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Upcoming events Jan. 7-Feb. 4

Friday, Jan. 7

First City Squares of Bemidji is hosting a square dance on Friday, Jan. 7 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the United Methodist Fellowship Hall, 9th and Beltrami.

Plus tips will be in the first half hour. Mark Helfter will be the caller.

Visitors and spectators are welcome. For more information call Ray or Carole at 218-444-5904.

Auditions for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8 at the historic Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji, home of the Paul Bunyan Playhouse.

Bring 16 bars of music to sing as well as a prepared monologue. Actors age 6 to 80 are needed to fill the various roles.

For further information, contact Mary Knox-Johnson at 218-333-8740. Performance dates are April 1-5.

Saturday, Jan 8

A community Locks of Love donation event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8 at the Park Rapids American Legion.

Dick Kimball, organizer of the event and making a donation of his hair, encourages others shed their locks at the event.

Locks of Love is a nonprofit organization that creates custom hair pieces to donate to those who need them.

Local salons are participating.

sunday, Jan. 9

Park Rapids Fire Department's Christmas tree collection will begin at 10 a.m. for Park Rapids residents.

Leave your trees near the berm or roadway for pickup.

Tuesday, Jan. 11

Bemidji State University's Optivation venture kicks off its 2011 training and seminar schedule with a pair of events on or beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

n Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 11, Optivation presents a one-week online course on making successful presentations.

Participants in the course, taught by Sudhir Kamath, will learn some common pitfalls faced by presenters and some strategies for overcoming them.

Download a registration form at: www.optivation org/DOC/PresentationSkills_011111.doc.

n A Medical Coding Course Series: ICD-10 will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 11 in conference room B at Northwest Technical College, located at 905 Grant Ave. SE in Bemidji.

Medical coding and billing staffs need to code correctly in order to bill effectively.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has mandated the replacement of the existing code set being used by medical coders and billers in the United States, effective Oct. 1, 2013.

The new code set will expand the number of codes used from around 17,000 to more than 141,000, and expand each individual code from five alphanumeric characters to seven.

Optivation's training courses on the ICD-10 coding system will provide highlights of the changes to the system and requirements to be certified under the new system. This introductory course will also outline the reasons why providers need to begin preparing for this change in coding systems now.

Download a registration form at: shops/DOC/Med ical_Coding_Series_Reg_011711.doc.

For more information on these courses or other training and informational opportunities available through Optivation, contact Optivation at 888-738-3224, or

Holistic Living of Park Rapids (a moms social network) will hold a chapter meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11 at Itasca Naturopathic Clinic.

The topic is sharing child discipline ideas.  Visitors are welcome. Membership is free.

Thursday, Jan. 13

The North Country Health Services Foundation and its Planned Gifts Committee will present a lifelong planning series seminar, Making the Most of Your Retirement, at noon Thursday, Jan. 13 in the North Country Regional Hospital Education Center.

Debbie Drinkard Grovum, certified retirement coach will discuss how to manage the stress that can accompany retirement planning by embracing a proactive and holistic approach.

In this session, participants will think about maintaining health, manag-

ing money, and living well into senior years.                

The seminar is free and open to the public. A light lunch catered by North Country Regional Hospital Dining Services will be served.

RSVP to 218-333-5505 by Thursday, Jan. 6.

The Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes announces the return of "Sister" in the latest of the Late Nite Catechism series, "'Til Death Do Us Part: Late Night Catechism 3" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

In this installment Sister turns her attention to wedded bliss and our final reward, providing much needed counseling to coupled audience members through her own wacky version of  "The Newlywed Game."

Classroom participation is a must; experience Catholicism's feistiest couples counselor.

Tickets for the show can be purchased by visiting, calling the Holmes Theatre Box Office at 218-844-7469, or by visiting 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes.

saturday, Jan. 15

Ruby's Pantry Food distribution will be held Saturday, Jan. 15 at the Assumption of our Lady Catholic Church in Menahga.  

Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the food distribution following at 10:30 a.m.

The cost is $15 per share. Please bring baskets and boxes for food.  

Additional volunteers would be appreciated from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Karol or Dave at 564-4501 for more information.

All distributions will be held on the third Saturday of each month this year.

Forest Riders Snowmobile Club will offer a snowmobile safety class at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15 at St. Mary's Church In Two Inlets.  

The class is for anyone who will turn 12 during the riding season.  

Students must take and pass the CD training course before test day.  To register and obtain a CD, contact Andy Nagel at 732-9688 or Tim Eischens at 732-5235.

CDs may also be picked up at State Bank of Park Rapids.  Cost is $10 per person.  

Twisted Stitchers Fiber Guild is starting off the new year with something a little different - birch bark biting!

Sharpen your eyeteeth and join the group from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15 at 201 Main Street, Park Rapids (Monika's).

Call Kathy Belt (732-0978) with questions.

Ministry of Jazz will return to Perham Saturday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. for a performance at the ITOW Veterans Museum.

Comprised of well-known jazz musicians from the Fargo-Moorhead area, the group will give an uplifting concert of Dixieland jazz.

