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During the 1989-90 school year, the Pine River-Backus School District hired a teacher who would eventually start a very popular tradition. Lynn Wangberg came into the district as an elementary teacher at the school building in Backus. Several years earlier, she and her family had come to the area for her husband's job. She had been a substitute teacher for the district, but this was the beginning of a career. It was the realization of a long time dream. "I grew up and graduated in Chatfield, Minnesota," Wangberg said.
Following intense restoration, Northland Kart Kountry between Nisswa and Brainerd is set to reopen this weekend after years of vacancy. Gone are the tall weeds. Gone are the squirrel nests that had taken over the buildings. Now, Mike and Julie Degen and their family hope to bring back the crowds of laughing children. The Degens purchased the vacant Kart Kountry property along Highway 371 and 38 acres only a few months ago, with the hope of rejuvenating the business that was closed for six years. "I think I've been coming to the area since 1990," Mike said.
In April, Houston Ford of Pine River began a process that will result in new ownership for the company possibly within the next five years. The process started when Dick Houston of Houston Ford approached Kade Vershey, general manager at that time for Dave Syverson's Auto Center in Albert Lea, and discussed an eventual buy-out of Houston's company. Vershey agreed and purchased partial shares of the company, becoming president and partner of the company for the time being. "Dick and I started this process a little over a year and a half ago," Vershey said.
During their Monday, May 11, meeting, the Jenkins City Council accepted bids for road work, according to a meeting summary. The council accepted low bids by Ray Schrupp for gravel at a cost of $9.45 a yard, and Anderson Brothers for crack sealing at a cost of $8,105.70 for poly patching and $4,679.84 for cleaning and sealing cracks. Schrupp beat out Swenson Aggregate & Construction LLC at a $13 unit price and Anderson Brothers at an $18.25 unit price. The council also accepted a five-year capital improvement plan from Widseth Smith Nolting engineering firm, setting priorities for the city's
The Pine River-Backus School Board used its Monday, May 18, regular meeting to review the district's 2014-15 revised budget, among other items. Under the review, guided by the district's business manager, Jolene Bengtson, the board found that the revised budget differed from the preliminary budget with $27,341 less in revenue and $144,571 extra in expenses. Bengtson pointed out that the majority of the loss in revenues came from a $29,292 reduction in the general fund, which originated from a decrease in high school enrollment. The increase in expenses was primarily due to a $200,834 increa
During the Tuesday, May 12, Pine River City Council meeting, Pine River Fire Chief Kevin Kleiner said the city might consider opening its first response team to the general public. The Pine River Fire Department currently manages first response calls in the fire district, but Kleiner said opening the first response team to dedicated non-firefighters could increase the team's ability to respond to first response calls.
Dwight Mayer was a Longville native, born to Ben Mayer, a World War II Navy veteran and an anti-war advocate who forever flew the flag in his front yard in distress following a tragic letter received in 1968 following Dwight's death. Following is an account of three months in the Vietnam War as told by letters from Sgt. Dwight Mayer, who died in battle. Family, military officials and newspaper clippings from that time provide additional details. According to Benetta Olson, Dwight's sister, they were raised simply in a three-room house near Longville.
For 20 years, Chris Hanneken of Hanneken Insurance Company has been Pine River's hometown insurance agent. In the last seven years, when he is not selling insurance, he participates in Minnesota's growing rodeo scene. It's been an important part of his family life. Hanneken started practicing team roping shortly after buying his current home for his family. They had enough land for horses, and Hanneken decided to introduce himself and his children into the rodeo life. "The interest and the background started probably as long as I've known Tina," Hanneken said, referencing his wife.
I am trying straw bale gardening this year. Of course, the process includes straw bales, but it also includes metal fence posts and two-by-fours long enough to extend over each row. You may have seen me bringing them home. I found a good deal on boards and asked someone for help at the store, which only had eight-foot boards inside. I needed 14-foot boards. When he came back and we started loading the boards onto a lumber cart, I couldn't help but think they looked a little long. But I didn't question him.
At their April 14 meeting, the Emily City Council learned that the office of the local first response group had been broken into, according to an unapproved summary of the meeting. Items were reported taken from the office. Locks at the office were replaced and all remaining materials were taken into account. In other business, the council: • Agreed to purchase a three-section sign to market the city of Emily, especially during important weekends and holidays. • Said all businesses and residents are allowed to use the city recycling bins.