New signal begins operating on Highway 10 in Hawley

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – A new traffic signal is now operating on Highway 10 in Hawley, according to Clay County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The signal at Highway 10 and County Road 31/County Road 33 is part of this summer’s intersection modification project. Clay County re-aligned County Road 31 and County Road 33 within Hawley. The project included several safety modifications to the intersection of Highway 10 and County Road 31/33.

The modified Highway 10 median crossings at Eighth Street and Michael Street will open in early September after striping is completed.

When they reopen, motorists will only be allowed to make right turns onto Highway 10 from Eighth Street or Michael Street. Left turns will still be allowed from Highway 10 onto Eighth Street and Michael Street.

The project will improve safety along Highway 10, County Road 31 and County Road 33 in Hawley.

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit or dial 5-1-1.


Fargo, N.D. The dog days of summer are here, and Scheels Home & Hardware is heating up its grills and competitive spirit for the 2nd Annual Scheels ND BBQ Championship.

On Saturday, September 28 at Scheels Home & Hardware on
13th Ave. S in Fargo, local and regional contestants will have the opportunity to show off their savory, slow-cooked skills and compete in four different categories: BBQ’d ribs, pulled pork, chicken and brisket. After sampling, outstanding BBQ’ers from each category as well as a People’s Choice winner will be crowned. Combined scores from all four categories will be used to determine an overall 2nd Annual Scheels ND BBQ Championship grand champion. A shiny 2nd Annual Scheels ND BBQ Championship trophy, bragging rights, and $5,000 in prize money are up for grabs!

Spectators and BBQ connoisseurs are invited to come and sample entries from each competitor, check out informative expos from Weber, Traeger and Big Green Egg grills, enter into a grill giveaway, and vote for the meatiest, juiciest BBQ on the block in the People’s Choice category from
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow at approximately 5 p.m.  

For those interested in competing, registration is currently open for the 2nd Annual Scheels ND BBQ Championship competition at Details about vendors and additional information about the 2nd Annual Scheels ND BBQ Championship competition is available at

The competition will be overseen by Eric Berg, David Newman and Chris Newman. Berg and David Newman are professor and assistant professor, respectively, in NDSU’s Meat-Animal Science Department. The duo also organizes the popular BBQ Boot Camp, a program that teaches barbeque techniques in seminars hosted across the state. Chris Newman is an award-winning BBQer and owner/member of the Rack Pack Barbecue Team catering company.    

UMC Named Among Top Schools in Minnesota for Safety by Website

CROOKSTON, Minn. –  The University of Minnesota Crookston was recently informed that the website has ranked University of Minnesota-Crookston number 4 in Minnesota for campus safety. The scores of the top four schools ranked in the category were identical in a listing that includes 50 colleges and universities in the state.

Colleges and universities ranked for campus safety on a scale that accounts for severity of a crime as well as frequency of crime. Data is compiled from reports submitted by college and university law enforcement between January 1 and December 31, 2012.

The website provides information about state universities and colleges across the United States including financial aid, academics, athletics and more gathered from a variety of sources.

To view the rankings for the top ranked universities in Minnesota on safety, visit

NDSU Offers Free Soil Testing at Big Iron

North Dakota State University Extension Service soil health specialists will test producers' soil for salinity on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Big Iron farm show at the West Fargo Fairgrounds.

Producers can bring a soil sample to the NDSU Extension table for the free test.

"Salts are native to
North Dakota's glaciated mineralogy," says Chris Augustin, area Extension soil health specialist at NDSU's North Central Research Extension Center near Minot. "The past 20 or so wet years have moved these minerals to the topsoil. Water then evaporates, leaves salts behind and creates the white spots that reduce crop yields.

"Salinity management is water management," he adds. "We need to dry down soils so salts move below the root zone. Farming practices that do this include cover cropping, perennial cropping, no-tilling and subsurface drainage."

