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Area briefs: Pine Island approves Explorer Firefighter program

Lanesboro church offers free Thanksgiving dinner; Corps of Engineers plans maintenance for 2021-2022 winter.

110921-PINE-ISLAND-FIRE-DEPARTMENT-EXPLORERS-07876.jpg
David Friese, left, assistant fire chief and mayor of Pine Island, and members of the Pine Island High School firefighting class, from left, Evan Goranson, Dalton Block, Braden Schaefer and Torin Schweisberger at the city's fire station. Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
Joe Ahlquist

PINE ISLAND — The Pine Island City Council on Tuesday approved a new Explorer Firefighter program to allow teens who would like to learn about being a firefighter.

According to the rules set up for the new program, Explorer Firefighters must be at least 16 years old, but not older than 18, and enrolled in high school. They must be able to follow directions under stressful conditions. They should be in good physical condition to perform essential firefighting ground tasks. Explorers should be willing and able to attend at least six medical and 10 fire scheduled meetings and required training. Explorers must maintain a 2.0 grade-point average or higher in their schoolwork to remain part of the program.

Pine Island High School offers both the Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 training programs as an elective class.

While the teens cannot perform dangerous tasks at a scene such as fighting a fire, they would be allowed to provide some support to the firefighters on the scene.

Pine Island Mayor David Friese said the program will allow young people the chance to serve their community while learning important job skills.

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Lanesboro church offers something to be thankful for

LANESBORO — For individuals or families who would like to join with the community while enjoying the traditional turkey and trimmings, Discovery Faith Community in Lanesboro will offer a free Thanksgiving dinner.

The 19th annual dinner will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 25, at Discovery Faith Community (formerly United Methodist Church) at 507 Parkway Ave. S, Lanesboro. The menu will include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, corn, squash, cranberry relish, and both pumpkin and apple pie.

The dinner is free, but free will offerings for the Fillmore County Food Shelf will be taken.

For carry out or delivery orders, call Deb at (507) 459-3593 or Cheryl at (507) 467-4466.

Corps of Engineers plans maintenance for 2021-2022 winter

ST. PAUL — Six locks along the Mississippi River will see major repairs during the upcoming winter maintenance season, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Maintenance is scheduled at Lock and Dam 4 near Alma, Wis.; Lock and Dam 5A near Fountain City, Wis.; Lock and Dam 6 near Trempealeau, Wis.; Lock and Dam 7 near La Crescent; Lock and Dam 8 near Genoa, Wis.; and Lock and Dam 10 at Guttenberg, Iowa. Locks on the Upper Mississippi River will be closed from Nov. 28 to March 17.

Work at each site will vary from replacing anchorages that are instrumental in operating the miter gates to upgrading the tow haul rail system, which is used to move barges upstream of the lock chamber when a tow is heading north and there is a need to break the tow into two lockages. Some of the infrastructure of the lock-and-dam system on the river is 80 years old or more.

“Having the tow haul rail system working is critical to keeping our lock staff safe and ensuring navigation vessels can efficiently lock through our facilities,” said Jim Rand, St. Paul District locks and dams chief.

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The St. Paul District’s navigation program provides a safe, reliable and cost-effective and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation system on the Upper Mississippi River for the movement of commercial goods and for national security needs.

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