The Isanti County News The Isanti County News covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for the cities of Cambridge, Isanti, and Braham, Minnesota and their surrounding areas. Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:15:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bill to rename Chisholm Post Office in memory of Oberstar signed into law Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:15:11 +0000 U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, along with Representative Rick Nolan, announced July 22 that their bill to rename the Chisholm Post Office in memory of former Representative Jim Oberstar has been signed into law.

Oberstar, who passed away last year, was born in Chisholm and represented the people of northern Minnesota for 36 years. The lawmakers passed a bill last Congress to rename portions of Interstate 35 in memory of the former chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“As a man of purpose and grit, Jim never stopped fighting for the people of northern Minnesota,” Klobuchar said. “Jim always remembered his roots while representing his district, from supporting critical transportation projects throughout the state to strengthening the safety of miners on the Iron Range. Now his hometown post office stands as a tribute to all he did to make his district and our nation a better place.”

“Our friend Jim Oberstar began his life in Chisholm, served the Eighth District for decades, and accomplished so much to strengthen both Minnesota and the entire nation,” Franken said. “We are all better off because of his service. I’m pleased to say that the post office in Chisholm is now a testament to Jim’s life and legacy.”

“Jim liked to say he learned the most important things in life growing up in Chisholm – a love of ideas from his high school debating team, an appreciation for hard work from his parents, and dedication to public service and getting things done from his first paper route,” Nolan said. “Those were the old-fashioned values Jim brought to 36 years of service in Congress – and now his hometown post office will serve as a wonderful tribute to his life for generations to come.”

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Braham Pie Day Aug. 7 features music, artisans Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:10:53 +0000 Many activities make up the program for the 26th-annual Braham Pie Day Friday, Aug. 7.

Guests can enjoy their first piece of pie at 10 a.m. simultaneously to the songs performed by Tony Jambor and Friends. That is also the start times for the crafts show, the Sweet as Pie Collector’s Car Show, the Pie-cycle show, the antique Japanese motorcycle exhibit, and the Small Quilts Show. An art show using pie tins will be exhibited at the Braham Event Center.

Mr. and Mrs. Pastry will serve as hosts for the stage where everyone can listen to music from Tony Jambor and Friends, Marie Grundberg and Ed Pangerl, the Meire Grove Band, and the Pie-Alluia Chorus. Also appearing on stage are Juggler Jason Huneke, the ABC Theater, the annual pie eating contests, the pie auction, the “Pie in the Sky or Pie in Your Eye” trivia contest with Mr. and Mrs. Pastry, and the Tusen Tack Variety Show.

The Pie-Alluia Chorus rehearses once prior to pie festival, and then performs a 25-minute repertoire of pie songs during the 26th-annual Braham Pie Day. Photo by J. Hegstrom
The Pie-Alluia Chorus rehearses once prior to pie festival, and then performs a 25-minute repertoire of pie songs during the 26th-annual Braham Pie Day. Photo by J. Hegstrom

Activities continue on Saturday, Aug. 8, with the Dollars for Scholars 5K Run Walk, beginning at 9 a.m. at the elementary school, and pie baking pan clean up starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 10, at the high school kitchen.

The event is made possible in part through funding from these local sponsors including Frandsen Bank and Trust, Alice Studt, Gordon Stone, Genesis Wireless, East Central Energy, the city of Braham, General Mills, ECM Sanitation, Smith Auction, Braham Lanes and Wayne’s Pro Shop.

Tusen Tack Fashion Show

Braham’s second-hand clothing shop, Tusen Tack, will host its annual fashion show at 11:45 a.m. Folks interested in modeling should visit the shop on West Central Drive in downtown Braham prior to the festival.

Pie-Alluia Chorus

All voices and abilities are invited to join the Pi-Alluia Chorus in Braham this summer and learn a 30-minute repertoire of pie songs to perform at Pie Day. The colorful and costumed chorus will perform as roving minstrels at Elmhurst Commons and Park Manor in the 11 o’clock hour, and will sing on stage at 12:30 p.m. in Freedom Park.

Eating pie is the main order of business at Braham Pie Day. Serving  begins at 10 a.m. and continues for as long as pies last until about 6 p.m. Photo by J. Hegstrom
Eating pie is the main order of business at Braham Pie Day. Serving
begins at 10 a.m. and continues for as long as pies last until about 6 p.m. Photo by J. Hegstrom

Interested choristers should call the Pie Day office at 320-396-4956 to get details about the rehearsal for the repertoire. There is no cost to participate. Pie folk costumes are provided.

