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Fink named Activities Director of the Year Page 3

City of East Bethel News Page 16

Youth Tackle Football Team Undefeated Page 31


The Courier


Independent School District 15 Communications Department St. Francis, Minnesota Serving the communities of Andover, Athens Township, Bethel, East Bethel, Linwood Township, Nowthen, Oak Grove, St. Francis and Stanford Township

District 15 voters pass bond referendum LISA RAHN


Senior Day at St. Francis High School (SFHS) was held October 25. Students take time to focus on options after graduation. Coleton Petrucci (left) meets with Jill Salo, SFHS student counselor, to review some post-secondary options for his career path. See article on page 6. 


Election results for November 7 ISD 15 bond referendum canvassed by school board A resolution canvassing vote returns of votes of St. Francis Independent School District 15 Special Election held November 7 was passed at the November 13 School Board meeting. Be it resolved by the school board of St. Francis Independent School District 15, state of Minnesota, as follows: 1. It is hereby found, determined and declared that the special election of the voters of this school district held November 7, 2017, was in all respects duly and legally held. 2. As specified in the attached abstract of votes cast, a total of 4,921 voters of the school district voted at said special election to consider ballot question number one as follows: School district ballot question one Approval of school building bonds Shall the school board of Independent School District 15 (St. Francis), Minnesota, be authorized to issue general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $80,060,000 for acquisition and betterment of school facilities?

3. Votes cast for and against the question are as follows: Yes votes No votes Ballot question one 2,574 2,346 4. Ballot question one having received the approval of at least a majority of such votes is hereby declared to have carried. 5. The clerk is hereby directed to certify results of the general election to the county auditors of each county in which the school district is located in whole or in part. Summary of totals Independent School District 15 (St. Francis) Tuesday, November 7, 2017, school district general election. Number of persons registered as of 7:00 a.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,094 Number of persons registered on Election Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164 Number of accepted regular, military and overseas absentee ballots and mail ballots . . . . . . . . . . . 522 Total number of persons voting . . . . . . . . . . 4,921 (one absentee ballot was not marked) Voter turnout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24.29%

Voters in Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) approved an $80.06 million bond question on November 7. The single question on the ballot addresses critical deferred maintenance and facility needs, improved districtwide safety, security and accessibility and enhanced education spaces and learning environments. After voting down two questions on the ballot in May, the school board and district reached out to residents and asked for feedback. Residents had several opportunities to provide feedback through an online survey, at a community forum and during a dialogue session, which allowed residents to meet one-on-one with school board members. After gathering the feedback, the school board and district leaders listened and made changes to the bond referendum for the November election. Those changes included seeking approval to maintain current tax levels, limited stadium improvements to address Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accessibility issues, and slightly reduced deferred maintenance scopes. Another change was hosting early voting (absentee) at Central Services Center and Anoka County Government Center. The number of district residents that took advantage of early voting for this election was 522. The school board canvassed the results of the election on November 13, with 2,574 yes votes and 2,346 no votes. The next steps will include establishing a bond oversight committee, a design committee, and putting together meetings to gather input from user groups and stakeholders. Communication in this process is key, so a plan will be developed which will include communications through our district website, presentations and updates at board meetings/work sessions, open house events and information in The Courier and district eNews. The Bond Oversight Committee (BOC) will meet bi-weekly and develop a timeline which will include an integration of ongoing district activities and programs in construction planning. It is estimated that the design and planning process will take up to nine months, with construction potentially beginning summer of 2018. This is a very exciting time for all and ISD 15 will keep Inside the community updated and informed at Schools in Action.......................2 bond. School Board Highlights.........13 On behalf of all ISD 15 staff and 4,500 students, a big thank Community & Business..........15 you to the community for Community Education............26 getting to the polls and voting. Meetings, Events & Benefits...29 Your support of the school district will truly help build our Sports & Outdoors...................30 Life..............................................32 future together.




Schools in Action Superintendent’s Bulletin TROY FERGUSON ISD 15 SUPERINTENDENT

As most of you know by now, Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) was successful in getting our voterapproved bond referendum passed on November 7. I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you who took the time to become informed on the issue as you made your decision. This effort was no small feat and we are grateful to our community for answering the call to make long, overdue improvements to our facilities. We understand completely that this was a huge request of our community and we sincerely believe this is another opportunity to include our stakeholders and bring our

community together as we build our future together. Our bond oversight committee held its first post-election meeting November 23 and will continue meeting weekly until project completion. There is much work to do and we are all excited and anxious to begin the process. Input from our stakeholders is a core piece of this project and we will have multiple opportunities for you to voice your ideas. Our hope and belief is that our community will embrace this opportunity to become involved in the design phase and beyond. For public forums and updates on the design

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process and construction, visit www. Our mission is to equip all students with the knowledge and skills to empower them to achieve their dreams and full potential while becoming responsible citizens in a dynamic world. The bond aligns perfectly with our mission by helping us to continue to better our students’ experiences and opportunities within ISD 15. Our teachers and staff work throughout the year to reach every student at their level. ISD 15 hosts programs to give every student a chance for a safe, educational and well-rounded

life. We start in early childhood and continue to graduation and beyond, providing learning experiences for all. There will be challenges along each student’s intellectual and self-journey, and we encourage them to reach out to teachers, staff and administration for help and direction. In ISD 15, we believe that every person matters and has value. Thank you to everyone for your support and all that you do for our students and community. Happy Holidays and well wishes for a prosperous New Year.

Elementary students learn fire safety NICOLE MOLD


First-grade students from St. Francis Elementary School visited the St. Francis Fire Station as part of an October unit on fire and safety. Each class made the three-block walk to the station and saw the fire department’s equipment and trucks. One highlight of the trip was the hands-on experience of spraying water from the fire First-grade students with firefighter Jonathan Faanes during a tour of the hose. Upon the St. Francis Fire Department. SUBMITTED PHOTO student’s departure, the first-graders to participate in during Fire the sirens were sounded to wish them goodbye! Prevention Week. This was a great community field trip for

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Fink named Activities Director of the Year

Victory Garden looks ahead for continued growth



On October 9, Jeff Fink, St. Francis High School (SFHS) activities director, was named the 7AA Activities Director of the Year. He was nominated independently by six activities directors within Section 7 for his leadership, mentorship and program success. Fink was voted in 17-1, the nay vote being himself. “I’ve been nominated before, but I have declined the nomination in the past. This time, they didn’t tell me I was nominated,” chuckled Fink. “It is an honor to be nominated by your peers.” Fink has mentored other activities directors in Chisago, Big Lake, St. Michael and North Branch in the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MnIAAA). “I’ve worked with other activities directors a lot,” stated Fink. “There are many components and parts. You don’t know what you don’t know when you become an activities director.” This recognition acknowledges the work of students, coaches and staff at SFHS. In the 2016-17 school year, 1,308 total participants engaged in athletic, theater, music, art or extracurricular activities, such as Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), speech, robotics and more through the SFHS Activities Department. For the 2017-18 school year, there are 32 fall athletic coaches, 31 winter athletic coaches, 25 spring coaches and 56 activity positions hired throughout the school year. Participants, coaches and activity positions are supported by two full-time staff members—Fink and Heidi Antinozzi, SFHS Activities Department office professional. “Our job is to make sure our activities participants have a good experience in whatever they are doing,” said Fink. “We facilitate and organize all the events, from transportation, uniforms to day-to-day operations. Our job is to put SFHS in a good light when we are competing in music, sports and theater performances by making sure our coaches and students are comfortable.” “The purpose of educationbased activities is to have our kids grow into productive young adults that can handle




Jeff Fink (above) was named the 7AA Activities Director of the Year in October and will receive the award in March of 2018.


adversity, failure or success. They are able to function at a higher level because of the activities they are in.” “This award is just a recognition,” affirmed Fink. “It is nice to be recognized by your peers and to be congratulated by parents, but the award means that others think I do my job well. Antinozzi and I are constantly talking about how events can run more smoothly and how we can

Get the

communicate better—that’s an ongoing conversation we have daily. We want people attending our events to leave with a real positive feeling toward SFHS.” Fink will receive the 7AA Activities Director of the Year award at the end of March during the state banquet where he is also a finalist for the Activities Director of the Year in Minnesota.


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The Victory Garden at Crossroads School & Vocational Center (CSVC) is again participating in SeedMoney’s year-end fundraising challenge. The Crossroads Victory Garden Committee is asking for your help. The SeedMoney website recently launched, and the first 50 projects submitted to raise $600 online will win $400 in a challenge grant. Last year the Victory Garden won a challenge grant. Funds raised this year will go to adding interpretive signage, soil amendments, wood chips for walking paths, heavyduty tomato cages and management of the prairie by Prairie Restorations. Our objective is to enhance our outdoor learning environment for our students. The garden has been a great success so far and we want to continue to promote the benefits of healthy, garden-grown foods to our students. SeedMoney runs this challenge only once a year and this challenge will end December 15. Thanks to all for your past support; it is very much appreciated. Here is the address to donate: https://donate.

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Grandparent’s Day at East Bethel Community School JAMIE STUDNICKA


Part of the fourth-grade curriculum in Independent School District 15 includes learning about immigration and heritage. Fourth-grade students at East Bethel Community School (EBCS) start by interviewing their families. Students fill out

questionnaires on immigrants, cultural highlights and personal stories from their grandparents. Then they develop and create personal heritage posters. The posters include a family tree, pictures, maps and flags from their ancestors’ nations. The learning experience culminates with Grandparent’s Day at EBCS. During the day, the students’

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Grandparents Arlene and Virgil Bates visit EBCS to help fourth-grade students learn about immigration, heritage and culture.  PHOTO BY NANCY ZAK


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The Madrigal Singers from St. Francis High School participated in the Anoka Grand Day Halloween parade October 28. This talented group of juniors and seniors recently performed the 37th annual Madrigal Singers Dinner performances along with appearances in the community including the Veterans Day Breakfast November 10. THE COURIER PHOTO



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Anti-bullying awareness pizza party KARA LOFGREN


During an anti-bullying assembly at Cedar Creek Community School (CCCS) in October, one student from each grade level was chosen to represent that grade at a pizza party The anti-bullying awareness party was sponsored by the St. Francis Police Department. The students were able to ride along with the police officers, tour the police station and enjoy a pizza party for dinner. (Right) CCCS students on their way to the police station for a pizza party. Pictured (L-R): Cole Holm, Aydan Parker, Lucas Lockman, Eleanor Windschitl, Kaylee Hermen and Dylan Cederberg. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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Thursday, December 14 5:30-7:30 p.m. Students from Saints Academy, St. Francis High School and St. Francis Middle School attended WE Day Minnesota along with about 18,000 Minnesota students on November 8. This was the fifth WE Day event held in St. Paul that Independent School District 15 has participated in. WE Day is the world’s largest youth empowerment event that celebrates the power of young people coming together to change the world. Students participated in a pep rally, concert with motivational speeches, music and dancing. Students cannot buy a ticket to WE Day—youth from across the country earn their way by the actions they take on one local and one global cause of their choice. ISD 15 MULTICULTURAL, CARLINE SARGENT

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Senior Day On October 25, the St. Francis High School (SFHS) counselors and the College and Career Center hosted the 5th annual Senior Day. This is an exciting day that focuses on post secondary planning. It takes place during October, which is College Knowledge month. It is a time when many colleges and universities waive their application fee. Each senior was scheduled for a time throughout the day to attend Senior Day. Seniors had an opportunity to meet with military representatives, research possible career options, apply to college and meet with their counselor. Additionally, there was a celebration area with games, prizes, snacks and a place for seniors to take pictures with signs declaring their future plans. This year was a big success! Over 53 percent of the seniors who attended Senior Day applied to at least one college or university. As counselors, we love to see the excitement in students as they are planning their futures and working toward goals. It is a time when their hard work has paid off and they are able to see the fruits of their labor. This event would not be the same without the volunteers and donations received. We are extremely appreciative of everyone who had a hand in this event to make it possible. We look forward to continuing to make this Pictured (L-R) Emma Arnold met with Samantha Schmidt, SFHS an annual student counselor, to plan her post-secondary career path. event. PHOTO BY KATRINNA DODGE Mary Dresch Agency


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The hallways were filled with costumes at East Bethel Community School (EBCS) during the EBCS student council Fall Book Walk. The EBCS student council invited families for a fun night on October 30. Over 150 parents and students participated in the event. Families dressed in their favorite costume and moved through maze of author names, hoping to land on a winning author. When the music stopped and an author’s name was announced, if you were standing on that name you were given a ticket to choose a free book. The evening finished with a movie, Scared Shrekless, in the gym. Every student left with at least one book of their choice. The goal of the evening was to promote reading and bring families to school for a fun night. The Fall Book Walk was made possible through the efforts of EBCS student council, EBCS volunteer staff, EBCS Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and the St. Francis High School National Honor Society. Books were purchased through funds raised by the EBCS PTO.

A special thanks to our volunteers: Chris Carrigan, Alexa Kelly, Jessica Petrik, Katie Arnold, Jamie Studnicka, Lorraine Crain, Pam Stoeckel, Kate Nelson, Lisa Schaefer, Shauna Coble, Rileigh Vojta, Maleia St. Hilaire, Kaydee Bjork, Kayla Clabo and the members of EBCS student council. This great event would not have been possible without their tireless efforts. Pictured Journey picks out a book at East Bethel Community School Fall Book Walk. PHOTO BY NICOLE HEHIR

Saints Academy builds fish house MATT ANDERSON


Saints Academy students have been busy this school year building numerous projects such as tables, birdhouses, bat houses and a Chromebook cart. Larger scale project included building a fish house. The 8 x 12 foot

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Learning with sunflowers


American Indian Education Parent Committee Meeting



Tuesdays, December 12 & January 9, 5:00 p.m. St. Francis High School Room C-204

Students in Joan Copa’s first-grade class were in for a special treat when they were able to have a lesson on sunflowers from Scott Kruger. Kruger brought in some of the sunflowers that were grown in the St. Francis Elementary School (SFES) plots at the community garden. These sunflowers were planted last spring by students in kindergarten and third-grade. The students were surprised to see just how large the sunflowers can get. Kruger plans to use the seeds in the flowers to plant more sunflowers at the community garden next spring.

If you are a parent, guardian or foster parent of an American Indian student in ISD 15 and would like to be part of the American Indian Education Parent Committee, you are encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Carline Sargent at 763-213-1575 or email carline.

Students in Joan Copa’s class enjoy the opportunity to have an up-close look at the sunflowers as well as see how the sunflower feels. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Courier Contacts


On October 13, Angela Scardigli, principal at East Bethel Community School (EBCS), presented to the school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) their 2017-18 focus on improving reading scores for all grades. According to Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) scores from 2013 to 2017, reading scores in grades 3-5 do not have a consistent upward trend and vary from year to year. According to the Minnesota Report Card, in 2013 third-graders at EBCS were 58.9 percent proficient in reading. In 2015, 72.6 percent were proficient before dropping to 59.6 percent in 2017, which is two percentage points above the district proficiency of 57.1 percent and the 56.8 percent proficiency reported for thirdgraders statewide in 2017. In 2013, fourth-graders at EBCS were 36.7 percent proficient in reading. In 2015 and 2017, 48.5 percent tested proficient, which is approximately nine percentage points below the district proficiency of 57.8 percent and the 57.0 percent proficiency reported for fourth-graders

statewide in 2017. In 2013 fifth graders at EBCS were 72.9 percent proficient in reading. In 2015, 71.4 percent were proficient before test scores rose slightly to 71.9 percent in 2017, which is almost in line with the reported district proficiency of 72.3 percent and approximately 4 percentage points above the 67.5 percent proficiency reported for fifth graders statewide. Another form that EBCS analyzes student progress and growth is Academic Improvement Measurement System (AIMS), a universal screening. AIMS is a progress monitoring and data management system that supports a multitiered approach to identification and support of students with learning and behavioral needs also known as Response to Intervention (RTI), and tiered instruction. AIMS results from grades 1-5 in EBCS depict a lack of an upward trend in scores and too many students testing into tiers two and three. MCA scores paired with the AIMS data depict a need to improve reading. For the 201718 school year, EBCS teachers and staff implemented Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS) to address gaps

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in reading skills and individual student instruction. PRESS provides intervention methods for teachers to address when a student needs help. EBCS started implementing this tool with students who score in AIMS tiers two and three. If EBCS students are not performing at or above grade level as assessed by fluency passages, teachers are utilizing PRESS to identify any missing phonics and/or decoding skills. Once missing skills are identified, teachers use PRESS interventions to move skills to mastery. EBCS teachers also measure their students’ fluency skills each month using grade level passages. Using the fluency data, teachers can adjust individual and classroom instruction. To review the fluency data, EBCS is utilizing John Hattie’s model of effect size. Effect size is one method to view the data and

begin growth discussions at classroom, grade level and site levels. Scardigli reached out to former math teacher and current St. Francis High School Activity Director Jeff Fink to ensure mathematically the process was solid. Effect size allows teachers to view an overall measure of their class scores in comparison to scores from their team. At monthly Professional Learning Community (PLC) time, teachers have the opportunity to share strategies to bring all students to high achievement standards. PRESS is one of the strategies that EBCS teachers will be able to share as the program progresses. Utilizing PRESS to help fill skill gaps, monitoring fluency rates and PLC discussions will assist in bolstering reading scores for students.

