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December 1, 2021

Wyoming to welcome new chief later this month
The City of Wyoming plans on having the new Public Safety Director and Chief of Police start December 20.  Neil Bauer, from Woodbury Police,  will succeed Paul Hoppe, who retires from Wyoming as of January 1, 2022.  Hoppe took the reins in Wyoming in 2009.
Monday, November 29, 2021


Controversial middle school teacher reinstated through arbitration
A middle school teacher who showed a controversial video to his seventh and eight grade students was officially back on the job last week.
Friday, November 26, 2021

Welcome back; Lighting Festival parade returns
Taylors Falls is very familiar territory to this year’s Lighting Festival Royal Lady of the Village, Wendy Szczepanski. 
Friday, November 26, 2021

Sewer rates up
Customers of municipal sewer in the greater Chisago Lakes Area will see rates charged to their cities increase by three percent starting in 2022, and this will surely be passed on to the residents in sewer and water statements.  Chisago Lakes Joint Sewage Treatment Commission members voted unanimously to adopt next year’s recommended budget and all of its future assumptions at their November CLJSTC meeting. 
Friday, November 26, 2021

Author: Patience and persistence all part of process
EDITOR'S NOTE: Chances are (it happened to us) that the words ‘foul hook’ entered into a search on the Internet will find text about snagging fish with no bait or lure— just a hook, embedded in a part of the fish that is not its mouth. A foul hook is frowned upon in most communities of fishermen.  It is illegal in Minnesota.
Friday, November 26, 2021

Shafer City Council looking elsewhere for inspector, learns of budget changes
Shafer City Council met November 16 for a regular meeting.  All members were present.
Friday, November 26, 2021

Vape/tobacco store shut down in NB
The North Branch council  expressed zero surprise at a recent council session when an agenda item called for consideration of revoking a license for a vaping/tobacco store.  When issuing a business license last August council had no legal option to deny at that time, it was stated. By October— police had received a complaint about underage sales of products and after an investigation, a citation was issued.
Friday, November 26, 2021

Council ponders necessary street improvements
After reviewing the engineer’s annual rating of Chisago City streets, the city council on Nov. 16 discussed how it could improve as many “red” streets as possible. Red streets, as shown on Engineer John Goodman’s detailed map of the city, are those in the greatest need of repair or reconstruction, for a total  2.2 miles.
Friday, November 26, 2021

Chisago County board briefs...
After a few years of a concerted bridge repair and replacement effort leveraging state and federal monies— Chisago County Engineer Joe Triplett reports that the County Road 56 bridge becomes the last of the fracture critical spans in the county needing attention. 
Friday, November 26, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving to all, it's TF Lighting Festival week!
So this is Thanksgiving week  I wanted to take a moment to give some thanks, so bear with me.  I would formally like to thank you the readers for your support over the decades that my family has been involved in the paper.  I would like to thank our wonderful advertisers who recognize a small town newspaper still holds value by reaching and educting the public in areas other media can't. 
Friday, November 26, 2021

One of the best cooking times of the year
Thanksgiving can limit your creativeness in the kitchen when you’re cooking for a large group. There’s certain expectations for a Thanksgiving dinner from guests. Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry, green bean casserole etc.
Friday, November 26, 2021

LAPD bodyworn camera audit positive; North Branch program policy OK'd
Lakes Area Police have gone through the first bodyworn camera audit of their history of using these cameras and passed with flying colors. 
Friday, November 19, 2021

Survey on NB Veterans' Memorial open Dec. 10-Jan. 7
North Branch City Council accepted a two-pronged approach to collecting community input in an effort to come to a resolution on locating a veterans’ memorial in Central Park. 
Friday, November 19, 2021

Emerging farmer issue taking root here
It used to be that when  the topic of diversity in agriculture came up it was related to expanding options for crops.  Farmers can find themselves in a rut with the big three; corn, beans, hay, when other crops promote more biodiversity.   As the trend shifted towards developing local markets for small farming of vegetables, fruit orchards, mushrooms, heirloom grains, and value added products— the word diverse came to mean something different entrely. 
Friday, November 19, 2021

