Calendar (posted 2-19-14)

Winter wildlife tracks

Come to Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, 102 East Crex Ave., Grantsburg, Wis., 10 a.m. – noon Feb. 22 for a winter wildlife tracks program. Attendees will start at the visitor center, where they will learn how to distinguish tracks made by mammals. Then they will caravan into the wildlife area to try and find and identify these tracks. This program is free for all ages.

Call 715-463-2739 for more information.

Tribute concert honoring D-Day

The award-winning 34th Infantry Division “Red Bull” Band and East Central Minnesota Chorale present  “Celebration of Freedom,” a musical tribute honoring the 70th anniversary of D-Day 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at Richard Hardy Performing Arts Center in Cambridge/Isanti High School. Tickets are $10 for adults in advance or $12 at the door, $5 for students ages 13-17; visitors ages 12 and under may attend for free free. Purchase advance tickets from any ECMC or Unum Vox member, at the Leader in Cambridge, the K-Bob Cafe in Princeton, or County Market in North Branch.

Those with questions can contact Renee King at renee.king2@me.com.

Area camera club 

A group of photographers is meeting to establish a camera club in the St. Croix Valley area. The first meeting is at the library in Chisago City 7 p.m. Feb. 24 . The meeting is intended to gauge interest and solicit ideas. Anyone who is interested in photography as a hobby is invited to attend. The group envisions having regular meetings where photographers of all abilities can have the opportunity to share and improve their skills. Contact Mike Chrun at 651-465-6627 for more information.

Winter story time at NB/RC libraries

Celebrate the joy of reading by visiting the library for winter story time 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays now-Feb. 26.  Hear children’s stories read aloud. Story time can foster a love of reading and provides children and adults with an enjoyable library experience by introducing books and fun activities.

Children ages 3-5 are invited to attend. Library staff will lead story times. Call the library at 651-674-8443 for more information.

The story times will also be held at the Rush City Library at 2 p.m. Wednesdays now until the end of February.

Fifty-five plus driver
improvement program

A four-hour refresher driving course for motorists ages 55-plus is being offered at North Branch Area High School 5-9 p.m. Feb. 26.

The Driver Improvement course is open to the public; pre-registration is required. A Minnesota Highway Safety & 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. 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.

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:

•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.

MnSure Navigators at RC library

Certified Navigators are persons who help individuals and families achieve successful enrollments into health plans through the MNsure marketplace and provide assistance to the consumer. Navigators are not insurance agents or brokers. They help people work through the process of applying and enrolling. MNsure navigators will be at the Rush City Public Library 3-8 p.m. March 5, 19 and 26.

March Mania at RC/NB libraries 

All ages are invited to participate in the Rush City and North Branch libraries’ Heroes vs. Villains March Mania contest. The Heroes and Villains were chosen from kids and teen books and movies. Pick up a Heroes vs. Villains bracket at the libraries and return it no later than March 5.  No completed brackets will be accepted after March 5.

There will be two brackets — one with 16 heroes and one with 16 villains for a total of 32. Pick the winners in each bracket plus the ultimate winner for a chance to win. Instead of picking the Notre Dame or Duke basketball team to win, a participant might pick Katniss (from  Hunger Games) over Sherlock Holmes in the hero bracket and maybe a Dementor (from Harry Potter) over Darth Vadar (from Star Wars) in the Villain bracket. Winners will be chosen by the number of votes each Hero and/or Villain receives.  If seven of 10 entries pick Katniss over Sherlock Holmes, Katniss will be declared the winner.

Winners from the first 16 matches will be posted at the library March 10, winners from the next eight matches posted March 17, and winners from the semi-finals March 24.  The winner of the ultimate hero vs. the ultimate villain will be posted March 31.  The winner of the Hero vs. Villain March Mania tournament will win a prize.

K-12 poetry contest 

The Friends of the North Branch Library announce changes in their Third Annual Poetry Contest. This year the contest is open to students grades K – 12, and there will be three grand prizes of $25 each to be awarded to the winners from the elementary, middle, and high school brackets.  The theme this year is “winter.”

