Hot off the press
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CentraCare hosts PAWS-itively Healthy
Keep your pet healthy and keep yourself healthy, too — owning a pet is literally good for you. Veterinarian Nancy Altena, Companions Animal Hospital, will share tips for keeping the furriest member of your family as healthy as possible from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Windfeldt Room at CentraCare Health Plaza,
During the evening, you also will learn about the Animal Assisted Therapy Program at St. Cloud Hospital, meet one of its canine volunteers and discover how you and your pet might be able to bring a smile to hospitalized patients. Light snacks and a door prize included. Free. Advance registration required at centracare.com. Register early; seating is limited. For more information, call 320-656-7021. Sponsored by St. Cloud Hospital Women and Children’s Center and Volunteer Services.
School district hosts special needs council
A council meeting for parents of students with special needs will be held from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3 at the Sartell District Service Center, 212 3rd Ave. N., Sartell. For more information, contact Marlene Grindland at 320-290-0277. RSVP: Jody 320-252-8427.
Sartell elementaries host kindergarten round-ups
Sartell elementary schools will host kindergarten round-ups this week. Pine Meadow’s is on Jan. 28; Oak Ridge’s is on Jan. 30. For more information, call 320-253-8303 for Pine Meadow; 320-258-3693 for Oak Ridge.
Draw a duck to conserve wetlands
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting entries for the 2014 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest, which in Minnesota is administered by Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Student artwork will be judged in four grade groups: kindergarten through third, fourth-sixth, seventh-ninth, 10th-12th. Submitted artwork must feature a native North American waterfowl species. A full list of permitted species as well as an entry form and information about the contest is available at www.fws.gov/juniorduck.
Three first-, three second- and three third-place, along with 16 honorable mentions will be awarded in each age group. In addition, the conservation message and special student honors will be awarded. The artwork will be judged on original design, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a 1-inch by 1½-inch stamp.
A Best of Show entry will be selected from the 12 first-place winners and entered in the national contest held in April. The national winner’s artwork is used to create a Junior Duck Stamp each year. The stamp is available for $5, with proceeds used to support conservation education and contest awards.
Entries must be postmarked by March 15 and mailed to Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, 3815 American Blvd. E., Bloomington, MN 55425. For more information, contact Mara Koenig at 952-858-0710 or email@example.com.
The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program is a dynamic educational program designed to spark youth interest in habitat conservation through science, art, math and technology. Students in kindergarten through high school are encouraged to interpret the natural world through artistic expression. By providing a basis for participation in the Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest, the activities encourage students to move beyond simply “learning about” wildlife and wildlife art to testing their abilities as wildlife artists.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws/gov.
Preprinted tax forms not available at libraries
Preprinted tax return forms will not be available at area libraries in 2014.
The library is discontinuing the provision of preprinted tax forms due to difficulties in obtaining forms and instructions.
“The IRS has done a poor job of getting all of its information and all of the forms available in a timely manner,” said Karen Pundsack, the library’s associate director for patron services. “We want people to have a good experience at the library, but where tax forms are concerned, that’s been taken out of our control because the arrival of the forms has been unpredictable.
“Library staff will provide assistance in locating helpful resources. However, we are not financial professionals and cannot offer tax advice or help in filling out tax forms,” Pundsack said.
Federal and state agencies are encouraging people to complete their tax returns online. Preprinted tax forms will be available from government revenue departments by request. The IRS toll-free number to request forms and publications is 1-800-829-3676. The Minnesota Revenue toll-free number to request tax forms is 1-800-652-9094.
Taxpayers continue to have the option of printing tax forms using library equipment. Great River Regional Library provides services at 32 locations in Central Minnesota. Each location has Internet stations and printers available to the public. Time limits make it impractical for taxpayers to file electronically using library computers. Instead, they can print the forms they need for 10¢/page.
For more information, contact the library at 320-650-2500.
Great River Regional Library provides library services at 32 public libraries in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright counties. It provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services.
