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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…

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In a world where we have access to any information we want right at our fingertips, there is still only one place to get official, trustworthy information about what is happening with our local government – the newspaper which the local government entity named its official legal newspaper. T…

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When Finance Director Kampa and I were hired in 2019, we were provided very clear direction: balance the budget and engage our community in the future success of our school district. A lot has happened in the last year to divert us from those goals. And despite the challenges, we are proud t…

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I had the opportunity to be part of the fun of “A Taste of Kindergarten.” Kudos to elementary principal Lori Zimmerman, Early Learning Childhood Coordinator Erica Bjerketvedt, and all of the staff that work together to make this event so special for families.

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Back when I was working as a photographer for the newspaper in Ely in the mid-90s, part of my weekly duties was to take “standalone” photos. Those are photos that newspapers publish without an accompanying story. Typically, these standalone photos are of some sort of public event - concerts,…

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It was reported in January that an Orlando server likely saved an 11-year-old boy’s life by getting involved. As his family dined, she noticed no food was ordered for the boy and that he had bruises and a large scratch on his forehead. She came back with a note only he could see, “Are you ok…

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2021 is off to an exciting start for the Finance Department, and entire City of North Branch for that matter. Recently, the City recently received a credit rating upgrade and positive outlook from Moody’s. This is fantastic news for the City during a normal year by itself, but it’s absolutel…

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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; this month’s article highlights exploring the possibility of seeking support with care-giving by spea…

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EASTER IS THE time Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Gene Peterson writes in his book, The Message, “The men said, ‘Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he …

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The Tweeted photos of the differences between the workout facilities at the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments are very compelling. As a fan of sports in general and in some instances a bigger fan of womens sports, the lack of weight room amenities is inexcusable. It’s almost as i…

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With collective diligence to adhere to COVID guidelines, we are returning from spring break with a spring in our step! I am so appreciative of the efforts of staff, students, and families at our school sites and Distance Learning Academy that have made it possible for families to have both t…

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Over the past year, local journalism has been more important – and more needed – than ever. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the reignited social justice movement to the explosive 2020 U.S. presidential election and its aftermath, people have been turning to news publishers, day in and day out,…

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Every mid-March, newspapers recognize “Sunshine Week,” which is an initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government. The concept of the name is based on newspapers being able to shine a light on government actions, and conversely, how citizens would be “in the dark” r…

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North Branch Area High School’s redesign process is creating new opportunities for high school students, especially in the area of career and technical education (CTE). To better serve students and families, North Branch Area Public Schools worked with Century College and Pine Tech. to insur…

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After decades of watching boys’ and girls’ basketball games and ice fishing, including eight times this winter, I have come to realize that there are similarities between the two activities I hadn’t dreamed possible. I suppose I hadn’t noticed them until now because the differences are so bl…

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Navigating a pandemic involves addressing a lot of unknowns. District and county leaders have partnered to ensure safe learning environments.  As the district COVID Coordinator, I am so appreciative of our  COVID Response Team of Jody Spofford, Abigail Krause, Kristen Swalboski, Brett Carlso…

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Subsequent to the November election, there were many lawsuits challenging the election results. I have no intention to enter the political discussion but simply to discuss the obligations of attorneys not to file frivolous lawsuits. In Minnesota, an attorney starting a lawsuit must acknowled…

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The above headline is part of a verse from the popular, yet controversial 80s song “867-5309/Jenny,” by Tommy Tutone. The reason it is so controversial is because 867-5309 is a legitimate phone number in many area codes. Once the song became a hit, anyone with that number began receiving ton…

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February 22-26 was school board appreciation week and certificates of appreciation were provided each school board member at the February 11 school board meeting. Given the amount of time school board members give of themselves in service to the children of the school district, and the dedic…

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Cambridge Act on Alzheimer’s seeks to raise awareness, educate our community, and reduce the stigma that surrounds Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. It is important to understand and be knowledgeable about the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Being aware, and knowledgeabl…

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Joining the school district this year has given me numerous opportunities to gain appreciation for some of the strong traditions in place.  For over ten years, Community Service Day has been an annual event in which students of all ages have the opportunity to service our community. It insti…

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Last week, I picked up a new pair of glasses, which was long overdue. I think I have shared with readers before that while I rely heavily on my eyes, I’m not exactly fanatical about them. So it’s been something like five years since my last checkup and prescription change.

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Viking pride is alive and well. As each student and staff member strives to be the best they can be, it inspires others to do the same. It is so important to take time to pause and celebrate excellence!

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One can be greatly amused by watching the animals in the backyard. My backyard in Braham is hardly the African Serengeti or the Amazon jungle where predator-prey factors rule. Instead, there is a much different “food chain” at my place, and the happenings here are much more entertaining than…

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The last couple weeks, we have been running updated numbers of people in Isanti and Chisago Counties who have received at least one dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccinations. And I must say, in researching those numbers, I become extremely frustrated.

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AS I LOOK back over the years, friendships have meant a lot to me. I have learned from people, I gain encouragement, and when a level of trust is reached I can share my sorrows and victories. 

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Young lawyers representing parties in lawsuits have a long learning curve. As a young lawyer you are amazed that clients actually hire you for your expertise, listen to your advice, and follow your recommendations. What may take longer to learn is one’s responsibility to the legal profession…

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I’ve always been at least lightly interested in history. During grade school here in Cambridge, the history classes were always very intriguing to me. I remember taking some interesting field trips during school to places like a recreation of an old fur trading post and the Hinckley Fire Mus…

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“Dear COVID-19, For generations, through devastation, heartache, destruction and evil, humanity has proven its resilience and power. Our history shows that we are masters of the comeback. Our DNA is woven from grit, ingenuity, creativity and love. We are lemonade makers – hope manufacturers …

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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 give families and friends some tips to help recognize when it may be time to explore the decision of moving the person with Alzheimer’s or other …

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Everyone involved with education this year is aware how much our processes have had to change to adjust to this temporary reality. There is very little that can be done “the way it used to be,” at least for the time being. However, it is important that our priorities remain!