Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Snowmobile Safety Class

A Snowmobile Safety Class will be held on Saturday, December 14th from 8am to 2pm at Moorhead Senior High School, 2300 4th Ave. So., in Moorhead. Registration will be from 7:30-8am. The event is sponsored by Clay County Trail Blazers Snowmobile Club (www.claytrails.org), who will also provide pizza lunch.


1)    Must be 12 years old before 3/31/14

2)     Successfully complete and pass all sections on the MN Snowmobile safety training CD.

3)     Printed and signed copy of the voucher of completion offered at the end of the Snowmobile safety training CD.

4)    Birth Certificate or drivers license required

5)    Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during registration.

6)    Dress according to the weather. Inside class, outside ride. Bring helmet if you have one, if not we will supply one.

Snowmobiles will be supplied. Do not bring your sled!


Training CD’s available at the Clay County DMV or the Moorhead Law Enforcement Center.  For questions contact;

Marc Simonet at MaSmn2@aol.com or Phone # 701-793-7977

Harvey Moos at hmoos321@gmail.com  or phone # 701-238-8327

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/index.html (800) 366-8917, or email at info.dnr@state.mn.us.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Health officials investigate E. coli O157 infections at pumpkin patch petting zoo

Three Minnesota residents have become ill with confirmed E. coli O157:H7 infections after contact with animals at Dehn's Pumpkins in Dayton, MN, the Minnesota Department of Health reported today.

The three cases were all children, ranging in age from 15 months to 7 years and are residents of the Twin Cities metro area. One child is hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of an E. coli infection characterized by kidney failure. The others were not hospitalized and are recovering. Routine monitoring by the health department identified the E. coli O157:H7 cases, which all have bacterial isolates with the same DNA fingerprint. These cases visited the farm on October 12 or 13, and became ill on October 16 or 18.

The Minnesota Department of Health is in the process of following up with any groups that visited the farm in order to help determine if more people have become ill. At this time, two additional people have reported symptoms consistent with E. coli O157:H7 infection and are currently being tested. These people visited Dehn's on October 18, raising concern that exposures also could have occurred after the weekend of October 12-13.

All of the cases reported having contact with cattle and/or goats at Dehn's. The farm owners have been cooperating fully with the investigation and public access to the cattle and goat areas is being prohibited. The rest of the farm, including the pumpkin patch, remains open for business.

E. coli O157:H7 is commonly found in ruminant animals such as cattle and goats, and this type of exposure is not unique to Dehn's Pumpkins. Outbreaks associated with contact with farm animals are documented virtually every year in Minnesota. Therefore, people who contact ruminants at any venue, public or private, are at risk for infection with E. coli O157:H7, as well as a variety of other germs. People typically become ill from contact with farm animals or their environment by getting bits of feces on their hands after touching the animals or contaminated surfaces, then swallowing the germs while eating, drinking or during other hand-to-mouth activities. Contamination can be present on the fur or in the saliva of animals, on the ground where the animals are kept, or on surfaces such as fence railings of animal pens.

Symptoms of illness caused by E. coli O157:H7 typically include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools, but only a low-grade or no fever. People typically become ill two to five days after exposure, but this time period can range from one to at least eight days. Most people recover in five to 10 days; however, E. coli O157:H7 infections sometimes lead to HUS, most commonly in children and the elderly.

Health officials say anyone who visited Dehn's Pumpkins since October 12 and develops symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection should contact their health care provider immediately and inform them of their possible involvement in this outbreak. Diarrhea associated with E. coli O157:H7 infection should NOT be treated with antibiotics, as this practice might promote the development of HUS. More information on E. coli O157:H7 can be found at http://www.health.state.mn.us/.

The best way to prevent infections from contact with animals is to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately afterwards. Hand sanitizers might afford some protection until hands can be washed with soap and water but do not work well against some germs or when hands are visibly soiled. Food, drinks, and items that promote hand-to-mouth contact (for example, pacifiers) should never be brought into animal areas.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Speed limits to be raised on three state highways in western Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Transportation will raise the posted speed limit from 55 mph to 60 mph on the entire length of Highway 75, the majority of Highway 59 and 14 miles of Highway 7 in western Minnesota. Crews will begin installation of the new 60 mph signs Oct. 21; the speed limit will be effective once the signs are posted. The Minnesota State Patrol will enforce the new speed limit.

