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Lovgren brings 2nd Amendment resolution back to board for stronger language

by Ailene Croup for PiCK News

Petitions with pages of signatures asking Pine County Board for a resolution supporting the Second Amendment to the Constitution circulated through the county last winter.
In March, the board passed a Second Amendment resolution. The language in the resolution did not declare the county a Second Amendment sanctuary county or commit county law enforcement resources to uphold the residents’ right to bear arms.
Commissioner Terry Lovgren was not satisfied with the resolution. She approved the resolution when Chairman Steve Hallan agreed to bring itt back before the board for discussion and a chance to amend the language.
Residents of Pine County have requested televised county board meetings over several decades.
The meeting was live-streamed on the internet and there were phone numbers for residents to call in, listen and comment...

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photos by A. Croup for PiCK News

Top: (l to r) Commissioner Josh Mohr, County Administrator David Minke, EDA Director Lezlie Sauter, Chairman Steve Halln. Bottom: (l to r) Commissioner JJ Waldhelm, Zoning Director Caleb Anderson and Commissioner Terry Lovgren.

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Immaculate Rosehill Cemetery grounds require donations of time, talent, money

by Ailene Croup for PiCK News

photos by A. Croup
Friends, neighbors and relatives will be renewing acquaintances, sharing family stories and tales of past adventures with long lost classmates when Corn and Clover Carnival comes to town in July.
The Carnival will open on Friday the 9th of July and run through Saturday, July 10.
Sometime during the weekend, fairgoers may pay their respects by making a trip to Rosehill Cemetery, east of Tobies, to place flowers on the graves of family and friends as they pause to reminisce.
Rosehill Cemetery would be a sorry sight if it weren’t for people like those on the cemetery board, Judy Hopkins, the Hopkins family and Steve Grinsteinner.

The cemetery is seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year as they exit the freeway on their way to Tobies, the casino or one of the fast food venues nearby...more

Pine Co. Sheriff asks for info identifying vandals who shot out vehicle windows

Sheriff’s report for PiCK News
The Pine County Sheriff’s office is looking for information on vandalism that was done in the Rutledge and Willow River area.
On Sunday, June 13, 2021, several calls were received regarding vehicle windows that were broken.
The damage appeared to be from being shot with a BB gun.
We are also asking that anyone who has a home surveillance system in that area to check video for any activity in the early hours of June 13.
Please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 320-629-8380 and ask for Investigator Zach Libra if you have any information or video footage that may apply. thank you.

For more information about these events:

- special Committee of the Whole County Board meeting June 29, 2021, North Pine Government Center, Sandstone, at 9 a.m.

There will also be a special Committee of the Whole meeting agenda items include the Second Amendment and renewing the county's transit tax. Click on the link above.

Cemetery Angels appear for Memorial Day

photos by A. Croup for PiCK News

Cemetery Angels Donna Wheelock, Jeannie Priest, Lynette Schaefer, Cheryl Meagher and Ailene Croup honor the military and those forgotten by placing.

Untended but not forgotten, Cemetery Angels dress up graves

by Ailene Croup for PiCK News
Cemeteries across the United States lay in quiet repose until the last week in May.
Brilliant colors draw the attention of those who rush by on their way to work or to their cabins for a long holiday weekend.
We remember, Memorial Day.
On dewy mornings before the holiday, every brilliant color imaginable will dot the manicured lawns of hidden cemeteries and those cemeteries that boldly salute travelers at the edge of town.

The unimposing miniature American Flags symbolize the reason for the holiday - to honor the military men and women who have died in the service of our country, add order and reverence to the jumble of colors.
Remembering those who have been forgotten or who have no one left to remember them, clearing off untended graves along with a private prayer or a splash of color from an artificial bouquet is the mission of the Cemetery Angels’ and their way of honoring the dead.
For many decades, four or five old friends begin the trek of more than 100 miles from cemetery to cemetery, visiting as many as they can in a day. A car full or sometimes two of old and news friends, with a trunk load of artificial flowers, bug spray and bottled water transport the Angel team.
Donna Wheelock comes all the way from Fairbanks, Alaska. This year Cheryl Meagher, from Minneapolis, joined the group. Jeannie Priest came from Duluth, Lynnette Schaefer, from Hinckley, and Ailene Croup, from Cloverdale.
Relatives’ graves get the first dash of color. Then, the search begins for unremarkable, unremembered graves. Old soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are usually easy to spot by the bronze star that marks each serviceman.
Aging knees bend to view the names and weathered hands clear the debris from the stones.
As the Angels travel, they share memories and sometimes the story of a forgotten soul from years passed or of a favorite teacher. This sends the group on a search to pay their respects and honor the memory of that person. Other times, they happen across the grave of someone from the past and the Angels share memories of that person.
This year, three of the Angels remembered a favorite piano teacher - Hattie Skinner. They talked about her cats and the conversations Hattie would have with the felines as the students diligently went through their scales.
The septuagenarians talked about their jobs. Cheryl is a chiropractor. Her insight into what keeps us upright will hopefully inspire us all to stay healthy for another year so we can continue to be someone’s Angel. What we eat has everything to do with how we feel, she said, as we all indulged ourselves with a fantastic meal at Tobies.
From Finlayson to Hinckley, Danbury to Grantsburg the Angels press on to place the final bouquet of flowers as the long rectangular shadows stripe the ground and melt into dusk.
The Cemetery Angels ask that each person who visits a cemetery this year, and every year, to bring one additional bouquet. Find an untended grave and be an Angel. There is a purpose and a value to every life.
God Bless America and our unending thanks to the military who have sacrificed and served and continue to serve and protect us all.

