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October 20, 2021

Outdoor shooting range regs sent back to planning
Commercial outdoor shooting ranges, for some reason, have become the hot potato issue of land use discussions. The County Board sent the work of drafting an ordinance regulating shooting range permits to the Planning Commission a year ago, September. The Board recently reviewed progress on the issue (Story Sept. 23) and last week the Board looked over what’s transpired again, and sent the wording back for more work.  They all concurred the ordinance is definitely not ready for a public hearing yet.
Friday, October 15, 2021


North Branch Vaccine Clinic October 26
Public Health will be hosting a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on Tuesday, October 26 from 2:30-4:30 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church in North Branch. This clinic is targeted for anyone 12 years of age and older; parent or guardian must be present for 12 - 17 year olds. This is for first doses only. Public Health will be administering the Pfizer Vaccine.
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Pandemic or not; Red Cross volunteer not letting up
Unlike most of America,  which has reduced personal travel and interactions with strangers during the past 18 months or so, Lindstrom resident Dave Ackerman has been putting in some serious miles, making human connections and seeing parts of the U.S. he didn’t even plan to.  Take Louisiana, for example, habitat galore for alligators and snakes.  Ackerman isn’t shy to admit these are not his favorite creatures. Yet, he recently returned from two weeks in Morgan City Louisiana. 
Friday, October 15, 2021

Taylors Falls tables license for Springs Inn; ups budget for park restroom
Taylors Falls City Council faced a standing room only council chambers Monday night.  A hotel license for the Springs Inn was on the agenda and owner Richard Berget and his on-site manager were interrogated before the issue was tabled on a 5-0 vote until the next council meeting.
Friday, October 15, 2021

Center City tables street vacation, talks non-readable water meters
A couple of repeat agenda items took up the majority of the two-hour meeting of the Center City Council last week. Action on vacating a city street and a request from the Calendar Isle homeowners association to transfer their private infrastructure to the city system again ignited extended discussions with no resolution.
Friday, October 15, 2021

Special Olympics Truck Convoy makes its way through Chisago County
North Branch is home to a number of Special Olympics participants and they posed for a group photo on the I-35 bridge in North Branch during the “World’s Largest Truck Convoy” a two-day event to raise money for programs the Special Olympics organization provides.
Friday, October 15, 2021

Shafer City Council
Shafer City Council met October 5 for a regular meeting.  Council member Nick Brehm was absent. 
Friday, October 15, 2021

Franks 'n steins - beer and fun, happy birthday to a real gem
If you are looking for a bit of fun this weekend look no further than Chisago City.  On Saturday at the Uncommon Loon Brewery the public is invited to the second annual Frankensteins.  A fundraiser for the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, you will enjoy food provided by Deautschland Meats, live music by The Farmers Daughters and Austin Healy, and a huge silent auction.  Every beer sold at the loon during the event will donate $1 to the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.  The event runs from 3pm to 10pm and is a free-will donation to attend.
Friday, October 15, 2021

Soups for the perfect fall days
Fall is primetime for soup weather. The temps start to cool down (finally!) and it turns into sweatshirt and sweatpants weather. It’s when you want the comforting warmth of a nice creamy concoction or hot, brothy soup.
Friday, October 15, 2021

Health director to board: County needs to up its Covid game
It could be the variant virus dubbed “Delta” or it could be caused by the weather changing or it could be greater population numbers being indoors— but Chisago County is seeing “climbing” Covid-19 case numbers, according to Health and Human Services Dept. Director Robert Benson.
Friday, October 8, 2021

King and Queen crowned in CL
On Tuesday morning the Chisago Lakes students chose their 2021 King Conner Wheeler, and Queen Ally Nelson. The homecoming game is tomorrow, Friday night, versus Cambridge Isanti.


