Join in the fun at National Night Out!

NNO 2015 Flyer

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GPS 45:93 Is Seeking Equity Investors Interested in a Better East Central Minnesota Economy

To attract new manufacturing firms to the region, GPS 45:93, a 5-County regional economic development organization, works with prospective businesses who are often looking for buildings or industrial sites, as well as seeking low interest loans and tax incentives, such as tax increment financing, etc. More recently, many firms are also seeking equity investments.

GPS is currently developing an opportunity to fill this equity need by contacting individuals in the region who might value an investment such as this. If you have an interest in supporting local or new businesses by making an equity investment in them, please contact Tom Willett, GPS Executive Director at 763-691-8585 or Investors will pool their funds to vet and then invest in prospective companies, looking to locate in the five county area. This is an opportunity for local investors to invest in their communities with the potential for a high return on their monies.

GPS 45:93, is a member of the Community Venture Network (CVN), an eight state, Midwest organization that holds three meetings a year where growing firms make presentations on their products, building and funding needs, projected employment, etc.
GPS is currently working with 11 prospects that were identified at these meetings. These entrepreneurs are looking for buildings or industrial sites, as well as seeking low interest loans, tax incentives, such as tax increment financing, etc., and more recently, many firms are also seeking equity investments.

GPS 54:93 is also working to help existing businesses grow and create more jobs by raising funds for an economic gardening program. Economic Gardening is based on a similar successful program initiated by the Edward Lowe Foundation and would provide valuable market research and business assistance to five local firms, each year, to help them better grow their business and create more living wage jobs.

The organization is also working on an education/skilled workforce initiative to assist area employers in attracting and retaining a skilled labor force.

GPS 45:93 is a 5-County Economic Development Partnership working with the Economic Development Authorities and representatives of Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, and Mille Lacs counties. Its mission is “to better position the region to attract high-wage jobs” and “to collaborate on business retention and expansion.”

GPS4593 LogoFor more information on GPS 45:93 go to “Your Point of Opportunity” or contact Tom Willett, GPS Executive Director at 763.691.8585 or

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Live Well with Chronic Conditions

Take Charge of Your Life

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“Congress Comes to You” scheduled for July 6 in Pine City

Congressman Rick Nolan’s Field/Constituent Service Representative Rick Olseen will be at City Hall in Pine City Monday, July 6 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

He wants to hear your opinions, listen to your ideas, and help you with any problem you may have with a federal program such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or Veterans benefits.

Please stop by.  Elected officials and City officials are welcome.

US Congress

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Freedom Fest events this weekend

The annual Freedom Fest activities are gearing up for a great weekend of fun in Pine City. For anyone new to the area or visiting us this weekend, here is a rundown of the activities you’ll find:

Thursday, June 25th at 7:00 PM ~ The Miss Pine City candidates host their annual bingo fundraiser event at the Pine City High School.  Play 14 games of Bingo for just $15 and have the chance to win a basket of prizes each time.  Every basket has been created by local businesses and direct sales consultants…. just a few of the items that can be won this year include: Anytime Fitness basket with a free single month membership, Holiday basket of snacks, drinks & a fuel card, Scentsy basket from Sarah Odendahl, Premier Jewelry set from JoAnn Lindstrom, and a Family 4-pack of Minnesota Zoo tickets!  The list keeps growing… so plan on joining in the fun!

Friday, June 26th at 6:30 PM ~ The Pine City Arts Council hosts the weekly “Art in the Park” event.  This free music concert in Robinson Park will feature the popular group, “Monroe Crossing”.

Saturday, June 27th ~  The big event day is Saturday with a great line-up of activities for every member of the family.  Check out our flyer for more details:

Flyer - Event Schedule

Sunday, June 28th  from 1:00 – 6:00 PM ~ Stop by Robinson Park and enjoy the annual “Solid Rock In the Park” event.  Get more information here:

Sunday, June 28th at 7:00 PM ~ We’ll close out the great weekend line-up with the selection of the newest Miss Pine City Ambassadors at the Coronation event.  This year’s coronation will be held at the Pine City High School Auditorium.  Tickets are available at the Chamber office.  $6 for Adults & $4 for Students K-12.

