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Building Our Future Together Update

Wedding Tips & Tools

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Bison in East Bethel

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The Courier

I’m FREE. Pick me up and READ ME!

I have all sorts of community and school news.

St. Francis Area Schools 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

St. Francis Area Schools emerges as district name KATHLEEN MILLER


At the Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) School Board meeting on January 22, a resolution to approve the recommendation to identify the district name passed. St. Francis Area Schools was the recommendation brought forth by the branding committee. The Strategic Plan, adopted by the ISD 15 School Board May 2015, included a strategy with an end result statement, ISD 15 has a recognizable and consistent brand. Steps and timelines were established to complete this result statement. The Minnesota commissioner of education established Independent School District No. 15 on September 6, 1957. It was at that time that the classification and numbering of Minnesota school districts was completed. Prior to that, the school district was referred to as School District No. 22 of Anoka County, which became part of Anoka-Isanti Consolidated Independent Joint District No. 212 (St. Francis) of Anoka County. This bit of history along with other facts and images were collected during the research period of the branding process. What also surfaced in the research was that students, staff and the community commonly refer to the school district as St. Francis Schools or other variations, but consistently using St. Francis as the district identifier. Creating a brand for organizations and businesses in today’s world continues to grow and has taken on

a more strategic approach. Public school districts especially need to have a strong presence in today’s highly competitive education market. A strong brand is critical in helping an organization achieve its mission, which for St. Francis Area Schools 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. A brand is powerful for students, staff and the community by creating cohesion, alignment and shared values. While Independent School District 15 will remain as part of the name, legal and otherwise, St. Francis Area Schools will emerge as the consistent and recognizable brand of the school district. ISD 15 currently serves the communities, in part or entirely, of Andover, Athens Township, Bethel, East Bethel, Linwood Township, Nowthen, Oak Grove, St. Francis and Stanford Township. Incorporating the word, area, in the name was done with purpose to recognize all those communities within ISD 15 boundaries. It is important to note that this name change will be made without creating a financial impact on the district at this time. Some changes have already been made at no cost, such as the name on the district’s website and Facebook page. Other changes will occur when it is time to order letterhead, envelopes and other items for the school district. A next step in the branding process will be the creation of a style guide for the district. This

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document will outline the brand for the district and once finalized, the guide will be posted to the district website and made available to everyone. A consistent and recognizable

Nationally-acclaimed motivational speaker Reggie Dabbs presented at St. Francis High School (SFHS), St. Francis Middle School and Crossroads School & Vocational Center on January 9. Dabbs used humor, music and his own life experiences to connect to students on a deeper level. He spoke on suicide awareness, staying in school and the importance of appreciating family and friends. Community members had the opportunity to listen to Dabbs speak the evening of January 9 in the SFHS Performing Arts Center. This free assembly highlighted family, love, relationships and living a satisfying life. Sponsors for Reggie Dabbs were The Bridge Church, St. Francis Lions and St. Francis Area Schools Community Ed.  KATRINNA DODGE, STAFF WRITER

Monday, February 5 • 4:00–9:00 p.m.


brand of St. Francis Area Schools, Independent School District 15 will be reflected across the school district as we build our future together.


Inside Schools in Action..................................... 2 School Board Highlights...................... 12 Income Tax Tips.................................... 14 Hearts & Flowers................................... 15 Community & Business........................ 18 Community Education......................... 25 Sports & Outdoors................................ 28 Meetings, Events & Benefits................. 31 Life........................................................... 32




Schools in Action Superintendent’s Bulletin


I hope you all had a fun and relaxing holiday break. It’s great to have our students in class and our teachers are reporting great enthusiasm and effort from your children. February and March are always busy

months in our school district. This year is no exception, especially given the initial planning and work being done on the 2017-21 bond projects our public generously approved in November. I’d like to spend

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some time reviewing the history of how we got to the current place we find ourselves, particularly as it relates to our Strategic Plan. The initial planning meeting for the core planning team was in October 2014 as St. Francis Area Schools began working with Susan Hintz from Transformation Systems Limited. Our charge was to develop a comprehensive strategic plan which included a mission statement and establishing core values. We included input from a large, eclectic representative group of community members. The process started with community

meetings in September 2014, called World Café meetings. Fifty community members attended in person and another 168 responded to the online survey. As stated in our World Café Summary Report; “The purpose of the World Café was to engage students, parents, staff and community members in conversation, providing them an opportunity to share their thoughts on what St. Francis should strive to achieve for it’s graduates, what untapped resources exist within the school community, what challenges lie in the future and what role the community might play to ensure that all students

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succeed.” The core planning team comprised of over 30 community members representing students staff, parents, clergy, local business and political officials that took feedback from the World Café results. They developed the Strategic Plan, which was officially adopted by the school board in May 2015. One of the strategies identified in the Strategic Plan statements says, “We will ensure that every employee understands, supports and promotes our core values and mission.” A ‘Results Statement’ from that strategy states, “ISD 15 has a recognizable and consistent brand.” A branding committee was formed and met in October and December 2015. Visits to school districts who recently went through the branding process were made and a great deal of information was gathered. In addition, the committee members visited each of our sites and departments gathering images and samples that represent our district. A survey was sent out to community members as well. All of this information that was gathered was used to formulate ideas and recommendations based on the wide variety of feedback and sources. In April 2016 results were presented to our District Leadership Team. The CONTINUED ON PAGE 13

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Building Our Future Together Update for February 2018 LISA RAHN


On November 7, 2017 the community of St. Francis Area Schools approved an $80,060,000 bond referendum to address critical deferred maintenance and physical facility needs, improve districtwide safety and security and accessibility and enhance educational spaces and learning environments. Why haven’t we seen construction starting? Why does everything look the same in the buildings? How come you have not seen any public meetings? So what is going on? Even though you have not visually seen the progress yet, plenty of work is going on behind the scenes right now. The district has formed a Bond Oversight Committee (BOC), which has met five times since November 7. The BOC meets regularly to monitor and review scope and ongoing activities throughout the project process, monitor the schedule and project budgets

and evaluate and recommend changes. The BOC is also working on a timeline for projects, which includes critical and time sensitive projects. It is common for us to want to see immediate progress, but careful planning and phasing is essential to the success of the projects. Teams are being formed to provide a districtwide focus on all projects. Areas of focus include special education, media centers, technology, elementary schools and district standards. These teams will have up to 10 members each and will collaborate to ensure consistency across the district. Building design teams are also being formed. These teams will guide overall design within the building, establish criteria, review options and make recommendations to the BOC. Design teams will have between 10 and 30 members, depending on the size of the school and may consist of a combination of staff, parents, community members and

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students. Participation is voluntary to be on a design team and it’s important for members to be forward thinkers as this bond brings us into the future. User groups will be established at a later time and will have 3-5 members each. An example of a role a volunteer in a user group would be to add detail to specific spaces such as science classrooms. The design flow is as follows: district focused teams decide on big picture criteria and standards and get those to the design teams; design teams work on standards within each building and get those to user groups; user groups add information on individual spaces; finally the BOC will do a final review and make recommendations to the school board. St. Francis Area Schools has bond projects webpage at The design teams will have progress presentations at school board


meetings and work sessions and will also have open house events for the public. It is an exciting time for St. Francis

Area Schools staff, students and community members as we build our future together.

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American Indian Education Parent Committee Meeting Tuesdays, February 13 5:00 p.m. St. Francis High School Room C-204 If you are a parent, guardian or foster parent of an American Indian student in St. Francis Area Schools 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.


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SFHS showchoirs begin journey for 2018 season




Duncan Bujold surprised his daughter, Riley, at St. Francis Elementary School on December 11 after serving in California for the U.S. Navy. Bujold had lunch with his daughter, read a story and talked about the navy to her class.


Kindergarten Registration is just around the corner!

St. Francis Area Schools mailed registration postcards to next year’s kindergarten parents in early January. This postcard advises you where to enroll your upcoming kindergartner. If you did not receive a postcard or if your child will not be attending kindergarten in St. Francis Area Schools for the 2018-19 school year, please contact Sandy Bodick, St. Francis Area Schools Central Services Center, at 763-753-7049. Your child’s elementary school is determined by the home address. If your child will be riding the bus from a different address due to childcare, please call the Transportation Department at 763-753-7080 to determine if there will be an elementary school placement change. Registration will take place at the school your child will attend on:

Tuesday, February 27 • 5:00-7:00 p.m. Cedar Creek Community School East Bethel Community School St. Francis Elementary School The registration packet will be available online after February 1 at If you do not have internet access, you may pick-up the registration forms at any of the following sites: • St. Francis Elementary School�������22919 St. Francis Blvd. NW • Cedar Creek Community School������������������ 21108 Polk St. NE • East Bethel Community School��������������������� 21210 Polk St. NE • Lifelong Learning Center�������������������������� 18900 Cedar Dr. NW • Central Services Center����������������4115 Ambassador Blvd. NW

Kindergarten Entrance Age

The entrance age for kindergarten students is five years on or before September 1. Early admission is not encouraged. Contact the elementary principal at your child’s school now if you are considering this. The deadline for submitting the application, letter of support and screening results is March 1, 2018.

