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home : news : news May 29, 2016

East Central Habitat for Humanity breaks ground at site of summer house project
The North Branch Habitat for Humanity house construction project officially got started Saturday, May 21 with the ceremonial shovel turn of the soil.  The family receiving the new home was also part of groundbreaking at the homesite.
The North Branch Habitat for Humanity house construction project officially got started Saturday, May 21 with the ceremonial shovel turn of the soil.  The family receiving the new home was also part of groundbreaking at the homesite.
It was fitting that the East Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity project organizers celebrated site groundbreaking just prior to Memorial Day.  As a veteran-benefitting project-- patriotism was a big theme last Saturday, with members of Patriot Riders and the North Branch Legion Post Color Guard on hand for the brief program. 
Thursday, May 26, 2016


City council accepts annual audit complete with glowing analysis
Lindstrom City Council accepted the city’s 2015 audit last week, and learned from the accounting firm’s report that Lindstrom spends much fewer General Fund dollars than “peer” cities in the state.  Abdo Eick Meyers spokesperson Matt Voss explained that similarly-sized (population 2,500 to 10,000) and comparable- operations cities are spending $586 per capita and Lindstrom spent $513. This includes all the city’s revenue sources, and is not the individual property taxes alone, although property tax generates 78 percent of Lindstrom’s income.
Thursday, May 26, 2016

The un-session disappoints county board members
The county commissioners were anticipating a legislative update last week on transportation funding and the outcome of lawmakers finalizing the state’s bonding bill.  Instead,  County Engineer Joe Triplett had nothing to present at the County Board meeting, because nothing had been crafted in St Paul to present.
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Keep the Veterans in your thoughts this busy weekend; fun paddle on lakes
This weekend is a big one. Yes it’s the beginning of Summer, and yes we have an extra day (most of us) to relax, get some things done around the house. Yes many people use this as a chance to officially kick off their “cabin” season.
Thursday, May 26, 2016

More rhubarb treats to make
Here I am with more rhubarb recipes. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I would have more info about this tart fruit. Do we really want to know that in 1778 rhubarb found its way here coming from colder countires by way of Itali? All I know for sure it’s a perennial that is tart and more tart, requiring a lot of sugar added to whatever it is you are making. The biggy is, you should stop picking rhubarb about the middle of July. I know, the plant is still producing stalks and it looks as though they should be pulled. Not so, as the stalks that are there after July are “feeding back” to the plant to make it more productive next year.
Thursday, May 26, 2016

'Fun Paddle' Memorial Day for taste of the potential for new water trail effort
There is a casual Fun Paddle on the Chisago Lakes Chain Monday, Memorial Day.   Join others who like to kayak, canoe or float on standup paddleboards and enjoy the lakes,  or just one lake if you are pressed for time. 
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Local sports boosters get bond presentation; reminder to vote Tues.
North Branch school District residents will make the trek to cast ballots in support of,  or against a bond issue Tuesday, May 24. 
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Aurora solar array installation is underway
If you’ve noticed the treeline on the southwest side of County Road 14,  near Kable Avenue, getting slimmer, this is sitework getting started for installing the Aurora Solar array.  Aurora is one of two projects that will be developing solar energy into electric power, using the Lent Township substation to introduce the power into thegrid.  Aurora Distributed Solar LLC is a subsidiary of EGPNA or Enel Green Power North America. Enel is based in Italy.
Thursday, May 19, 2016

North Branch Council in brief....
The North Branch City Council revisited a water and sewer project in last week’s council session. City engineer Lee Gustafson, of WSB, stressed this installation is a high priority item on the city’s to-do list. 
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lawn care on TF Council agenda
The city of Taylors Falls will have its park lawns and other green space cut and trimmed this year by the same company that managed the work last year.
Council approved a 2016 contract with BK Services, of Lindstrom, at a seasonal price not to exceed $14,970.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Region EMS Director announces air ambulance base gift
Soon after the annual Fly-In and pancake breakfast at Rush City Airport concludes June 12, the LifeLink III air ambulance team will begin locating its equipment and offices into a new base of operations in an airport hangar donated by Dennis Frandsen, of Rush City, a business owner and philanthropist.
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Center City Council hears of big plans for fire hall
Center City’s fire department has begun its expansion into the municipal office space on Burns Avenue after other city administrative offices moved to Chisago County’s former Heartland Express building last month for council meetings and other business.
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Where are the power lines? 'Let's Go Fishing' could really use your help
You may or may not have noticed things are starting to clear up a little bit in Lindstrom.  That is because they are in the process of burying all of the older service entrance wires to the buildings in Downtown Lindstrom. What that means is when completed, you will see a cleaner, less cluttered downtown that is visually more appealing to our eyes and hopefully to visitors as well.
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Asparagus is springin' up
Asparagus is the food of the month, along with rhubarb. Remember the saying, “June is bustin’ out all over?”  Well, asparagus has been springin’ up all over, along with rhubarb! What do we know about asparagus? I could take up half of this column talking about the slim green spears, but I won’t. However, it has just 22 calories in six spears. Yea for asparagus! Here’s an equivalent for you when a recipe calls for asparagus by weight. One pound is equal to about 14-16 spears, depending on the size, trimmed: two cups cut in one inch pieces and 5-6 spears per serving. That’s it. Tune in next year for more info... maybe.
Thursday, May 19, 2016

