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Andrea Domaskin, Published August 11 2007

New Clay attorney now back from Iraq

The new Clay County attorney is back from Iraq and will be sworn into office Thursday.

Brian Melton was elected in November while he was deployed with the Minnesota National Guard.

He left with about 2,600 Minnesota Guard members in September 2005 for training and then Iraq. The soldiers returned home this summer.

Melton already filed his oath of office. He’ll be formally sworn in by former County Attorney Lisa Borgen, who is now a judge and Melton’s former boss. The ceremony is set for 3 p.m. at the Clay County Courthouse.

Melton, a major in the Guard, joined the Clay County Attorney’s Office in 1996 as a law clerk and became an assistant attorney in 1998.

He has been on unpaid military leave since taking office Jan. 2, Winkis said in a news release.

Melton will start work full time Aug. 20.

New VA clinic open

The Fargo Veterans Affairs Medical Center will host an open house and ribbon cutting for a new clinic in Bemidji, Minn.

The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the clinic, 705 Fifth St.

U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson and Jim Oberstar will speak.

The outpatient clinic opened July 12. Its hours are generally 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The phone number is (218) 755-6360.

Workshops planned

A series of workshops are planned for people who want to support military families from this region of Minnesota.

Operation Military Kids is holding “Hidden Heroes: How Deployment Impacts ‘Suddenly Military’ Kids.”

It’s open to all community members, including neighbors, business owners, service providers, educators, counselors and clergy.

Dates and locations are:

- Aug 23, 1:30 p.m. at Otter Tail Power, 215 South Cascade, Fergus Falls, Minn.

- Aug. 28, 9 a.m., Room 4 of the Family Service Center, 807 11th St. N., Moorhead

- Aug. 28, 2:30 p.m., Wadena County Courthouse, 415 Jefferson St. S., Wadena, Minn.

- Sept. 14, 9 a.m., Beltrami Electric, 4111 Technology Drive, Bemidji, Minn.

- Sept. 18, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, 900 Highway 34 E., Detroit Lakes, Minn.

For more information contact Penny Dale at the University of Minnesota Extension in Moorhead at (218) 236-2017, (888) 241-4527 or pdale@umn.edu.

Michaels wins award

A Grand Forks, N.D.-based representative of Soldiers’ Angels won an award from two North Dakota National Guard units.

Shelly Michaels is the tri-state regional manager and national publications director for Soldiers’ Angels, which supports deployed military members.

She received the “Outstanding Center of Influence” award from the Guard’s 188th ADA JLENS and the “Distinguished Center of Influence” from the A/1-188th ADA SECFOR.

The awards are given by units returning from deployment to a person or organization that supports its soldiers and families.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Andrea Domaskin at (701) 241-5556