St. Francis High School showchoirs, known as Bridge Street Singers and Prima Voce, have been developing and practicing since last summer and are ready for an exciting season ahead. This year, students are performing music related to a theme of a journey, which aligns to the journey they embarked on for this transitional year. Showchoir is a group of singers who combine choral singing with choreographed dance moves, often within the context of a specific theme or story. All members of the group have an advanced understanding of music skills, vocal tones and dance

techniques. Most have theater and stage performance experience as dramatic expressions and movements are a part of every performance. A selection of musical numbers is choreographed to live music featuring high-energy singing and dancing in a show that lasts 20-25 minutes. Under the direction of a new choir director Josiah Telschow, the Bridge Street Singers are stretching their talents to perform their stunning vocals while incorporating more stage props to enhance their shows. Telschow believes performing is all about storytelling and is using his award-winning leadership to build on the excellence of the Bridge Street Singers’ past performances. There are 50 performers, 15


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band members and 10 crew members. Prima Voce is in its fourth year as a junior varsity showchoir. Under the direction of Benjamin Beaupre and St. Francis Alum Amelia Tesdahl, Pima Voce is competing as an all-women’s group consisting of 37 talented performers and 10 band members. Prima Voce is doubling the number of competitions this year and students will get more experiences on stage to develop their talents. The future is bright for SFHS showchoir as St. Francis Middle School provides a strong feeder program with its showchoir, Vocalocity. 2018 Schedule for Bridge Street Singers & Prima Voce ■ February 3: Winterfest Eau Claire, Wisconsin ■ February 10: Swingin’ on The River – Hastings, Minnesota ■ February 17: Star Power Waconia, Minnesota ■ February 24: Bishop Heelan Crusader Classic – Sioux City, Iowa ■ March 17: Friend de Classic Mitchell, South Dakota (Bridge Street Singers only) ■ March 25: Community Post Season Show – SFHS Performing Arts Center Follow SFHS showchoirs at and sfchoirboosters.

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St. Francis Elementary School Site Report EBCS teachers honored as The response has been overwhelmingly RYAN JOHNSON Teacher of the Week positive through ongoing monthly SFES PRINCIPAL

St. Francis Elementary School (SFES) has two main areas of focus for the 201718 school year. The first area of focus is literacy, specifically focused on increasing student achievement in the area of reading based on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA). The second area of focus is culture within the SFES community. Both areas have an emphasis on positive communication, collaboration and innovation. SFES saw a slight decline in student achievement in the area of reading from 76 percent of students meeting/exceeding the standards in 2015-16, to 69 percent of students meeting/exceeding the standards in 2016-17. The past several years our overall trend data shows that SFES is consistent with approximately 75 percent of students meeting a level of proficiency. The decline sparked a conversation about trying new learning and instructional strategies to promote literacy. To begin, staff set a building goal to increase student achievement from the previous year. In addition, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) at SFES also set student achievement goals to support the building goal. Within the PLCs, staff review state standards, plan instructional techniques, create common assessments and examine student data. Grade level teachers, specialists and special education teachers were charged with making changes to their current practices to promote literacy in their respective disciplines.

discussions, literature reviews and professional development opportunities. Staff has taken the new information and implemented a more individualized approach to reading instruction within their classrooms. Most importantly, not only are staff members working towards an increase in student achievement, they are also fostering a love of reading by allowing additional independent reading time in various settings. One of the most important functions of a school is to promote a positive culture for students, staff and families. SFES has been focusing on culture in a variety of ways this year. Licensed staff had training on nonverbal communication strategies in order to promote positive relationship building. In addition, staff has regular conversations about continuing to build a positive culture for the SFES community during staff meetings, PLCs on late start Wednesdays. It will continue to be a focus going forward as SFES is also looking at implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in the 2018-19 school year. This framework would allow for a proactive and preventative approach to student behavior. The schoolwide approach would place more of an emphasis on positive behavior and would be unique to the SFES community. The ongoing commitment of stakeholders in the areas of literacy and school culture will continue to make SFES a positive and effective place to learn and work.



Two teachers at East Bethel Community School (EBCS) have recently been honored as Teacher of the Week. Nancy Kiemele teaches kindergarten and was honored on January 11 by local radio stations KS95. Kiemele said she became a teacher because of the joy she found working with kids. She has taught in St. Francis Area Schools for 28 years. Kiemele taught one year of second grade, 25 years of first grade and is currently in her second year of teaching kindergarten. She has demonstrated a great passion and dedication for teaching students and through her work, she shows how much she cares about students and shares tremendous satisfaction with them when they succeed. Sara Keding teaches first grade at EBCS and was honored by another local radio station, KOOL 108 on November 20. Keding is in her third year of teaching. She said she became a teacher because she loves seeing students believe in themselves and helping them achieve their goals. Keding is inspired by her students and loves coming to work every day with her six and seven-year-old coworkers, who are always very excited when East Bethel Community School teachers Nancy their teacher recognizes their Kiemele and Sara Keding were recently honored accomplishments and shares in by local radio stations as Teacher of the Week. PHOTO BY SUSAN ARCHER, EBCS OFFICE PROFESSIONAL their celebrations.

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FIRST Robotics off to a great start at St. Francis High School CHAR PROVOST


It’s an exciting time for the more than 20 students and mentors who are working through the inaugural season of FIRST Robotics at St. Francis High School (SFHS). Since last fall, students have been meeting to learn about FIRST Robotics and build the team. They officially registered and will be representing SFHS as Team #7068, the Mechanical Masterminds or M2. This name

Courier Contacts Main Phone����������������������������763-753-7031 Advertising�����������������������������763-753-7032 Billing������������������������������������������763-213-1588 Fax�������������������������������������������������763-753-4693 Email������������������������������������� Website�������������������� Like us on Facebook

represents the desire of the team to reach for excellence in mechanical thinking and strive to achieve the impossible in technical work. The season started January 6 and this newly formed rookie team is busy strategizing for spring competitions. Students and mentors are collaborating to completely design, program and build a robot in six short weeks. The focus then will be on the game and preparations for the regional tournament at the University of Minnesota March 29-31. FIRST Robotics combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Teams build and

program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Students work with professional engineers to build and compete. Along the way, they learn and use sophisticated hardware and

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Letter to the Editor For the complete Letter to the Editor policy, visit Policies and Pricing Visit for policy and pricing information. News Submission Send news and photos/captions to Subscriptions The publication is delivered at no charge to all residents in St. Francis Area Schools. The Courier can be mailed to any address for an annual (11 issues) subscription rate of $18. The Courier is a publication prepared and distributed by St. Francis Area Schools Community Education and paid for with revenues generated by advertising sales.

but more volunteers are needed to mentor in a wide variety of areas. While the focus is on engineering and building a robot, many other talents are also needed on the team such as marketing, finance, fundraising, photography, communications, graphics and project management. Sponsors are the lifeblood of a FIRST Robotics team. As the season started, sponsors for the Mechanical Masterminds are St. Francis Area Schools, Delta ModTech and Medtronic. To sustain this new organization, more sponsors are needed for financial backing, equipment donations and even as partners to contribute meals, promotional items or basic supplies while students work through the build season. To learn more about SFHS’ FIRST Robotics team, visit https:// roboticssfhs.

Bebop takes students back to the ’50s

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software. It’s more than just building a robot though. Students learn project management, teamwork, business acumen and marketing, strategic and critical thinking, conflict resolution and presentation skills. Joe Bruhjell, eighth-grade technology education teacher and science/STEM specialist at St. Francis Middle School, is coaching the team. SFHS is fortunate to have Todd Kruse, Delta ModTech engineer and seasoned Isanti’s 4H team mentor, guide the Mechanical Masterminds. Other committed mentors are Clarissa Dobson, SFHS science teacher, Nick Rosengren, Delta ModTech engineer and SFHS parent, and Char Provost, director at Medtronic and SFHS parent. What’s Needed? It takes a village to maintain this program. Several parents have stepped forward to help,

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St. Francis Elementary School first-graders celebrated their 50th day of school with a variety of learning activities and finished the day with a sock hop. Students were encouraged to dress like a 1950’s student. They entered the gym as bebop music was playing for them. Bowling, hula hoops and dancing were part of the enjoyment. Students were served root beer floats during the event. Parents, grandparents and teachers chaperoned the event. Thank you to all the volunteers for helping set up, serve and clean up during this special activity.

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Superheroes arrive at EBCS

SFHS teacher inducted into hall of fame


Brent Swaggert will be inducted into the Montana State Bobcat Athletics Hall of Fame on January 19. The induction ceremony will be held in Bozeman, Montana. Swaggert teaches social studies and futures prep at St. Francis High School, coaches in the high school weight room and is the head coach for the Saints varsity football team. One of the key players in Montana State’s rise from a winless 2000 season to back-to-back Big Sky Championships in 2002 and 2003, offensive lineman Swaggert remains one of three players in program history to earn All-America honors three times. He was Third Team AllAmerica as a senior, and Honorable Mention as a sophomore and junior. Swaggert started all 48 games during his Bobcat career and was a two-time First Team All-Big Sky selection. Source:


A new positive behavior program sweeps through East Bethel Community School. This program reinforces and acknowledges positive behavior at school. Superheroes are kind, safe, respectful and responsible. These are the same characteristics that EBCS staff reinforce with students. When students are spotted demonstrating these superhero traits, staff may present them with a superhero ticket. The ticket includes a coupon that goes to the office for a chance to win a prize in the weekly drawings. The remainder of the ticket is a certificate that goes home to show parents that their student was a superhero. Once a month the school has superhero celebrations during an assembly, where students demonstrate superhero characteristics. EBCS promotes Superhero Monday. On Mondays students wear their favorite superhero shirt to remind them of the positive behavior superheroes demonstrate. No matter who our favorite is, it’s important to remember it is the positive character traits inside of us that make us superheroes.


Montana State University (MSU) athletic director Leon Costello congratulates Brent Swaggert, St. Francis High School teacher and coach, on his induction into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Strand Union Building on the MSU Bozeman campus on Friday, January 19.  SUBMITTED PHOTO

Professional development at SFMS JESSICA ROWLES


East Bethel Community School second-grade teacher Angie Rothrum poses with a student on Superhero Monday. 


