Pine Island-Oronoco

Wed
19
Feb
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Kaitlin Dick and Andre Ringle are Pine Island's Triple A Award recipients


Pine Island’s Triple A Award recipients Kaitlin Dick and Andre Ringle were recognized for their high achievements in academics, athletic, and fine arts.

By Audra DePestel

PINE ISLAND – Seniors Kaitlin Dick and Andre Ringle received the Triple A Award at Pine Island High School on behalf of the Minnesota State High School League. The award recognizes their accomplishments in academics, arts, and athletics. Activities/Athletic Director Craig Anderson and High School Principal Kevin Cardille congratulated and commended Ringle and Dick on their accomplishments as they were presented with their certificates of recognition and pin on February 7.

Dick, the daughter of Chris and Rikka Dick, and Ringle, son of Tom Ringle and the late Jeanne Ringle, were recognized for achieving a grade point average of 3.0 or higher while participating in athletics and fine art activities.

Kaitlin Dick’s accomplishments:

• Member of the choir (grades 9-12) and solo/ensemble contest (11-12)

• Member of the orchestra (9-12) and solo/ensemble contest (9-12)

Wed
19
Feb
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PI City Council meetings can be viewed on website and Channel 7

PINE ISLAND – As of Tuesday, February 18, Pine Island City Council meeting will be video-streamed on the city’s website and also aired on Channel 7 for viewing the next day. The council recently approved the purchase of equipment to make this possible, and Josh Westphal, a Pine Island Elementary School instructor, assisted the city with equipment and technology set-up. The council deemed it important to provide transparency and ease in access to information for residents of the community so that they have the opportunity to be well-informed.   

Wed
19
Feb
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PI High School celebrates Snow Week


Snow Week Royalty, from left to right: Snow Girl Amanda Hildenbrand, Snow Boy Noah Koenig, Snow Duchess Belen Donaire Saz, Snow Duke Mitchel Acker, Snow Princess Kaitlyn Champa, Snow Prince Jacob Barr, Snow Queen Carolina Fernandez Menach, and Snow King Ian Radtke.

By Audra DePestel

PINEISLAND – Pine Island High School students and staff celebrated Snow Week February10-14. Events included the crowning of the 2014 Snow Week Royalty, dress-up days, and a volleyball tournament. 

Crowned 2014 Snow Week Royalty were senior Snow King and Queen Ian Radtke and Carolina Fernandez Menacho, junior Snow Prince and Snow Princess Jacob Barr and Kaitlyn Champa, sophomore Snow Duke and Snow Duchess Mitchel Acker and Belen Donaire Saz, and freshmen Snow Boy and Snow Girl Noah Koenig and Amanda Hildenbrand.  

Wed
12
Feb
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Kim Jones is Pine Island's new varsity softball coach

By Alice Duschanek-Myers

PINE ISLAND – Activities Director Craig Anderson presented the recommendation to hire Kim Jones as the 2014 Pine Island School varsity softball coach on February 6. The school board approved the recommendation.

Anderson said that there were two applicants for the position. Jones was selected for her experience with youths. She was also a pitching coach at the college level. She has been working with the junior varsity with Coach Ron Lenoch.

Jones said, “Thank you very much, Mark Passow and I will work together on this.” She said she is excited to work with the athletes and ready for them to have fun and learn the life lessons that come along during the softball season.

FACS and FCCLA

Wed
12
Feb
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BEVCOMM offers $100,000 to PI Schools if voters pass building referendum

By Alice Duschanek-Myers

PINE ISLAND – Bill Eckles, CEO of BEVCOMM, said to the Pine Island School Board at the February 6 meeting, “We would like to offer a $100,000 technology grant for upgrades, contingent on the referendum passing for the new and old buildings.” He added that the grant can be used in both buildings.

“If there is anything else we can do for the referendum, please let us know,” he said. Eckles’s great-grandfather was a founder of BEVCOMM in 1999. “We believe schools are the center of the community; without them we kinda lose our soul,” he said. 

The school board members unanimously voted in favor of accepting the grant contingent on the referendum passing with voters. All attending the meeting applauded Eckles.