Pie Baking Contest

Braham Area Committee for Kids invites all amateur pie bakers to make their favorite pie and enter the Amateur Pie Day pie-baking contest. Categories for the contest include:  fresh fruit and-or cream, single crust baked (includes custard pies), double crust baked, children’s division, ages 8-12 years, apprentice division ages 13-17, and the Lifetime Achievement, ages 70-plus.

There is an entry fee for each pie. The BACK organizers said, “Either nine or ten-inch pies are accepted in tins that will not be returned. You must bring both your pie and pie crust recipes with your entry.”

Bakers should deliver their pies between 8-10 a.m. to the Braham Lutheran Church located at West Central Drive and County Road 4.

The judges will judge pies on looks, taste, and texture.  Smith Auction House will auction off pies in each category at 3 p.m. in Freedom Park.

Other features of the pie auction will be an autographed baseball by Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins, and a pie of the month package. Proceeds from the auction sales will help support healthy living for youth through outdoor recreation, a BACK project.

Join your host at the Pie Day stage, Mr. Pastry, as he welcomes you to the 26th-annual Braham Pie Day. Photo by G. Shaw
Join your host at the Pie Day stage, Mr. Pastry, as he welcomes you to the 26th-annual Braham Pie Day. Photo by G. Shaw

Pie Eating Contests

Braham Pie Day offers two opportunities to eat pie as quickly as possible. Speedy pie eating wins the junior and senior pie-eating contests at 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. in Freedom Park.

Each competitor eats an entire pie made of graham cracker crust filled with blueberries or chocolate and topped with whipped cream. Send a note via Facebook, call 320-396-4956, or stop at the Headquarters Tent at Pie Day to register to become one of the seven candidates in either contest.

Pie Trivia Contest

The 9th-annual “Pie in Your Eye or Pie in the Sky Trivia Contest” takes place at 5 p.m. in Freedom Park. The event consists of teams who answer questions about the mathematical symbol pi, the kind of pie you eat or anything about Braham history.  Getting the most answers right is the goal.

The winning team receives the very last, and final homemade pie baked by volunteers, which is pie number 650, and the team with the lowest score gets the privilege of throwing a pie in each other’s face. Participants should sign up at the Headquarters Tent at Pie Day, call ahead, or send a Facebook message indicating their interest.

Art & Craft Show

An art and craft show will be held in Freedom Park. Crafters will sell their colorful array of original crafts, pie designs and folk art items in the south part of the park between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information call 320-396-4956. Pre-registration is required. The show does not accept registrations on festival day.

Add Fitness into the Party

CORE Chiropractic Clinic invites guests to join them in the Grasshopper Pie Walk.  Participants should meet at the clinic just before 9 a.m. on Aug. 7. Prizes are part of the experience, plus the knowledge that you have found a way to add in your daily exercise with a hometown celebration.  The walk is free and open to all. For more information call Dr. Trevor Scanlon at 320-396-3375.

On the day after Pie Day, guests can work off their calories at the Dollars for Scholars 5K Fun Run-Walk, starting at the Braham Elementary School at 9 a.m. Check in begins at 8:30 a.m. There is a fee for participants ages 13 and older.  For more information call 320-396-0452 or send an e-mail to Proceeds from the event support Braham Dollars for Scholars.

Heartland Express Park 

and Ride Services

Heartland Express will do the driving from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guests should park at the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church or the Braham Event Center south and west of town off Highway 107. At the BEC, early guests may partake of the VFW pancake breakfast fundraiser, and also view artwork from Pie Day’s permanent pie art collection, plus the new pie art exhibit for 2015.

The bus makes stops at Elmhurst Commons and Park Manor and brings guests to Braham City Hall on Second Street Soutwest.

Sweet As Pie Car Show

For the 13th-year in a row folks who enjoy getting up close and personal with vintage cars are invited to the Sweet As Pie Collector’s Car Show on Third Street Southwest.

Registration and voluntary donations toward the costs of Pie Day opens for participants at 8:30 a.m. Everyone can vote for people’ choice, and that winner will be introduced at the Pie Day stage at 2:50 p.m. Guests can take a further walk to look at interesting vehicles, and view the antique Japanese motorcycle collection, also on Third Street Southwest.

Sponsors for the show are Wilson Truck Accessories and Braham Ford Motor Company. For more information call Steve Wilson at 320-396-3586.

Antique and Collectors 

Pie-cycle Show

Since environmental concerns help us think about clean air and saving resources, Braham Pie Day is encouraging bicycle riding at its Pie-cycle Show, located at Second Street Southwest near Genesis Wireless. Bikes of all ages and descriptions will be featured. To enter the show, or to get more information call 320-396-4956.

