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January 18, 2022

Minnesota opening new North Branch COVID testing site as demand surges
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said the state will expand testing capacity by opening three new community sites and sending at-home test kits to schools.
Friday, January 7, 2022

Minnesota Sheriff's Association scholarship recipient from Chisago
A resident from Chisago City is a recipient of one of 15 Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association $2000 scholarships. 
Friday, January 14, 2022

Veterans Memorial round table meeting
The City & Veterans Memorial Committee are hosting a community roundtable discussion on January 18, 2022, at 6:30 pm regarding the expansion of the Veterans Memorial in Central Park.  The North Branch Beautification Association’s Veterans Memorial Committee, a local 501 (c) 3 organization, is proposing to expand and revitalize the existing Veterans Memorial that is located in the southeast corner of Central Park. The expansion costs would be funded 100 percent by the Beautification Veterans Memorial Committee’s ongoing efforts to raise donations from various community members, business and organizations in support of this site.  The Veterans Committee, consisting of members from our North Branch American Legion, VFW, School District, and Beautification Association, will design and fundraise for an impactful site memorializing those who served our country.  The new Veterans Memorial would honor veterans from all five branches of the military and would occupy an area of approximately 60 feet by 60 feet (under four percent of the park’s total area) and is proposed to be placed at the southern portion of the park possibly between the gazebo and Main Street.  The Committee’s proposal is not intended to change the use of any structures such as the gazebo, playground or basketball court.
Friday, January 14, 2022

Chisago Lakes Spelling Bee champion crowned
The Chisago Lakes School District in conjunction with Chisago Lakes Community Ed held the annual spelling bee January 6.  Twenty students ranging from sixth grade to eighth grade participated in the bee.  The bee lasted 20 rounds with Elliot Aadland taking first place.  Jaimey Jessen-Olson took second and Peter Lutz third.  The students will participate in the state spelling bee in February in Sartell, Minnesota. Pictured L to R: Elliot Aadland, Jaimey Jessen-Olson, Peter Lutz. Also pictured in the back row is Lindstrom Mayor, pronouncer Kevin Stenson, judge Matt Silver and judge Jeff Norton.
Friday, January 14, 2022

Accused of third degree murder; Hofer acquitted
A jury of 12 persons was unconvinced last Thursday  that John Hofer, 37, is a murderer.  They acquitted him on charges of third degree murder in connection with the overdose death of a 51-year-old male,  who perished while in the custody of Chisago County last July. 
Friday, January 14, 2022

New Supt. of St. Croix Riverway named
National Park Service (NPS) Regional Director Bert Frost announced the selection of Craig Hansen as superintendent of Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, spanning over 200 miles of forested landscape along the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota. He currently serves as superintendent at Grand Portage National Monument. He will assume his new role in February.
Friday, January 14, 2022

Water and Light utility commissioners hike pay; talks with ECE need time
The electric asset valuation initited last fall by the North Branch Water & Light  Commission as part of the process of selling electric assets, is somewhat delayed.
Friday, January 14, 2022

New COVID testing center open in North Branch
The former Nike Outlet building, located at 38500 Tanger Drive, will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for those wishing to be tested for the Covid virus. While walk-ins will be accepted, it is strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment.  Both the rapid, nasal and saliva tests will be available.
Friday, January 14, 2022

Water billings in Center City getting corrected; meters with no readings to be replaced in coming weeks
The public works department in Center City got the okay last week to start replacing questionable water metering equipment.  Public Works Supervisor Eric Garner has chipped away at a few addresses whose meters are registering oddly, mostly installed at the same time years ago in the Dew Drop townhomes neighborhood.
Friday, January 14, 2022

Taylors Falls Council tackles light 2022 organizational meeting agenda
The Taylors Falls City Council did its annual organizing for 2022 Monday this week, and committee assignments and officers remain the same. 
Friday, January 14, 2022

Second part of 'The New Land' Sunday, sign up for COL events
This Sunday the second showing of “The New Land” will take place at the Performing Arts Center a the high school.  The New Land is a 1971 movie, where in 1850, Karl Oskar Nilsson, his wife Kristina, and their three children, along with Karl’s brother Robert and Robert's friend Arvid, have just arrived in what is now known as the Chisago Lakes area after enduring an arduous trip from Sweden.
Friday, January 14, 2022

