Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper
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When the new school year begins Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Crosslake Community School, it will do so in a brand new, $7.3 million facility located in the heart of Crosslake. Still on the main thoroughfare - County Road 66 - the 35,000-square-foot, two-story building is on the property where the city's Catholic church formerly stood. It replaces the school campus in northern Crosslake, which saw the school's main and administrative offices, along with the cafeteria, in a separate building from the classrooms and gymnasium.
Coming off the best finish in program history, the Pequot Lakes Patriot football team now have a new head coach in Bill Magnuson and several players with varsity experience. "With the return of 16 letterwinners off of the 2017 Class 3A State Semifinals team, the 2018 season should be exciting," Magnuson said. However, the team parted ways with coach Chip Lohmiller and a large group of seniors who occupied many of the team's starting roles in 2017. Despite this, Magnuson believes that the "cupboard is not empty."
With only a handful of upperclassmen signed up for the upcoming season, Pine River-Backus High School coaches and officials have decided not to field a varsity football team this fall. Logan Gordon is the lone senior signed up to play football, along with eight juniors. Half of the team's 22 athletes are freshmen.
Madeline Pluimer went 2-0 at No. 4 singles and the Pequot Lakes Patriots swept all doubles matches in their home invitational against Bemidji and Little Falls on Monday, Aug. 27. "Bemidji is always a tough match for us, but we like to play them because they help us get better," head coach Monica Sergent said. "We believe this is the first year that we have been able to beat them, but we had very competitive matches at every position, win or lose."
A wide variety of sports have always been popular in the lakes area. High school sports often see the bleachers full, people enjoy taking part in summer baseball and softball, and pond hockey is often a common attraction at winter events. And of course, the local golf courses see plenty of traffic in the months with no snow. However, two newer sports are seeing an increase in popularity at a recreational level in the lakes area: pickleball and disc golf. Pickleball
In its Monday, Aug. 20, meeting, the Pequot Lakes School Board unanimously approved an updated master agreement between the district and its principals for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. The agreement sees increases to the principals' health insurance coverage. It also sees each principal receive a salary increase of roughly $5,000 in the first year of the agreement and roughly $3,000 in the second. The board also approved its yearly agreement with the Pequot Lakes Police Department regarding the district's school liaison officer for the coming school year.
Megan Muller, Courtney Boller and the No. 3 doubles team of Aston Crocker-Morgan Lueck all improved their records 4-0 as the Patriots girls tennis team swept Crosby-Ironton and Duluth Marshall at the C-I Triangular on Monday, Aug. 20. The Patriots did not suffer a single loss in the meet.
The Crosslake City Council voted unanimously to approve the hosting of another chili cook-off during Crosslake Days. Crosslake Days will take place Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 27-29. The annual event features a chili cook-off in which Crosslake businesses make chili for the public, free of charge. The public then votes on the best bowl of chili. By law, the Crosslake Days committee is required to have the council's approval to host the cook-off. Dream Island bridge
With only a handful of upperclassmen signed up for the upcoming season, Pine River-Backus High School coaches and officials have decided not to field a varsity football team this fall. "We are low on numbers," PRB activities director Randy Schwegel said. "We have 22 kids or so. We have only one senior and we have 11 ninth-graders. For the safety of those kids—you know, putting a ninth-grader out there against seniors—we didn't feel it was a wise decision."
In its Monday, Aug. 6, meeting, the Breezy Point City Council unanimously approved a development agreement with Whitebirch, Inc. for the North Star Center. The plan for the project is to develop 40 acres of land near the Breezy Point Sports Center (hockey arena), which would include a new Cuyuna Regional Medical Center facility and GuidePoint Pharmacy. The development agreement approved Monday address public improvements such as sanitary sewer, future nearby road improvements and who will be required to pay for them.