Friday, October 8, 2021

Veterans monument upgrade; trail run pit stop
You may have noticed a runner and a few friends  being followed by a support ATV on the Sunrise Prairie Trail; making their way through Chisago County last Saturday. Downbursts of rain accompanied the entourage on their final leg of an almost non-stop 100 mile run to raise money for a veterans’ program. 
Friday, October 8, 2021

Power outage tied to fatal crash
A power outage in the Chisago Lakes Area October 2 is being traced back to a fatal single car crash the night before. Reports of loss of power were spread widely throughout Chisago City and the east side of Lindstrom;  affecting oxygen machines, garage doors, an apartment building elevator, fire and burglary alarm systems and more while generating dozens of calls for police service.
Friday, October 8, 2021

North Branch Council briefs...
The North Branch City Council adopted the proposed levy at a $5,073,949 total (story in Press Sept. 23) and between now and the finalization of the 2022 numbers, the council will hear from the public November 29 at 6:30 p.m.  North Branch expects to bring in $4 million in ad valorem property taxes alone, which in 2020 this was $3.3 million.  Total revenues will be closer to $6 million with grants, permits, licences, etc.
Friday, October 8, 2021

Squashing the boring sides
If you’re like me when it comes to dinner, sides can be challenging. I can usually figure out a main dish to enjoy for dinner pretty easily, but then at times I struggle with sides. I find myself defaulting at times to just canned or frozen veggies, which are fine, but just get kind of bland and old after a while.
Friday, October 8, 2021

Health director to Board; County needs to up its Covid game
It could be the variant virus dubbed “Delta” or it could be caused by the weather changing or it could be greater population numbers being indoors
Friday, October 8, 2021

Chisago City proposes 6.15 percent levy increase
At its Sept. 28 meeting, the Chisago City Council set a public hearing on the proposed 2022 tax levy for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 16. At that hearing, city residents are invited to comment on the proposed 2022 budget and 6.15 percent tax levy increase.
Thursday, October 7, 2021

Freemore family artist 'tree' exhibit in Wyoming
An ongoing exhibition at a local gallery lends a lot of truth to the saying; talent runs in the family.
Thursday, October 7, 2021

North Branch crowns homecoming royalty
North Branch Area Public School District celebrates its homecoming this weekend. The Homecoming King and Queen were crowned Monday afternoon, with senior class members attending the event to promote social distancing and the remainder of the school watching remotely.  Thanks to community relations person Pat Tepoorten for the photo of Queen and King Kendra Geary and Garrett Korkowski.  There’s a homcoming parade Friday afternoon (tomorrow)and later the Vikes play Grand Rapids.


Friday, October 1, 2021

Overdose death in jail results in third degree murder charges
An area man has been charged with third degree murder in connection with a drug-related fatality earlier this year at the Chisago County Jail.  Authorities report John Hofer, Stacy, age 37, is facing one felony count of providing the methamphetamine that led to the death of Erik Nielsen, 51. 
Friday, October 1, 2021

Bonding projects site visits include Lakes Area PD request
A coach bus, carrying state senators and staff members  around the State of Minnesota over three days last week, made a stop in Lindstrom towards the end of Thursday.The Senators serve on a bonding bill committee that reviews as many  applications for upcoming bond proceeds as possible.  Along with a similar committee in the MN House, they’ll bring recommended projects for inclusion in a final bonding package when the lawmakers come together again in February. (The comparable House committee is scheduled to tour the Lakes Area Police Dept. in early October.)
Friday, October 1, 2021

District Court backlog calls for extra help
Lingering effects of about 18 months in covid-mode are impacting the criminal courts in Center City. The court system and county attorney’s office were hit with reducing hours and how many people could be physically working together,  shifting to virtual hearings and trials— and the net result is being buried by caseload.
Friday, October 1, 2021

NB Water & Light electric plant operator no longer employed
The methodical behind-the-scenes dissolution of the North Branch Water & Light utility continued this week.
Friday, October 1, 2021

Wyoming early levy adopted at 11 percent hike
The levy and tax rate for the City of Wyoming will increase under the preliminary numbers the city council adopted 4-1 last week. The city can still decrease the levy until the final tax statement numbers are established in December for next year— the numbers may not go up.  With no specific opposition expressed, Council member Linda Nanko Yeager voted no.
Friday, October 1, 2021

Shafer City Council hears water pressure complaint; three absent
Shafer City Council met September 21 for a regular meeting. Mayor Paula Hanson, attorney James Monge and finance director Drew Hill were all absent.  Council member Nick Brehm was acting mayor.
Friday, October 1, 2021

There is still help for businesses affected by the pandemic, ahoy!
If you are a small business owner there are still a few options to help you get through this challenging pandemic.  The Main Street COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is a $70 million program to help small businesses negatively impacted by COVD-19. A significant portion of this $70 million will be dedicated to helping Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) owned small businesses, veteran and women-owned small businesses and small businesses with six or fewer fulltime workers.
Friday, October 1, 2021


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