Pequot Lakes Schools’ new athletic center is drawing crowds — and not just of students. The new gyms and walking track are well used by the community, said school board member and volunteer Curt Johnson. He and resident Ryan Sjoblad supervise open gym nights twice a week: Wednesdays and Sundays from 7-9 p.m. Open gym has been going on since around 2001. Johnson said that in the new facilities, open gym night has, at times, seen more than 100 people taking advantage of the community space. “The colder it gets out, the more people are here,” Johnson said.
According to draft meeting minutes, the Fifty Lakes City Council made its annual appointments Tuesday night, Jan. 14. Council member Greg Buchite was named acting mayor, Thomas Pearson was named city attorney through the February meeting and Richard Schiller was named emergency services manager.
At its Dec. 3 meeting, minutes show the Manhattan Beach City Council set its 2014 levy at $70,000, the same as 2013. The levy was reduced by $10,000 in 2013, as the 2012 levy was $80,000. At the council’s Jan. 7 meeting, minutes show the council made its yearly appointments, including naming Bolton and Menk its city engineer, Mathias Justin its city accountant, Virginia Knudson its city attorney, Gerry Boe its city insurance agent, Frandsen Bank as the city’s bank and Crosslake Fire Department for city fire protection.
The Crosslake City Council learned Monday, Feb. 10, that $6,186 in outstanding planning and zoning fees owed to the city have been repaid, but $4,294.50 is still owed. In November 2013, City Clerk Char Nelson brought it to the council’s attention that more than $11,000 in planning and zoning fees were owed to the city, with some bills going back to 2011. The fees included legal fees, surveying costs and engineering fees, and ranged from bills of $13.50 to more than $1,500.
Connor Olson, a fifth-grader, beat 15 other middle level contestants in the Pequot Lakes School District spelling bee Friday, Feb. 7, in the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium. Olson won by correctly spelling the word “astrolabe,” which is an instrument formerly used to make astronomical measurements. He also correctly spelled “smithereens,” “arraignment” and more.
Patty Norgaard moved to Crosslake right when the recession was hitting, and she noticed a lot of vacant buildings in town. Always a bit of a “political junkie,” she felt like when she retired, Crosslake might be a great place to “cut her teeth” by getting involved in local politics and doing her best to help the city at the same time. In addition to her interest in the Economic Development Authority (EDA), she said, “I was not the type of person to sit at home and vacuum and dust.” She also felt a civic duty.
Around 25 people attended the Pequot Lakes School Board’s Hour of Listening on Monday, Feb. 3, with a showing of the seven school board members, around nine staff members and nine members of the public. The board called the meeting to talk with the community about what should be included in the district’s strategic roadmap, which the board is in the process of drafting.
The Breezy Point City Council on Monday, Feb. 3, approved plans and specifications for sanitary sewer and paving on Creek Circle and Whitebirch Drive. The paving and sewer prepare for the first phase of what will eventually be a 52-unit development off of Whitebirch Drive. Plans for sewer and paving, created by Widseth Smith Nolting (WSN), show specifications for where sewer lines will run and how deep they will be. One line will run directly under the golf course to connect with existing sewer.
Pequot Lakes High School’s One Acts team placed third overall for its performance of “The Flying Doctor” at sectional competition. Pequot Lakes hosted the competition Saturday, Feb. 1, at the school’s auditorium, where eight teams competed. The Pequot Lakes team moved up to the sectional competition after placing second at subsections, but did not place high enough to move to the state competition. The team performed “The Flying Doctor,” a comedy by French playwright Moliere, in which all the men play women and women play men.
Mary Plein, of Ideal Township, resides at the center of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway — literally and figuratively. She’s involved in both the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association (PBSBA) and the Ideal Community Service Organization (ICSO). As former chair of the PBSBA, Plein loves the stories of Paul and Babe. Sharing that story allows the association to tell visitors about why the area is great. “It’s telling the story of these roads that make up the byway,” she said, “so that people realize what a gem it is and come visit.”