FirstLight Health System Auxiliary Offers $1000 Scholarship

The FirstLight Health System Auxiliary is offering a $1000 scholarship to an adult who has been out of high school for at least three years and who is pursuing an education in the healthcare field. This Auxiliary scholarship is funded by money made through the FirstLight gift shop. The applicant must be a United States Citizen and living in Kanabec or Pine county. To pick up an application, stop by FirstLight’s main front entrance desk. The application must be returned by April 1st, 2013.

The Auxiliary is a volunteer organization that’s purpose is to provide funds and services to benefit FirstLight Health System and its patients. Auxiliary volunteers manage the FirstLight Health System Gift Shop, arrange school tours of the hospital, staff their Volunteer Information Program (VIP), provide hand-knitted caps for all new babies, among other things. In addition, the Auxiliary has funded the purchase of medical equipment at FirstLight Health System.

Auxiliary members can volunteer on one project, or many. For more information about FirstLight Health System’s Auxiliary Volunteer program, contact Ronda Jannett, Volunteer Coordinator at 320-225-3321.

FirstLight Health System is located at the junction of Highways 65 and 23 in Mora. The main telephone numbers are 320-679-1212 and 1-800-245-5671. More information about FirstLight Health System can be found at

Help raise money for your local schools

Anyone can help teacher Mrs. Hughes in her efforts to raise money for Pine City Public Schools, ISD #578. Clip and save your General Mills box tops and drop them off at the front office of the elementary school. Box Tops for Education box tops can be found on hundreds of products, like Betty CrockerPillsburyGoGurt,Cascadian FarmGreen Giant and more! Thanks for doing your part!

Veterans Business Resource Program

Are you a Veteran who is in business or planning to start a business/  Learn how to get registered for one-on-one professional business consulting services at no cost to you.

Attend the Veterans Business Resource Program on Tuesday, April 16th from 8:30am – Noon in Cambridge, MN.

See flyer for more details.

Vet Business Resource

Braham’s Caleb Flynn a contestant on Idol

Look for Caleb Flynn on American Idol this season.  He grew up in nearby Braham, Minn.

Fare For All Offered in Pine City

Fare For All is a food distribution program that is offered in our community.  There are no income guidelines to take part in this program, it is simply another way to make your grocery money stretch.

How does it work??  Participants call (1-800-582-4291) to place their order of one or more of the packages that are available each month.  Then, on the fourth Saturday of the month, they simply go to the local pick-up location and receive their order.  Fare for All is no an authorized location to accept all EBT Cards in addition to regular payment options.

Fare for All FebruaryThe February deadline to place an order is Friday, February 15th and distribution day is Saturday, February 23rd.

February Specials include a MEGA MEAT PACK that includes a variety of meats such as chicken, fish, beef, turkey & pork.  Recieve 9-13 pounds of meat for just $25.

For more information on the program, go online to:


Scholarship Funds Available for Low-Income Workers

PINE CITY, Minn. – The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant for low-income workers, administered by the Employment and Training Center (ETC) at Pine Technical College, still has significant funding available to support about 50 students choosing to pursue training in either the healthcare or manufacturing industry. With $99,348 originally awarded in August, 2012, the program’s goals include the provision of training and job placement services for 64 low-income individuals in the healthcare and manufacturing industries.

“We are proud that at the start of the Spring, 2013 semester, the program has been successful so far in the fact that we’ve served about 15 students,” says Tony Gantenbein, Executive Director of the Employment and Training Center. “Today, it’s more important than ever to support our regional economy in workforce development, and the training this program provides leads directly to jobs that offer livable wages with opportunities for advancement,” Gantenbein adds.

The MJSP grant program runs through February, 2014, and eligible applicants may still apply. Courses supported through the program include a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) course, which is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions as a nursing assistant in a long-term care facilities or hospitals, and an Introduction to Manufacturing and Welding course, which is designed to provide knowledge of welding principles and safety considerations in a manufacturing environment with a focus on developing the basics of wire feed, tungsten inert gas (TIG), gas metal arc (MIG), and shielded welding metal arc (Stick) welding (SMAW). Credentials gained from both courses are approved by industry associations and the state.

“Entry-level CNAs earn as much as $15 per hour, and entry-level welding and manufacturing workers earn as much as $18 per hour, and both courses and training options lead to jobs that really make a difference,” Gantenbein says. “We are very proud of not only our history of making training accessible for workers in our region, but also for providing trained workers that meet the needs of area employers as well,” Gantenbein adds.

The grant is made available through the MJSP, a state program that works strategically with businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities, and keep high-quality jobs in the state. The MJSP’s training grants are used to offset training-related expenses incurred by business, industry and educational institutions necessary to meet current and future workforce needs.

