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Elsewhere in this publication you have likely read that I have been offered the position of Executive Director for the Minnesota Association of School Administrators and have accepted the role starting July 1. Though I am saddened to be leaving North Branch Area Public Schools, the incredibl…

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Recently, I was looking through a recent edition of our counterpart when I stumbled across something that made me cringe in angst. On one of the pages, it was announced that they were starting a new “looking back” column.

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The NBAPS (North Branch Area Public Schools) school board held its organizational meeting for 2020 last Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the large gym at the North Branch Area Education Center (NBAEC). The organizational meeting provides a good opportunity to remind residents how the school board wo…

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It is well-recognized that we in America have a consumer culture. We buy and accumulate lots of stuff:  cars, boats, sporting goods, collectibles, furniture, ad infinitum. Many of our neighbors, and perhaps you, dear reader, have so much stuff that it fills your garage, leaving you to park y…

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I recently came across a post on one of the local community Facebook pages mentioning how the city council would be designating the official newspaper for 2020 and encouraging residents to contact their council members with their opinion about which newspaper they think it should be. That po…

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Zoning codes emerged after events of the Industrial Revolution.  During this time period, business began to boom, and more people began to move toward the jobs. The pay was inequitable; therefore, most people lived in deplorable conditions without sanitation. They were often living with up t…

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On Christmas morning, my family was winding down on the opening of Christmas gifts, with each of us having one package left. Since all of us are adults, we have for some time now taken to unwrapping presents one at a time, starting with the youngest (my sister). Her final gift was from her h…

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Good government depends on a system of checks and balances. Those who govern and those who administer the government know they are answerable to the citizenry of the community. Citizens hold government accountable through the information they are provided by the watchdogs who make up the Fou…

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I have several Facebook friends who will sporadically repost a message regarding boycotting self-checkout lanes at retailers. The premise for this is that ownership and upper management are lining their pockets and costing people jobs by “letting” customers ring up their own purchases. Now, …

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In an effort to raise awareness, educate our community and assist families who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease, this month’s article features our local Act on Alzheimer’s Memory Cafés. 

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Have you ever pondered how the redemptive plan was crafted in heaven? I try to picture it sometimes. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – the truest love there is in all of eternity – discussing how they would save the human heart.

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About a month ago, a bunch of us editors got together for some quality training on a wide number of aspects of our jobs, including page layout, content, future planning, along with improving our writing and editing. It was a very fun and informative day for all of us, even despite a brief pe…

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When it comes to Thanksgiving traditions, I guess you could say my family is a little more ordinary. We almost always stay in this area, usually gathering at mom and dad’s place for a mid-afternoon dinner complete with the usual fixings cooked up by my mom. The typical routine would be to wa…

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In 1939, Thanksgiving was scheduled to fall on the last day of November. But store retailers lobbied President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move it one week earlier in order to lengthen the Christmas shopping season. FDR wanted to do anything he could to help a still-shaky economy, so he agreed. 

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North Branch Area Public Schools values the important role volunteers play to enhance the educational experience of students throughout the district. In the past, the background check process was unwieldy and did not serve our families or the school district well as volunteers were turned aw…

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About 15 years ago a pastor in a Twin Cities suburb chose the topic of domestic violence for a Sunday sermon. During the following week the pastor received phone calls from some parishioners who were upset with the sermon because “that just doesn’t happen in our town.” 

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There is a growing body of research showing that the dietary choices we make each day affect not only our physical bodies (yes, that beer belly didn’t just happen by itself) but can also play an important role in our mental health. 

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Last Saturday, the North Branch volleyball team lost to the Stewartville Tigers in the state Class AA championship match. I will admit it was a bit of a bummer seeing a team I closely follow fall just short of their goal of repeating as state champions. That was until I listened in on the St…

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With winter fortunately, or unfortunately, right around the corner, I wanted to share some information on winter-related topics with you. I’ve highlighted some topics below that pertain to winter-specific Cambridge ordinances and performing winter-related tasks safely.

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November is National Hospice Month, and for many people it’s also the beginning of the holiday season when extended families gather to celebrate. These gatherings often include updates and discussions about caring for loved ones who are no longer able to care for themselves. This is when it …

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Rep. Anne Neu and Sen. Mark Koran visited North Branch Area High School in October, observed the wonderful things happening here, and listened intently to the ways the state is failing public education. We are very grateful they were able to make time to get a first-hand look at the end prod…

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On the 11th day of the 11th month, we pay a special tribute to our veterans – honoring those who served in every war since our nation was founded. Whether it was the beaches of Normandy, the hills of Korea, the mountains of Afghanistan, the deserts of Iraq, or right here at home – these extr…

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Most of the time as of late, the various city councils I cover are pretty benign in their voting. There seems to be a relative unity with these councils, which results in frequent unanimous votes. Every once in a while, though, a topic comes up that does result in a split 3-2 vote or even in…

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Last week I had what I call a “Sheldon Cooper” vacation. Fans of “The Big Bang Theory” will remember that on one or two of the episodes, Sheldon was required to use up some of his vacation time, much to his chagrin.

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Once again the Perfect 10 event, the North Branch Area Education Foundation’s (NBAEF) primary fundraising event for the year, was an unqualified success! It was a wonderful event full of laughter, entertainment, and of course, raising money to enhance the education of students at North Branc…

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As the trees lose their beautiful fall leaves, they tend to pile up in our yards and streets. Those leaves contain phosphorus, an essential nutrient for plant growth. As the leaves decompose, they release the phosphorus that was bound up in the leaf. When it rains, the phosphorus is washed d…

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Question:  I have a rather random, but seasonally appropriate question: with harvest season upon us and with slow-moving farm vehicles/implements on roadways, is it permissible to pass a slow-moving farm implement on Minnesota highways in a delineated no-passing zone? If passing is prohibite…

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Last fall, with the input of staff, students, families and community members, North Branch Area Public Schools released its Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2018-20. The two-year CIP replaced the district’s typical strategic plans, which were five-year roadmaps.