Recycled Pie Tins

Making art out of pie tins is the new focus of the Braham Pie Day art show at the Braham Event Center (BEC) premiering Aug. 7.  Audiences may view the show throughout Pie Day, and it will be especially convenient for participants in the park and ride who board the bus at the BEC.

Artists are invited to purchase pie tins at Braham City Hall or Braham Country Floral, and return them as a piece of artwork ready for judging on Aug. 3 at the BEC from 5-8 p.m. There are three categories for entry amateur ages 18 to 99, professional ages 18 to 99, and children ages 0-17.

For more information on Pie Day visit or call 320-396-4956.

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Surprising facts about food for a longer life Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:05:32 +0000 On July 4, I had a heart attack. Thanks to the skill of HealthPartners, 911, ambulance and Allina’s United Hospital professionals, I survived. I’ve been given a “bonus round,” according to retired Beloit College biochemistry professor and nutrition expert, and a former college classmate, Roc Ordman.

More than 400 people have written wonderful messages to me since the column appeared. I deeply appreciate your response, and want to give back, in a way.

Joe Nathan
Joe Nathan

Many people asked for more information. Today’s column shares what I learned from Ordman and Jessica Frach, a registered clinical dietitian with Allina and United Hospital. They’ve helped me learn several new things about food. Here are my five tips:

1. Low or nonfat products are not always a healthier option. We often hear, “Avoid fat.” However, Frach explained: “When a product is low or nonfat, manufacturers add sugar or salt to replace the fat that has been removed. Research is showing that processed sugars can influence heart disease.” Among the common examples: Margarine that contains trans fats should be eliminated, and if butter is used, moderate use is recommended. Include some full-fat yogurt in your diet, rather than low or nonfat yogurt. Avocados are a great example of a healthy fat.

2. Don’t necessarily avoid foods that are high in cholesterol. Frach explained, “Research evidence shows that there is no relationship between consuming dietary cholesterol and raising cholesterol levels.” For example, she urged: “Don’t avoid one particular food, such as eggs, (or) shrimp. Egg substitutes may provide fewer nutrients. Sometimes there may be many added ingredients. You can be missing out on naturally present nutrients, such as vitamins and additional protein.”

3. Most Americans eat much more sodium than we need. National research shows the average American eats 3,300 milligrams of sodium a day. Dietitians recommend no more than 2,300 milligrams. Frach notes that 75 percent of our sodium intake comes from processed foods, such as canned soups, frozen pizza and some breakfast cereals. She encourages that we pay more attention to our sodium intake.

4. Increase the number of foods you eat that are “closest to nature.” Frach echoed what I have heard about the importance of eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

5. Pay attention to margarine, muffins and many fried and packaged foods. These foods may contain trans fats (hydrogenated oils), which can be correlated with heart disease.

These suggestions apply to men and women as well as youngsters. Frach recommends a federal website, She believes that people shouldn’t try to totally eliminate “the bad stuff.” Instead she suggests that we eat more of a variety of foods and balanced meals. You can ask your doctor for a referral to see a registered dietitian who can discuss your specific nutritional needs.

Ordman distributes a free email newsletter on nutrition you can receive by emailing with “Send newsletter” in the subject line. He quotes his wife as saying, “The best nutrition is to be conscious of what we put in our bodies.” His advice is: “Put in happiness, exercise, a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Do not put in stress, dead four-legged animals, scary national news stories, worries that you cannot do anything about. Put in love and joy that you have potable water, eyesight and the ability to take a deep breath.”

Heart disease is real. It’s the No. 1 killer of Americans. I was very lucky. Please consider how you can help yourself, and your family, with wiser, healthier eating.

Joe Nathan, formerly a Minnesota public school teacher, administrator and PTA president, directs the Center for School Change. Reactions are welcome at

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Join Health Directed Riding Ride-A-Thon Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:00:45 +0000 Join for a relaxing day at Wild River State Park for the 18th-annual Health Directed Riding Ride-A-Thon Saturday, Sept. 12.

Registration fee is $5 before Sept. 1 or $10 at the door; this fee includes a small gift for attending and lunch. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Walkers, bicyclists, and geocachers can head out on the trails when they are ready. Horseback riders head out on the trail at either 10 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. A home cooked lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m.

Challenge your friends and collect pledges. Collect $50 in pledges for a chance a win door prizes, collect $75 in pledges and registration is free. For the most current information check their Facebook page or visit to see how you can win even more prizes.

If you have further questions call Rhonda at 612-247-9582 or Wendy 320-629-3734.

