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Business Briefs

L&M Fleet honors 30-year employee

Marla Morris has been honored for 30 years of service at the Bemidji location of L&M Supply Inc.

Morris started at L&M Supply July 13, 1981, and is a senior department head/key holder at the Bemidji store.

L&M Supply, an independently operated retail company with stores in Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, Cloquet, Bemidji, Park Rapids and Detroit Lakes, held its 11th annual Service Award Program March 19 in Grand Rapids.

Lakeland News Wins AP award

Lakeland Public Television's "Lakeland News" was a first-place winner in the 2010 Minnesota Associated Press Broadcast Awards Contest.

The story, "Bob Conner," won in the Sports Reporting category. The story was written, videotaped and edited by Lakeland Public Television News Director Dennis Weimann, who produced it as a one-man-band reporter.

The story focused on Bemidji native Bob Conner as he prepared to run in his 30th straight "Freeze yer Gizzard Blizzard Run" in International Falls in January 2010.

The story was honored in the TV Class One Division, which is for stations with 50 or fewer newsroom employees. Lakeland News has seven full-time newsroom employees. Lakeland News competed against stations from Fargo, Sioux Falls, Grand Forks, Duluth and Rochester in the Class One Division.

Lakeland News broadcasts local news for north-central Minnesota and is based out of Bemidji and Brainerd.

View the story on the station's website,

Blackstar Dairy on DHIA Top 100 list

Blackstar Dairy of rural Solway placed 44th on the Minnesota Dairy Herd Improvement Association's February Milk Quality Top 100 list, based on raw somatic cell count (white blood cells).

Blackstar Dairy is owned and operated by Rodney and Sue Cloose, who also process milk and cream on the premises. They have 38 cows.

Elevated SCC is an indication of inflammation (not necessarily mastitis) and in general is an indicator of overall health.

"Primary factors that affect SCC counts are high quality feed, balanced diet, cow comfort, proper milking procedures and a dry, clean environment," Sue Cloose of Blackstar Dairy said. "The lower the SCC counts, the sweeter the flavor of the milk. It keeps better, too, and has higher cheese yields."

Until recently, the maximum SCC was 750,000, but the maximum is now 4,000, Cloose said. Blackstar Dairy's SCC was 74 for February.

"Ours typically is between 100 and 200, so getting below 100 is quite a big deal," she said, "even though 100 to 200 is exceptional."


Security BankUSA holding food drive

April is Community Bank Month. Security BankUSA is holding a food drive through May 6 for the Bemidji Community Food Shelf.

Bring food or cash donations to the main bank or auto bank. For details, call Sylvia Wildgen at 444-1572.

Solway woman in Maurices search

Women from across the country, including Ashley Larson of Solway, have entered Maurices' Main Street Model Search. They're vying to be among 12 finalists chosen to model in fall, holiday and spring campaigns for the national women's clothing retailer. The photo shoots will take place in the models' hometowns, featuring landmarks and other attractions that make their communities special.

The next step in the search is paring the more than 500 entries down to the top 50 through online voting.

Through April 24, people can view the contestants and vote for their favorite at Contestants are searchable by name, hometown, state, college, occupation and more. People can vote once per day.

Once voters narrow the contestants to 50, Maurices will select 20 models for a casting call in Minneapolis May 5 and 6. A judging panel from Maurices, along with celebrity judge and stylist Christopher Straub from Lifetime's Project Runway, will select the winners. The 12 winning models will be announced May 9.

For more information, visit or

Maurices, a brand of Ascena Retail Group Inc., operates more than 760 stores in 44 states, including the Bemidji store in the Paul Bunyan Mall. Maurices offers clothing for young women in sizes 1-24. For details, visit