FirstLight Health Welcomes New Providers

FirstLight Health System is privileged and excited to announce the arrival of three new providers to the FirstLight Health System team.  Nurse Practitioners, Mary Lagaard, DNP, Beth Good, DNP, and Rebecca Autio, NP, have joined FirstLight in the past few weeks and have begun seeing patients.

Beth Good, family nurse practitioner, joined FirstLight Health System in November of 2012. Good earned her nursing degree at Minnesota State University, Mankato, her master’s degree from the Georgia State University School of Nursing, and her doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Minnesota. She is certified as both an addiction registered nurse and a clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric mental health nursing.

Mary Lagaard is a nurse practitioner specializing in geriatric care at FirstLight Health System’s Mora Clinic. She’s a certified gerontological nurse practitioner and an advanced certified hospice and palliative care nurse. Lagaard joined FirstLight in November of 2012 and has experience in neurology, chronic disease and quality assurance. She is also an active community volunteer.

Rebecca Autio is a family nurse practitioner working in a new practice model with Dr. Brian Niskanen. She will partner with Dr. Niskanen in treating a patient panel at FirstLight Health System’s Mora and Hinckley clinics. She has experience as a registered nurse in areas including surgery, orthopaedics, urology, gynecology and respiratory care. Autio received her nursing degree and her family nurse practitioner degree from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.

FirstLight Health System is looking forward to having our new Nurse Practitioners on the FirstLight team and we invite you to join us in welcoming them to our organization. FirstLight is located at 301 South Highway 65 in Mora.  Main switchboard telephone numbers are 320-679-1212 and 1-800-245-5671. Visit FirstLight online at

City will honor Mayor Jane Robbins on December 15th

The community will honor Pine City’s outgoing Mayor, Jane Robbins, at an Open House event on Saturday, December 15th from 2:00 – 5:00 PM.  Robbins has served for the last 20 years as Pine City’s mayor and served 10 years on the City Council prior her time as mayor.

The public is invited to attend this event.  RSVP’s are not required, but appreciated.  Please call 320-322-4040 or 320-629-2575.

Yellow Ribbon Community Creates “Giving Tree”

Pine City Yellow Ribbon is seeking assistance from community members to brighten the holidays for 30 children of local military families this holiday season. A “Giving Tree” has been created to help make this possible. The children and their families will be attending a holiday party for the local National Guard Unit, B Troop 1-94 Cavalry, at the beginning of December.
The “Giving Tree” is on display at the Chamber of Commerce office in the Pine Government Center for anyone to stop by and select a specific age group to give a gift. Unwrapped gifts with a value of $15 – $20 are needed by Thursday, December 6th. You can also select a child by contacting the Chamber by phone at 320-322-4040 or by email at

Holiday Madness 2012

Pine City will celebrate the beginning of the holiday season during the annual Holiday Madness and Christmas Carol Parade scheduled for this Friday, November 30th.  Many have wondered why the event is “early” this year, but the event has had a traditional date set for the Friday one week after Thanskgiving – thus an early date this year.

The holidays can be a tough time of the year for many in our community, so the Chamber continues to support the efforts of the Pine City Community Food Shelf and the Toys for Tots drive each year by asking community members to support one of these organizations and make a much needed donation.  All donations made  between now and Friday at one of the participating locations will include an entry form into the drawings for Holiday Madness Chamber Bucks to be given away during the annual Tree Lighting event.  Donations are being accepted at: Northwoods Bank of Pine City, Cabin Coffees, Chris’ Food Center, Voyageur Bottle Shop and Pine Center for the Arts. The winners of the drawings will be announced in Robinson Park following the tree lighting – and need NOT be present to win!

The Pine Center for the Arts will partner with MINPACK again this year to provide photos with Santa from 3:00 – 5:00 PM at Cabin Coffees.  This year the photos will be a 5×7 portrait for just $3 per photo.  Photos will be available for pick up on Friday, December 7th.

Outdoor festivities will begin at 5:30 pm in Robinson Park.  Enjoy the singing talents of Pine City’s finest as the high school choirs, led by Jennifer Krinke, will put us all in holiday spirits with their holiday sing-a-long.  Families can stay warm by the fires that will be set up in the park as well.

The 11th Annual Christmas Carol Parade begins at 6:00 PM.  The parade begins at the corner of 8th Avenue & Main Street next to Waxberg Clinic.  The parade route will travel north on Hwy 61 to 3rd Ave SE, then go to Robinson Park in downtown Pine City. The parade features a variety of lighted floats with Christmas Carol themes; the Mayor of Pine City, Pine City Ambassadors, Anytime Fitness, Town & Country Insurance and Pine City Youth Hockey are among this year’s entries.

The lighting of the Christmas tree in Robinson Park will take place immediately following the end of the Christmas Carol Parade, so hurry on down!  A special presentation by the Elementary School choir, led by Jennifer Hansmann, and Pine City Mayor Jane Robbins are scheduled to speak at the tree lighting ceremony.

The Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the events, invites everyone in East Central Minnesota to enjoy this day of Christmas cheer by taking advantage of the many events.  Throughout the evening we encourage members of the community to use this evening as an opportunity to shop or dine at one of our local businesses.  Look for the Holiday Madness flyers at local businesses over the next week to find coupons for discounts at local retailers and restaurants valid from November 24th through 30th.

For the full event flyer or copies of the coupon pages, visit the home page of the Chamber of Commerce website at

Progressive Dinner for “A Place for You” Transitional Shelter

On Friday, November 9th a group of churches in Hinckley, MN will be the next to participate in a Progressive Dinner fundraiser for the newly opened “A Place for You” Transitional Shelter in Pine City, MN.

Earlier this year this type of event was hosted at Pine City churches with great success. As a result, the model has been expanded for an additional community to help fundraising efforts for the newest non-profit in Pine City.

Tickets are available for just $10/person at the following locations: Pine Tax & Accounting, Woodlands Bank, Lake State Federal Credit Union and host churches as well as at the door.

Here is the schedule for the evening:

5:00 – 6:30 PM: Appetizers at St. Paul Lutheran Church (405 2nd St NW, Co. Rd 18)

5:30 – 7:00 PM: Pork Loin Dinner at First Lutheran Church (301 Lawler Ave S.)

6:00 – 7:30 PM: Coffee & Dessert at First Presbyterian Church (1813 Fire Monument Rd)

For questions regarding this event, call Lois at 320.384.6946