- Member for
- 4 years 2 weeks
Low temperatures leading up to the annual Back to Hack winter celebration in Hackensack may have contributed to lower turnout at some events Saturday, Jan. 14. At least two past participants in the snow sculpture competition said they decided against entering due to bitter cold temperatures, and there was ultimately only one entrant in the competition. Lighthouse Evangelical Free Church, winner in last year's competition, carved a large throne into a snowbank and decorated it with glittering ice baubles.
Though years away from hitting its 25-year anniversary, it was in August of 1991 that a donation of land led to the Good Samaritan Society Riverside Villas in Pine River becoming a model that would be used throughout the Midwest. In 1991, the Good Samaritan Society already ran a skilled nursing campus with up to 120 beds at one time (today there are 50 residents with private rooms). But until that time neither the local Pine River branch nor the other small community branches had what the company calls "Housing With Services," commonly known as assisted living apartments.
Before its Monday, Jan. 9, regular meeting, the Pine River-Backus School Board held a reorganizational meeting with only small changes. Chris Cunningham was unanimously selected as board chair again, with Richie Bean selected as vice chair. Bean received five votes while new board member Dawn Rubner received two. Katy Botz remained clerk treasurer with a unanimous selection. Board meetings will remain the third Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. with exceptions for scheduling conflicts due to holidays and other occasions.
Throughout December, the Pine River Area Food Shelf and Pine River-Backus Elementary School worked to brighten the lives of those who needed a little help. The food shelf filled 150 bags with meals for local families, but not until local elementary school students had decorated those bags.
McCabe's Pub along Highway 3 in Mission Township found new owners Dec. 21 and soon will reopen under a new name. Jeff McCulloch, of Breezy Point, and Mike Loomis, of Crosslake, have almost a combined 40 years of tending bar and recently decided to turn that experience into a business opportunity. "I used to work at the Commander, Zorbaz in Crosslake, then I managed the Bourbon Room the last three and a half years," McCulloch said. After purchasing McCabe's, the duo set out to redesign the entire business.
Pine River-Backus Superintendent Dave Endicott and a committee of school employees are working to combat food insecurity as a supplement to the Pine River Area Food Shelf. The school food pantry, called the Tiger Den, is similar to programs enacted in other schools where Endicott worked previously.
Growing up, I recall after school meals, as I'm sure many readers do. We got home before my mom, and since there were no adults present, my brother or I were the ones who did anything resembling cooking if we needed a snack right off the bus. In later years, we might also find ourselves in charge of cooking an actual supper if Mom had not returned by then. I'm guessing this is a very familiar scenario in single-parent households.
December in the lakes area brought almost constantly icy road conditions, which prove more costly for local governments to try to clear than snow alone. Local authorities on road maintenance and plowing said the cost to clear ice can be two to five times as expensive as plowing snow.
Scott Sadusky, owner of Cities to Lakes Inspections in Merrifield, recently took over as Pine River's city building official. He introduced himself to the city council at its regular December meeting, where the council learned that it had not been issuing building permits for certain, smaller building projects, though it is required by the state to do so. Sadusky met with Clerk Wanda Mongan and Deputy Clerk Terri Dabill to discuss past practices, after which he had a clearer picture of the services that have required permits in the past.
As the dust cleared after November elections, several new people representing area communities won state legislative seats with goals of helping improve the state when the session began Tuesday, Jan. 3. • Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, now represents Senate District 5, which includes the northern half of Cass and parts of Itasca and Beltrami counties.