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I was in a sour mood last Saturday (March 21). Although it was the second Saturday where everything was canceled because of COVID-19, the first Saturday I was kept plenty busy trying to keep up with all the breaking news and cancellations. But last Saturday, things had calmed down enough so …

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The state’s school district coronavirus response has been very public since last Sunday when Governor Tim Walz announced statewide school closures. To be sure, our school district, and most others, have been preparing for COVID-19’s arrival for several weeks; participating in conference call…

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During a regular news cycle, weekly newspapers always have to be cognizant of their articles becoming outdated too quickly. Case in point, I had to figure out how best to cover the Cambridge-Isanti girls basketball team’s appearance in the state tournament last Wednesday when the article of …

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COVID-19 has reached pandemic levels in the United States. It is time to live with caution and develop new and renew healthy practices at home, at work, in schools in medical centers and senior care facilities. People are frightened, herd buying is taking place at food stores primarily for b…

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In my many years of starting and running businesses, I am always looking for new ideas, new opportunities. With the latest purchase agreement in the “old” industrial park - the one east of CR 30n - all the land in that Industrial Park is sold. The same week I signed the purchase agreement fo…

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It was only a few hours after my column from this week’s edition of the Star was made public when I received a critical email from a person I have a ton of respect for. I won’t identify him outside of saying he is a doctor. A few hours later, we happened to meet up, where he told me he regre…

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Our publisher, Jeff, gave out a shout of anguish the other day. As a major James Bond fan, he just discovered that the latest installment of the movie franchise, which was set to be released in theaters the middle of April, would be delayed until late November. The reason? The Coronavirus.

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Over the past few weeks, Cambridge-Isanti Schools have celebrated School Board Appreciation Week and #PublicSchoolsProud Week. As I think about the foundation of our community and society, I believe nothing is more important than the education of our citizens for the future of our democracy …

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“Hey, it’s a new year, a new decade,” I said to my husband while we were relaxing a few weeks ago.  “You’re turning 60 this year. I think we should look at our life and think about where we want to be in the next five or 10 years while we still have our health.” 

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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 discusses the valuable resource available to families who have a family member in long-term care such as Memory Care, Assisted Living or a Skilled Car…

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With the state of Minnesota moving to a presidential primary instead of caucuses, plus the barrage of presidential campaigning, the 2020 election season has started earlier than ever before. Because of this, I feel the need to already remind our readers of a policy change here at the Star.

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Feb. 17-21 is Minnesota School Board Recognition Week – a chance for all of us represented by school boards to say “thank you” to those who volunteer and provide such a valuable service to all of our communities statewide. As our school board does not have a scheduled meeting that week, we r…

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North Branch has evolved into a proactive, business-friendly and forward-thinking city. We are prepared for commercial, industrial and residential development more than ever before!

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Last Saturday, I managed to arrange my schedule so that I would be able to help Kirsten, the editor of our sister paper the Kanabec County Times, with covering the annual Vasaloppet cross country ski race. I was happy to do this because it is a big event for the Mora area that I had not been…

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We all have times in our lives when we would like to “take a mulligan.” A mulligan is a do-over in golf even though not allowed in the rules and permitted only among friends. When the player makes a very bad shot, the player calls “mulligan” and is allowed to do that shot over.  

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Although I am a huge sports fan, I can honestly say that I don’t get star-struck over athletes or other sports-related public figures. Despite that, I will admit that when I found out Minnesota Gopher head football coach P.J. Fleck was going to be a guest speaker at this year’s Minnesota New…

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At the school board’s January work session on Thursday, Jan. 24, Director of Business Services Todd Tetzlaff summarized North Branch Area Public Schools’ current budget situation as well as projections for the 2020-21 budget. For our school district, with a long history of annual budget adju…

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Although I’ve taken in a good number of concerts – usually at least a couple a year – it’s been some time since I’ve gone through the ticket purchasing process at the exact minute tickets first go on sale. A majority of the time, I could casually shop for the most ideal seat location at leas…

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It may be the excitement of a new year – or ushering in a new decade – or perhaps it’s the excitement of kindergarten registration season, but I find myself looking forward and thinking about the future. 

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Governor Tim Walz, the Minnesota State High School League, the Minnesota Interscholastic Activities Administrators Association, and the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association have announced “Thank A Coach/Advisor Week” from Jan. 27 through Feb. 2. 

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After covering four or more city council meetings a month for several years now, I will admit that sometimes these meetings can get a little mundane. While it’s a given that a majority of the time one or more agenda topics will be worth reporting on in our paper (i.e. ordinance changes, budg…

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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.