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City of Milaca expanding Rec Park skatepark, and more news

Photos courtesy of Gary Kirkeby

The City of Milaca is working on expanding the skatepark at Recreation Park this summer.

According to Public Works director Gary Kirkeby, Milaca has seen high usage of the skate park since it was established in 2018. Last winter, Kirkeby hatched the expansion idea with Joe Bell, of Witchdoctor in Milaca, and Steve Cooper, another local Milaca skater.

Kirkeby said two grants — one from Knife River and one from Centerpoint Energy — have helped fund the project’s design, along with some city funds from charitable gambling. The project also received a donation from Town & Country Finance.

The brain trust of Kirkeby, Bell, and Cooper joined forces with 3rd Lair Skate Park and some younger local riders to sketch out and design the expansion work. 3rd Lair is building the additional ramps once the concrete has been set.

Concrete work should be finished by mid-July, and ramp construction will be done by mid-August.

Pine City’s longest-serving mayor passes away

Former Pine City Mayor and owner of WCMP Jane Robbins has passed away at the age of 87.

Robbins led the City of Pine City for 20 years after she was elected as Pine City’s first female mayor in the early 90s and retired in 2013.

Robbins was elected Pine City’s first female and longest-serving Mayor in the ‘90s and served for 20 years. She served as a city council member for 10 years before being elected Mayor.

According to her obituary, before her tenure as Mayor, she was awarded Citizen of the Year in 1983 and won the 2008 C.C. Ludwig Award from the League of Minnesota Cities for her “vision, statesmanship, and unwavering commitment to the public good.”

Jane and her husband Gerry came to Pine City in 1967 to look at and later purchase WCMP. While owning the station, the Robbins worked to build WCMP’s FM in the ‘80s before they sold the station in 1992.

Reverend Glen Kleppe will officiate the funeral service for Jane: 11 AM; Saturday, July 15, 2023, at Zion Lutheran Church in Pine City. A visitation is scheduled from 4-8 PM Friday, July 14, at Swanson Funeral Chapel in Pine City.

The interment will take place in Birchwood Cemetery, Pine City.

Cambridge continues to battle park vandalism

The Cambridge City Council voted to reopen park restrooms with reduced hours during last week’s meeting as the city continues to battle vandalism.

City park restrooms will now be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. The restrooms will remain open longer for city-sanctioned events.

Cambridge Police Chief Todd Schuster said the department is working with the city’s public works department to apprehend the suspects and track a pattern of the vandalism.

"If Public Works finds vandalism tomorrow at 7 p.m., they can just call the police and have it documented so we can start to try to narrow down the dates and times when this stuff is happening."

City councilor Bob Shogren said the restrooms could be closed again if damage continues.

Arizona man faces criminal sexual conduct charges in Pine City case

A Scottsdale, Ariz. man is facing criminal sexual conduct charges after he allegedly touched a teenager in their sleep.

According to the criminal complaint, deputies were called to a home on Cross Lake Road in Pine City on July 4. It stated that a 17-year-old girl said she had been at a party at the house when she fell asleep on the couch.

The teen told deputies that she was woken up around 4 a.m. to find Sampson Wayne Moore’s fingers inside of her. She said that when she flinched and moved away, Moore walked away.

The victim said she did not know Moore, but she said he seemed to have been hitting on her friends over the course of the party.

A witness told law enforcement she saw Moore rubbing the victim’s feet on his crotch before she says he touched her under her clothing.

Moore claims the victim came onto him and said she was over 18. He told deputies that he touched her over her clothing.

He has been charged with 3rd and 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct. Its maximum sentence is 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 dollar fine.

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