The mission of Health Directed Riding, Inc. is to enhance the well-being of persons with disabilities through horseback riding and other equine related activities within a safe, enjoyable and familiar atmosphere, designed by professionals and implemented primarily by volunteers, while working to promote, develop and strengthen relationships with their peers and family.

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Volunteer drivers take the wheel at Heartland Express Sat, 01 Aug 2015 00:15:31 +0000 Deanna Olson, a volunteer driver for 36 years, can attest that volunteering can fill up your free time while serving as a rewarding way to give back to your community.

For 36 years, Deanna Olson has been a volunteer driver. She finds driving people to medical and dental appointments rewarding and learns a lot along the way. Photos by Brielle Bredsten
For 36 years, Deanna Olson has been a volunteer driver. She finds driving people to medical and dental appointments rewarding and learns a lot along the way. Photos by Brielle Bredsten

Olson, now retired, had made a living working the day shift in the bakery of Supervalu and in the laundry department at Grandview. In 1979, she began donating her time after work by giving rides to two elderly women in Stanchfield, as well as driving foster children.

“You get kind of attached to some of them. You wonder now how they are all doing,” Olson said.

Although she no longer transfers foster children, Olson gets much enjoyment in her current volunteer driving gig at Chisago-Isanti County Heartland Express Public Transit. Being a retired widow, Olson can leave at a moment’s notice, day or night, to drive those in need. Generally, she completes one to two rides each day, bringing those who are unable to drive themselves down to the Twin Cities for dental or doctor appointments.

“They keep me busy,” Olson said. “We get really a variety of people. Everybody is really nice, and they appreciate it. It just helps them out or else they won’t get any place. It’s enjoyable because you meet a lot of people and you learn a lot of things. I’ve learned a lot of medical things doing this. You just like to help them out because they have no other place to go. I like being around people and fellowshipping with them. I meet a lot of nice people that way.”

Heartland is currently in need of additional volunteer drivers like Olson who enjoy helping others. The public transit business began about 30 years ago, and the volunteer driving program developed soon after.

“We are probably one of the better services around, from what I hear. Compared to other companies, I would say we are the most reliable. We always wait for people. I don’t think I’ve ever stranded anybody,” Olson said.

Veteran Dan Larson has been a volunteer driver for Chisago-Isanti County Heartland Express Pulbic Transit for three years. When he is not tending to his hobby farm, Larson enjoys helping others in need by getting them to their Veterans Affairs appointments.
Veteran Dan Larson has been a volunteer driver for Chisago-Isanti County Heartland Express Pulbic Transit for three years. When he is not tending to his hobby farm, Larson enjoys helping others in need by getting them to their Veterans Affairs appointments.

Even so, Transit Director Craig Rempp said many people in the community don’t know of this flexible volunteering opportunity. Volunteers are required to use their own reliable vehicles to drive clients. Wheelchair lifts or ramps are not required. Requirements to qualify as a volunteer driver include a background check, driver license check, physical health exam, current insurance and a vehicle maintenance inspection.

“Drivers must have a clean driving record,” Rempp said.

Heartland Express takes care of booking rides. Rides are assigned to available drivers who will pick up a client, drive them to their medical appointment, wait for the client and return them home. Passenger rides are paid for by insurance premiums or medical assistance county dollars. Drivers are reimbursed at the federal rate for mileage (56 cents per mile). The service covers the area of Chisago and Isanti counties, but willing volunteers may travel as far as Fargo, North Dakota on occasions. The majority of rides head as far as Minneapolis and St. Paul. In Isanti County only, volunteers transfer veterans to the hospital for Veterans Affairs appointments.

“Most of those drivers are veterans themselves, so they like to do it to help veterans out,” Rempp said.

That’s the case for volunteer driver Dan Larson. He has been with Heartland, driving veterans and other passengers, for three years. Being a 1960s-era veteran himself, Larson is aware of the unique needs veterans may have, which can range from psychological issues to missing toes to cancer, he explained.

“There’s a lot of people out there hurting. Some people are embarrassed not to be able to drive themselves. I just need to help people. It is a joy. I enjoy taking them out to their appointments. I call it my 11th-hour ministry. I get to share with them Jesus Christ, and I get to be their friend. It’s just fun talking to them. It’s not a boring ride. You get a lot of cool stories. You actually build that personal relationship with people. There’s a lot of them that we get to be very close. There is a couple of them that I’ve been driving for three years,” Larson said.

Volunteer drivers may accept as many or as few driving assignments as they wish. Some drivers are booked up to five days a week. If you are interested in donating your time to Chisago-Isanti County Heartland Express Public Transit as a volunteer driver, call 763-689-8131 for more information.

