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Upcoming events Jan. 17-30

Thursday, Jan. 17

  Ross Sutter, folk musician extraordinaire, will present a program on Scandinavian stories and songs at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 at Park Rapids Area Library

The Legacy program through the Kitchigami Regional Library System is free and open to the public of all ages.

Sutter is a popular performer who plays an impressive array of folk instruments - guitar, bodhran, button accordion, dulcimer, bones - and is best known for his singular baritone voice.

Sutter sings Irish, Scottish, and Scandinavian songs, as well as favorite American traditional and popular songs.

He has performed on radio, television and at festivals, and works regularly in schools teaching the songs and folk dances that he has collected over the years.

His rapport with children is extraordinary, and he also possesses the unique ability to thoroughly entertain the parents and adults in the audience as well. 

He has also worked with his brother, Barton Sutter, who is the designated poet laureate of Duluth. Their new book written together is "Reindeer Camp," a collection of poems and traditional verse from Scandinavia. 

Sutter's work is featured on the recordings "Walking on Air," "Up the Raw," "Crossing the Shannon," "Hunger No More," "Songs By Heart," "Over the Water," and on his popular children's CD," Mama, Will You Buy Me a Banana?"

The Minnesota Highway Safety Center will offer a 55+ driver improvement refresher course from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 at the Northwoods Bank community room.

A first-time, eight-hour course will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Walker Area Community Center.

The driver improvement course is open to the public; pre-registration is requested. A certified instructor teaches this class. 

By utilizing the most up-to-date research in the field, participants will be provided the latest information in regards to driver safety, new laws, and vehicle technology. 

The fee for the four-hour refresher course is $20 and the eight-hour course is $24. For more information or to register, visit the website at www.mnsafety or call 888-234-1294.

The Arts Downtown PR series (3rd Thursdays) continues from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 at three locations in downtown Park Rapids.

Bemidji author Joanna Dymond will read and sign her book, "Crazy as a Loon," from 5 to 5:30 and 6 to 6:30 p.m. at Beagle Books.

This fast-paced crime caper set in the 1980s has W.D. Caldwell, an elderly real estate man turned informant for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, trying to ward off drug dealers moving into northwestern Minnesota. Just Us will play a mix of old-time favorites in an aleatory music style developed in their weekly jam sessions in "the shop."

Dean Westby, Gene Blumberg and Rick Amsberry will entertain from 5:30 to 6 and 6:30 to 7 p.m. at Necce's Ristorante.

Mark Bridge, Park Rapids, banjo and mandolin; Paul Nye, Walker, guitar; and Jeff Menten, Park Rapids, fiddle and mandolin, play as Four No More, entertaining with an acoustic variety of bluegrass, newgrass, classic rock and a sprinkling of Nye's originals.

Hear Four No More from 5:30 to 6 and 6:30 to 7 p.m. at The Good Life Cafe.

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council is sponsoring this month's 3rd Thursday events.

Friday, Jan. 18

Widowed Friends invites all for lunch at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at Pizza Hut, with dominos to follow.

New friends are welcome.    Call Karla at 732-0424 or Joan at 699-3322 for more information.

The Park Rapids Weston A. Price Foundation will host a chapter meeting at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at the Evergreen Church just west of Park Rapids.

The foundation seeks to educate people about traditional nutrition for optimal health. This month's topic is "Healthy Healing Fats."

Come and find out how saturated fat and cholesterol are not damaging and how nutritious fats, such as lard, butter and coconut oil, can be healthy.

Brains are mostly made of fat, and our bodily functions are completely dependent on natural fats to maintain optimal health.  Manmade fats, such as margarine and shortening, and highly processed vegetable oils are very damaging to our bodies and lead to serious health problems. It's these fats in combination with refined sugars and grains that cause weight gain and chronic illness.

All meetings are free and open to the public. An unsupervised playroom for children is available. For more information, contact Tanja Larson at 732-9402.

An "Animal Lovers Overnight," sponsored by Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines Council, will be held for girls in grades K-5 Jan. 18 and 19 and Feb. 1 and 2 at the Headwaters Science Center in Bemidji.

