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Finalists chosen for 20th annual Great American Think-Off in New York Mills

"The Nature of Humankind: Inherently Good or Inherently Evil?" is this year's Great American Think-Off question, reprising the first annual Think-Off when the same question was asked and, for the only time in Think-Off history, the contest resulted in a draw.

Organizers for the 20th annual event decided to revisit the nature of humankind issue again this year, seeking a clearer answer.

The big date is Saturday, June 9 and you can get tickets at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center (218-385-3339) or at Brown Paper Tickets.

Four finalists have been selected by the Think-Off committee and they have agreed to come to New York Mills to make their case on this year's question.

The finalists for "good" are Marie Anderson of La Grange, Ill., and Marsh Muirhead of Bemidji. Yes, Marsh Muirhead, last year's winner, is a finalist again!

With essays that argued for the inherent evil of human nature the finalists are Adam Bright of Boulder, Colo., and Edgar DeLong of Virginia Beach, Va.

Congratulations to all four of the finalists.

The first four contestants to debate this same question 20 years ago included Katie McCannon, a 15-year-old sophomore from Wichita, Kansas who, along with Jennifer Stites, a former tribal police officer from Eagle Butte, S.D., argued that the nature of humankind was essentially evil.

The two contestants countering with the assertion that humankind was good were Charles Eldredge, a research engineer from Fessenden, N.D., and Jeff Ethen, a Catholic priest from Clitherall, Minn.

Organizers of the 20th annual event hope to be able to bring some of the original participants back to New York Mills on June 9 as well as this year's finalists.

Also at the center, the Regional Art Show runs from now through Wednesday, May 23.

An opening reception was held Saturday, May 5. Four artists received merit awards (a certificate and a $50 cash award). 

These artists are Pam Robinson of New York Mills, Dawn Rossbach of Menagha, Myron Sahlberg of Alexandria, and Virginia Marr of Fargo. 

Congratulations to these award winners and to each of the 60-plus artists whose work demonstrates the skill and imaginative energy of artists in the region. 

A "People's Choice" award will be given at the end of the show based on votes of visitors to the gallery.

Stop in and cast your ballot at 24 Main Ave. N. in New York Mills.

Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

There is no admission fee for art exhibits at the Center.