Author booksigning event 

Readers of author Dixie Koch, of Hinckley, won’t want to miss her signing copies of her book, “The Miracle Maker and the Misfits,” from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, July 24 at Pine City Public Library, 300 5th St. SE, Pine City.

Special event for expectant parents

If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, then consider joining the staff in The Birthplace at Fairview Lakes Medical Center for a night of tours, educational information and fun from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, July 25. The event is free at the Wyoming-based medical center, though advance registration is requested.

Members of The Birthplace care team will be on hand to offer information and answer questions about labor, delivery, breastfeeding, child safety seats and more. Guests will enjoy door prizes and refreshments, along with a resource fair from 5-7 p.m.; Birthplace tours, every 15 minutes through 6:30 p.m.; and an informational program at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Call 612-672-7272 to register or go to at the birthplace.

Chimney Swift event

Join Wild River Audubon on a ‘Chimney Swift Sit’ July 26-28, 8 p.m.; meet in the upper parking lot at the Chisago Lakes Lutheran Church in Center City or in front of the elementary school in Taylors Falls   Bring a lawn chair and watch at dusk as Chimney Swifts circle in the air and then head down a chimney to roost for the night.  We’ll count the swifts and report the official results.  Come one or all three nights to either location.    Everyone is welcome to watch.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

Chisago County

July 26: 1-6 p.m. at the Chisago City Farmers’ Market, 10625 Railroad Ave., Chisago City.

Isanti County

July 30: 12:30-6:30 p.m. at Harvest Christian Center, 1455 County Road 5 NE, Isanti.

Kids design glass art contest 

This summer as part of ECRL’s “Dig into Reading” summer reading program, children ages 4 to 10 have an opportunity to enter a special contest and have their drawing turned into a glass sculpture by local glassblower Anthony Michaud-Scorza. They may simply pick up an entry form and drawing form at any East Central Regional Library branch.  Children can draw anything they want, give the drawing a “name” and fill out the entry form.  The child must have a library card registered within the ECRL region to submit an entry form and may submit only one drawing.  The entry form and drawing form must be submitted no later than Aug. 2.  One winner from each of ECRL’s 14 branch libraries will be chosen.

Stomp Out Suicide 5K run/walk 

Registration is now open for the 2nd Annual Stomp Out Suicide 5K Run/Walk for Awareness starting in Wyoming’s Goodview Park Aug. 24, 10 a.m. Check-in and registration is at 9 a.m. Individuals or teams may register for the event prior to the race online at

Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for children 16 and under. Register by Aug. 3 to be guaranteed a race T-shirt. Shirts will be on a first-come, first-served basis for registrations done after Aug. 3.

Hundreds of runners and walkers, including suicide survivors and mental health advocates, will gather to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention as they participate in this family-friendly event. Proceeds raised will benefit Stomp Out Suicide, a local nonprofit agency based in Wyoming.

The event will also include entertainment and activities for the whole family including live music from Sleeper and the Sleepless, a kids’ area (with face painting, bounce houses, clowns and more) and food stands provided by Otis Concessions. Participants can also enjoy a resource fair chocked full of information about suicide awareness and mental health resources from several local organizations.

Half Iron and Sprint registration 

It is time to seriously start thinking sun, fun and triathlon.  The 8th Annual Chisago Lakes Half Iron and Sprint Triathlon will be July 28 in Chisago City.

The  event also offers a Kids’ Triathlon July 27. The swim takes place at Paradise Park sandy beach. The bike and run travel along fairly flat routes through numerous communities. More than $5,000 in prize money will be awarded to the top male and female finishers,  and there will be over 176 awards in the Age Group, Relay, Athena and Clydesdale divisions. There is a limit of 1,500 participant so it is important to register early. Register online at, call 1-800-429-8044, or download a pdf form from

Cost is $110 for the Half Ironman distance, $55 for the Sprint Distance and $15 for the Kid’s Triathlon.