Facility planning updates

Wed
05
Feb
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First ACTs scheduled at Pine Island School's official test site

By Alice Duschanek-Myers

PINE ISLAND – In her report to the Pine Island School Board on January 27, Superintendent Tammy Berg-Beniak said that the first ACT test at the school’s official area test site is scheduled in April 2014

She said that due to the cold weather and high fuel demand, the district was notified to switch to alternative fuel to heat the buildings. The school was unable to make the switch at the time of the request. Electrical repairs were made to turn to the alternative, but there could be a penalty charged for the delay. 

She informed the board that the Minnesota Department of Education will use Pearson Inc. for Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment testing this year.  

Wed
05
Feb
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Farm Bureau Financial holds Soles 4 Souls shoe drive


The Soles 4 Souls drive, located at Farm Bureau Financial Services in Pine Island, will be collecting shoe donations now through April 1.

By Audra DePestel

PINE ISLAND – Farm Bureau Financial Services in Pine Island is holding its second annual Soles 4 Souls shoe drive from February 1 through April 1. Last year, over 300 pairs of new and used shoes were collected during the shoe drive and were delivered to those in need around the world.

The Farm Bureau agent in Pine Island, Nick Davidson, said Katie Bohn and her classmates played a large part in the success of last year’s shoe drive. Davidson said, “She is again helping with the shoe drive this year. I would invite other students and schools to let me know if they would like to have a drop-off at their school to help with the cause.”

Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) charity organization that collects new and gently used shoes to those in need worldwide. Many of the donated shoes stay right here in the United States to help in the event of a natural disaster.  

Wed
05
Feb
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Texas Hold-Em event raises $2,250 for Pine Island Post Prom


Texas Hold-Em Tournament winners are, from left to right, Harry Nielsen, first; Jerry Murdock, second; and Tom Boothe, third. Proceeds from the tournament go toward funding the 2014 Pine Island Post Prom event.

By Audra DePestel

PINE ISLAND – The Pine Island Post Prom Committee held its sixth annual Texas Hold-Em Tournament Fundraiser at Pine Island Pool and Pins on Sunday, January 26. Ninety-eight presale tickets were sold and seventy-six people participated in the event which raised over $2,250. In addition to that amount, the Oronoco Fire Department donated $500 to the committee.

The tournament began with “bounties,” worth $15 each, that were placed on the previous year’s winners. Participants placing from first through third place received a trophy and a monetary prize of $100, $60, and $40.

Random drawings for prizes, including two grand prizes, took place throughout the tournament. Winning the four-day/three-night stay for two at Gold Mine Resort in Orr was Shawn Fokken of Pine Island. The winner of a one-week fishing trip at Gathering Lake Outfitters in Jellicoe, Ontario, was Dallas Turner of Pine Island. 

Wed
29
Jan
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Subdivision septic system issue stymies Oronoco City Council

By Karen Snyder

ORONOCO – Last month Oronoco City Attorney Fred Suhler sent a letter to the Riverwood Hills subdivision’s developer, Dan Fitzpatrick. Suhler requested information about Riverwood Hills’ septic system, which Fitzpatrick claims as his personal property, though when his professed personal property leaked, he declined to fix the mess – and let the city pay the repair bill.

The letter included a demand that Fitzpatrick respond by January 15, but Fitzpatrick disregarded the appeal. The letter was returned unopened.

“It’s a frustration,” said Suhler at January 21’s Oronoco City Council meeting. “I’m trying to figure out, how do you get into contact with someone who doesn’t want to be contacted?”

Wed
29
Jan
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Van Horn Library announces "One Town, One Title" schedule

PINE ISLAND – Van Horn Public Library and Pine Area People for the Arts (PAPA) invite all area residents to participate in the second annual “One Town, One Title” program (1T1T) from February 4 through 27. This year the library solicited opinions via an online poll to narrow down the subject matter and to ensure community participation in the program. The most popular theme this year was Minnesota history. After much reading and subsequent deliberation, the 1T1T committee chose “Patty’s Journey: From Orphanage to Adoption and Reunion” by Donna Scott Norling as the book selection for 2014. 

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