To provide soil for the test, take samples from a handful of spots in a field, mix the soil and take a sample of the mixture. That sample should contain about a cup of soil. Place the sample in a small dish on a sunny windowsill for a few days to allow the sample to dry. Then place the sample in a zip-top plastic bag and bring it to Big Iron.

"The test will take only a few minutes," Augustin says. "We see white scars across
North Dakota and know that salts are lowering crop yields. We hope this quick test gives our farmers an idea of how bad it is and that they know we are here to help them fix these issues."

Detour on Demers Avenue in East Grand Forks begins Sept. 3

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Motorists on Highway 2B (Demers Avenue) in East Grand Forks will experience a detour and delays as crews complete pedestrian accessibility improvements from the Red River to Second Avenue Northeast. The intersection at Second Street Northwest will be closed and motorists should use the signed detour.

Truck traffic seeking access to Crystal Sugar is encouraged to avoid Demers Avenue and follow Gateway Drive.

Lane closures along with shoulder/parking lane closures will be utilized throughout the project which is expected to be complete in mid-Sept., weather permitting.

Ti-Zack Concrete Inc. is the contractor for the $397,234 project. It includes construction of pedestrian ramps and concrete paving.

When complete the project will improve safety for pedestrians and motorists.

Motorists should always drive with caution, slowdown in work zones and never enter a road or lane blocked with barriers or cones. For more updates on this, and other projects in the region follow us on Twitter @mndotnorthwest, or log on to for real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota.

Hiring a Business Consultant

Business consultants are great resources that can provide advice and guidance for your business ventures. It’s crucial to hire a consultant with specific experience who knows the industry forward and backwards. 

Use these tips as a guide when hiring a business consultant:

Do Your Research.  Before you start searching for a business consultant, be sure to determine your specific needs so you know exactly what to look for in a candidate. Ask friends, family members, and co-workers to suggest a business consultant. Check out consultants at to read reviews or complaints.

Look at Credentials.  Ask consultants what type of business degree they have earned. Be sure to ask where they earned their degree and make sure it’s from an accredited institution. Although degrees are important, employment experience is even more crucial. Since you are hiring the consultant for business advice, you’ll want to hire someone that has first-hand experience running a business. Look for a consultant that has experience with your specific industry and dealing with your areas of concern.

Interview Candidates.  Once you have compiled a narrow list, meet with at least two candidates for an interview. Look for a consultant that shows organizational skills and professionalism. Ask if the consultant has prepared an outline that targets your specific business needs. If the consultant is associated with a business, ask if that may hinder their ability to cater to your needs in the future. Make sure the consultant clearly answers all of your questions and concerns. Think about if the consultant has relevant experience for the position but can also provide outside objectivity. Since it’s their job to help you, make sure the consultant is a good listener.

Request References.  A reputable business consultant will easily be able to provide testimonials from previous customers and a list of references you may contact. Ask the references about their relationship and experience with the consultant. Ask about the services the consultant provided and if the references were completely satisfied with the job that was done.

Review the Contract.  Be sure there is a written agreement with the business consultant. Make sure the agreement includes: the services the consultant will provide, when the services will be provided, and how much and when you will pay the consultant for their services.

What other tips can you offer?

DNR asks bear hunters not to shoot radio-collared bears

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) asks hunters participating in Minnesota’s bear season, which opens Sept. 1, to avoid shooting radio-collared research bears.

The bears are marked with large colorful ear tags or colorful streamers.

DNR researchers are monitoring about 30 radio-collared black bears, most of them in northwestern Minnesota, especially near Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area and the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. Additional radio-collared bears reside in and around the Chippewa National Forest, Camp Ripley, Cloquet Forestry Station and Voyageurs National Park.

Bear research also is being conducted between Ely and Tower near the Eagles Nest chain of lakes in northern
St. Louis County.

“Hunters near these areas should be especially vigilant for these valuable research bears,” said Dave Garshelis,
DNR bear research biologist. “These animals provide long-term data on reproduction and habitat use that is invaluable for bear management across the state.

“We’re asking that if hunters see ear tags or a collar on a bear, they refrain from shooting it,” Garshelis said. “Researchers have invested an enormous amount of time and expense in these individuals.”

