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COMMUNITY NEWS: VFW commander visits, officer recognized

Veterans of Foreign Wars' national Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton will be in Grand Forks this week for the VFW state convention hosted by Post 1874 and its Ladies Auxiliary, the post said.

Veterans of Foreign Wars' national Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton will be in Grand Forks this week for the VFW state convention hosted by Post 1874 and its Ladies Auxiliary, the post said.

The event starts today and runs through Sunday at the Hilton Garden Inn.

John Marshall, former honorary wing commander at Grand Forks Air Force Base, will speak at the memorial 8 a.m. Saturday.

Past National Auxiliary President Loraine Frier will also be present. Hamilton is from Florida, Frier from Fargo.

Cpl. Rick Fuka, a Grand Forks police officer, has been named the Ray Atol Law Enforcement Officer of the Year the North Dakota American Legion. He has been in law enforcement for more than 22 years and currently serves as a patrol officer and a member of the regional SWAT team. He's also been with the U.S. Army Reserve for 22 years, serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Fuka was nominated by Treumann-Webb Phelps Post 6, Grand Forks. He will be recognized at the American Legion's state convention June 28-30 in Williston.


MarJenna McWilliam, 20, Winger, Minn., is one of 12 finalists to be the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way, who serves as goodwill ambassador for the state's dairy farmers, according to the Midwest Dairy Association. She is the only finalist from northwest Minnesota. The winner will be crowned the night before the state fair opens.

Dori Carlson, an optometrist from Park River, N.D., won the Kamelia Massih Prize for a Distinguished Optometrist from her alma mater Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., May 18, the university said. She was the first female president of the American Optometric Association and has served on the group's board since 2004. Previously, she was the first female president of the North Dakota Optometric Association.

At the national level, Carlson developed the School Readiness Summit, which became a joint statement signed by 30 organizations calling comprehensive eye exams a foundation of children's eye care. AOA lobbied to make eye exams, not just simple screenings, a part of health care reform. Carlson and her husband, Mark Helgeson, practice in Park River and Grafton, N.D.

A Grand Forks Sheriff's Department K-9 team won two awards at a competition May13-16 at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Wis., the department said. Cpl. Mike Lee and Gypsy took home second in advanced narcotics, third in tracking and second overall.

Grand Forks County 4-H members were part of the county's Consumer Choices contest May 15, which teaches them to make consumer decisions based on facts, the group said. Winners in the 8-10-year-old division include: first place Elliot Schumacher, Reynolds, N.D.; second Marie Kraemer, Grand Forks; and third Abigail Jehs, Grand Forks. Winners in the preteen division include: first Aaron Waterman, Grand Forks; second Alexis Coles, Grand Forks; and third Thomas Granger, Reynolds. Winners in the teen category include: first Alanna Ivers, Thompson; second Joe Martin, Emerado, N.D.; and third Isaac Tousignant, East Grand Forks. They and the fourth and fifth place winners may ad-vance to the state Consumer Choices contest at the state fair July 23.

Warroad (Minn.) High School seniors are the recipients of scholarships and awards that may reach $1.2 million, ac-cording to the school district. Forty-eight of 82 graduating seniors are receiving financial help. The biggest contrib-utor was the William S. and Margaret W. Marvin Endowment Fund, which awarded $543,000 to 19 graduates. Paul Marvin, a grandson of the Marvins, gave the keynote speech at the awards ceremony.

Three high school seniors in northwest Minnesota have received $1,000 scholarships from AgCountry Farm Credit Services, the firm said. They are Elizabeth Engelstad, Fertile; Nolan Rockstad, Ada; and Hannah Wagner, Fisher.

Kelsey Teubner, Cando, N.D., has won a $500 scholarship from North Dakota Farm Bureau, the group said.


Sara Norden, Grand Forks, won the 2013 Grace Gertrude Goodrich Classics Scholarship as part of the Ripon (Wis.) College convocation April 17, the college said.

Author Reneé Rongen, Fertile, Minn., won the silver prize at the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards recent-ly, the Independent Publisher Book Association said. Rongen wrote "Fundamentally Female."

The North Dakota 4-H Foundation has awarded the John DeKrey Jr. and Hannah DeKrey Scholarship of $750 to Sa-rah Mueller, Traill County, and the John D. Paulson Memorial Award of $1,000 to Andrew Ternquist and William Klose, both of Walsh County.

Gloria Bethke's piano students will perform in the Spring Honors and Awards Recital at 7 p.m. May 30 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grand Forks. The students include Ashley Berger, Alex Berger, Greta Bethke, Michayla Burckhard, Francine Dong, Elijah Green, Y'anni D.Baum Green, Jared Hollingworth, Annie Kleven, Maddie Kleven, Sarah Laue, Jeremiah Laue, Sophia LeMire, Cindy Lim, Annika Presteng, Megan Schill, Gary Wu, Ella Zhang and Mykaela Zola.

More than a dozen civilian employers from Grand Forks were recognized by the North Dakota National Guard April 30 for their support to guards members, the guards said. Those honored include: Dr. Noah Chelliah of The Heart Institute of North Dakota; James Richtor and Bill Galumbus of Restaurant Technology Services; Randy Kieffer, Budweiser/Dakota Sales; Tina Fetch and Zach Ahrens of the Herald; Mike Lannen and Chris Nero of Menards; and Chris Dunnigan of Alerus Financial. Also honored was Mike Morgan of Farmers Co-op Elevator in Thompson, N.D. The local Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve hosted the event.

Two Crookston insurance agencies, Crookston United Insurance and Thune Insurance, recently donated funds to help buy a functional-work simulator for RiverView Rehab Services in Crookston, the group said. The simulator replicates daily activities, allowing patients to recondition their bodies after injuring themselves

South Point Elementary School in Grand Forks received $1,270 from Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge at an event April 26, the dealership said. Participants taking a test drive in a Dodge minivan win $10 for the school per drive.

Joseph Birrenkott, a 2013 UND chemistry graduate, was recently selected as a Woodrow Wilson Indian Teaching Fellow. As one of 28 fellowship recipients chosen nationwide, he will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a mas-ter's program at one of four Indiana universities and teach for at least three years in a high-need Indiana school.


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