Last weekend of October Brings Great Events

It’s been a strange sort of fall this year with snow falling and the leaves still on the trees, but the weekend ahead is shaping up to be a beautiful one with much adventure available in our community!

Tonight’s plans include the annual Oktoberfest event hosted by the Voyageur Bottle Shop and Pizza Pub in downtown Pine City.  Enjoy this beer tasting event from 5:30 – 8:00 PM. Food and cash donations for the Pine Community Food Shelf will be accepted.

On Saturday the options for events are diverse and plentiful… they include:

The final day of the 2013 Farmer’s Market in the Park.  The faithful vendors will be on hand for this week’s final themed event — Pumpkins!  The FM runs from 11am – 1pm and a special feature at NOON is the Spooktacular Pumpkin Carving contest in the gazebo, co-hosted by the Pine Center for the Arts.

The final weekend of the newest addition to our fall “Places to See” is the Peaceful Pines Pumpkin Patch just east of Pine City.  Open Friday from 4pm – Dusk, Saturday 11am – 6pm and Sunday 11am – 4pm.  FREE entry, FREE parking and FREE entertainment — your cost to attend is the purchase of your pumpkin.  An amazing deal!

The American Legion Auxiliary will host a free Halloween costume party at the American Legion from 2:00 – 4:00 PM for children up to 12 years old.  There will be a costume parade, games, prizes, candy & more!!

Growing in Grace Preschool will host it’s annual Chili Feed & Bake Sale at Zion Lutheran Church in Pine City. The event is a fundraiser for Growing in Grace preschool.  Advance tickets are available!  Adults $5.00  Children 12 & Under $3.00 (special kid-friendly menu)

After dinner head over to the St. Mary’s Catholic School as they host their CASH BINGO night & basket raffle.  Doors and concessions open at 6:00 PM and bingo begins at 6:30pm.

For the music lovers… you can check out “Love Potion #10 – The Musical” performed by the Whitesidewalls.  The event is hosted by the Pine City Arts Council and tickets are $20 per person, available in advance at the Flower Box or at the door.

These events…and many others… can be found in greater detail on the Community Calendar located at


New Comp Plan Unveiled at Planning Commission Open House

  • Becky Schuller and Leisure Designs, Inc. recognized

The newly-adopted comprehensive plan was unveiled at the Planning Open House held in conjunction with the Pine City Planning Commission meeting Oct. 22.

Frank and Becky

Planning Commission Chair Frank Christopherson and Becky Schueller

“It is important to realize what is in the plan,” said Nathan Johnson, city planner.  “Near the end of our three-year effort to write the plan, we spent a great deal of time on chapter five, but there is so much more.”

Johnson said, for the first time, there is a housing component to the city’s plan, as well as a sidewalk plan, and specific goals and policies related to wayfinding and branding, among other new features.  And, something else unique to this plan: there is a poverty-reduction element.

“After going through Horizons and studying poverty in Pine City, many people felt that building community and reducing poverty should be goals of our city,” explained Johnson.

Anyone wishing to view a copy of the new plan can view it on the City’s website at or copies are available for purchase at City Hall, 315 Main St. S., Suite 100, in the Pine Government Center.

At the open house, Becky Schueller was presented the 2013 “Citizen Planner” award, as someone who supports the role of planning in the community.  Johnson said she helps stage several of the community events from Freedom Fest to Holiday Madness, and she diligently works behind the scenes to ensure Pine City is presented in the best possible light.

“She is very effective at what she does,” Johnson asserted.  “Her level of involvement, overall positive effect on the community, length of commitment, and leadership are what makes her so deserving of this award.”

Johnson also spoke of Schueller’s involvement with the Heritage Players community theater, Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce, Pine Dragons Parent-Teacher Organization, Pine Center for the Arts, and Pine City Horizons.

Frank and Bob

Chair Christopherson and Leisure Design, Inc.’s President Bob Menne III

Leisure Designs, Inc. was given the “Site Improvement” award for 2013, for vastly improving the appearance of their properties in the Pine City Technology Park.   The company, led by President Bob Menne III, is a manufacturer that performs customized, rotational molding and thermoforming of plastic goods which are sold primarily in the marine, power sports and recreation industries.

