Pine Island-Oronoco

Wed
15
Apr
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PIHS Roots and Shoots collecting old cellphones

PINE ISLAND – For the month of April, the Pine Island High School group Roots and Shoots will be collecting old cellphones and other small handheld electronics to be recycled. Electronics will be collected through April 22 (Earth Day) and will be donated to the Como Zoo to support their great ape conservation efforts.  

Cellphones contain Coltan, a mineral ore that contains two minerals: columbite and tantalite. Coltan can be refined to produce tantalum, an important element in creating capacitors, which control the flow of electric currents inside devices like mobile phones, televisions, and DVD players.

The mining of Coltan in the Congo is threatening the habitats of the gorillas. Forests are being cut down and the apes are being hunted for food. 

Wed
15
Apr
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Auditions for "Music Man Junior" are April 27-28

PINE ISLAND – Calling all Pine Island area students just finishing grades 4-9 who are interested in musical theatre! Join in the fun and become a part of the “Music Man Junior” cast this June when Pine Area People for the Arts (PAPA) offers another exciting theatre experience for young actors.

Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” is one of Broadway’s most enduring shows. Set in Iowa, this enjoyable look at small-town U.S.A. and a bygone era follows fast-talking salesman Harold Hill as he cons the townspeople of River City into forming a boys’ band. The Broadway Junior Collection now offers this classic musical in a format perfect for younger actors. New arrangements of the classic songs include: “Rock Island,” “Iowa Stubborn,” “Trouble,” “Goodnight My Someone,”  “Pick-a-Little,” “Wells Fargo Wagon,” “Gary Indiana,” and more.

Wed
15
Apr
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Collins Voxland assists with fire evacuation

By Alicia Hunt-Welch

PINE ISLAND – No one was injured in a Pine Island Main Street building fire on April 7, thanks in part to the quick action of a Goodhue County investigator.

At about 5:30 a.m. Goodhue County 911 dispatch received a call of a fire at 120 Main Street South in Pine Island. An occupant of the second floor apartment above Thrivent Financial said he was unable to exit the building due to flames and smoke. Inspector Collins Voxland heard the call while on his way to a training class and decided to respond to the scene.

Wed
08
Apr
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Pine Island community fights hunger and surpasses goal


Superheroes Benevolence Boy (Jacob Barsness) and Giving Gal (Amanda Hildenbrand) led the food donation parade from Saint Paul Lutheran Church to Pine Island Sharing Shelves on March 31.

By Andrew and Patrick Bogard

New Haven Sodbusters

Youth Leaders

PINE ISLAND – Those who drove down Pine Island’s Main Street in March may have observed the thermometer in the Pine Island Bank window gradually heating up. The “Be the Hero Fight Hunger” March Minnesota Food Share Campaign for the Pine Island Sharing Shelves was a success, with the thermometer rising and even bubbling over. With the help of many heroes, the goal of 2,015 pounds of food was far exceeded. Close to 2,500 pounds were collected in various settings or dropped off at the Sharing Shelves.

Wed
25
Mar
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Micro-loan approved for Envirolastech, Inc.

By Alice Duschanek-Myers

PINE ISLAND – The Pine Island Economic Development Authority recommended that the city council approve $6,300 for Envirolastech, Inc. from the Pine Island EDA Micro Loan Program. On March 17, the council approved the loan for five years at 5% APR. The principal and interest on the loan will be delayed for twelve months.

The company will use the loan for production verification tests and to demonstrate that standard equipment can be used to produce Envirolastech products. The testing will be done in a manufacturing facility and a validation testing lab at the University of Minnesota. The micro-loan funds will be used to rent the lab and equipment facilities, purchase raw materials, and conduct testing to validate the structural capabilities of the products. Potential investors requested this information.

