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The COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting us all for over a year now, but the end is now in sight. COVID-19 vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), and on Jan. 6, Isanti County Public Health nurses began administering COVID-19 vaccines.

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As a follow-up to the Isanti City Council’s October discussions regarding different options for traffic control on Heritage Avenue in the area of Kwik Trip, the council heard an update regarding discussions about the possibility of purchasing land from Minnco to create a four-way intersectio…

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Isanti County Public Health continues to vaccinate more people against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination in Minnesota is a multiphase approach, as determined and directed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Multiple entities, including hospitals, pharmacies, and local public health are…

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Members Cooperative Credit Union recently donated $5,000 to the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office K9 program, which is operated solely on donations from the community. Pictured at the check presentation is (from left) Sgt. John Gillquist and his partner, Raider; Chastati Schaefer from MCCU; and…

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In an effort to increase their participation numbers, Girl Scouts of America is offering to waive their $25 membership fees for anyone who signs up between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, 2021. Any girl in grades K-12 is eligible to join.

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Cambridge Surplus Food Distribution will be distributing food at the Isanti County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, Jan. 19, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., or until food runs out. Participants are asked to not arrive before 1 p.m. and to not park on Highway 95 and wait. Registration will take place from people…

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The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) would like to announce the ECRAC Grant Applications are now open for the upcoming February 1, 2021 Grant Deadline. These grants are available to artists, arts and other non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and local units of gover…

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Only a little over a week into 2021, and business is officially booming within the City of Cambridge as official announcements have been made regarding two Kwik Trips being built, plus a restaurant and a tool store occupying currently vacant retail buildings.

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The transferring Isanti County’s transit services, which is currently being performed by Heartland Express, to an outside organization, is one step closer to taking place after the boards of commissioners for Isanti and Chisago counties adopted a resolution to transfer its assets to Arrowhea…

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An error in the final 2021 levy that was approved by the Isanti City Council during the Dec. 1 council meeting prompted the council to call for a last-minute emergency meeting on Monday, Dec. 28 in order to correct the mistake. All final levies must be turned in to the county by the end of D…

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Based on the continuing decline of positive COVID cases in the area, the Cambridge City Council has decided to once again open City Hall to the public, effective immediately. City Hall had been closed to general public walk-ins since November when the positive test rates drastically increased.

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Even though the official “grand opening” ribbon cutting ceremony was delayed due to a lack of snow, the new, man-made sledding hill in Isanti’s Bluebird Park has seen plenty of users, especially once the area received a pair of measurable snowfalls during Christmas break. City officials will…

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The roller-coaster of COVID restrictions on restaurants, bars, and other entertainment venues once again has gone on the upswing as Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced an easing of the restrictions on those establishments amid the decline in the number of positive cases state-wide.

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Cambridge Medical Center welcomed its first baby of the New Year on Jan. 1 at 7:10 a.m. Owen Nicholas Hovik was born to Alyssa and Nick Hovik of Pine City. Owen came into the world weighing 6lbs 9oz and 19 inches long. He has an older sister Alice and grandparents Shirley Fitch of Cambridge,…

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Last week the area was blanketed with a layer of frost that turned the world into a winter wonderland. The question of the day is was it hoar frost or rime ice? The difference between the two lies in the weather pattern that encourages the formation. According to CBS 3 meteorologist Dave And…

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Minnesota’s 2021 Legislative Session officially began January 5 with Senator Mark Koran (R-North Branch) and 66 other State Senators swearing-into office during a ceremony at the State Capitol.

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Representative Brian Johnson, R-Cambridge, was sworn in Tuesday for his second term as the State Representative for House District 32A. Johnson, a former law enforcement officer, lives in Cambridge with his wife and son.  

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At first glance, it would seem hard to do a retrospective of the past year without one certain item completely dominating the conversation. After all, for three-quarters of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic dominated headlines of national, regional, and local news agencies arguably like no oth…

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North Branch has three FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics teams this year. Teams started meeting in September to design, build and code a robot for the game “Ultimate Goal.” The robot must be able to deliver wobble goals to specific areas on the playing field and place or shoot rings into targets…

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What would happen if some sort of disaster took place that rendered Cambridge City Hall, along with Cambridge Fire Hall and Police Station (which are all housed in the same building), inaccessible? How would the city communicate emergency management if say a train derailed right behind City …

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Catholic Charities Senior Dining is continuing the Senior Dining Frozen Meal Expansion Project in 2021, with meals being made available at several locations across Central Minnesota in January, including North Branch on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Ruby’s Pantry, 4359 392nd S…

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The American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held in Rush City on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at St John’s Lutheran Church at 980 Fourth St, Rush City, MN.