North Branch Patriot Pen and Voice of Democracy winners announced
North Branch Area Middle School students Amelia Lattimore (1st place),  Athena DeFlorin (2nd place), and Jayden Norwig (3rd place), were recognized on Veterans Day for their efforts in the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. Lattimore will move on to the regional competition. Regional winners have the opportunity to move on to the state and national competitions. First place received a check for $50, and second and third place received a check for $25.
Friday, November 19, 2021

Stacy City Council working at filling building official spot
Stacy City Council met November 9 for a regular meeting. All were present. City clerk Sharon Payne was absent.
Friday, November 19, 2021

Thanksgiving community meal, our Gift Guide has everything
We are getting very close to Thanksgiving and (gulp) Christmas.  The folks at Chisago Lake Lutheran Church in Center City are once again putting on their community Thanksgiving meal.  Yes our good friend Covid is hindering our dining in options again this year, but they are committed to having the meal even if it is carry-out.  There is a small army that will be spending their Thanksgiving morning preparing meals.  The dinner is free to anyone and will be distributed in the lower level of the church parking lot.  They are asking people to please make a reservation by calling 651-257-6300.  If you would like to volunteer, they would love to have you. Please call Chris at 612-810-6770.
Friday, November 19, 2021

Let's give thanks for everything we have
I won’t wax poetic on all the problems in the world right now. There’s plenty of other places for that, so we don’t need to do that in my plain ol’ food column.
Friday, November 19, 2021

Bye Bye Birdie on stage Nov. 18-21
There’s a large cast in the Chisago Lakes High School musical— Bye Bye Birdie— soon performing on-stage. The show includes 11 middle school students  rounding out the roster.
Friday, November 12, 2021

EMT Award was Covid delayed but deserved
The North Branch American Legion, as many other communities, cancelled many events in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the North Branch Midsummer Celebration had been cancelled, as was every other Legion event for 2020, the Legion’s EMT/Paramedic Of The Year award was unable to be presented.
Friday, November 12, 2021

Center City Council finishes street vacate request, ups firefighter pension
Two things got checked-off the “old business” section of the Center City agenda last week.  The city heard that Calendar Isle homeowners have decided to no longer pursue city takeover of their circular street and culvert crossing.  The issue of turning over the private association system has come before city council sporadically in past years, but no terms ever seem to materialize where the city can be assured the infrastructure meets generally accepted municipal standards.
Friday, November 12, 2021

Springs Inn gets thumbs up
Taylors Falls Springs Inn has officially opened for business. Owner Richard Berget listened from the audience while four council members debated the granting of a “hotel license” which may or may not even exist in city code. With the mayor absent, the vote was 3-1 to allow the Inn to operate and accept guests in 20 rooms.
Friday, November 12, 2021

County Board briefs....
The Chisago County Board  has three fairly major appointments for offices that are being vacated.  Commissioners got notice recently of the exit of   Assessor John Keefe, which comes on the heels of Probation Director Amy Chavez announcing her departure, and last week the Board accepted the retirement notice of County Recorder Janet Converse.
The process of finding a successor to appoint as Recorder,  starts as soon as possible. Recruiting for the other two is already underway.

Friday, November 12, 2021

LaValla elected to North Branch Area Public Schools board
Incumbent Jesse LaValla was elected to the North Branch Area Public Schools school board on Tuesday, Nov. 2. LaValla ran unopposed and received 131 of the 149 votes cast in the election. Election results, currently unofficial, will be canvassed by the NBAPS school board on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 5:30 p.m. in room C120 at the North Branch Area Education Center.
Friday, November 12, 2021

North Branch Utility substantial revenue increase from new housing lets rate drop be considered
With revenue up by at least $200,000 for 2021 in excess of what was earlier budgeted— the North Branch Water & Light Utility Commission was able to preview a decrease in water bills for next year.  
Friday, November 12, 2021

Buy a coat - donate a coat; take time to tell a Veteran thank you
As I write this column - the prediction of snow is working its way across the tv newscasts.  I guess it had to come time, but I have to be honest, this fall has been amazing.  Just a few days ago we were walking our dog wearing short sleeves.  Break out the moon boots I guess... I am dating myself..again.
Friday, November 12, 2021


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