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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.

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In 1492, he sailed the oceans blue. We will observe Columbus Day this coming Monday as the day Christopher Columbus discovered the New World on Oct. 12, 1492. 

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When I got the phone call from Cambridge city administrator Lynda Woulfe about the death of Marlys Palmer, it was quite the shock. While it was no secret she was getting up there in years, her energy and enthusiasm were still very high.

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Last Friday, Sept. 27, North Branch Area Public Schools hosted a professional development day for all staff. My deepest gratitude goes to Director of Teaching and Learning David Treichel, district Staff Development Coordinator Carolyn Slater, and all the staff that assisted them in putting t…

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“So you want to be a cowboy, well, you know it’s more than just a ride. Guess you got to know the real thing, if you want to know the other side. Ain’t nobody riding shotgun in the world tonight. And when you spit, you better mean it. You got to make ‘em all believe it if you’re gonna be the one.”

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It was with great pride that staff at North Branch Area Public Schools welcomed community members inside our schools for a first look at many of the improvements made possible by the May 23, 2017, referendum. The middle school, high school, and Sunrise were all open and available for visitor…

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Recently, I was talking with a group of readers about the performance of the Star and how we can make it even better. During that conversation, the question was asked about contributing press releases or even ideas for possible stories. 

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Recently, I saw a Twitter feed asking people to make the most “un-Minnesotan” statement. The answers were some of the typical not liking hot dish, calling pop “soda” or “coke,” among others.

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Last Wednesday school district leadership met for its annual administrative retreat to plan for the upcoming school year and launch new initiatives. It was an inspiring gathering of individuals dedicated to, and passionate about, educating kids and preparing them for life as an adult.

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As I was sitting and contemplating writing my next outdoor article with Max, my black lab, and constant outdoor walking partner, it occurred to me that the world is just getting overwhelmed with so much negative news that something needs to be written about all the great things we have to be…

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As thousands of students across Minnesota get ready to start the 2019-2020 school year, AAA reminds motorists to be aware of increased child pedestrian activity and traffic congestion in and around neighborhoods and school zones.

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The Minnesota Department of Commerce is echoing a warning by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General regarding a fraud scheme involving genetic testing.

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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 discuss the importance of holding a family meeting. 

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There is no doubt that this area is, and has been, growing for some time now. Besides the obvious increases in population, there is the increase in “big” business (and the converse decrease in “small” business). With that, there has also been a change in the mindset among many of the residents.

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Now is the time of year parents and guardians start preparing students for the upcoming school year. North Branch Area Public Schools provides updated school supply lists for the upcoming school year on the “Parent/Student Resource” page at its website (isd138.org). Look for a link to this p…

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Perhaps this article is a bit out of the “sports/outdoors” realm, but an event of exactly 50 years ago was as “outdoors” as any can get! Its importance cannot be overstated. 

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You know you have done it. It’s summertime – and there are a half dozen reasons to miss church Sunday. Family vacations, visiting grandma, going to the lake or just needing an extra morning to catch up on yard work. 

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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 focus on “sundowning,” a common behavioral change in a person living with Alzheimer’s disease. 

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In early June, the North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS) school board conducted a random sample survey to collect stakeholders’ thoughts on an operating levy to help bridge the gap between woefully inadequate state funding and the reality of providing high-quality educational opportunitie…

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I will admit that soccer isn’t one of my top sports to watch, especially international competition. But my interest will be increased for such events like the Olympics, or as what is currently going on – the Women’s World Cup.

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In 2015 North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS) was approached by local veterans with a mission in mind: Secure land in North Branch for the purpose of providing the community with a veterans memorial of its own. So many of our residents have served our nation by responding to the ultimate …

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Kids can be amazing. They develop new cell phone apps, set athletic records, volunteer with the elderly and perform lots of good deeds.  Unfortunately, much of the time it seems these are someone else’s children.

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As I’m sure a majority of people know, there has been a huge increase in the number of community pages on social media meant to provide “information” specific to a certain area. These pages, which some have sarcastically dubbed as “nosy neighbor” sites tend to be relatively harmless, especia…

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As I walked off the Bunker Hills golf course with Cambridge-Isanti activities director Mark Solberg last Tuesday, I out-loud made the same proclamation I usually only say to myself: “Well, that puts a wrap on another high school sports year.”

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On June 30 North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS) will bid farewell to current Director of Finance and Human Resources Dr. Jon Ellerbush. This is largely the result of budget adjustments for next year, which caused NBAPS to restructure administrative roles in an effort to absorb as much of…

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Last week, one of my cousins and uncles stopped by for a quick visit as they headed up north to the family cabin. While originally living in Omaha, Nebraska, they have now spent a considerable number of years living in Arkansas. For this trip, they also had a friend of theirs, who admitted h…