All Saints Academy seeks Workathon jobs
The 31st annual All Saints Academy Workathon is Saturday, Oct. 25. Staff, students and parents will volunteer their time to assist the elderly and disabled residents of the St. Joseph community. Volunteers will rake leaves, clear gardens, sweep sidewalks and other jobs for those who need help. If you have a job you would like done by these volunteers, or if you would like to make a donation, contact the school office at 320-363-7505, ext. 150.
Half-cent sales tax informational meeting
Mayor Rick Schultz will host a half-cent sales tax informational meeting from 4-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10 at the Wobegon Trail Building, 605 1st Ave. NE, St. Joseph. All community members are encouraged to attend.
Candidate Forum: House District 13A
On Thursday, Oct. 23, the League of Women Voters of the St. Cloud Area will sponsor a candidate forum featuring candidates for Minnesota House District 13A, Emily Jensen and Jeff Howe. The forum will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the City of St. Joseph Fire Hall, 323 4th Ave. NE, St. Joseph. Candidate forums are free and open to the public. Audience participants ask questions relevant to that particular office. Candidates are given equal time to discuss issues of importance to voters.
Firefighters set safety fair
The St. Joseph Fire Department will host a Safety Fair from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10 at the St. Joseph Fire Hall, 323 4th Ave. NE. It will include the following activities: a helicopter on display; an air-bag deployment demonstration; child ID kits provided; batteries distributed for smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors; fire, police and ambulance equipment on display; fire-extinguisher information; an inflatable gym for children; safety tips and handouts; and free hot dogs and beverages.
Senior Connection provides details on paper mill project
Sartell Senior Connection presents Anita Rasmussen at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14 at the School District Service Center, who will provide an update of the Verso paper mill recycling. She will detail how this huge project has provided challenges and opportunities for the community.
Library offers minors chance to erase fines
Great River Regional Library is giving teens and children an opportunity to read down their fines and become active library users again.
Read Down Your Fines Week will take place at all 32 branches of the Great River Regional Library during national Teen Read Week, Oct. 13-18. During Read Down Your Fines Week, for each 15 minutes of reading at the library, $1 will be waived from fines on the accounts of minors ages 16 and under. In the case of very young children with fines on their cards, parents will be able to read down their child’s fines by reading to them in the library.
The library held its initial Read Down Your Fines Week in June of 2013. It was so successful the effort was repeated later that year. During the two weeks, approximately 400 teens and children were able to read their fines down to zero, making them eligible to check out library materials again.
The Read Down Your Fines effort is supported by fundraising, which ensures the loss of fines doesn’t have a negative effect on budgets.
“I think everybody would agree it’s good for young people to be regular library users,” said Beth Ringsmuth Stolpman, library patron services specialist. “When teens are not allowed to check out materials, they may feel unwelcome in our buildings,” she said. “We want them to feel welcome, and we want them to be able to enjoy all of the library’s services.”
Read Down Your Fines only applies to charges that have accumulated for late return of items. It does not apply to charges for lost or damaged materials. Young people who want to take part should speak with library staff as local procedures may vary.
GRRL provides library services at 32 public libraries in Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Morrison, Todd and Wright counties. It provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services.
County to hold surplus auction
Stearns County teamed up with the City of Sauk Rapids to hold an auction Saturday, Oct. 11 to sell seized and surplus property at the Stearns County Highway Department, 455 28th Ave., Waite Park. The auction begins at 9:30 a.m. The site will open at 8 a.m. for interested buyers to look around. Up for sale are numerous government-owned cars, seized cars, trucks and vans, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, moped and ATV. Also on the auction block are a plow truck, computer and office equipment, television, DVD player, books and tools. Go to the Stearns County website at StearnsCountyMN.gov to see the auction flyer and the full list of what is for sale.
Granite City Book Club features The Nearly Departed
Join us at the Stearns History Museum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, for the monthly Granite City Book Club. Minnesota author Michael Norman will lead the discussion and answer questions about his book The Nearly Departed: Minnesota Ghost Stories & Legends.
The dozens of stories in The Nearly Departed take place all across the state of Minnesota, from a haunted depot in Duluth to an old farmhouse by the Iowa border; from Pipestone’s ghostly history museum to a Victorian mansion in Hastings that may be the most haunted house in Minnesota. In local Sauk Centre, the old hotel frequented by novelist Sinclair Lewis hosts the ghosts of a T-shirt-clad young man and a little boy; in Minneapolis, an art museum may be haunted by people once associated with the antique furniture in the museum’s “period rooms;” hear about the St. Paul family that had a ghostly nanny show up late one night and wonder if it might have been a poltergeist at work in a south suburban farm field.