Not So Fast

I-35 Cable Median Barrier Install begins June 1

MnDOT update

Construction on new cable median barrier on I-35 between Hinckley and Carlton will begin on June 1. Barrier installation is at intermittent points on I-35 and will begin just south of Hwy 48 in Hinckley and continue north. Motorists can expect left lane closures on weekdays. The closures will be limited on northbound I-35 to Monday through Thursday and on southbound I-35 Monday through Friday. This project is expected to be complete at the end of July.
Important reminders for motorists regarding work zone safety:
   •    Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution.
   •    Stay alert; work zones constantly change.
   •    Watch for workers and slow moving equipment.
   •    Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300.
   •    Minimize distractions behind the wheel.
   •    Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times.


HIPAA Law, dishonesty, impending COW meeting filter into Pine Co. Board discussion

by Ailene Croup for PiCK News
The Pine County Board has been teleconferencing its meetings from the North Pine Government Center (NPGC) for the past year because of COVID restrictions.
Meeting in person and whether masks should continue to be worn was brought up in discussion at the April 20, 2021, board meeting.
Chairman Steve Hallan said he didn’t mind having meetings like those that have been held for the last year - teleconferenced. He prefers everyone sit in front of a computer because it’s easier to hear.
Poor acoustics in the new NPGC and have been a continual issue. Wearing masks has only compounded the problem...

From the editor's desk: 2021

Tolerance: What's in a word?

NLX: The train to nowhere supported by taxpayers

Editorial: Permits, fees and fines "Oh My'


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HCS: Hope rises from ashes

by Harvest Christian School Staff
Sirens, lights, smoke and a fiery glow turned a pleasant fall evening into a sadly memorable one for Harvest Christian School. The historic Depot building, which housed the elementary portion of the school, was on fire. It was Sept. 3, 2020, and preparations for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year were complete. The pandemic had already complicated the opening. The fire delayed the opening and created many more challenges.
In response to this great mishap, the Harvest family and the surrounding community have shown an incredible amount of support and encouragement as Harvest attempted to recover from the fire and begin the school year.  Many churches responded, including the Sandstone Evangelical Free Church, which allowed use of their facilities so that classes could resume. The damage to the Depot was extensive enough that it was not prudent to repair. 
Demolition of the Depot building has been completed, and Harvest Christian has closed on the purchase of the former Gateway Clinic building for its new school site. In order to make this purchase, Harvest...

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photos provided for PiCK News

Top: Sept. 3, 2020, Harvest Christian School Depot building burns. Middle: Easter week, 2021, Depot demolished. Bottom: HCS closes on new home.

Find these stories on our new military page, 'Our Veterans'


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Sheriff's report

This week's Pine County Sheriff's Blotter

Under pressure from residents, Pine Co. Commissioners pass diluted version of Second Amendment resolution

by Ailene Croup for PiCK News
Pine County Board met April 6, 2021 with the anticipated Second Amendment Resolution high on the agenda.
Sandstone area resident, Barry Burch, spearheaded the public push toward a county resolution supporting the Second Amendment. Burch is the owner/operator of Burch Tactical, in Pine County.
He began his mission more than a year ago, educating people about the Second Amendment and the importance of showing support for the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Constitution.
He placed petitions and proposed resolutions at key businesses around the county encouraging the county board to adopt the resolution. The pages filled up, and were replaced with new ones over several weeks.
Commissioner Matt Ludwig waved a stack of those petitions at the board meeting calling for action on the  resolution.
Commissioners Steve Hallan and Matt Ludwig were on the committee to create a Second Amendment resolution along with County


photo by A. Croup for PiCK News

The Second Amendment Committee including Chairman Steve Hallan (background) offered a watered down version of a 2A supporting resolution.

Attorney Reese Fredrickson and County Administrator David Minke.
Not everyone was on board with the committee’s diluted version of Burch’s resolution.
Commissioner Terry Lovgren asked about the language not including important verbiage such as the county being a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. She asked that a meeting be set to further discuss the language.
Ludwig was in agreement adding they should get the version created by the committee passed then amend the language later.
Chairman Hallan said the board has had these discussions for a year and when everybody “gets back” they can have better discussions.
Lovgren was not in favor of the resolution but said she would agree if discussions on the language were not put off for a long time.
Resident Ailene Croup, PiCK News publisher and Sandstone Township Clerk, ask to speak about the resolution. Croup said Sandstone Township had already passed its own Second Amendment resolution. She wanted language that states the county would use its resources to support residents rights to keep and bear arms and prevent anyone from confiscating their guns.
Ludwig made the motion to approve Resolution 2021-25 as drafted. It was seconded by Mohr and unanimously approved.

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