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Youth learn trade from master stone masons Sat, 01 Aug 2015 00:10:38 +0000 Four teens were recently given the opportunity to learn firsthand what it is like to be a stone mason through an apprenticeship youth program under Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services.

The youth program helps young adults overcome barriers to employment in order to achieve their potential and become employed in a long-term career.

Ben Tangen, of Stacy, completed the youth program and was hired on with Sullivan Stoneworks.
Ben Tangen, of Stacy, completed the youth program and was hired on with Sullivan Stoneworks.

CMJTS partnered with Peter Wahlstrom of Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s Cambridge campus to have youth spend the month of June working with master stone masons at Steger Wilderness Center, a nonprofit organization created by renowned polar explorer Will Steger.

The mission of the Steger Wilderness Center is to provide a masters program where individuals can learn a trade from a master in the field, primarily stone masonry and carpentry. Wahlstrom has been teaching at Anoka-Ramsey since 2001 and serves on the Cambridge Campus Foundation Board.

“I bring my students every semester to the Steger Wilderness Center outside of Ely to engage in a service learning activity, which is a required component of my ethics course,” Wahlstrom said. “Often I would share with the Cambridge Board these service learning experiences, as members are always interested in hearing the stories of student accomplishment. Board member Ryan Redfield, a youth employment specialist at CMJTS, and I got to talking after a meeting about the possibility of bringing at-risk youth to the Steger Wilderness Center for training purposes.”

It was Wahlstrom who developed the youth program from scratch by defining its mission, budget and participants along with coordinating a working partnership between the three organizations. Prior to arriving at the wilderness center, the participants received forklift certification at Anoka Technical College and a continuing education credit through the Professional Workforce Training Center.

Josh Stringer, of North Branch, completed the youth program and was hired part-time with Sullivan Stoneworks.
Josh Stringer, of North Branch, completed the youth program and was hired part-time with Sullivan Stoneworks.

“Ryan Redfield and I saw this as a great opportunity for the clients he serves to receive qualified training in a marketable skill and acquire ‘work readiness’ skills in the process due to the isolated wilderness setting in which the apprentices would be immersed,” Wahlstrom said. “I brought them to the Steger Wilderness Center and was fortunate enough to stay with them for the duration of their apprenticeship, which lasted four weeks. It was a fascinating and rewarding experience for me as I watched these four young men gain skills, confidence and lasting friendships.”

Joining the four participants were also six interns at Steger Wilderness Center working with the apprentices. The center is devoid of amenities such as running water, electricity, heating and cooling. All the participants stayed in tents, had limited Internet access, bathed by swimming in the lake, dined communally in a lodge, and used an outhouse instead of a bathroom.

“Despite profound differences in education and socioeconomic status, the interaction between the two groups went very well — no one took on airs or attitudes. Rather, I witnessed a great deal of mutual respect, even caring, in their treatment of each other. What they all shared in common was a transition to new and sometimes challenging surroundings,” Wahlstrom said. “Furthermore, they were all removed from their friends and families, although some family members did visit on the weekends. In that month I watched all the participants coalesce into a tight-knit crew, and they learned skills they never thought they were capable of.”

The program participants were put to work on three separate projects — two walls and stone facing on a building. For several of the apprentices, it was their first real job. Through this hands-on, four-week training, the apprentices became familiar with the terminology, practices and processes of stone masonry. Each earned an hourly wage for the 160 hours on the job as well as a food stipend for the month. The youth remain enrolled in the CMJTS program to work with Redfield to assist with job searching, career guidance and assistance meeting their goals.

“By the end they were ready to move on to a job site, and in fact two of them were hired immediately by the masters who trained them. Currently they are building walls in Bayfield, Wisconsin. The other two will be doing follow up with Ryan at the CMJTS to attain placement in the field,” Wahlstrom said. “What they all came away with is a sense of accomplishment that seemed to be lacking in their lives when they arrived.

“Some of the apprentices still don’t have high school diplomas or licenses to drive, which are necessary in order to become productive and independent members of society. After they saw what they could accomplish in the stone, these so-called ‘at risk youth’ were changing their tune from sounding helpless to one of getting ‘er done. They realized in a month’s time, which produced nothing less than a transformation in character, what they were capable of in demanding circumstances. What used to seem insurmountable and not even worth trying became an opportunity to succeed. In this sense, they were not just building walls for the Steger Wilderness Center, they were building their own foundations for adulthood.”

After participating in the program, Josh Stringer, 19, of North Branch, was employed by Sullivan Stoneworks for a two-week project to see how he does on-site.

Ben Tangen, of Stacy, was also hired by the same company.