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Each general election year, voters elect Soil and Water Supervisors, although they don’t exactly know what that position is or what purpose the Soil and Water Conservation District. As it turns out, the SWCD plays a key role in the management of such things as managing the Rum River, and the…

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A youngster points out a Godzilla toy he would like for Isanti Police Officer Brian Saba during “Shop with a Cop” at WalMart on Thursday, Dec. 17. Despite COVID, the annual event, which pairs local law enforcement officers with designated kids for a $70 shopping trip, was still held this yea…

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A report of a stabbing taking place in Sunrise Township just east of North Branch resulted in a husband and wife receiving critical injuries and the arrest of their adult son.

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Members of the Rotary Club of Cambridge and Isanti dropped off snacks, thank you cards, and other gifts at GracePointe Crossing on Friday, Dec. 18. The Rotarians distributed similar packages to all of the senior living centers in the area, along with the Cambridge Medical Center in honor of …

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation is seeking creative, witty and fun names as part of a new effort to name eight snowplows in the agency’s fleet – one snowplow for each MnDOT district in the state.

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The North Branch City Council had an emotional tug-o-war to deal with during their Dec. 8 meeting, having to choose between their love of animals with enforcing the terms of a conditional use permit (CUP) issued over twenty years ago. In the end, the council’s duty to enforce their laws, plu…

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North Branch Area Public Schools, along with many other entities, are experiencing an extreme version of hindsight being 20/20 when it comes to the implementation of COVID policies and practices. And while for the most part the district has been extremely pleased with how everyone - students…

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The Cambridge-Isanti High School Activities Department recently announced the selection of Becca Maikkula and Chase Carstensen as the schools’ recipients of the Academics, Arts, and Athletics Award, which is given out annually to one senior girl and one senior boy who actively participate an…

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A brother and sister happily give their Christmas wish lists to Santa as mom and dad listen in during Santa’s visit to the Isanti Community Center Friday, Dec. 11. The visit was originally supposed to in conjunction with Isanti’s free movie night, however the movie had to be canceled due to …

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Exactly nine months after the first COVID cases were reported in Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz issued another executive order, keeping bars, restaurants, and other similar indoor entertainment industries closed to all but curbside service through the rest of the holiday season, with a new ten…

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(From left) North Branch City Administrator Renae Fry, Mayor Jim Swenson, EDA Chair Lorraine Moeller, Bryce Buckles of Anderson Windows, Community Development Director Carla Vita, and Linda Larson  of Anderson Windows commemorate the sale of nine acres of city owned land along Golden Avenue …

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In the swirling ebbs and flows of district finances, the North Branch Area Schools has found itself in a relative calm spot as of late. The end result of this financial serenity is a small reduction in the 2021 levy, to the tune of a $10,700 (.11%) decrease from last year.

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 David Daryl Pangerl, 42, of Braham has been charged with second degree homicide in regards to the death of Scott Ness. Pangerl also faces a number of other felony charges, including robbery, burglary and assault stemming from a more recent incident. 

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Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s food shelves serving both the Coon Rapids and Cambridge campuses recently received a $5,000 grant through the Minnesota COVID Food Fund Grant to help meet the growing need for basic resources such as food and personal hygiene items among students.  

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Isanti County Sheriff Chris Caulk was recently sworn in by Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edblad as the new President of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association. Presidents are chosen for the 135 year-old organization each winter during their winter conference. Caulk was appointed following five ye…

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The Isanti-Chisago County Star is inviting readers to submit photos or videos of their favorite area Christmas displays in order to help spread much-needed holiday cheer. 

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North Branch Mayor Jim Swenson gives the command to light the city’s official Christmas tree during an abbreviated ceremony in Central Park Tuesday, Dec. 8. The normal ceremony, which included a parade, caroling and Santa put on by the North Branch Beautification Association, had to be cance…