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IDEA winners announced at sixth annual banquet; Each winner receives $10,000

BEMIDJI — Local inventors and innovators were featured at the sixth annual IDEA Competition Awards Banquet Thursday at the Sanford Center.

Winners who will receive $10,000 to further develop their idea were: Coreen and Brian Berdahl of Red Lake Falls for the Reel Deal, a device that transfers fishing line from spools to reels; Cynthia Krankkala of Thief River Falls for Addy Olly, an infant playpen mattress lining; and Robert Cloose, David Edevold and Phillip Creighton of CR Data Solutions of Bagley for fiber optic cable testing software

Runners up who will each receive $1,000 were: John Szurpicki of Bemidji for the Bedraptor, a landscape tilling blade; Jenny and Tim Slukynsky of Warroad for an ice resurfacing system; Marina Lovell of Laporte for Scratch My Aspen, a eco-friendly scratching post for cats; and Don Miller of Roseau for the Skyrocker Telescope, a portable astronomy telescope.

The family of Don Ricke, TEAM Industries founder, accepted a posthumous IDEA Hall of Fame award on his behalf.

The event was organized by the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, a regional development group. The seven finalists were judged by a 12-person committee of representatives from IDEA sponsor groups to have the best product ideas and commercialization plans out of an initial pool of about 20 entrants.