‘Mixed Nuts’ at Rush City Public Library  

The Dig into Reading summer library program is quickly coming to an end and it’s time to celebrate the reading-filled summer!  Come to the Rush City Public Library Aug. 1, 1 p.m., as the physical comedy duo “Mixed Nuts” performs.  This talented twosome has tickled funny bones throughout the region with their special blend of hilarious hijinks. There will be age-appropriate humor and hopefully audience participation. The program is free and made possible with funds from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Arts Prescription Rx concert

Braham area musician Pat Schonhardt will perform at the Chisago County Senior Center, 38790 6th Ave., North Branch, as part of the  “Arts Rx” coffee house series Aug. 7, 2 p.m.  He performs a variety of songs and will include some pie songs for a sing along.  The location is 38790 6th Ave, North Branch.  Donations are cheerfully accepted.

New to Medicare sessions

Going on Medicare soon or just interested in how it works? There will be information on Medicare given out at these sessions as well as questions answered Aug. 7 and Sept. 4. All sessions run 10 a.m. to noon at Fairview Lakes Medical Center, 5200 Fairview Blvd., Wyoming, in conference room B. Aspects of Medicare Parts A, B, C & D will be covered as well as information on supplemental insurance to Medicare and how to report Medicare fraud and abuse. There is no cost to these sessions, but participants need to register. Please call Amy Tvedt at 1-800-333-2433 ext. 83026 and leave a message with your name and phone number to be included.

All are welcome.

PFLAG meeting

The East Central MN Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays will be taking a summer break during the months of June and July.  The next meeting will be held Aug. 11, 4:30 p.m., at Common Ground, the Cambridge United Methodist Church, 404 North Cypress, Cambridge. Those who want to contact a PFLAG member before August can call 320-396-3128 or 763-464-0079.

Driver improvement program

A four-hour refresher driver improvement course for drivers ages 55-plus is being offered at North Branch Area High School, 38175 Grand Ave., North Branch, Aug. 15, 5 to 9 p.m.

Pre-registration is required.

The fee for the course is $20.

For more information or to register, visit or call 1-(888)-234-1294.

We R Able art show 

Visual arts and mime will combine at four We R Able art show openings from August through November.  Artwork completed during the annual We R Able spring painting class will be on display at the Rush City Library, beginning Aug. 17.  The opening is at 11 a.m. in conjunction with the Art and Music Festival, where guests may view the artwork, enjoy some light refreshments and participate in mime lead by David Braddock.  His background includes studies with Marcel Marceau, and he was one of the founders of the Minnesota Mime Alliance.  He will help viewers create movements inspired by the individual pieces of art.

There will be art show openings at the libraries in Pine City, Chisago City and North Branch throughout the fall.   For more information, call 320-358-1220.

Full moon paddles 

A series of full moon paddling events are being planned at Wild River State Park  Aug. 20 and Sept. 19. The first three events are scheduled 6 to 10 p.m. The September event is scheduled 5 to 9 p.m.

The excursions are along 9 miles of the St. Croix River from the Sunrise Landing to the main park landing. Seven canoes are available for first registrants, but participants can bring their own canoe or kayak. Registration is required. Register by calling (651) 583-2125 x227. The cost is $10, payable to Eric’s Canoe Rental the night of the activity for shuttling.

This event is open to all paddlers, but some experience is recommended. Lifejackets and paddles will be provided for the seven park canoes. Participants are asked to bring their own pack water, snacks and other necessities.  Individual events will be cancelled in the event of severe weather.

Free family course on mental 


Do you have a family member living with a mental illness? The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota is offering a free educational course that helps families gain a greater understanding of mental illness, discuss resources, build communication skills, reduce stress and find support. Over 3,000 Minnesota families have benefited from this course. Join others for this series taught by family members who have walked the walk. The Family-to-Family course will meet weekly on Thursdays for 12 weeks. It starts Sept. 5, 6:30-9:00 p.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church in North Branch. Pre-registration is required; call Charles or Rachel: 651-213-0993.

North Branch Farmers’ Market 

The North Branch Farmers Market is open this month through October, Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, at the Lake State Parking Lot.

For more information, call 651-674-7624.

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