MnDOT traffic engineers in the Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Willmar and Mankato districts studied the best “candidate” highways and found that the approximately 730 combined miles of Highway 59, Highway 75 and Highway 7 meet the necessary criteria.
“We did a careful and thorough study, looking at crash history, the way the roads are designed and what speed the traffic is actually traveling on the road,” said Sue Groth, MnDOT’s state traffic engineer. “Sixty miles per hour was determined to be the safe and reasonable speed limits for these roadways.” 

Highway 75 enters Minnesota south of Luverne and runs through Pipestone, Canby and Breckenridge and is the main north–south route through Moorhead. It ends at the Canadian border north of Noyes.
Highway 59 enters Minnesota south of Worthington and overlaps Interstate 94 near Fergus Falls. The route passes through Detroit Lakes and Thief River Falls before ending at the Canadian border north of Lake Bronson State Park and Lancaster. Two segments of Highway 59 will remain posted at 55 mph between Clarkfield and Marshall and south of I-90 because of different roadway characteristics, including narrower shoulders and reduced sight lines.

Current speed zones through towns on both roadways will remain unchanged.
In addition, MnDOT will raise the speed limit on the 14-mile segment of Highway 7 that runs between Highway 75 (near Odessa) and Highway 59 (near Appleton). 

In 2005, MnDOT raised speed limits from 55 mph to 60 mph on 930 miles of state highways. A study of these roads conducted last year found no negative safety impact.
“MnDOT is not in favor of increasing speed limits across the entire state,” Groth said. “When carefully selecting roadways with the proper characteristics, an increase in the speed limit can occur without negatively affecting overall safety.”

The state departments of Transportation, Health and Public Safety lead Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety program. Each year, illegal or unsafe speed is a leading contributing factor in Minnesota’s fatal crashes. Motorists are reminded that the posted speed limit is the maximum safe speed to travel under ideal conditions. All motorists are required to follow the basic speed limit law which states no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions.

For more information on speed limits, visit www. mndot.gov/speed/index.html.

Friday, October 11, 2013

MnDOT commissioner to host town hall event in Thief River Falls

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle invites the public to attend a town hall event to discuss transportation issues on Thursday, Oct. 24 in Thief River Falls.

The town hall will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Digi-Key Corporation, 701 Brooks Avenue South, Thief River Falls. Please RSVP to Cathy Fynboh, cathy.fynboh@digikey.com or 218-681-6674, ext. 1408 by Tuesday, Oct. 22. Refreshments will be provided courtesy of Digi-Key Corporation.

Commissioner Zelle will lead a discussion about transportation, how it affects quality of life, its strong ties to Minnesota’s economy and the importance of continuing to invest in this significant asset.

The event is open to the public, and includes an “open microphone” question and answer session where the commissioner will take feedback and answer questions about Minnesota’s transportation system.

In addition to Commissioner Zelle, MnDOT District 2 Engineer Craig Collison and other local transportation officials will be available to answer questions.

Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

To request an ASL or foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodation, call 651-366-4720 or 1-800-657-3774 (Greater Minnesota), 711 or 1-800-627-3529 (Minnesota Relay). You may also send an email to ADArequest.dot@state.mn.us.

Two-day detour on Highway 32 north of Fertile begins Oct. 15

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Motorists on Highway 32 north of Fertile will encounter a detour and possible delays when a railroad crossing project begins Tuesday, Oct. 15. The Highway 32 railroad crossing is located about four miles south of Highway 2.

Crews from BNSF will replace the current railroad crossing and motorists will detour onto Highway 2 using Polk County Road 45 and County Road 12.

The detour is expected to be removed on Wednesday, Oct. 16 weather permitting. The project will result in a smoother and safer railroad crossing.

Motorists should use caution near construction zones, MnDOT urges drivers to:

  • Watch for construction crews and equipment in the work zone. 
  • Follow posted speed limits; fines double in work zones.
  • Plan ahead and expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Stay alert; expect the unexpected.

For more updates on this, and other projects in the region follow us on Twitter @mndotnorthwest, or log on to www.511mn.org for real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota.