Stringer started work on July 7, placing siding and doing stonework around a building. He would consider doing stone masonry as a career until he enrolls in college for culinary school. Although he has not yet graduated from North Branch High School, Stringer plans to obtain his GED in August and return to the center to volunteer.

“If anybody gets the chance and the program continues, it’s definitely a good program for people who want to start their lives,” Stringer said. “It wasn’t really challenging. I stuck to thinking as everything as a puzzle. It didn’t cause any frustration when I thought of it as a puzzle. I learned to be a good leader. Basically get to know your crew before you judge.”

Wahlstrom said he believes the Steger Wilderness Center provided the right environment to foster this kind of self-empowerment and the CMJTS and Anoka-Ramsey Community College provided the means to make this empowerment a reality.

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Author to hold readings for new cat book Sat, 01 Aug 2015 00:05:46 +0000 Local author Sue Sittard will hold area readings for her new book, “Pat’s House Full of Cats,” which is a new picture book for cat ‘people’ of all ages.

The story depicts a comical rhyming account of nine cats the author once baby sat. Each costumed cat lives its dream or scheme inside their own bedroom. Both readers (and even Pat’s husband) try and figure out how many cats actually live there.

Sittard will be reading her book, and will have books for purchase, at the following places:

• St. Elizabeth SetonFest in Isanti, Sunday, Aug. 2, 1:30 p.m.

• Cambridge Public Library, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 10:45 a.m.

• Braham Pie Day (Main Street by Thrift Store) Friday, Aug. 7.

Watch the Isanti County News for other locations in August and September that include the Federated Co-op and Rendezvous Coffee Shop in Isanti, and SAC’s Enrichment Center in Cambridge.

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Bandits tie for EML West lead; playoffs this weekend Sat, 01 Aug 2015 00:00:03 +0000 A bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 12th pushed Rum River to an 8-7 win over visiting Nowthen on a muggy July 26. The win not only had the Bandits clinching the Eastern Minny West regular-season title over the Pioneers, but it also served as the championship game for the 2015 Bandit Bash invite tourney after the final between the teams was delayed from a June 28 thunder storm.

Nate Knudsen worked for six innings in the heat, striking out six. Charlie Liner came through for two innings, and Shawn Motl got the win with one-hit ball over four innings, finishing with three Ks. Eric Koplitz led the offensive attack with three hits and Linder, Jake Gagne, Mike Koplitz and Ryan Miller added two hits each, with Miller accumulating three RBI.

On Saturday, Mora knocked off the Bandits 5-0 on a one-hitter tossed by Ryan Van Someren. Miller struck out five over 7.6 innings for Rum River, and Matt Solberg threw 1.3 clean innings after that.

On deck– EML Playoffs: All eight Eastern Minny League teams travel to Hinckley Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1-2, for the first two rounds of the playoffs. Four teams advance to the Region 1C Tournament in Hinckley which begins Aug. 8.

Mora sweeps Snappers

Braham closed the amateur regular season by twice battling Eastern Minny leader Mora in a home-and-away series. On July 22, Mora prevailed 9-0 on a one-hitter thrown by Asa Patterson. Snapper starter Casey Lucht struck out four over eight innings, allowing seven runs (three earned).

On Sunday in Mora, the Blue Devils defeated Braham 11-1 in seven innings. Jesse Johnson, Jack Karas and Gerald DeGray shared Snapper pitching duties. Dave Blomdahl had two of Braham’s five hits.

Eastern Minny League

FINAL- WEST) Rum River 9-8, 11-9; Nowthen 9-8, 9-8; Sartell 7-10, 10-13; Chisago Lakes 6-11, 8-12. EAST) Mora 17-0, 24-2; Hinckley 11-6, 14-10; Braham 5-12, 5-13; Quamba 4-13, 6-19.

Johnson walk-off HR beats Brewers

Kyle Johnson rocked a three-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift Isanti past visiting Forest Lake 10-7 in Metro Minny action July 26.

Dan Hamann also had a homer for the Redbirds and finished with three RBI in the win. Tyler Schaff added two hits, and Brian Schultz scored three runs. Schultz got the win with two innings of relief where he struck out two Brewers. Jake Johnson, Brent Tholen and Justin Krie also pitched for Isanti.

On July 22, St. Francis notched two runs in the bottom of the ninth to slip past Isanti 5-4. Alex Bauermeister threw two-hit ball over seven innings, and Tholen took the loss in relief. Schaff had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and Johnson finished with two hits for the ’Birds.

