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Published January 12 2013

Business Digest (January 12, 2013)

Arvig acquires four Minnesota companies

Arvig Enterprises, Perham, Minn., has acquired Arrowhead Communications, Eagle Valley Telephone Co., Felton Telephone Co. and Loretel Systems.

The four companies, all located in Minnesota, are being spun off from Hector Communications Corp., which is jointly owned by New Ulm Telecom, Arvig Enterprises and Blue Earth Valley Communications.

The three owner/shareholder companies of Hector Communications entered into a spin-off agreement under which Hector agreed to distribute its independent local exchange company subsidiaries to its three owners/shareholders.

Cass County Electric cuts December bills

The Cass County Electric Cooperative board of directors approved a Purchased Power Adjustment Holiday for the December billing cycle. The one-time rate decrease cuts $900,000 from customers December bills.

The decrease was made possible due to lower than budgeted operating expenses and higher than expected member account growth.

Weight Watchers celebrates milestone

To celebrate Weight Watchers 50th anniversary, the Weight Watchers center at 1630 13th Ave. E., West Fargo, will host an open house from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

The free event will feature special offers, drawings, food, online technology and inspirational stories.

For more information, contact Jenny Erickson at (701) 212-7294.

Managing ag employees topic of workshop

An ag employee management workshop is scheduled March 20-21 and April 3-4 at the Quality Inn and Suites, Jamestown, N.D.

The workshop, hosted by the North Dakota State University Extension Service and members of the I-29 Dairy Outreach Consortium, will help North Dakota ag producers hire, motivate and retain employees.

Topics will include building a reputation as a great employer, creating an inventory of labor needs, developing job descriptions, recruiting, evaluating applicants, conducting effective interviews, checking references, motivating and training, understanding the Hispanic culture, defining workplace expectations, communicating effective feedback, retaining employees and career management planning.

Participants will receive an on-farm follow-up consultation five to six months after completing the workshop.

The registration fee is $125 per person. Group rates are available and the fee includes meals and materials.

Registration deadline is March 15. For more information, email jw.schroeder@ndsu.edu or call (701) 231-7663.

Dealership becomes Precision Planting rep

Peterson Farms Seed, Kindred, N.D., is now a dealership for Precision Planting products and services.

Employees Ben Askegaard, Kasey Karlstad Kaelin Kyllo and Josh Tommerdahl have attended product training at Precision Planting headquarters in Tremont, Ill.

Bursch Travel acquires Rapid City travel agency

Bursch Travel Agency has acquired Modrick Cruises and Travel of Rapid City, S.D.

Modrick is the largest travel agency in western South Dakota and has been in business in Rapid City for more than 20 years. Owners Lisa and Mike Modrick are accredited elite cruise counselors. No changes in the staff or office location are planned.

Bursch Travel has 15 locations in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Choice Financial raising funds for Fargo Theatre

In conjunction with National Popcorn Day, Choice Financial will be giving away popcorn and collecting freewill donations on Friday for the Fargo Theatre, which is currently raising funds for a digital projector.

The event will take place at the branches at 4501 23rd Ave. S., Fargo, and 210 Sheyenne St., West Fargo. Choice Financial will match all donations up to $500.

Chiropractor hosting weight loss challenge

Starting Feb. 2, Jake Schmitz of Freedom Chiropractic Health Center, 4342 15th Ave. S., Fargo, will host the Maximized Living Makeover event, Resolve: The New Years Weight Loss Challenge.

During the 30-day challenge, Schmitz will share with participants the latest research behind healthful weight loss to establish and maintain a proper weight including: how common food sources inhibit the function of leptin, the weight-loss hormone; why traditional cardiovascular exercises encourages overeating and the storage of fat; and how sugar damages the function of insulin and the immune system.

Cost is $20 and includes a book. For more information or to register, call (701) 356-3242.

Senior job training offered in Cass County

The Experience Works Senior Community Service Employment Program is accepting applications from people age 55 or older who are unemployed, live in Cass County and have qualifying income.

The program, available at no cost to people who meet eligibility criteria, provides paid community service assignments at local public and nonprofit organizations, training, referrals to needed services and job search assistance.

With updated skills, participants can use their community service training to secure permanent jobs with local employers.

For more information on how to apply, call (800) 450-5627 or visit www.experienceworks.org.

Brains on Fire president to speak at meeting

Robin Phillips, a founder and president of Brains on Fire, will speak at the American Advertising Federation of North Dakota meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave. S., Fargo.

She will discuss how word of mouth marketing works and how it doesnt, providing techniques on how to identify movement-building opportunities for a brand, and will highlight successful word of mouth case studies.

Admission to the meeting is free for AAF-ND members, $45 for nonmembers and $15 for nonmember students. To register, email reservations@aaf-nd.org.

Brown & Saenger buys two SD businesses

Brown & Saenger has acquired the assets of Wheelers Business Products, Huron, S.D., and Business Products Inc., Mitchell, S.D.

Both businesses were owned by Doug and Judy Schmitt and managed by Ryan Schmitt. Wheelers opened in 1886 as a general store and through the years expanded into an office and janitorial supply store, along with computer and copier repair service. Brown & Saenger will operate both businesses in their current facilities and provide the same services.

Brown & Saenger is based in Sioux Falls, S.D., and has branches in Bismarck, Fargo, Jamestown, Mandan and Minot, all in North Dakota.