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Saints Academy now MAAP STARS member JULIE GLOEGE


It’s official—Saints Academy is a member of Minnesota Association Alternative Programs (MAAP) Success Teamwork Achievement Recognition Self Esteem (STARS). MAAP STARS is a statewide organization for alternative students to help them build the following skills: ■ Develop employment, academic and social skills ■ Experience career related

activities that in turn assist them in making an informed career choice ■ Build a cooperative and competitive spirit through individual and team activities and competition ■ Strengthen social skills and build an appreciation for the responsibilities of citizenship, brotherhood and the American free enterprise system ■ Develop self-confidence, increase motivation and create a desire for and belief in lifelong learning

MAAP STARS Leadership team includes students (L-R): Luna Skiles, Jordan Rumsey holding the chapter certificate, Paula McCarthy and Julie Gloege, MAAP STARS adviser.

■ Meet with, have fun with and ultimately develop an appreciation for students and staff from other alternative programs Members of the brand new MAAP STARS chapter, Julie Gloege, MAAP STARS adviser and student Paula McCarthy, attended a leadership conference October 25 in Swanville. They listened to energizing and engaging motivational speakers Carl Olson and Derek Greenfield. They also planned future events to build a sense of

community and enhance the vocational focus at Saints Academy throughout the year. Our MAAP STARS leadership team consists of Julie Gloege, work experience coordinator, and three Saints Academy students: Luna Skiles, Paula McCarthy and Jordan Rumsey. The team is busy planning this year’s events including a big sale of plants, wood items, student-made art projects, crafts, greeting cards and other items. Watch for future advertisements and plan to shop our sale in May.

Julie Gloege, MAAP STARS adviser and Paula McCarthy (right), attended the MAAP STARS Fall Leadership Conference at Lake Beauty Camp in Swanville. PHOTOS BY EMILY TROUT, CSVC AG TEACHER

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Alex Cardona of St. Francis Middle School won a state gold medal at the Brunswick Zone Special Olympics Bowling Tournament, November 11-12 held in Brooklyn Park. Way to go Alex! Cardona’s score was 151 total. His mom said, “Alex has always been a bowler. He loves it! He was very excited and we are very happy for him!”


HOSA students attend conference HANNAH ODELL


St. Francis High School (SFHS) Future Health Professionals, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), recently had the opportunity to attend the fall delegation conference in Minneapolis, where students toured United Hospital, viewed various informational sessions, voted for future HOSA officers and visited exhibits to gain experience and knowledge in the world of healthcare. While at United Hospital, students were able to have several healthcare professionals talk with them about their profession and answer questions. The tour guides took the students through different areas including the mother/baby center, pharmacy, cardiovascular rehabilitation center and decontamination area. Students were able to ask questions about real-world health situations and work environments. Each area of the hospital provided a behind-thescenes look of how a hospital works and what everyday tasks look like for specialists. The hospital tour ended with a walk-through of exhibits that included representatives from different healthcare professions such as surgical technologists, radiologists, physical therapists and many others. These professionals displayed medical devices used in surgery and various therapies. While at the conference, students chose an informational session. These sessions, such as Self Defense and Getting a Job in Healthcare, were hosted by passionate healthcare professionals. Delegates also voted for the future HOSA state officers. HOSA members had the opportunity to attend educational exhibits about careers and colleges in the health profession. The conference ended with the distribution of door prizes and closing remarks. The SFHS HOSA members had many great learning opportunities at the fall delegation conference and are eagerly preparing for the mid-winter competition on January 3.




Cedar Creek Community School welcomes new staff KARA LOFGREN


Rianne Doherty


Doherty grew up in Coon Rapids and graduated from St. Francis High School. She has worked in Kids Connection. In her free time, she likes to relax and take naps.

Mandi Schwartz


Schwartz grew up in Coon Rapids and Osseo. She was a daycare assistant. She loves being a mom and spending time with her twin daughters, especially outdoors.

loves spending time with her family and friends. In her free time, she loves creating art and cheering for our Minnesota sports teams.

from work, she enjoys outdoor activities and reading with her kids.

likes watching any kind of dance, diving, gymnastics and most sports.

Chelsea Monnier

Karen Pribula

Paige Mayer

Jennifer Herbst

Pribula grew up in Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota. She taught kindergarten and English Language Learners in Arizona for six years. She has also worked at Anoka Hennepin School District 11 and the Hubbs Center in St. Paul. She loves to dance and

Mayer grew up in Andover and attended the University of Wisconsin River Falls. This is year first year teaching. She enjoys being with her family and friends, walking her dog and making cards.

Monnier grew up in East Bethel and attended St. Francis High School. After graduation she attended Hennepin Technical College. She has worked in daycares and a preschool. She loves fishing, hunting, scrapbooking and shopping.


Herbst grew up in Blaine and attended Mankato State University and St. Mary’s University. She has been teaching for the past thirteen years including 6th, 7th and 8th grades. She is currently teaching 5th grade. Away





Randall grew up in Andover and attended Anoka High School. After graduation, she attended the University of Minnesota Duluth. She taught kindergarten for one year and 1st grade for five years. She is beginning her second year teaching second-grade. Randall loves being outdoors and enjoys running, climbing and cycling.

Pictured (L-R) Chelsea Monnier, Debbi Engblom and Kelly Kane.

Unique, handmade gifts, furniture and so much more Pictured (L-R) Gretchen Randall, Andrea Powers, Kori Ziegler, Jennifer Herbst and Paige Mayer. Not pictured are Kimberly Di Lauro Rief and Karen Pribula. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Andrea Powers


Powers grew up in East Bethel and attended St. Francis Middle and High Schools. She attended North Hennepin Community College and Minnesota School of Business. She has worked in the financial industry for 20-plus years. She loves being a mom and doing family activities.

Kori Ziegler

22973 Rum River Boulevard NW across from Woodbury Park • St. Francis • 612.615.8125 ISD 15 Community Education announces a trip to…

Republic of Ireland Pictured (L-R) Rianne Doherty and Mandi Schwartz.


Ziegler grew up in Rifle, Colorado. She attended Vanderbilt University and University of Utah. She joins Cedar Creek Community School staff after coming from a private practice in Colorado Springs. She loves spending time with family and friends, playing board games, camping and reading books.

Get your GED. We can help! Visit Call 763-433-4200

Kimberly Di Lauro Rief ART TEACHER

Di Lauro Rief grew up in Plymouth and attended Augsburg College and St. Mary’s University. She taught in Independent School District 15 for 15 years. She taught art for ten years and five years of high school science. She


More Information Visit for registration instructions and an itinerary.


Experience the southern portion of the beautiful Emerald Isle in June 2018. Steeped in history and folklore, this ten-day trip is open to ISD 15 community members, staff, family and friends. Travelers must be 18 years or older unless accompanied by an adult. Included is round-trip airfare from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Dublin, eight nights hotel, nine full Irish breakfasts, eight evening meals, two lunches, motorcoach transportation with an experienced driver/guide and all entrance fees to attractions. The approximate cost is $2,960 per person, based on $900 airfare, double-occupancy, minimum of 30 travelers and exchange rate. Cost of trip can be made in four easy payments.



For additional information, please contact Carline Sargent at 763-213-1575,




Fall drumline ends season at Anoka Halloween Parade CHAD ARMBRUSTER


The St. Francis High School (SFHS) fall drumline wrapped up their season with a performance at the Anoka Halloween Parade on October 28. It was a chilly but festive atmosphere as the drumline concluded a performance season that included ten parades, exhibitions and competitions, along with appearances at SFHS pep fests and football games. The 20 SFHS students is under the direction of David Palermo.

St. Francis High School fall drumline members (L-R) are Carly Teppo, April Mengelkoch, Amelia Engman and Luna Skiles.  PHOTO BY GAIL MENGELKOCH

Walk-A-Thon raises funds for school KARA LOFGREN


On October 13, Cedar Creek Community School (CCCS) students raised funds for their school by participating in a schoolwide Walk-A-Thon. The money raised will go toward assemblies, scholarships, the media center, Family Reading Night, Book Walk, STEM activities, classroom support and other fun and educational activities sponsored by the CCCS Parent Teacher Organization. Total raised for the WalkA-Thon was $11,447.84. The top fundraiser was fifth-grader Samantha Malzac, raising $910. She won a party at Virtual Reality Arcade in St. Francis. Other class winners were kindergartner Alli McCarty, first-grader Katelyn Kellner, second-grader Grant Nicholls, third-grader Mikenna Uphoff and fourthgrader Natalie Halstensen. Random drawing winners ($5 Subway gift card) included students Josephine Rodrigue, Isaac Carlson, Riley Poynter, Haley Hallin, Kristin Sorensen, Colton Burman, Abigail Niemi, Genevieve Sikora, Faith Sundsrud and Claire Staricha.

Cedar Creek Community School Walk-A-Thon participants earned prizes and awards.

The top three students who raised the most funds (L-R) are Samantha Malzac, Natalie Halstensen and Katelyn Kellner. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

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returning to college as simple as possible,” said LeAnna Wangerin, Anoka Technical College’s director of enrollment management. “We provide personalized attention to help prospective students set goals that will lead to their success.” Anoka Technical College offers a wide array of certificate, diploma and degree programs in high-demand fields that include automotive, business, manufacturing and construction, health, horticulture, information technology and general education courses. “These One Stop sessions can get new students all set to begin college when classes start on Monday, January 8,” added Wangerin. For more information about Anoka Technical College and the admission process, call Enrollment Services at 763-576-47710.



The St. Francis High School (SFHS) football team visited Cedar Creek Community School (CCCS) in October to read to students. “We want to help build a good foundation for the future generation,” said Nick Gerlach, SFHS student. Pictured (left) is football player Taylor Aho reading to a fourthgrade class at CCCS.



Mary Kay Tonsager’s students built catapults to demonstrate their understanding of simple machines, engineering and the design process. Back row (L-R) are Abbigale Paulson, Ferdinand Roth, Gavin Snyder, Sophia Reef; front row (L-R) Ethan Xiong, Jozy Buelow and Natalie Chene built the catapults that flung a marshmallow the farthest distance. SHIRLEY MEYERS, CCCS FIFTH-GRADE TEACHER




What to expect when inclement weather disrupts the school day TROY FERGUSON


I remember last November bragging to my relatives in Virginia that I was sitting in my deer stand in tennis shoes with no gloves. How quickly the weather can change! As a lifelong Minnesotan, nothing should surprise me when it comes to the weather. With that in mind, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind our families, staff and community how we address inclement weather as it relates to school closings and delays. Winter (and in some cases, even late fall and early spring) can always bring the potential for inclement weather that could affect our school schedule, and I assure you the decision to delay or close school is never easy. So how do we decide whether we are going to close or delay school in Independent School District 15? Our priority is to ensure the safety of our students and staff while maintaining the integrity of the school day. The decision to close or delay school ultimately is the superintendent’s. I consult with our transportation department, maintenance department and other district administrators. In addition, I am in contact with neighboring school district superintendents to get a sense

of the information they have and what they are considering. In the end, not all neighboring districts necessarily reach the same decision; each of us has to determine the best course of action for our own district. We consider several factors when making decisions affecting the school day. What are current road conditions and to what degree are we confident of their condition throughout the day? This is particularly important in ISD 15 because the majority of our students and virtually all of our staff ride the bus or drive to school. This is different from some of our neighboring districts who have a much higher numbers of students who walk to school. What is the current and predicted weather? Weather is often difficult to predict long term and with a high degree of confidence. Extreme cold and wind are dangerous and we take it very seriously while making the decision to close or delay school. Guidelines that are commonly accepted as dangerous include sustained air temperature of 25 degrees or more below zero or, even more dangerous, sustained wind chills of 40 degrees or more below zero. Though most of our students do not walk to school,

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a great number of them wait outside for their bus to arrive and even short term exposure to those conditions can be dangerous. Though rare, it is possible that we close school due to extreme cold without any snow or sleet. Our goal is to hold school each scheduled day, if at all possible. We are concerned with maintaining the integrity of the school day without disrupting the learning of our students and inconveniencing parents. In addition, we want to avoid potential make-up days at the end of the school year. When possible, we will make a decision the night before and launch the Campus Messenger call/email/text to families and staff by 10:00 p.m. In most cases though, a decision won’t be made until the morning. We make every effort to notify families and staff by 5:00 a.m. In addition to Campus Messenger, we contact local TV and radio stations and post the information on our district website at There will be no announcements if schools are open as scheduled. We have a very short window of time due to many of our secondary routes leaving the bus garage at 5:30 a.m. Ultimately the decision to send your child to school is yours as a parent. If we hold school and you are uncomfortable sending your child to school due to weather conditions, please verify your child’s absence and we will count the absence as excused.

St. Francis High School students and staff honor veterans

St. Francis High School Veterans Appreciation Program guest speaker John Kriesel (left) is pictured with veteran and Independent School District 15 School Board Member Mike Starr. 




To honor the men and women of our Armed Forces, St. Francis High School (SFHS) students and staff attended a powerful and moving Veterans Appreciation Program held November 13. The event was open to the public and several area veterans were honored. Guest speaker John Kriesel shared his story. In 2006 SSG John Kriesel was nearly blown to shreds by a 200-pound roadside bomb in the parched sands of Iraq, but battlefield angels in army uniforms kept him breathing long enough to reach a field hospital. Somehow he survived through four hospitals, 35 surgeries and months of recovery. He lost both legs and suffered numerous other major injuries, but it was the loss of two close friends that hurt the most. The guy who wasn’t supposed to survive and was told he probably would be in a wheelchair the rest of his life walked out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center after nine months. Eight years after his near-death experience in Iraq, Kriesel is The Twin Cities #1 Senior Photographer director of Veterans Services Central Studio Anoka Studio for Anoka County, a frequent 763-571-2265 763-421-4553 contributor on KFAN Sports 1290 Osborne Road 1916 2nd Avenue S Radio and former member Fridley, MN 55432 Anoka, MN 55303 of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Source: www. Maj. Mike Starr, retired North Dakota Army annerud avarese ssociates, p.a. Reserve National Guard and Certified Public Accountants Independent School District Specializing in accounting and taxes for closely-held and 15 School Board chairman, family-owned businesses since 1974. coordinated the program with SFHS Principal Doug Office hours Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Austin. The Madrigal Singers or by appointment performed the National 763-434-5929 • Anthem.