Metro Minny League

Coon Rapids 11-1, 22-9; Blaine 11-3, 26-9; Forest Lake 9-6, 17-9; Champlin 7-4, 19-12; Brooklyn Park 8-6, 9-6; Anoka 8-7, 11-11; Isanti 7-8, 12-10; St. Francis 4-10, 8-11; Andover 3-10, 3-10; East Bethel 1-14, 5-21.

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Mille Lacs Band to suspend netting in 2016; Dayton listens to lake community’s concerns about Mille Lacs fishery Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:22:00 +0000 Gov. Mark Dayton listened to concerns of Lake Mille Lacs residents, business owners and sportsmen at Isle High School on Friday, July 31, 2015. Dayton wore a Lake Mille Lacs t-shirt presented to him by the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council. Jeffrey Hage / Mille Lacs County Times
Gov. Mark Dayton listened to concerns of Lake Mille Lacs residents, business owners and sportsmen at Isle High School on Friday, July 31, 2015. Dayton wore a Lake Mille Lacs t-shirt presented to him by the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council.
Jeffrey Hage / Mille Lacs County Times


Jeffrey Hage

Times Editor


ISLE — The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is doing its part to improve the health of the walleye population on Lake Mille Lacs.

Gov. Mark Dayton announced Friday, July 31, that the Band has agreed to forego netting for walleye on the lake in 2016. The announcement was made during a July 31 town meeting at Isle High School on the southeast corner of the lake. Dayton called the roundtable so he could personally address concerns of Lake Mille Lacs area resort owners, fishing guides, sportsmen, residents and business owners following a Minnesota DNR announcement July 21 that the lake was within 3,000 pounds of reaching its 2015 walleye harvest numbers and walleye fishing could be shut down for the year.

The news from Dayton drew a standing ovation from the estimated 300 people in attendance at the listening session.

Dayton told the crowd that about 20 minutes before the Isle meeting he had spoken with Melanie Benjamin, chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. He said she had met with Band elders, who made the decision to hold off on netting by tribal members in 2016, he said. He added that the decision only affects netting by the Mille Lacs Band, not the other seven tribes that have fishing rights on the lake because of an 1837 treaty.

The Band came forward with the offer, Dayton said. It was nothing that his office asked for. He was clear to point out that the move was not part of any “deal” that his office brokered.

“I did not ask for this. It came as a wonderful surprise,” Dayton said.

The Band issued a statement early Friday afternoon.

“The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe remains deeply committed to safeguarding the long-term health of Mille Lacs Lake and ensuring the region’s economy continues to grow and prosper, including businesses that rely on the lake.

“As Governor Dayton and legislative leaders develop a plan to help the region, the Mille Lacs Band will continue to promote the region through the DoTheLake campaign and other marketing efforts to drive additional tourism to the region. The Mille Lacs Band Department of Natural Resources and Environment will continue to work closely with the Minnesota DNR, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and other stakeholders to protect the lake for future generations.

“There are no quick solutions to fixing Mille Lacs Lake, but the Mille Lacs Band is committed to restoring the lake. Our people made our home here hundreds of years ago and we intend to preserve this lake for generations to come. We look forward to partnering with the Governor to support his efforts to address the immediate and long-term challenges of the region.”

Dayton’s visit to Isle came after representatives of the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Board visited the Governor’s office on Wednesday, July 29. That meeting came on the heels of a July 23 meeting at McQuoid’s Inn between DNR officials and members of the public to discuss the potential closing of the fishery.

Karen McQuoid, of Mac’s Twin Bay Resort, a member of the lake area tourism board, started the meeting off by recapping the July 29 meeting with Dayton in St. Paul. The group told the story of the “state of the lake” from the eyes of residents, business owners and launch captains.

“We explained that we are passionate about our Mille Lacs fishery and our businesses. Mille Lacs is not only a Minnesota treasure, it’s home to hundreds of families, family cabins, and a popular retirement destination,” McQuoid said.

“All of us want this fishery to survive,” she said.

The tourism group and Dayton discussed the impact on businesses and homeowners and disputed the DNR’s assessment that the lake is in a state of crisis, she said.

The group made a handful of requests to Dayton and his staff, McQuoid said, including keeping the walleye fishery open with catch and release for the remainder of the 2015 fishing season, keeping ice fishing open without catch and release this upcoming winter and to grant economic relief for the area. The group also asked for long-term solutions and no more Band-Aid fixes, McQuoid said.

Dayton said he fully supported those measures.

“We need to do what we can to save the lake and turn it around,” Dayton said during the one-hour town meeting.

Dayton said he was going to establish an advisory committee to help him tackle issues related to ensuring the health of the lake.