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“Transforming Hearts and Minds” theme for this year’s Pride

pride2015-flyer-2Pine City, Minn., May 26, 2015– East Central Minnesota Pride organizers have announced another LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) pride event for the predominantly rural portion of Minnesota tucked just between the Twin Cities and the Twin Ports of Duluth-Superior.

The event will take place Sunday, June 7, from Noon to 5 p.m. at Pine City’s Voyageur Park and VFW, at 600 1st Street NW.   The theme of this year’s event is “Transforming Hearts and Minds” something that organizers say this rural LGBT pride festival has done since its inception.   The event includes live music, an alpaca petting zoo, a barbeque, vendors, politicians, and more.

“The recent changes in federal, state, and local laws to eliminate sexual orientation and gender identification inequality sometimes can lull me into feeling that events like Pride are no longer needed,” said Julie Redpath of Lindström, but countered, “I think of the LGBT people who are just coming out because hearts and minds and laws are changing, and I know they still need safe places to find community and celebrate who they are, especially in rural areas and small towns.”

Bigger cities across the U.S. have held prides for decades; New York, Chicago and San Francisco have had pride events—either marches or parades—since 1970. The gay pride in Pine City began when it was just one of two rural prides in the nation.   And, it is the first pride in the State of Minnesota to be held each year during what President Obama has declared as “Pride Month”, June.

Other notable Minnesota gay prides are held in Fargo-Moorhead, Duluth-Superior, Mankato, Rochester and the Twin Cities, each of which are in metropolitan areas.

“When I was younger, it was great to see an event in my hometown,” said Ashley Ackley, a 2006 Pine City High School graduate, then named John. “It showed that the general atmosphere about LGBT acceptance changing and evolving publicly. Knowing that perceptions were changing helped me feel safer in my own town.”

What’s on Tap?

The music lineup this year includes Calliope Women’s Chorus, Neighberz Band, and a special performance by Hedwig of the musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, as well as tracks played by Deejay Geo Montecillo.

Calliope Women’s Chorus is a feminist chorus dedicated to promoting social change through song. Since 1976, they have been producing concerts and performing for public events to bring quality social justice-themed music to the broader community.

The Neighberz Band is based in North Branch, Minn., and is a country and gospel band. The band has been in the studio recently working on its new CD, “Neighberz and Friends”, featuring the band and several of the members’ musician and singing friends they have come to know over the years.

Excerpts from “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” will also be a featured component of entertainment schedule as the costars of the recent Duluth Playhouse production will present a live soundtrack from the triple award-winning play written by John Cameran Mitchell.   Duluth’s version of “Hedwig” was named “Best Local Play” by the Northland Reader’s “Best of The Northland 2014”. Ogilvie-native Alec Schroeder, as Hedwig, won “Best Local Actor of 2014”.

Television news and radio personality Val Mondor will be the event’s emcee this year.   Mondor, who resides with her wife in Chisago City, has been with Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) since 1979, editing both long- and short-format programs, including news, science reporting, music and arts performance, and documentaries of all sorts; she worked on such series such as Newton’s Apple and Almanac, among others. Mondor also provided voiceover talent for programs and commercials for tpt, and outside of work has been a board member of “Out in the Valley” (LGBT organization in the St. Croix River Valley) since its inception in 1999.

Invited to come are several public officials, including past-attendee Gov. Mark Dayton. For the second time, area mayors—this year Pine City Mayor Carl Pederson and North Branch Mayor Kirsten Hagen-Kennedy—will give official welcomes to attendees.

Admission is FREE. Suggested donation for food line: $10

Why a Pride in Pine City?

According to organizers of the event, East Central Minnesota Pride was started in 2005 as a way to bring about a sense of LGBT community, build awareness, and promote tolerance in Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec and Mille Lacs counties. It is known as one of the few rural LGBT pride events in the World.

