Horizon’s Blog Comes to an End

A note of thanks to the many individuals that have been following the Horizon’s Pine Poker Blog over the last several years.  You may have noticed that the content on this blog site has been sporadic over the last year and is no longer staying current with local events.  As a result, we’ve made the decision to end the Horizon’s Blog by the end of 2018.

If you’ve enjoyed receiving the daily or weekly notifications from this blog, and want to continue to stay current about things that are happening in the community…. I would invite you to subscribe to the new blog created by the Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce.  The News & Events page on the recently updated Chamber website will include posts about community events, chamber activities, job postings, and member provided news items.  The site will be updated daily, so be sure to set your notifications to a timeline that fits your schedule.

How can you subscribe to the Chamber Blog?  Visit the homepage of the site at http://www.pinecitychamber.com and scroll to the bottom left side of the page and enter your email address into the Subscribe box.


Grow Your Own Vegetables Class offered

Are you eager for spring?  Winter is a good time to start planning your vegetable garden whether you want to grow a small or large amount of vegetables. The University of Minnesota Extension Pine County Master Gardeners will present a Community Education class on “Growing Your Own Vegetables” at two locations.  The first class will be on Tuesday, February 20th at 6 p.m. at East Central High School Room 203. The second will be the next night, Wednesday, February 21st at 6 p.m. at Pine City Elementary School.

Master Gardeners Jon Hjelm, Lauren Meister and Kim Metz will cover your gardening options; variety selection; spacing; crop rotation; gardening in a small space; improving the soil and more.  Whether planning your first garden or your fiftieth, a good plan and some different methods will increase your success and perhaps save you time and work.

For more information and to register for the February 20th class contact East Central Community Education at http://www.eastcentral.thatscommunityed.com

Or you can call 320-245-2216 ext. 6414

For the February 21st class information contact Pine City Community Education at http://pccommunityeducation.weebly.com/

Or you can call 320-629-4030.

History in This Spot

Sunday, January 14th at 2PM is your next opportunity for Discovering and Sharing Pine City History with the Pine City Area History Association.

Individuals interested in the study and preservation of local history are encouraged to attend the next meeting of the PCAHA.  The meeting will be held at 2PM in the Pine City Public Library meeting room on Sunday, January 14th.

The main focus for this quarterly session will be a review of the projects completed in 2017 as part of the “History in This Spot” series.  Topics may include addresses in Block 19, the Jonas Gray and Emil Hoefler homes on 8th Street and Pine City gets Electric Lights.  Audience preference will determine which topics we cover.

For more information on the Pine City History Association, call 320.322.9208 or email pcahistory@gmail.com

“Seasons in Pine City” book available


Looking for last-minute gifts? Give “Seasons in Pine City” and support the Pine Center for the Arts!
We’re proud to announce that a new book celebrating Pine City has just been released, and all profits will go to Pine Center for the Arts.
The 102 pages of “Seasons in Pine City” feature the writings of Pine City Pioneer contributors Mary Andersen, Mike Gainor, Dale Kuzel and Margaret Marty, and are also filled with images of Pine City from Mike Gainor.
Only 120 were printed, and only 95 copies are left!  Your only chance to get it before Christmas will be to stop by the Pine City Pioneer office Thursday until 5 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.  If you can’t make it, contact Mike at editor@pinecitymn.com and we’ll try to deliver a copy or copies to you.
Merry Christmas!

Pine County Horticulture Day, March 24

Whether you are new to gardening or have been gardening all your life, there will be something for everyone at the 16th Annual Pine County Master Gardener Horticulture Day on Saturday, March 24th.  The day begins with registration, coffee and exhibits at 8 a.m. and runs to 2 p.m. at the Pine City High School.

“Minnesota Forests are Changing with the Climate” will be the keynote presentation by Lee Frelich, Researcher and Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology and Institute of the Environment

There will be two rounds of breakout sessions on the following topics.

“Growing Healthy Vegetables” by Michelle Grabowski, University of Minnesota Extension Plant Pathologist

“Beyond Basics: How to Get the Most from Your Perennial Garden” by Kate Netwal, U of M Extension Master Gardener, Hennepin County

“Pruning Trees and Shrubs” by Donna Tatting, U of M Extension Master Gardener, Chisago County

“Growing Blueberries in East Central Minnesota” by Diane Patras, U of M Extension Master Gardener, Chisago County Master Gardener

The registration fee includes the educational sessions, morning refreshments, lunch, handouts, door prizes and time to visit with exhibitors featuring garden items, plants and bulbs.  Bring your gardening questions for the “Ask a Master Gardener” table and visit with experienced Pine County Master Gardeners.