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Staff from St. Francis Area Schools’ secondary English departments met the morning of December 20 to discuss independent reading, figurative language scaffolding and common key terms as part of the curriculum and planning calendar days. December 20 was the fourth Professional Learning Communities (PLC) 90-minute late start. These mornings allow staff to meet and coordinate curriculum and align instruction with state standards. Learn more about PLCs at

(L-R) Michael Stoeffel, Mitch Dunbar and Tamara Schroeder. SUBMITTED PHOTO



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Boosterthon raises funds for St. Francis Elementary School NICOLE MOLD


Students and staff at St. Francis Elementary School (SFES) participated in a new school fundraiser this year. SFES and the SFES Association of Parents and Teachers (APT) chose to partner with Boosterthon for a fundraiser that focused on fitness and building character. Boosterthon was a nine-day program where the students asked friends and family members to pledge money towards their fun run at the end of the program. During the program, members from Boosterthon made daily classroom visits to check in with students and staff, helped build excitement around the program, shared character trait lessons and even provided additional incentives for classrooms. Castle Quest was the theme for Boosterthon’s program for this year. Each day students watched a video that showcased a different character trait. Boosterthon members and staff helped reinforce the character traits throughout the program. The

character traits that were emphasized were focus, self awareness, respect, trustworthiness, creativity and being a lifelong learner. Students and staff alike enjoyed the videos. At the end of the nine-day program, students participated in a fun run.

Students from Darin Bourasa’s fourth-grade class running onto the field for the St. Francis Elementary School fun run. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Education Minnesota members smashed October Socktober JESSICA ROWLES


Members of Education Minnesota St. Francis Local 1977 donated socks for an October Socktober event. They collected 792 pairs of sock along with a few T-shirts and a pair of baby booties. The number collected beat last year’s number of 517 pairs. Socks were counted and will be distributed to each school’s site as well as to North Anoka County Emergency Foodshelf (NACE). All donations will be kept within our community to help our students and their families. Thank you members for contributing.

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All students, whether or not they earned pledges, received a T-shirt and participated in the run. Students ran an average of 33 laps during the 45-minute run, which equaled about two miles. The emphasis of the run was not on finishing quickly, but instead making it a fun

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experience. Some of the laps included various themes including walking backwards, dancing, skipping, running with a friend and more. Families were invited to come and watch the run and cheer on the students. This was a great experience for all! SFES set a goal of raising $15,000 for the Boosterthon fundraiser. Principal Ryan Johnson and Dean of Students Scott Kruger would be slimed if students met or exceeded the goal. The goal was met and students enjoyed watching Johnson and Kruger get slimed. The top 20 students who raised the most in pledges were able to participate in the sliming, along with St. Francis Police Officer Jody Black, Janine Johnson, Briana Anderson and Kruger’s sons that were in attendance. This was a very fun experience for all of the students and staff to watch. Overall the fundraiser was well received by students, families, and staff. SFES and the APT looks forward to participating in this fundraiser again next year.

Future Farmers of America Update EMILY TROUT


Future Farmers of America (FFA) is a nationally recognized organization for students enrolled in an agricultural education course who are interested in extending their learning and leadership potential outside of the classroom setting. Students that participate in FFA are developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. FFA is for more than just those individuals interested in production agriculture. There are currently eight career pathways that fall under the agriculture, food and The Habits to Own (H2O) Leadership conference took place natural resource content standards at Dassel Cokato High School on November 18. Participants (Agribusiness Systems, Food Products included (L-R) Ryan Luukkonen, Alex Bush and Zachary and Processing, Biotechnology Rumsey. The H2O Conference allowed high school students Systems, Plant Systems, Animal to meet other FFA members from across the state and learn Systems, Power Structural and more about leadership traits and habits in their daily lives. Technology, Environmental System  SUBMITTED PHOTO Services, Natural Resource Systems). All of these career pathways have written exam, tool and engine parts identification corresponding FFA Career Development Events and a service and repair practicum. Overall, the (CDE) competitions that happen at a regional, Saints Academy FFA team placed 7 out of 15. state and national level. Individual placings: Kalvin Herting (22), Tyler The Small Engines CDE regional competition Strom (24), Ryan Luukkonen (30), Brandon took place on November 15 at Princeton High Johnson (33), Zachary Rumsey (58) and Nathan School. Students’ knowledge was tested via a Dahlheimer (67). Agricultural Sales CDE - Individual competition took place at the University of Minnesota on - Relationship December 14. The Ag Sales - Adolescent CDE consists of a written exam, - Adult an individual sales presentation - Child and a group sales presentation. Bruce W. Barton, M.Div., M.A., LMFT, LP Saints Academy FFA placed BHP 13th as a team and individual Preferred One ST. FRANCIS FOREST LAKE places are as follows: Zachary UCare Lighthouse Building Franklin Building Rumsey (31), Ryan Luukkonen MHCP 23038 Rum River Blvd. NW 69 North Lake Street (36) and Alex Bush (37).





Middle school students attends WE Day JESSICA ROWLES


Thirty-three students from St. Francis Middle School (SFMS) attended WE Day at the Xcel Energy Center on November 8. Students earned a ticket to attend WE Day by completing community service or attending civic events in the month leading up to WE Day. Our students collectively completed more than 731 hours of community service. For example, they helped stock books at the local library to picking up trash in parks and donated their time at organizations such as Feed My Starving Children.

Attending students heard stories from other students’ service projects at WE Day. Speakers included Ann Curry, Margaret Trudeau, Jojo Siwa and Adrianne Haslet. Performers were Grace Vanderwaal, Jessie Reyez and the Kenyan Boys Choir. Top 10 Volunteers Name Hours Thompson, Ashley 52 Ingberg, Riana 50 Gehkre, Anna 48 Donner, Lily 42 Mehregan, Lia 34 Grise, Reese 29 Lammers, Grace 23 Shepperd, Mikayla 23 Putnam, Raelyn 22

Ted Gehring, St. Francis Middle School social studies teacher, brought chaperoned students to the Xcel Energy Center for WE Day on November 8. Students (L-R) are Mikayla Shepperd, Reese Grise, Lily Donner, Hannah Reed, Kayla Gagner, Lindsay Bronstad, Annelise Hulst, Natalie Wickham,Reese Jorgenson, Kiley Dustman, Mika Simonson, Joe Jacobson, Michael Preiner, Jeanna Semler, Sam Thorndike, Ashley Thompson, Lauryn Perry, Leah Benner; Madison Burman, Brooke Reintjes, Grace Lammers, Kayla Bosen, Samantha Lindberg, Isabella Cable, Maranda Jelinek, Riana Ingberg, Nora Schwieters, Raelyn Putnam, Lia Mehregan, Anna Gehkre, Lauren Klingensmith, Victoria Plummer and Natalie Campbell.  PHOTO BY TED GEHRING

CCCS Site Report: Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports DARIN HAHN


On January 22, Cedar Creek Community School’s (CCCS) Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) study group presented to the Independent School District 15 School Board. The presentation was to summarize what the team and school have been doing to implement this statewide initiative. A representative team from CCCS wrote and received a twoyear grant two years ago to work with other schools in the state. This group of schools has been led by state facilitators to bring and implement PBIS at CCCS. The idea behind this initiative is to help staff and students of the school develop expectations for acceptable behavior and then work together to follow them. As the school experienced success, students and staff recognized these efforts. The team sought to focus the school and licensed staff on three areas: student/staff expectations in common areas around the school, what/how inappropriate behaviors will be addressed, and how we will recognize students/staff when expectations are met/exceeded. These were recommended as good areas to start with for our first year of PBIS. To those ends: Staff developed behavior expectations for common areas of the school. Examples include hallways, bathrooms, lunchroom and playground. Once these were agreed upon, large posters were placed in these areas to inform and reinforce for everyone in the school, and staff began to teach

students what each expectation means and how it should look and feel when met successfully. Voice level charts were also created to inform and remind everyone what voice level should be used in a particular common area. The visuals in the common areas are available for quick reference and teachable moments during the school day. This process has helped our school to build common understandings so that regardless of combination of student/staff, each person is responsible and can hold others accountable in these common areas. Implementation of these expectations has greatly impacted overall school morale and made CCCS a more peaceful place. Our first year of implementation included the office working to organize and prioritize what inappropriate behaviors look like and how to respond to them when they occur. First we reviewed districtwide policies to ensure they were followed for very distinct behaviors such as bullying, harassment, weapons violation and so on. Once complete, the study group focused on behaviors that do not necessarily fall under

school board policy but are also not acceptable in a public school. These behaviors include disrespectfulness, noncompliance, learning disruption and simple name-calling. How these are addressed and who does the addressing has been put into a behavior chart. This has become part of our buildings’ discipline policy. The flip side of discipline is celebration! How we celebrate success and students and staff contributing to the success of our school was the third part of our year one work. The biggest focus was to kick-off our blue ticket recognition program. This was ready to go after winter break and was initially met with some confusion, but quickly became very successful as the school year progressed. The basic idea is this: the blue ticket is a very specific way to tell someone that they have done a great thing. Little or big, they followed expectations, they went above and beyond or they were specifically safe, respectful or responsible. This included prize drawings and endof-year celebrations for top ticket receivers. This school year we turned our focus to learning spaces and behavior expectations in those

areas. Teachers were asked to develop expectations for the classroom. These expectations were to align with those expectations that were developed for common areas the previous year. This is a continued work in progress this school year. Following up on our work of organizing the inappropriate behaviors, two of our school goals focus on the reduction of major behavior infractions. The first goal is to see a reduction of behaviors from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year. Our second goal is to reduce the number of major behavior infractions this school year over last school year. We are in the process of collecting data and will know how we as a school community fared at the end of the school year. Our celebrating has had some adjustments for this school year. The blue tickets were believed to be a successful tool and so these are now being collected in the each classroom. Students who earn a blue ticket for their

positive behavior recognized can choose to place the ticket into an envelope located in the classroom. There are between three and five envelopes per classroom. Each envelope has a simple reward. At the end of the week, each envelope has a ticket drawn and that particular student receives the prize. Prizes include sitting in the teacher’s chair for a day, bringing a stuffed animal for a day or lunch with a special person. These prizes are not meant to provide a material reward, but to acknowledge the student and help reinforce selfesteem. Students have a direct say in the prizes they can earn through classroom discussion with their classroom teacher. Aligning with our district’s core value, we believe that commitment to high expectations is essential to help achieve full individual and collective potential commitment to high expectations. Cedar Creek Community School will continue its work with PBIS and strive to be a successful elementary school.