Girls can get up close and personal with the many interesting animals that inhabit Headwaters Science

Center. Visit Oswald the Owl. Hold soft and fuzzy critters as well as more unusual creatures such as

snakes and lizards and tarantulas.

Bring a friend and make new ones. Finish the evening

with a movie and popcorn. The overnight includes an activity patch, evening snack and light breakfast.

Not a Girl Scout? No problem; all girls are welcome.

Girl Scouts is a tradition that has stood the test of time. For a 101 years it has

been building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

For more information about these programs, how to join, volunteer, or donate to Girl Scouts of

Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines, visit or call Tricia at 218-308-8879

or e-mail tandrews@gslakes

The Park Rapids Eagles Auxiliary will serve an Italian dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at the Eagles Club.

The dinner will include soup, a salad bar and dessert.

Proceeds benefit the Park Rapids Area High School BPA.

The University of Minnesota Extension will host educational classes on the Art of Beekeeping, The Making of Maple Syrup and Beekeeping: Beyond the Basics in January and February.

The classes are free and open to the public.

The Art of Beekeeping, an introductory course, will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Hubbard Community Center, 12141 CSAH 6 in Hubbard.

The Making of Maple Syrup will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Town Hall in Guthrie, 44255 Rail Road.

And Beekeeping: Beyond the Basics will be presented from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at Northwoods Bank in Park Rapids.

JoAnne Sabin, a well-known educator on honeybees and a Dakota County UMN Master Gardener, will teach the beekeeping courses which are designed to encourage, assist and educate others in the wonderful experience of keeping honeybees.

The Art of Beekeeping will cover fundamental bee basics, apiary equipment, hive assembly, selecting a site, feeding and treating bees, queen, worker and drones behavior, nectar and pollen plants, honey extracting and seasonal management.

Beekeeping: Beyond the Basics will cover current events, diseases, pesticides, CCD research, bee biology, making splits, expanding your hives, queen grafting, winterizing, experiences with various bee races, equipment beyond the basics, the importance of feeding, honey characteristics, bee-related products and how to make them.

Carl Vogt, a retired University of Minnesota Extension specialist, known for his dedication as a conservation educator, will teach the course on The Making of Maple Syrup.

The course will include what trees can be tapped; what tools are needed; when to tap trees, how to tap trees and how to process sap into syrup.

To register, call Sally Shearer, Hubbard County Extension program coordinator at 732-3391 (office) or 237-1245 (direct) or e-mail All classes are free and open to the public.

First City Squares of Bemidji is hosting a square dance from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at the United Methodist fellowship hall, 9th and Beltrami.

Plus tips will be in the first half hour. Brian Freed will be the caller.

Visitors and spectators are welcome. For information, contact Scott Burgoon 218-759-2776.

  First City Squares is also hosting lessons from 7 to 9 p.m. starting Tuesday, Jan. 22 at the United Methodist Church.

Saturday, Jan. 19

Ruby's Pantry food distribution will be held Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Assumption of our Lady Catholic Church in Menahga. 

Registration begins at 8 a.m. at First English Lutheran Church with the food distribution following at 10:30 a.m. at the Catholic Church.  The cost is $15 per share.  Bring baskets and boxes for food.  Volunteers are also needed and much appreciated. 

Contact Karol or Dave at 564-4501 for more information. 

Do you have a high-energy dog or a dog that loves to chase tennis balls?

An introductory, "hands-on" flyball training seminar taught by members of the Sirius Chaos Flyball team will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at Bark Avenue Training Center in Bemidji (196 Anne St. NW). 

Flyball is a canine relay race over hurdles, dogs catching and carrying a tennis ball.  Flyball is open to any breed or mixed-breed dog. Flyball training is good exercise for dogs and something different from traditional obedience, conformation or agility competitions. 

Handlers of all ages, from young kids to senior citizens, are involved in this sport.  Dogs do not have to be a top-notch obedience dogs to excel at Flyball training.  It truly is a dog sport for everyone! 

