Calendar (posted 12-31-13)

55+ driver improvement course

Driver improvement courses for those ages 55-plus are being offered at the following times and locations:

• Jan. 4 (8-hour first time course), 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Fairview Chisago Lakes Med Center, 11725 Stinson Ave, Chisago City.

• January 8th (4-hour refresher course), 5 p.m.-9 p.m., North Branch Area Com Ed – High School, 38175 Grand Ave., North Branch.

The driver improvement course is open to the public; pre-registration is required. A Minnesota Highway Safety and Research Center certified instructor teaches this class. By utilizing the most up-to-date research in the field, participants will be provided the latest information in regards to driver safety, new laws, and vehicle technology. The fee for the 4-hour refresher course is $20, and the 8-hour course is $24. For more information or to register, visit www.mnsafetycenter.org or call 1-(888)-234-1294.

Persons age 55 and older who complete the course qualify for a 10 percent discount on their auto insurance premiums for three years, according to Minnesota law. First time participants must complete the initial eight hours of training and a 4-hour refresher class every three years to maintain the 10 percent discount.

Blood drive at Rush City’s
St. John’s Lutheran

Every pint counts. The need for blood is constant. Every day, patients in our communities are helped by donors who give at blood drives. Please be a donor at the Rush City Community Blood Drive 1-7 p.m. Jan. 6 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 980 W 4th St., Rush City.

‘Hot Reads for Cold Nights’

Need a cure for those cold, winter blues? The North Branch Library invites all adults, 18 years and older, to participate in our fifth annual Hot Reads for Cold Nights adult winter reading program. The program runs Jan. 6-March 1. To participate, stop in the library beginning Jan. 6 and pick up a pack of Hot Reads for Cold Nights bookmarks. Each bookmark will have a different topic listed on it. Read any book that fulfills that topic and turn the bookmark(s) in to the library each week for a chance to win a prize. Prize drawings will be held each Monday from bookmarks turned in from the previous week, plus there will be a grand prize drawing from all of the bookmarks turned in over the 8-week period.

YMCA fitness class

The Lino Lakes YMCA is offering 6-week exercise and fitness classes in the Orthopedic Center rehab gym at Fairview Lakes Medical Center, 5200 Fairview Blvd., Wyoming, Jan. 6 through Feb. 14.
From conditioning to hip hop, the classes include:

•Core Conditioning—Improve posture and build core muscle groups through a variety of exercises designed to strengthen the abdomen and back muscles while increasing flexibility — walk taller, feel stronger. May include a variety of equipment. Level: all.

• Zumba—A fusion of Latin and international music and dance that creates an exciting, effective low impact cardio workout; these fun and easy routines feature interval aerobic training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body. Level: all.

• Latin Hip Hop—A high-energy, low-impact workout that fuses Hip Hop and Latin dance moves helps get participants in the groove. Level: all.

Beginning dates and class times:

-Beginning Monday, Jan. 6

6-6:45 a.m.: Core Conditioning with Denise

6-7 p.m.: Zumba with Alyssa

-Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 8

6-6:45 a.m.: Core Conditioning with Denise

6-7 p.m.: Latin Hip Hop with Kendra

-Class costs

$60 for six-week, one-hour classes

$40 for six-week, 45-minute classes

To register, contact the Lino Lakes YMCA, 651-795-9622, and request registration for Fairview classes. Callers should specify if they’d like to register for class 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Movies at Crex

Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, 102 E. Crex Ave., Grantsburg, Wis., is hosting “Movies at Crex” nights 6-8 p.m. Jan. 6, Feb. 3, March 3 and April 7.

The movie on Jan. 6 will be “The Big Year.”  These free, wildlife-centered movies will be shown on a big, state-of-the-art screen.  This program is limited to 60 people.  For more information, call  715-463-2739, or email kristina.pupak@wisconsin.gov.

New to Medicare sessions

Going on Medicare soon or just interested in how it works?  There will be information on Medicare given out at the following sessions at Fairview Lakes Medical Center, 5200 Fairview Blvd. Wyoming, as well as questions answered:

•Jan. 8, 10 a.m.—noon

•Feb. 5, 10 a.m.—noon

•March 5, 10 a.m.—noon

•April 2, 10 a.m.—noon

Aspects of Medicare parts A,B,C and 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 registration is needed so the proper amount of materials are available. Call Amy Tvedt at 1-800-333-2433 ext 83026 and leave a message with your name and phone number to be included.