Wed
18
Mar
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Utility agreement approved for new Pine Island PreK-4 School

By Alice Duschanek-Myers

PINE ISLAND – On March 12, the Pine Island School Board approved the agreement to extend water, storm sewer, and sewer utility services to the new PreK-4 building that is under construction. 

The agreement includes an alternative utility loop with the City of Pine Island waiving sewer access charges and water access charges for the school.  

Superintendent Tammy Berg-Beniak reviewed the breakdown of costs for the entire utility project. The total construction cost including engineering, inspection, and contingencies is $1,376,978. The school district’s 68.4% portion of the cost totals $962,956. The City of Pine Island’s 31.6% portion of the cost with upsizing of the lines for future development is $414,022.

Wed
18
Mar
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PIFD receives three pet oxygen mask kits


Etta Meinecke of Rochester and Pam Miller of Bone Appetit Canine Bakery in Rochester donated three pet oxygen mask kits to the Pine Island Fire Department on March 6 in appreciation for the help and kindness Meinecke received from the PIFD after an accident that left her and two foster dogs in need of assistance. From left to right are Meinecke with Snoopy, Miller, PIFD Chief Jay Strande with Ranger, and fireman Mike Brown with Bella. Meinecke and Miller presented three pet oxygen mask kits to the PIFD on March 6.

By Audra DePestel

PINE ISLAND – The Pine Island Fire Department has a new tool to use when pets are victims of smoke inhalation in a home fire. Etta Meinecke of Rochester donated three specially designed pet oxygen mask kits on March 6, as a way to thank the PIFD for its assistance after her car accident in Pine Island in January of 2014. The PIFD had helped take care of the two foster dogs she was transporting during the time of her accident, so Meinecke felt the pet oxygen masks were a perfect fit to show her appreciation.

Wed
18
Mar
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Dr. Clark retires from Olmsted Medical Center in Pine Island


Dr. Allan Clark retired after almost 30 years as a family physician in Pine Island.

By Audra DePestel

PINE ISLAND – Dr. Allan Clark retired from Olmsted Medical Center in Pine Island after nearly 30 years of serving the community. Clark officially retired last year on September 13, 2014. A farewell retirement party for him was held on November 24, 2014. 

Clark is originally from Chatfield. He attended two years at Rochester Junior College and then completed another two years at Hamline University in St. Paul where he majored in analytical chemistry with a minor in biology. In 1981, he graduated from Mayo Clinic Medical School. He married his wife Robin, who was from Rochester, in 1982 and then moved to Waterloo, Iowa, where he studied for his residency. Shortly after that, Clark joined the military and served in the Navy for three years, stationed in Los Angeles, California. 

Wed
04
Mar
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Pine Island Kwik Trip employees take Polar Plunge challenge


The KT Crazies gather together before taking the plunge for a good cause on February 14. From left to right are Sandy Struckman, Rachel Loats, Kari Henderson, Amy Closner, Becky Brogan, Kari Heckman, and Amanda Voeltz.

By Audra DePestel

ROCHESTER – Each year, the Polar Plunge challenges thousands of brave jumpers at numerous locations around the state to get involved in supporting Special Olympics Minnesota by taking the plunge. Seven brave employees from Kwik Trip in Pine Island stepped up to the challenge. Pine Island Kwik Trip raised close to $1,200 during the two-week fundraiser, which started at the end of November. That was more than any of the other Minnesota Kwik Trips, including the one in Zumbrota, and defeating them was the main goal of the Pine Island employees.

Wed
04
Mar
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James Kroll of Oronoco among poets selected for publication

ROCHESTER – Poets from across Southeastern Minnesota have been selected to have their work professionally printed in a poetry anthology. Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) hosts two poetry competitions, one for adults and one for young writers.  Reagen Thalacker, SELCO regional librarian, said “Poets ranged in age from 14 to 93 this year, and we feel privileged that so many chose to share their works with us and that we in turn can share them with a wider audience.” Among the poets whose work was selected for the anthology was James Kroll of Oronoco.

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