Many public lands remain open during federal government shutdown

Now that hunting season is underway, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants people to know which public lands remain open during the federal government shutdown.

Minnesota’s wildlife management areas, Walk-In Access areas and state forests are open during the shutdown. State fish and game licenses as well as federal duck stamps can be purchased at any DNR license agent, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense and via telephone at 888-665-4236.

Minnesota’s 76 state parks and recreation areas and state trails remain open. To check if a particular park is a state park, refer to the map online www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/map.html or contact the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157, toll-free 888-646-6367 or info.dnr@state.mn.us.

Superior and Chippewa national forests remain accessible and available for hunting and fishing. U.S. Forest Service offices and visitor centers, including those in Superior and Chippewa, are closed.

National wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages, are closed during the shutdown, according to the federal agency.

Find more information about the status of federal lands and waters impacted by the shutdown at www.doi.gov/shutdown/index.cfm.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

BBB to Sponsor Cyber Security Summit 2013

Burnsville, MN – October 10, 2013 – The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is sponsoring Cyber Security Summit 2013 on October 22-23 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The focus of the Summit is to educate attendees on cyber threats and provide actionable solutions. More than 500 leaders from academia, business and government are expected to attend.

“Cyber Security Summit 2013 has something for every business and organization,” said Lisa Jemtrud, Director of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Ethics. “Keeping your data and the data of your customers and vendors secure is becoming more of a challenge and an issue that businesses, non-profits, government agencies and schools need to address.”

This year’s two-day Summit will showcase prominent keynote speakers and engaging panel discussions, a VIP reception, networking opportunities, and an exhibit area featuring leading industry organizations. Topics addressed at the Summit will include risk management, security intelligence, the privacy debate, the executive response, data breach, and the consequences of inaction. Summit participants will take part in a lively discussion with fellow leaders and learn about the security strategies which are working today, the strategies that aren't, as well as the latest trends in cyber security.

Online registration for this year's Summit is now open and available at cybersecuritysummit.org

Grants available for development and maintenance of OHV trails

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Division has scheduled a series of meetings to provide information about the off-highway vehicle (OHV) grant-in-aid (GIA) program, a cost-share program to facilitate development and maintenance of trails.

These meetings are intended for groups with an active interest in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and off-road vehicles (ORVs), such as sport utility vehicles and modified trucks. The meetings will not be for snowmobile trails.

Groups currently receiving GIA funds are encouraged to attend. These meetings will also be helpful to local units of government that sponsor GIA contracts and clubs that want to expand public OHV trails in Minnesota.

DNR staff, including Parks and Trails area supervisors and OHV acquisition and development specialists, will explain the GIA application process, provide copies of the GIA manual and forms and answer questions.

Grant applications for maintenance of existing trails are due by Nov. 30. New trail proposals are accepted at any time.

The DNR asks anyone planning to attend one of these meetings to RSVP (see phone numbers below) so that adequate space and materials will be available:

Bemidji: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m. - noon, Lake Bemidji State Park Visitor Center, 3401 State Park Road, NE, Bemidji, MN 56601; RSVP: 218-308-2367.

Tower: Thursday, Oct. 24, 6 - 8 p.m., Tower DNR office, 650 Highway 169, Tower, MN 55790; RSVP: 218-753-2580.

Rochester: Thursday, Oct. 24, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Rochester Community and Technical College (Heintz Center, Room #HA 122), 1926 College View Dr. SE, Rochester, MN 55904;
RSVP: 507-206-2847.

Sauk Rapids: Monday, Oct. 28, 7 - 9 p.m., Sauk Rapids DNR office, 940 Industrial Dr. South #103, Sauk Rapids, MN 56379; RSVP: 320-223-7878.

Fergus Falls: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Fergus Falls DNR office, 1509 First Ave. NE, Fergus Falls, MN 56537; RSVP: 218-739-7576.

Moose Lake area: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6-8 p.m., Rutledge Community Center, 7369 Highway 61, Rutledge, MN 55785; RSVP: 218-485-5410.

Windom: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Windom DNR office, 175 County Road 26, Windom, MN 56143; RSVP: 507-831-2900.

Metro area: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 7 - 9 p.m., Gander Mountain, 10650 Baltimore St. NE, Blaine, MN 55449; RSVP: 651-259-5874.

