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Last week, North Branch Area Public Schools staff confronted circumstances we hoped to avoid. The number of lab confirmed positive results spiked at our Education Center, a spike in cases that we have not seen in any of our other buildings. We shifted to remote learning for PreK-1 students w…

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This has been a very confusing, divisional time for people, especially when it comes to COVID. The uncertainty and lack of solid data of it has caused emotions to run high. And this past week has only added a ton of fuel to the fire.

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Like many when they’re young, I was eager to move away and take on the world. “You Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” – not only a great 80’s hit, but a realization I had after I left. Following college, I lived in Minneapolis where I worked in investment management and attended grad …

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The week of October 4-10 has been proclaimed by the Chisago County Board of Commissioners as Manufacturers’ Week.  Manufacturers’ Week was created to celebrate and educate the public about the importance of manufacturing in the state of Minnesota and its local entities.  Manufacturing is a k…

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Right around Memorial Day weekend, my landlord approached me asking if I knew of a way I could temporarily move out of my apartment so he could do some much-needed remodeling. He explained that rather than just doing one room now and another one later, he wanted to do close to a full gut-job…

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which first began in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a Day of Unity to connect battered women’s advocates across the country. Legislation holds offenders accountable and domestic abuse services support survivo…

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We often reference the work of educators and support staff when we talk about the reopening of school, but the work of our Department of Buildings and Grounds is always critical, especially this year. Director of Buildings and Grounds Art Tobin and his department staff are absolutely vital t…

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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 invites caregivers to register for Powerful Tools for Caregivers Workshop. Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational series designed to provide …

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The length of the day now equals the length of the night, and it’s shifting the dark way. Whether in college, high school or elementary school, your kids are cautiously working on new lessons, many of them in or from new places. The weatherman speaks of frost. Your garden has stalled, but lo…

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As can be seen on our front page this week, the Minnesota State High School League has reversed course and decided to bring both football and volleyball back to a fall schedule for 2020, rather than sticking with their original plans of conducting them in the early spring beginning somewhere…

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The North Branch Fire Department is celebrating their 125th anniversary this year. The Department was founded on May 14, 1895. There were 48 charter members at the first meeting, and officers were appointed on May 22, 1895. The first apparatus was delivered to the original fire station, loca…

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Student involvement and student voice is so critical to creating an environment in which they feel supported and find joy in learning! We have been diligent to engage students in decisions and opportunities as we return to schools.

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I’m sure a few of our readers are doing a double-take when they read through this edition of the Star. Let me ease your confusion. Yes, this is the Sept. 17 edition of the Isanti-Chisago County Star, and yes, that is the 2020 general election guide inside these pages.

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It gives me such great joy to announce, after several months of planning and periods of great uncertainty, that school resumed for all students at North Branch Area Public Schools on Friday, Sept. 11!

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Last Sunday, Sept. 6, USA Today ran a special section commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the official ending of World War II on Sept. 2, 1945. On the front page of this special section was an iconic photo taken in Times Square of a sailer kissing a woman in celebration of the end of the w…

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This week North Branch Area Public Schools officially started the 2020-21 school year! We are so proud to offer in-school hybrid services as well as a Distance Learning Academy option for families. In this way we provide families safety and flexibility based on their comfort level with the p…

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STATE AND LOCAL governments are beginning to look at ways to help and protect local business. They are finding ways to provide information to the consumer via the local newspaper and websites, which in turn helps the newspaper survive with advertising. We have seen some larger companies buy …

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The 2020-21 school year is here and we are prepared to Return to Learn! Governor Walz, the Minnesota Department of Education, and the Minnesota Department of Health have provided guidance and expectations to school districts for a safe return to school. It is a daunting task to meet these ex…

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School is starting back up and many students are facing the reality of distance learning. This means hours spent doing classwork and homework while staring at a computer screen. For many students, this may lead to eyestrain and tired eyes. However, there is growing evidence that time spent i…

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I have a friend who on social media announced how excited he was to watch TV this week. Despite the fact he is pretty much as big of a sports fan as myself, he wasn’t talking about the NHL or NBA playoffs, or baseball. During the recent sports drought, his focus turned squarely onto politics…

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A year ago this week I joined the Bluejacket family, and have learned over the past year what a special community we have in Cambridge-Isanti. I am grateful for the strong community support of our schools. This is a community that values education and has high expectations for responsibility…

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With so much happening around the start of the 2020-21 school year, so many different plans taking shape in school districts across the state, and multiple points of guidance from the state, it’s no wonder that people have questions! 

