CLC to Host Veterans Career Expo & Celebration

Several thousand veterans are returning to Minnesota over the coming weeks.  The pictures and stories of reunited loved shared by our local media has touched all of us.  CLC now has an opportunity to give back to our veterans.  On Wednesday, June 13, from 4 – 7 p.m., CLC will be hosting a Celebrate Veterans Career Exploration event at our Brainerd campus.  The event is one of many being planned by the Brainerd Lakes Community to help veterans and their families through this time of transition and will provide planning and support that will lead to jobs for vets. 

All veterans and their families in the seven county surrounding region are invited to attend the career exploration event.  The event is expected to draw several thousand veterans and will provide an opportunity for them to explore career options while interacting with area businesses, service providers, and CLC instructors and staff.  It is an excellent way for us to give back to our communities and our veterans. Those veterans wishing to pursue educational options will have an opportunity to speak with admissions staff and enroll at CLC during EZ Enrollment on Thursday, June 28.

At the mid-point of the Career Expo a “Celebration of Veterans” will take place in the Chalberg Theatre.  The celebration will be led by our college veterans, military leadership, and congressional representatives.  During the celebration CLC student veterans will thank all our veterans for their service to our country. 


Pine City music again recognized for national excellence

  • “Best Communities for Music Education in America” lists Pine City for 3rd straight year

The NAMM Foundation last week announced the results of its 13th annual “Best Communities for Music Education,” which acknowledges districts across the U.S. for their commitment to and support of music education in schools. This year, Pine City has been designated a “Best Community.” Pine City first appeared on the list in 2010.

Pine City was the only rural Minnesota school to be listed.  In the Twin Cities, Osseo Public Schools, Edina Public Schools, Brooklyn Center High School were also named to the list, which is sponsored by the NAMM Foundation.

176 schools appeared on this year’s list for demonstrating a commitment to providing music education for their students. According to the NAMM Foundation, this “Best Communities” designation represents not only a distinction worthy of pride, but a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve their current music education programs.

NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen says, “We applaud these communities that remain committed to a complete and quality education that must include music and the arts. We urge communities to celebrate the designation as a national recognition for their commitment to children and most of all, keep the music playing in their schools for years to come.”

Districts were measured across curricular and programmatic criteria as well as measures of public support of their music programs. It also weighs music education opportunities outside of the school.  Inclusion on the list the past three years has been bolstered by the presence of community arts organizations like Pine Center for the Arts, which offers a wide variety of music classes, lessons, and performances to students, adults, and seniors citizens.

Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors in their communities‟ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials, and advisory organizations reviewed the data.

Band director Bradley Mariska points out, “Whether it’s a recent performance of the elementary musical or our most highly qualified high school students preparing for the AP Music Theory Exam, we have talented students and a dedicated faculty that are here to make music an integral part of the education process.”

For choir director Jennifer Krinke, the award comes with a great sense of accomplishment. “I am always overwhelmed at the number of students that voluntarily take part in our program.  There is so much enthusiasm for music education in Pine City that we can barely fit the students on stage and in our classrooms.”

Band director Kevin Cahill is committed to teaching student valuable life skills. “Students in band learn a more than just notes on a page – they are learning the value of hard work and discipline.  Research also shows that students who take part in music do better in math and reading and are more successful in college.”

About Pine City Schools

Located one hour north of the Twin Cities on the I-35 corridor, Pine City Schools enroll approximately 1,600 students in their K-12 programs. The district is committed to providing students at all levels with quality academic instruction as well as outstanding programs in athletics and the fine arts. The schools enjoy strong community support and have initiated a variety of innovative programs to maintain the bond between the school community and the community at large. The High School is committed to offering a wide variety of college-level classes for students, including more than half a dozen Advanced Placement courses.

About the Pine City Music Department

The fine arts programs at Pine City have long been respected for their quality and levels of participation. Instructors collaborate closely to develop a curriculum that is student-focused and of the highest quality. Hundreds of students participate in ensembles starting as young as first grade, and classroom general music is offered to all students in grades K-6 by certified music instructors. The Pine City High School Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir have both received unanimous superior ratings at Large Group Music Contest each of the past seven years and annually place students in All-State Ensembles. The Department’s top jazz ensemble, Jazz One, participates in several jazz festivals annually, and has recently performed at the Minnesota State School Boards Association Convention. Pine City High School also offers academic courses in music, including Musical Theatre and Music Appreciation for credit through the Minnesota State College and University System. AP Music Theory testing was also added in 2010. Music specialists in Pine City include department chair Kevin Cahill, Joanne Cahill, Jennifer Hansmann, Jennifer Krinke, and Bradley Mariska. The instructors have a combined 101 years teaching experience, 99 of which are in the Pine City School District.

PTC’s Ever Green Club to show short film, Precious Waters: Minnesota’s Sulfide Mining Controversy

Pine Technical College’s Ever Green Club will be hosting a showing of Precious Waters: Minnesota’s Sulfide Mining Controversy on April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in room 20, the college auditorium. The short film, a project of the Friends of the Boundary Waters, is just 26 minutes long, but Eric Jensen, PTC biology instructor and Ever Green Club advisor says it is both powerful and inspiring.

