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Did you happen to notice our CIHS Bluejacket Marching Band taking to the streets in the Isanti Parade and the Forest Lake Parade in early July? Our students have been working so hard to prepare for their parade performances. There is nothing like the sound of a marching band to bring joy to …

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Last January I went in for a routine eye exam. Naturally, all the typical things were checked, including my blood pressure. As she read the numbers, the assistant commented that my pressure was a little high. While not being alarming, it was noteworthy because I have typically had lower bloo…

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As we begin to round the corner into August, back to school energy is brewing! We have been working to update our Strategic Plan to take us to new heights! We began this important work by engaging staff, high school students and community partners in our high school redesign. We have also me…

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OVER THE LONG Fourth of July holiday, people were getting out of town with a vengeance, traveling to their cabin, their favorite camping park, or visiting with friends and families.

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The 2021 Olympics (or is it the 2020 Olympics, just a year later?) will officially kick off this Friday. Naturally, a sports fanatic like myself always looks forward to this event, whether it’s the Summer or Winter version. But this year, I’m not 100% certain how much I will get into this pa…

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Year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most challenging years of all time due to a major pandemic. Despite all the odds, the City of North Branch embraced the challenging times with resilience and remained open for the public, performing all its normal functions without causing disr…

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Since I have Target’s app on my phone, each Sunday I get an email alerting me to their weekly ad. Like many retailers, they’ve started relying heavily on online promotion of their specials and less on paper inserts in publications (which is actually really bad news for us newspapers, but tha…

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Some serious ground was broken on Sunday evening, June 27, as about 23 men met at the Braham High School gym to resume the playing of open gym basketball. I was the oldest; nothing new there! Tyler Eklund, an about-to-be-eighth-grader in Braham, was the youngest. My estimate is that everyone…

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Last week I had a bit of a medical issue. Long story short, I have a kidney stone that just won’t pass on its own, forcing it to be removed via a procedure. The diagnosis wasn’t all that complicated, but the process I went through wound up being much more complex.

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A year ago when we were doing our first Readers Choice Best of Isanti-Chisago, Kanabec and Pine County contests, a story was shared with me. The sales consultant had met with one of their customers to talk about advertising in the section where we were publishing the names of the winners of …

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My family and I are spending our second full summer here as residents and it has been incredible! Last week friends and family visiting to celebrate our wedding anniversary walked down to Central Park to take in Concerts in the Park and it was amazing! It’s so nice to see so many of you out …

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Few things inspire people to achieve great things more than seeing others like themselves who have done it. With that in mind we have started a new feature at the North Branch Area Public Schools Facebook (www.facebook.com/nbapschools) called Alumni Spotlight.

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Last Saturday was the final high school sports event for the 2020-2021 school year, with the running of the state track and field meet. This time of year is always a little bitter-sweet for me. As I’ve said before, I am glad to be getting a little time to catch my breath after running all ar…

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In previous columns, I’ve told you about the rabbits that play their silly yard games, squirrels that race rings around the trees, and birds that use their frequent-flyer miles to empty the feeders. However, now that baby rabbits and little squirrels have joined the summertime frolic, the vo…

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You may have heard in the media that a criminal defense attorney has made a motion for a mistrial or a judge has granted a mistrial. As a part of a new Minnesota judge’s training there has been a mandatory mock trial exercise before a jury of law students and 2 veteran attorneys which is int…

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There can be no doubt that this school year caused both families and school districts to think about education differently. Implementation of our 2020-21 Safe Learning Plan was guided by a value for flexibility and choice for families to decide what is best for each child: distance learning …

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Come out to Central Park (6250 Main Street) for FREE concerts on Tuesday evenings, 7 p.m. There will be a variety of activities beginning at 6 p.m. including a bounce house, yard games, water features and chalk art! There will also be a book reading each night and a free copy of it provided …

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As I look out at the crowd of people before my eyes, I realize that there are many of you that I have not seen since last March. This year has been one of the first years where I have felt disconnected from my classmates, teachers, and school. For anyone who has also struggled with a feeling…

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Wow, I never thought that the sight of all of you clumped together in the gym would be so exciting, but here we are, over a year after all of our lives were seemingly put on hold and I could not be happier to celebrate our accomplishment, reunited once again. I remember the moment in element…

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Good Afternoon Members of the school board, Superintendent Paul, Principal McDonough, Assistant Principal Stevens, staff members, friends, families and graduates. Thank you all for being here today on this momentous occasion. As we all know, this past year we have lived amidst a global pande…

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While an official declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic being over hasn’t been made, you sure could fool people based on the seemingly sudden increase in activity in our neck of the woods.

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As we close in on the end of the 2020-21 school year, I have been thinking a lot about the year and the countless ways students made me feel welcome at North Branch Area Public Schools. Getting to know the student body has certainly been the highlight of the school year for me, and I am so a…

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Trauma is an experience which completely overwhelms a person’s ability to cope, causing them to feel overwhelmed. Examples of events that might be traumatic include experiencing or witnessing abuse, natural disasters like floods or fires, and life-threatening situations like severe car accid…