Over the past week Dayton said he has come to realize that the current state of Lake Mille Lacs is a “tragic, tragic situation” and that work on restoring the walleye population needs to start immediately.

“We need to restore the lake to its former glory,” Dayton said, noting that the lake was once one of the top walleye destinations in the nation. Just three years ago the walleye harvest on Mille Lacs was 500,000 pounds and in 2015 its just 40,000.

Dickie Gadbois, owner of Dickie’s on Mille Lacs, said the walleye are biting real good this year and suggested that the quota on walleye was being nearly met because of a food shortage.

“We should take boats out and drop minnows and feed these fish now,” Gadbois said.

Linda Eno, owner of Twin Pines Resort on Mille Lacs in Garrison, told Dayton that a declining fishery is a process those on the lake have been dealing with for 20 years. She faulted the DNR for implementing management plans that didn’t work and failing to change those plans.

“They’ve been asleep at the wheel,” Eno said.

Joe Fellegy, a former fishing guide, launch operator, son of Mille Lacs resort owners and a newspaper fishing columnist, told Dayton that 90 percent of fisherman who once fished the lake have been scared off by quotas, size limits and other DNR policy. “The negative impacts of public policy far outweigh the benefits,” he said.

He also said that Mille Lacs has suffered the biggest public relations fiasco in Minnesota fishing history.

“Mille Lacs Lives Matter,” Fellegy told Dayton. “The treaty fishery, Mille Lacs style, has to go,” he said.

Jim Derosa of Jim DeRosa’s Guide Service in Isle, said everyone in the school’s auditorium agrees on one thing – that Mille Lacs could be the best lake in Minnesota.

He noted that the most recent issue of BassMasters magazine ranked Mille Lacs as the 10th best bass lake in the United States.

“Take out large mouth only, and its No. 5,” he said.

DeRosa said he hopes the DNR manages the lake in a way that it looks at it as a world-class lake for bass and not a stop-gap fish to catch until the health of the walleye fishery improves.

He also invited Dayton to go out on his boat and fish the lake with him.

But Dayton warned Derosa that he was a fish repellent and DeRosa would be taking a big chance by going out with him.

“Besides, I would trade all the walleye in the world for one big muskie,” Dayton said kiddingly.

John Odell, owner of the Last Resort on the west side of Mille Lacs, reminded Dayton that the lives of people who reside and work on the lake depend on the decisions he will help make in the next few weeks. Odell said that he has already had 15 cancellations for August and September in the past two weeks.

Jack Dunn, who said he was a guide on the lake for 16 years, is now out of work because of the downturn of the lake.

“We need to work together like five fingers on a hand and bring back the lake. Then maybe I can come back to work,” he said.



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Scott G. Larson Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:17:53 +0000 Scott   G.  Larson

Scott Gerald Larson, 62, of Cambridge passed away on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at the Aspen Adult Foster Care in Cambridge.
He was born on April 10, 1953 in Princeton, Minnesota to Gerald and Iris (Peterson) Larson. Scott was baptized and confirmed at Cambridge Lutheran Church. He grew up in the Cambridge Schools, graduating from Cambridge High School in 1971. After high school, Scott went on to attend Gustavus Adolphus College and graduated from there in 1975.
On August 18, 1978, he was united in marriage to Nancy Horton at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hopkins. They raised their three daughters in Cambridge.
In 1976 Scott began working for the City of Cambridge as City Administrator where he served for over 20 years. He also drove school bus in the early years and after his administrator job he worked as an insurance broker for several years until his declining health.
Scott was a lifetime member of Cambridge Lutheran Church where he was involved with greeting and ushering, he went on Mission trips, and was always involved with his girls' church activities. He served on the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department, serving as chief. Scott enjoyed playing softball, golfing, skiing, watching and playing other sports, reading, and boating at the cabin on Sand Lake. His family was his joy and passion, spending time with them is what his life was about. He was always willing to help family, friends or anyone else who needed it.
He was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Gerald and Iris Larson, and brother Jeff Larson.
Scott is survived by his wife Nancy of Cambridge; daughters Emily and husband Andrew Graham of Jackson, WY, Heidi and husband Craig Lietha of St. Cloud, Molly and husband Matt Grell of Isanti; four grandchildren Greta Graham, Reese, Carter, and Addison Lietha; sister Stephanie and husband Ed Stec of Wyoming, MN, as well as numerous nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.
A memorial service was held Friday, July 31, 2015 at the Cambridge Lutheran Church. Interment was in the Cambridge Lutheran Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to Aspen Adult Foster Care and Cambridge Lutheran Church. Online condolences at Arrangements by Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.

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