Many of the collars have
GPS units that collect and store data, which is downloaded by DNR researchers when they visit the bears in their dens. Long-term records of individual bears have been the cornerstone of information that helps the DNR monitor and manage the bear population, Garshelis said.

DNR officials recognize that a hunter may not be able to see a radio collar or ear tags in some situations. For this reason, taking a bear with a radio collar is legal unless the bear is accompanied by a researcher who has identified the bear to the hunter as a research animal.

Photos of some collared research bears are available on the
DNR website at

Any hunters who shoot collared bears should call the
DNR Wildlife Research Office in Grand Rapids at 218-327-4146 or 218-327-4133.

No ATV registration or trail pass needed Labor Day Weekend

This Labor Day weekend, Minnesota will host its first “Free Wheeling Weekend,” making it free to ride on state and grant-in-aid trails for two days, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

On Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1, Minnesotans whose ATVs are registered only for private or agricultural use can enjoy riding the more than 3,400 miles of state and grant-in-aid trails without paying the additional registration fee to ride on public trails ($53.50 for three calendar years). Out-of-state riders can explore
Minnesota trails as well, without the need for a nonresident trail pass ($21 for a one-year pass).

“Minnesota has a variety of state and grant-in-aid trail riding opportunities that range from an easy cruise along abandoned railroad grades to more difficult climbs on narrow, twisting trail loops in the w oods,” said Mary Straka, off-highway vehicle program consultant for the
DNR. “Many trails are provided by counties, townships and cities with assistance from local clubs. We’re excited to help new riders experience our trail system.”

For trail maps and more information on where to ride, visit or call the
DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free at 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Send questions via email to

For more information about the Free Wheeling Weekend or the off-highway vehicle program, contact Mary Straka in Brainerd in 218-833-8713 or 651-259-5644 in
St. Paul, or by email to

DNR begins recruiting process for new officers

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) expects to hire up to 18 conservation officers for an academy anticipated to start in April 2014. Applications open Aug. 26 and close Sept. 13.

Conservation officers work to ensure public safety and compliance with state game and fish, recreational vehicle, and natural resource commercial operation laws.

Applicants must have a valid Minnesota Peace Officer's License, or be eligible to be licensed by the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST) prior to the time conditional job offers are made, or complete basic police training and be certified as a full-time peace officer in a state or federal law enforcement agency with which Minnesota has reciprocity, and pass the P.O.S.T. Board reciprocity exam by the time conditional job offers are made.
Candidates must pass the general written exam to be admitted to other portions of the exam/selection process.

Other portions of the process will include oral interviews and completion of a comprehensive background investigation. Final job offers will be based on pass ing a medical evaluation, functional capacity exam and psychological evaluation.

The written examination will tentatively be held Oct. 5 at the following locations:

  • Bemidji State University.
  • Cloquet Forestry Center.
  • Central Lakes College, Brainerd, Minn.
  • Minneapolis Convention Center.

All communication will be handled electronically. Applicants must have an updated email address on their resume or they may not be contacted by the
DNR. .

For more information on becoming a
DNR conservation officer and to apply for the position, visit the website at A link near the bottom of the page will take applicants to the job posting.

To ensure consideration for this position, both new and returning applicants need to apply directly to posting number 131743000001 by checking the “apply for this job” box at the bottom of the job announcement.

Deadline for firearm, muzzleloader deer lottery applications

Deer hunters who use a firearm or muzzleloader in a lottery area and want to harvest an antlerless deer must apply for an either-sex permit by the Thursday, Sept. 5, deadline established by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Deadlines for firearm and muzzleloader special hunts also are Sept. 5.

Lottery either-sex permits
Hunters can apply for lottery deer areas using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses.  Although a hunter can be selected for both licenses, successful applicants still can only take one deer.

2013 lottery deer areas are 101, 103, 105, 108, 110, 111, 118, 119, 122, 169, 171, 172, 176, 183, 184, 197, 199, 234, 237, 238, 250, 251, 252, 253, 260, 261, 262, 263, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298 and 299.

