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News briefs for May 21

Special Olympics seeks coaches

BEMIDJI — Special Olympics Minnesota is seeking volunteers to help coach athletes in softball. Coaching requires a two-hour weekly commitment for an average of three months.

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt” is the official slogan of the Special Olympics. Coaches instill these ideas in athletes while helping them hone their skills and helping them to grow on and off the field.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Shannon Murray at or call 368-8002.

Portage program scheduled

HACKENSACK — The Deep Portage Learning Center invites the public to attend its Songbirds of Deep Portage program at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The Deep Portage Bird Observatory naturalists will lead a bird walk that will focus on identifying songbird of north central Minnesota. The program will also include a bird banding demonstration. Bring binoculars or loan a pair from Deep Portage for the event. The fee is $5 for adults and $3 for kids 12 and under, seniors and Deep Portage members.

Deep Portage is located 10 miles east of Hackensack, off of Cass County Road 46.

For details and reservations, call 218-682-2325 or email For additional information, visit

Walleye Classic registration available

BEMIDJI — The 13th annual Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic presented by Seven Clans Casino begins at 7 a.m. June 8 on lakes Bemidji and Irving. The weigh-in starts at 3:30 p.m.

Team registration is available for $480 per two-person team. One hundred two-person teams will compete in the competitive, live-release tournament for more than $60,000 in cash and prizes, including a $12,500 first prize.

The event will also feature family activities throughout the day, a food court and a raffle drawing. There is also a boat parade at 5 p.m. June 7. The 2012 tournament champions Kelly and Kaleb Hanson will be the Grand Marshalls.

All proceeds from the event benefit Bemidji-area nonprofits.

For details, contact Bob Fitzgerald at 759-0596 or