Hot off the press
If you’d like to receive the Newsleader hot off the press, send us your email address and we’ll notify you with a link when our website is updated, which is typically by noon a day in advance of the print edition. Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you should start receiving your reminder at that address within a week. Notify us otherwise.
Community Showcase set April 5 at Kennedy
The second annual Community Showcase, sponsored by the St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce, will be held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at Kennedy Community School, 1300 Jade Road, St. Joseph. The free event includes entertainment, food, children’s games and prizes. Come support your local businesses.
Eggstravaganza is April 11 at Winter Farmers’ Market
It’s an “Eggstravaganza” at the St. Joseph Winter Farmers’ Market from 3-6 p.m. Friday, April 11 in the fellowship hall of Resurrection Lutheran Church, 610 C.R. 2 N., St. Joseph. Activities will include free egg decorating for children, live music by guitarist Nick Koopmeiners, and food samples and recipes. CSB/SJU Jackson Fellows will present a photo project on Food Justice. There will be goods available from area growers including eggs, artisan bread, baked goods, lefse, meats, preserved goods, produce from storage, sunflower oil, maple syrup, pottery, popcorn and more.
Teen driving event to prepare young drivers, parents
The Minnesota Highway Safety and Research Center, a program in the Center for Continuing Studies at St. Cloud State University, is conducting a Teen Collision Avoidance/Advanced Driving Skills and Parent Awareness Program from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 12 at its advanced driver training facility.
The four-hour session will be repeated each month through August. The training is geared to drivers ages 15-20 and covers many of the casual factors associated with serious crashes. Teens will drive specially-equipped vehicles on a closed-road course under the supervision of professional instructors. The course will take drivers through scenarios that include safe speed selection, evasive maneuvering, skid control and off-road recovery.
At least one parent must attend a two-hour safety presentation. Parents will also have the opportunity to observe their teen on the training range.
Classes are forming now. Cost is $10. Register at mnsafetycenter.org.
This low-fee program is offered to the public through a partnership between State Farm Insurance and the MHSRC.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death to young people. Crash risk is greatest during the first months of independent driving. In 2012, teen drivers were involved in 11,804 crashes resulting in 40 deaths and 3,844 teen injuries.
Located on 160 acres east of St. Cloud State campus on U.S. Highway 10, the MHSRC’s three miles of paved track and two miles of gravel track host year-round vehicle training. Offerings include advanced courses for the general public, emergency personnel and professional drivers.
Area libraries to conduct online impact survey in April
Central Minnesota library users are being given an opportunity to help shape the future of how library technology will affect their lives and their community. Great River Regional Library will conduct an online technology impact survey during April to find out how patrons use the library’s computers and Internet connection, and how this service has made a positive impact on their lives.
“The survey will help us to understand how patrons use the library’s technology, and that information will help us to improve our technology services in ways that are valuable to the community,” said Karen Pundsack, the library’s associate director of patron services.
The survey can be accessed April 1-30 from library computers or from griver.org, the library website. Individuals must be 14 or older to take the survey. It’s anonymous, available in English and Spanish, and takes 10-15 minutes to complete. It includes general questions about how patrons use the library website and services, as well as specific questions to determine how a patron is using library computers for educational purposes, to access government services, to make social connections, and more and questions that allow the surveyors to complete a demographic analysis of results.
The impact survey is the result of a research initiative from the University of Washington, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It’s coordinated by the University of Washington Information School, which in 2009 conducted the first large-scale investigation of the ways U.S. library patrons use computers and the Internet at public libraries. That study provided evidence that access to the Internet at U.S. public libraries has a profound and measurable impact on individuals and communities. For more information about the Impact Survey, visit http://impactsurvey.org.
The GRRL provides library services at 32 public libraries in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright counties. It provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly one million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services.
Rental rehab loans available
Zero-interest deferred loans are now available for improvements to rental units through the Central Minnesota Housing Partnership.
The deadline for filing applications is April 10.
Jason Krebsbach, community development director for CMHP, explained how the loan program works:
Owners of rental properties can use the loans for a variety of approved, permanent upgrades such as mechanical systems, roofing, siding, windows, doors and appliances in some cases. Those who apply must do so for at least six rental units. The maximum loan amount per unit is $45,000; the maximum for multiple units, all told, is $300,000. The rental units must be considered “affordable,” – that is, those expressly for low- to moderate-income people.