As such, it has drawn opposition by some over the years and event promotions have, at times, been controversial. Early on, some people were offended by advertisements circulated locally, including one that said, “It’s okay to be GAY in Pine City.” The ad featured a pink boa around the neck of a voyageur monument in the park where the event is held.   Later, the words “Happy Pride!” advertised on a community sign on school grounds offended others.

This year, Pride organizers have displayed a banner over Pine City’s Main Street to highlight the community event and the reaction has been quite positive, they say.

“People are becoming so much more accepting of their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender neighbors who have always been in their communities,” asserted Redpath.

Everyone is welcome at Pride, a rendezvous of friends, family and the larger community.   And, while it is just a picnic of sorts, it is also a statement heard far beyond Pine City, and the region.

More than ever in the event’s history, there is a collaboration to bring about East Central Minnesota Pride, one that involves East Central Minnesota Men’s Circle, East Central Minnesota Purple Circle, the Mora-based East Central Minnesota chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), Rural Aids Action Network, Rainbow Health Initiative and Out-Front Minnesota.

Several businesses throughout the region support and help sponsor the event as well such as Cambridge State Bank, Affinity Credit Union, Walmart and Home Town Liquor of Braham.

The event was recognized at the Minnesota State Fair in 2011 as an award-winner in the “Community Pride Showcase”.   It was highlighted as a way the Greater Pine City area is moving beyond economic challenges with creative and proactive community and economic development innovations.

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Jerry’s One Man Band Comes to Askov

The Pine County History Museum in Askov welcomes a variety of musical groups for a special event each month.  The event features free dance lessons from 4-5 pm, followed by live music from 5-8pm.  This month will feature Jerry’s One Man Band.  Admission cost is $10 per person, kids 12 and under are free.

For more information, visit

Jerry's One Man Band May 30 2015


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Art in the Park Music Series Begins May 22nd

The Pine City Arts Council has put together a great line-up of musicians for the annual Art in the Park music series for 2015.  The summer series will open on Friday, May 22nd with the Jazz in the Park night featuring high school band students from Pine City High School in the Jazz One and Jazz Two groups.  The evening meal will be served by the Pine City Music Boosters,  a volunteer group consisting of parents, teachers and community members that are committed to providing great opportunities for Pine City students interested in both vocal and instrumental music opportunities.


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Pine EMS launches the “Get Up & Glow” 5K Walk/Run

On Saturday, June 13th a new event will be launched in Pine City by a local, all volunteer group of first responders – Pine EMS.  The “Get Up & Glow” 5K Walk/Run welcomes participants of all ages to join them in this fun opportunity.

Community members are invited to join in the fun by attending the Spaghetti Dinner event from 4PM – 7PM at the Pine City Armory, 1305 Main Street South.  The cost for dinner is just $5.00 per person.  The Glow Run/Walk will begin at 10PM.

Early Bird Registration is now open and available through June 1st at the $25 registration rate.  This rate includes a free dinner ticket, t-shirt, and a complimentary glow item.

Registrations received after June 1st will be $30 registration fee and includes your dinner ticket.  T-shirts and glow items will be available while supplies last.

Register online at:


PineEMSGlow Run

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ASK-IT Training Offered at PTCC

Pine Technical & Community College will host a 3-hour interactive course designed to instruct on the procedures used to sell alcoholic beverages legally in facilities.  The ASK-IT  (Alcohol Server Knowledge – Interactive Training) class will be offered on Monday May 18th at to different times.  Attendees can register for a 9am – Noon class OR a 1 – 4 PM class.

Although the State of Minnesota does not require server certification, many counties and cities require basic server training for all employees responsible for serving alcoholic beverages in their establishments.  There is no prerequisite to attend this class.

Topics covered in the workshop include: MN laws and penalties for violations, Dram Shop laws, legal forms of ID (proof of age), how to verify IDs and spot fake IDs, signs of intoxication, BAC (blood alcohol content) and effects of alcohol on the body, how to slow down or stop service and how to avoid confrontation.

Registration fee for this class is just $25 and includes workbooks and handouts.

To register, or for more information, contact Marge Fagerstrom at 320.629.5199.

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