Admission to the Granite City Book Club is free for Stearns History Museum members, a nominal fee for non-members. Books are for sale in the Museum store at a 20-percent discount for members. Join us to meet the author, and enjoy a fun educational evening with others who share your passion for reading.
Founded in 1936, the Stearns History Museum has focused on preserving and interpreting the history of the region for 77 years. The mission of the museum is to engage people in the exploration of the county’s diverse heritage by providing connections to the past, perspectives on the present and inspiration for the future. The Stearns History Museum is nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For more information, please visit www.stearns-museum.org.
United Way Volunteer Opportunities
Share your love of books with residents
Country Manor residents have requested to have a volunteer come in one time per week (for approximately an hour) to read out loud to a small group of residents. The volunteer will choose books they would like to read with approval from the Therapeutic Recreation Department. Day of the week and time of the day is flexible based on: volunteer’s schedule, activities calendar and meal time for the residents. Contact Jacquie Hartman, Country Manor, at 320-253-1920.
Hands Across the World is a nonprofit organization that provides classroom instruction in ESL and other skills for immigrant and refugee newcomers to St. Cloud. They are in need of assistants to help the child-care director care for children. Their goal is to give the children the love and attention they need while they help them learn English and adjust to life in St. Cloud through activities and games. Parents are considered the primary caregivers, and will be responsible for changing diapers and feeding; the volunteers will help the director supervise and carry out activities for the children. If you have worked or plan to work in education or social services, if you just enjoy children or if you’re interested in other cultures, this is a great opportunity for you to help others while learning more about them. Contact Brianda Cediel, Hands Across the World, at 320-260-1072.
Join the staff and kids at Southside, Roosevelt or Eastside Boys and Girls Club unit as a program volunteer. You can make a difference in a child’s life in as little as one hour a week. Set your own schedule with the volunteer coordinator to make your experience valuable. They have opportunities for you to get involved in the areas of education and career development, character and leadership development, the arts, health and life skills, and sports, fitness and recreation. Play board games with the kids, read one-to-one with a child or help with homework, participate in gym activities, share your love of arts and crafts or shoot pool with the teens. It’s as easy as just spending time with kids. They 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. To volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club, they require a minimum commitment of 20 hours during a three-month period. How to apply: volunteers will need to go through an enrollment process (includes interview and orientation). All volunteers are asked to complete a criminal background check before their first volunteer experience. Apply online at www.bgcmn.org or contact Bethany Theisen at 320-257-5115 or email email@example.com.
Donate your old cell phone
If you recently upgraded your cell phone and have an old one to donate, please consider dropping it off at the St. Cloud Hospital Volunteer Office. They work with a program that will clear numbers off your phone, refurbish it and distribute it through local sheriff departments to people who do not have a phone. It will be used only for emergency 911 calls with no monthly service fee. They also accept phone chargers and any other accessories you wish to donate along with your cell phone. Phones can be dropped off at the volunteer office located near the Lakes elevator on A Level. Contact St. Cloud Hospital Volunteer Services at 320-255-5638 with questions.
People helping people
Tri-CAP’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income (generally, $50,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers sponsored by Tri-CAP receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. The Tri-CAP VITA sites are located right here in Stearns, Benton and Sherburne counties. All locations also offer free electronic filing. Contact Tri-CAP at 320-257-4505 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
For more information, contact Mary Krippner, United Way volunteer engagement coordinator, at 320-223-7991 or email@example.com.
The second half of property taxes is due Wednesday, Oct. 15. That is the last day on which to pay the tax without incurring a penalty. The deadline for agricultural property taxes is Nov. 17. There are several payment options. Taxes can be paid online on Stearns County’s website at StearnsCountyMN.gov. A link can be found on the home page. Online payments can be made with an e-check or credit card.
Taxpayers can also set up ACH payment plans, which are automatically deducted form a checking or savings account. Payments are then spread out over a quarterly or 10-month payment period. To do that, call 320-656-3870 and ask for the Direct Payment Plan.
In addition, tax payments can be made in person at one of two places: at the Stearns County License Service Center in Waite Park, one block west of Fleet Farm just off of 28th Ave. S.; or at the Treasurer’s Office at the Stearns County Administration Center at 705 Courthouse Square, Room 136, in downtown St. Cloud.
The Waite Park license center is open from 8:30 a.m- p.m. Monday-Thursday. The county administration center is open from 8 a.m.-:30 p.m.
If the tax payment is mailed, it must be postmarked by the post office no later than Oc.t 15 (or Nov. 17 for ag property taxes) to avoid late penalties. Information about penalties is shown on the reverse side of tax statements.
To ensure property credit, return the stub portion of the tax statement with the check or money order.
For questions, call the Treasurer’s Office at 320-656-3870 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.