Prisoner of War with Pine City ties laid to rest

World War II Prisoner of War Charles Woehrle, who grew up in Pine City, recently passed on at the age of 98.  Read his obituary here.
Today Show – “Watch provides comfort for prisoner of war”

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Bureau of Labor reports job growth in all 5 GPS 45:93 Counties October 2013-’14

gps 4593 logoThe Bureau of Labor has reported job growth in all of East Central Minnesota (otherwise known as the GPS 45:93 region) from the period of time between Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014.  The total number of jobs gained in the GPS 45:93 region over the last year of reporting was 1,498.  The region-wide, average unemployment rate was just 4.14% compared to 5.7% nationally.

  • Isanti County (pop. 38,204)

County Seat: Cambridge
Metro/Micro Name: Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
Metro/Micro/Rural: Metropolitan Statistical Area
Oct. 2014 Employed: 19972
Oct. 2014 Unemployed: 660
Jobs gained since October 2013: 508
Unemployment Rate, October 2014: 3.2%

  • Chisago County (pop. 53,761)

County Seat: Center City
Metro/Micro Name: Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
Metro/Micro/Rural: Metropolitan Statistical Area
Oct. 2014 Employed: 27366
Oct. 2014 Unemployed: 927
Jobs gained since October 2013: 696
Unemployment Rate, October 2014: 3.3%

  • Mille Lacs County (pop. 25,833)

County Seat: Milaca
Metro/Micro Name: Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
Metro/Micro/Rural: Metropolitan Statistical Area
Oct. 2014 Employed: 11530
Oct. 2014 Unemployed: 568
Jobs gained since October 2013: 138
Unemployment Rate, October 2014: 4.7%

  • Pine County (pop. 29,104)

County Seat: Pine City
Metro/Micro Name:  N/A
Metro/Micro/Rural: Rural
Oct. 2014 Employed: 13710
Oct. 2014 Unemployed: 601
Jobs gained since October 2013: 85
Unemployment Rate, October 2014: 4.2%

  • Kanabec County (pop. 15,996)

County Seat: Mora
Metro/Micro Name:  N/A
Metro/Micro/Rural: Rural
Oct. 2014 Employed: 7548
Oct. 2014 Unemployed: 426
Jobs gained since October 2013: 71
Unemployment Rate, October 2014: 5.3%

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Changes to Pine City Planning Commission

Lezlie Sauter

Lezlie Sauter

Dan D'Aigle

Dan D’Aigle

Kent Bombard

Kent Bombard

Lezlie Sauter is back on the Pine City Planning Commission filling out a term left vacant due to a retirement.  Sauter had recently moved to rural Pine City, whereby disqualifying her from another term on the Commission since it may only be comprised of up to three of its nine members who live outside of the corporate limits of Pine City.

Sauter took the place of Dennis Odegard, of Pine City Township, who announced his resignation late-last year.  She was reappointed by Mayor Carl Pederson to the Commission at its Feb. 24 meeting, as was Brent Jahnz, of Pine City.

Kent Bombard, of Pine City, who ran for City Council in 2014, was appointed as a new Commissioner, as was Dan D’Aigle, of Pokegama Township; both were sworn in Jan. 27.  A Pine City High School student, Gracie LeBrun, also joined the Planning Commission but as a non-voting member.

Pine City High School Principal Troy Anderson said, “Gracie is a leader in the junior class that comes highly recommended by the social studies department.  She will be a great representative of P.C.H.S. and a nice connection between the school and local government.”

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Initiative Foundation Extends Open Invitation to 18- to 35-year-olds to Learn About Career- and Community-shaping Program


Helping leaders across generations, cultures and communities is the primary goal of Emerging Leaders, a new community development program being launched in April by the Initiative Foundation.

The Initiative Foundation is extending an open invitation to 18- to 35-year-olds to attend the April 17 event in Brainerd or the April 23 event in St. Cloud. The capacity at each event is 40 people; refreshments will be provided. Invite a friend and your name will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card. Learn about the program, network and apply to participate in this career- and community-building initiative.

A Need to Lead
Replacing the more than 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day in the United States from long careers and community leadership roles will be critical work for the small towns and rural communities of Greater Minnesota. Compared to the Twin Cities, where one in 56 people will be tapped to take on a leadership role, the average rural Minnesotan has responsibility for six or more top jobs-roles that can range from running small businesses to serving on community and nonprofit boards and supporting the leadership of area churches and schools.

Don Hickman, Initiative Foundation vice president for community and economic development, said in IQ Magazine that it’s crucial for Central Minnesota communities to tap the talents and passions of established leaders and those who might not yet think of themselves as leaders. “We need to plan ahead about how to help pass the baton and encourage that next generation of leaders to step up,” said Hickman. “It’s important to build these connections because not only do these traditional leaders have a lot of wisdom to share, the new leaders we’re seeing in that 18- to 35-year-old demographic reflect the diversity that’s helping to grow the region.”

Diane Tran, founder of Minnesota Rising, a Twin Cities young professionals group, will join the Initiative Foundation to help guide the conversation.

“What’s unique about this program is that it’s not one-directional,” said Michelle Kiley, Initiative Foundation community and economic development specialist. “There’s value in encouraging leaders to come together and find out what has been done already, what hasn’t been tried, and discovering new ways to increase the presence of emerging leaders in important community decisions.”