1207 Constance Boulevard NE • Ham Lake, MN 55304





School Board Highlights School Board Highlights

School Board Perspective



The gift of giving has a wide reach The month of December brings many holiday celebrations for many different cultures. Gift giving is a part of many of these events. You, the voters, gave a gift to every student that will walk through the doors of an Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) school. The passage of the bond was a gift that will benefit everyone in our schools. Often gifts come in different forms. In recent years, many people have taken to

performing random acts of kindness, especially during December. Over the Education Minnesota school break in October, my family and I were out to eat at a small restaurant in Crosby where a couple paid part of our meal tab. I was amazed that we were chosen as a recipient of their generosity. I will never know why, but people’s inner goodness makes a difference in so many ways. The bond passage was a different act of kindness. The results will continue for

Kindergarten students share All About Me projects KATHI GREENE


more than a generation of students going through our system here in ISD 15. It’s with a grateful heart that I say thank you to our residents. Thank you to those of you who deeply sacrificed for another generation to be able to be educated and grow up to be responsible, independent citizens. I thank you especially to those who made it a priority to educate children that have no students in our school system. The passage of the bond was a gift to the community. Enjoy December; it’s a special time of year for those of us involved in providing the best education possible for our students across all of our programming areas.


Families and guests visited kindergarten students at Cedar Creek Community School for their All About Me museum day. Students created cut-out people using items to represent themselves and all the ways that make them special. This was an introduction to learning about making projects, following directions, speaking in front of people and learning to answer questions. Most of all, it was a fun way to share this special day of learning with family and friends!

School Board Meeting Schedule School board meetings are held in the Community Room at Central Services Center, located at 4115 Ambassador Blvd. NW, St. Francis. Monday, December 11 Dialogue with School Board 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Monday, January 8 & 22 Dialogue with School Board 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Monday, February 12 & 26 Dialogue with School Board 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Live streaming and video archives of school board meetings are available at

School Board Members Mike Starr Chairman 


Marsha Van Denburgh Vice-Chairwoman  763-753-6653 Barbara Jahnke Clerk763-753-6846

October 23, 2017 All members present. Donated bond referendum signage and banners Superintendent Troy Ferguson reported that Lifetouch School Portraits donated banners and signs to the school district for the November 7 bond referendum. The banners and signs were displayed on school property to help promote awareness and a higher voter turnout. Policies Approved Policy 312 Development of Parental Involvement Policies for Title I Programs Policy 425 Violence Prevention (Applicable to Students and Staff) Policy 703 Visitors to School District Buildings and Sites Policy 704 Distribution of Materials on School District Property by Non-school Persons

School Board Highlights KATRINNA DODGE


November 13, 2017 All members present. East Bethel Community School Site Report Angela Scardigli, principal at East Bethel Community School (EBCS), reported on the 2017-18 focus on their reading curriculum. Scardigli emphasized inconsistent Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) and Academic Improvement Measurement System (AIMS) scores for grades 3-5. She addressed the importance of reading scores’ connection to literacy and to an individual’s future success. Scardigli

highlighted the implementation of Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS) and John Hattie’s educational model for measuring student improvement and instructional impact. Canvassing the November 7 bond referendum The school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) approved the canvassed results of the November 7 bond referendum. The school board certified a total of 4,921 votes in ISD 15 for the ballot question, Shall the School Board of Independent School District No. 15 (St. Francis), Minnesota, be authorized to issue general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $80,060,000 for acquisition and betterment of school facilities? The ballot question passed with 2,574 in favor and 2,346 against, with a total of 4,921 votes cast. One ballot cast was unmarked and was not counted. The 2017 bond projects’ next steps Superintendent Troy Ferguson and Lisa Rahn, director of Community Education, presented on proposed next steps following the passing of the bond. Outlined were project decision-making, committee structure, communications plan, timeline development and approvals, development of project tracking tools and construction bundling and phasing planning. These steps include formation of a bond oversight committee (BOC), project design committees, gathering of stakeholder input and planning the construction phasing. The tentative timeline has bond related projects beginning the summer of 2018 and completion by 2020. For up-to-date information, visit www.isd15. org/bond.


Rob Schoenrock Treasurer763-232-7902 Jill Anderson Director

Amy Kelly Director763-744-8458 Sean Sullivan Director763-807-0010 Kindergartner James Guse (left) shares his project with ISD 15 school board member Rob Schoenrock.  PHOTOS BY KATHI GREENE

Friday mixed leagues begin in January.



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St. Francis High School end of fall trimester art show JEN CLOSE


On November 13, the St. Francis High School (SFHS) Visual Arts Department hosted their first trimester art show for all high school students who were in visual arts classes. At the opening night festivities, everyone was allowed to vote for Best of Show Ceramics - Nadia Cruz-Ramos Best of Show artwork in each of the following categories: photography, ceramics, graphic design, painting and drawing. At the conclusion of opening night, all votes were counted by the visual arts teachers at SFHS. Student projects on this page received awards for their visual arts projects.

Best of Show Photography - Rylee Jorgenson

Best of Show Drawing - Cody Loud, artist study

Best of Show Graphic Design - Trenton Clyne

Another holiday season is upon us and we gratefully pause to wish all of you – our staff, customers and communities – a very blessed Christmas and a New Year of Peace & Happiness. As we reflect on the past year and on those who have helped shape our business, we take this opportunity to let you know how grateful we are for your support, confidence and friendship. With sincere appreciation, Don & Jamie Kveton Village Bank Owners

Anoka-Ramsey  East Bethel Blaine St. Francis Member FDIC

People’s Choice Award - Cody Loud, Robin Williams drawing SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Best of Show Painting - Jacey Vincent




Community & Business East Bethel Fire Department hosts waffle breakfast

2017 Anoka County outstanding conservationist





Each year the Anoka Conservation District (ACD) selects an outstanding conservationist who has made significant contributions to natural resources. The ACD board selected Steve and Lisa Voss for the 2017 award. Board members Sharon LeMay and Mary Jo Truchon, along with employee Jamie Schurbon, presented the award on November 15 at the East Bethel City Council meeting. Steve and Lisa Voss received a painting of a campfire by the lake, painted by artist and ACD Chairperson Mary Jo Truchon. ACD District Manager Chris Lord matted and framed the picture. There are many reasons why ACD chose the couple as the outstanding conservationists for Anoka County. They installed three rain gardens, which treat stormwater runoff from their home and four acres of the neighborhood. Previously this runoff reached Coon Lake without treatment. They are also stabilizing and improving habitat on their lakeshore. Steve Voss has served on the Sunrise River Watershed Management Organization and is currently the mayor of East Bethel. He is a tireless advocate for lake stewardship and leads by example.

Pictured (L-R) ACD employee Jamie Schurbon, ACD board members Sharon LeMay and Mary Jo Truchon, and award recipients Steve and Lisa Voss. SUBMITTED PHOTO

East Bethel Fire Department (EBFD) Auxiliary is hosting the 3rd Annual Waffle Breakfast at EBFD Station One on January 27 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. EBFD will be serving waffles, sausages, toppings and beverages for a cost of $8 per plate, $5 for ages 6-12. A Life Link helicopter will land at 9:00 a.m. Like us on Facebook at East Bethel Fire Department Auxiliary and email questions to FILE PHOTO

St. Francis United Methodist Church’s Annual


THE KING! Featuring Steve Marcio

SATURDAY, JANUARY 6 2:00-4:00 p.m. Featuring the

Christmas Cookie Sale during Intermission.

North Star Choir Boys Saturday, December 9 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are: $20 for the first two rows $15 for all other seats Call 763-753-2273 or buy tickets at the door.

St. Francis United Methodist Church A Community Dedicated to Seeking Christ and Serving Others Pastor Kevin Coder 3914 - 229th Avenue • St. Francis 763-753-2273

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St. Andrew Lutheran Church 763-434-7146

Highway 65 and 237th Avenue NE East Bethel - Cooper’s Corner




East Bethel News


After being spoiled with a mild fall weather over the last few years, it seems like we are back to typical Minnesota weather. Let us not forget to leave ourselves a little extra time for travel and be a little more careful on the roads, particularly on frost-covered mornings. City Budget The East Bethel City Council has set our proposed budget and levy for 2018 with a general fund levy of $5,321,100 which represents a 3.1 percent increase over the 2017 budget. The final 2018 budget hearing will be conducted at the December 6 city council meeting. We invite the public to ask any questions regarding the 2018 budget and levy at this meeting. City Commission Appointments The city of East Bethel is served by several volunteer commissions, whose purpose is to advise the city council on various city matters and proposals. Our commissions include Planning Commission, Roads Commission, Parks Commission and Economic Development Authority (EDA). The city council fills vacancies for these commissions every January and when there are periodic vacancies. We are currently accepting applications. If interested in applying for a position on one of these commissions, please submit a resumé briefly describing your work background and interest in serving. Applications are due by January 2, 2018. Recycling Center Improvements have been completed to the Recycling Center on Viking Boulevard (next to Fire Station No. 1) that will facilitate the ease of disposal

of recyclable items. The improvements include the addition of easily accessible bins for materials and for used oil. Not only do these improvements provide improved traffic flow within the site but they enhance the appearance of the exterior of the facility. We currently take all recyclables on our monthly Drop-Off Saturdays—the last Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to noon—with the exception of mattresses and furniture. All improvements to the recycle center were funded through awarded grants to East Bethel from the Anoka County SCORE Program. Ice Arena The ice is in! The East Bethel Ice Arena will again host free open skating throughout the season. This year, open skating is every Wednesday, 1:00-3:00 p.m., through the end of February. Other hours of open skating for the public will be published on the website and Cable Channel 10 for weekend availability starting December 6. The outdoor rink is planned to open between December 15 and January 5, 2018, depending on the weather.

Beat the Snow this Season

Project Updates: The Phase I Service Road (Buchanan Street, 189th Avenue and Taylor Street) officially opened October 20. This 1.1-mile backage road provides an alternative access point from the Classic Commercial Park (East Bethel Theater, Village Bank, SuperAmerica and other businesses) to Viking Boulevard (County Road 22) to the north, without directly needing to access Highway 65. A ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted on October 20 and was attended by local residents, area businesses, the chamber of commerce, city officials and County Commissioner Julie Braastad. We encourage you to try out this new alternative access point the next time you are in the area. Pictured are: Randy Diers, Doug Osborne, Tim Harrington, Mike Jeziorski, Tom Sauter, Jason Pauley, Al Thunberg, Craig Jochum, Brent Lau, Wes Mack, Curt Strandland, Nate Ayshford, Luke and Lindsey Buchholz, David and Sophia Pixley, Ivar Peterson; Ron Hinshaw, Roger Rickey, Jan Green, Cindy Delmonico, Lori Vickstrom, Dan Nordin, Gabby Ford, Dakota Auren, Bridget Robinson, Randy Plaisance, Dan Butler-EDA President, Steve Voss-Mayor, Brad Slawson-Chamber of Commerce President, Julie Brasstad-County Commissioner, Brian Mundle, Jack Davis, Julie Lux, Lori Pirson-Kolodzienski and Kelly VanTassel. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Check for additional information. Lake Ice Safety Our lakes and ponds will soon be frozen over in the annual ritual we call winter. For those of us who embrace our winter wonderland, it can be enticing to venture out early onto the ice for fishing, snowmobiling and other activities. Please be aware and cognizant of the dangers of being on the ice, particularly early and late in the season.

An enjoyable time on the ice can very quickly turn into a life-threatening situation should the ice beneath you fail. Be cautious, be safe and plan ahead for the potential accidents that could happen. Please don’t put yourself and your potential rescuers in harm’s way. On behalf of the East Bethel City Council, I wish you a wonderful and safe holiday season.

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St. Francis Community for Drug Awareness brings Top Secret Project to St. Francis High School MOLLIE ZIEBART


St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner — Fabulous Casino Night TONY DERKOS


Mark your calendars and save the date. We have the table set for the St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner— Fabulous Casino Night, to be held on Friday, January 26, starting at 6:00 p.m. The evening will include a fun, exciting casino night experience for both novice and expert players, a buffet dinner, raffles and silent auction. A short presentation by President Eric Schmoll about the wonderful work of the chamber and all those who benefit will be part of the program. The public is welcome and encouraged to join area businesses and the St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce as they honor outgoing chamber board members, welcome the newly elected board of directors and raise money to support scholarships for our area

The St. Francis Community for Drug Awareness (SFCDA) is excited to bring the Top Secret Project to St. Francis High School (SFHS), which was recently on the cover of the Anoka County News Volume 3. It is a unique traveling exhibit of a teenager’s bedroom with 150 objects in the room that can point to unhealthy behaviors that your teen may be involved in. These issues include self-harm behavior, eating disorders and chemical health issues. The exhibit is put on by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and will be hosted by SFHS on Wednesday, February 22, 6:00-8:30 p.m. This interactive exhibit will be followed by a discussion and question/answer segment facilitated by staff from Hazelden. The SFCDA was established in October of 2013 to meet monthly and plan events to increase the community’s awareness about drugs through the support of dedicated volunteers, local businesses, community leaders, school officials and members of law enforcement. We had a successful Warrior Dash at Vision Quest in October and look forward to being even bigger and better next fall. It was a family friendly mileand-a-half run with obstacles. SFCDA has started preparing Saturday, December 2 • 8:30-11:30 a.m. for the second Mock Car Crash Cedar Creek Community School that will be at SFHS in the spring. This informs juniors Cost: $2 for children (ages 3-12); No ns Children 2 and under free; $4 for adults and seniors about the dangers reservatiod neede of impaired driving with a Pancakes, sausage, milk, juice, coffee dramatic performance. We also Photographer will be available to take pictures with Santa for $1. work closely with the SFHS THE GIRL SCOUTS WILL HAVE A SANTA SHOP! drug awareness counselor For a minimal charge children can shop for parents and that provides support and grandparents, etc. Children will be assisted with shopping. information for students. Sponsored by Cedar/East Bethel Lions and Lioness If you are interested in being Donations of used eyeglasses and hearing aids and food items for part of this group, contact us at the local foodshelf will be accepted.

Breakfast with



Bundle Up in Joy! Here’s hoping the festive spirit of the holiday season wraps itself around you and makes you feel warm all over.


May your home be filled with warmth this Christmas Season.


youth, promote local businesses and serve the community. The mission statement of the St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce is to serve the needs of the membership in working toward the common goal of a growing, healthy business environment and community as a whole. Held at The Refuge Golf Club in Oak Grove, the Fabulous Casino Night program will be a great way to socialize, have fun gaming, enjoy a dinner and have an opportunity to win dozens of fantastic prizes donated by area businesses. Contact the St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce today with any questions and to purchase tickets to be part of this fun event. Visit See ad on page 36.

presented by the St. Francis Lioness & Lions Club


9:00-11:30 a.m. St. Francis American Legion Hall County Road 24 (Bridge Street) & County Road 9

Tickets sold at the door: $3.00 for age 10 and under; $4.00 adults Bring your camera to take pictures with Santa.

FUN, FOOD AND DOOR PRIZES Proceeds for community projects.

Happy Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of year and we hope it brings you much joy!

from Gary Zimmerman

St. Francis Insurance Agency

in St. Francis

Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons

City of East Bethel

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Northland Screw Products, Inc. St. Francis



The St. Francis Lions Club hosted the Turkey Games on November 11. Melissa Schrunk and Christen Hawkins of Flo’s Hair Stylist received a banner for their business from Tim Holen of St. Francis True Value Hardware. They decided to include the banner and a gift card as a door prize in the Turkey Games. Pictured (L-R) are Melissa Schrunk of Flo’s Hair Stylist, Sylvia Okerstrom, sister of Flo and winner of the door prize, Tim Holen of St. Francis True Value Hardware and Christen Hawkins of Flo’s Hair Stylist. Okerstrom wanted special thanks given to everyone who volunteered or donated to the Turkey Games held at the St. Francis American Legion Post 622.



On November 10, Independent School District 15 staff and St. Francis High School (SFHS) band and choir participated in the 7th annual Free Breakfast for Veterans hosted by the St. Francis Lions Club at America Legion Post 622. The program was organized by Maj. Mike Starr, which included a breakfast buffet, invocation and benediction by Pastor Kevin Coder, remembrance service, music from SFHS choir and band. Pictured are local veterans Bob Nelson (left) and Don Hiller (right) saluting during the National Anthem.