For more information contact Tracy at 218-766-4935 or go to www.bemidji to register.

MOnday, Jan. 21

A Hubbard County DFL meeting will convene at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21 at the Lake George Town Hall.  Items to be addressed are vents for 2013, recruiting committee chairs and a report on the December Democratic Central Committee meeting.

Tuesday, Jan. 22

The University of Minnesota Extension invites participants to explore the 2013 Local Foods College webinar series.

A series of eight sessions are designed for home gardeners and farmers to increase the capacity of their operation through a working knowledge on soils, seeds, irrigation, weed control and by building production, business and marketing skills.

The first session of the series will be held the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 22 and will continue Tuesday evenings through mid-March.

The series will be available via webinar at several locations throughout northern and central Minnesota, and may also be viewed at a home computer. Registration is free, $25 for printed materials for the entire series mailed to you and $15 for the Beginner Growers Manual.

Session topics include: "Beyond the Soil Survey Book," "Efficient Irrigation," "Weed Suppression and Control," "Seeds and Seed Selection," "Business Planning," "Working Together for a Regional Food Hub," "Preservation" and "Farmers' Markets and Merchandising."

Participants will learn from practitioners, educators and those involved in the growing movement to build resilient local foods systems.

Participants will choose their viewing location as well as the sessions they wish to attend.

Host sites will be available in Park Rapids, Bagley, Baudette, Bemidji, Crookston, Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Staples and Thief River Falls. The series may also be viewed at your own location.

The Local Foods College is part of a movement to strengthen local and regional food systems. The 2013 Local Foods College is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Statewide Health Improvement Program. To learn more, visit www.local

For more detailed information and registration, visit: http://localfoods. or call 888-241-0781. For local site information and registration, contact Sally Shearer via e-mail, or call 732-3391.

Wednesday, Jan. 23

Parent/teacher conferences at the Park Rapids Area High School will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 and Monday, Jan. 28.

An informational meeting on how to access college financial aid will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the Park Rapids Area High School choir room.

Info to be covered includes grants, loans and work study as well as FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) and how to apply.

Parents of seniors who are the first in the family to attend college are strongly encouraged to attend, as well as anyone who might want to get updated information.

This is free and open to the public. Stephanie Bard, assistant director of financial aid at Bemidji State University, and Susan Rassier, high school counselor at Park Rapids, will be sharing information and answering questions.

Friday, Jan. 25

The Friendly Squares will host a square dance Friday, Jan. 25 at Century School.

A "plus" workshop will be from 7:30 to 8 p.m. with mainstream dancing from 8 to 10 p.m.  Caller will be Jim Lizakowski and Rita Lizakowski will cue round dancing between tips. 

Club members will furnish a potluck lunch.  All square dancers and spectators are welcome

 Saturday, Jan. 26

First English Church in Menahga will host a lutefisk and Swedish meatball dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26.

  The menu includes lutefisk, Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, lefse, carrots, rice pudding, fruit soup, flat bread, dessert and more.

  Proceeds will go to the needs and works of First English Lutheran Church.

  The LYO (Lutheran Youth Organization) will be holding a raffle to benefit their trip to the Youth Impact gathering in the summer of 2013.

  In case of a storm, it will be rescheduled to Saturday, Feb. 2.

Sunday, Jan. 27

The Rising Sun Dancers will have a square dance starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Waubun Community Center. 

Jim Lizakowski will call the tips. Lunch will be served by the club. All dancers and spectators are welcome.

Wednesday, jan. 30

The Park Rapids Area Library will host a program on Swedish musical instruments from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Bill Dahl makes an instrument called a Nyckelharpalag (or Swedish Nyckelharp). One of his instruments is on display at the library in January.

He and Janice Springer, who plays a Swedish fiddle, will present a program. Dahl will talk about making the harps, and they will play some tunes and perform a dance demonstration, as this music originated primarily for dancing.

They will also have some harps available for people to try.

For more information about the nyckelharp, go to, which is the website for Dahl's musical group.