In lottery deer areas, firearms and muzzleloader hunters may only harvest a buck if they apply for and receive an either-sex permit, which allows them to harvest an antlerless deer.

Firearm and muzzleloader special hunts
For special hunts, a person may draw both a firearm and muzzleloader permit, in which case they must adhere to the bag limits established by each special hunt. Information on 2013 special hunts is available online at

All lottery winners will receive permits via
U.S. mail. Hunters may apply for an either-sex permit through any DNR license agent, online at, or by calling toll-free 888-665-4236.

Changes to deer application and registration for 2013
Hunters are advised by the DNR to review the DNR’s hunting regulations handbook for new 2013 season information.
“Regulations, and many of our management designations, are quite similar to 2012,” said Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader. “However, there are a few application and registration changes that folks will notice right away.”

This year the DNR will be asking all deer license buyers, including archery hunters, to indicate the deer area they hunt most often.

“While hunters are not obligated to stay in the indicated area, the information helps the DNR assess hunter success,” McInenly said. “Our data indicate that most hunters kill a deer in the area they hunt most often.”
Hunters also should be aware that deer must be registered within 48 hours after harvest and before processing. Telephone and internet registration has been expanded to include series 300 permit areas.  

Funding available for shoreland vegetation projects

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making $225,000 available for grant proposals for restoring native aquatic habitat across the state. Individual grant requests can range from $25,000 to $100,000.

This program provides cost-share grants to counties, cities, watershed districts, other local units of government, conservation groups and lake associations to conduct aquatic habitat restoration projects with native plants to improve fish and wildlife habitat.

Projects on private properties will have at least 75 percent of the frontage restored with an adjacent buffer zone that is at least 25 feet deep or wide. The focus of these projects must be on re-establishing vegetation for fish and wildlife habitat. Funds cannot be used for rock riprap stabilization or permanent wave breaks.

Grants recipients will be reimbursed for a maximum of 75 percent of the total project costs. Applicants must be able to fund at least 25 percent of the total project costs from non-state sources. Matching funds may be cash; volunteer labor; and in-kind contributions of materials, equipment and services.

"This i s an opportunity for lake associations, local communities and conservation organizations to help enhance native shoreline vegetation and fish habitat in their local lakes, streams and rivers," said John Hiebert,
DNR lake habitat consultant. "Since 1999, more than 350 restoration projects have been funded, restoring more than 136,000 feet of shoreline.”

Applications for grants are available on the
DNR website at or by calling the DNR at 888-646-6367. Completed grant applications are due Friday, Nov. 8.

Successful applicants will be notified in February 2014. Funds will be made available after
July 1, 2014.

The grants are funded from state lottery proceeds deposited in the Heritage Enhancement Account. Grants are administered through the
DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division. Projects are selected and designed with guidance from local DNR fisheries managers.

Surplus prairie chicken licenses on sale Sept. 9

Five prairie chicken licenses remain available and will go on sale to unsuccessful prairie chicken lottery applicants at noon on Monday, Sept. 9, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Successful applicants should receive their winner notification by Tuesday, Sept. 3. Licenses can be purchased at any
DNR license agent, online at and via telephone at 888-665-4236.

Surplus licenses will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. People who purchase these surplus licenses will maintain their preference points for next year’s prairie chicken lottery.

In the unlikely event that any licenses remain, people who did not participate in the prairie chicken lottery may purchase them on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at
noon on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

The prairie chicken season runs from Saturday, Sept. 28, to Sunday, Oct. 6. Two prairie chickens may be taken throughout the season. A total of 126 licenses were made available to lottery participants.

Finding a Domain Name Service

German Culture Day Sept 28 at Hjemkomst Center

Moorhead, Minn.,-- More than just beer and brats, German Culture Day is a brand new event for the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County, September 28 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Hjemkomst Center.  The day event is free and open to the public. German Culture Day celebrates German cultural heritage of past immigrants and of contemporary Germany with a combination of traditional music and dance, children’ ;s activities, and folk traditional crafts. Authentic German food will be available to savor as it is complimented with a selection of German imported beer and German-American brews sponsored by Schell’s Brewery and Bergseth Brothers Co. The food and beer are available for purchase.