Register by March 20th for $21 to save money and to be entered in a Grand Prize Drawing.  Print a Horticulture Day Registration form from the Pine County Extension office home page at www.extension.umn.edu/county/pine and click onto “Pine County Horticulture Day”. After March 20, the fee is $25. Or, request a form by calling 1-800-657-3813 Ext. #4 or call 1-320-591-1651. Forms are also available from the Extension office at the Pine County Courthouse at 635 Northridge Dr. in Pine City, and at the Flower Box in Pine City; Beaver Meadows Garden Center south of Hinckley; Brown’s Greens & Beans in Sandstone and Village Floral in Grantsburg, Wisconsin.

PTCC offers $3500 scholarships to area high school students

PINE CITY, Minn. – Thanks to the State Legislature and generous community donations, area high school seniors have a shot at $3500 Workforce Development scholarships at Pine Technical & Community College.

 To respond to a shortage of skilled workers in manufacturing, healthcare, information technology and agriculture, legislation was passed to provide $2500 scholarships to students entering those educational fields within the Minnesota State system. Pine Technical & Community College was allotted 14 of those scholarships.

 Knowing that it will have a huge impact on solving the worker shortage locally, PTCC President Joe Mulford decided to seek help to increase the scholarships from the communities and industries that would benefit. Mulford also saw the scholarship as a means to reduce “brain drain.”

“We have the second lowest tuition in the state, and $2500 makes a big difference to a high school student looking to go to college,” Mulford said. “But just think what $3500 would mean. For our students, that can be a life-changing scholarship.”

 “When our local communities and business invest in our young people, it encourages those students to stay in the community,” Mulford said. “It helps to retain our young talent in area.”

The 14 scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors from the East Central Minnesota Educational Cable Cooperative (ECMECC). This includes Braham, Cambridge-Isanti, Chisago Lakes, East Central, Elk River, Hinckley-Finlayson, Milaca, Mora, North Branch, Ogilvie, Pine City, Princeton, Rush City and St. Francis.

The Foundation is seeking support from the communities and industries targeted by these scholarships.

The scholarship deadline is January 19, 2018. High school seniors from the 14 ECMECC schools who are interested in a career in manufacturing, healthcare, information technology and agriculture are encouraged to apply. The application consists of three essay questions and a letter of reference.

For more information, or to apply for the scholarship, please go to www.pine.edu/WorkforceScholarship. Or email Max.Anderson@pine.edu or Jen.Rancour@pine.edu.

Those interested in supporting the scholarship fund and the Foundation should contact Sandi Carlisle at 320.629.5140.

Resource Highlight: Family Pathways

The following article is submitted by the ACT on Alzheimer’s Pine City Action Team as we seek to fulfill our goal of sharing resources and information as a dementia-friendly community.  Anyone interested in more information or how to become involved with making Pine City a Dementia friendly community can contact: Cathy Gilmore ACT on ALZ Pine City coordinator at 320-310-1313 or cathyjgilmore@yahoo.com

Do you know where to turn when your older loved ones need help?

Together, we’ve got this.

It’s undeniable. Families experience many stages of life. Unfortunately, as parents, grandparents and others age, navigating life can become tough and often affects the entire family. Most people are unprepared and need assistance as they begin this new and uncharted journey. Family Pathways’ Aging Services is where people turn to in East Central Minnesota for support and guidance.

Advancing the health, safety and well-being of older adults and their families when they need it most, Family Pathways Aging Services offers long-term and cost effective services for older adults as well as their caregivers. The goal is to help maintain independent living for as long as possible. Identification and management of safety risks are at the heart of the matter as well as integrating the older adult into their community. This helps to reduce isolation and loneliness.

In 2016, Aging Services supported 819 older adults and their caregivers. In order to make a significant community impact, we have built relationships with other public, private, and faith-based organizations to better meet the needs of an isolated rural area.  

What is our service area?

Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine Counties and the City of Forest Lake.

What types of education does Aging Services offer?

Classes and training are offered to help guide older adults and/or their caregivers to find and connect with services they need. Workshops are also provided that are designed specifically to help keep older adults in their homes such as Matter of Balance, Living Well with Chronic Conditions, Powerful Tools for Caregivers, Journey to Wellness as You Age, Caregiver Essentials, Elder Abuse Awareness, and Advance Directive Planning. Staff is also available to lead Dementia Friends training.

