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The scene is classic in American westerns: the alleged criminal awaits trial in the local jail when a mob of angry citizens, often with torches aflame, storms the jail to impose their chosen form of justice, that is, the criminal at the end of a rope. The mob acts as prosecutor, jury and exe…

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Like many people, I have gone through the process of “cutting the cord” and going with streaming services for my television viewing. I did this last spring not necessarily because I was displeased with my cable company. In fact, I find this company to be extremely good, with excellent custom…

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Well respected, honored and appreciated for his civil rights activism, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rightfully earned his place as one of the most influential figures in American and world history. Through his religious teachings and social activism, Dr. King played a key role in the American…

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Well, here we are at what sadly could easily be an annual rehashed column bemoaning the ending of the Minnesota Vikings’ season. As any fans of the purple are fully aware, this team just can’t find the formula that will bring even a Super Bowl appearance to the “Bold North.”

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THE NEW YEAR is underway and we hope and pray the pandemic will end soon. Vaccinations are underway but it will take several months before the majority of the population has been treated. It may be necessary to use masks for the next two years. They will reduce the spreading of other disease…

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Judges are so “opinionated” because in most civil cases they are required to detail the factual basis and legal reasoning for their decision in a written opinion. In the vast majority of criminal cases, other than pretrial motions to suppress evidence or dismiss a criminal charge or a court …

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I’ve never really comprehended the concept of celebrating New Years. Even more, I don’t understand the thinking that a simple change of the numbers on a calendar will bring on drastic, instantaneous changes to the world around us. It’s that same mentality that dictates that you should feel d…

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While 2020 has certainly been a year like none other, the City of Cambridge continues to serve its citizens.  Here are few highlights of the Finance Department perspective.  

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In an effort to raise awareness, educate our community, reduce the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease and assist families who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease; this month’s article highlights communication tips for family and friends of someone with Alzheimer’s disease and re…

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Easily the worst Christmas I have ever experienced was back in 1979, when I was nine years old. That year my grandma, who had been diagnosed with Leukemia, suddenly died from the disease, resulting in her funeral being held on Christmas Eve. The whole family, who were scattered living in Min…

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MORE OUTDOOR DECORATIONS are noticeable this season. People are eager to find ways to celebrate the holiday season. There have been so many restrictions -and many are necessary - that people are finding that with the warm fall weather, they could get outdoors and enjoy decorating. 

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It can certainly be said that 2020 has been the strangest of years. Daily tasks of contact tracing, ensuring social distancing, and wearing PPE were not even in my vocabulary a year ago! In the midst of the many concerns that require immediate attention is a deep sense of joy to live and ser…

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If you are like me, you might be becoming a bit weary of words and phrases such as unprecedented, the new normal, and contactless. As the year 2020 comes to a close in the next couple of weeks, it has been refreshing to observe the optimism that a new year can bring. January 1 is technically…

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One of my mom’s favorite parts of the Christmas season is baking cookies. I’m not just talking about the traditional sugar cookies and one or two others. Just off the top of my head, I can think of seven different recipes. In fact, the two more “traditional” Christmas cookies - decorated sug…

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On the evening of December 2, I was just doing what I do every night - reading my daily StarTribune. I had set aside the Variety section with its crossword puzzles and Sudoku and had scanned the Business section. Next, I proceeded to the Minnesota section, where, at the end, are the daily ob…

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It has been an exciting journey for me to get to know all that makes up North Branch Area Public Schools. Joining the district in July, I have had the opportunity to see first hand how members of the district prepare all learners for success in school and in life. 

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During this latest round of shutdowns of bars and restaurants, I, like many people are doing what we can to help support local establishments. As part of that, I have even posted commentary about my purchases on social media, which is something I normally won’t do. But I figure word of mouth…

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The first snowfall of the year is always followed by a number of questions concerning the City’s rules concerning the removal of that snow that has just fallen on your sidewalk or driveway. Here are a few of the questions that are most frequently asked. For a complete list of the ordinances …

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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 explore the technique of Therapeutic Fibbing and why experts recommend applying it to assist communicating with someone experiencing dementia. 

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North Branch Area Public Schools is up and running with remote learning and I have been so impressed with the staff’s efforts to make this period as successful as they can for each student. The patience and grace of staff and families has been greatly appreciated!