Members include Kathie Brekke on keyboards/vocal, Ed Christianson on trombone, Kent Karch on upright bass, John Pederson on trumpet, Harley Sommerfeld on saxophone and Frazee native, Joe Riewer on drums. For more information call 218-346-7678 or e-mail

Sunday, Jan. 16

Itascatur Club is hosting Sunday open houses at Soaring Eagle Cross Country Ski Trails in January and February.

Open houses will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 16, and Feb. 6 and 20.

Soaring Eagle Cross Country Ski Trails are located 8 miles north of Park Rapids on Highway 71, across from the Eagle View Golf Course. Look for the sign on the west side of highway that leads to the trailhead.

Ski equipment can be checked out free of charge by youth or adult groups interested in having a fun outdoor winter activity. Such groups could include church groups, youth groups, Kinship, service organizations, businesses, etc.

A Minnesota Ski Pass is required for skiers 16 years old and over. Ski Passes are available through the Department of Natural Resource's electronic licensing system at many convenience stores and outdoors stores in the area. A pass can also be purchased online at

Interested groups can coordinate their ski event by calling 218-732-4589. For more information go to

Thursday, Jan. 20

"John Beargrease" will visit the Park Rapids Area Library at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20.

Many people have heard of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. The race is named after the Ojibwe mail carrier, John Beargrease, who was born in 1858, the same year Minnesota became a state. John grew up in a wigwam on the edge of Beaver Bay, the first white settlement on the North Shore.

John was the son of Moquabimetem, who also went by the name "Beargrease." His father was an Ojibwe leader who settled in the area to work in at Beaver Bay's sawmill.

The U.S. Congress ordered the beginning of mail service from Superior to Grand Portage in 1855, but service was spotty - if the lake was choppy in summer or icy in winter, the mail didn't make it through.

The Beargrease family came to the rescue.

First the father, then the sons picked up the job. John Beargrease and his brothers began covering a regular route between Two Harbors and Grand Marais in 1879. Occasionally, they'd make the trek all the way to Grand Portage. They completed their route at lease once and sometimes twice a week with a load of up to 700 pounds of personal mail, packages and newspapers.

In the summer, they hiked along the shore, sailed, or rowed a boat. In the winter, they made the trek by dog sled.

John Beargrease's team of four dogs could cover 30 to 40 miles a day. When the bells of the sled were heard in the distance, people gathered, not only to receive long-awaited news of friends and relatives but also for reports of ice conditions, snow depths, and other vital information.

For decades, until his death from tuberculosis in 1910, John Beargrease was the link to the outside world for the citizens of the North Shore.

"Day or night, good weather or bad made no difference with John Beargrease; he was sure to arrive some time with the mail intact. When he reached his journey's end with his faithful dog team, they would all rest up for a short while and start the return trip, regardless of weather. Nature's wild wintry blasts had no terrors for faithful John." -Willis H. Raff, Pioneers in the Wilderness

Using costume and props from the period, John Beargrease will be brought to life by a Minnesota History Player from the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.

John Beargrease's visits to Kitchigami Libraries and communities are part of the Minnesota History Alive! Project with funding from the Minnesota Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

Friday, Jan. 21

A course on sexual harassment, assault and rape prevention will be offered at Central Lakes College in Brainerd from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21.

The course, with Dave Davis as instructor, is offered through the Business and Industry Center. This is the first civilian course developed by Pressure Points and Control Tactics Inc.

Utilizing survival learning, control principles and physical techniques mainly from the defensive tactics program, this course provides three levels of defense for students.

The first level teaches students to avoid dangerous situations through prevention psychology and principles of avoidance.

The second level deals with low-level physical techniques to deal with passive assaults, unwanted physical contact and wrist grabs.

The third level provides defensive counterstrikes, giving students tools to deal with more serious physical assaults.

Deadline to register is Jan. 14. Payment is required at the time of registration. For information or to register with a credit card call 800-933-0346 ext. 8142 or 218- 855-8142.

Friday, Feb. 4

A class on raising bees in the backyard will be offered from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4 and from 8:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5 in Northwoods Bank's community room.

The class will be offered at no charge.

Would you like to create a sustainable future in bees by raising bees in your backyard? Honeybees are a gardener's best friend; they pollinate fruit trees, vegetables and other garden plants plus provide a valuable product, honey.

JoAnne Sabin, an educator on honeybees and a Dakota County Master Gardener, will instruct the course is designed to encourage, assist and educate on the experience of keeping honeybees.

Materials will cover fundamental bee basics - apiary equipment and hive assembly; selecting a site; feeding and treating bees; queen, worker and drones' behavior; nectar and pollen plants; honey extracting, seasonal management and more.

Call Sally Shearer, Hubbard County Extension program coordinator at 732-3391 (office) or 237-1245 (direct) to register. Registration deadline is Jan. 28. Participants are asked to provide their own lunch.

The program is sponsored by the Hubbard County University of Minnesota Extension and Hubbard County Master Gardeners.