Habitat to build Pine County home in ‘09

East Central Habitat for Humanity has announced that a home will be built in Sandstone, in Pine County, in 2009. Volunteers are presently being recruited.


In need of a home? Families of four or less qualify in Pine County with combined incomes of less than $32,563 . Larger families may qualify, with a different income threshold.

ECM Habitat for Humanity
PO Box 529 – 206 Ashland Street South
Cambridge, MN 55008
E-MAIL: chabitat@ecenet.com

Holiday Classic Continues in Winter Furor

Hockey and other winter activities, such as snowmobiling and skiing, get Minnesotans through the long, snowy winter. A camaraderie is shared as we brave the elements together. Pine City and Moose Lake take to the ice today (Wed.) at the Pine City Civic Center for those wishing to venture out. The puck drops at 2:30 P.M.


The annual Pine City/Rush City Holiday Tournament kicked off Monday as the Dragons opened against Minneapolis East (now 4-5-1). In the second round, they took on North Branch (1-6), and will face Moose Lake Area (6-0-1) in the final round.

First Round Results
Moose Lake Area 8, North Branch 4
Minneapolis East 2, Pine City 1

Second Round Results
Moose Lake Area 3, Minneapolis East 2
Pine City 12, North Branch 2

Third Round • Wed., Dec. 31
Minneapolis East vs. North Branch, Noon
Pine City vs. Moose Lake, 2:30 P.M.

Attend Tax Credit Training


Tax refunds are a boost for low and moderate-income households, providing them money to pay bills or save for future needs. An upcoming training, called “To Your Benefit”, will provide information about federal and state tax credits and free tax preparation sites, among other topics. The training does not train people to prepare tax forms.

The training will be available in two formats at no cost to the participant, but pre-registration is required.

Jan. 8, 2009: Training will be offered at the Minneapolis Urban League, 2100 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis, from 1:15-3:30 P.M. Space will be limited.

Jan. 12, 2009: A webinar will be available from 1:30-3:30 P.M. One may participate in the program online at the time of the live broadcast or at a later time from a recorded broadcast located on the Help Minnesota Save Website. Webinar participants will need to access printed materials prior to viewing the program. Those who pre-register will receive directions for downloading printed materials after Jan. 1, 2009. Materials will be mailed, if requested, through the pre-registration process.

Online registrations for both programs are available by clicking here. For additional information, contact Rosemary K. Heins at heins002@umn.edu or at (763) 767-3879 or (888) 241-0719.

Training sponsors include: University of Minnesota Extension, Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance, Minnesota Department of Human Services-Office of Economic Opportunity, Minnesota Community Action Partnership and Help Minnesota Save.

Oh the weather outside is… Delightful!



Of Note…

– As of Noon today, Pine City had recieved over 10 inches of snow — and counting!

City Hall offices closed at 1:00 P.M. and will re-open from 8:00 A.M. to Noon tomorrow.

– Horizons leaders met at Cabin Coffees to strategize for the next segment of the program.

A look back at ‘08

A look at stories that transcended beyond Pine City…


1.      Stormwater violations at Cross Lake Preserve development prompt big fine.

An “inconvenient truth” for a Twin Cities developer, two ponds within the 35-acre development had received substantial sediment, one of which drained directly into Cross Lake.  The MPCA and Minnesota took notice. 

2.      Four local teenagers go on a bar burglary spree.

Record numbers of U.S. business owners – 85% — say they’ve been victims of organized crime in 2008, up 6% from last year.  But, perhaps hardest to swallow were local businesses targeted by our community’s own.



3.      Dragon football has most successful season in PCHS history.

Pine City went 9-2, losing to Holy Family Catholic in the Section 5AAA finals at St. Cloud State on Halloween. 

4.      Jon Rydberg competes in Paralympics in Beijing.

’96 PCHS graduate Jon Rydberg, who was seeded 13th in the tournament, lost to top-seeded and No. 1 player in the world, Shingo Kunieda, of Japan.


5.      Tragedy strikes Johnson family ready to commemorate 100 years in farming.

In 1908, the Johnson family began its farm.  A century later, the farm and the life of the eldest family member, Lonnie, were celebrated. 