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, network administration, practical nursing, precision manufacturing/machining (CNC), medical assistant, human services eligibility worker and many more.

PTC is a proud member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, which is comprised of 31 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves more than 270,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 150,000 students in noncredit courses. The nursing assistant course is offered on an ongoing basis, and the next start date is March 19; dates for the welding course will be available soon. Additionally, PTC is accepting applications for new students in all programs; summer courses will start June 3. For more information about the MJSP Low Income Worker Grant Program and courses supported by it, call PTC’s Continuing Education and Customized Training department at 320-629-5176. For general information about the college overall, call 320-629-5100.

New planning commissioners appointed

Dennis Odegard and Brent Jahnz were given their respective oaths of office by newly-elected Mayor Paul Janssen at the Planning Commission meeting Jan. 22.

Odegard, age 72, and his wife Linda live outside the city limits in Pine City along Cross Lake Road.  He is one of three commissioners who does not live within the city limits, the others being Trevor Teich and Frank Christopherson.  He was appointed to a three-year term.

“Bylaws allow for up to three of the nine members to come from outside of the city,” explained City Planner Nathan Johnson.  “We are a larger community than just the corporate limits of Pine City for many planning purposes.”

Jahnz, age 57, is also a newcomer to the Commission, appointed to a one-year term.  He and his wife Kathy reside in the Woodpecker Ridge Neighborhood of Pine City.   In his spare time, he volunteers as a Patriot Guard Rider, and professionally he is a Programs Director at the Pine County Jail.

Jane Doran, Manager of Greater Minnesota Credit Union’s Pine City branch, was reappointed to another three-year term.  Outgoing members were longtime chair Mary Kay Sloan and Gene Pals.  Newly-elected council member Steve Ovick, 59, takes the place of Sloan alongside Brian Scholin, as one of two councilors serving on the planning commission.

With Sloan’s absence, Doran is now the lone woman on the commission; the Commission has never had more than three women members at once, when Mary Rinden, Sloan and Doran were all serving simultaneously until May of last year.

“Mary Kay was recognized as Citizen Planner in 2007 for her commitment to and effect on planning in Pine City,” Johnson said.  “She and Gene will both be missed.”

The student representative position, previously held by 2012 PCHS graduate Joe Wolf, remains unfilled at this time.

Planning Commission meetings are held the Fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Pine Government Center in the Council Chambers beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Art Center offers Singing Valentines

Singing ValentinePine City has been blessed with three very unique and wonderful arts organizations as well as a school district that is developing quality music, art and theater students each and every day.  In just five short weeks of 2013 there have already been a number of opportunities for residents in the community to experience some type of art event…and the next five weeks are no exception!

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Art Center will continue their traditional “Singing Valentines” fundraiser.  For just $20 individuals can send a singing valentine to a friend, family member, or co-worker to brighten their day.  Our troupe of singers are talented volunteers like Kris Seuntjens, Caron Peters, JoLynn Howard, and Carol Nyrhinen.  A few new faces have been invited to join in the fun this year as well in hopes of expanding the reach to as many as 50 valentines delivered in just three short days.

The $20 fee includes singing valentine, personalized card and flower — all delivered anywhere withing the Pine City school district boundaries.  The only exception is that the valentines cannot be delivered to students or staff during school hours.

The Art Center is also teaming up with The Flower Box and Cabin Coffees this year.  If you would like to have flowers or cupcakes delivered along with your valentine… simply make arrangements with either The Flower Box or Cabin Coffees and they’ll get in touch with the Art Center.

The Art Center is open Monday – Friday from 3-6 PM and Saturdays from 10am – 1pm.  Stop by to get your valentine registration form and personalize the card for delivery.

For more information visit the Pine Center for the Arts online at


Kautz visits Pine City American Legion Post 51

The national commander of the American Legion is in Minnesota this week visiting dozens of posts across the state.  Commander Jim Koutz met with local members and listened to their concerns to take them back to Washington D.C.

Koutz was in Moorhead, Detroit Lakes and Bemidji Monday; Tuesday, he was in Walker, Grand Rapids and Duluth; today (Weds.), here in Pine City, then Fridley and Richfield; and tomorrow (Thurs.) at Apple Valley, Willmar and Hutchinson.

Koutz, of Boonville, Indiana, is a combat Vietnam War veteran.  He served in the Army from 1969 to 1971 and was trained as an infantryman.  He worked at Amax Coal Company for 21 years, and this past year was elected National Commander.

The Minnesota American Legion has 87,000 members in nearly 560 posts throughout the state.  It acts as a watchdog for veterans’ rights, but is also heavily involved in Minnesota communities through such programs as Baseball, Boys State and Girls State, Legionville School Safety Patrol School, Scouting and many other projects.