Brainerd: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 6 – 8 p.m., Brainerd DNR office, 1601 Minnesota Dr., Brainerd, MN 56401; RSVP: 218-833-8710.

As additional meetings are scheduled, details will be posted at www.mndnr.gov (www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/ontrack/index.html). 

For questions about the OHV GIA program or suggestions for topics to discuss at upcoming meetings, contact Mary Straka, OHV program coordinator, 218-833-8713 or mary.straka@state.mn.us.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Essentia Health-Ada Clinic Hosts Community Health Fair

We all want to lead healthier lives.  Essentia Health-Ada Clinic is helping community members reach that goal by offering its annual Health and Wellness Fair. The event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at the clinic, 201 Ninth St. W. in Ada.

Each year, the Health Fair provides education and awareness to residents of Norman County and the surrounding area. Participants can learn about diabetes, cancer, bone density and fitness. Residents can stroll through informational booths and get a $25 blood screening, with all proceeds benefiting Essentia Health’s Bridges Foundation.

Pre-registration is encouraged for the blood screening. Call (218) 784-2727. Fasting at least eight hours before the blood screening is recommended for the most accurate results. The screenings include a complete blood count, a blood sugar test, a test for thyroid-stimulating hormone, a comprehensive metabolic panel and a prostate-specific antigen test.

Healthy habits start when we’re kids. This year, the Health Fair will promote physical activity for kids by featuring a performance by Just for Kix.  The group will perform at 10 a.m. and will lead a mini dance camp at 10:30 a.m. The fun is open to kids ages 3-8.  Participants in the dance camp will perform at 11 a.m. at the health fair.

The walk-in care at the Essentia Health-Ada Clinic will be closed on Saturday, Oct. 26, because of the Health Fair. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Anytime Fitness CEO and Co-founder Chuck Runyon to Speak at UMC

CROOKSTON, Minn. - Chuck Runyon, CEO and co-founder of Anytime Fitness will speak at the University of Minnesota Crookston on Tuesday, October 22, 2014. The event, which takes place in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center at noon, is free and the public is invited. The first 300 people in attendance will receive a complimentary copy of Chuck Runyon’s book, Working Out Sucks! (And why it doesn’t have to).Runyon will be available following the presentation to sign copies of his book.

The event is part of the speaker series sponsored by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES), based on the Crookston campus. For information on Runyon’s visit, contact Rachel Lundbohm, director of CRES at 218-281-8190 or call the CRES office at 218-281-8595.

Runyon will focus on the four phases of being an entrepreneur, Level 5 leadership, and Return on Emotional Investment (ROEI). Anytime Fitness is the fastest-growing fitness club franchise in the world. In just 11 years, the Minnesota-based chain has grown to more than 2,000 clubs in all 50 U.S. states and 14 countries and serves more than 1.5 million members.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

No surplus either-sex deer permits available for 2013

For the first time since surplus permits were offered in 2007, no leftover either-sex deer permits are available for purchase after the lottery deadline, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

The DNR offered 38,850 either-sex permits in 58 deer permit areas this year. Every permit area received applications for at least 100 percent of the permits available.

In lottery deer areas, firearm and muzzleloader license holders who intend to take an antlerless deer must have an either-sex permit; otherwise, they are restricted to hunting bucks. The total bag limit for deer in lottery areas is one deer per year.

Availability of leftover permits has declined since the development of the hunter choice management designation, which was first used in 2011. Similar to lottery areas, hunter choice-designated areas have a bag limit of one deer; however, no limit is placed on the number of available either-sex permits and lottery applications are not required.

Bicycle Trail at Itasca State Park Closed For Reconstruction

The six-mile paved bicycle trail that goes from Douglas Lodge to the Mississippi headwaters area at Itasca State Park in Park Rapids is about to undergo major reconstruction, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

All of the existing asphalt will be removed this fall. The trail will be regraded and, in the spring, it will be given a new coat of blacktop. The work is scheduled to be completed by mid-June.

“Once this project is done, the trail will be smoother and safer for bicyclists,” said Jeff Karels, assistant park manager.

The majority of the $1.5 million project will be paid for with state bonding dollars. The rest will come from a federal recreational trail program grant and from the parks and trails fund, created after Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008.