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Minnesota Timberwolves promote reading at EBCS JAMIE STUDNICKA


East Bethel Community School (EBCS) teachers and the Minnesota Timberwolves teamed up to encourage reading at home and in the classroom. Read-ToAchieve is a program that the Minnesota Timberwolves conduct throughout the state of Minnesota to promote reading and rewards students for their achievements. Students are given a bookmark at the tip off of the program. Between November 6 and December 1, students track how many minutes they read during their spare time in school

and at home. At the end of Timberwolves game. This the program teachers record year Jack Humphrey, a fourththe students that completed grader in Laurel Schurke’s class, the Timberwolves challenge led the school reading 2,960 of 500 minutes during the minutes. time frame. Minnesota Timberwolves sent out weekly videos featuring players like Andrew Wiggins that brought excitement to the challenge. This year over 150 EBCS students met the challenge and received special Timberwolves prizes. The prize package includes a bookmark, a poster, drawstring Jack Humphrey led East Bethel backpack and a free Community School with 2,960 minutes ticket to a Minnesota read. PHOTO BY JAMIE STUDNICKA

Kindness Retreat offered to CCCS students SHARI CLARK


On November 28, fourthgraders at Cedar Creek Community School (CCCS) participated in the Kindness Retreat. The retreat is put on by Youth Frontiers, a non-profit organization that specializes

in bringing students together and promotes kindness, courage and other character traits needed to be good citizens. The students had fun singing, dancing and working together. They also had indepth conversations on how they can help make our school and community a safe place by

performing acts of kindness and taking opportunities to be a hero for others. On Thursday, November 30, the fourth-graders at CCCS attended Wonder at East Bethel Theatres. The movie tied in very well with CCCS Kindness Retreat held November 28. We are very thankful to the 22 members of the St. Francis High School National Honor Society who came to lead small groups that day. Without them, the retreat would not have been as meaningful and successful! We also want to thank CCCS Parent-Teacher Organization for funding our Kindness Retreat every year. All Cedar Creek Community School fourth-grade students saw Wonder at East Bethel Theatres. SUBMITTED PHOTO




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VR Google Expeditions Google is the frontrunner in this race to put VR content into classrooms through their program called Google Expeditions. Google has created VR expeditions to destinations around the world and outer space that, when viewed through a VR headset, give a user the sensation of being at that location. It is these Google Expeditions that SFES students have been using to visit the pyramids. Taking a Google expedition is very simple but requires specific pieces of technology. Schollman loads an expedition on her teacher tablet, the pyramids in this case, then the students connect their viewing devices to hers and a guided tour is underway. In this case, students can only view the expedition the teacher chooses for them. Last May, St. Francis Area Schools purchased two, 20-student sets of VR equipment—headset viewers, mobile devices for the viewers and all the supporting technology. These VR sets are now available for teachers to checkout and use. Long used by the military and aviation for training purposes, educators are now beginning to harness the potential learning power of VR in the classroom. At this point, the learning opportunities using VR are limited by the available content. There are fantastic VR video games and entertaining videos all over the Internet and YouTube, such as sitting in the cockpit of a Blue Angels’ F/A-18 or riding in the front seat of a roller coaster, but not all of it makes a good connection to learning. As truly educational content grows, so will the power of learning using VR technology.



St. Francis Elementary School (SFES) third-graders have been visiting and touring the pyramids in Egypt over the past few weeks and in the coming weeks, they have plans to tour ancient Rome. Stephanie Schollman, third grade teacher at SFES, is leading these tours for her team and using new technology called Virtual Reality (VR) that St. Francis Area Schools purchased at the end of last school year. Students are loving it! Rather than talk about the pyramids, VR allows students to simulate a walk among or hover over the pyramids, only missing the sand in their shoes from making it a real life experience. This is precisely the learning power of VR: allowing experiential learning through simulating real world events or locations. A teaching and learning experience once unthinkable—a visit to far away places—is now virtually possible using VR technology. VR is a growing trend in video gaming and entertainment, and now it has come to education. Sensory technology, like headsets and gloves, paired with a mobile device, create simulated immersive, 3-dimensional, interactive experiences in a real or imaginary world. In essence, VR allows a person to enter and experience other worlds without ever leaving home. Resulting learning is connected to feelings students experienced during their VR session, and that has a positive impact on long-term recall of the experience and the related information.


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Bike safety demo at Cedar Creek Community School What’s new in elementary KARA LOFGREN


Rich Weiber showing Derek Milbradt how to check your bike for safe riding.


On January 4, Rich Weiber performed bicycle stunts and shared a powerful message with students at Cedar Creek Community School’s (CCCS) all school assembly. Weiber captivated the audience by performing multiple bike tricks. The most exciting trick was when he jumped his bike over Darin Hahn, principal and Kara Lofgren, dean of students. The audience roared. Not only did he show off his many talents on the bike, but he spoke to students about bike safety and the importance of wearing a helmet. He shared a personal story from his childhood and gave an antibullying message. Weiber also talked to students about making healthy choices and the importance of perseverance. He discussed goal setting and working hard to meet your goals. Students and staff were mesmerized and are looking forward to his return.




How does a computer know what to do? Coding is a set of symbols that are interpreted by a computer or a piece of software and create an action. This school year the elementary technology teachers are expanding on the concepts of computer programming (coding) for students in grades K-5. We will be expanding students’ knowledge of programming through the use of, which is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer sciences and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. By introducing computer coding in kindergarten, students will be prepared for a digital culture. Everything learned from our coding units will be used for our exciting new technology that we will present to you next time. Stay tuned.

Gingerbread house making tradition continues GRETCHEN RANDALL


Second-graders at Cedar Creek Community School continued the annual tradition of making gingerbread houses in December. Students brought in graham crackers, frosting and various candies to share with classmates for building their houses. Each classroom also had many volunteers help with the construction of the houses. Students had a great time and the gingerbread houses looked amazing. One student commented, “This is the best day of my life!”

Students are learning computer coding with the help of


Pictured are Norah Stahley, JJ Diamond, Audra Walker, Brooke Hanson and Weston Etheridge. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Transition 15’s Biz World marketplace MATTHEW ANDERSON


Things are hopping over at Transition 15 (T15). T15 is a secondary educational program provided by St. Francis Area Schools which connects special education, vocational education and community agencies to provide services to assist students with disabilities in the transition to adult life. They are housed on East D in the Crossroads Building. One of the main programs that T15 runs is Biz World. Judi Schmitt T15 teacher, administers Biz World and she was kind enough to tell me more about it. What is Biz World? The Biz World program/ curriculum teaches students the basics of business and money management as they run their own school-based company. Biz World challenges and engages T15 students through an experiential learning program. Biz World also promotes

teamwork and leadership within the classroom. Who participates in Biz World? Biz World is an elective class for our T15 students and is strictly voluntary. Students do not expect compensation since it’s considered a work skills class. Most students really enjoy the work and socializing with

their classmates during this time. Keep an eye out for many of the great products that Biz World sells! If you have any questions feel free to contact Judi Schmidt at Staff members are also encouraged to check their emails from Judi to see the new products coming up from Biz World!

St. Francis Middle School held its annual winter activity night on December 15, after school. Students enjoyed inflatables, concessions, bingo, a DJ and more. (L-R) Kameron Thompson, Rilynn Kielmeyer, Hannah Ringer, Sophie Montain and Tyler Loe.




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School Board Highlights School Board Perspective


Thank you, St. Francis Area Schools voters, for supporting the bond question last November. From now through 2021, the school district will go through many changes as we begin to address our deferred maintenance and facility needs, improve safety, security and accessibility districtwide and enhance our learning environments. Prior to the start of construction and during all construction phases, we will be reporting in The Courier, on the district’s website and social media outlets and at all school board meetings, timelines and status reports on construction projects.

