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Jeremy Neuleid, of New Age Tree Service, was trimming trees for Crow Wing Power just outside of the Pine River city limits Friday, April 14, when his crew found three bears in a white pine near Kiddi Korner Daycare. "I thought it was something I should be alarmed about," Neulied said. "I went to the daycare. ... They weren't alarmed at all." To Pine River Mayor Tamara Hansen, owner of the daycare, the bears were week-old news. Hansen and some parents had seen the mother bear and three cubs as they crossed the parking lot a week earlier.
The Jenkins City Council approved a new zoning and subdivision ordinance during its Monday, April 10, meeting, City Clerk Krista Okerman said in a phone interview Tuesday, April 11. The ordinance does not change lot sizes, setbacks or impervious lot coverage, but it does add a section relating to interim use permits, updates the planned unit development section, adds standards for manufactured homes in the R1 and R2 zones, adds a section regulating noxious weeds and long grass in the nuisance section and adds a section relating to keeping chickens.
Local group homes are feeling a pinch due to cost-of-living wage stagnation at the state level, which has resulted in hiring freezes or staffing losses in many facilities. The Pine River Area Developmental Achievement Center (DAC) is one of the luckier group homes in the state. Director Michelle Glassmann said the facility is fully staffed, unlike many others, but keeping pay rates fair and competitive has been difficult.
Corey Dabrowski is a sergeant E-5 in the U.S. Army stationed in Poland. Five years ago he was a Pine River-Backus High School senior. Dabrowski said he joined the Army, in part, as a means of paying for college.
The Pine River Rock Dam on the outlet of Big Pine Lake outside of Crosslake is a popular destination to start kayak, canoe or inner tube float trips down the Pine River. It's also a place with a recurring cost to repair. The Big Pine Lake Association built the dam 47 years ago, but it has since provided ample headaches for the Crow Wing County Board and the lake association over time. According to the Big Pine Lake Association web page, construction of the earth dam in 1970 converted wetland, meadow and a small lake area into a 400-acre lake.
Much of Minnesota has been under burning restrictions since April 3, meaning residents aren't allowed to burn debris and brush piles because of dry conditions.
In some ways Tamara Hansen, of Pine River, is in a position she probably never dreamed of as mayor of her home city. Even her election to the city council in 2005 as a council member was never an aspiration. "I really didn't have any interest until the position came up," Hansen said. "Being that we have such a small pool with our one square mile in city limits, there aren't many people willing to step up or learn about city government."
The Pine River Bakery has been offering a quid-pro-quo deal to Pine River-Backus Elementary School students in the past school year: cookies for art. Each month, owner Julie Sigafus gets a new batch of art from the school. She takes down the art from the month before, puts the new art on the same wall of the bakery and sends a box of cookies to the students. In March, Cammey Diederich's third-class assembled leprechauns for the bakery wall.
Representatives from Essentia Health organized a feedback session Thursday, March 23, at Bites Grill & Bar in Pine River where residents had a chance to meet in small groups, ask questions and share their biggest interests in the upcoming Pine River Clinic expansion project. Planning began 18 months ago for the project to construct an approximately 15,000- to 18,000-square-foot facility between Pine River State Bank and the Pine River Post Office on property Paul and Lynn Hunt previously owned.
It seems it's that time of year once again where I give an account of the wild food adventures from the previous 365 days, lay out my plans for the next 365 days and request help from our awesome readers in completing a new goal (my wild food hit list). I ranted about maple syrup in a recipe column shortly after I tapped three trees for their sweet, sweet blood recently, and that is finally starting to pay off. With the warm up, it appears that my one-week vacation will probably land during the season's first sustained run, unless Mother Nature goes on another tangent.