Musical performers include Dale Dahmen & the Polka Beats from Buffalo, Minnesota, The Flemming Fold from Twin Cities and Amy Klein of Fargo/Moorhead. Dale Dahmen, a composer as well as a musician, was inducted into the Concertina World Congress Hall of Fame in 2012. He has eight albums, composed several original scores and plays in two other bands, one being the New Jolly Brewers.

The Flemming Fold is a versatile family music group composed of four members: Troy Flemming, his wife Sandra and their two daughters. Originally from Southern Minnesota, the Flemming Fold has performed over 600 concerts. Troy, a.k.a “The Yodelmeister,” is a free-style guitarist and yodeler. Along with Sandra on the accordion and their daughters on mandolin, fiddle and base, it is not surprising that the Flemmings have been hailed as one of the most talented musical families in the Twin Cities.

Artisans, demonstrators and vendors will fill the halls with booths about various aspects of German Culture. Karen’s Kuchen, Prairies Home Brewers, Red River Volkswagon Club, and Germans-from-Russia iron wo rks are just a few featured booths you will see at this year’s event.

German Culture Day is made possible by grant funding provided by The Arts Partnership, Moorhead Public Service and The North Dakota Council on the Arts. This event is also made possible by the voters of Minnesotathrough a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

In the evening, the HCSCC is hosting a German Rhineland dinner as a fundraiser for the museum. This four-course meal celebrates the food, wine and beer of the Rhineland region. A fine selection of the best German beers and wines will be available for purchase to complement each course and to entice the palette. This contemporary German dinner is perfectly orchestrated for a tantalizing gastronomic experience that any foodie will rave about. Dinner is served at 6 pm. Tickets are $50 per person and are on sale now through September 21. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.  Contact Tim Jorgensen at 218-299-5511, Ext 6737 or email for more information. The Rhineland Dinner is sponsored by Shell’s Brewery, Happy Harry’s Bottle Shop, and Bergseth Brothers, Co.

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County collects, preserves, interprets, and shares the history and culture of Clay County, Minnesota. HCSCC also provides interpretation of the Hjemkomst Viking Ship, Hopperstad Stave Church Replica, and hosts traveling exhibits in 7,000 s q. feet of temporary exhibition space. The Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County is a community resource for 210,000 people in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area and serves an average of 30,000 visitors a year from all over the world.

For more information, call 218-299-5511 or visit The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County is located in the Hjemkomst Center at 202 First Avenue North in Moorhead.

Bernard Franklin to speak at UMC Thursday, Sept 5th

CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston will host Bernard Franklin, Ph.D., assistant to the vice president at Kansas State University, on Thursday, September 5, 2013. Franklin, who is also the current president of Junior Achievement in Middle America, will be speaking during the campus Thursday Commons at noon in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center, on “Reengineering the Future.” He will also give his presentation “Imagineering the Future” at 7 p.m. in the Kiehle Auditorium that same evening. Both events are free and the public is invited to attend either or both sessions.

Franklin is known for his passion and vision along with his ability to motivate and inspire young people to succeed in today’s world. He takes on such relevant topics as leadership, innovation, empowering the leader inside, as well as encouraging students to consider the important question: “do your skills, talents, and abilities meet the expectation of employers?” Of interest to educators will be Franklin’s expertise on strategic planning, changing demographics, and the future of higher education.  And, community leaders and members will benefit from his knowledge of leadership, innovation, and education.

For more information, contact Lorna Hollowell, director of diversity and multicultural programs at 218-281-8580 ( Sponsors for the event include the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Programs, Crookston Student Association, Center for Adult Learning, and the Career and Counseling Center.

Soil Salinity Field Day Set for Sept. 5 Near Grand Forks

The David Burkland farm near Grand Forks is the site for a soil salinity field day on Sept. 5.