The long cook can be so worth it
I try to be fairly practical in this column space. I understand most people don’t have a ton of time to take on an onerous recipe. We all have something busy going on in our lives, and if you’re anything like my dad and many retirees I know, you’ve found yourself even busier in retirement than you did when you were working 40 hours a week.
Friday, January 14, 2022

Greene is County Board chair; 3-2 vote for vice chair
The 2022 Chair of the Chisago County Board is Rick Greene, who was unanimously supported by commissioners.  Greene expressed his wish that the county will soon be able to put covid concerns behind and he wants to see broadband access and service issues resolved.
Friday, January 7, 2022

Watershed District will not be acquiring Willow Point
The Comfort Lake Forest Lake Watershed District Board has voted unanimously to drop all considerations leading to acquisition of the parcel known as Willow Point on Forest Lake. 
Friday, January 7, 2022

Local fishermen enjoy success at the next level
We caught up with local angler Kyle Minke who recently competed in a national fishing tournament on  Table Rock Lake in Arkansas.  He and his partner finished seventh out of 350 boats. Kyle and his wife Jenna are Lindstrom residents.  Kyle owns a local plumbing company in Lindstrom.
Friday, January 7, 2022

Lindstrom Council gets ready for 2022 business
The 2022 annual organizational city council meeting for Lindstrom was held Monday night this week.
Friday, January 7, 2022

Holidays are over, so let's go low and slow
I hope New Year’s Eve was festive and safe for all, and I hope everyone enjoyed any extended time-off they got over the holidays.
Friday, January 7, 2022

CL-FL Watershed District getting $400,000 to secure 19 acre parcel
The Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District was recently awarded $400,000 in state grant funds to preserve shoreline, wetlands, and forest adjacent to Forest Lake. The grant is through the Conservation Partners Legacy program, which provides funds for conservation projects that restore, enhance, or protect forests, wetlands, prairies, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife in Minnesota. The $400,000 award is the maximum possible through this grant program and will cover 80 percent of the cost to purchase a 19-acre plot of land on Forest Lake’s east basin near the outlet of Cranberry Lake and public boat access.
Thursday, December 30, 2021

Fire consumes barn in Shafer
Nearby fire departments were called out to a barn fire at 4:45 a.m. December 28, at an address on 310th,  between Shafer and Taylors Falls.  Horses in the building were rescued but the fire consumed the structure and notes from 9-1-1 dispatch are that the building collapsed on itself by 5 a.m. Authorities are not immediately releasing a cause.
Thursday, December 30, 2021

COVID-19 death rate climbs in county, local vaccination data not improving much
The weekly data being reported (as of Tuesday) on the State of MN website show that Chisago County deaths due to covid-19 now number 98.  The deaths are nearly all being attributed to the Delta variant with the past 30 day tracking determining 90 percent of Minnesota cases requiring hospitalization, are due to Delta.
Thursday, December 30, 2021

County takes lead on Wyoming freeway interchange study
Chisago County Commissioners have set the wheels in motion on a study of the interchange in Wyoming, in the vicinity of Viking Blvd. and I-35.  This transportation artery is poised to become much busier and prominent as two large tracts of land get developed,  if all goes as proposed in preliminary layouts.
Thursday, December 30, 2021

Shafer City Council hears early info on new fire hall
Shafer City Council met December 21 for a regular meeting.  All members were present.
Thursday, December 30, 2021

New Years is upon us, so hard to say goodbye to such a crappy year
So the year is coming to an end at the end of this week.  I would like to be on the record as saying “Thank goodness and good riddance.”  Not that the outlook of the latest virus variant is sunny, but last year was THE longest year I have ever lived.  Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would have completed a jigsaw puzzle - when infact I (we) completed five puzzles. 
Thursday, December 30, 2021

Happy New Years!
I hope everyone had a delightful Christmas and enjoyed time with family and friends! I enjoyed mine plenty, with a lot of family time and a trip to the Vikings game.
Thursday, December 30, 2021

North Branch announces ExCEL winners
Congratulations to Rylee Ramberg and Paul Boelk on being selected as the 2021-22 ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Education, and Leadership) Award winners for North Branch Area High School!
Thursday, December 30, 2021

County Board sets wages, sells debt
The wages for county officials were established by the County Board last week. The commissioners themselves get the same compensation increase the employees are slated for, at an increase of 2.5 percent effective January. This makes the annual salary for County Board members in 2022 $33,395.
Thursday, December 23, 2021

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Chisago County Press
P.O. Box 748 Lindstrom, MN 55045

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