6.      Young firefighter, Jeremy Jylka, and businessman, Jerrad Wiener, laid to rest.

Gov. Pawlenty orders flags at half mass to honor a fallen young hero, age 34.  The community also mourned a local business’s leading man, just 31.


7.      Several downtown businesses go by the wayside in slumping market.

Gone are downtown’s clothing store, photo shop and post office.  On the flip-side, downtown welcomed a retreat center, a couple new eats and an advocacy group.  And, Sauser’s Hardware heads into its one hundredth year. 

8.      Explore MN rolls out new ad campaign: Tourist numbers up at NW Co. Fur Post.

Two Fergus Falls twins claim Pine City’s historic site is the coolest in the State and help promote it on the ExploreMinnesota.com Website.  Numbers increase at this year’s Fall Gathering.

social-ties.jpgSocial Ties                   

9.      Local clubs disband, including Pine City Rotary and Pirates baseball team.

The Rotary Club donates remaining funds to the local food shelf.  The community baseball team, with numerous state appearances, has no ’08 schedule.   

10.  Horizons program kicks off to empower local leaders and reduce poverty.

Pine City qualifies for program with goals to help community understand poverty, help commit to action for improvements and bring about lasting change.

wild-card.jpgWild Card                   

11.  Jimmy’s Pizza expands across the Midwest.

A pizzeria which got its start in downtown Pine City opens stores across Minnesota, from Albany to Zumbrota; but now Jimmy’s also has locations in Colorado, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. 

Holiday hockey classic coming to PCCC


The annual Pine City/Rush City Holiday Tournament kicks off Monday at the Pine City Civic Center as the Dragons open against Minneapolis East (3-4-1), followed by North Branch (1-4), and Moose Lake Area (4-0-1).

First Round • Mon., Dec. 29
North Branch vs. Moose Lake Area, 5:00 P.M.
Pine City vs. Minneapolis East, 7:30 P.M.
Second Round • Tue., Dec. 30
Moose Lake Area vs. Minneapolis East, 5:00 P.M.,
North Branch vs. Pine City, 7:30 P.M.
Third Round • Wed., Dec. 31
Minneapolis East vs. North Branch, Noon
Pine City vs. Moose Lake, 2:30 P.M.

From small town to big achievements


Allison Rosati was originally from Pine City and now lives in the Windy City.  She is pictured here (left) in the 1980 Minnesota State Boys’ Basketball Tournament program, as a cheerleader.  Since her time at PCHS, she has gone on to be the anchor of the award-winning NBC news station in Chicago (right).  She has also won a number of awards for humanitarianism and journalism.  The mother of four children, Rosati also volunteers for several Chicago-area organizations.  Who says you can’t be from a small community and go on to do amazing things?

Shopping away from home…


Meet Annie Ryman, who resides in Uptown Minneapolis, Minn.

She arguably lives in the Twin Cities’ coolest shopping destination, next to the Mall of America. Uptown: Once an edgy neighborhood of independent stores, chains have begun to infiltrate but it remains one of the best places in the State of Minnesota to take your credit card (think Calhoun Square, Hennepin Avenue, Lake Street, etc.).

But, Ms. Ryman chose to do all of her Christmas shopping in Pine City this year. She spent the 21st through the 23rd in Pine City with her best friend, browsing the stores along 5th and Main Streets.

She was kind enough to give small-town shopping a chance. What she found was that there was a larger selection of gifts than she anticipated. And the shopping was less hectic.

“I like this city and I wanted my money to go here,” she commented.

Thank you, Ms. Ryman.

New bloggers help document community progress

Over the next several weeks, expect to see added participation in this blog site. All three of the bloggers that participated in the training at Pine Technical College have begun to blog (You may have noticed the most recent posts about the former courthouse and the importance of shopping locally). Additionally, a new blogger has been recruited to help keep this page fresh, provocative and informative. As always, feedback is welcomed. If you have ideas or comments, please post them.



“Buy Local” logo & former Pine Co. Courthouse

Support local business

We all need to try to support local small businesses. Those businesses also need to support local residents by keeping their prices as reasonable as possible. When the national average for a gallon of gasoline is $1.66 (which averages in high states like California, Connecticut, and New Jersey) Minnesota should not have a price of $1.67 per gallon. Support runs both ways. Businesses should be questioning their suppliers, and supporting their local residents.