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June 20, 2021

Water and Light Commissioners recommend "winding down" utility
The three remaining commissioners who oversee the North Branch Water and Light utility voted unanimously June 16 to “wind down” the utility operations.  Operations will be unaffected in the near term pending when “further action” might be taken by commissioners.  The motion stated by Commissioner James Baxter declares the commission recommends winding down the utility, under status quo conditions until “further action by the commission.”
Friday, June 18, 2021

Driver in fatal I-35 crash imprisoned
A Marine on St. Croix man has been sent to prison for 67 months for felony criminal operation of a vehicle with negligence,  under the influence of alcohol, that resulted in the death of the driver of a second vehicle on I-35 in November 2019.
Friday, June 18, 2021

North Branch MidSummer Grand Marshal a familiar face
This year’s MidSummer Days Parade Grand Marshal Paul Johnson graduated from North Branch High School 41 years ago. He forged a career in the U.S. Air Force over 30 years and the mission stayed strong enough inside;  that when he retired as a Colonel he came back to his hometown and accepted the position of senior aerospace science instructor for the high school’s Junior ROTC program.
Friday, June 18, 2021

North Branch grandmother achieves diploma at 86
A high school diploma is at the center of a lot of social circles around this time of year.  Earning your high school diploma is to be celebrated, it’s what we do. 
Friday, June 18, 2021

Lions Park pier being finalized, Council gets Wannigan update
The Taylors Falls City Council took the MN DNR up on its offer to pay for the handicap-accessible walkway leading to the new fishing pier at Lions Park, on the river.  The short-handed council voted 3-0 to authorize an agreement where the city officially serves as the conduit for the state monies and pays the bill.  (Mayor Buchite and Larry Julik Heine were absent.)
Friday, June 18, 2021

Stacy City Council meets short-handed
The Stacy City Council met June 8 for a regular meeting.  Councilmembers Marie Lawrence and Jennie Carlson were absent. 
Friday, June 18, 2021

Midsummer Days here; congrats to grads
This week North Branch invites everyone to come enjoy their Midsummer Days celebration.  The celebration begins today (Wednesday) and runs through the parade Sunday.  The weather is supposed to be perfect, so why not come out and have some fun locally? 
Friday, June 18, 2021

Strawberries in summertime
Ever since Alice made me aware of the growing seasons, I’ve been much better about seeing what is harvested when. So for this week, I decided to take a gander at the calendar and see what’s in season in June, and lo and behold, my favorite fruit is starting to ripen! Strawberries! I’ve shared a few strawberry recipes before, including Aly’s favorite healthy dessert and my favorite spicy jam, but this one is about the summer strawberry recipes that I’ve made and I love.
Friday, June 18, 2021

Chisago County continues to rise in Minnesota health rankings
The national County Health Rankings is a statistical tool that was begun 10 years ago and has been used to compare health factors and outcomes across the U.S., using data for every county. The report has allowed public health policy-makers to track health measurements in their own county on an apples-to-apples level with other counties. 
Thursday, June 10, 2021

My perfect Father's Day menu
With Father’s Day coming up soon, I’m going to take this week to devise my perfect food day that I’d want my wife or hypothetical kids to make me in celebration. (Hint, hint Aly)
Thursday, June 10, 2021

Fatal motorcycle crash in rural Harris June 6
The Sheriff’s Office reports a 51-year-old male died in a motorcycle crash
Monday, June 7, 2021

Fatal motorcycle crash in rural Harris June 6
The Sheriff’s Office reports a 51-year-old male died in a motorcycle crash
Monday, June 7, 2021

Taylor Swanson named the new Sunrise Principal
North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS) is excited to announce that Mr. Taylor Swanson has been selected as the next Principal at the Sunrise River School. The interview process was extensive, and began with collecting input from staff and families utilizing Thoughtexchange to identify characteristics sought in our new principal. That feedback called for a leader with strong communication skills and high visibility, with leadership characteristics of inclusivity and flexibility, who involves parents and staff in the educational process.
Friday, June 4, 2021

No Star Ratings report this year
The Minnesota Gambling Control Board is not attaching a ‘Star’ assignment to local charitable gambling organizations for 2020.  The Star Rating usually comes out a few months into the following year;  once fiscal reports are reviewed and calculations have been done. 
Friday, June 4, 2021