Plundering Christmas party in RC

Join We R Able and the Rush City Community Center in Rush City at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 9, for a  traditional julgransplundring (yule-grahns-PLOON-dring) end-of-the-season holiday party, Swedish style, with folk musician Art Bjorngjeld and We R Able Coordinator Valorie Arrowsmith.  Participants will make a traditional holiday craft, learn some song games to be enjoyed around the Christmas tree, and then give a final ousting of Christmas by throwing the tree out the window or door. The location is the Rush City Community Center at 720 W. 14th St. in the southwest portion of the town.

Donations are accepted for the event. To enjoy a meal through Senior Dining following the program, pre-register with the center at 320-358-3611. There is a donation for the meal that varies according to age. For more information about the event, visit We R Able on Facebook or call 320-358-1220.

Almelund seniors meeting

Almelund seniors will meet at Amador Town Hall at 1 p.m. Jan. 10 for cards and social time. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the day.

Animal tracks and signs

Wild River State Park is hosting an animal tracks and signs program noon-2 p.m. Jan. 11.

Many birds and animals are active in the winter and are leaving clues to their daily activities in the snow. Visitors will learn to tune their eyes to start seeing these clues and learn easy tips and tricks to identifying what crossed the path before them on this 1-mile walk.
A Minnesota State Park vehicle permit is required of any vehicle entering the park. This permit can be purchased at the park entrance office for $5/day or $25/year. For more information, call (651) 583-2125 x 227.

Donations accepted at
Christmas display

The Koran’s Christmas display will again be carrying on the tradition of providing a great experience for the children in Chisago County. This year will be bigger than ever with help from Boy Scout Troop 135 from Center City. Troop Leader Tony Koran and his Boy Scouts helped set up and install the display for the 2013-2014 season.

The display, off Lincoln Trail in North Branch, about five miles east of the Middle School,  is on now and will run 5-10 p.m. every day through Jan 12. — Sunday through Thursday: 5-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 5-11 p.m. The display is set up so visitors can drive through it.

The Boy Scouts will be accepting cash donations to provide support and additional camp opportunities to the members of Troop 135. They will also be accepting non-perishable food items to be donated to a local food shelf in Chisago County.

Parenting plus

All grandparents/kinship caregivers who are raising children/relative’s children are invited to a support group meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in room No. 110 at Pine City Elementary School. Enter door No. 5 by the Dragonwood playground. Free childcare is available. Call 320-629-4030 to sign up for childcare or for more information.

Calling all bird photographers 

Wild River Audubon will host an open forum for local bird photographers 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Chisago Lakes Library. Photographers should be at the library by 6:45 to organize; please bring equipment with which to show your images — slides, carousel, computer, jump drive, USB — whatever is needed to project photos on the screen. The time will be divided up in accordance with how many photographers are present. There will be tips on how to take better photos. The public is invited to attend and refreshments will be served. For more information, call Sue Leaf at 651-230-0223.

No NB Auxiliary meeting in January

The North Branch Post 85 Auxiliary unit will not meet in the month of January; however, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the unit is inviting everyone in the North Branch to participate in a volunteer opportunity by giving at least one hour Jan. 20, or any day the week of Jan. 20, in honor of King’s legacy. Members of the American Legion Auxiliary have dedicated themselves to serving veterans, military and their families for nearly a century, and the Auxiliary believes in helping make communities better places to live.

22nd annual candlelight ski/snowshoe/walk event

Illuminating 6 miles of trails, candles will guide visitors through one of once-in-a-winter opportunity at Wild River 6-9 p.m. Feb. 15. Snowshoers, skiers, and walkers are welcome to take the trails this Valentine’s weekend.

A Minnesota State park vehicle permit is required of any vehicle entering the park. This permit can be purchased at the park entrance office for $5 per day or $25 per year. Participants over the age of 16 who will be on skis will need a Minnesota Ski Pass. Visitors can purchase a day pass at the office for $6 or an annual pass for $20. Hikers and snowshoers do not need a ski pass.

For more information, call 651-583-2125 x 227.

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