“This film is really eye-opening, and I am very excited to show this to our students and the larger PTC community,” Jensen says. “It’s a powerful film, and it’s inspiring. I hope it will encourage people to carefully consider how human behavior can affect our natural environment,” Jensen adds.

The film scrutinizes the sulfide mining industry, its polluting effects, and its history of failed predictions as well as its impact on northeastern Minnesota. Pine City planner and PTC alum Nathan Johnson will facilitate discussion following the film. Johnson has worked with the Ever Green Club over the years to incorporate environmental sensitivity into the proposed update of the City’s comprehensive plan.

“Water is our most precious resource; it plays a vital role in our development and sustenance,” says Johnson. “Pine City can learn valuable lessons by taking a look at how water is managed and handled by other communities,” Johnson adds.

The Ever Green Club, established in 2006, is a student organization focused on encouraging environmental responsibility and healthy living.

Pine Technical College, established in 1965 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, serves more than 1,200 students and awards certificates, diplomas and associate degrees. PTC’s notable programs include accounting, American Sign Language, automotive technology, business administration, business technology, computer programming, computer science, early childhood development, gunsmithing technology, medical assistant, network administration, practical nursing, precision manufacturing/machining (CNC), public welfare financial worker, and many more.

PTC is a proud member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, which is comprised of 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 277,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 157,000 students in noncredit courses. PTC is accepting applications for new students in all programs; summer courses will start June 4. For more information about the showing of Precious Waters: Minnesota’s Sulfide Mining Controversy or for general information about the college overall, call 320-629-5100.

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NLX discussion at this month’s City Planning Commission meeting

Imagine having the option to travel the busy Interstate 35 between Pine County and the Twin Cities or the Twin Ports, or alternatively being able to use a 110 miles per hour passenger train service.

The Northern Lights Express (NLX) is proposed to do just that for the 155-mile corridor between Minneapolis and Duluth.   Plans are to upgrade an existing BNSF Railway freight line to allow trains to travel at high speeds connecting the State’s two largest metropolitan areas.

The NLX will be the first passenger rail service connecting the two major metros since 1986, when Amtrak discontinued the 50-mile-per-hour North Star.

“[It] is an active project,” said Kenneth Buehler, Chair of the NLX Technical Advisory Committee.  “We recently were granted five million dollars in Federal Railroad Administration Funds to match four million dollars in State Funds to begin our engineering.”

Buehler will outline the progress that NLX has made at this month’s City Planning Commission meeting, Tuesday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m.  He said, “The NLX is just completing a two and half year Environmental Review and we are starting aerial mapping of the right-of-way.”

The presentation will bring people up-to-date on the progress of the Joint Powers Alliance and, according to Buehler, “revisit the reasons this train is going to run!”

“Discussion about this line dates back at least a decade,” said Nathan Johnson, city planner for the City of Pine City.  “All indications say the project is still moving forward, as planned.  Now, we must best position the communities along the route, and nearby, to take full advantage of the line and all it has to offer us.”

Every $1 that communities invest in public transportation generates approximately $6 in economic returns, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

“This project will be an amenity to the residents of Pine County,” said Johnson, adding, “Not only will it be a convenience for us, and those trying to get here, there is the added benefit of jobs, and long-term economic development opportunities lie ahead for our area.”

PCHS grad, Tuck on TV

Jeff Tuckner, a.k.a. 'Tuck' made his debut appearance on the Discovery Channel's "American Chopper" last night. Look for him to help redress worn out vehicles to make them anything but lackluster!

Correction:  The show is called “Jesse James:  Outlaw Garage”.  Thanks, Amy Reitan, for the info.

Pine City Band Presents Annual Pops Concert May 4

  • Featuring music of “Sky and Space,” guest conductor John Kleppe

The annual Pops Concert by the Pine City High School Bands is fast approaching and director Bradley Mariska has announced several exciting selections – and a pair of special guests – that will make the Friday evening concert an event not to be missed.

This year’s concert is Friday, May 4 at 7:30pm and will feature John Kleppe as guest conductor.  Kleppe is a 2007 graduate of Pine City High School who is now the Director of Bands in Ellsworth, Wisconsin.  Kleppe will lead the band in the “Theme From Superman,” a piece featured at Mariska’s first Pine City Pops Concert in 2005 – when Kleppe was a sophomore.   The concert will also feature guest vocalist Erin Gaffaney, a Pine City resident who teaches music at Braham Area Schools.  Gaffaney will sing the classic jazz ballad “Stormy Weather” with the jazz band.

The theme of this year’s concert, “The Sky – and Space Beyond” will include selections like “Stairway to Heaven” and music from “Star Wars” by the Wind Ensemble, while Jazz One will perform selections including “Bird Land,” “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and “Moon River.”

Several student soloists will be featured at the concert in both ensembles, as well as special recognition of the seniors; a total of 81 students are members of the senior high band program. Admission to the concert is free, which begins at 7:30pm.

Spring Cleanup in Pine City

Spring Clean Up is scheduled for Monday, April 23, 2012.

Leaves and branches need to be at curbside by 5 a.m. on Monday, April 23 for pickup by Pine City Public Works’ employees.

Leaves must be bagged and tied. Tree branches are to be bundled in four-foot lengths.