Category Archives: Community Event

Annual Town Meeting March 13, 2018: Democracy in Action

News Release

March 2018 Contact: Ruth Simpson


Annual Town Meeting March 13, 2018: Democracy in Action

Circle Tuesday, March 13 on your calendars! It is the date of the Annual Town Meeting. Unlike voting, the Annual Town Meeting is a true form of direct democracy – allowing residents of the township to meet, voice their opinions and vote on their tax levy. It is also a good way to gauge the sentiments of township residents – what do they want in their community?

As with most American political ideas, town meetings have their roots in colonial America. New England town meetings gave citizens a way to exercise local authority. These meetings were especially important in the development of democracy because it emphasized problem-solving through group efforts. Thomas Jefferson called it the “wisest invention ever devised by the wit of man for the perfect exercise of self-government.”

This tradition was passed down to townships here in Minnesota. Township residents gather on the second Tuesday in March at the town hall, or another designated place, to discuss their communities. Typically, residents hear reports from the board of audit on the town’s finances and a roads report. Residents are required to vote on the tax levy. A range of topics – from a new town hall, vacating a road, or giving the board authority to pass an ordinance – can be on the agenda. Many townships hold elections the same day, outside the meeting, for a supervisor, clerk, or treasurer. Remember to vote!

Townships are often referred to as “grassroots government.” This reference stems from the community-based nature of how town government is structured. Most townships have small populations, but a big sense of community. Being small, township officials must be creative in delivering quality services with the least possible burden to taxpayers. Township officers must be responsive to the needs of their residents, since most are friends and neighbors.

Be part of the “grassroots” movement and attend your town meeting on Tuesday, March 13 — be a part of direct democracy.

The Minnesota Association of Townships is a non-profit corporation representing Minnesota townships. Its goals are educational and charitable, promoting an understanding of the history of townships and being a voice for its roughly 9,000 officers. It regularly conducts research and educational programs designed to foster efficient and economical town governmental services and acts as a liaison between township officers and other local government officials to encourage sustained cooperation.

East Pine County Wanderers’ Meeting, January 31, 2018

About 22 members of the East Pine County Wanderers were in attendance at the  monthly meeting, Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at the Arna Town Hall in Markville, MN.

Food was bountiful, conversation was hearty and friendships were rekindled or started.

The speaker for the day was Tom Hanks from Humana Insurance.  He spoke about Medicare and the different parts of it.  According to Hanks, if you’re within three months of being age 65, it is very important to talk with someone like him about Medicare.  The decisions that you make when signing up for Medicare can have a long term impact on the benefits and premium that you pay.

Toni and Glen Williamson provided the birthday cake and door prize.  Dave Drake was the winner of this prize which included a bottle of wine, an air fresher difuser and two small stuffed animals. 

January birthdays for the group were Patrice Winfield and Gladys Nelson. 

The next meeting will be February 28, 2018, noon at Cloverton Town Hall with Jeanne Larson doing a presentation on the presidents of the United States.

Ground broken for new Sandstone healthcare campus


Ground broken for new Sandstone healthcare campus

Published 22 January, 2016   40   Add a comment

Years of planning culminated Thursday in a joyous groundbreaking ceremony for the Pine Healthcare Campus in Sandstone. The joint project involves Essentia Health, the North Pine Area Hospital District, Gateway Family Health Clinic and Thrifty White Pharmacy.

Essentia Health East Region President Dr. Daniel Nikcevich speaks Thursday at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pine Healthcare Campus in Sandstone. Click here for WDIO-TV’s coverage of the event.

The campus will be constructed on a 40-acre site that was once home to the former Sandstone Airport. The first phase will include a hospital, therapy center, clinic and pharmacy under one roof, and an adjoining senior care facility. It is expected to be completed by April 2017.

Leaders from the partnering entities, donning white hardhats, grabbed golden shovels adorned with big red bows and tossed dirt to mark the beginning of the project as more than 100 people watched and clapped.

“It’s a real pleasure to represent Essentia Health and for us to be a part of this project, which this community needs so desperately,” said Dr. Daniel Nikcevich, president of Essentia’s East Region, during a pre-groundbreaking speech in a heated tent at the site. “It is a real privilege to serve the patients of this community.”

Wilma Township Chairperson Glen Williamson (left) and his wife, Toni, attended Thursday’s groundbreaking.

One of those community members, Glen Williamson, chairman of nearby Wilma Township, shared his enthusiasm for the project.

“It’s nice to see Essentia Health is investing in the community,” he said. “It’s not a big hospital, but it will ensure area residents don’t have to travel far to receive care.”

Several other leaders spoke during Thursday’s ceremony, including CEO of Thrifty White Pharmacy Bob Narveson, Gateway Family Health Clinic’s Eric Nielsen and Ron Osladil, chairman of the North Pine Area Hospital District Board. “It’s a beautiful day, a wonderful day. Nothing can dampen it for me,” Osladil said.

Michael Hedrix, vice president of business development and administrator of Essentia Health-Sandstone, was one of 13 people who lifted shovels for the groundbreaking. “We’ve hit this point where we’ve assembled all of the pieces, and after all of the hours of planning, it is all being expressed through this new healthcare model. We’re all partners gathered on one campus to serve this region,” he said after the ceremony.

Essentia Health-Sandstone staff members Debbie Ward (from left) and Joe Newton, along with Rob Devin from Essentia Health-Deer River, look over architect’s renderings for the Pine Healthcare Campus.

Joe Scheeler, who lives in nearby Askov and is a retired property operations manager for Essentia Health-Sandstone, said he worked for the health system for 20 years and is very pleased with the Pine Healthcare Campus project.

“I like the scope of it and the plans,” Scheeler said. “I’m very impressed by all that the hospital board has done, and I appreciate the contributions Essentia has made to the whole program. This is a tremendous effort by a lot of people.”

Sandstone resident Mary Ann Lundorff came out for the groundbreaking as well. She was bundled up in a warm coat as she sipped hot chocolate provided by the event organizers. “I’ve been so excited about us getting this new hospital. I belong to the auxiliary and we’re so much looking forward to it,” she said. “I think it’s wonderful. I’ve spent a lot of time at the hospital with my family, and we’ve received wonderful care there, and the doctors are great.”

Thirteen people wielded golden shovels with red bows to break ground Thursday in Sandstone.