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The Pine River City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 14, agreed to hire Kerry Swenson, a dispatcher with the Cass County Sheriff's Office and Cass County emergency management director, as the city's emergency manager. Swenson said the city has had an emergency manager in the past and is required to have one. "In all technical terms you are supposed to have one and you are supposed to have emergency management plans and training and all the garbage that goes along with it.
For an award-winning writer, Ben Mikaelsen's story appears to have started off on the wrong foot. Mikaelsen's early years had no room for academics. He started in Bolivia and didn't set foot in a school until fourth grade.
Elementary students in Pine River-Backus Elementary had a very special guest teach them about how to handle bullying. The famous clown, Ronald McDonald, hosted a miniature "talk show" as a way to educate students on bullying through examples demonstrated by abusive "Director Otto Focus" and his assistant "Greta Grip". McDonald's "Bully Buster" show defined and demonstrated bullying.
A 100-year-old building in Jenkins was demolished Friday, Oct. 10. The former home of Underdogs Bar and Grill was damaged beyond repair in an Aug. 10 fire. Last Friday, the building was demolished by heavy equipment. The building's history started long before it was a bar. During its lifetime the building served as a church, post office and municipal liquor store.
During the August and September regular meetings, the Emily city council discussed various topics relevant to Northern Lights over Lake Roosevelt, a development of 42 lake lots in Emily. In August the council continued discussion of the Prinzing Cartway, part of which runs along Outlot B, which the Northern Lights Association and owners hold an interest in.
After nearly 50 years of operation, the family owned Shamp's Meat Market closed its doors Oct. 11 with almost nothing left on its shelves. Only 10 days earlier, owner Melissa Van Heerden made the decision to sell out the stock and close the business due to family health issues. The company stopped producing new stock, and began a dot sale reducing prices by 25 to 50 percent off. They announced the sale, and closing, on their sign out front, but customers were still surprised when they came through the doors on Oct.
Determined to finally organize an adult oriented Pine River-Backus Community Education theatrical production, Isaac and Jen Anderson sent out a casting call for the play "Curious Savage." When not a single man replied, they rolled with the punches. "My wife had done "Ladies First" several years ago. We thought it would be a good fit if we could track down a few more ladies and we were able to do so.
In light of approaching cold weather, the Backus City Council on Monday, Oct. 6, made preparations in case of frozen water lines. During the 2013-14 cold season, Backus and surrounding communities suffered frozen water lines in numbers they were not prepared to address. Residents had questions the council was not ready for.
The East Gull Lake City Council discussed its decision to contract with Pillager for fire protection at its regular September meeting, according to draft meeting minutes. The city was prepared to sign the new fire contract with Pillager; however, signing was delayed until October because of scheduling issues. Mayor Dave Kavanaugh said the city was to receive copies of the contract at that time. Kavanaugh told the council that the Brainerd Fire Department, which currently provides fire protection to East Gull Lake, was proposing replacement of one of its five trucks.
Pine River-Backus (PR-B) Elementary School students no longer need to pay for lunch. For approximately five years, PR-B School has been offering free breakfast to all of its students. Since Oct. 1, all kindergarten through sixth-grade students have been receiving free lunch. "It started for Pine River-Backus as of Oct. 1.