School district sets
spelling bee Jan. 28
The Sartell/St. Stephen School District 748 spelling bee has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28 in the North Media Center at Sartell Middle School. Any home schools within the district wishing to be represented should contact the spelling bee coordinator, Lori Dornburg, at Sartell Middle School, by Friday, Jan. 11. Please include the student’s name, grade, parents’/guardians’ name(s), address, phone number, teacher’s name, school name and home phone number. Participants will join the appropriate grade-level bees at Sartell Middle School. Be aware that Scripps National Spelling Bee rules require each “School” register with Scripps and pay a participation fee. Anyone with questions should contact Dornburg at SMS at 656-3701 ext. 2674.
St. Cloud Hospital requests
healthy visitors only
To protect our patients and staff, St. Cloud Hospital is discouraging visitors with fever or cough from visiting hospitalized patients.
Visitors who are healthy are advised to do the following:
• Clean your hands after arriving and before leaving.
• Always cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve.
• Clean your hands after coughing and sneezing.
Thank you for your cooperation during this challenging flu season.
Individual tax preparer,
tax site assistants sought
Volunteers are needed at the St. Cloud VITA free tax site locations to assist as individual tax preparers and tax site assistants. Tax preparers are responsible for completing individual tax returns for low-income individuals and families. An all-day training session will be offered from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, and three evening sessions, Jan. 22, 23 and 24. If a volunteer cannot attend those sessions, alternate training is available.Tax preparers are required to attend 14 hours of training in mid-January and complete a test as required by the IRS in order to be certified to prepare taxes. Tax site assistants will greet customers, screen taxpayers, assist with the sign-in process and insure the tax site runs smoothly. There will be a two-hour training session for tax site specialists. Volunteers are needed for four-hour shifts from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The tax service runs from the end of January to mid April. Volunteers are asked to commit to four hours per week and need to pass a felony background check. Contact Rod Harren, Tri-CAP Tax Site Manager at (320) 249-2880 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
County farmers asked to remit apps
for key conservation program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications to help farmers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations and achieve other environmental benefits.
NRCS has directed almost $23.7 million in financial assistance for fiscal 2013 to help Minnesota farmers implement conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the agency’s largest Farm Bill conservation program.
“In 2012, Stearns County received $2.3 million in EQIP funds to assist farmers install conservation practices,” said Dennis Fuchs, Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District administrator.
“The Environmental Quality Incentives Program offers farmers, ranchers and forestland managers a variety of options to conserve natural resources while boosting production on their lands,” said David Rose, a district conservationist. “This $23.7 million conservation investment helps improve environmental health and the economy of Minnesota’s rural communities.”
EQIP provides financial assistance for a variety of conservation activities, such as irrigation water management, reduced tillage, field buffers, rotational grazing systems and much more. The deadline for the next sign-up period in Minnesota is Jan. 18. Additional sign-up deadlines include: Feb. 15, March 15 and April 19.
Additionally, NRCS offers special initiatives through EQIP, including:
• On-Farm Energy Initiative: helps farmers conserve energy on their operations.
• Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative: helps farmers install high tunnels designed to extend the growing season into the cold months, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.
• Organic Initiative: helps farmers to install conservation practices on certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification.
To participate in EQIP, an applicant must be an individual, entity or joint operation that meets EQIP eligibility criteria. Applicants can sign up at the Waite Park NRCS service center.
For more information about EQIP or other technical or financial assistance programs offered by NRCS and SWCD, please contact the Waite Park service center at (320) 251-7800, ext. 3. The service center is located at: 110 2nd St. S., Suite 128, Waite Park, MN 56387.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps America’s farmers and ranchers conserve the Nation’s soil, water, air and other natural resources. All programs are voluntary and offer science-based solutions that benefit both the landowner and the environment.
Follow NRCS on Twitter Check out other conservation-related stories on the USDA blog. Watch videos on our YouTube channel. Be the first to know about what is going on at NRCS GovDelivery.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (toll-free), 800-877-8339 (local or federal relay), (866-367-8642 (relay voice users).