The event is free and open to anyone interested in soil salinity, according to Abbey Wick, North Dakota State University Extension Service soil health assistant professor.

The day begins with registration at
8 a.m. At 9 a.m., Lionel Olson, NDSU Grand Forks County Extension agent, and Paul Bjorg of the Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss soil salinity issues in Grand Forks County.

Other topics and presenters are:

* Soluble salt movement and accumulation --Wick and Chandra Heglund, NDSU Soil Science graduate student

* Crop/variety selection and cover crops for saline soils -- Ross Rivard, Rivard's Turf and Forage Co.

* Fundamentals of iron deficiency chlorosis -- Sarah Lovas, West Central Inc.

* Cover crop rooting (soil pit) -- Chris Augustin, NDSU Extension area nutrient management specialist

* Tiling and water management -- Tom DeSutter, NDSU environmental soil scientist and professor

* Tile design and management issues -- Tom Scherer, NDSU Extension water quality and irrigation specialist

* Economics of tiling -- Dwight Aakre, NDSU Extension farm management specialist

A free lunch will be provided following the presentations. Those wishing to attend the field day are asked to preregister before Sept. 3 by contacting Linda Hammen at the Grand Forks County Extension office at (701) 780-8229 or email at

Three continuing education credits in soil and water management will be offered to those attending the event.

The salinity field day is sponsored by the NDSU Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Grand Forks County Soil Conservation District, AgCountry, and Rivard's Turf and Forage Co.

Construction work on 52nd Avenue South overpass in Fargo

Starting Monday, August 26, crews will begin project work on improving drainage on a Fargodistrict area roadway. North Dakota Department of Transportation – NDDOT – Fargo District will begin a project on the west side of 52nd Avenue South, at the Interstate 29 interchange, in order to help remove standing water on the roadway in times of heavy area rains. Crews will be installing an storm drainage inlet within the median on the 52nd Ave. S.overpass.

On Monday, crews will be closing the median traffic lane (the inside/third lane of traffic) in both west and east directions to begin project work.

During the project, motorists can expect to see the following on 52nd Ave. S.:
·         Two lanes of traffic open in both directions.
·         Speeds reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph.

Project work is expected to last three weeks, weather permitting.

Also starting Monday crews will be working through the week on project follow up on Interstate 29/Interstate 94 tri-level ramp. Motorists should expect the shoulder to be closed, leaving two lanes of traffic open where possible, on the tri-level ramp. With crews working close to traffic, speeds will be reduced while work occurs.

Rear end crashes are the most common in work zones. Motorists are encouraged to slow down, allow extra distance between their vehicles and the vehicle in front of them, use caution and obey flaggers and posted signs.                                                                 

Stay updated

Currently the district has various ways for motorists to stay informed. Motorists have the option to choose the way they prefer to receive instant alerts about NDDOT projects in the Fargometro area including:

Text alerts - Text ‘FargoDOT’ to 66746 to receive alerts on your mobile device for Fargo area DOT projects.

Social media platforms - Like the NDDOT Fargo district Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to get project updates in your news feed.


Email updates - Visit for project information, detour maps and the latest project status. You can sign up to receive email updates on the website.

Making the Best Virtual Impression

You are representing yourself and your business through the World Wide Web on almost every online platform you use: email, social media, forums, e-commerce, etc. So with all the interactions that take place between computers, how are you expressing yourself? In today’s technology obsessed age, often the first place people go to learn more about someone else is the internet. We have kicked privacy to the curb and allowed ourselves to be searchable entities online.  That being the case, it is so important you are presented as your best self.

Open Forum believes this is especially important for professionals.  According to them, “with much business done online today, your online ‘handshake’—the way you answer an email or what you say on social media—directly affects people’s perceptions of you as a small-business owner.” No matter who you, your online image speaks volumes.

Open forum  came up with 6 rules of online etiquette that will help anyone (not just professionals!) make a great virtual impression.