All applications will be rated according to a criteria process, then loans will be granted until current allocations are used up.
To obtain an application or for more information, go to www.cmhp.net. Or call Krebsbach at 320-258-0672.
Waite Park library sets April programs
The Al Ringsmuth Public Library, 253 N. 5th Ave., Waite Park, is offering the following programs:
Gelatin Printing – April 7
Adults and teens 16 and older are invited to learn the art of gelatin printing from 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, April 7. Artist Lucy Senstad, owner of Aunt Annie’s Quilt Shop in Avon, will teach the group the process of making mono prints on fabric or paper. Bring a T-shirt or 12-inch cotton squares for printing. The attendance limit is 12 and registration is required. This program is funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Basic Computer and Internet Help – April 8
An experienced volunteer is available to provide basic computer and Internet help to adults from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, April 8. Participants will learn how to set up an email account, do a basic web search or learn how to use Word. Sessions are up to 30 minutes.
Teen Outdoor Wordplay Game – April 10
A Teen Outdoor Wordplay Game program will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10. Teens 13 to 17 years old will have fun spelling words and earning points on a giant outdoor board. The attendance limit is 20; registration is required.
Llama Llama Storytime – April 12
Children ages 3 to 6 are invited to Llama Llama Read-a-Rama storytime from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 12. Enjoy stories and a craft based on the popular Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney. The attendance limit is 25; registration is required.
For more information, call the library at 320-253-9359.
United Way Volunteer Opportunities
Read to children for Llama Llama Read-A-Rama
Llama Llama Read-A-Rama is a St. Cloud Area community initiative to encourage reading with children, starting at birth. The St. Cloud Times and United Way of Central Minnesota are working with community partners to move this important message forward. Volunteers can read to children and assist with projects in preschools, Head Start Reach Up Inc., and Boys and Girls Clubs on April 10-11. All readers are encouraged to talk about their work/daily life as part of their volunteer experience so children hear about the importance of reading in everyday activity.
Help the Scoutreach Program
Boy Scouts of America is looking for volunteers to help with their Scoutreach Program. Volunteers help teach at-risk youth the values of Boy Scouting through crafts, games and activities at various sites after school. A background check will be completed and youth protection training is required by BSA policy. Contact Jane Holmberg, Scoutreach coordinator, at 320-251-3930.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore seeks volunteers
Do you have an interest in retail and working with home-improvement products? ReStore is a discount home-improvement retail store. All the proceeds of the store go to Habitat for Humanity to build homes locally for low-income families. Volunteers can come for a one-time experience or on a regular basis. One-time volunteers help with general store tasks such as loading/unloading items, cleaning and stocking the floor. Volunteers who commit to coming for one shift per week have the option of being trained in any of these roles: Cashier and Customer Service Specialist, Donations Hotline and Customer Support, Donations and Receiving Volunteer, Sales Floor and Retail Team, Truck Support Team and Lighting/Fan Repair Volunteer. Shifts are available Mondays-Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. (or split shift available) or Wednesdays-Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 2-6:30 p.m. Contact Angie Thaxton, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, at 320-248-7812.
Speedy, Transport and Escort Pool ~ STEP Force Volunteers
St. Cloud Hospital is looking for STEP Force volunteers, which means speedy, transport and escort pool. STEP Force volunteers transport and escort patients, families and visitors throughout the facility. Volunteers will transport patients, deliver flowers and mail, and assist with other deliveries. Volunteers will get plenty of exercise and make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Contact the St. Cloud Hospital Volunteer Services at 320-255-5638.
Enrich the lives of adults with disabilities
The Independence Center Inc. needs activity volunteers to help entertain and enrich the lives of adults with disabilities. If you enjoy sharing stories, playing games, baking brownies, going shopping or making arts and crafts, this is the position for you. You will have a chance to use all your creative skills and make a lasting friendship and bond with our consumers with disabilities.
You do not need to have any prior experience working with people with disabilities. Our staff will provide you with training and will be with you at all times to help you interact with our consumers with disabilities. You must be 15 years of age or older to volunteer. Any persons 18 years or older may need to submit and pass a background check. Contact Jaime Ludwig, Independence Center Inc. program coordinator, at 320-252-4146.
For more information, contact Mary Krippner, United Way Community volunteer coordinator, at 320-223-7991 or email@example.com.