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“Council member [Joe] Zerwas will be participating in the meeting remotely from his residence at Mesa, Arizona,” Mayor Lisa Iverson said at the March 5 Wyoming City Council meeting. It is the first time a member has participated remotely in a city meeting. Zerwas listened in, made comments, …

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Before the Feb. 27 Columbus City Council meeting, an interim use permit for a residential zoned businesses could be approved for up to five years. At that evening’s meeting, Councilwoman Janet Hegland proposed the initial permit be approved for one year to prevent long-term problems.

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The Forest Lake Area School District sent an email to parents March 7 regarding an incident that took place that day at the high school. The email said the district is investigating the incident and would not comment further. During the incident, students were put into a hold, a procedure by…

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A growing number of cities and municipalities across Minnesota have options for city council members to access council meetings via interactive online media. This policy would potentially be useful for council members who spend an extended period of time out of state or who have to travel ex…

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A Forest Lake man and former U.S. probation officer for the state of Minnesota pleaded guilty March 1 to two counts of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigations. He was interviewed by the FBI in August 2016, as the bureau was investigating claims that he attempted to ga…

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The Forest Lake Area School Board approved two school makeup days of March 11 and April 22 to compensate for days lost to winter weather in recent weeks. Both days were previously scheduled as professional development days for the district.

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District 31B State Rep. Cal Bahr, who counts local municipalities Linwood Township and Columbus among his constituency, has come under fire from multiple prominent Minnesota politicians for a remark he made at an event last weekend.

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The Forest Lake City Council expressed openness during its Feb. 11 meeting to pursuing a request for proposals for its refuse contractor. The city’s current contract with longtime city trash hauler SRC is up this August.

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Judge Suzanne Bollman sentenced Eric J. Coleman, 46, of Chisago City, on Feb. 7 to 12 1/2 years in prison after he was convicted for third-degree murder in December. Coleman drove a snowmobile while intoxicated and crashed into a truck, an ice house and two people on Chisago Lake Jan. 26, 20…

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The Forest Lake City Council unanimously selected current Planning Commission Chairman Paul Girard as its fifth member on Feb. 19, filling a seat that had been vacant since Mayor Mara Bain vacated her old council seat in January. Unlike the last two appointments of council members, in 2018 a…

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Wendy Greene from BHE Renewables attended the Scandia City Council work session Feb. 6 to give the council an update on the stormwater retention pond at the Argo Navis Community Solar Gardens. The retention pond failed and overflowed after heavy rain in October. Located near the intersection…

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Next week, the Forest Lake City Council will consider eight candidates who wish to join the body as its fifth member. Many of the applicants are familiar faces, thanks to local elections and the previous council vacancy about a year ago.

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While the Minnesota Legislature grapples with what to do with its surplus, school districts across the state, including Forest Lake, are lobbying and meeting with representatives about education funding. Key in the conversation is the importance of special education funding.

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Citing ties to previous license holders at the same location, the Forest Lake City Council rejected on Jan. 28 a tobacco license application that would have reopened Cloud X Vapes. The e-cigarette store closed in December following the revocation of its last tobacco license, which was pulled…

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After a brisk but busy first regular meeting of the year on Jan. 14, the Forest Lake City Council dug into some organizational issues at its first workshop of the year on Jan. 22 (the body’s normal Monday meeting time was pre-empted by Martin Luther King Jr. Day). Though discussion ranged ac…

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On Jan. 15, the Wyoming City Council voted to purchase a new plow truck to replace an outdated member of the fleet. The truck will be purchased via an interfund loan from the city's capital revolving fund to the Streets Department's capital improvement plan fund.

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Editor’s note: The following story is one of a few commissioned for The Forest Lake Times’ 2019 Community Guide, an information look at Forest Lake and the surrounding area that you can find inserted in this week’s issue.

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At the Jan. 15 Scandia City Council meeting, the council was informed that the Planning Commission will hold an informational meeting about the community solar ordinance on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will address concerns that have been raised about existing community solar …

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Forest Lake city government will be discussing a couple of hot topics during Jan. 28 meetings: a new license application for the currently closed Cloud X Vapes and potential details surrounding the proposed Houle’s Feed Mill property sale.

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At the Jan. 2 Wyoming City Council meeting, Mayor Lisa Iverson wanted to highlight the community’s insurance service office rating and asked Public Safety Director Paul Hoppe to talk about it.

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Forest Lake Area Schools, in partnership with Lakes Center For Youth and Families, was granted $95,000 from the Minnesota Department of Labor. The grant will offer students employment training in high-growth, high-demand occupations.

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The Chisago County Board of Commissioners approved in December a balanced 2019 budget of $68.99 million as well as a property tax levy increase of $37.44 million, a 7.9 percent from the 2018 levy. The decision followed a presentation to the board by Chisago County Administrator Bruce Messelt…

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The Columbus City Council approved the 2019 final levy at its Dec. 12 meeting. Although the levy is increasing, City Administrator Elizabeth Mursko said property taxes will not increase because of the anticipated growth in local tax value in Columbus.

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Minnesota’s 2019 legislative session began Jan. 8, and local state representatives and senators are excited to get back to work. All of the state legislators in The Forest Lake Times’ coverage area are Republicans, and despite some changes in the state House and the governor’s mansion, the l…

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The ownership of Houle's Feed Mill is hoping for city action soon on a project proposal that would result in the sale of the 3.2 acre Houle's Feed Mill property. Houle's co-owner Gary Houle told The Times Jan. 3 that the business is anticipating discussion of the project at the Forest Lake E…

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Forest Lake Fire Chief Alan Newman warned locals of poor ice conditions in the area and urged caution for anyone walking on area ice. When it comes to driving on the ice, he recommended against it.