North Branch city unites to make Habitat house happen
Officials representing East Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity and the city of North Branch had the enjoyable task last week of attending closing for property to be the site for a Habitat home project this summer, in North Branch.  
Thursday, May 12, 2016

Officials from both ends of migratory bird universe connect in Chisago
A foursome of national parks and bird refuge officials from Costa Rica are visiting only a handful of sites in America,  and Chisago County is one of their stops.  The team hopes to learn from migratory bird lovers here, all there is to know about what’s being done to protect, promote and preserve certain bird species.  
Thursday, May 12, 2016

County Treasurer vacancy, coroner's contract handled
Chisago County Auditor Dennis Freed has been appointed to serve in a temporary dual role-- as the County Treasurer and Auditor by unanimous vote of the County Board.
Thursday, May 12, 2016

Tried and True engine repair program's first year with Youth Service Bureau
Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau (LAYSB), working with young people across Chisago County and also the Forest Lake Area School District, has opened a new opportunity for teens to learn technical work and business skills.
Thursday, May 12, 2016

Pumphouse Park opening was great; subscriptions are due very soon
I hope you had a chance to come to the grand re-opening of Pumphouse Park. I was lucky enough to get to cover the event, and it looked like there were a couple of hundred other residents.  The Minnesota Twins used their Community Fund to help fix up the old field. They added a beautiful new fence with a warning track, a new infield and a great area surrounding the field. 
Thursday, May 12, 2016

An every spring tradition: rhubarb
Here I am with a column on “this is the season of whatever” and today, the whatever is rhubarb. We don’t grow rhubarb plants but we do have neighbors who do and I am always encouraged to pick (not cut) what I want. A nice gift to me from someone’s garden. Thank you very much! A little information for you before the recipes: one pound of diced rhubarb, (cut in 3/4 inch pieces) equals about 3-1/2 cups; one pound cooked equals two cups; 1-1/2 cups equals about three long stalks. To make a nine inch pie, you will need six cups of 1/2 inch diced rhubarb. The young, early season rhubarb is the best to use when baking pie. The more mature stalks are inclined to be a bit tough and stringy in a pie. Use them for sauce.
Thursday, May 12, 2016

Fatal crash at Rush City Airport May 8
A 58-year-old Pine City man was killed at Rush City Airport when his ultralight aircraft crashed Sunday, May 8, about 10:30 a.m.  According to a news release from the sheriff’s office,  investigators identified the victim as Jay Kevin Jahnz, who was alone aboard the aircraft. 
Monday, May 9, 2016

County Parks & Trails Comprehensive Plans updated and adopted by county commissioners
The Chisago County Parks comprehensive plan was recently adopted by the county commissioners,  setting the stage for doing regional park plans for a couple sites, in order to qualify for State Funds.  Fish Lake and Ki-Chi-Saga Parks are proposed to potentially go for regional park designation.  Review and any action on regional designation most likely won’t happen until 2017, the Board was told.
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Chisago Lakes' pitch advances to ABC finals
Happy faces all around as the Chisago Lakes team members accepted $100,000 as one of eight finalist entries in the America’s Best Communities competition.  The contest goes into the final implementation phase and by this time next year the top three economic revitalization efforts will be rewarded with millions of dollars in prize money.  ABC is sponsored by the Weather Channel, DISH, Co-Bank, and Frontier.  Pictured: left to rt: Bill Coleman, Wade Vitalis, Amy Frischmon, Marlys Dunne, Tangi Schaapveld, and John Olinger.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Students enjoy beautiful high school proms
North Branch Prom attendees mingled in the small gym and made boutonniere adjustments while awaiting their turn for “Grand March” in the decorated large gymnasium,  North Branch Prom took place at Jimmy’s Event Center in Vadnais Heights, Saturday April 30.  


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Chisago City Council OK's O'Reilly Auto Parts project
Chisago City council members on April 26 reviewed a site plan for O’Reilly Auto Parts to build a store on the north side of Highway 8, across Sportsman Drive (McDonald’s).
Thursday, May 5, 2016

ABC Committee did terriffic! Lots to do this weekend for kids and mom
Last week we wrote about the committee that was heading to North Carolina for the America’s Best Community competition.  After speaking with many local people, it sounded like many people watched the live stream on the internet.  I too watched from my computer and was so ecstatic when the team was announced first in the group of eight finalists.  Incredible.  Amy Frischmon was our representative who gave the presentation and she did amazing.  I can’t imagine the pressure Amy was feeling. I once gave a speech to local business owners whom I know, and I thought my head was going to explode. But there she was, calm, collected and knocking it out of the park.
Thursday, May 5, 2016


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