Information Sessions
The Foundation is sponsoring two Emerging Leaders informational sessions where participants can network, learn about the program and apply to participate:

Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Date: Friday, April 17
Place: Prairie Bay, 15115 Edgewood Drive N.

St. Cloud
Time: 4 to 6 p.m.
Date: Thursday, April 23
Place: Lake George Municipal Complex Sun Room, 1101 7th Street S.

Attendance is not required to participate in the Emerging Leaders program. Applications to the Emerging Leaders program will be available online and in a printed form beginning April 15.

About the Supporters
The Emerging Leaders program is supported by a Bush Foundation Leadership Network grant. The Bush Foundation’s investment in building the capacity of individuals through fellowships began in 1965. Since then, more than 2,200 Bush Fellows and Native Nation Rebuilders have reshaped every aspect of the region. The full list of Leadership Network Grant recipients can be found at

Visit the Emerging Leaders page on for additional resources.


The Initiative Foundation exists to improve the quality of life and to build stronger communities within its 14-county region of Central Minnesota by offering business loans, nonprofit grants, donor services and leadership training. Since 1986, the Initiative Foundation has invested more than $70 million in the region through targeted grants and business financing investments, including: 900-plus business loans totaling $45 million, which have leveraged $280 million in private business investment while securing more than 12,000 quality jobs; 4,100 grants totaling more than $25 million; 700-plus scholarships totaling $620,000; and 6,340 community leaders trained.


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Save the Dates: Pine City Freedom Fest June 25-28

Flyer - Save the Date Info

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With Spring is around the corner, apply for a plot at the Pine City Community Garden

Community GardenReasons to have a community garden plot:

  •  Community gardens provide access to fresh produce and plants.
  •  The labor is satisfying.  Watch your work grow and take off!
  •  Active communities experience less crime and vandalism.
  •  Pine City has lost most of its agricultural underpinnings but this is a way to once again bring you closer to your food.  There is a definite connection to the environment.
  •  Show your creativity.  Choose to grow solely flowers or the types of veggies to make rare and stellar food dishes.
  •  You can donate what you grow to those in need.
  •  Help someone who lives in an apartment or with little land or ability to garden.
  •  Give the anglers something to look at on their way to the Snake River fishing pier.
  •  Bring about a sense of community.  Break down isolation and help bring Pine City closer.
Community Garden Info Meeting
Interested in a garden plot at the Pine City Community Garden? Attend an informational and registration meeting Mon., April 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pine County Courthouse.
For more information, email
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Pine City sees success in attracting nation’s fast-growing franchises

Subway is America’s fastest growing franchise. With the subs and salad shop at the No. 1 subwayspot, is it surprising that Pine City has not one, but TWO Subway locations?

When it comes to attracting the fastest growing franchises in America, Pine City appears to be doing quite well. Entrepreneur Media just published the 100 fastest-growing franchises; several recent additions to Pine City are on the list, as are some who’ve great clipscalled Pine City home for a while.

Let’s take a look: Pine City is home to Great Clips (No. 9), Pizza pizza hutHut (No. 10), Anytime Fitness (No. 15), McDonald’s (No. 19), KFC (No. 43), and H&R Block (No. 102), with Great Clips opening in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The 2015 Franchise 500 rankings gave other local businesses such as Ace Hardware (No. 29), Dairy Queen (No. 56), and RadioShack (No. 120) high rankings as well.anytime fitness

Dollar stores are one of the fastest growing segments of the retail industry as well, and in the final quarter of 2014, Dollar Tree mcdonalds(not ranked), opened its first store between the Twin Cities and the Twin Ports in Pine City.

The City learned of Dollar Tree’s call out for store locations in 2012 preferably in grocery or big-box anchored centers with good visibility, access and retail viability.

LOGO_PRT_HGLT_REDPrior to then, there wasn’t a Dollar Tree in any rural community in Minnesota. In the emerging dollar store market in Greater Minnesota, there were just Family Dollars and Dollar Generals hr blockdotted in some of the smaller towns. At that time, Dollar Tree was generally only experienced by Pine Citians who would travel to the suburbs of the Twin Cities.

aceAt first, Dollar Tree’s real estate group thought Pine City was “too small” of a market to consider, but eventually saw the benefit of the strong Pine City market and located at Evegreen Square shopping center.

dq logoradio shackAnother retailer that ranked in the Franchise 500 was Verizon store (Wireless Zone), which ranked No. 231 on the Franchise 500 list this year. Verizon was shopping around in communities in the region when it decided on Pine City and opened in 2013.dollar treeverizon

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Interact with Pine City history!

Interactive History Kiosk

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The Law of Self-Defense Seminar



Cabak Law, LLC will host this upcoming event on Saturday, January 24th.  Take part in a roundtable discussion that will focus on the laws affecting self-defense in your home, defense of others, and other informative topics.

Reservations for this class are required due to space limitations, but there is no cost to attend.


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Fairview Clinic – Pine City Plans Open House

The Fairview Clinic in Pine City recently relocated to a newly renovated space in Evergreen Square.  With the new location comes new services and even some changes in the hours the clinic is open.  To celebrate the opening of the new clinic, the public is invited to an open house event on Saturday, January 17th from 9 AM – Noon.

Fairview Open House



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