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Popular Fix-It clinic keeps broken gadgets out of trash

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Fix-It clinic
Hennepin County officials say a record number of people turned out Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at the latest Fix-It clinic at a rec center in Uptown Minneapolis. People can get electronic appliances fixed for free by volunteers at the Fix-It clinics.
MPR Photo/Rupa Shenoy

There were crowds and long lines on Saturday at a free Hennepin County Fix-It clinic, where people could bring in broken electronic appliances and have them repaired by volunteers. 

Minneapolis resident Paul Knutson stood in line for about a half an hour at an Uptown rec center, holding a broken, heavy-duty KitchenAid blender that he knew could be fixed. 

"We thought it could be," Knutson said, "but I didn't know how to do it."

Volunteer Nick Brogren was able to fix Knutson's blender within a few minutes. 

"It was just a matter of bending it up a little bit," Brogren said.

It was Brogren's second time volunteering at a clinic. He said the crowds were growing in part because the fix-it clinics have been featured in national TV news stories. 

"I think the publicity is turning this into a big deal, and it's great. I love that there are so many people doing this," he said.

Another volunteer, Brian Stinger of Bloomington, who fixed a blender and a VCR, said he was surprised by the number of people who came in for help.

"People are getting into fixing things, I guess. It saves money and it's better for the environment," Stinger said.

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