A $5 prize will be awarded just for entering. Students must be present at the library March 8 to read their poems to receive any of the prizes. The contest is scheduled 10 a.m. – noon.  Bring entries to the library before March 1 for judging.  The entrant’s name, age, and school need to accompany a submitted poem. Home-schooled students are invited to participate.

LAYSB nominations for annual awards

Do you know:

•Someone who is a great role model for youth?

•Someone who demonstrates a passion for the wellbeing of youth?

•A youth who is making a difference in their community?

•Or a law enforcement officer who has gone above and beyond his or her job duties to connect with and make a difference in the lives of youth?  If any of the above statements are true, the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau wants to hear from you.

The LAYSB awards are given annually for service in the following categories:

The “On Behalf of Youth Award” honors individuals who demonstrate a passion for the wellbeing of youth.  This award will be given to one adult and one youth.

The “James Trudeau Award” honors a licensed law enforcement officer for service or activities related to youth above and beyond their normal duties.  Awards are given for service during 2013.

The deadline to submit a nomination is March 14.  Nominations may be made by any area resident (not family members), local business owner or any area civic or service group.  A connection to LAYSB is preferred but not necessary. Nomination letters and forms are available on LAYSB’s website, www.ysblakesarea.org

Questions about the awards may be directed to Jackie Kottke, development coordinator, by calling 651-464-3685 or by emailing jackie.kottke@ysblakesarea.org.

Leopold book club at Crex Meadows

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is launching a new program in January, called the Leopold Book Club. Join a fun and inquisitive community of Aldo Leopold lovers by reading “A Sand County Almanac” and engage in lively and insightful discussion and short related activities. The club meets 6-7 p.m. every other Thursday from now to March 20 at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, 102 East Crex Ave., Grantsburg, Wis. Pre-registration is required. Readers are invited to sign up now. Space is limited to 25 participants. Reserve a copy of “A Sand County Almanac” at a local library.

This program is meant to inspire people to connect with the outdoors and wildlife, all while enjoying some of Leopold’s famous works. Over the course of six weeks, participants will explore ways in which humans relate to their natural surroundings. For more information on the Leopold Book Club and to pre-register, contact Kristi Pupak, wildlife conservation educator, at 715-463-2739 or via email: Kristina.pupak@wisconsin.gov. For complete details and updated information, visit www.crexmeadows.org.

Nature story time at Interstate Park

Join Naturalist Julie Fox at 10 a.m. Thursdays through March at the Ice Age Center at Wisconsin Interstate Park for a story and activity chosen especially for preschoolers and their parents. Bring clothing for outdoor play (weather permitting).

Interstate Park is located in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin on Hwy 35 just 1/2 mile south of Hwy 8.  Nature story time is free of charge, but a state park sticker is required to enter the park. For more information, call 715-483-3747.

Weekly domestic violence
support group

The Refuge Network would like to invite people to its weekly support group for women who have experienced domestic violence. Participation in the group is completely free and confidential.  Visit www.therefugenetwork.org for more information.

The group meets in Chisago City Mondays 6-7:30 p.m. at 10626 Railroad Ave., suite 204/205. Call 651-257-2890 for information on this meeting time.

RC Women’s Club to host spring fling sale

The Rush City Women’s Club will be kicking off spring by hosting its first indoor flea market and garage sale extravaganza.

Local residents and those from surrounding communities will be selling handicrafts, home baked goods, jewelry, housewares and more from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 29 at the Rush City Community Center, 720 West 14th St.

Local musicians will provide background music, and ladies from the community will be serving picnic type foods from the concession stand. Admission is free.

All profits will be used to fund the local scholarships and other programs of the Rush City Women’s Club.

Friday night fish fries 

Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Rush City is hosting Friday night fish fries 5-7 p.m. through Lent — March 7-April 4. The cost is $8.50 per person. The cost for children ages 12 and under is $6.

Annual pork chop dinner

The 17th annual pork chop dinner/silent auction at St. John Lutheran Church-Weber, 28168 Jodrell St. NE, North Branch, is Feb. 22. Dinner is 5-7 p.m.; bidding closes at 6:45 p.m., which is the same time as the door prize drawing. Attendees need not be present at the time of the door prize drawing to win.

Tickets: $10 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12. Children under 5 years old may eat for free.

For more information, call the church at 763-444-5988.

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