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Ryan Bakken, Forum News Service, Published February 16 2013

'Today' show comes to Thief River Falls

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. - Brittany Haviland, a 2003 graduate of Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls, returned to her hometown Friday with a "Today" show crew in tow.

An associate producer for the NBC daily morning show, she was in charge of shooting a segment that tentatively is scheduled to air March 5.

The story’s theme centers on snowmobiling. "Today" correspondent Sara Haines spent Friday morning working on the snowmobile assembly line at the Arctic Cat plant while receiving snowmobile riding lessons in the afternoon from Tucker Hibbert, an Arctic Cat-sponsored racer known for his success in the ESPN Winter X Games.

“It’s exciting to come back home and do this,” said Haviland, the daughter of James Haviland, a former president of Northland Community College in Thief River Falls who still lives there.

Brittany Haviland has been with NBC for six years, the last five with the Today Show. She said the Thief River Falls story is one in a series that finds Haines immersing herself in different lines of work. Next week, Haviland and Haines will be in New Orleans.

The pieces typically air during Today’s fourth hour, which is hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

“The plant attitude is very upbeat today,” Arctic Cat spokesman Kale Wainer said. “We’re excited to have a national TV show here. We’re putting our best foot forward.”