Kids safe online poster contest seeks entries
Raising awareness among children of all ages about online and computer safety is the main purpose of a poster contest open to all Minnesota K-12 students. The Kids Safe Online Poster Contest, sponsored by MN.IT Services, the State of Minnesota’s information technology provider, offers kids the chance to creatively explain cyber security and have those efforts nationally recognized.
Students can submit a poster illustrating the safe use of the internet, computers and/or mobile devices. Poster ideas can cover a range of topics including cyber bullying, visiting safe websites and the dangers of online gaming, just to name a few.
“The contest is a fun way for parents, teachers and kids to talk about the serious issue of internet safety,” said Chris Buse, chief information security officer, MN.IT Services.
Up to three state winners in each grade group (K-5, 6-8 and 9-12) will be selected to represent Minnesota in the National Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center’s Cyber Security Awareness National Calendar Contest. Last year, Minnesota had two national winners featured in the calendar.
Entries must be received by Feb. 5. Find more information and contest details on the MN.IT website.
United Way volunteer opportunities
Project H.E.A.L. seeks volunteers
Project Health, Education, Access, Link is an outreach program of CentraCare Family Health Center. Thanks to the support from St. Cloud Hospital and several community partners, CentraCare Family Health Center sponsors Project H.E.A.L., offering free health screenings and basic care at various Central Minnesota locations. Volunteers include receptionists, nurses, physicians and patient advocates. This ecumenical effort has more than 50 volunteers from local congregations, including many health-care professionals working full-time jobs who are committed to our mission. Contact Paul Knutson, Project H.E.A.L., at 320-240-3116.
Animal Assisted Therapy (Pet Partners)
Volunteer trainer/handler will use their Pet Partners’ registered animal to work with patients in a specific treatment modality based on a written individualized treatment plan/goal or to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning. Volunteer Pet Partners’ registered animal will work with patients in a specific treatment modality based on a written individualized treatment plan/goal or to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning. Requirements include registration as Pet Partner Therapy Team; visit www.petpartners.org for more information, health and immunization record of the animal including vet exam within last 12 months and rabies and distemper vaccines. Contact the CentraCare Health System Volunteer Office at 320-255-5638 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take part in a child’s education
Help a child read. Help a child with math. Take part in a child’s education and learning by becoming a reader, tutor or mentor to a child at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota. Make a difference in a child’s life in as little as one hour a week. You will set your own schedule with the volunteer coordinator to fit your needs. We only ask volunteers be able to relate well with children in a group environment, participate as an active team member with staff and other volunteers, and abide by volunteer policies. Volunteers must go through an interview and orientation process as well as complete a criminal background check before starting their volunteer experience. Contact Bethany Theisen, Boys and Girls Club volunteer coordinator, at 320-257-5115.
Help sort merchandise
Help is needed at the For Pets’ Sake Thrift Store. Volunteers will assist staff with sorting and categorizing donated merchandise, store stocking, customer service, and helping to maintain an overall presentable environment and pleasant experience for customers. Must be 18+ and have your own transportation. There is a required training prior to volunteering. Volunteers must be able to lift 20 pounds. Minimum two-hour shift per week. Proceeds benefit the Tri-County Humane Society. Contact Kim Williams, Tri-County Humane Society volunteer coordinator, at 320 252-0896.
Prepare meals for women’s shelter
Anna Marie’s Alliance is looking for small groups of men and women (teenagers welcome if supervised by adult) to prepare meals for residents on the weekends. Volunteers will prepare a menu of their choice or one can be selected for them. Time commitment is three hours on a Saturday or Sunday. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to eat with the residents. They ask groups try to commit to one shift a month. Anna Marie’s Alliance mission is to provide a safe place for victims of domestic abuse and to achieve systems change that reduces violence. Contact Marj Groseth, Anna Marie’s Alliance volunteer coordinator, at 320-253-6900.
Help transport patients
CentraCare Plaza is looking for volunteers to help the staff in the Endoscopy Department in various ways: transporting patients, answering phone calls, stocking supplies and more. Volunteers are needed from 7-11 a.m. Tuesdays. Contact the volunteer office at 320-255-5638 or email@example.com.
For more information, contact Mary Krippner, United Way Community volunteer coordinator, at 320-223-7991 or firstname.lastname@example.org.