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May 20, 2019

Lakes Area Police bodyworn cameras clear public comment phase
The Lakes Area Police Commission-- hearing no concerns from the public--voted unanimously last week to authorize the police department to continue  its bodyworn camera use. 
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Family gifts $100,000 to Taylors Falls Library
The Taylors Falls City Council was all smiles Monday night this week voting to officially accept a $100,000 gift left to the Taylors Falls Library to honor the selfless services of a longtime librarian.  The city council extended the city’s effusive gratitude to the family of Gloria and Charles Wilberg, who donated the money through a trust with the St Paul Foundation. 
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Clerk retires, road bid needs review
There was only one quote received for paving the city street area in front of the fire hall (Burnes Avenue) for the Center City Council to review last week, and due to exceeding the estimated cost the project is delayed.
Thursday, May 16, 2019

ERA measure finds no local support
Minnesota House members representing Chisago County either failed to vote or voted in opposition to two recent actions related to the Equal Rights Amendment.  In St Paul;  the House voted overwhelmingly in favor of  sending direction to Congress to lift an expiration date and extend ratifying the ERA.  The measure HF 71 passed 81-0. 
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Shafer Council ok's installation of fiber optic line, discusses new pole shed, Tool Cat purchase
Shafer City Council met May 7 for a regular meeting. Council member Brad Swenson was absent as was city attorney James Monge.   With no public hearings, the council moved quickly to consent agenda. 
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Chisago City Council earmarks $117,000 extra in street repairs
At a special workshop  May 7, the Chisago City Council agreed to spend an additional $117,000 to repair streets.
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Los Alamos National Laboratory presents local grad with chance to help blaze a trail for science and industry
The prestigious National Laboratory at Los Alamos, in New Mexico, has offered Lindstrom native and Bethel Class of 2019 graduate, Aidan Tollefson,  a post bachelor position.  
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Fishing opener was...next subject, LARF this weekend in Lindstrom
I have a lot of friends who golf. A lot.  Nothing puts me to sleep quicker than them talking about a recent round they shot.  Don't get me wrong, I love to hear the story - if it has a good ending or it makes me laugh, but in many cases, it is just someone rehashing their round shot by shot.  Why do I mention this? Because I am going to tell you how my day of fishing went last Saturday on the fishing opener.  Keep in mind what I just wrote about golf. So here goes... My day began at 6 am and by 6:30 a.m. I, and a good friend,  were on the water.  From there on fishing was terrible.  Now, I got the point across without boring you to tears.  Maybe next year I will have a better day to elaborate on and on about.
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Spring-fresh asparagus is best
If you're about the same age as I am you will remember the song “June is bustin out all over.” It's not June but something is bustin out all over and that would be asparagus. This is one of my favorite spring vegetables, along with rhubarb that's bustin out all over too. It's about asparagus today.
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Plan of local attack reviewed at invasive phragmites workshop
The tall grassy planting called phragmites, enjoyed widespread use in commercial landscaping and private plantings.  It wasn’t generally believed a decade ago that even the invasive species of the plant could produce viable seed, during our  brief growing season in Minnesota.  However, as a researcher explained during a phragmites information forum at St Bridget’s Church,  seed has been found viable in soils in the southern third of the state,  for lengthy periods.  And, the rhizomes, which give this weed the ability to spread over large areas,  are as tough as you’ll find in the natural world. 
Monday, May 6, 2019

Visitors check out Shafer-Franconia FD at breakfast
The Shafer-Franconia Fire Department invited the public Sunday, April 28 to breakfast at the fire hall in downtown Shafer. Visitors enjoyed pancakes, sausages, eggs, coffee and juice and helped support the department at the same time. Towards the end of summer-- during Shafer Days-- the raffle prize, lower photo, will be given away. Tickets are $5 each. The prize includes trailer, riding mower, chainsaw, pressure washer and more.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Chisago City grapples with funding deferred street repairs
Crumbling streets and how to repair them dominated discussion at the April 23 Chisago City Council meeting.
Monday, May 6, 2019

North Branch takes a pass on radio contract, for now
The North Branch City Council declined last week to adopt the interim 2019 contract for subscribing to the emergency radio system.  The allied radio matrix of emergency radios or ARMER system is regulated statewide and access and usage calls for a contract.  A five-year agreement for all the police, fire and municipal users in the county expired in 2018 and an interim one-year agreement is making the rounds for approval.
Monday, May 6, 2019

Chisago County board briefs...
The county engineer is expecting a bid soon on a project the county is cooperating with the city of North Branch on-- extending Hemingway Avenue, off #14 (Lincoln Trail) northward to a new intersection with Hwy 95.
Monday, May 6, 2019

Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, stood proudly in front of their leaders and peers, April 12, during an awards ceremony, presenting a medal of valor. Staff Sgt. Andrew Brant of Stacy, received an Army Commendation Medal with Valor for heroic actions six-month ago as part of Task Force Stalwart in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Monday, May 6, 2019

Quick and easy gelatin desserts
Do you remember the jingle “J-E-L-L-O”? If you are in the later part of your life you will know what I mean. Gelatin is the proper name and the brand name is Jello. A little bit of gelatin information that you're probably thinking I could have skipped in this part of todays column. Hang in there! Gelatin is gotten from the white connective tissue in the skin, and from the bones of animals, basically beef and veal. In the early days, homemakers made their own gelatin by boiling calves' feet for half a day, straining the broth through flannel (not once but several times), and finally clearing it with egg whites. That's all I'm going to say about how gelatin came to be.
Monday, May 6, 2019

Kids and parents enjoy Easter festivities in TF
The historic Taylors Falls Folsom House lawn and the landmark Angel Hill Methodist Church right next door-- combine for the perfect setting for an Easter special event.   Lively over-sized handpuppets shared an Easter message in the church sanctuary,  and then the children take a few steps outside the church and search for plastic candy-filled eggs.   The weather for this annual tradition was perfect, thank you to all who make this happen.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Lakes Area to use bodyworn cameras
Lakes Area Chief of Police Bill Schlumbohm attended a multi-day police chiefs’ conference in St. Cloud last week,  and the timing couldn’t have aligned any better for the upcoming introduction of bodyworn cameras in the Lakes Area Police Department. 
Friday, April 26, 2019

Sen. Koran uses holiday session break to meet with constituents
The community room at Wyoming Giese Memorial Library was standing-room- only with people who came  to hear local State Senator Mark Koran last week.  Lawmakers had some time away from the capitol, as the MN Legislature was on Easter-Passover break from Friday April 12 to April 23.
Friday, April 26, 2019

County ranking in national health analysis dips
When it comes to the annual county Health Rankings,  a seven-year-old standardized tool for assessing the overall health of a specific population-- the lower your county’s ranking number the better. 
Friday, April 26, 2019

Lindstrom Council OK's ARMER contract haltingly
The Lindstrom City Council, minus member AnnMarie Brink, last week reluctantly put a stamp of approval on the county’s ARMER radio subscription contract on behalf of the police and fire departments, and agreed to accept surplus county-bought radios being offered to local fire and police at no charge.
Friday, April 26, 2019

Solar array permits on County Board agendas again, vets' van lease OK'd
A number of solar array permits were on the County Board agenda last week, to approve or deny their installation,  and the county commissioners appeared to desire re-opening interim use permit condition review.  County solar array permit ordinance language was re-written and adopted less than 12 months ago after a lengthy process of hearings and revision.  But the Board had lingering concerns about  permits as to reducing noise, refining setbacks and adding screening specifics. 
Friday, April 26, 2019

Shafer Council approves new Saloon liquor license, discusses job openings
Shafer City Council met April 16 for a regular meeting.  All members were in attendance with city attorney James Monge absent.  The council held a public hearing to approve a license for the new owners of the Shafer Saloon. Chuck and Carina Hafner recently purchased the bar and are planning an early May opening.  No one spoke at the hearing, but former Mayor Kyle Johnson showed up later voicing his concern over late-night noise. Johnson said he was sure they would be great tenants but just wanted to let them and the council know about past issues. 
Friday, April 26, 2019

The Addams Family invades North Branch
North Branch Area High School is putting on the musical version of the kooky classic Addams Family. Shows are Thursday, May 2, Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m. and May 4 also at 2 p.m. and a Sunday, May 5, 2 p.m. matinee.  Tickets are $10. The student rush seats are available free, a few minutes before show start times,  if seats are available.  Pictured, Gomez and Morticia share a scene, and the cast rehearses a number with outsiders seated at a banquet table in the Addams Family mansion. 
Friday, April 26, 2019

Get some sun and catch some sunnies, Lakeside memories....
There is still time for you, your family and friends to sign-up for the first annual crappie tournament on May 4.  I have spoken to quite a few fishermen who have told me the fish are starting to come in from the long cold winter. 
Friday, April 26, 2019

One pan-and-done dinner
The snow is gone, at least in our area. Here in the park (as I call it) we have been waiting to see when the ice “goes out.” We have a guessing game that goes like this: The “chief in charge” has a calendar where we can sign up for the date when that happens. The ice is gone and I didn't win but the rain has come to green-up the grass. My heart goes out to those who are suffering from all the snow we've had ruining their homes and their farmlands. Say a prayer for them that they may have strength, courage and hope in the days ahead.
Friday, April 26, 2019

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