Leisure Designs, Inc. is a division of Premier Plastics, which is located in Hoyt Lakes, Minn., about 50 miles north of Duluth on the Iron Range.   Last year, it purchased and renovated the former Shafer Electronics building at 1020 Industrial Street NE in Pine City.  The company has expanded to approximately 30 employees locally, and demonstrating that growth, earlier this year purchased the adjoining property at 1000 Industrial Street NE to expand.

Menne and Jamie Miklya, the vice-president, were on-hand to accept the award on behalf of the company.

 “Their vision and diligence is greatly appreciated,” stated Johnson.


Candidate Forum Set for Monday, October 21st

Candidate ForumCommunity members are invited to attend this important event on Monday, October 21st at the Pine City Elementary Auditorium.  With 13 candidates on the ballot for school board seats it is important for voters to learn about each candidate and have the opportunity to ask specific questions regarding issues that schools are facing.

The event begins at 6:00 PM on Monday evening with two questions that the candidates have seen in advance.  Following that, audience members will be invited to submit written questions for the entire group to answer and an independent panel will review the questions before they are asked of the candidates.



  • Military Times announces its Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014, Pine Tech in Top-20 Nationwide

Military Times announced its Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges list for 2014.

PTCThe list shows veterans which schools have put the most thought and effort into tailoring programs and policies around their unique experience. By factoring in academic quality, Best for Vets provides service men and women a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them.

The rankings are published in full in the September issue of Military Times EDGE magazine and online at as well as,, and

Military Times EDGE is the premier publication for military transition, career and education information and guidance. Published by Gannett Government Media, the magazine is inserted into newsstand copies of Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times, and distributed free at military transition offices across the country.

The heralded series of Best for Vets survey-based rankings includes: Career & Technical Colleges, Employers, Colleges, Business Schools, Franchises, and Law Enforcement.  To qualify for the list, schools were evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic policies, academic quality and financial aid, with university culture and student support carrying the most weight.

The extensive evaluation process also factored in statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality, including student loan default rates, retention rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratio and percentage of full-time faculty.

The schools named Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014:

  1. Mountwest Community and Technical College, Huntington, W.Va.
  2. Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville, N.C.
  3. Virginia College, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.
  4. Trident Technical College, North Charleston, S.C.
  5. Thomas Nelson Community College, Hampton, Va.
  6. West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Parkersburg, W.Va.
  7. The Los Angeles Film School, Los Angeles, Calif.
  8. Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount, Minn.
  9. Minnesota School of Business, Richfield, Minn.
  10. Broadview University, West Jordan, Utah
  11. Golf Academy of America, headquartered in San Diego, Calif.
  12. Western Technical College, El Paso, Texas
  13. Columbus State Community College, Columbus, Ohio
  14. Waukesha County Technical College, Pewaukee, Wis.
  15. Davenport University, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  16. Pine Technical College, Pine City, Minn.
  17. Gateway Community and Technical College, Florence, Ky.
  18. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Valdosta, Ga.
  19. Ecotech Institute, Aurora, Colo.
  20. Advanced Technology Institute, Virginia Beach, Va.

To view the complete rankings, including facts on total enrollment, military enrollment, whether tuition is covered by military education benefits, staff and academic support, accreditation and more, go to

Planning Commission Open House set for Oct. 22

flag pcIt is inevitable:  Change is constant and it affects all cities and towns. 

But, according to City Planner Nathan Johnson, “Community planning and plans can help manage this change in a way that provides better choices for how people work and live; and it provides an opportunity for all residents to be meaningfully involved in making choices that determine the future of Pine City.”

The City will distribute copies of its newly-adopted comprehensive plan—adopted Oct. 2—at a Planning Commission Open House Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.  The regular meeting will follow at 6:30 p.m.  At the open house, the public can meet Commissioners and a short program will begin at 6 p.m. that recognizes a citizen planner, and a local business for making a site improvement.

About the new plan, Johnson said adopting it is not enough.  “The full benefits of planning requires public officials and citizens who understand, support, and demand excellence in planning and plan implementation.”

The month of October is designated as National Community Planning Month throughout the United States of America and its territories, and the American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, endorse National Community Planning Month as an opportunity to highlight the contributions sound planning and plan implementation make to the quality of our settlements and environment.

“The celebration of National Community Planning Month here in Pine City gives us the opportunity to publicly recognize the participation and dedication of the members of planning commissions and other citizen planners who have contributed their time and expertise to the improvement of the City of Pine City,” said Johnson.