1. Stay neutral. 

2. Follow grammar and punctuation rules. 

3. Know how to use online communication tools.

4. Consider your virtual recipients.

5. Take care choosing your professional user name.

6. Pick up the phone when necessary.

To read the full article, visit

Lane restriction on Highway 1Red River Bridge in Oslo begins Aug. 26

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Motorists traveling on Highway 1 over the Red River in Oslo will encounter temporary lane closures and delays beginning Monday, Aug. 26, as crews conduct bridge inspections.

Traffic will be reduced to a single lane controlled by flaggers from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both lanes will be open each evening after crews have completed their work.

The lane closure will remain in effect through Tuesday, Aug. 27, weather permitting.

Motorists should always drive with caution, slowdown in work zones and never enter a road or lane blocked with barriers or cones.

For more updates on this, and other projects in the region follow us on Twitter @mndotnorthwest, or log on to for real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota.


Another busy weekend for roadway construction and road closures in the Twin Cities Metro Area

ROSEVILLE, Minn. - Motorists should plan ahead this weekend when traveling due to another big weekend of  road construction projects and road closures in the Twin Cities metro area.

Highway projects that may affect travel this weekend in the Twin Cities metro area include:

  • Hwy 3 - closed between 70th Street and Allen Way in Inver Grove Heights.
  • Hwy 10 - single lane both directions between West Main Street/Greenhaven Road and just east of Seventh Avenue.
  • I-35 - single lane southbound between I-35/I-35W/I-35E split and County Road 50.
  • I-35W – closed westbound Ramsey County Rd 10 ramp to southbound I-35W and the northbound ramp to westbound Ramsey County Road 10.
  • I-35W – closed southbound ramp to north/east Highway 13.    
  • Hwy 36 - closed both directions between White Bear Avenue and Hwy 61 and single-lane traffic between Hwy 61 and Edgerton Street. Ramp closures include northbound Hwy 61 to eastbound Hwy 36; westbound Hwy 36 to northbound Hwy 61; southbound Hwy 61 to westbound Hwy 36. 
  • Hwy 65 - closed both directions between Osborne Road Northeast and 81st Avenue NE.
  • Hwy 95 - closed both directions between County Rd 12 and County Rd 16.
  • Hwy 169 - ramp closed from Hwy 101/ Hwy 13 to northbound Hwy 169.
  • I-494 - closed westbound between I-35W and Hwy 100.
  • I-694 - ramp closed from eastbound I-694 to Hwy 65 (Central Avenue).

There are still many work zones around the state that will affect travel this up-coming weekend. Motorists should pay attention in work zones and use extra caution when encountering work zones. 

For specific information about these projects visit

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit                    

Highway 92 to reopen near Bagley

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Motorists will soon be able to drive along Highway 92 south of Bagley as the detour is removed later today.
Traffic has been detoured since July 22 to replace culverts and resurface the 10-mile stretch of highway from Highway 2 to Clearwater County Road 35 north of Zerkel. The detour followed Highway 2, County Road 2 and County Road 37 in Clearwater County.
As a result of the project motorists will now experience a smoother, safer highway with improved drainage beneath the road.
For more updates on this, and other projects in the region follow us on Twitter @mndotnorthwest, or log on to for real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota.

MDA’s annual Greenbook highlights sustainable innovations in agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has just released its 2013 edition of the Greenbook, highlighting the results of innovative projects that test new approaches to raising crops and livestock in Minnesota. The projects are funded by the MDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program, with the aim of promoting environmental stewardship and conservation of resources.

MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson says the Greenbook is a valuable resource for farmers, researchers, and others seeking to improve profitability and quality of life on farms and in rural areas.

“The Greenbookprovides farmers with insights into the successes and occasionally the failures of hundreds of new projects,” says Frederickson. “It enables them to evaluate what sustainable farming systems may work for them and as a result they can more quickly adopt alternative practices.”

Editor Jean Ciborowski says the new edition features nine sustainable agriculture projects in three major topic areas: cropping systems and soil fertility; fruits and vegetables; and livestock.

