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While an official declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic being over hasn’t been made, you sure could fool people based on the seemingly sudden increase in activity in our neck of the woods.

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As we close in on the end of the 2020-21 school year, I have been thinking a lot about the year and the countless ways students made me feel welcome at North Branch Area Public Schools. Getting to know the student body has certainly been the highlight of the school year for me, and I am so a…

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Trauma is an experience which completely overwhelms a person’s ability to cope, causing them to feel overwhelmed. Examples of events that might be traumatic include experiencing or witnessing abuse, natural disasters like floods or fires, and life-threatening situations like severe car accid…

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Several weeks ago, I got a phone call from Shannon Muehlberg at the Cambridge Primary School regarding an event  they were planning on holding that she thought I might be interested in covering. She called it a “Silent Dismissal,” and explained the general idea was for all of the students to…

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In a few short days, the 2020-2021 school year will draw to a close, and for the first time in more than a year, we will have a crowd back at George Larson Field, not for a sporting event, but to celebrate the Class of 2021. At a time when the world pressed pause, 336 Cambridge-Isanti senior…

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North Branch Area Public Schools has a long standing tradition of serving our community. Community Service Day, May 21, has been a tradition at North Branch Area Public Schools since 2009, and what an incredible tradition it is!

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In an effort to raise awareness, educate our community, reduce the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease and assist families with resources who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease or other related forms of dementia; this month’s article will discuss what community resources are ava…

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As we move closer to the end of the pandemic, Isanti County Public Health continues to provide COVID-19 vaccines. Isanti County Public Health administered their first COVID-19 vaccines in January, and has since given over 11,000 COVID-19 vaccines. In an average year, ICPH usually gives aroun…

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Like an active volcano, controversy with North Branch Water and Light seems to be inevitable to erupt on a somewhat regular basis. The latest one took place last week as the five-member commission and the city itself was left to scramble to find a way to fulfill the duties of the finance dir…

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In a year like no other in our lifetimes, it can be difficult not to see the world through a very fixed lens. Words that have become the norm- pandemic, close contact, and social distancing can wear us down. One of the great things about working in education, and being able to see students o…

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LIVING IN MINNESOTA where we have four seasons, spring brings about long lists of projects, home maintenance, gardening, and recreational toys that need service. With Covid-19 subsiding, people are recognizing they need some catch-up with their medical services, too.

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Last fall, North Branch benefitted from a Boy Scout Eagle project from Renzo Vita. He is also working on the Boy Scout Distinguished Conservation Service Award in which he needs to complete two Eagle Level projects that make a long-lasting impact on the environment. Vita’s request was to pla…

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It is May! That’s a fact. Here are more facts: The Twins are in trouble with their pitching staff; the Timberwolves are among the worst teams in the NBA; hype over the Vikings continues in earnest; and, the Wild has just begun playoff action. Facts. Indisputable.

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This Sunday, May 16, will be my five-year anniversary as editor of the Star. And man, how fast those five years seem to have flown by.

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What an exciting time of year! I am like many people, that with the warmer weather I love to be outside. Fortunately our schools are in a community that places a high value on providing walking and biking trails for residents.

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Something exciting is returning! This week we are starting the nomination period of our second Readers’ Choice Best of the Star —Isanti-Chisago County section. This is your opportunity to support your favorite local business, artist, teacher, professional and more by nominating them in one o…

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WE’RE CONSIDERED SNOWBIRDS like a lot of other Midwest people who travel south for part or all of the winter. We arrived home this past week using three nights and four days covering the 1,500 miles from Fort Myers to White Bear Lake.

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When I came to North Branch Area Public Schools last summer there were so many unknowns. This is true for any new superintendent, but this year had several additional unknowns due to the pandemic. 

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As if gardeners and landscapers don’t already have enough critters to deal with, it seems the newest invader to our landscape is the non-native Amynthas, aka “Jumping Worm.” Jumping worms are a type of earthworm. They are called “jumping worms” because of their unusual behavior when disturbe…

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Like many people, I am admittedly prone to making impulse purchases from time-to-time. Add to that how I am eternally single, and it makes this particular inclination that much more dangerous. The only voice I hear trying to reel me in is the angel on my shoulder, who is too easily drowned o…

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One winter day when I was living in Ely, I was driving along a residential street when I came upon an extremely icy intersection at the exact same time as this high school kid. Sure enough, even though both of us hit our brakes, we both slid right into the intersection, causing a minor colli…

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With warmer weather on the horizon, I look forward to crossing paths with you as we are enjoying more and more outdoor activities. Having a robust trail system in our community is a high priority to the city of North Branch and NBAPS. 

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The traditional saying is that Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction.  Major construction projects have begun throughout the 8 counties of the Tenth Judicial District, as well as numerous smaller projects.  These projects now display a large and clear sign warning of $300 f…

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Since last month’s column, spring has manifested itself in countless ways! I hope you’ve noticed. On the day spring officially arrived, I decided to jot down a few observations as winter was gingerly nudged aside. It didn’t take long to realize that spring was right on time.

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In case you missed it, all locations of the East Central Regional Library (ECRL) are open to the public for browsing and computer appointments. Curbside pickup is still available for patrons who prefer it.

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During the April 7 Isanti County Commissioners meeting, a public hearing turned into vocal opposition to a proposal to change the position of County Auditor/Treasurer from an elected official to one that is appointed by the Board. This proposal was brought on as part of a larger restructurin…