School Board Highlights

This is a very exciting time for our school district. All the remodeling and additions are being done to enhance our students’ learning experiences. I look forward to seeing our updated science labs, media centers, business sections, band and choir areas and welding/machine shop expansion, to name a few. Students today and in the future will be able to highlight and showcase what St. Francis Area Schools has to offer to students in other school districts regarding classes, programs and learning environments. And finally—all 30-year-old (and older) portable

All members present. Branding Committee Superintendent Troy Ferguson informed the school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) that the branding committee will reconvene in January. The branding committee is part of ISD 15’s strategic plan to ensure the district has a recognizable and consistent brand. In 2018, the branding committee will complete phase one and begin phase two. To complete phase one, the school board will need to approve the official school district name based on recommendations from the branding committee. Ferguson inquired to the school board if data collected would be considered individually based on the research measures conducted. The school board stated they

would consider all data equally and requested a methodology breakdown upon presentation from the branding committee. Oak Land building resurfaces Superintendent Troy Ferguson inquired to the school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) their stance on liquidating the Cambridge and St. Francis Oak Land sites. The school board decided to liquidate the Cambridge site and requested a needs assessment for the St. Francis site. ISD 15 school board members expressed concerns for not purchasing Oak Land for future expansion of programs and its central location within the community. The Oak Land building in question is located on Bridge Street in St. Francis. 2017-21 Bond update The school board of Independent School District 15 unanimously approved the general obligation school building bond series 2017A. The 2017A series sold $10 million in bank-backed bonds toward the 2017-21 bond

projects. School members inquired about market trends. For more updates about bond projects, visit bond. Elimination of dialogue session failed The school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) voted against eliminating the Dialogue with School Board session 4-3. The dialogue session is open to the public prior to school board meetings from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. On October 9, school board members previously requested a recommendation from Minnesota School Board Association and had expressed concerns with liability and misrepresentation of public opinion during the dialogue session. Voting to eliminate the dialogue sessions were directors Amy Kelly, Jill Anderson and Sean Sullivan.

School Board Members

School Board Meeting Schedule

December 11, 2017

Mike Starr Chairman 


Jill Anderson Vice-Chairwoman


School board meetings are held in the Community Room at Central Services Center, located at 4115 Ambassador Blvd. NW, St. Francis.



November 28, 2017

Sean Sullivan Clerk763-807-0010 Rob Schoenrock Treasurer763-232-7902 Barbara Jahnke Clerk763-753-6846 Amy Kelly Director763-744-8458 Marsha Van Denburgh Vice-Chairwoman  763-753-6653 Email:

Monday, February 12 & 26 Dialogue with School Board 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Monday, March 12 & 26 Dialogue with School Board 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Monday, April 9 & 23 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 Highlights KATRINNA DODGE


All members present. SFHS student representative December 11 was the first school board meeting for St. Francis High School (SFHS) representative Ellie TibodeauLissick. Tibodeau-Lissick reported on the success of SFHS winter sports, student Jack Plumber, who is ranked nationally in BMX and on the performances of theater, band and choir. World’s Best Workforce The school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) received a presentation about Minnesota Department of Education’s

classrooms in our school district will be gone and will be replaced with brick and mortar spaces. Most notably, St. Francis Elementary School will have all their students under one roof and will no longer have a split campus. If at any time you have questions about the bond or construction projects, please contact a school board member or the school district. Visit www.isd15. org/bond to sign up to receive updates via email. We invite you to celebrate with us each phase of construction until all projects are completed.

World’s Best Workforce from Superintendent Troy Ferguson and Director of Curriculum & Instruction Nichole Rens. Goals for 2017-18 include: all students ready for kindergarten, all third-graders achieving grade-level literacy, close achievement gap(s) among all student groups, all students career and collegeready by graduation and all students graduate. Read the full report at Ferguson and Rens emphasized the positive impact of ACT integration at St. Francis High School. ACT curriculum or coursework integrations start in ninthgrade to prepare students for the test their junior year. For 2018, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) withdrew test cost reimbursement for school districts, except for students who qualify for free and reduced meals. Ferguson and Rens affirmed that ISD 15 will still offer free ACT testing for juniors. For the 2017-18 school year, ISD 15 invites district parents to join the Assessment, Curriculum and Testing committee. Please contact Nichole Rens at nichole.rens@ if interested. 2017-21 Bond update Superintendent Troy Ferguson informed the school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) that the bond oversight committee (BOC) decided to use prevailing wage on majority of projects when receiving contractor bids. Per the advice of ISD 15’s legal team, the superintendent and/or director of business services reserves the ability to make minor changes to project plans.

School Board Highlights KATRINNA DODGE


January 8, 2018 All members present. School board officer election results The school board of Independent School District 15 elected officers for 2018. School board members were nominated by their peers. Results are as follows: Chairman: Mike Starr Vice chairwoman: Jill Anderson Clerk: Sean Sullivan Treasurer: Rob Schoenrock Assistant clerk: Troy Ferguson SFHS student report St. Francis High School (SFHS) student representative Ellie Tibodeau-Lissick reported on happenings affecting high school students. TibodeauLissick highlighted the start of parent/teacher conferences, the first season of Robotics Club, the upcoming assembly with Reggie Dabbs, Bridge Street Singers’ impending Iowa performance and Youth Teaching Youth presentation at St. Francis Middle School. She also announced the success of junior Kalila White at Minnesota State High School League state debate tournament and the SFHS dance team winning in kick and jazz at the Mississippi 8 Conference competition. St. Francis Elementary School Site Report Ryan Johnson, St. Francis Elementary School (SFES) principal, presented the SFES site report to the school board of Independent School District 15. Johnson informed school CONTINUED ON PAGE 9



Superintendent Strategic Plan Implementation Team then developed the following SMART goals for branding: by February 2017, the following will be presented to the school board: ■ Identify district name ■ Identify district color scheme ■ Identify school nickname The school board officially adopted the school color scheme navy blue and white, with accent colors of silver or gray if desired. The nickname was the Saints or Fighting Saints. On January 22 the school board finished

The weekend of January 13-14, St. Francis High School (SFHS) junior Kalila White competed in the Minnesota State High School League State Debate Tournament at the University of Minnesota in the category of Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Over the course of the two-day tournament, White went 3-3. She represented SFHS very well and had a great season! Congratulations to Kalila!



School Board board members of SFES staff utilizing MCA test scores and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to formulate ideas to address improving student literacy. Learn more about how SFES is improving student literacy on page 5. 2017-21 Bond update The school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) unanimously approved the second round of bids for the general obligation bond series 2018A. This series sold $70,060,000 in bankbacked bonds toward the 2017-21 bond projects. Visit for more updates on the 2017-21 bond projects. The school board also approved 5-2 for ICS Consulting to represent ISD 15 for construction projects. Voting against were Directors Rob Schoenrock and Sean Sullivan.


the third leg of the SMART goal by adopting St. Francis Area Schools as the district name identifiable to the public. The recommendation by the branding committee to the board was unanimous. We believe the name St. Francis Area Schools is inclusive and encompasses the 165-square mile area that makes up our school district. The rebranding process is a move forward just like the passing of the bond, which will allow us to remain focused on our district’s mission 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.

High school HOSA students attend midwinter competition KATHY WEILAND


On January 3, St. Francis High School (SFHS) Future Health Professionals (HOSA) students competed in the North Metro region midwinter competition at Century College. There were 485 students that attended this event. The results are in and SFHS HOSA students were successful in very difficult competitions. Please congratulate

the following students: Medical Terminology, first place: Kaitlyn Fields Human Growth and Development, second place: Sienna Pyles Behavioral Health, second place: Kaitlyn Fields Health Career Photography, second place: Samantha Rudnick, third place: Liberty Vue Medical Spelling, second place: Kaitlyn Fields





Income Tax Tips Oak Grove tax accountant retires after 37 years MARIANNE ROESNER


Marianne Roesner, founding member of Roesner | Kenney Tax & Accounting, wishes to thank all of the loyal clients who have contributed to her success and turned a job into a career that she loved. She will miss you all.

Christina Kenney, Enrolled Agent will continue to provide the quality service and commitment that Roesner | Kenney clients have come to expect. Business operations will continue at the Hanover location at 10818 River Road. Kenney can be reached at 763-753-5555 or

April 17, 2018

Financial Focus


Time for your pre-retiree checklist? Like everyone, you want to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle when you retire. But a successful retirement doesn’t just happen, it requires a lot of planning. And that’s why it’s a good idea to draw up a pre retiree checklist. Such a checklist might look like this: Twenty years before retirement Try to estimate a price tag for your retirement, incorporating a variety of factors, where you might live, how much you might travel, what activities you’ll pursue, and so on. Then, assess if your retirement savings are on track to help you meet your expected costs. From this point, monitor your progress every year. Fifteen years before retirement Although you’re still fairly far away from retirement, you’ll want to bring your goals and challenges into a clearer focus. For starters, try to establish a firmer target goal for the assets you’ll need during retirement. Also, consider your legacy goals and start developing your estate plans, if you haven’t already done so. You might also explore methods of dealing with potentially enormous long-term care costs, such as


an extended stay in a nursing home. Solutions to long-term care may become much more expensive later in life. Ten years before retirement At this stage, in addition to reviewing your target asset and spending levels, you’ll want to get more precise about how much income you can expect as a retiree, whether through your investments or retirement accounts (such as your 401(k) and IRA), or through some type of part-time work or consulting. Maintaining an adequate income flow is extremely important because you could spend two or three decades as a retiree, and some of your expenses, health care in particular, will likely rise during the later years. It’s important to plan for health care and long-term care, given the costs and ability to qualify for coverage later in life.

Five years before retirement Re-evaluate your investment mix to help reduce the risk of having your portfolio vulnerable to a market downturn when you plan to retire. Generally speaking, stocks and other growthoriented investments are more volatile than bonds and other income-producing vehicles. So you may want to consider shifting some, but certainly not all, of your investment dollars from the growth portion of your portfolio to the income side. Two years before retirement This close to retirement, you’ll want to pay particularly close attention to healthcare expenses, so you may want to investigate Medicare supplemental policies. You’ll also want to ensure that you have an adequate emergency fund to cope with unexpected costs, such as major home

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Certified Public Accountants Specializing in accounting and taxes for closely-held and family-owned businesses since 1974. Tax Season Office Hours through Tuesday, April 17 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Or by Wednesday and Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. appointment. Saturday 8:00 a.m.-Noon


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repairs. In addition, you’ll want to think about whether you should take Social Security right away or if you can afford to wait until your monthly checks will be bigger. One year before retirement Now it’s time for some key decisions: How much can you withdraw each year from your 401(k), IRA and other retirement accounts without running the risk of outliving your money? Have you lined up your health care coverage?

