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Color Run at Breckenridge Elementary slated for May 1

The Breckenridge Education Foundation is holding a Color Run at Breckenridge Elementary School Wednesday, May 1. The academic booster club is raising money to enhance the school district, which is given in the form of grants.

Sarah Kratcha, a fifth grade teacher at the school and member of the foundation, said the group has purchased interactive televisions for district classrooms, bee-bots coding devices for the lower grades and they recently granted a LEGO wall that will be installed in the first and second grade classrooms.

Students have been collecting pledges and money for the race and Kratcha said as of Friday, there were 112 registered to compete. So far, nearly $8,000 has been raised. The more money a student raises, the more incentives, or prizes, they get for the race. In the past, incentives included funny wigs, sunglasses and tutus.

Racers enjoy getting dressed up for the colorful activity.

The Color Run is open to everyone. There is a $30 registration fee the day of the event, if not already registered, and there are a limited number of T-shirts available. Organizers say the colored powder, which is thrown on racers as they run through different stations on the route, is machine washable.

Registration runs from 5-5:45 p.m. and the race starts at 6 p.m. at the elementary school. The route takes racers through a residential neighborhood and over to the high school and back. Police cars will be leading the race and blocking traffic where needed. Prizes will be given out for the top male and female competitors.

The family-friendly event also features face painting and a dunk tank, all set up near the school playground. A free-will offering supper meal of hotdogs, chips and cookies, will be available shortly after the race begins.

For more information, visit Breckenridge 846 Education Foundation’s Facebook page or contact the school district.


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Chahinkapa Zoo cleanup

Logan Stirling of Hankinson, N.D., Connor Brause of Fergus Falls, Minn., and Griffin Mahoney of Breckenridge, Minn., are three of the 60 volunteers who turned out for Zoo Clean Up Day on Saturday, April 20. Chahinkapa Zoo Director Kathy Diekman said it is a smaller group than previous years due to the holiday weekend, but they did a fabulous job. ‘We are so pleased and appreciative,’ she exclaimed. The zoo will accept help each evening leading up to the opening day April 27. Call Diekman at 701-899-1711 if you would like to volunteer.


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Spaghetti feed, auction benefitting Humane Society

Thirteen might be a lucky number Saturday, April 27 in Wahpeton.

The Human Society of Richland-Wilkin Counties is holding the 13th annual Spaghetti Feed and Silent Auction that evening. A free-will-donation event, the 2019 feed will be held from 5-8 p.m. at the Wahpeton Community Center, 304 Fifth St. S. in Wahpeton.

“Money will go toward spaying and neutering, veterinary needs like vaccinations and everyday expenses,” Brigette Holkup said.

Holkup is not only president and social media coordinator of the Humane Society, she also keeps busy with daily tasks.

“Some of the cats are on special diets,” she explained. “I’ll be answering the phones or checking the e-mails. There’s the cleaning to take care of.”

Guests of the Humane Society will enjoy either spaghetti or chicken Alfredo, as well as garlic bread, salad and desserts. The evening will have two emcees, Patsy Willemssen and Greg Gerou.

Donations are still welcome for the silent auction. They will be accepted until the day of the spaghetti feed, although Holkup encourages early donation.

“The Breckenridge Lutheran Church, their quilters group made a dog-themed quilt for us. That’s going to be auctioned,” Holkup continued.

Donated items have appeal for both animals and humans:

• Dakota Coffee Company’s package includes a mug, coffee, chocolate and a tote

• one pet-themed package has a cat bed, large box of wet cat food, toys and a scratcher, all contained in a litter box

• Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative donated a rust-free tool box, including a bag of their sugar

“Since August, we’ve been having the animal therapy program,” Holkup said. “I’ve been bringing dogs to CHI St. Francis once a month. We weren’t able to do it this month since I knew it would be a busy time.”

Currently, 40 cats, five dogs (two of which are available for adoption) and three guinea pigs call the Humane Society home. The animal population includes Annie the dog, 11.

“I’ve brought her to St. Francis several times. She’s okay with humans and kids, can be with some cats but cannot be with other dogs,” Holkup explained.