Fresh on the Farm


Healthy eating in the new year As the calendar changes from December to January, many will take with us a few extra pounds from all the holiday parties and reduced level of activity in the winter months. Perhaps you will make a resolution to lose weight or to eat healthier in the New Year. Most people will tolerate a diet that highlights carrot and celery sticks for about a week, maybe two. After that, the ranch dressing you are using to add a little flavor to the raw veggies becomes a fine dip for potato chips. All across America, right around mid-January, grocery stores have a hard time keeping Oreo cookies on the shelves. All of us have the best of intentions with our New Year’s resolutions. All too soon, most of us are right back to where we started. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers some handy tips for making small changes to create a healthier eating style. Think of

each change as a personal win on your path to living healthier. Visit USDA’s at for suggestions to start eating healthy. Below are a few of these small changes: ■ Make half your plate fruits and vegetables ■ Focus on whole fruits ■ Vary your veggies ■ Make half your grains whole grains ■ Move to low-fat and fat-free dairy ■ Vary your protein routine ■ Eat and drink the right amount for you There is nothing earth-shaking in these small changes. Instead they encourage being mindful while shopping, preparing and eating your meals. Look for fresh, in-season produce while shopping when possible. That’s when fruits and vegetables are the most nutritious and taste the best. You can often determine which produce is in season by looking for specials at the grocery

store. Strive to purchase produce of different colors— green, yellow, orange, red and purple. Look in your cart to make sure you have a variety of colors. In cooking your vegetables, use healthy oils, such as olive oil, herbs and other seasonings to enhance the flavor of even bland vegetables like potatoes. When sitting down to your meal, look at your plate. Is there a vegetable on it? Preferably, there should be two different vegetables. Did you eat a fruit today? Did you have any whole grain? Include a bowl of oatmeal or a slice of whole-grain bread to a meal. Did you change up the protein? Having fish once in a while is a tasty alternative to poultry, pork and beef. If you drastically restrict your diet, you are almost certainly setting yourself up for failure. So make a small change and stick with it until it becomes a good habit. Remember this is a path that you’re on—a path to living healthier.

m lAke

l w o b now

nuAl hA 12 An



ntest hing Co is F e Ic • s s Game id K e e r •F ney ball Tour • Broom

re Sculptu • Snow st Conte and • Food nts me Refresh

o ess Exp • Busin uction A • Silent llion • Meda hunt

Bike Race • Fat Tire air • Craft F ! & more

S at u r d ay

Contact or call us at 763-434-3011 for sponsorship, vendor or other questions.


Join uS from 10am-3pm!

For more info visit

Open Daily! At Rum River Tree Farm

The East Bethel Scholarship Program Ambassadors volunteered at the 2017 East Bethel Fire Department open house on October 5. Pictured (L-R) are: Miss East Bethel Savannah Fairfield, Little Miss East Bethel Kayla Dorn and Lucy Thell and East Bethel Princess Lexi Flaten. TORI LARSON, EAST BETHEL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AMBASSADORS

Home Improvement & Services Eagle Garage Door Co.

New Construction • Remodel Commercial • Residential Service

Dave Feders



St. Francis Family Owned & Operated Serving the area since 1989

Any Garage Door/Opener Service Call


10 OFF


Offer expires 1/31/18. Some restriction apply. Call for details.



Saws and ropes provided, field roads open for easy viewing from car.

Hayrides, pony rides, animals to pet and visit with Santa on December 2 & 3.



Huge Display of Pre-Cut Trees


ANY SCOTCH, WHITE PINE, SPRUCE, BALSAM OR FRASER FIR DAILY HOURS Tree Lot 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Cut Your Own 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Not valid with any other offers. Coupon expires 12/18/17. 


2½ miles south of St. Francis on Lake George Boulevard NW






Business Spotlight


WillowBridge Center Nestled alongside Highway 65 in Isanti is a whimsical, modish center for wellness. This chic destination location provides a variety of services for clients by cultivating healthy practices for the mind and body. “We have something for everybody at different points in their lives,” smiled LaRae Klocksien. “Our mission and vision is to have a positive impact on people’s lives and that we live our vision everyday. ” “We offer a variety of services for people’s wellbeing,” stated Klocksien. “Whether that is looking or feeling good with

a mind-body connection. For example, we used to think about massage as a luxury service. Now we know the way we treat ourselves and the way we feel affects other people. Wellness is about striving for balance.” WillowBridge partners with businesses, organizations and schools to benefit the community. They recently participated in a business expo hosted by the North 65 Chamber of Commerce and donated thousands of dollars of Aveda products to The Refuge Network. Coming in March, they will be participating in a food drive for Family Pathways. WillowBridge employs 40

highly trained professionals, who contribute to supporting the local economy. This Cambridge-originated company found their home in Isanti about three years ago. “We all live in the community and it is important for us to help out and be visible,” said Klocksien. WillowBridge hosts diverse services with robust in-depth treatment, maintenance and progression of guests’ wellbeing, such as acupuncture, massage, skin care, yoga, chiropractic, salon, natural pharmacy and a boutique. Licensed professionals guide guests along their holistic journey for treating,

Fresh for the holidays! One stop shopping for fresh ingredients or ready-to-go meals. Chop Shoppe

(for produce)

Smokehouse, Seafood Dept. Brick Oven Pizzeria

International Cheese Market Fisherman’s Wharf Ready-Chef-Go Meals Farmer’s Market Meat Market Bake Shoppe Pharmacy Floral Dry Cleaning Caribou Coffee Click and Collect— shop online, pick-up in store

209 6th Avenue NE Isanti, MN 55040 763-444-5884 •

Season’s Greetings Cedar Creek Baking Company in Oak Grove

Rug Doctor rental And much, much more Employee Owned

A client receives a pedicure from an experienced stylist at WillowBridge Wellness Center. PHOTO BY KATRINNA DODGE maintaining and improving health. “We are very intentional and make sure our clients’ needs are put first,” commented Klocksien. “WillowBridge offers complimentary services that work well with each other and professionals that are familiar with our services.” Acupuncture—the technique of stimulating pressure points with thin needles, heat or by low-level electrical stimulations to trigger the flow of endorphins to relieve conditions such as arthritis, headaches and migraines, numbness, insomnia and more. A client (Laura) recently commented, “In September and October, I received seven acupuncture treatments at WillowBridge Center. Bryon Leftwich has given me excellent care for right shoulder pain. This is the first time in about a year that I have been able to reach the cupboard, pull a

transform your inner


sheet over my head or dress myself with less pain. Byron administers acupuncture, then follows-up with focused muscle tissue work and manual stretching. His professionalism, kindness and consistent follow through with his treatment plan is always appreciated.” Laura continued, “I feel that I have finally reached progress in solving my pain. WillowBridge’s staff has made my visit pleasant and offers many complimentary therapies to assist in reaching my goal of wellness.” Salon—WillowBridge has an exclusive Aveda concept salon with hair and nail care services. WillowBridge’s attentive stylists provide a relaxing experience and exceptional client care the moment guests walk in. Enjoy Aveda’s sustainable natural, green ingredients that CONTINUED ON PAGE 21  astrology  yoga therapy  healing journey sessions  yoga nidra CDs

Amy Jensen Healing Arts, LLC WillowBridge Center  Suite 7 4 Enterprise Ave NE, Isanti, MN Phone 763-232-8004

Have a warm and fuzzy Christmas!

from St. Francis Veterinary Clinic



WillowBridge rejuvenate the senses while being ecologically responsible. Chiropractic—WillowBridge recently added a chiropractic sector to expand wellness services. Chiropractic focuses on spinal manipulation to help relieve stress and pain carried in the neck, upper and lower back. Licensed and experienced professionals are available to consult about rehabilitation, relaxation techniques, general exercise and lifestyle factors that correspond with chiropractic regimen. Boutique—WillowBridge offers an array of products for clients to purchase for friends, families and themselves. These unique, inspirational gifts are a fun addition on the path to wellness, bringing relaxation to the home. Customers can choose from locally made jewelry, shower bombs, green washcloths, inspirational signage and more. Massage—an exceptional form of therapy and bodywork to relax, nurture and promote a healthy lifestyle. WillowBridge’s massage team can help address circulation, digestion, joint and muscle pain and the



overall reduction of tension throughout the body. Natural pharmacy— integrating traditional and natural therapies with herb, mineral and vitamin mixtures, such as Ulcinex, to assist treating ulcers, pain, anxiety and more. To learn more, schedule an evaluation with Diane Lewis Farrell, master herbalist or read the information book in the WillowBridge lobby. Yoga—WillowBridge offers yoga classes from beginner to advanced yogis. Yoga is a physical, spiritual and mental activity that assists with reducing stress, improving breathing and personal physique. Students can choose from a variety of classes including hatha and nidra to vinyasa. The WillowBridge yoga studio offers classes in three temperatures. WillowBridge yoga instructors lead students through postures, modification, breathing and alignment to help improve endurance, balance, strength and mental focus. Visit www. yoga or to register today. Make an appointment today by calling 763-552-6161 or stop by the center at 4 Enterprise Avenue NE in Isanti.

yoga for beginners and beyond a variety of classes & workshops including: hot | vinyasa | flow | gentle beginner | restorative | hatha 25 classes offered 7 days a week talented, dedicated & highly experienced instructors For more information go to or go to and search for ‘WillowBridge’ to see class schedule and get registered for classes.

’Tis the season for your wellness!


20 Off 50% Off 10% Off

a 90 minute massage

a 5 class yoga pass

new clients only

new clients only

Offer expires 12/31/17. Cannot be combined with other promotions, must present coupon at time of check out, not valid on insurance co-payments. CODE:MASSAGECOURIER


any AVEDA purchase

Offer expires 12/31/17. Register online at search WillowBridge and add 5 CLASS PASS PROMO to cart and checkout. Must be a new student.

Offer expires 12/31/17. Cannot be combined with other promotions, must present coupon at time of check out. CODE:AVEDACOURIER

20 Off 20 Off 20% Off $

a color and cut new clients only

Offer expires 1/31/18. Cannot be combined with other promotions, must present coupon at time of check out. CODE:SALONCOURIER

first acupuncture session new clients only

in our boutique or natural pharmacy

Offer expires 1/31/18. Cannot be combined with other promotions, must present coupon at time of check out, not valid on insurance co-payments.

Offer expires 12/31/17. Cannot be combined with other promotions, must present coupon at time of check out. CODE:BOUTIQUE&NPCOURIER

WillowBridge gift cards make the perfect gift, wrapped and ready to give!

Offering a variety of services and products to meet your wellness needs: • Massage • Salon • Skin Care • Acupuncture • Chiropractic

Cajima St

Cajima St NE

8th Av e NE

Heritage Blvd NE

Golden Way NE


Heritage Blvd NE


Main St E 65

8th Ave S E

Main St W

E Dual Blvd

Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. • Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. • Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.


Enterprise Ave

763.552.6161 • 4 Enterprise Avenue NE • Isanti

Railroad Ave

This Halloween, The Courier participated in the 9th annual Business -to-Business Trick or Treat event sponsored by the St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce. Courier staff had an exceptional time handing out baked Goldfish, Fun Fruits, 100 percent juice boxes and mini waters in the front lobby of Independent School District 15’s Central Services Center. Local children and participating families were giddy with smiles as they collected scrumptious treats along the trick-or-treat trail. Pictured is Claire dressed as her favorite Sesame Street character, Elmo, choosing between two juice boxes. KATRINNA DODGE, STAFF WRITER

• Boutique • Yoga • Natural Pharmacy •





Ham Lake Snowbowl 2018—put it on your calendar! SHARON BRODIN


Mark Saturday, February 10, on your calendar—it’s the 12th annual Snowbowl, Ham Lake’s premier winter event for the whole family. Snowbowl is a day full of outdoor winter activities for all ages and interests. Here are some of the highlights: ■ Ice fishing contest on Ham Lake, sponsored by the Three Rivers District Order of the Arrow ■ Broomball tournament that draws local teams as well as teams from surrounding states ■ Brand new for 2018: the Snowbowl fat tire bicycle race, in partnership with Pioneer Cycle ■ Medallion hunt with a $500 prize ■ Snow sculpture contest drawing competitors nationwide ■ Guess the snow sculpture break-through date and time and win cash ■ Dog pull, craft extravaganza, business expo, silent auction, sledding hill and more There will be a heated tent and craft building when you need to warm up and food vendors to keep you nourished.

See your friends and neighbors and meet new ones. When: Saturday, February 10 Where: Ham Lake Park What time: 10:00 a.m.3:00 p.m. How much: $3 per person Are you a crafter? We want you! We’d love to expand the craft extravaganza, so sign up today at www. Are you a business? Be part

of the business expo tent (it’s heated!) for great exposure to area residents. Visit the Snowbowl website for more information. The Ham Lake Snowbowl is presented by Ham Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Twin Cities Gateway and Blaine Festival. Stay up-to-date with all the details by checking the Snowbowl website regularly at

The Ham Lake Snowbowl broomball tournament draws participants from many locations. SUBMITTED PHOTO

from the owner and staff at


St. Francis

Winter Hours Begin Soon at Anoka County Compost Sites MAGGIE YAUK


To accommodate the organics recycling drop-off program, Anoka County’s two compost sites will remain open all year, but with reduced hours in the winter months. Bunker Hills Compost Site 13285 Hanson Blvd. NW, Coon Rapids, 763-767-7964; winter hours: December 1March 31, Saturday 9:00 a.m.1:00 p.m. only. Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Compost Site 7701 Main Street, Lino Lakes, note: there is no exit from 35W to County Road 14 (Main Street), use the Lake Drive (CSAH 23) exit from 35W and take Lake Drive north to Main Street, 651-429-3723; winter hours: December 1-March 31, Saturday 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. only. Extended summer hours will begin on April 1, 2018, weather permitting. What are organics? Organics are the biodegradable portion of trash that can be composted and make up 25-35 percent of what we throw away. Organics include all food scraps, most uncoated non-recyclable and food-soiled paper and certified compostable products.

How is the organics recycling drop-off program different? This program is separate from the regular yard waste program for leaves, grass clippings and brush. Please do not mix yard waste with your organics. This program accepts more items than could be composted in a backyard compost bin, such as meat, dairy and bones. Commercial or industrial composting facilities reach high temperatures to break down these materials and kill pathogens. How does the program work? Please go to organics or call 763-324-3400 to sign up. Available to Anoka County residents only. Anoka County’s two compost sites also accept yard and tree waste including leaves, grass clippings, garden waste, weeds, brush, logs and stumps. There is no fee for the first four cubic yards of debagged leaves, grass clippings and garden waste. A $5 fee will be charged for each additional four yards of leaves and grass. There is a variable fee for tree waste disposal, depending on the size and amount of the material. Residents are asked to keep yard waste separate from tree waste. Go to or call 763-324-3400 for more information.

Celebrate with faith this Christmas!