Chisago City hears lake shore issue; negotiated settlement with DNR
Chisago City opened its council room May 25 to the public for the first time since Covid 19 restrictions took effect in March 2020. (During the pandemic, council meetings were conducted behind closed doors using Zoom and aired live for the public on Facebook.)
Friday, June 4, 2021

National Heritage Area supported by county
Chisago County may soon be listed with a handful of “National Heritage Areas” in the United States.  The County Board May 19 approved a resolution supporting Congress to adopt the application for designating the North Woods and Waters of the St. Croix.  The County letter goes with al sorts of materials and expressions of support to Washington D.C. for presentation to the members.
Friday, June 4, 2021

Local veterans turn out for beautiful Memorial Day services
The American Legion Post #83 of Lindstrom and #272 of Chisago City presented the colors and helped honor county veterans on Memorial Day on Monday, May 31 at Fairview Cemetery in Lindstrom. Also, the North Branch American Legion Post #85 honored area veterans buried at Weber-St. John’s Cemetery in North Branch.
Friday, June 4, 2021

Local officials meet with Rep. Stauber to discuss Highway 8
The 100 or so people who attended a roundtable with U.S. Congressman Pete Stauber CD-8, on Thursday went away with a homework assignment to get the word out about Highway 8 and its shortfalls.  They were told to contact state leaders. Correspond with federal transportation officials. Contact transportation commissioners. Make sure everybody knows what Highway 8 needs and why.
Friday, June 4, 2021

Water and Light loses its attorney and Commissioner Hals
North Branch city leaders lobbied state lawmakers for years to get special authority to expand to a five-person utility commission, finally  getting a special enabling piece of legislation passed, and the group has now shrunk back to its former three person make-up. 
Friday, June 4, 2021

Summer is here- I can hear music in the air
I hope you had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend. I attended one of the many Memorial Day services, this one in Lindstrom at Fairview Cemetery. Judging by the crowd size you can tell that covid has made us realize how much we miss getting out and attending such events. The cemetery was packed. Even a few raindrops didn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd. 
Friday, June 4, 2021

My own spin on rhubarb recipes
Last week, our old pal Alice Nelson made her first of what I can only hope is many cameos in this column. She let me know that it was rhubarb season and boy I felt silly not realizing that.
Friday, June 4, 2021

CMI donations shipment bound for city in Ukraine
On a glorious sun drenched Saturday, following about five rain-soaked days in a row— most people would be doing yard chores, or heading out on the lake, maybe tuning up the bike for ride. 
Friday, May 28, 2021

Wyoming City audit presented; legislative measure being opposed
The Wyoming City Council heard the 2020 audit presentation last week and the city was complimented by the audit presenter for KDV.  Aaron Dahl remarked that even though the tax capacity—the amount the city is able to levy— has declined from 2019 to 2020 the tax rate has seen a decline and is now at 43.58 percent. It has been 57 percent in recent years.
Friday, May 28, 2021

Bridge replacement planning: public input sought
The two-state bridge that spans the St. Croix River at Osceola is due for replacement.  The Wisconsin and Minnesota Departments of Transportation have released some planning considerations on early design elements, and now seek public comment until June 4.
Friday, May 28, 2021

Crowd attends County Board to be heard on permit
It’s been awhile since the County Board Room was alive with citizen participaton, but last week public microphone returned in fine form.  The lifting of mask restrictions and the requested campground use of a parcel at Goose Lake came together to generate a lengthy collection of statements from affected parties.
Friday, May 28, 2021

Memorial Day - the way it should be honored
On Monday we as a country celebrate those women and men who have dutifully served our great country and are no longer with us.  Memorial Day has taken a back seat to the pandemic (for good reason) and is now finally a full go.  That means we as a community are invited to come out and pay our respects to these great people who have helped make our country what it is today.  We have a large spread in the middle of this edition that details each and every Memorial Day event in the area. You don’t have to be related to someone who has served to pay your respects, by all means, come on out Monday morning to one or more of the events.  They are quite moving and to pay respects it the right thing to do.  The events don’t last very long so it won’t eat up your day.  I will see you there!
Friday, May 28, 2021

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