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The train chugs down the track through Sturgeon Lake, Willow River, Groningen and others, then through Hinckley and Pine City as it continues towards the Twin Cities. Another train zips past Nickerson, the Askov water tower, the track over the quarry in Sandstone and continues to head south.

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A Wisconsin author with Pine County roots has set down the journey of her life in stories and poetry, and is sharing it all in her book “My Life in a Nutshell.” 

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When service members go for a hike with loaded packs it’s called a “ruck.” And in the Pine City area this October, veteran service members went on a ruck for a reason: to honor their fallen comrades as part of an effort they are calling “Say Their Names.”

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The words 9-1-1, Stop-Drop-Roll, Get Out-Stay Out and smoke alarms are just a few words that are focused on during the “Fire Safety Week” talks to the elementary kids.  The Hinckley Fire Department takes part in this each year with great pride, in hoping to bring to light the focus of saving…

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Local poet and writer Margaret Marty’s poem “Obsession,” about her beloved cat C.W., has been published in the latest edition of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Clever, Curious, Caring Cat.”

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Ray Johnson, 88, is still passionate about aviation 63 years after discovering the joys of flying. The Pine City native graduated high school in 1950 and joined the military for two years. When he came back to the area his brother introduced him to his newest interest, flying a plane. 

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Red, orange and yellow leaves dance in the air as they twirl slowly towards the ground on a warm fall breeze. Colorful trees still edge the roads, lakes and other bodies of water in some areas during nature’s segue between summer and winter. In many areas the trees have already shed their le…

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Roberta “Birdie” Dunkley is passionate about teaching Native American youth in Pine County about their heritage. Dunkley is the new Pine County Cultural Community Coach. She visits each of the schools in the county every week and wears several hats, including motivator, communicating with pa…

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October’s darkening skies provide a backdrop for planetary maneuvers and the unending stream of stars across the celestial stage.

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We are living in a time where most people live with so much fear. Everywhere we look, there seems to be some painful, intense, or frightening situation happening. COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc, there is war in Afghanistan, an earthquake in Haiti, flooding in New York, drought in Minnesota…

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Music, dancing, food, prizes and much more will be happening on Saturday, October 2 at the Hinckley Fire Department’s annual Hogs and Hoses event. 

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The Pine County Sheriff’s Office reports that a 33-year-old woman has gone missing from the Hinckley area.  

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  Temperatures this summer certainly were on the warm side. That was great for gardeners and honey bees but not so good for the forests up north. Hats off to the fire fighters who battled the woodland blazes in the Arrowhead while temperatures went towards 90.

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Those using Pine County’s Health and Human Services (HHS) programs in southern Pine County will be heading to a new location next month, as the department moves from the Pine Government Center in downtown Pine City to the Pine County Courthouse at 635 Northridge Drive NW in Suite 220.

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Between 1854-1929, more than 250,000 children were placed on “orphan trains” from the east coast and placed with unfamiliar adoptive families across America – including right here in Pine County. 

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When US Navy Veteran Joe Schweich’s asthma kicks in, it can be a scary and urgent situation. Sometimes he can’t even catch his breath enough to go for his inhaler. It is not an exaggeration to say it could be life-threatening. That’s where Duchess comes in.

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Bernie Tocholke goes out on a limb for his job. He does it less often these days than when he began working as an arborist many years ago. He explains that he cuts down problem trees in yards for residents and used to climb up the trees to cut the branches down. Now he uses machinery to reac…

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A county-wide sales tax intended to help pay for improvements to Pine County’s roads – and which might have come to an end as soon as 2024 – has now been extended into the year 2035. 

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Just north of Sandstone at Banning Junction you will find the 45 acre Banning RV Park and Campground. The campground, owned by Tim Davis, boasts large full hook-up camping sites, cabins, rental campers including a restored vintage rental, a new large paved multi-sport court, picnic pavilion,…

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East of Hinckley you will find a little unincorporated town called Cloverdale. It’s origins go way back to the early 1900”s when its name was originally Turpville, and was named because of the turpentine factory centrally located in this community. This was how an area found a way to move fo…

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 “I have buckets of beaks and buckets of eyes,” said Lance Hagman, owner/operator of The 48 Shop in Hinckley. The retired Hinckley-Finlayson school teacher laughed as he explained he purchases old farm items from auctions to create unique creatures such as dogs from springs or birds from tre…

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On Aug. 18, Regen Industrial Hemp USA – a new Pine County business – hosted a workshop at the Kunze family farm near Hinckley to talk to local farmers about the potential hemp holds for growers and manufacturers. 