Valerie L. Temp Certified Public Accountant St. Francis Area

From all of us at

Sara Sauer,C. P. A., LLC in East Bethel

Happy H olidays and best wishes for 2018!

from all of us with the City of St. Francis

in St. Francis

Merry & Bright Holiday Wishes to All of You! from all of us at


Blue Star Kettle Corn in St. Francis


Michelle Anderson

May your holiday season be bright! from the staff at


Animal Hospital




Nonprofit Spotlight


NACE, the North Anoka County Emergency Foodshelf According to a 2016 medium income study by the NACE’s clothing closet provides in-season apparel Unites States Census Bureau, approximately seven for participants, such as coats, shoes, dress shirts and percent of persons within Anoka County and eight more. Participants receive five clothing items per percent in Isanti County live within poverty. Those person per visit, up to 30 items per month. Providing inflicted by impoverished conditions have less access apparel choices assists underserved community to affordable, nourishing meat, grains, vegetables and members to advance to their next stage of life, such as fruits, which in turn can lead to inadequate vitamin having a suit for a job interview. and mineral levels, heart disease, obesity and cancer, “We are here to help our neighbors get to the next according to the Food Ethics Council. step,” said Ritschel. “This is a safe place.” “In this area, we do not have many local grocery NACE has great community support for its cause stores that are affordable,” commented Katie Ritschel, as a stepping stone program for the betterment of North Anoka County Emergency Foodshelf (NACE) underserved persons. Local churches, Boy Scout director of community development. and Girl Scout troops, foundations, financial According to the United States Department of institutions, Lion and Lioness clubs conduct food Agriculture (USDA), in 2017 the Federal Poverty drives or contribute monetary donations for the cause. Level (FPL) that determines financial eligibility was Supporters are encouraged to participate in the annual $24,600 for a family of four, for certain programs fundraiser, Empty Bowls on Thursday, March 15, 2018. and benefits measured by the United States Census Empty Bowls is open to the public and includes a Bureau and issued by the Department of Health and soup dinner, silent and live auction and a kids activity Human Services (HHS). These programs include room with games and face painting. Donations are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), appreciated. Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Medicaid and Another way to help is to volunteer in distribution, other federal assistance programs. warehouse, event and office work. Ritschel herself NACE was established in 1985 by members of Our started volunteering at NACE as a teenager on the Saviour’s Lutheran Church, who saw a need in the events team, worked as a cleaner then interned in community for a private foodshelf. As the need for 2016 before taking her position has the director help grew, NACE moved from the basement of Our of Community Development. Contact Carol Saviour’s to a building along Highway 65. The addition Novak, NACE volunteer coordinator, at assistant@ of a clothing closet was added in 2008 to help clothe if you are interested in volunteering. individuals for every day and work. In 2012, NACE Donate and stay up-to-date about NACE events, purchased space in the East Bethel strip mall to programs and services at expand the foodshelf, waiting area, office space and to have a larger clothing closet. NACE is open Monday, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Tuesday, 5:00-8:00 p.m., Wednesday, 1:00-4:00 p.m. and Thursday, 8:00-11:00 a.m. where participants can visit 12 times per year to The City of St. Francis is looking for residents receive food and clothing. to serve on the Planning Commission. In 2017, NACE served 1,000 people If you are interested in the quality of life in your city and per month living within Bethel, Cedar, would like to be a part of seeing that happen, the City East Bethel, Ham Lake, Oak Grove and St. Francis. Due to the inadequate of St. Francis would like to hear from you. Commission amount of local, affordable grocery stores, members will be involved with planning and making community members under the poverty recommendations on planning matters to the city council. line struggle to purchase groceries for The Planning Commission meets on the third Wednesday their families. NACE provides a variety evening of each month. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. of dairy, meat, grain, prepared dishes, If you are interested in being a Planning Commission fresh fruit and vegetables. Participants member, contact city hall. For more information, please call can choose from five items per person 763-753-2630. EOE a week, up to 30 items per month. Participants can commute to the NACE building by Traveler Dial-a-Ride, rideshare or a personal vehicle or partake in the homebound delivery program where NACE volunteers deliver food to homebound participants. The St. Francis Fire Department is accepting “The food donations are sorted and checked for dates and damages,” stated applications until Sunday, December 31. Ritschel. “We consider food safety with all Men and women from all walks of life have proudly served the products donated.” St. Francis Fire Department, where members discover daily For the months of December and accomplishment and camaraderie in a highly professional and January, NACE is looking for donations progressive organization. of holiday foods, such as stuffing and There is tremendous satisfaction in saving a life, controlling a canned beans. There is a need for kid fire, comforting an accident victim and teaching skills that prevent friendly foods that children can prepare disaster and injury. Becoming a paid on-call firefighter may be for themselves, such as Kraft Easy-Mac. one of the most personally rewarding things an individual can do “We prepare weekend packs with food for — and St. Francis wants to know if you’re up to the challenge. children on free and reduced lunch at local You must live within 10 minutes from the Fire Station located at schools,” mentioned Ritschel. “Donations 3740 Bridge Street NW and be at least 18 years old to apply. need to be microwavable, such as canned EOE ravioli, that kids can prepare when their parents are not home.”

Pictured is a cart of acorn squash, one of many fresh fruits and vegetables NACE accepts for food donations.


Holiday Wishes from all of us at St. Francis Hardware

from all of us at


Planning Commission Member

Join the Team!

St. Francis

Celebrate the song of Christmas! MUSIC & Consignment Center

Season’s Greetings from

The Courier Staff

We appreciate your generosity and kindness and look forward to serving you in 2018.


in St. Francis




Captain’s in Isanti hosts Arctic Splash ALANA FAULK


The Arctic Splash has arrived! We are a brand new, nonprofit organization aimed at helping and bringing our Long Lake, St. Francis, Cambridge and Isanti communities together. Captain’s Lakeside Grille will play host to a funfilled weekend in February, in hopes to raise money for local organizations such as our veterans, Special Olympics, food banks, fire, police/rescue units and more! On Friday, February 9, Arctic Splash organizers will kick off the threeday event with a chili feed and preregistration party. The evening will include a raffle and live music! Be sure to pick up your limited edition Arctic Splash sweatshirt while they last! On Saturday, February 10, the party moves onto Long Lake where you will find entertainment, helicopter rides, food trucks, a VIP igloo, photo booth and so much more! At 11:00 a.m. the Englund family will perform an oldfashioned ice cutting ceremony. At 1:00

A 55+ rental housing community offering comfort and convenience at an affordable rate!

p.m. Ray Erick from radio station KQRS will be here live to host the actual Arctic Jump and costume contest. The event will kick off with a special performance of Hallelujah and the National Anthem by Sailor Jerri, while the Veterans of Foreign Wards honor guard and Polaris Sea Cadets do a patriotic salute to the flag. After the jump, hang tight while local firefighters face off against local police officers in a polar powered tug of war over the hole in the ice. Come back to Captain’s Lakeside Grille for raffles, prize drawings, awards and live music! If you have little ones who want to join the festivities, bring them out Sunday, February 11 when they can take part in the Itty-bitty Kiddie Splash hosted by Betty Danger and Boogie, the dancing penguin. We hope that you will come out and support this very special celebration of fun, friendship and community. Get involved, volunteer or come and jump! We need sponsors and prizes to raffle and give away. The Arctic Splash needs you! For more info, check out our web page at Less than 5 minutes from St. Francis and 15 minutes to Riverdale in Coon Rapids. Call

763-753-8385 for more information

21202 Old Lake George Boulevard Oak Grove, MN 55303

Buy with confidence. Sell with success!

Cassie Clem Realtor®


Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge thanks dedicated Adopt-a-Road volunteers STEVE KAREL AND GREG DEHEMER


Adopt-a-Road participants volunteered for Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to clean roadsides that border and bisect refuge land. This fall, 67 individuals volunteered to clean over 21 miles of refuge roads. Sherburne NWR would like to thank all of the Adopt-a-Road volunteers for their commitment, hard work and willingness to help. The Adopt-a-Road program is vital to the maintenance of the refuge. Su Johnson, a long-time volunteer and the Adopt-a-Road coordinator for the last four years, is an advocate for the program. “It’s a great program and keeps the refuge clean. It’s a fun activity, only takes a few hours and is a good fit for all ages. We always need more volunteers for the fall and spring clean ups,” she said. This fall volunteers filled a six-yard capacity dumpster. That’s more than 1200 gallons of trash removed from the refuge! Adopt-a-Road is not only a

Free Dollars Into Sense Class JULIE BLOMQUIST


The University of Minnesota Extension, Anoka County will present a free Dollars into Sense class on Thursdays, December 14, 10:0011:30; January 11, 6-7:30 p.m., February 8, 10:00-11:30 a.m. and March 8, 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Anoka County Human Services Center, 1201 89th Avenue, Blaine. Class will cover tracking expenses, putting together a spending plan, goal setting, credit and where to get additional help/resources. To register, call University of Minnesota Extension, Anoka County at 763324-3495 at least three days prior to the class.

Kraig Domogalla

23624 St. Francis Blvd. NW, Suite 5 St. Francis, MN 55070

Our Saviour’s Lunch at the North Pole

“Your Real Estate Specialist” 612-366-3925


Top rated Christian preschool!

Still registering for 2017-18 school year.

Saturday, December 9, 5:30-7:00 p.m. Treats, games and activities for the whole family! Offering 2, 3 & 4 extended day and Admission: $3/person, kindergarten readiness class options. $10 max/family For registration information, please contact Michelle Bauer, Preschool Director, by phone 763-434-6117 ext. 123 or visit under Preschool.

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church • 19001 Jackson Street NE • East Bethel

clean-up operation, it works to educate both visitors and volunteers about the responsibility of land stewardship. Each time a volunteer is spotted walking down a roadside, we are reminded of our shared responsibility to care for the land and the effort that is required to preserve our refuge. The fact that Adopta-Road volunteers not only share this sense of responsibility, but take action to make it better is what makes them so special, valued and appreciated. Sherburne (NWR) is so thankful for the efforts of our dedicated Adopt-aRoad volunteers to keep our roadsides and habitats clean and wildlife friendly. Sherburne NWR would also like to thank Ace Solid Waste for donating a dumpster for our Adopt-a-Road program to use during the clean-up. Sherburne NWR is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and is located near the cities of Princeton, Zimmerman and St. Cloud.



Each office Independently Owned and Operated

Lynn Karasch, MBA, CPA

Specializing in Individual & Small Business Returns By appointment • Accounting & Bookkeeping Phone 763-413-3090 Services Fax 763-434-4739 • Consulting

Open year round for all of your accounting needs.

• Payroll Services • Business Startup Services



The St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce holds a monthly networking breakfast at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in St. Francis the second Wednesday of each month at 8:00 am. Cost is $3 to attend. In November, Kristin Ferguson from the St. Francis Lions Club was the featured speaker and discussed the mission and events of the Lions Club organization in our community.



Anoka-Hennepin Credit Union staff shows no fear in the face of snow and 10,000 hungry goblins. A scream-out to our corporate partner, Enterprise Car Sales, for providing the van needed to carry over 200 pounds of candy. It was great to show credit union pride at this fun event. We are happy to be Anoka’s credit union of choice. TONI GERARD, ANOKA-HENNEPIN CREDIT UNION VP MARKETING

Financial Focus


Stampeding bull market may slow down… so be prepared As you know, we’ve been enjoying a long period of steadily rising stock prices. Of course, this bull market won’t last forever and when it does start losing steam, you, as an investor, need to be prepared. Before we look at how you can ready yourself for a new phase in the investment environment, let’s consider some facts about the current situation: Length This bull market, which began in 2009, is the secondoldest in the past 100 years, and it’s about twice as long as the average bull market. Strength Since the start of this long rally, the stock market has produced an average annualized gain of 15.5 percent per year. While these figures are impressive, they aren’t necessarily predictive, so how much longer can this bull market continue to stampede? No one can say for sure, but there’s no mandatory

expiration date for bull markets. In fact, they don’t generally die of old age but typically expire either because of a recession or the bursting of a bubble, such as the “” bubble of 2000 or the housing bubble of 2007. And right now, most market experts don’t see either event on the near-term horizon. Still, this doesn’t mean you should necessarily expect an uninterrupted streak of big gains. Some signs point to greater market volatility and lower returns. To navigate this changing landscape, think about these suggestions: Consider rebalancing your portfolio. If appropriate, you may want to rebalance your investment mix to ensure you have a reasonable percentage of stocks to help provide the growth you need to achieve your goals and enough fixed-income vehicles, such as bonds, to help reduce your portfolio’s vulnerability to market volatility and potential short-term downturns.

Look beyond U.S. borders. At any given time, U.S. stocks may be doing well, while international stocks are slumping and vice versa. So when volatility hits the U.S. markets, as it surely will at some time, you can help reduce the impact on your portfolio if you also own some international equities. Keep in mind, though, that international investments bring some specific risks such as currency fluctuations and foreign political and economic events. Develop a strategy. You may want to work with a financial professional to identify a strategy to cope with a more turbulent investment atmosphere. Such a strategy can keep you from overreacting to market downturns and possibly even help you capitalize on short-term pullbacks. You could invest systematically by putting the same amount of money in the same investments each month. When prices go up, your

Looking for quality child care?

23256 St. Francis Blvd. NW, St. Francis

Want to learn more? Contact our center’s Director Karen Rasche


email: visit:

• Lit’l Sprouts Childcare Center is a new licensed child care center in St. Francis serving children ages 6 weeks to 12 years. • We support both before and after school, non-school days, full days, part days and many other flexible scheduling options for care. • We offer top quality care in a safe and secure environment with fingerprint access only. • Small class sizes and individualized care and learning make Lit’l Sprouts a great place for “young minds to blossom.” • Hours 5:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. • Healthy meals and snacks are prepared on site in our kitchen and are free of charge to all families. • County and other approved assistance programs accepted.

investment dollars will buy fewer shares and when prices drop, you’ll buy more shares. And the more shares you own, the greater your potential for accumulation. However, this strategy, sometimes known as dollar cost averaging, won’t guarantee a profit or protect against all losses and you need to be willing to keep investing when share prices are declining. During a raging bull market,

it’s not all that hard for anyone to invest successfully, but it becomes more challenging when the inevitable volatility and market downturns appear. Making the moves described above can help you keep moving toward your goals, even when the “bull” has taken a breather. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Merry Christmas

During this holiday season and every day of the year, we wish you all the best.

Blake A Cheeley, CRPC®, AAMS® Financial Advisor 23306 Cree Street NW Suite 102 St. Francis, MN 55070 763-753-2988


Member SIPC




Community Education Community Ed Spotlight: Peggy Decker, instructor KATRINNA DODGE


“I’m a person who picks up a lot of skills,” chuckled Peggy Decker, Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) Community Education instructor. “When I learn a skill, I like to teach others.” Decker first started teaching community education classes at Forest Lake Area Schools. The first class she taught was on making macramé chairs.

Decker was encouraged by a friend to start teaching. “I just needed a little push,” reminisced Decker. “That is when I started a class about the chairs.” After her first taste at teaching with macramé chairs, Decker broadened her scope and began teaching within surrounding school districts’ Community Education departments. She works within Anoka-Hennepin School District, Braham Area Schools,

Community Education Directory Community Education Director............................................................... 763-753-7048 Adult Basic Education (GED)...................................................................... 763-753-7190 Adult Enrichment & Rec................................................................................ 763-213-1640 Communications/The Courier.................................................................. 763-753-7031 Youth Enrichment • Grades K-5................................................................ 763-213-1616 Districtwide Youth • Grades 7-12............................................................. 763-213-1640 Driver Education/Behind the Wheel..................................................... 763-213-1640 Early Childhood Family Education.......................................................... 763-753-7170 Early Childhood Screening.......................................................................... 763-753-7187 Facility Scheduling............................................................................................ 763-213-1589 Kids Connection/Just 4 Kids Program Supervisor..................................................................................... 763-213-1616 Cedar Creek Community School Site............................................... 763-753-7160 East Bethel Community School Site.................................................. 763-213-8921 Lifelong Learning Center Site................................................................ 763-753-7199 St. Francis Elementary School Site..................................................... 763-213-8674 Preschool Place 15/School Readiness.................................................. 763-753-7170 Rec Department................................................................................................. 763-213-1823 • •

Fitness for all!

Only $2 per visit & no membership fees

Relaxed nior atmosphere – seur aged to citizens are enco attend!

l Trainers +Treadmills + Elliptica + Stationary Bikes hine + Nautilus Weight Mac

Contact ISD 15 Adult on at Community Educati



for more informatio

ISD 15, Independent School District 726 (Elk River), North Branch Area Public Schools and Spring Lake Park Schools. “When you start out, you make mistakes and you don’t have all the right teaching skills,” stated Decker. “But you learn quickly what works and what doesn’t.” With her experience in Family and Consumer Science (FACS) classrooms, she was confident in her ability to work in other buildings. Decker met Nancy Messerschmidt, ISD 15 Adult Enrichment and Facility Scheduling manager, about 25 years ago and a working relationship was started. Decker has offered classes in macramé crochet and chairs, stepping stones, mosaics, mitten-making classes and more through ISD 15 Community Ed. “People could take my mitten class online, but they don’t,” said Decker. “They like handson instruction.” With each school district’s community ed programs, Decker prefers offering the same classes. This allows for an equal opportunity for adults from all walks of life to learn or mature a skill and meet others from their own community. “As adults, we don’t get out as much as we need to,” said Decker. “Community Ed classes offer an opportunity to meet people from your

community. There are friendships that evolve from these classes.” “Some think adults know everything. They don’t, but they are just as anxious to learn as young kids. Adults don’t have as many opportunities to learn, but I think it is important to keep expanding your knowledge.” Decker’s approach aligns with an ISD 15 core value, “We believe that lifelong learning enriches individuals and creates opportunities.” Decker first began teaching how to make holiday treats after adopting a friend’s class at Anoka-Hennepin School District. After her friend expressed desire to focus on other aspects of her life, Decker was approached by the director of Community Ed to teach. To help prepare herself for teaching this new class, Decker attended her friend’s class to get recipes and started gathering needed materials. “I was a little nervous at first,” admitted Decker. “It is a lot of preparation to get materials together.” Through experience, Decker has modified the Holiday Make, Bake and Take class. At first, she bought roll-out sugar cookies and pre-made items. Now all treats are made from scratch. Decker premixes the dough ahead of time before


Tot Shop for Mom and Pop



BEHIND-THE-WHEEL DRIVING INSTRUCTION Six hours of required behind-the-wheel instruction Flexible scheduling

Sandhill Center • 23820 Dewey Street • Bethel

Use parchment or wax paper on pans for even baking. This will also help elongate the life of your baking pans for years to come.