To view the Greenbook 2013go to the MDA’s web site: or call 651-201-6012 to request a free copy.

Look for the 2014 Sustainable Agriculture Grant Application on the MDA website in mid-September at

Fall Semester 2013 Brings Changes to UMC

CROOKSTON, Minn. – A new residence hall, new programs, and the latest in technology greets students at the University of Minnesota Crookston this fall. Classes begin on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, following a weekend of orientation activities and the annual “Meet Crookston Through Service,” a service event that introduces new students to the community.

The most recent residential facility, Heritage Hall, will be open for only the second semester since it was first occupied last January. Of the three residence halls built on campus since 2006, each one has included a classroom: Centennial Hall (2006), Evergreen Hall (2009), and Heritage Hall (2013). The Harris A. Peterson Classroom, located in Heritage Hall, holds up to 118 and can be reconfigured from a classroom to a large space for hosting campus events. The inclusion of classrooms in the residence halls is designed to encourage a living and learning environment.

The Undergraduate Collaborative Learning and Experiential Applied Research Lab (UCLEAR) allows students across disciplines to explore information in a whole new way. For example, students in the health sciences can “slice” into an MRI, which displays data in 3-D using BodyViz. Tissues can be isolated and examined. The data can be shared with the five Microsoft PixelSense tables in the room where the students can investigate. The PixelSense tables and immersive visualization provide a technologically advanced interface for students to experience course or research material. A team could work on up to 9 different components of the same project or 9 projects can be investigated simultaneously.

New programs in elementary education and finance, which is also offered online, provide students more academic options. An update to Brown Dining Room makes the space even more inviting and gives it a contemporary look.

The campus also welcomes Barbara Keinath, the new vice chancellor of academic affairs, and Carola Thorson, the new director of admissions and enrollment management. Chancellor Fred Wood welcomed faculty and staff during a Welcome Week luncheon on Monday, August 19, and this fall, the campus is preparing to celebrate its 20th year as a four-year institution and its anniversary as the first-ever laptop university in the country.  Special recognition for the 20-year anniversary will kick off at homecoming on October 4, 5, and 6.

Winger Native Crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way

ST. PAUL (August 22, 2013) — MarJenna McWilliam, a 20-year-old college student from Winger, Minn., representing Polk County, was crowned the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way in an evening ceremony at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds August 21.

McWilliam, who will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for nearly 4,000 Minnesota dairy farmers, is the 60th woman to hold the honor. MarJenna is the daughter of Bruce and LaVonne McWilliam of Winger, and attends North Dakota State University, majoring in English education with a Norwegian language emphasis.
County dairy princesses from throughout Minnesota competed for the Princess Kay of the Milky Way title. Rachael Rostad of Wanamingo, representing Goodhue County, and Katie Schmitt of Rice, representing Benton County, were selected as runners-up. Alydia Lee of Lake City, representing Wabasha County, was named Miss Congeniality. Scholarships were awarded to Johanna Knorr of Pelican Rapids, representing West Otter Tail County; Libby Mills of Lake City, representing Goodhue County; and Schmitt.
McWilliam’s first official duty as Princess Kay will be to sit in a rotating cooler in the Dairy Building for about six hours on the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter. Each of the other finalists will have her likeness carved in butter during the fair, as well. This year marks butter sculptor Linda Christensen’s 42nd year carving the Princess Kay of the Milky Way winner and finalists at the Minnesota State Fair.
Throughout her year-long reign as Princess Kay of the Milky Way, McWilliam will make public appearances helping consumers make a connection with Minnesota dairy farm families who are dedicated to producing wholesome milk while caring for their animals and natural resources.
Princess Kay candidates are judged on their general knowledge of the dairy industry, communication skills, personality and enthusiasm for dairy promotion. The Midwest Dairy Association sponsors the Princess Kay program with funds provided by dairy farmers.
Midwest Dairy Association is a non-profit organization that provides consumers with information about the nutrition and wholesomeness of dairy foods, and conducts research and promotional programs.