While the bicycle trail is closed, Wilderness Drive will remain open for bicyclists who don’t mind sharing the road with motor vehicles. The 10-mile, one-way scenic drive heads west from the headwaters and ends near Douglas Lodge. There are many spectacular sights along the way, including a couple of Minnesota’s tallest pine trees.

For a map and other information about the park, including details about renting bicycles, visit www.mndnr.gov (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/itasca) or contact the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157, toll-free 888-646-6367, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or at info.dnr@state.mn.us.

Temporary OHV trail closures begin in November

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will restrict recreational use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in some areas during the upcoming firearms deer hunting season. Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and registered off-road vehicles (ORVs) such as four-wheel drive trucks that are not being used in conjunction with deer hunting by a licensed deer hunter.

The restrictions, which apply to state forest trails and access routes but not to state forest roads, aim to protect recreational riders from potentially unsafe riding conditions and to minimize conflicts between deer hunters and recreational riders who may inadvertently disturb them.

Licensed deer hunters may still use these routes in conjunction with their hunting activity:

  • Before legal shooting time.
  • From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • After legal shooting hours.

Effective dates of the recreational riding restrictions will be:

  • Nov. 9 – 24 for the northeastern Minnesota 100 Series deer season.
  • Nov. 9 – 17 for the Minnesota 200 Series deer season.

Because recreational OHV trails located in southeastern Minnesota close Nov. 1 each year, no additional OHV riding restrictions are necessary in that part of the state.

While many recreational OHV riders have voluntarily opted not to ride forest trails during deer hunting and small game seasons, recreational OHV riding has become a year-round sport for many. DNR officials remind everyone who visits Minnesota’s state forests this fall to put safety first.

For more information, see the 2013 deer season map online at www.mndnr.gov (http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/hunting/2013/deermap.pdf) or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Artisan cheesemakers urged to take food safety workshop

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is co-sponsoring a food safety workshop specifically designed for artisan and farmstead cheesemakers. The workshop is set for Tuesday, October 29, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Country Inn and Suites in Northwood, Iowa.

Artisan cheesemakers will learn best practices to maintain, monitor, and control cheesemaking operations to effectively manage food safety concerns. Case studies will highlight specific practices important for artisan cheese manufacturing operations and participants will review key aspects of micro-organisms most relevant to cheese production.

MDA Dairy and Food Inspection Division Director Dr. Heidi Kassenborg says interest in artisan cheese has increased in recent years, prompting the need for food safety workshops.

“We want to provide producers with the tools and information to produce a safe product,” says Kassenborg.  “This will not only protect consumers but will help protect the health of the business.  We have seen how product recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks can be devastating to a food business.”

Instruction will be provided by Dennis D’Amico, formerly of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, whose research and outreach efforts focus on improving the safety of artisan cheeses through risk assessment and reduction.

Cost for the one-day workshop is $49.00. The deadline to register is October 15. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Midwest Dairy Association are co-sponsors with assistance from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. For more information, contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Elaine Santi at 218-744-3335 or the Iowa Department of Agriculture’s David Brown at 515-281-3545.

Complainants say PerfectTix.com has Spotty Record of Customer Service

Burnsville, MinnesotaOctober 3, 2013 – The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is issuing an alert about PerfectTix.com, an online ticket broker based in downtown Minneapolis. The BBB has given the company an “F” rating due to a pattern of complaints involving customer service and seven complaints being closed as unanswered.

“People turn to this company – and others like it – when they’re desperate to see a game, a theater production or a performer in concert,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “However, the secondary ticket market generally always involves increased costs and, sometimes, increased risk.”

On their website, PerfectTix.com states they “specialize in hard to get concert tickets for “Sold Out” shows and sporting events.” Complaints against the company allege that the cost of tickets purchased were higher than expected due to service fees and undisclosed taxes – which some customers state weren’t assessed until after the original credit card transaction had closed. In some cases, customers state they were quoted a ‘per ticket’ price and then discovered later that the quoted costs did not include service fees. Some complainants allege their calls and emails to the company were not returned. Others allege they were treated rudely by company personnel.

PerfectTix.com has responded to and resolved three of the ten complaints filed against them. In their responses, the company stated that in some cases they’re acting as a broker and any service fees assessed were assessed by the third party entity the tickets were actually purchased from. They also cited a policy they say all customers agree to wherein all sales are final.