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Municipal liquor stores exist to promote moderation and control in the sale and use of alcohol, working to keep it out of the hands of minors, while simultaneously generating income for the communities they serve. Profits are returned to taxpayers through levy reductions.

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As I write this on Monday afternoon, it is the first day of practice for the new fall sports season. As much as I like the summer months and appreciate a little lighter work schedule, this day usually for me is ripe with excitement over thoughts of getting back to one of my first loves - tak…

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Recently, I’ve seen a few articles written by people who describe the importance or the significance of still owning the glove they used while playing baseball as long ago as their high school years. In some cases, the sheer discovery of actually still owning this ancient, but valued, piece …

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As noted in past columns, our school district theme for the year is “Better Together.” And, although this is always true, it has rarely been more true than right now. The challenges we face as a community, and district, become more manageable when we are working together toward the same comm…

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Last week I was talking with Star reporter Jennifer Kotila when she mentioned how the Isanti City Council meeting was on Wednesday instead of Tuesday since Tuesday was originally supposed to be National Night Out. Hearing that completely blew my mind because the annual event had completely s…

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The pandemic we are in is taking its toll on people, on business, on health care and some of our freedoms. Anxiety and stress are on the increase. These are uncertain times in the economy. Will jobs be there? Will schools be open with traditional classroom teachers? When will a vaccine be av…

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For most of my adult life, I’ve never been a griller. While I love the taste of good meat that’s been cooked outdoors, I’ve never really acquired the knack for barbequing. That is, until last summer.

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I am fortunate to live in this wonderful community and have opportunities to build relationships with members of both the school, and broader, community. 

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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 will highlight creating an emergency kit, in the event an emergency situation arises for yourself, and/or the person you are caring for. The Alzheimer…

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One of the popular posts on many of those community social media pages is someone asking for recommendations for a certain something, followed by many responses with their personal preferences of who is the best for whatever it is the original post was looking for. The requests run the gambi…

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With all of the uncertainty and implications from Covd-19, this has been a very unprecedented year. The advent of shelter in place, working from home and social distancing has resulted in a noticeable increase in the use of City’s parks, trails and outdoor open spaces. This has allowed resid…

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Since starting on July 1, I have had the opportunity to meet so many with a strong sense of Viking Pride and look forward to meeting many more! Back to school planning is continuing at a quick pace and, like all school districts, we eagerly await guidelines from the state. We are working on …

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The summer of 2020 has been a hot one so far. Every year, the police department gets several calls from the public when they see a dog in a car in a parking lot. This is completely understandable. The heat is just as dangerous for our pets as it is for humans. They too can suffer heat exhaus…

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Last week, I used the phrase “cautiously pessimistic” regarding the City of Cambridge’s financial outlook. Well, this week, I think the phrase is again appropriate, but this time in terms of my attitude towards the starting or restarting of sports.

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I was at my desk in the Press office on Friday, July 3, when most of the staff had the day off. A knock at the door caught my attention so I answered it to discover it was Cal Rolstad. He came by with a subscription payment for the Quad Community Press which covers Lino Lakes, where he lives.

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I am thankful for all the opportunities I had over the past week to meet staff, students and community members while out in the schools, at the Concert in the Park, and at our school board meeting. I appreciated the conversations with all of those who attended a “Walk and Talk” I hosted on W…

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My name is Sara Paul, Superintendent at North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS) and one of North Branch’s newest residents! Everyone has made my family and I feel so welcome since we arrived and all of us thank you for making North Branch feel like home so quickly.

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Everything we do has to be done differently. Wearing a mask in public, keeping distance, avoiding crowds and no hugging.

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This week every year is not one of our dog Mollie’s favorite weeks of the year. She, like many dogs, does not like loud noises such as fireworks or thunder. Out of all the dogs my immediate family has had, a majority of them have had an aversion to one or the other, or both.

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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 will highlight how friends, family, faith and community organizations can reach out and support someone who may be caring for someone with Alzheimer’s…