Registration for classroom driver education is being accepted for the 2017-18 school year. Classroom driver education information available on the website.

Monday-Thursday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. & 1:00-4:00 p.m. Friday Closed

Tips and tricks for holiday baking!

Holiday Make, Bake and Take is a very popular class offered in the Fall/Winter Community Ed Catalog. This year, as in past years, the class is full and there is a waiting list. Watch for the upcoming Winter/Spring Community Ed Catalog delivered to homes in January. Register at www. or call 763-213-1640. If you are interested in teaching a class for ISD 15 Community Ed, please contact Nancy Messerschmidt at 763-213-1589.

instruction at St. Francis High School

Fitness 15

students bake. There are five cookies students bake, such as peanut blossoms, snicker doodles and ginger cookies. Students also make no-bake cookies including haystacks, candy-coated pretzels, fudge, almond and peppermint bark. Class participants learn about presentation and package treats with festive bags and ribbons. People are paired at a station with equipment, instructions and batter provided by Decker. “I try to make the experience very convenient for my students,” affirmed Decker. “All you have to do is put the cookies together.”

State of Minnesota certified instructors Fee $260

Applications available at or call 763-213-1640 for more information. Sponsored by ISD 15 Community Education



A fun shopping experience for your young child! Children age birth to kindergarten can choose and purchase gifts for moms and dads, plus have them wrapped! Gifts are reasonably priced. Pizza and beverages will be available for purchase. Date: Friday, December 8 Time: 5:00-7:00 p.m. Location: Lifelong Learning Center in Oak Grove



Attention parents of 2018 kindergartners

Classes & Events 23820 Dewey Street Bethel, MN 55005



Kindergarten will be here before you know it. Now is the time to think about what skills your child should know and the expectations as they transition. These Destination Kindergarten sessions are designed to bridge preschool years to kindergarten for both parents and child(ren). The locations of the sessions are Cedar Creek Community School (for students who will attend Cedar Creek Community School or East Bethel Community School) or St. Francis Elementary School in a kindergarten classroom. The children will explore a new environment while the parents focus on the transition from preschool to kindergarten. A panel of kindergarten teachers and parents will be present one of the nights. Be sure to bring your questions. Course: EC 4504 Course: EC 4505 Dates: Wednesdays, Dates: Wednesdays, January 24, 31 January 3, 10, 17 February 7 Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m. Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m. Location: St. Francis Location: Cedar Creek Elementary School Community School Fee: $12/child for the Fee: $12/child for the three week session* Deadline: December 21 three week session* Deadline: January 19 * No one will be denied participation in some special events due to the inability to pay. No refunds on fees after deadline.

Before and after school childcare Program Sites Cedar Creek Community School East Bethel Community School St. Francis Elementary School Lifelong Learning Center Kids Connection is a comprehensive childcare program for children in kindergarten through grade five that provides a safe, fun experience and offers families a variety of childcare options. The program is open 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours include before and after school programs and full day programs on non-school days. Questions? Call Chris at 763-213-1616 or Lori at 763-213-1641

Just 4 Kids is a childcare option for children who are three years of age by September 1, 2017, to kindergarten entrance. Children participate in various activities in a safe, wellsupervised environment. Extended childcare options are available at: • Cedar Creek Community School, 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Preschoolers who attend Just 4 Kids will be bused to the Lifelong Learning Center (LLC) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at no fee. • St. Francis Elementary School, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Preschoolers who attend Just 4 Kids will remain at St. Francis Elementary School. If preschoolers are attending Preschool Place 15, they will be bused to LLC at no cost. Customize your childcare arrangements! Before and after preschool, daily and weekly rates are available for Just 4 Kids. Questions? Call Chris at 763-213-1616 or Lori at 763-213-1641

Enjoy top entertainment by popular local artists at the monthly Lunch Bunch shows. Make sure to register early, most shows will sell out! Lunch Bunch is located at Sandhill Center in Bethel. Doors open: 10:30 a.m. Lunch served: 11:00 a.m. Showtime: 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Cost: $20 Seating is on first-come, first-served basis. For reservations, call


or register online at

CODA Holiday Program Tuesday, December 12 Course: LB174 CODA, the saxophone/keyboard duo of Scott Dorff on soprano, alto and tenor saxophones and Malcolm Anderson on piano and keyboard is back by popular demand; this time to bring the Lunch Bunch their own special smooth jazz twist version of both traditional and modern Holiday tunes. Often referred to as the small band with a big band sound, CODA’s primary purpose is to bring peace, joy and love to all who come to listen. Their music has touched the lives of thousands of people and they continue to compose and arrange music weekly, striving to provide a high quality performance which is both pleasurable and entertaining for their audiences. They have also released five very fine recordings. So, come relax and enjoy the magical holiday sounds of CODA. Offered with support from Thrivent Financial.

Strength In class you will use dumbbells/hand weights and resistance bands to strengthen muscles, improve bone density and increase metabolism. Class is for seniors or active older adults. Day: Monday Time: 8:00-8:45 am Instructor: Cathie Hagford Fee: $2 per class, no registration required (class is not eligible for insurance reimbursement)

Line Dancing Have fun and move to the music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activities for daily living. This is an excellent class for those just beginning in line dance as well as the more experienced line dancers! Day: Thursday Time: 10:00-11:00 am Instructor: Ginger Anderson Fee: $2 per class, no registration required (class is not eligible for insurance reimbursement)

SilverSneakers® Yoga

SilverSneakers® Yoga will move your whole body through a complete series of seated and standing yoga poses. Chair support is offered to safely perform a variety of seated and standing postures designed to increase flexibility, balance and range of movement. Restorative breathing exercises and final relaxation will promote stress reduction and mental clarity. Days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday Time: 9:00-10:00 am Instructor: Cathie Hagford Fee: Free to SilverSneakers® and Silver & Fit® members, $2 per class for non-members, no registration required

SilverSneakers® Classic

Have fun and move to the music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activities for daily living. Hand–held weights, elastic tubing with handles and a SilverSneakers® ball are offered for resistance. A chair is available if needed for seated or standing support. Days: Wednesday, Friday Time: 8:00-8:45 am Instructor: Cathie Hagford Fee: Free to SilverSneakers® and Silver & Fit® members, $2 per class for non-members, no registration required

Fitness 15 We offer plenty of ways for you to get in shape, so you’ll never be bored with working out. We have two treadmills, two elliptical trainers, two stationary bikes and a Nautilus four-station weight machine. Relaxed atmosphere—senior citizens are encouraged to attend! Days: Monday-Thursday Times: 8:30-11:30 am 1:00-4:00 pm Fee: $2 per visit, no registration required (no membership fees)

Sandhill is a Silver & Fit qualified center. For more information on the Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness Program or the Sandhill Center, please call 763-213-1640. To see if you qualify as a Silver & Fit member or a SilverSneakers member, please contact your insurance company.





BRIGHT BEGINNINGS in ISD 15 Early Childhood 763-753-7170

Call ECFE at for more information or to register for any of the opportunities on this page. Lifelong Learning Center • 18900 Cedar Drive NW, Oak Grove • Online at Follow ISD 15 Early Childhood on Facebook to stay in the know and connect with other parents.

Winter Early Childhood Events

Attention childcare providers!

Parent/Child Yoga

Come to Pop In and Play!

Wind down from a busy day with your preschooler in this parent/child yoga class. Relax and learn basic poses in a fun setting. Designed for parents and children ages 3-6; two year olds can attend if able to stay involved for the entire time. Allison Miller, RYT-200 will instruct this class. Course: EC9706 Date: Thursdays, January 18-February 22 Time: 5:00-5:45 p.m. Fee: $30 per child Deadline: January 11

Pop in for fun activities. Come once or come every week, whatever works for your schedule. Meet other families and build relationships that last a lifetime. No pre-registration required.

Did you know that the Early Childhood Center offers CEU hours for childcare providers? If you are a childcare provider or know someone who is, see the information below for classes and registration.

Children’s Museum

December 5: Friend Around Us 6: In the Neighborhood 12: Jungle Friends 13: Will You Be My Friend? 19: Gingerbread Friends 20: Red and Green! January 2: Winter Blast 3: Winter Fun 9: Arctic Adventures 10: Penguins and Polar Bears

Two hours of exploration in the newly designed Children’s Museum in St. Paul. Learn what everyone is raving about! After a brief orientation, you and your child(ren) may explore the museum on your own. Bring a bag lunch which you will eat before reboarding the bus. Course: EC9403 Date: Wednesday, January 24 Time: Bus leaves LLC at 9:00 a.m.; returns by 2:30 p.m. Fee: $7.50 per person Deadline: Noon, December 20

Days & Times: Tuesdays 12:45-2:45 p.m. Wednesdays 9:15-11:15 a.m. Fee: $4 per child/max $12 per family (limit of 4 children per adult)

Upcoming Schedule:

Visit the ECFE webpage at for more events and classes.

A Day With Your Sweetheart

Register NOW! Winter/Spring ECFE classes begin end of January

Have your child bring their sweetheart (grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, friend), while dressed in their fanciest attire for a fun filled morning. Swing to favorite songs with a DJ, make some crafts, listen to stories, have a snack and take a photo. Make it a special day! Course: EC9701 Date: Saturday, February 10 Time: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Fee: FREE, please bring a non-perishable food item for the local foodshelf Deadline: February 8

Birth to Kindergarten classes Wednesday, Thursday or Friday options 9:15-11:15 a.m. Toddler classes Monday or Tuesday options, 9:15-11:15 a.m. Baby classes 6 week sessions, Thursdays, 9:15-11:15 Evening classes Birth to Kindergarten 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Looking for Preschool?

Preschool Place 15 has a place for you. } Classes offered at the Lifelong Learning Center in Oak Grove } Programming takes place September through May } Morning, afternoon and evening sessions available } One, two, three or four times per week } Two-hour to two-and-a-half-hour sessions } Most classes are age specific } Classes are also available for two-year-olds and very young three-year-olds } Busing available for ALL full-year morning and afternoon classes } Sliding fee scale is available based on family size and income The curriculum of Preschool Place 15 focuses on social skills and early literacy development. Mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, social studies, the arts and physical development are also part of the curriculum. Environments are designed to enhance and expand children’s understanding of the world as they direct their own play. Teachers facilitate the child’s learning; they guide and encourage independent learning in each child.

Preschool Place 15

You may qualify for FREE or reduced preschool tuition and fees based on family size and income. Available through Early Learning Pathway II Scholarships and/or School Readiness fund. If you meet income eligibility requirements or participate in one of the following programs: Minnesota Family Investment Program, Child Care Assistance Program, Free and ReducedPrice Lunch Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, Food Support (SNAP) or Foster Care. Call Jenny at 763-753-7196 for more information.

For more information on classes and to register, visit or call 763-753-7170

Tracy Schreifels presents: I wonder: Using Curiosity to Understand and Address Children’s Behavior What if caregivers used their curiosity to resolve challenging behaviors? Learn how to use reflective thinking to understand how development, trauma and attachment influence behaviors. Behavior is a form of communication that caregivers can learn to interpret when time is taken to process the meaning of it. Explore a toolbox of strategies for preventing and addressing behavior in infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Tracy (MS, LMFT, IMH-E III) is a wellknown mental health specialist in the metro area. This course offers CEUs and is Develop approved. Course: EC7901 Date: Thursday, January 18 Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fee: $3 per person Registration for childcare workshops can be done online at; email or call 763-753-7178.

A Day of Fun for the Entire Family: Saturday, February 3 A special day for those babies born in 2017! 2017 Birth-day Bash for babies. If you missed Celebrating Baby when your child was tiny or if you’ve wondered about ECFE, here’s a special bash just for you. Enjoy songs, get helpful hints and meet others who are parenting a baby. Course: EC9703 Date: Saturday, February 3 Time: 9:45-11:45 a.m. Deadline: February 1 Fee: FREE Free sibling care available for children up to age 8, but you must preregister.

Early Childhood Family Education A division of ISD 15 Community Education 763-753-7170

Thinking of 2017-18 Preschool? Preschool Place 15 Preview A time for preschoolers (as of 9/1/18) and parents to get a taste of Preschool Place 15. Play a bit, experience typical classroom activities, talk to teachers, learn about the curriculum… then you’ll have the information to decide about registration for the 2018-19 school year. No sibling care available for younger/older children. No need to preregister. Date: Saturday, February 3 Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m. Fee: FREE

Dad ’N Me-Birth to Kindergarten Calling all dads and kids! Come ready for activities chosen especially for you. Course: EC9704 Date: Saturday, February 3 Time: 9:45-11:45 a.m. Deadline: February 1 Fee: $4/child, max $12 family; limit of 4 children/adult* * No one will be denied participation in some special events due to the inability to pay. No refunds on fees after deadlines.




Meetings, Benefits & Events Red Cross Blood Drives Oak Grove

The Red Cross is hosting a blood drive open to the public on Tuesday, December 5, 1:30-7:30 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 19921 Nightingale Street in Oak Grove. Register online at American Red CrossGive Blood or stop by the information station after all masses at St. Patrick’s two weeks prior. To avoid wait times, appointments are strongly encouraged. Walk-ins will be accepted if the schedule allows. Every effort will be made to stay on schedule!

St. Francis

Give the gift of life—a Red Cross Blood Drive will be held at St. Francis United Methodist Church on Thursday, December 28, 1:30-7:30 p.m. The church is located at 3914 229th Avenue in St. Francis. Donors can make appointments at by entering in a local zip code.

ISD 15 School Board ISD 15 SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS: December 11 Dialogue with the School Board 6:30 p.m., Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m., January 8 & 22 Dialogue with the School Board 6:30 p.m., Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. at Central Services Center, Community Room, 4115 Ambassador Boulevard NW, St. Francis.

City & Township Meetings ANDOVER CITY COUNCIL Meets 1st & 3rd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m., 1685 Crosstown Boulevard NW, Andover 763-755-5100 BETHEL CITY COUNCIL Meets 1st & 3rd Thursday, 7:00 p.m. 23820 Dewey Street, Bethel, 763-434-4366 NOWTHEN CITY COUNCIL Meets 2nd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. 19800 Nowthen Boulevard NW, Nowthen 763-441-1347 EAST BETHEL CITY COUNCIL Meets 1st & 3rd Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. 2241 221st Avenue NE, East Bethel 763-367-7840 OAK GROVE CITY COUNCIL Meets 2nd & last Monday, 7:00 p.m. 19900 Nightingale Street NW, Oak Grove 763-404-7000 ST. FRANCIS CITY COUNCIL Meets 1st & 3rd Monday, 6:00 p.m. ISD 15 Central Services Center, St. Francis 763-753-2630 STANFORD TOWNSHIP BOARD Meets 1st Monday, 7:00 p.m. 5050 261st Avenue NW, Isanti, 763-444-6370

Health & Fitness

Area Chamber of Commerce


NEW EAST BETHEL TOPS weight loss support group meeting. Meeting held at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 1450 237th Avenue NE, East Bethel, Mondays at 5:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to their first meeting free of charge with no obligation. TOPS CHAPTER MN #1774 Meets every Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. at the St. Francis Community Center, 23340 Cree Street N. TOPS stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly and is a weight loss support group. Check out a meeting or visit

ST. FRANCIS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Networking Breakfast is the second Wednesday of each month, 8:00 a.m. at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in St. Francis Cost is $3. The Networking Breakfast usually has a featured speaker. The Board meeting is the third Wednesday of each month, 11:00 a.m. at the St. Francis Community Center, 23340 Cree Street, St. Francis. Meetings are open to the public. Visit our www.stfrancischamber. org or call 763-438-5163 for more details. NORTH 65 CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. For more information about the North 65 Chamber visit EAST BETHEL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Elections meeting on December 14 at Moonshine Whiskey, 3:00-4:00 p.m. Board meeting is December 26, 8:00-9:00 a.m. at Aggressive Hydraulics, 18800 Ulysses Street NE, Cedar. Visit www.eastbethelchamber. com for more info. HAM LAKE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Board of Directors meeting is December 20, 9:00 a.m. at 21st Century Bank, 17635 Central Avenue NE, Ham Lake. Visit www.hamlakechamber for location and more information.

