nisswa determine if it wanted to hire another city clerk, a city administrator or a combination administrator/clerk.Weiers’ proposal is to include information on Saehr, information about a potential executive search to fill the position, and an organizational study to address hiring a clerk vs. The proposal will include a timeline, and Weiers said it could be a four-month process to hire someone.If the city hires David Drown Associates, Weiers said he would return to Nisswa for two days in late February to meet with council members, leadership staff, key contractors like the city attorney, and Hemish.The council hasn’t decided what the city clerk position will look like.”As I pondered it, we are starting the process to replace the city clerk, and I think that as we’ve talked about as we started, it’s going to be wise to evaluate the needs of the city, needs of the council, needs of staff, to see which job description is going to be the ultimate direction the city wants to go,” Mayor Fred Heidmann said.Finding an interim person is the top priority, Heidmann said, along with starting the process of establishing the job description and then finding someone to fill it.Hemish said the council should make sure city staff is included fully in conversations going forward and not left in the dark. The city had that issue several years ago and it was not good, she said.”We want this to be a team effort to move forward,” Hemish said, noting she firmly believed hiring David Drown Associates was the way to go because other communities have said that firm knows what it is doing and because of the cost savings with the NJPA.She also said the council must act fast because city hall will be down two positions – the city clerk and the park and recreation director.The city’s park and recreation director resigned earlier this month. The council met Tuesday, Feb. 7, to discuss its options, and is expected to take action at its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, Feb. 7 meeting to share information and agreed to submit a proposal by Thursday, Feb. 9, outlining how the firm could help the city and estimated costs.Weiers helped Pequot Lakes a couple of years ago when its city clerk retired by facilitating a process where that city ultimately hired a city administrator/clerk. Considering City Clerk Laurie Hemish’s upcoming resignation, the Nisswa City Council agreed its first priority likely will be to hire an interim clerk. Hemish’s last day is Friday, March 2.The city reached out to David Drown Associates, a firm that has helped other area cities search for city clerks or administrators, and Springsted, the city’s financial adviser. Weiers also is currently helping Baxter to find a city administrator.David Drown Associates has a contract with the National Joint Powers Alliance in Staples, and because Nisswa is an NJPA member, that organization would pay part of the city’s costs to use David Drown Associates to help in its search, including up to $7,500 for a city clerk or administrator search.Also, NJPA would pay half of the $60 per hour cost for an interim clerk that David Drown Associates could supply. Gary Weiers, with David Drown Associates, attended the Feb. “As staff you know how things have operated and you know what you like and don’t like.”The council can use staff input to make the best decision for the city, Heidmann added.”Change is fear, and fear can create a lot of confusion, frustration,” he said, reiterating that staff get their questions on paper and to council members. an administrator, including potential costs. The council asked Hemish to also check with the League of Minnesota Cities for suggestions.Springsted representatives hadn’t responded as of Feb.

Looking Back – Feb. 2, 2017

5, 1987A substantial reward has been offered by Breezy Point Resort for information regarding the recent thefts of three snowmobiles.(Headline) Thin ice fatalities climb in Minnesota(Headline) The Challenger Explosion – one year later: Tragedy lingers in minds of students20 years ago, Feb. 27 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes on the occasion of her selling her business, Thurlow Hardware, which has been operational since 1900. 3, 1977(Photo) Jean Thurlow, businesswomen, teacher, friend, helper, traveller, was honored with an open house Jan. 21, Pequot Lakes sixth-grader Anthony Craig became the 10,000th student to participate in Ski Gull’s “Learn to Ski Program.” His reward: a free lifetime lift pass to ski at the Gull Lake facility.10 years ago, Feb. 6, 1997(Headline) Ossawinnamakee study shows 83 percent of homes have septic system problems(Photo) On Jan. 40 years ago, Feb. (Photo) Sno-Daze were held at Pequot Lakes School recently with the week-long activity culminating with the the coronation of Debi Palmer as queen and Steve Kennedy as king.30 years ago, Feb. 1, 2007(Headline) Three in critical condition after one-car accident on County Road 4(Headline) Revolution dance team wins Northern Lights Conference title; jazz team is undefeatedHigh school wrestling has been suspended across the state due to a widespread outbreak of a skin infection.-Compiled by Theresa Bourke, Staff Writer