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Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine, this pandemic persists, in part due to resistance to the vaccine.  While I do not support vaccine mandates and believe in personal freedom of choice in health matters, it is important that people make sure they are basing their decisi…

I have noted something about myself in the last few weeks. Apologizing and thanking folks in abundance seems to be something that I do too often. 

Last month began and ended with smoke filled skies. We hope that recent rains will mean that September has better air quality than what we had last week due to a large fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  The winds caused the fire to spread and they also pushed the smoke further into Dul…

Nearly one in four U.S. households has someone living with migraine. It is the number two cause of disability in the world, according to a study in the Journal of Headache and Pain, yet some people still don’t recognize how debilitating migraine can be. 

This week I was able to sneak in some “me time.” With my thirst for adventure and limited time away from the office, home and responsibilities I decided it was time to do something a bit off the wall. 

This summer the Minnesota Legislature passed the Veterans Restorative Justice Act, which goes into effect on August 1.  The law creates a deferred prosecution program for certain veterans in the criminal justice system who are willing to undergo intensive supervision while on probation for t…

We have never experienced the kind of terrible air quality as we have in the past two weeks with some of the highest particulate readings on record.  Fires burning in Ontario, just across the border and a wind from the north is blowing the smoke into our state.  Earlier it was the fires from…

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act (LJSA) was recently introduced in the House and has now been introduced in the Senate — and will benefit every member of this community! Unlike many issues in Washington, this legislation has bipartisan support and is focused on delivering benefits to …

This week I was able to interview Brad Hubred, a teacher at Moose Lake Community School, about a ceremony that he is working hard to bring to Moose Lake called the Blue Ribbon Ceremony. 

Already this summer we have lived through two episodes of extreme heat here in northern Minnesota. Records were broken on June 4, and more than 20 different DNR stations recorded high temperatures of 100F or more on the 4 and 5.  We typically would see this kind of heat in mid-July or August…

It starts off with a few “just in case” trips to the bathroom, maybe before you sit down for a meeting at work, before you get into the car for a long ride, before the movie starts. Over time, it happens a little more; “I’m near the bathroom, I’ll just go in-case.” Eventually, it becomes mor…

Last month I was lucky enough to be able to head to Washington D.C. for a week long walking tour of  the sites. 

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…

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…