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My alarm went off. As I lay in bed with my mind still muddled, my husband leaned over to speak the first words I would hear that day. What he said surprised me:

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Growing up, like many kids across the country, I enjoyed watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade each Thanksgiving morning. The balloons were really cool, along with the floats. And back in those days, it actually was the kickoff to the Christmas season, so Santa’s appearance in the fina…

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WE NOW HAVE a president-elect who has the great challenge of uniting the country. It may not be possible. The close election tells me that the battle isn’t over. The letters to the editor will diminish, the yard signs are put away and television commercials will go back to medical remedies a…

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Thanksgiving is a great time for counting our blessings and expressing gratitude. In challenging times, an attitude of gratitude is all the more important, and this year has been one of the most difficult for so many! Nevertheless, we’ve seen many people in communities across our country who…

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Longtime readers of this column may remember that I have repeatedly mentioned around this time of year my fondness of Christmas music. In the past, I’ve professed how I don’t mind hearing holiday tunes well before Thanksgiving and have even intentionally programmed my car and office radio to…

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Thanksgiving is upon us already and, even in these times, there is so much to be thankful for! There are so many things I am grateful for this year it’s hard to know where to begin.

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The United States and upper Midwest have entered a new phase in the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases are rising faster than ever before and hospitals are getting close to capacity.  Our Isanti County 14-day case rate per 10,000 people is up to 115.97 (10/25-11/7), which has led many schools to trans…

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As I was filling out my ballot on Election Day two weeks ago, I did something I rarely have done before. Before walking away from the booth, I took a good, close look at who I had voted for, trying to see if there was any sort of trend to my votes. Interestingly, but not at all surprising kn…

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COVID-19 is a constant stressor on each of our minds. The county level data continues to increase, which is of concern. Our efforts to mitigate risk are working to reduce transmission of the virus in our schools. I commend staff and students for making these critical adjustments and adhering…

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In this week’s edition of the Star, you will find an envelope for our twice-a-year Voluntary Subscription Drive. It seems like forever since I’ve written about this topic in this column, but it’s been the same seven months in between our drives as last year. In fact, the last time we made th…

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THE PANDEMIC IS taking its toll on people in America and around the world. Loss of income, loss of family members, schools and education interrupted, businesses closing, relationships and vacations interrupted.

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As most of you have hopefully heard (especially if you chose to do an absentee ballot), a Federal Appeals Court ruled that all absentee ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day in Minnesota would have to be kept separate from the other ballots. This decision opened up the possibility th…

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On October 13, I  presented my State of the City  to the Chamber.  Normally the number of miles of paved streets, number of houses, new businesses, etc are the headlines as we look back in the past.  This year I started with a photo of my very long hair due to the business closures from the …

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Preparing for North Branch Area Public Schools’ shift in learning models to levels 3 (most sites) and 4 (high school) has been a team effort and demonstrates what staff can accomplish working together! Creating the conditions necessary to make the shift required participation at every level.…

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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 a resource from the Alzheimer’s Association that bares reminding. In this time, where resources and support are either not available, or, hav…

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Last Wednesday, I was driving along when I passed an amusing sight at my parents’ place. There, in the driveway, was the truck for the irrigation company that does maintenance on their sprinkler system. The company was there to blow out their system for the winter, and following the early sn…

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Cambridge Fire Department, along with members of Isanti Fire District, North Branch, Dalbo, and Braham Fire Departments participated in a live burn training exercise on Saturday, Oct. 24. 

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Flexibility and choice has allowed each family to make decisions that best meet the needs of their unique situation during this pandemic. Over 500 students are attending our Distance Learning Academy. We continue to improve our program by constantly receiving and adjusting to feedback. 

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Things around a newspaper are hardly ever dull. There always seems to be something going on. Some days may be slower, while others are so busy you hardly have time to take a breath. This past week was definitely the latter, but it wasn’t exactly due to a large number of news to cover. In fac…

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Since my last column, high school volleyball and football have returned, and some games have been played. The smacking sounds of serves, sets and spikes resound off the walls in the gym. The voice of an excited announcer accompanies the crashing of Friday night football pads as both echo thr…

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CANCER IS A dreaded word for anyone alive today. Every family seems to have someone being treated or has died from the “big C.” It’s scary, but there are a lot of tests that can be done to catch it and treat it at an early stage.

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It is no secret that over the past several years, we have become an extremely divided society. Gone are the feelings following 9/11 that we are in fact the United States of America. This division has pitted friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor, even family member against family member.

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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.