OAK GROVE SENIORS Meet at noon the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, Oak Grove City Hall for a potluck and short business meeting, bingo follows. For information about the club and events, call Marion Schulz at 763-444-5652. ST. FRANCIS SENIORS Life is good when you can make new friends, get out and enjoy the multitude of activities that our community has to offer. We meet the first and third Thursday of each month at St. Francis City Hall Meeting Room, 23340 Cree Street NW, St. Francis. Social time and lunch begins at noon, with the meeting beginning at 1:00 p.m. and games until 3:00 p.m. We play cards, bingo, scrabble, cribbage, go on trips, lunch outings, have picnics and stay active as we get older. Come and see what we are about. Call President Ray Steinke at 763-753-1871. EAST BETHEL SENIORS Dances are held 1:00-4:00 p.m. Cost is $6, lunch included. The Friday, December 1 dance will have old time music played by Wes Miller. Entertainment for January 5 will be by Dick Szyplinski. Are you 55 or older? Come and enjoy some companionship. All are welcome. Seniors meet the third Thursday of each month for a business meeting and catered noon lunch, 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; second Wednesday of each month is crafts, 9:00 a.m.-noon; fourth Wednesday is crafts only, 9:00 a.m.-noon. We also go on tours, etc. Rent the Senior Center, call Dennis at 763-434-9244. Join East Bethel Seniors for $10 a year and receive a monthly newsletter. The East Bethel Senior Center is located one mile east of Highway 65 on 221st Avenue in East Bethel.

American Legion AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY UNIT 622 – ST. FRANCIS General membership meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. All members of the auxiliary are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, call 763-753-4234. AMERICAN LEGION POST 622 – ST. FRANCIS General membership meets the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. All members of the post are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, call 763-753-4234.

Community Service NORTH ANOKA COUNTY FOODSHELF (NACE) – Provides food and clothing for people in need through the generosity of our community. Hours of operation are: Monday 9:00 a.m.-Noon, Tuesday 5:00-8:00 p.m., Wednesday 1:00-4:00 p.m., Thursday 8:00-11:00 a.m. NACE is located at 18511 Hwy 65 NE, Suites 100, 200 in East Bethel. For more information, to donate or volunteer, please call 763-434-7685 or visit LONG LAKE LUTHERAN CHURCH Invites you to join us for GriefShare Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Free. We are located five miles north of St. Francis on Hwy. 47. For more information please contact Sharon Sudeith at 763-444-4483 or visit www. For general information on the GriefShare program, visit www. GRIEFSHARE grief recovery support group: Meets at First Baptist Church in St. Francis each Wednesday, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Child care is provided through sixth-grade. The church is located at 22940 St. Francis Blvd. NW. GriefShare is a 14-week program to provide help and encouragement after the death of a spouse, child, family member or friend. For more information, call Mike or Sharon at 763-442-0401 or visit

AA/NA AA/NA Meeting at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in East Bethel. NA on Mondays at 7:00 p.m., AA on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., NA on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. AA Meets at Long Lake Lutheran Church, 5 miles north of St. Francis on Hwy. 47, Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Business EDWARD JONES COFFEE CLUB meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 8:00 a.m. at Bridge Street Coffee, 3122 Viking Blvd., Oak Grove.

Lions/Lioness CEDAR/EAST BETHEL LIONS CLUB Meets bimonthly, first and third Tuesday, 7:00 p.m., at Maxx’s Restaurant & Bar on Hwy. 65. Call Judy Ricke at 763-226-4893. OAK GROVE LIONS CLUB Meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at Oak Grove City Hall, 7:00 p.m., adjourning at 8:00 p.m. For more information, call Lion Mark Silvernagel at 763-753-2215. NOWTHEN LIONS CLUB Are you looking to serve in your community of Nowthen? Meet new friends? Have a lot of fun? Come join the Nowthen Lions Club! The Nowthen Lions meet at Nowthen City Hall on the first Thursday of the month for the board meeting and on the third Thursday of the month for the membership meeting. Please email ST. FRANCIS LIONESS CLUB Meets monthly. First Wednesday, administrative board and third Wednesday, general membership meeting at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are held at St. Francis City Hall, 23340 Cree Street. For more information, call Mary Madden at 763-444-5020 or Cheryl Eldstrom at 763-753-4602 or email bluesage51@ ST. FRANCIS LIONS CLUB Meets three times during the month at the St. Francis American Legion. First Wednesday board meeting; second Wednesday regular business meeting; fourth Wednesday social and program. All meetings start at 7:00 p.m. and adjourn at 8:15 p.m. Call Lion Kevin Schuldt for more information at 763-7531205 or visit CEDAR/EAST BETHEL LIONESS CLUB Meets the first Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at Maxx’s Restaurant & Bar on Hwy. 65. For membership information call Yvonne Johnson, 763-434-6985. We Serve!

Jobs! Independent School District 15 is looking for the following: Custodians, Educational Assistants, Nutrition Services, Bus Drivers and Substitutes. Please visit and click on employment. Find your next job with! We’ve been helping connect employers and job seekers for over 20 years. Visit our site to find your next job. We have employers with immediate openings for Direct Support Professionals, CDL Drivers, Machinists/ Tool Designers and much, much more. No registration necessary! Simply search and apply. Go to to get started today!


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Sports & Outdoors St. Francis High School boys Saints football celebrates end of season All-district honorable Academic All-district basketball 2017-18 outlook BRENT SWAGGERT mention Zach Graf, Zach Hemmelgarn, SFHS HEAD FOOTBALL COACH



The 2017-18 Minnesota high school boys basketball season has arrived. The Saints and other boys programs across the state started practicing November 20. Last season ended with a section 7AAAA semifinal loss to the Duluth East Greyhounds. The Saints finished the year with 13 wins and 14 losses in a season plagued with multiple injuries to many important players. St. Francis High School (SFHS) graduated eight seniors from last year’s squad, including Mississippi 8 All-Conference forward, Ryan Svihel. The Saints will need to find a way to replace the production and leadership from those seniors this season. Replacing last year’s senior laden squad is not as bleak as it may appear. The Saints had a great off-season and return with 6 feetand-5 inches all-conference sophomore forward, Wyatt Schroeder. Schroeder averaged 10.3 points per game last season and 5.8 rebounds as a freshman. Schroeder will need to lead and improve across the board as a sophomore for the Saints to improve as a team. Returning shooting guard, Christian Bednarz and forward, Blake Kulsrud, both played important varsity minutes last year as juniors and will be heavily counted on as seniors. Junior guard, Zach Wald, also worked his way into a varsity role last season and will be one of the Saints primary ball handlers going into this season. Other returning players who will have a role on varsity this season include senior Rob McAllister, juniors Thomas Young, Reid Benson, Jacob Donahue and Eli Hylen. The Saints will have a young squad and there will be a lot of competition for playing time. SFHS opens the season at home on Tuesday, December 5 against the Stillwater Ponies. 3220 Bridge Street, Suite 107 in the St. Francis Mall


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Max Jensen, Joey Lipinski, Jacob Levens, Jacob Oachs, Hunter Olson, Caleb Young, Ted Drevlow, Nick Gerlach, Justin Lian, Cole Linson, Tanner Kunshier Team Awards Saint Award: TJ Hoglund Iron Saint Award: Kyle Lindenfelser Fighting Saint Award: Luke Bonte Hammer Award: Andrew Hoglund Special Teams Award: Cole Linson Team Captains Coleton Petrucci, Luke Lipinski, TJ Hoglund, Luke Bonte, Kyle Lindenfelser, John Westling, Nick Gerlach Minnesota Football All Star Game Participant Zach Gust will be playing in the Minnesota Football Showcase All Star Game on Saturday, December 9, at 3:00 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium. You can find out more information about this event at www.vikings. com/community/youthfootball/showcase/rosters. html Senior Zach Gust, No. 8, makes a tackle in the backfield against Rogers Congrats on a great year. on September 22. Gust led the team with nine tackles for a loss on the We are all looking forward season. Gust will be the fifth St. Francis High School football player in to a successful campaign the past four seasons to represent the school at the Minnesota Football in 2018! All-Star Game held on Saturday, December 9, at U.S. Bank Stadium. The St. Francis High School varsity and junior varsity football teams celebrated the end of the season with a team banquet November 16 at Spectacular Events Center Banquet in Isanti. All of the varsity and junior varsity players were recognized for their efforts throughout the season. Some of the following are highlights of awards and recognition throughout the evening.



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Santiago going for 3,000 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA


Andrew Hoglund, Wyatt Schroeder, Nick Gerlach, Kyle Lindenfelser, Cole Linson, John Westling All-district Coleton Petrucci, Zach Gust, Hunter Dustman All District Player of the Year awards District Defensive Lineman of the Year: Zach Gust District Special Teams of the Year: Hunter Dustman

Junior running back John Santiago needs just 34 rushing yards to reach the 3,000-yard plateau for his career and become just the fourth player in University of North Dakota history to reach that feat. He piled up 75 rushing yards and 178 all-purpose yards in October, which helped him eclipse another milestone as he became just the fourth player in program history to accumulate 5,000 all-purpose yards. He now has 5,054 career all-purpose yards and leads the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) this season

with 1,295 all-purpose yards (161.9 yards-per-game). Santiago’s career figures in

both rushing and all-purpose yardage are tops among all FCS juniors.





Why we play JEFF FINK


The InsideOut Initiative is a grant program funded by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) and National Football League (NFL) Foundation. About 80 activities/athletic directors brought five coaches each to U.S. Bank Stadium for a three-hour conference in August to gain a better understanding of the InsideOut Initiative and the Why We Play curriculum. St. Francis High School (SFHS) staff, including Jeff Fink, SFHS activities director and coaches Matt Norton, Ryan Hauge, Scott Schmidt, Brian Sworsky and Al Schlomann attended. Fink is a member of a cohort of activity directors who attend monthly training to develop curriculum to use with coaches and teams. There is a transformation emerging in high school athletics. This shift is based on the simple belief that when properly administered, sports is not about just wins and losses, but the potential to change the world for the better. Mistakes and setbacks are growth opportunities for everyone involved and working through them is where the power of sports is found. Too frequently winning is viewed as the paramount outcome from participation in sports and the countless opportunities to develop character skills such as empathy, moral courage, trust, honesty, responsibility and respect are missed or overlooked. Administrators and coaches who see the power in educational athletics have the power to put the focus

on the growth of the athlete. Participating in sports should be an educational activity, every success or failure should be an opportunity to learn and develop as young adults. Over the past three years, many coaches have made a concerted effort to incorporate many of the principles of the Why We Play curriculum. We are planning on expanding and growing this through the InsideOut Initiative, which offers tools and guidance for changing the culture of high school and youth sports. The program will push us to a higher standard and it is growing nationwide. Sports participation has been publicized widely. It tells us that less than six percent of high school athletes go on to play college athletics and less than one percent of those college athletes ever play professionally. It also reveals that for the almost eight million students who play high school sports, the primary reason they participate is to have fun. Yet youth sports have evolved into an $8 billion industry that promotes early specialization, private one-on-one coaching, year-round participation and a significant financial and emotional investment from parents. In many cases, over organized and adult-driven youth sports have created an unsustainable frenzy, driving the fun out of sports. Parents and athletes become afraid that if they don’t comply with the “more is better” cultural pressure, they will be left behind. This tension has resulted in an unhealthy and pressure-filled athletic experience for millions of students, doing little to develop their human potential

Youth tackle football players complete season undefeated TIM MICKELBURG


The St. Francis youth tackle football fourthgrade (Blue) team completed an undefeated season and won the Tier 1 Twin Cities North Youth League Championship against Police Activities League 29-13. Their season closed with an opportunity to play at the U.S. Bank Stadium, defeating Andover 12-6. Congratulations to the

boys for always playing their best and giving fans an exciting season and to the coaches, Jeff Bergman, Lorne Rothbauer, Josh Sanders and Mike Crandall, for challenging the boys to always work hard and reinforcing the importance of good sportsmanship. Way to go Saints! St. Francis youth tackle football is a collaborative effort between Independent School District 15 Rec Department and St. Francis football boosters.

and character skills we want for all of our students. Jody Redman, MSHSL associate director and Joe Ehrmann, former NFL player turned educator, are leading a national effort to turn the win-at-all-costs model on its head. During the 2016-17 school year, Redman was a speaker at the Mississippi 8 student leadership conference and our SFHS leaders and coaches developed the following statements for the SFHS Activities Department. Our Collective Purpose As Saints we participate in athletics because we are driven with passion for our sport and school, with an emphasis on building lasting relationships and being role models in our school and community. Our Collective Definition of Success We are successful when we play hard, compete together, continually strive to improve and do so with individual and team integrity. Keeping our Purpose Alive Ensure that our coaches and athletes have a common understanding of our purpose and definition of success through monthly training. ■ Monthly Saints leadership meetings ■ Athlete purpose statements posted throughout our athletic venues and school commons ■ Saints Leadership group meetings with coaches ■ Training for our school board and administration ■ Training for parents If you would like more information, please contact Jeff Fink in the activities office at 763-753-1508.

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10 OFF BATTERY REPLACEMENT $ Pictured (L-R) St. Francis youth tackle football fourth-grade (Blue) team: Mike Crandall, Jeff Bergman, Lorne Rothbauer, Josh Sanders; Sam Bergman, Jayden Erickson, Matt Campbell, Ryan Mickelburg, Adam Jordan, Ashton Rolf, Alex McDowell, William Becker, Gregory Wakonabo; Nolan Kloss, Tanner Rothbauer, Hunter Sanders, Ben Crandall and Mike Jones. PHOTO BY SHARON BERGMAN


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Life Pet Corner


Question During the holidays, what are some hazards to avoid to keep my dog and cat safe? Answer There are a number of different potential hazards—avoiding them will make for a happier holiday for you and your pet! The following food items should be kept away from pets: alcoholic beverages, all chocolate, coffee grounds and beans or chocolatecovered espresso beans, onions and onion powder (particularly for cats), fatty foods and bread dough. Holiday plants that may be hazardous include: holly, which can cause vomiting, nausea and diarrhea; mistletoe may cause stomach upset; poinsettias can be irritating to the mouth and stomach and can cause mild vomiting; many types of lilies can be fatal to cats by causing kidney failure if ingested. Christmas tree water can cause vomiting or diarrhea since it may contain fertilizers or harbor bacteria. Make sure electric cords aren’t within reach of pets. They can be appealing chewing items, especially to puppies and kittens and can result in severe oral burns if chewed. Curling ribbon and tinsel can also be appealing chewing items, especially to cats. If even a small amount is ingested, it can easily cause an obstruction of the intestinal tract which requires urgent medical or even surgical treatment. Make sure to keep batteries away from pets. If swallowed, they can cause severe damage to the mouth, tongue, stomach, or intestines due to the acid they contain. Keep glass ornaments out of reach. If they’re played with or chewed on and break, skin or gastrointestinal lacerations can occur. Liquid potpourri can cause severe oral, skin, or eye damage due to irritating substances they contain. Keep potpourri simmer pots out of reach of pets. Cats especially are at risk because they’ll lick the potpourri off their skin if it spills on them. Dry potpourri may cause mild nausea if ingested but generally is safer than liquid potpourri if pets are in the house. Antifreeze is a particularly unforgiving toxin to both dogs and cats, although dogs are more likely to consume it. It causes kidney failure and even as little as one tablespoon can be toxic to a 10 pound dog. Be sure to clean up spills immediately and store it in a tightly closed container in a safe place. Propylene glycol antifreeze products are less hazardous to pets—check the label for ingredients and avoid ethylene glycol antifreeze. Ice melt can be irritating to the skin and mouth and may cause excessive drooling, vomiting or depression if ingested. Rat and mouse baits can be lethal to your pet if consumed, depending on quantity eaten. They prevent blood from clotting and therefore can result in bleeding that can range from mild to severe. If your pet is ill from a possible toxin exposure or you think it may have had a toxin exposure, call your veterinarian immediately. After hours, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is always available at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP. Their website is They can be an invaluable reference in helping you determine if your pet needs emergency care or not.