And, finally, are you really set on retiring in a year or could you delay retirement to improve your financial picture? This checklist isn’t exhaustive, but it can give you a good idea of the various issues you’ll need to consider on the long road to retirement. And the sooner you start planning for that journey, the better. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

You talk. We listen. In person. Blake A Cheeley, CRPC®, AAMS® Financial Advisor

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Hearts & Flowers Wedding costs: What to expect Newly engaged couples may experience an array of emotions when they sit down to plan their weddings. Some couples cannot wait to jump into planning and want to catalog every aspect of the process, while others may proceed with caution because they don’t know what to expect —particularly in regard to cost. Many couples find it difficult to create their wedding budgets because they have no previous experience to draw on. The wedding planning advisor indicates the average wedding cost in the United States is $26,720, with most people spending between $20,000 and $34,000. Seventh Heaven Event Catering states that, in Canada, the average wedding costs around $30,000. Such costs can vary greatly depending on couples’

preferences, including where they hope to tie the knot. By breaking down wedding expenses, couples can get a clearer picture of how much they may need to pay for their weddings and where they may need to cut costs. Reception site According to The Knot, a premiere wedding planning resource, couples can expect their receptions to eat up the largest chunk of their wedding budgets. Wedding reception venues may cost between $10,000 and $15,000. The average price for catering per person is roughly $70. Bar service may be around $2,000 for a three- to four-hour party. Some reception sites combine the room cost with the food and beverage costs, while others have à la carte fees.

planning their weddings easier. Wedding planners cost an average of $1,300, says Thumbtack, a company that matches professionals with people who require their services. Transportation Limousines and other transportation prices vary depending on the vehicle(s) couples choose. The Knot notes that budgeting between $400 and $500 for transportation might be wise. Wedding gown Brides-to-be should expect their gowns to cost around $1,100 and the veil or

Cake Wedding cakes tend to be multitiered intricate designs, so they will cost more than birthday cakes. According to Statistics Brain, wedding dessert will come in around $390. Music The Knot says wedding bands cost around $3,500, which is more than twice as much as hiring a deejay ($1,200). Soloists or ceremony musicians may cost around $650. Wedding planner Many couples employ wedding planners to make

headpiece to be roughly $120, according to the Association of Bridal Consultants. Photography and Video Preserving wedding day memories costs around $2,800 for video and photography services, based on data from Statistics Brain. The smaller details, such as accessories, gifts, officiant fees, stationery, spa services, and favors can quickly add up as well. Couples should be sure to leave some wiggle room in their budgets for incidental expenses that may pop up. Source: MetroCreative Graphics Inc. Editorial

Amour Wedding Expo Sunday, February 18  Noon to 4:00 p.m.

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Did you know?

Since Ancient Roman times, June has been a popular month for couples to tie the knot. The month’s namesake, the goddess Juno, was said to be the protector of women in every aspect, but most notably in regard to marriage and childbearing. Therefore, it made sense to get married and take the first step toward creating a family in June. For practical reasons, June also has been a prime month for marriage because the month is neither especially hot nor especially cold in many areas of the world. While dressed in formalwear—whether having an outdoor wedding or an indoor one—no one wants to be overheated or uncomfortably cold. While June is still a popular month to get married, the wedding resource The Knot indicates that autumn, in particular the months of September and October, has overtaken summer as the most popular wedding season. Warmer-than-average temperatures in autumn over the last few years as well as a dazzling display of natural color help make the fall a popular time for nuptials.

Give a sweet to your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day! Wedding, bridal shower, birthday, baptism cakes, bars and cupcakes, cookies much more! Cherise Foley


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Unique ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Frosting-free cakes the latest trend

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for couples to celebrate their love for each other, whether their relationship is relatively new or has endured through many years. The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans are expected to spend close to $20 billion on Valentine’s Day this year. While chocolates and champagne are high on the list of most-purchased items for February 14, couples should not feel beholden to tradition on Valentine’s Day. This year may be the perfect time to try something new, even if it’s out of couples’ comfort zones. Here are some novel ideas for couple’s looking to set their celebrations apart. Paint and sip Couples can take part in a growing trend this Valentine’s Day. At paint-and-sip events, people are guided step-by-step through the process of painting their own masterpieces. Breaks are provided through the evening to indulge in beverages and snacks of choice. Couples can bring along a bottle or two of wine and a platter of cheeses, chocolates or other Valentine’s Day fare. Those interested can inquire at their nearest paint and sip location, such as Pinot’s Palette, for Valentine’s Day specials. Activity night Couples who are naturally competitive or devoted sports fans can enjoy the evening by

A new trend is taking hold both in North America and on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Cakes are being pared down so that frosting and fondant coverings are now nearly absent from the confections. They’re called naked cakes and these simplified desserts showcase the texture of the cakes and their fillings. According to culinary experts, the idea for the naked cake came from Christina Tosi, owner of Momofuku Milk Bar. It’s an award-winning bakery with locations across the United States and Canada. Now many other pastry chefs and bakers are hopping on the naked cake bandwagon, with the trend being highlighted by the likes of Martha Stewart and the respected wedding resource The Knot. Just because these cakes may be short on exterior buttercream doesn’t mean they fall flat on flavor or visual appeal. Cakes can be embellished with fresh blooms, gum paste-molded flowers, edible pearls and gems, fresh berries, and much more. The Knot notes many naked cakes are garnished with flavors that are included in the cake, such as chocolate chips, crumbs, cookie dough, or candy sprinkles. Couples who are stripping down their weddings to include more basics and natural effects may be drawn to these naked cakes. They’re also an option for those who find frosting, buttercream and fondant too sweet for the palate. Naked cakes enable the interior flavors to really shine. Source: MetroCreative Graphics Inc. Editorial

engaging in some healthy competition. Some restaurants host trivia nights, or couples can head to the nearest arcade and battle it out. Panic and escape rooms are cropping up in towns across the country. These employ 60-minute real-life experiences in which participants must solve clues to escape the room. This can be a great bonding experience for funloving couples. Chef lessons Although some couples may dine out on Valentine’s Day, men and women who like to dabble in culinary arts can prepare their own meals from the comforts of their own kitchens. Others may want to enroll in classes that provide expert instruction from area chefs or culinary instructors. Cooking classes can be an ideal way to spend time together learning skills that can be put to use again and again. Adventures Couples who like to push the envelope can explore the possibilities of thrill-seeking activities. Some may include bungee-jumping, hot-air balloon rides, taking laps at the racetrack, or hitting the ski slopes. Valentine’s Day might be a time for romance, but couples should not hesitate to buck tradition and spend the day together engaging in activities that accommodate their interests. Source: MetroCreative Graphics Inc. Editorial

Everything for your wedding or event!

Tents • Tables & Chairs (White, Brown, Black) Serving & Chafing Dishes Salad Bar • Grills • Champagne Fountains Portable Bar • 100-Cup Coffee Makers Mirrored Centerpieces • Archways Podium Speaker System Dance Floor • Moonwalks Portable Toilets Wedding Toilets with Sinks

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For more photos visit our website at

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Anoka Studio 763-421-4553 1916 2nd Avenue S Anoka, MN 55303



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Sunday, February 25

Spectacular Wedding Fair Noon–3:00 p.m.

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Wedding tools make planning easier Ensuring an event goes on with minimal hiccups takes patience and thorough planning. This is especially true for weddings, when many elements must merge together for a memorable day. Today’s couples have a bevy of new resources at their disposal to facilitate wedding planning. The internet makes vetting vendors and reading reviews that much easier, but weddingrelated apps also can simplify wedding planning. The following are some top picks as culled by Wedding Shoppe, Inc., The Knot and Lifehacker. Wedding Spot Couples can search for their ideal wedding venue based on location, budget, styles, and capacity. The website enables users to plan their

ideal weddings and get cost estimates based on guest list and options. Users also can access discounts and exclusive deals. Wedding LookBook This app enables couples to browse through thousands of dresses, accessories, jewelry, and much more. The app will help customers find products in their area. Shutterfly This photo, invitation and image-sharing tool can be an inexpensive place to create save-the-date stationery, invitations, and photo memory books. Appy Couple This app and website helps couples manage their budgets, timelines, wedding parties,

and seating charts, while also allowing them to share photos. There is a free version and basic packages that allow access to more features. iWedding Deluxe In addition to managing timelines, to-do lists and vendors, this app offers inspiration ideas for gowns, manages and tracks gifts, and offers first dance suggestions from iTunes. However, it is only available to iPhone users. AllSeated This tool can help couples figure out seating arrangements by creating 3D floor plans of

Love on the Farm


It’s time to get some paper and a box of crayons to make a valentine cards. Here are some ideas for a verse that lets your farmer know how much they mean to you. I’m a-tractored to you. Don’t squash my hopes and dreams; lettuce be valentines. You mean a great dill to me. You make my heart spinach time I see you. You moo-ve me. You’re the apple of my eye. Bee my honey. We make a perfect pear. I don’t carrot all for anyone but you. Our love can’t be beet. Honeydew you know how much I love you? I’ll love you till the end of thyme. I love you no matter what your celery. I’m melon-choly when you’re away. I’m so hoppy you’re mine. Finally, here’s a riddle for you: What do farmers give their sweethearts on Valentine’s Day? Hogs and kisses! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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to various name-changing needs. Vistaprint These stationery specialists offer an array of services, from cards to invitations to personalized envelopes. Once a design is chosen, Vistaprint will offer add-on suggestions for coordinating items, helping to create a cohesive look for the festivities. Wedding websites, apps and more can streamline wedding planning. Source: MetroCreative Graphics Inc. Editorial