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 Two Sand Lake business representatives expressed concern that a proposed shoreland ordinance is too restrictive and could have a negative impact on shoreland property owners future expansion projects, including businesses.

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East Central Minnesota Pride is pleased to announce that its 16th Pride celebration, to be held Saturday, September 18, will have a full lineup of fun and entertainment.

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The Pine County Sheriff’s Office reports that an encounter between a deputy and a small woodland animal got a little nutty this week. 

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Take classes or join a bee club, advise beekeepers Tony Letourneau and Bill Randall. They agreed that advice helped them become more successful in the beginning of their ventures and avoid a few common pitfalls.

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Pine County is slated to receive roughly $5.7 million in assistance through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and Pine County officials are putting together a plan to determine how to spend that money in a way that will provide the greatest long-term benefit for Pine County residents. 

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Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine, this pandemic persists, in part due to resistance to the vaccine. While I do not support vaccine mandates and believe in personal freedom of choice in health matters, it is important that people make sure they are basing their decisio…

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Sixty seven years ago two young people met and fell in love at the Dinner Bell cafe (now the Whistle Stop). Phyllis, just a few weeks shy of 16, was working at the cafe when she caught the eye of 19-year-old Gary Kirchmeier. Gary was painting the Hinckley Liquor Store next door to the little…

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Bear-human relations continues to be a major area of focus for local conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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East Central Energy’s wholesale power provider, Great River Energy, is selling a coal power plant to Rainbow Energy. Advocates for the sale called it a “move toward a more sustainable future while balancing cost effectiveness” while others called the sale “an environmental and financial fiasco.”

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“A museum in motion” doesn’t begin to tell the story of what the White Pine Logging and Threshing Show has to offer. The White Pine Show was started in 1979 and is now in it’s 43rd year. It is held every year on Labor Day weekend, with the exception of 2020 which was canceled due to the pandemic.

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An investigation into a suspicious person in Sandstone on Aug. 19 has led to criminal charges for one suspect, and ongoing investigation into several others and the resolution of a number of theft investigations in the area. 

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A 57-year-old man received serious injuries after his motorcycle flipped on Interstate 35 in Pine County on Aug. 19. 

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A Hinckley woman has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and damage to property after allegedly throwing bricks through windows of a residence and at the woman inside. 

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A  non-denominational rally, known as the Revive Alive Rally is set to be held August 20-22 at the Hinckley Community Center. 

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The baby grand piano undulates in a warped fashion, like plastic left in the heat too long. A man’s bespectacled face peers out from underneath as he appears to try to hold the piano up.  The whimsical piece of art is the creation of Finlayson resident, Roger Knudson. 

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Jeremy Jones Richardson, 40, of Willow River has been charged with two counts of second degree murder and one count of felony first-degree burglary in the death of Curtis Chromulak of Finlayson – a man Richardson described as a long-time family friend. 

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Residents are concerned about the increase in crime, including the rising number of thefts and break-ins in Hinckley and the surrounding areas. A growing number are fed up and ready to take action. Susan Ohnstad, 67, retired from her job in the Twin Cities and moved back home to the Hinckley area. 

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Colorful stuffed animals and furniture displaying a vintage camera sit in the windows framed in purple in downtown Hinckley. A display of photos featuring children hangs on a brick wall inside, as do several large pieces of material with a variety of designs. A bed is near a wall in a back r…

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The East Central Drug & Violent Offenders Task Force reports that a Pine County meth dealer has been sentenced and two suspected drug traffickers from the area have been arrested and found with cocaine and fentanyl. 

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The Pine County Sheriff’s Office has reported that a man has been charged with murder in connection with another man’s death in Finlayson. 

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