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Rebecca Best, a dean of educational services at Central Lakes College, was recognized at a Minnesota Online Council meeting in St. Paul recently for having completed a three-year term as a council member.
/ Source: The Brainerd Daily Dispatch

Rebecca Best, a dean of educational services at Central Lakes College, was recognized at a Minnesota Online Council meeting in St. Paul recently for having completed a three-year term as a council member.Best recognized for service on council

Rebecca Best, a dean of educational services at Central Lakes College, was recognized at a Minnesota Online Council meeting in St. Paul recently for having completed a three-year term as a council member.

Minnesota Online provides a collaborative framework for serving the online learners of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Students receive awards for Warrior Outlet work

Four students in the Brainerd High School Marketing class have received awards for their exceptional work in the school store, the Warrior Outlet.

Branden Christensen and Emiliana Quintana earned the gold awards while Ray Isle and Austin Metzger earned silver awards. The awards are earned by employees who have exceptional achievements and work ethic in their positions.

Business After Hours in Aitkin

AITKIN - Aitkin Health Services will host the Aitkin Area Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours from 5-7 p.m. May 29.

The chamber's monthly membership luncheon is 11:30 a.m. is May 29 at the 40 Club with speaker Darrell Mishler, M&D Creative Concepts, who is expected to talk about the benefits to a small business of utilizing a Web site.

Fairview Office Park gains green building award

BAXTER - The Fairview Office Park in Baxter was the recipient of the Green Building and Development Award presented at the Nicollet Island Pavilion with more than 500 guests in attendance on May 15.

The award banquet was hosted by the nonprofit Minnesota Environmental Initiative, dedicated to building partnerships and collaborative solutions to Minnesota's environmental problems. This was the 15th anniversary of the Environmental Initiative Awards.

Janelle Riley representing her family who co-own and operate Syvantis Technologies, Computer One and the Fairview Conservancy accepted the award along with Cheryal Lee Hills, executive director of Region Five Development Commission that nominated the Fairview Office Park project. Don Hickman from the Initiative Foundation accompanied Riley and Hills as a project supporter. The Fairview Office Park project was awarded for "demonstrating partnerships and a commitment to efficient and sustainable building practices or use of land, accounting for economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and enhanced social fabric of affected communities." The project was partially funded by the MPCA, Initiative Foundation, Happy Dancing Turtle, University of Minnesota Regional Partnership and Crow Wing Power.

Grand Casino gains readers' choice awards

ONAMIA - Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley received a combined six awards in the 2008 Midwest Gaming & Travel Readers' Choice Awards survey of American Indian casinos.

Both casinos were honored for having the best players club in Minnesota. The Grand Rewards Players Club is one of the few players clubs in the country to offer cash and complimentary rewards for playing slots and table games at either Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Grand Casino Hinckley, or both. Membership is free.

Grand Casino Hinckley was also recognized for throwing the state's best players club parties, and for having the friendliest dealers, the best casino hosts, and readers' favorite themed/casual restaurant in the Grand Grill Americana. Grand Casino Mille Lacs was recognized for having readers' favorite fine dining restaurant – Woodlands Steakhouse.

A full listing of the magazine's 2008 Readers' Choice Awards winners will appear in its July issue.

Workshop for forest-based products planned

This workshop is designed to provide information on Forest Stewardship Council certification programs and how woodland owners, loggers and primary and secondary producers of forest-based product in northern and central Minnesota can become involved in a group forestland management or chain-of-custody program.

The issue of FSC certification is of major concern to may of the region's woodland owners and producers. "Builders, architects, lumberyards, and homeowners are increasingly demanding green, specifically FSC, certification on the building products they purchase," said Kathryn Fernholz, executive director of Dovetail Partners, in a news release. The new Minnesota GreenStar program and the growing use of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system have created a new market demand for area FSC certificated forest-based products that is not being filled by local suppliers.

Later this summer the Minnesota Wood Campaign and Minnesota Wood Education Project will be offering woodland owners, loggers and primary and secondary forest product producers the opportunity to join a group certification program. The group certification program will be supplemented by a local-sustainable promotion campaign that will connect local FSC product suppliers with builders and architects in the upper Midwest region.

Fernholz is the workshop presenter, a trained forester and an expert on the FSC program. She will discuss what FSC certification is, why it is just now beginning to be demanded in the marketplace, where it is being used, and how northern and central Minnesota woodland owners and producers can become part of the program.

In Brainerd, the workshop is 2:30 p.m. June 4 at Central Lakes College.

Price check

Associated Press

If you have been going to the same drugstore for as long as you can remember, it may be costing you more than you know.

A recent study shows there are huge disparities in prices for pharmaceutical drugs, with the difference sometimes costing more than $100 for the same prescription. While prices vary from store to store, a prescription can sometimes cost much less at a pharmacy of the same chain that's just down the street.

Consumer Reports magazine made more than 500 calls to 163 pharmacies nationwide to gauge prices of four different prescription drugs. One of the drugs, generic alendronate for osteoporosis, had a price range of $124 to $306.

Besides placing calls and comparison shopping, other cost-saving tips include:

- Check independents. While mom-and-pop stores are not the cheapest overall, many are highly competitive.

- Talk with your employer and pharmacy benefit managers, who are in charge of processing prescription drug claims. They may be able to negotiate rebates and discounts on behalf of their clients.

- Buy generic drugs, which can cost 20 percent to 50 percent less than their brand name equivalents.

- Check for discount programs specific to age or insurance.

The CFO diaries

The majority of chief financial officers believe that the roles of chief executive officer and chairman should be held by different people, according to a recent survey.

Of those polled by the accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP, about 82 percent said the two positions should be independent of each other, while a third said their company was not fully compliant with federal corporate accounting laws under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

More than 90 percent said shareholders should have greater access to compensation information in proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in order to nominate directors more easily.

"We're seeing that chief executive officers do want shareholders to step in and be as knowledgeable as possible when it comes to playing a role in this process," said Ed Nusbaum, CEO of Grant Thornton. "There seems to be an overwhelming response in regards to their corporate governance. They are saying what they feel is in the best interest of the company and the investors, and that is that the CEO may have too much control - something they might not normally come forward and say without a veil of anonymity."

Berry good news

Sure, there once was a time when the corporate BlackBerry - usually reserved for high-ranking employees - gave you anxiety every time the e-mail notification buzzed. But not anymore, according to an online survey of 1,465 professionals; nearly 80 percent said they were not stressed by their work phones or handheld devices.

But along with that nonchalant attitude comes a case of mobile faux pas - 18 percent also admitted to being reprimanded for having bad manners.