St. Francis Lions proudly presents…

A Valentine’s Event Saturday, February 10 • Dinner & Show St. Francis American Legion 3073 Bridge Street, St. Francis

Tickets $30 per person

Dinner 5:30-7:00 p.m. Show 7:00-9:30 p.m. Dinner consists of chicken/ roast beef, potatoes, gravy, corn, buns and coffee

Dirty car? BRING IT ON.

the event, and couples can pull contacts from email and social networks to establish a guest list. If floor plans are unavailable in their database, they can be drawn. The Knot’s Marketplace With the click of a button, couples can search for wedding vendors in all different categories, read reviews, and directly connect with those businesses. HitchSwitch Brides or grooms who may be changing their names can do so in one convenient place. Three different packages cater

For tickets and information call Tim or Kristin at 763-753-1265 Pick up or buy tickets in person at St. Francis American Legion or St. Francis True Value Hardware Reserved handicap seating available, please call in advance 763-753-1265

23122 St. Francis Boulevard NW • St. Francis 763-753-3334 OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK Monday-Saturday 5:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Sunday 6:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Expires 2/28/18


Expires 2/28/18




Valid on cash transactions only, must pay inside St. Francis County Market. Not good with other offers. Limit one per visit. Save 5¢ Per Gallon All Grades of Gas. Expires 2/28/18

Valid on cash transactions only, must pay inside St. Francis County Market. Not good with other offers. Limit one per visit. Save 5¢ Per Gallon All Grades of Gas. Expires 2/28/18




Community & Business Anoka County 2018 tax levy addresses public safety needs ERIK THORSON


Facing rising costs related to public safety, the Anoka County Board today approved a county tax levy increase of 3.7 percent and a public safety tax levy increase of 0.2 percent. “Public safety has long been a top priority for this county board,” said Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah, chair. “This county tax levy increase will fund seven new positions in the Sheriff ’s Office and four new dispatcher positions in our 911 Emergency Communications Center.” The public safety tax levy increase will finance necessary public safety improvements and equipment, including replacing public safety data system equipment and upgrading the 911 emergency radio tower system to 800 MHz. Additional detention deputies are needed to provide adequate supervision in the county jail, where the average daily inmate population has climbed

from 54 in 1981 to 247 this year, nine over capacity. It will also help reduce the need for detention deputies to work overtime hours, which not only takes a toll on the deputies and their families, but is costly as well. The number of 911 calls is up more than 15 percent from 2010, necessitating the hiring of at least four new dispatchers to handle the growing volume of requests for assistance. The 2018 budget is also impacted by an 8.5 percent jump in employee health insurance premiums. “We are certainly not unique in facing rising health insurance premiums,” Sivarajah said. “Employers everywhere—public and private—are dealing with these significant increases. It is a cost of doing business and is necessary to attract and retain quality workers.” Note: Anoka County only has authority over the county portion of the property tax bill; cities and school districts have their own taxing authority.

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DFL Senate District 35 announces February 6 precinct caucus locations PATTI RYDAM


Senate District 35 DemocraticFarmer-Labor (DFL) members will gather on Tuesday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m. at Anoka High School, Andover High School, Ramsey Elementary School and Coon Rapids High School to learn about this year’s candidates, debate resolutions for the party platform, elect new precinct chairs, select delegates for the upcoming conventions and take part in a gubernatorial preference ballot. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. “Minnesota will be the epicenter of politics in 2018, and precinct caucuses are where it all begins,” said DFL State Chairman Ken Martin. “Gathered in school gymnasiums, local community centers and town halls, DFLers across the state will build power from the grassroots and set the course for our party in this pivotal election. Whether they are long-time activists or political newcomers, they will play a part in


choosing our candidates, determining our platform and shaping our party’s future. I encourage all Minnesotans to attend their precinct caucus, engage with their neighbors and make their voice heard.” Anoka residents Anoka High School 3939 7th Avenue Anoka, MN 55303 Andover residents Andover High School 2115 Andover Boulevard NW Andover, MN 55304 Coon Rapids residents Coon Rapids High School 2340 Northdale Boulevard NW Coon Rapids, MN 55433 Ramsey residents Ramsey Elementary School 15000 Nowthen Boulevard NW Ramsey, MN 55303

Our Saviour’s

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Registration for 2018-19 school year begins February 1 for current students/church members and February 15 for the community.

All are welcome to our OPEN HOUSE on Thursday, February 15, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

For registration information, please contact Michelle Bauer, Preschool Director, by phone 763-434-6117 ext. 123 or visit under Preschool.

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Call, email or visit our website for information about… Gymnastics  Dance  Cheer  Academic Preschool Ninja Zone  Birthday Parties  Open Gym Preschool Events  Skill Clinics Movie Nights  Nerf Kidz Nights  Theater

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Bison in East Bethel FOREST ISBELL




As many of you may have heard, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR) is starting a new project in 2018 which will bring a small herd of bison to our oak savannas. This exciting opportunity is funded by Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, which helps maintain, restore and enhance Minnesota’s environment and natural resources. The oak savanna is Minnesota’s most threatened ecosystem and scientists at CCESR have been investigating how to preserve, restore and maintain this unique environment since the 1960s. Specifically, we have been examining the role of fire on these landscapes. We’ve found that burning about four to seven times per decade eliminates shrubs and nonsavanna tree species and restores prairie grassland species, but that these frequent and intense fires also prevent oaks from regenerating. Our savanna research has partially restored the second largest stand of oak savanna in Minnesota, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that fire on its own is leading to the slow conversion of the savanna into a grassland. When you walk along the public nature trail at Fish Lake, you

Bison will be introduced summer of 2018 to the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. SUBMITTED PHOTO

can see this result with your own eyes—in the most savanna-like areas, there are few small and mediumsized oak trees. Bison may help support the regeneration of oak trees. Bison are known from other research to be important for restoring grasslands, but little is known about their role in savanna ecosystems. In grasslands, bison promote plant coexistence and diversity by preferentially grazing grasses that otherwise dominate the landscape. In our new experiment, we hope to find out if this same preferential grazing will take place in

the savanna. Grasses are the primary fuel for fires in the savanna and also compete with oak seedlings for light and resources. If bison preferentially eat these grasses, it could help young oaks in two ways—by reducing both the intensity of fires and the abundance of competitors. Our research has the potential to uncover an effective new strategy for restoring and maintaining a unique and vanishing Midwest ecosystem. This research will also provide an opportunity for Minnesotans to look into the past, to a time when both bison and savannas were common in our state. We will offer multiple opportunities throughout the growing season for visitors to learn about the research, meet the lead scientists and view the bison. This research and the bison themselves will also be the focus of new field trip opportunities for local school groups. A FAQ is available at conservation/bison. Join CCESR on Saturday, May 19, 1:00-3:00 p.m. for a question and answer session for community members. Regular opportunities to view the bison with the naturalists will be available summer of 2018. Visit and CCESR Facebook page for bison visits with a naturalist. Source: Bison in East Bethel was originally published in the Winter 2018 Field Notes, CCESR’s quarterly newsletter. Read about wolves, Minnesota’s changing climate and more at

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East Bethel News


The bison are here, the bison are here Was that a buffalo I saw roaming the northern parts of East Bethel? We will soon be home to a small herd of bison as part of the continued scientific research being conducted at the Cedar Creek Ecological Science Reserve (CCESR). Over the summer, a herd of roughly 40 bison will be released into a 200-acre fenced area with the CCESR and will be allowed to roam free within the enclosure. We can expect the bison to arrive in June and will graze the area through September. CCESR will be hosting several informational tours where the public will be able to learn about this research and see the bison herd. The current public trail system near Fish Lake within the CCESR will remain open and is not within the fenced bison area. More information regarding CCESR and the bison program can be found at www.cedarcreek.umn. edu/conservation/bison Cross-Country Skiing The city maintains 4.5 miles of cross-country skiing trails within the CCESR near Fish Lake. When there is sufficient snow base on the trails, the city grooms the trails on a regular basis. No permit is needed and ski trail maps are available at city hall or at Role of the City Council “What does the city council and mayor actually do?” is a question that I surprisingly hear on occasion. The truest answer is that we are here to help solve your problems. The mayor and city council are your representatives and the ones to turn to when you have conflicts with a city policy, if you are having difficulty working with a particular city staff member or when you have a situation that has been difficult to resolve with the city. We are here to help. Council members and I are available by phone, through email and at our city council meetings where we host a brief public forum

where residents can express their situation directly to the city council and staff. We serve on the city council to represent you. Animal Control in East Bethel To address matters of loose running dogs, stray dogs and dog bite incidents involving potentially dangerous dogs, the city contracts with a local animal control officer (ACO) to provide dog collection and boarding services. In most cases, the Anoka County Sheriff ’s Office receives the initial call regarding loose dogs, who then contacts and assists the ACO with the collection of the dog. If the dog has a city dog license (required of all dogs within East Bethel) or other identification, the ACO will attempt to contact the dog owner right away. Unfortunately, the majority of loose dogs do not have city dog licenses or tags. The ACO then places the dog in their Minnesota Board of Animal Health approved boarding kennel and attempts to find the owner using social media and other networks. Should the owner of the dog not be found within five days or if the owner decides to surrender the dog, the ACO will donate and place the dog with one of the several reputable dog rescue organizations for adoption into another home. If you have a dog that has gotten loose and can’t be found, please contact the Anoka County Sheriff ’s Office. They can tell if there has been a recent loose dog report and will put you in touch with the ACO who is on call 24-hours a day. It’s understandable that dogs will get loose from time to time—it’s going to happen. But allowing your dog to run loose puts your pet’s safety and the general safety of the public at risk, not to mention a violation of city ordinances. On behalf of the East Bethel City Council, please enjoy our winter season and be safe.