Libraries now offer tools to create and share e-books ANDREW P. WYLIE


Anoka County Library (ACL) now offers a new suite of resources called MN Writes MN Reads to help local authors connect with local readers and potentially with readers across the country. MN Writes MN Reads consists of three resources that allow authors and readers to create, share and read e-books. These resources, Pressbooks, SELF-e and BiblioBoard, are free to the community via the ACL website Pressbooks enables writers to convert their manuscripts into a variety of e-book formats, including ePub, MOBI and PDF. Press books helps writers format their books with professional design templates and includes tools to assist with book organization. After converting their book into e-book format, authors can distribute their book however they choose. One free option is SELF-e. SELF-e is portal for sharing e-books. Titles submitted to SELF-e undergo a basic screening process and then are added to the statewide MN Writes MN Reads collection. In addition, titles submitted are screened by staff from Library Journal, a trade publication for librarians. Library Journal selects a limited number of titles (at this time only fiction) to make available to readers across the country. Authors retain all rights to books submitted to SELF-e. BiblioBoard is the place where readers find this content. This easy-to-

use platform features work from a wide variety of genres, including comics, history, art, graphic novels, young adult novels and romance. There are an unlimited number of checkouts, meaning that readers never have to wait for a book to be available. In addition, there are no return periods (and therefore, never any late fees)! “Building an audience of readers is a challenge for new authors. This program enables writers to share their work with their local communities and with libraries around the country,” says Drew Wylie, ACL’s collections strategies manager. “It also is a place for people to share family stories and local history.” Funded in part from private academic libraries in Minnesota and the Metropolitan Library Services Agency (MELSA), residents in the seven-county metro now have access to SELF-e and eventually that access will be expanded statewide. Libraries are increasingly places of content creation in addition to content consumption and MN Writes MN Reads offers tools to help writers create and share their work. Anoka County Library is excited to offer MN Writes MN Reads, which will enable the sharing of a wide and diverse array of local stories. These resources will give local writers broader exposure and give readers access to locally produced content. To access MN Writes MN Reads, go to

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Master Gardener


easy to apply and can be done even in early winter. The trunk should be covered from the ground to the first branch. It is important to remove the cover in spring when the last frost is gone as moisture can accumulate and could result in another kind of tree problem. Most young trees should be wrapped for a couple winters. The thin barked trees, mentioned above, should be wrapped for five years. Tree wrap materials are inexpensive and can be purchased at most garden and hardware stores. When planting your next tree, there are a couple ways to reduce the potential for sunscald. First, only select trees suitable for our climatic zone or colder (zone 4a or 3b). Those trees with thinner bark should be planted on eastern or northern aspects, if possible. Providing filtered shade cover by shrubs or tall uncut perennials is another option. If you do get a bad sunscald, you can try to save the tree. Carefully remove the scarred bark down to live tissue with a sharp knife. Remove any rough edges. Do not cut beyond the scarred area. Do not use a wound dressing, but use an anti-fungal spray. Let the wound heal in the open air. Be sure to wrap the tree for the next few winters.

Wrapping young trees for winter Did you plant a young tree this year? How about last year? Certain young trees benefit from protection during our harsh winter season. Even if the tree is suitable for our climatic zone, young bark is thin and often at risk. One of the most common concerns for deciduous trees is sunscald. Trees most susceptible to sunscald include: cherry, crab apple, honey locust, linden, maple, mountain ash and plum. Sunscald is characterized by dried, cracked areas of damaged bark on the southern side of the trunk. It is caused by the rapid warming of bark on sunny days followed by rapid cooling. The rapid warming stimulates growth immediately below the bark’s surface. The rapid cooling kills this young tissue. Healthy tissue below the bark (cambium) is essential to normal tree growth and tree survival. Older trees are less susceptible to sunscald because bark thickens with age. One way to protect existing young trees is to cover the tree trunk with reflective material. This material can be a plastic guard that slips over the trunk or a fabric that wraps around the trunk. Both methods are

Birth Penny Lakeberg was born on November 10, 2017, at Cambridge Medical Center to Travis and Melissa Lakeberg of East Bethel. She weighed eight pounds, ten ounces and was 21 inches long. Penny was welcomed by siblings Miles and Ryder. Proud grandparents are Bob and Cindy Lakeberg of Stanchfield, Linda and Don Luethmers of Delano and Bob and Bonnie Hickey of Pine City.

A young maple wrapped for winter to prevent sunscald.  SUBMITTED PHOTO

Christmas music origins Scores of artists have released Christmas albums or holiday-infused singles during their careers. Christmas music can be broken down into two distinct categories: traditional hymns and carols and popular secular songs. Some believe that the religious standards have been passed down since the earliest days of Christianity. However, that is not so. Before the 12th century, music wasn’t typically included in religious services, and even then music was included only sporadically. In present day, religious tunes identified as Christmas music typically are not sung until Christmas Eve and thereafter until the Epiphany. The world’s most popular Christmas carol was originally a poem penned in 1816 by Austrian Catholic priest Josef Mohr. Two years later, Mohr asked Franz Xaver Gruber, an organist and local schoolteacher, to put his words to music. The resulting song, Silent Night, was not translated into English for 40 years. Hark the Herald Angels Sing also originated from a poem and had the original opening line of, “Hark how all the welkin rings.” The subsequent version was more catchy, and the faster-paced accompaniment was courtesy of Felix Mendelssohn, added 100 years after the poem was written. Jingle Bells, a nonreligious tune that has become synonymous with Christmas, was not originally written as a Christmas tune. In fact, the song was intended to celebrate Thanksgiving. Source: Metro Creative Services Editorial

2017 Goal 727


79 Tons

Recycled in October St. Francis has recycled 702 tons in 2017 so far. Recycling is now easier with simple sort recycling. You no longer need to sort items. Just place them all in the large roll-off container provided by your hauler. If you have any questions about what is acceptable or would like to start a new service, call your hauler: Ace Solid Waste 763-427-3110 Allied Waste 763-784-2104 East Central Sanitation 763-689-2171 LePage & Sons 763-757-7100

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763-753-6336 19035 Lake George Boulevard NW Oak Grove, MN 55303

Amy Morgan, D.V.M. Kaija Youngner, D.V.M. Shantel Julius, D.V.M. Lisa Johnson, D.V.M. Dawn Price, D.V.M. Melissa Powers, D.V.M.






For some the Christmas season is best experienced as “A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland.” But for others, the Christmas season can feel more like “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you, I’ll be so blue just thinking about you, decorations of red on a green Christmas tree, won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me.” It’s for the latter that we are having a Blue Christmas service at St. Francis United Methodist Church on Sunday, December 17 at 7:00 p.m. For some, Christmas doesn’t bring joy and happiness as advertised on Hallmark Christmas specials or greeting cards. Many are dealing with the death of a loved one, facing life after divorce or separation, coping with the loss of a job, living with cancer or some other disease that puts a question mark over the future, and a number of other human situations which makes Christmas celebrating painful for many people in our community. There is a growing attentiveness to the needs of people who are blue at Christmas. Blue as in the blues, as in “I am feeling blue.” We are creating sacred space for people living through dark times. The service will be reflective, accepting where we really are and offering healing and hope. The service will include an emphasis on candles, with people invited to come forward and light a candle in memory of someone or to mark an event in their lives. Some will say words out loud, others in silent prayer. If you are feeling blue this Christmas or want to offer support to those who are, please join us.

A Christmas Carol takes the stage


St. Francis High School Madrigal Choir to perform at the 10th anniversary of the Live Nativity SHARON BERGMAN


Please join us at New Life Church in Oak Grove on Sunday, December 3, 4:30-6:30 p.m. as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of New Life’s Live Nativity. Step back 2,000 years to see the live

reenactment of the night of Jesus’ birth. Along with Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds and the wisemen, there will be live animals and caroling by the St. Francis High School Madrigal Choir. Please come with your family and friends and join us for free chili, coffee, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies inside New Life Church after you visit the live Nativity.

Celebrating Midnight Mass


Many families have their own unique holiday traditions, but one tradition that unites millions of Christians all over the world is the celebration of Midnight Mass. In many parishes, Midnight Mass is the first celebration of Christmas Mass. The origins of Midnight Mass are not exactly known. However, certain monks and nuns attended liturgical services at midnight every day in ancient times, and the Christmas Midnight Mass very well may have been adopted from these practices. Regardless of the basis behind the celebration, it can be a breathtaking and emotional service thanks to the memorable passages read and the inclusion of church choirs. Many Midnight Mass celebrants feel the Mass serves as an impressive reminder as to the true meaning of Christmas. Source: Metro Creative Services Editorial


Come begin your holiday season with a classic retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Be swept away in the story of Ebenezer Scrooge as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future convince him to keep Christmas in his heart all year long. All proceeds support the St. Francis High School Theatre Department. The performance starts at 7:00 p.m. on December 12 at the St. Francis High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for adults or $8 with a donation to the local foodshelf.

Come and celebrate the birth of our Savior at Trinity Lutheran Church. Christmas Eve Services Sunday, December 24 9:15 a.m., 4:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Sunday School Christmas Program

Sunday, December 17 at 2:00 p.m.

Service of Lessons and Carols

Sunday, December 24 at 5:00 p.m.

Candlelight Service

Christmas Day Service

Monday, December 25 at 9:00 a.m.

New Year’s Eve Service

Sunday, December 31 at 7:00 p.m. Regular Sunday Services, 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. Bible Study for Adults and Sunday School, 9:15 a.m.

Sunday, December 24 at 11:00 p.m.

St. Andrew Lutheran Church Highway 65 and 237th Avenue NE East Bethel – Cooper’s Corner


TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH AND SCHOOL 3812 229th Avenue NW • St. Francis, Minnesota 763-753-1234 • Rev. Timothy Vaughan Rev. Keaton Christiansen




Make worship an integral part of the holiday season Both Chanukah and Christmas, while joyous celebrations, are laced with solemnity. The Second Jewish Temple was desecrated by Greek-Syrians, who had erected an altar to Zeus and sacrificed pigs within its sacred walls. At this point in time, Jews had to practice their faith in secret, reading the Torah underground and using dreidels to simulate games and confuse Greek soldiers. However, the Jews, led by a small group of rebels known as the Maccabees, persevered,

“Reaching Out With A Voice Of Hope” Sunday Worship Services 8:30 and 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday Ignite Service

For information call 763-434-6117 or visit email to: FILE PHOTO

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church 19001 Jackson Street NE East Bethel • 763-434-6117

Cedar United Methodist Church 17541 Jefferson Street NE Ham Lake • 763-434-7463

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church 207 Whiskey Road NW Isanti • 763-444-4035

New Life Church - Oak Grove 18975 Lake George Boulevard NW Oak Grove • 763-753-5717


19001 Jackson Street NE • East Bethel West County Road 22 and south on Jackson Street

Bethel Community Church 23860 Dewey Street NW Bethel • 763-434-9834

Long Lake Lutheran Church 3921 277th Avenue NW Isanti • 763-444-5315


Christmas Eve Worship 12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 9:00 p.m. Communion at all services. Christmas Day at the Chapel in Ham Lake at 8:30 a.m.

New Life Church 17261 St. Francis Boulevard NW Ramsey • 763-421-0166

Living Hope Evangelical Free Church 23038 Rum River Boulevard NW St. Francis • 763-753-1718

Prayer can help remove distractions during the holiday season, helping individuals reconnect with the true meaning of the holiday season. Source: Metro Creative Services Editorial

Christ the Savior is Born!

Abundant Life Alliance Church 3840 197th Avenue NW Oak Grove • 763-753-0284

Immanuel Church (OPC) 15036 Round Lake Boulevard NW Andover • 763-210-5846

During the holiday season, houses of worship customarily host prayer sessions and special holiday-related events. The faithful are encouraged to participate in these events in celebration of their faith.

at 6:30 p.m.

Faith Listings

Elim Baptist Church 114 Dahlin Street SE Isanti • 763-444-9221

marking the joy of Chanukah for years to come. The period leading up to Christmas known as Advent is a time for repentance and preparation for the grace and miracle of Jesus’ birth. According to Christianity. com, the word “advent” is derived from the Latin word “adventus,” meaning “coming.” Advent is a time to both reflect on the past and look forward to the future. Much like Lent, Advent is intended to be a season of fasting, prayer and reaching out to God.


The hustle and bustle of the often hectic holiday season can make it easy to overlook religion during this special time of year. Come the holidays, adherents of Judaism celebrate Chanukah while many Christians celebrate Christmas. Though different, the two holidays share some similarities. In celebration of Chanukah, families gather for an eightday commemoration to honor the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem and a miracle in which a small amount of oil illuminated a menorah for eight days. Perhaps because it falls during the holiday season, Chanukah has become one of the most well-known Jewish celebrations, even for those who do not adhere to the Jewish faith. For devout Christians, Christmas isn’t about eggnog and Santa Claus. Christmas (Christ’s Mass) is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the son of God. Christmas is a day of great joy in the Christian faith because it marks the beginning of Jesus’ time on earth.

St. Andrew Lutheran Church 1450 237th Avenue NE East Bethel • 763-434-7146 St. Francis United Methodist Church 3914 229th Avenue NW St. Francis • 763-753-2273 The Bridge Church 6443 Norris Lake Road Nowthen • 763-753-2134 Services 10:30 a.m. Trinity Lutheran Church, School and Childcare 3812 229th Avenue NW St. Francis • 763-753-1234 West Bethel United Methodist Church 1233 221st Avenue NE East Bethel • 763-434-6451

Pastors Dan Nordin, Maria Pederson, Deacon Glenndy Ose

LONG LAKE LUTHERAN CHURCH All are welcome to the 22ND Annual



One Service Only Sunday, December 10 • 9:30 a.m. Join us for breakfast following the worship service.

Soup and Chili will be served. Grandma’s Attic will be open with crafts and gently used treasures.


Saturday, December 9 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Wednesdays, November 29, December 6, 13, 20 Community Meal 5:30 p.m. Service 6:00 p.m.

CHRISTMAS WORSHIP SERVICES CHRISTMAS EVE 9:30 a.m. Traditional 4:00 p.m. Family Friendly 10:30 p.m. Candles and Carols


3921 277th Avenue NW 763-444-5315 Isanti, MN







So Here’s The Deal...

TAKE A TRIP TO LAS VEGAS - SFACOC STYLE! St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner

FRIDAY JAN 26 TH , 2018


PLAY CASINO GAMES Blackjack, Texas Hold 'Em, Let It Ride, Beat the House, Red Dog & many more

CHANCES TO WIN PRIZES 50/50, Silent Auction & Raffles

DINNER & DRINKS A Buffet Dinner


Details at - Mention this ad at checkout for a BONUS!

Profile for St. Francis Area Schools

The Courier - December 2017/January 2018  

Publication of Independent School District 15, St. Francis, Minnesota

The Courier - December 2017/January 2018  

Publication of Independent School District 15, St. Francis, Minnesota