Holkup is proud to announce that an outbreak of ringworm has been completely cleared. It began with Tortellini, a gray tortoiseshell cat and mother who turned out to be an asymptomatic carrier. No signs of ringworm were shown on her body.

“We’re finally free,” Holkup said. “Tom’s second test came back and it’s negative.”

The Humane Society is located at 18039 79 1/2 St. SE, Wahpeton. Its office hours are 3-5 Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday. Volunteer hours are 1-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Members of the Humane Society, or anyone interested in becoming a member, have 7 p.m. meetings every third Tuesday of the month at the shelter.

For more information or to donate to the fundraiser, call 701-672-1676.


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4 popular Minn. Democratic bills that may not become law this year

(FNS) – Minnesota Democrats won pretty big in November’s election.

They stayed in command of the governorship and every other statewide elected office, and they won control of the state House.

But if that led to Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party hopes that they’d get everything they want at the Capitol, sorry.

Republicans still control the state Senate, and thus far in the legislative session, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and his team haven’t fractured.

That’s why there are a whole bunch of policy ideas that are really popular among Democrats that appear unlikely to become law.

Some of them have support from some Republicans, too, but that probably won’t matter because here’s how it works: Party leaders, including committee chairs, have wide latitude over which bills they allow to be heard, debated and voted on. If an issue threatens to hurt the unity of the party, party leaders tend to keep the issue pretty well stuffed.

That’s how both parties do it when they hold the majority, and right now government is divided.

Yes, there will likely be compromises on both sides when it comes to spending priorities and some matters of policy by mid-May if leaders are to avoid a government shutdown.

With some issues, like reducing child care fraud, addressing the cost of health care and access to prescription drugs, both Republicans and Democrats have ideas, but they often approach the problem from different angles. It’s too early to prognosticate the fate of many of these.

But there plenty of issues near and dear to progressives that appear highly unlikely to advance this year, thanks to Republican opposition.

Here are four:

GUN CONTROL (AGAIN)

Democrats are pushing the same two gun-control proposals that they pushed last year: expanding background checks for firearms sales and creating so-called “red-flag” laws that allow authorities to take guns away from dangerous people.

And it appears destined for the same result this year: not gonna happen.

There will likely be procedural votes and further posturing on guns, but the only way it could actually happen is if there’s a full vote on the Senate floor. That seems extremely unlikely. And even if such a vote were to happen, it’s unclear if it would even have full support of Democrats, since none other than Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, has expressed serious reservations about the core ideas of the expanded background checks.

EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT

Feminists hoping to amend the state constitution to guarantee women and men have equal rights will have to keep their campaign waging at least another year.

The idea this year was twofold:

• Urge Congress to remove the deadline for the federal ERA to be ratified.

• Offer a state ERA to voters on 2020 ballots. It would have said this: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender.”

Republicans developed shifting objections to the state ERA. The session began with concerns it would be used to expand abortion rights. Then, during a debate on the House floor, it became an issue of gender politics — but not simply men and women, but other gender identities.

Many Republicans objected to the the wording of the state ERA, which refers to “gender,” not “sex,” as the federal ERA does. People born with male bodies, for example, would be able to dominate female sports, they argued. (This fear belies the fact that most of the world has adopted the International Bill of Human Rights, but international men’s and women’s sports remain.)

RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA

To be clear, there are supporters and skeptics of legalizing pot to simply get high from both parties. But the bulk of supporters are Democrats.

However, Democratic leaders said they didn’t want to rush into it, a prudence that put them in sync with Republican leaders. Instead, they want to pass a bill that would create a task force to study the issue so they could take it up next year.

DRIVER’S LICENSES FOR ALL

A bill passed by the House would allow every Minnesota resident — including people here without legal documentation — to get a driver’s license. It has the support of a number of business groups, members of law enforcement and several farm groups, who espouse its merits from both a moral standpoint and a public safety one. The public safety argument is that since these people are already here and driving, it makes more sense to require they take driving tests and are legally able to buy insurance.

Republicans in the Senate see it as a reward for breaking the nation’s immigration laws.