When searching for tickets at a given venue online, consumers should make sure they’re visiting the official website for that venue. Sometimes general Internet searches will bring you to secondary ticket websites which may sell tickets to games or performances at that particular venue, but are not directly associated with them. These tickets will generally always cost more.

Consumers should also be aware that prices for tickets purchased on the secondary market can be significantly higher than the ticket's actual face value. The BBB recommends that potential customers thoroughly review and understand the policies on pricing, cancellation, refunds and service fees before making a commitment to purchase.

Other tips for consumers searching online for event tickets include:

Research the company at bbb.org

Before buying from an online ticket broker, look for the BBB logo on the website and click on it to make sure it is real. The BBB’s dynamic seal should take you directly to the BBB Business Review. Shoppers should always look in the address box for the “s” in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying. 

If you buy tickets through an online auction site, choose a seller with a long history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure the seller has recently sold other tickets. 

Ticket buyers also should be wary of sellers who try to lure buyers from a legitimate site to another site for a “private” transaction. Scammers often want to conduct their business on sites with names that mimic well-known companies but are actually fakes.

If you are buying tickets through an online classified ad site, never pay the seller by wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

North Dakotans invited to learn more about changes in health insurance

FARGO, N.D. (Oct. 2, 2013) — Knowing that changes in health care reform is generating many questions, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) is hosting a series of information sessions for individuals and families in October. BCBSND has made efforts to educate a variety of groups, including employers, agents, brokers and consumers for the past two years through seminars, forums and other avenues; these sessions are an extension of those educational efforts. The statewide information sessions will explain the changes and the impact of the law, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” on health insurance coverage, choices and costs.

BCBSND will host sessions in eight different cities across the state of North Dakota.  All meetings are free and open to both BCBSND members and non-members. The sessions are generally geared toward those who buy their own health insurance, are uninsured or are not offered coverage by their employer. Interested individuals can choose from two sessions each day. Morning sessions are scheduled from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. and the afternoon sessions are scheduled from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. at these cities and locations:

Oct.8 – Grand Forks, Canad Inn Destination Center

Oct. 9 – Minot, Grand Hotel

Oct. 10 – Dickinson, Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge

Oct. 15 – Bismarck, Kelly Inn

Oct. 17 – Jamestown, Gladstone Inn & Suites

Oct. 22 – Williston, Hampton Inn & Suites

Oct. 23 – Valley City, AmericInn Lodge & Suites

Each session will feature frequently asked questions noted by individuals and families who are facing new choices. Topics covered will include:

·         The impact of the federal requirement that most Americans have health insurance

·         What “essential benefits” are included in every new health insurance plan

·         How to determine eligibility for the federal tax credit to help pay for your health insurance

·         Important factors that will affect your coverage plan choices

·         Critical dates for enrollment

·         Shopping for the right health plan for your individual or family situation.

Pre-registration is encouraged because of limited seating at each location. Interested individuals can submit specific questions in advance as well as register online at www.ItStartsWithBlueND.com or by calling 800-280-2583. Complete information, addresses and maps of each meeting location are also available on the website. The sessions are part of the member-owned company’s on-going commitment to keep North Dakotans informed about changes in the health care system and health insurance in North Dakota

MN's problem gambling website receives national award

GetGamblingHelp.com, a website sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services to provide information and resources to people facing a compulsive gambling issue, received the National Council on Problem Gambling’s award for Best Problem Gambling-Related Website.

“We appreciate recognition for this website. It is a critical resource for connecting thousands of Minnesotans with the support and treatment they need when they or their loved ones begin to have problems because of gambling,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson.

The site was developed in partnership with Russell Herder, a creative marketing firm, and was funded by DHS with proceeds from the Minnesota Lottery to increase awareness of problem gambling and available resources. Resources include problem gambling treatment available free of charge to qualified Minnesota residents. DHS also sponsors the problem gambling helpline, 1-800-333-HOPE.

The National Council on Problem Gambling is the national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families. Its mission is to increase public awareness of pathological gambling, ensure the widespread availability of treatment for problem gamblers and their families, and to encourage research and programs for prevention and education. The award was presented at the organization’s 27th annual national conference.