It is finally here!  Summer Vacation!  Although many families are ready to close the door on this most challenging of school years, learning does not need to take a backseat to summertime fun.  According to the Minnesota Department of Education, students on average can lose two months of rea…

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While you are reading this I am probably happily trooping around Washington, DC. on a week-long vacation. While I am writing this though I am mentally making a packing list and trying to make sure that my first trip on an airplane is smooth sailing. 

A long with summer comes the tick season in Minnesota. Many ticks can carry bacteria, viruses and parasites that can harm humans, including Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, in 2018, there were 950 confirmed Lyme disease cases and 496 confirmed o…

As a lady of a certain age I often get concerned questions and glances from fellow citizens when they find out that I am single and have no children.  (No this is not an invitation for suggestions or applications to change this.) If I am being truthful I can honestly say that I have no desir…

I think it would be hard to find a Minnesotan who didn’t love this season more than any other.  Autumn thrills us with the shocking arrays of scarlet, orange, gold, and russet; winter can provide us with postcard perfect images of snow blanketed forests and fields; though I realize there are…

For the last few weeks I have been pulling double duty here in the office, putting together both the Pine County Courier and the Star-Gazette. This week I was back to the regularly scheduled program of putting together just the Star-Gazette. 

Friday for many was a celebration. An end to the outdoor mask mandate was announced, and now the restrictions for vaccinated folks have been further lifted. For many, these announcements were met with tossed masks and unobstructed sighs of relief.

You may have heard of “tennis elbow,” but only about 5% of people who report having Lateral Epicondylitis can actually attribute it to playing tennis. Tennis Elbow, or Lateral Epicondylitis is an overuse injury of the extensor muscles and tendons in the forearm. Specifically, a group of tend…

It is a toss-up whether our sense of sight or sense of hearing is most over stimulated in the spring time.  Certainly the return of the color green in so many shades is a constant pleasure, and all the newly arrived birds, filling the trees and lawn delight the eyes, as do the bright, delica…

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurologic disorder which affects movement.  The disease is named after the English doctor James Parkinson, who published the first detailed description in 1817.  The disorder is fairly prevalent, with approximately 10 million cases in the US and 100 mill…

Have you held tension and stress in your shoulders? Maybe you’ve noticed that you even clench your jaw or grind your teeth. However, did you know that you can actually be holding tension anywhere in the body, and that there is a direct connection between tension in your jaw, your ability to …

I have long noted that when asked “How are you doing?” many folks simply respond with “I’m fine.” I am not sure where exactly it comes from, Mid-Western stubbornness, a desire to not be a burden, worry that those asking really don’t care, or some combination of all of these plus other reasons. 

Sloth seems to be a curse that plagues many newspaper folk. Being stuck behind a desk, typing away like rock stars with a different type of keyboard leaves little time for physical activities. 

It’s raining now.   A slow, soaking rain.  The kind we like in the early days of spring because it helps reduce the fire danger before everything ‘greens’ up.  It has also been a day of phenological significance. Phenology is the observation and recording of seasonal events in nature and spr…

Last week I explained that I don’t identify myself as a watchdog. I was told that being in the newspaper business makes you a watchdog. 

  It has been a year – yes a whole year – since we have heard of this plague of COVID-19. We Americans are an independent lot and there are some, after 500,000 deaths, still insist that masks and social distancing are not necessary.

“I’ve been exercising less.” “I spend so much more time sitting than I ever used to.” “I stopped exercises last year when the gyms closed and have not resumed.” “I used to be more active for my job, but now I work from home and sit all day.”  These are the statements I hear on a daily basis …

If you see people wearing green ribbons in March, it might be they are Irish or honoring  St. Patrick’s Day, but it also might be to raise awareness for  National Kidney Month!  The kidneys are a sometimes over-looked, but important part of several of the body’s organ systems.  They consist …

In the “news biz” editors and reporters tend to learn a little about a lot. With COVID-19 both of these categories have expanded. I have found myself learning much more than a little about many more things. 

As I write this on a snowy Sunday morning, the sun has come out and it is a perfect winter scene. In the meantime, there is a steady dripping coming off the roof as the solar energy kicks in.  Tomorrow is the first day of March – the beginning of meteorological spring.  We in northern Minnes…

Two months ago  I gave blood at Willow River High School. During this time they are testing blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. 

February at the “White House” is a notoriously hard month. Past years have seen funerals back to back, illness diagnosis and general cold gloomy days. 

Once again I feel it is time to share an unpopular opinion with you, dear readers. As Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching I think it is close enough to let you in  on a secret; I hate Valentine’s Day. 

The morning was perfect.  No wind, clear blue sky and a cloak of white draped over the land.  I dressed in layers, because the thermometer registered just 5F, and hurried out the door, as excited as a kid to put on my skis and hit the trails.  Why is it that so many of us adults lose that wo…

A few weeks ago I was reading a press release from Memorial Blood Centers;they are in desperate need of blood donations. Part of the release was a link to search for donations locations or blood drives in your area.  I did a quick search, to see where locally donations were being collected. 

When the restrictions associated with the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic were implemented in March of 2020, many looked forward to a vaccine which would end the pandemic.  Now that vaccines are available, however, some individuals have questioned the safety of vaccination against COVID-19. 

On my way into work Monday, traveling through the roundabout on the outskirts of Moose Lake I ended up nearly in a pile up with a car and semi. 

January is a month that normally sees a covering of white on everything, but the past four days we had the unusual condition of rime frost on the branches of all the trees, both pines and bare limbed hardwoods.  The frosted forests painted a winter scene not often encountered, but which was …

Folks send things in to the paper all the time and I love it! Getting to see the things that are going on in the community that people care about and want to share is one of the best parts of my job. 

Despite a heavy focus on COVID-19, health officials are seeing both confirmed cases and hospitalizations from influenza (flu) this fall. National Influenza Vaccination Week is a call to all Americans six months and older to get their annual flu vaccine if they have not already. Since COVID-1…

This will be the second year that I have waffled over chiming in on what I like to call “the great December debate”. By this I mean the grand divide between folks who say Merry Christmas and those who say Happy Holidays. (Sorry folks who say Happy Christmas, you get a pass on this one.)

It’s the last month of a very long year; at least it feels that way. One time I tried to put a color with each month and for December I chose black. It seems an appropriate choice because our general mood. This time of year is normally filled with festivities enhanced by the many colored lig…

  • Updated

A few weeks ago there was a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our house. Isolation protocols were speedily developed and put in place. We did our best over a week to sanitize, isolate and keep the sick safe while the healthy stayed healthy.

There are confirmed COVID-19 cases in our house. Despite caring for sick folks for a week, my own COVID-19 saliva test came back negative on Saturday.

Now we have turned our clocks back an hour and for some of us, this is just additional reason to consider hibernating.  The darkness comes far too soon and lasts longer each day until December 20th.   It doesn’t help that November brings gradually increasing cloud cover. It ranges from 49%- …