What types of Home-Based Services are offered?

Home-based services for the community include social visits from friendly, trained volunteer companions, assisted transportation to the grocery store or medical appointments, and homemaking help for light housekeeping.  To accomplish this, dedicated volunteers provide hundreds of hours and valuable support. All volunteers have background checks and receive training before they are matched with a client.  

What types of supportive programs are offered?

Caregiver consulting is a service provided for caregivers, families, and neighbors who may or may not live with the care receiver.  This personalized service focuses on the caregiver to provide the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to achieve a balanced life while caring for another person.  Many caregivers work outside of the home and may have families. This dramatically increases the need for expert assistance with resources, education, and training. It also saves the family precious time and energy.

Caregiver Consulting is available in person, by telephone, email, through one on one home visits, or other meeting locations.  The focus is on developing a relationship with a consultant who is an expert in local resources, medical advocacy, education, and classes to assist with positive solutions that empower and encourage caregivers to help their loved one age well at home.  Consulting services, support groups, and educational classes have been shown to delay moves to Assisted Living and Nursing Homes anywhere from three months to several years.  

In-home respite service provides caregivers with a helping hand or much needed break. A dedicated and trained volunteer, along with guidance from experienced staff, goes to the care recipient’s home to visit while the caregiver takes time for themselves. Whether work needs to get done, an appointment be kept, or  a break is desperately needed, in-home respite is a great option. While the caregiver is taking a break, their loved one can participate in various activities such as listening to music, doing a craft, baking cookies, or playing cards. Staff is trained in dementia care and has memory kits available for trained volunteers.  

We are also piloting our first Memory Café in Kanabec and Isanti Counties that welcomes people from all our entire service area. Memory Café is a unique and fun way to bring people together who are experiencing various levels of memory loss. Caregivers, relatives, and friends also enjoy the Memory Café as they are able to socialize with others who have common experiences in a dementia friendly setting.

Who provides the services?

Family Pathways Aging Services is led by manager, Lise Arseneau Lee who holds a MA Degree in Sociology Specializing in Gerontology. She has ten years of experience working in services for the aging.

Aging Specialists, Maria Bowen Lourey, Collette Colucci, and Stacy Nolting have a combined 52 years of experience working with older adults. Caregiver Consultants, Lori Lestina, Jayne Mund, and Anita Sparks have a combined 75 years of experience working with caregivers. Social Respite Coordinator, Angie Detert has five years of experience working with older adults.

Is there a cost for services?

We receive funding through grants, donations and thrift store revenue. We also request clients contribute through a sharing of cost; however services are available regardless of one’s ability to contribute.

Alzheimer’s “Every Minute Counts”

ACT on Alzheimer’s Pine City invites the public to a screening of the PBS Documentary, “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts”.   The documentary is an urgent wake-up call about the national threat posed by Alzheimer’s disease.

The afternoon schedule includes Resource & Information Tables, viewing of the documentary, and a panel discussion featuring local professionals to address your questions.

RSVP’s are appreciated, but not required.


Business Resource: PACE Program

Pine County recently hosted a Business Workshop event to share more information about a new resource available for commercial property owners.

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a new way to finance energy efficiency and renewal energy upgrades to the buildings owned by businesses, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, and housing developments.

Energy-saving measures pursued by the owners receive project financing and are repaid as a separate item on their property tax assessment for a set period.  PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing.

The City of Pine City adopted this program 2 years ago, and recently Pine County has adopted the program as well.  This means that any qualifying property within the Pine County area may be eligible for this program.

Basic Qualifications for PACE financing:

  • Property owners must be current on mortgage and property taxes
  • No federal or state liens against the property
  • Must not be in bankruptcy proceeding
  • Lender acknowledgement or “consent” from current mortgage lender
  • Term of financing may not exceed weighted average useful life of improvements
  • Improvements may not exceed 20% of assessed property value

Interested in learning more about your next steps?  Visit the CERTs website resource page, which includes more details as well as some interviews with business owners who have completed projects: http://www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org/pace


Healthcare Sector Summit III

Join healthcare providers, educators, workforce development professionals, economic development, community members and legislators as we continue to address the employee shortage in the healthcare industry.  Learn about transition strategies and how you can be involved.

Attend the Healthcare Sector Summit III on Friday, October 13th in St. Cloud MN.