One Huge Arctic Fest Live Bands Friday-Sunday Weekend on Long Lake! Friday, February 9 • 6:00-8:00 p.m. Preregistration • 5:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. Live Music

Saturday, February 10

for one cool cause!

Proceeds donated within our community

Sunday, February 11 • 1:00 p.m. Indoor Kiddie Splash for Ages 2-8 • Craft Show

Do you want prom fashion styles without prom fashion costs? Anoka County 4-H is holding a sale of gently-used or new prom/formal dresses and accessories on Friday, February 2, 6:00-9:00 p.m. and February 3, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. at Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Boulevard NW in Andover. Over a thousand garments in varying designs and colors and in all sizes will be sold for up to $30. Many of our dresses are new and never worn. Cash and check sales only. All proceeds of the sale will support Anoka County 4-H Youth Leadership programs, scholarships and community service projects. Anoka County 4-H is collecting gently used formal dresses, bags, shoes and jewelry for the sale! If you are interested in donating, items will be accepted at the Anoka County 4-H Office at Bunker Hills Activities Center, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For questions or more information, contact 763-324-3495.

Helicopter Rides Sprunk Photo Booth Millers Food Trucks

ARCTIC JUMP Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

Jumpers Wanted



Hosted by 92 KQRS’s Ray Erick

• 9:00 a.m.-Noon Final Registration • 11:00 a.m. Ice Cutting Ceremony • 1:00 p.m. VFW & Polaris Sea Cadets (Sailor Jerri & Honor Guard Ceremony)

Annual Chili Feed • 3:00 p.m. Tug-Of-War Police vs. Fire Departments

Donations wanted for prom dress sale February 2-3

VIP Party Igloo



27821 Bay Shore Drive NW • Isanti, MN 763-444-5897

— for more information and registration


Local youth featured in National Geographic

Business Spotlight


Pretty Paws by Diane If you want to see the happiest dogs, go to Pretty Paws by Diane and watch pups strut their stuff after being groomed. “Dogs can be apprehensive when they arrive,” stated Diane Lamon, owner of Pretty Paws by Diane. “But they prance when they leave [after being groomed]. They feel like a million bucks.” Lamon prides herself on providing high-quality pet grooming for dog and cat owners in Anoka County. Before opening her own pet salon in 2017, Lamon worked for 20 years grooming dogs and cats at veterinary clinics and at other pet groomers in Blaine and Zimmerman. She started grooming pets in 1996 with a friend, who taught her a paw at a time.

Sam, a Japanese Chin, shows off his new haircut from Pretty Paws by Diane.


Her wealth of experience is illustrated in her five-star reviews and happy clients, owners and pets alike. Key components of Pretty Paws success are safety and creating a pet-friendly environment.





Anoka County 4-H members Kenzie Sewell, Anoka High School student and Kol Heinicke, Anoka Northern Star 4-H Club member, were featured in National Geographic’s November issue. They were photographed by award-winning Minnesotan photographer R.J. Kern. Read At County Fairs, a Winning Animal Isn’t Everything by Nina Strochlic at

Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah elected Anoka County Board Chair ERIK THORSON

Diane Lamon and her southern bell Boston Terrier, Dottie, welcome you to schedule your appointment with Pretty Paws by Diane today! PHOTO BY KATRINNA DODGE

Pets are always in hand, on the grooming table or safely in a kennel to help deter unexpected occurrences. Lamon encourages some owners to stay and help keep their dog or cat calm during the grooming process as this reduces anxiety of being left alone. “I want to make sure dogs feel comfy here,” stated Lamon. “It is important to develop a relationship and gain the trust of the pet and owner.” Lamon recommends dog owners bring their pups in every eight to 12 weeks for a toenail trimming and haircut to keep a healthy coat. If you have a dog with a heavy undercoat, she advises a professional grooming every spring and fall at minimum. She stressed the importance of bringing in your cat or dog to be groomed as health issues can develop from leaving your best friend unattended. “Unclipped toenails curl and lay funny,” warned Lamon. “This makes it difficult for dogs to walk and can lead to more

serious issues.” Other health issues that can occur from an ungroomed pet are sores from over-licking, skin irritation, difficulty playing or walking and above normal itching due to matted hair. Pretty Paws by Diane offers services for cat and dog grooming to ensure your pet feels their best. Cat grooming takes an hour with a base price of $42 for lion cut, comb out or spot shave. Dogs take two hours to groom and price depends on the breed, behavior and coat shape. The price includes a quality haircut, bath, hand blow-dry, nail trim, ear cleaning and anal expression. Look for pet portraiture options in the future of Pretty Paws by Diane. Schedule an appointment for your best friend today by calling 763-753-4750. Located at 20145 St. Francis Blvd. NW in Anoka, Pretty Paws by Diane is your local pet groomer. Check out Pretty Paws by Diane on Facebook for flash specials.


Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah was unanimously elected chair of the sevenmember Anoka County Board at its January 2 organizational meeting. This is the eighth consecutive year Sivarajah will serve as chair. Commissioner Scott Schulte was unanimously elected vice chair. Sivarajah has been a member of the county board since 2003. In addition to her duties as board chair, she was named chair of the county’s Rhonda Sivarajah Airport; Human Services;  SUBMITTED PHOTO and Intergovernmental & Community Relations Committees; and the Anoka County/Blaine Airport (Janes Field) NW Building Area Joint Powers Board. She will also serve on the county’s Finance and Capital Improvements; Internal Audit; Transportation; Web Oversight; and Benefits and Compensation committees. Sivarajah is a voting delegate and also serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Association of Minnesota Counties. She is the lead commissioner on issues relating to insurance and retirement; elections; reapportionment and voter registration; and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sivarajah represents District 6 in eastern Anoka County, which includes Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbus, Lexington, Lino Lakes, Linwood Township and a portion of Blaine.

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2017 Community Conservationist announced KATHY BERKNESS


Since 2004, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts have partnered together to offer the Community Conservationist Award. This award provides the Soil and Watershed District the opportunity to nominate an individual, business, company, municipality or organization for concern, cooperation or implementation of conservation practices in a community environment. The 2017 recipient of the Community Conservationist Award is Cheryl Seeman. The Anoka Conservation District (ACD) Board Chair Mary Jo Truchon and District Manager Chris Lord presented Seeman with the award at the November 20 board meeting. Seeman received a painting of pollinators, painted by artist and ACD Chair Mary Jo Truchon. District Manager Chris Lord matted and framed the picture. There are many reasons ACD nominated Seeman for Community Conservationist Award. Seeman shares her passion for clean water and pollinator habitat through many avenues. She is a Volunteer Anoka County Master Gardener, the chairperson of the Andover Pollinator Awareness Project work group and an overall energetic community organizer. She frequently consults neighbors with their rain gardens and


in St. Francis


pollinator gardens, helped an adolescent organize the first Environmental Fun Fair this spring at the Springbrook Nature Center and coordinates

and endorses projects that benefit pollinators through the Andover Pollinator Awareness Project.

Jumpers Wanted Saturday, February 10

Proceeds donated within our community. Prizes for the most creative costume and the most money raised.

Event held at Captain’s Lakeside Grille 27821 Bay Shore Drive NW Isanti, MN

for more information and registration

Winter camps and outdoor adventures are being offered through the University of Minnesota Extension, Anoka County 4-H. These programs are held at 4-H Camp Salie located in Linwood Township. Camps are open to 4-H and non-4-H youth. Camps encourage learning about nature and the environment, making new friends, and indoor and outdoor recreation. Campers will participate in a variety of crafts and special projects. Overnight camps are February 16-17 (grades 1-5) and February 23-24 (grades 6 and up). The day camp is February 17 (grades K-5). For more information and registration form: visit our website at, or call 763-324-3495.

3rd Annual


FEED St. Andrew Lutheran Church Highway 65 & 237th Avenue NE East Bethel (Cooper’s Corner) 763-300-9110 www.standreweb@org


On The Menu

Elk, Bear, Deer, Fish, Pheasant, Duck and more.

Plus a fantastic dessert table!




Fish Fry On Fridays, February 16, 23 and March 2, 9, 16, 23 4:30-7:00 p.m.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church

23306 & Cree Street NW, 1 block west of Highway 47 in St. Francis

The Isanti Knights of Columbus will be serving their All You Care To Eat Fish Fry Dinner

763-444-4425 or 612-209-2327



5:00-7:00 p.m.

Heat and A/C included

Call Tony at

4-H offers Winter Camps for kids

Saturday, February 24 (L-R) Anoka Conservation District (ACD) Chair Mary Jo Truchon, Community Conservationist Cheryl Seeman and ACD District Manager Chris Lord. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Corner of County Roads 5 and 23 in Isanti

On the menu: Alaskan Pollock, potatoes, vegetables, coleslaw, dessert and coffee/milk Come join us for fish and fellowship.


The Isanti County Master Gardeners

15th Annual

Saturday, March 10

8:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Armed Forces Reserve and Community Center 505 Spirit River Dr. S. • Cambridge, MN

Key Note Speaker: Julie Weisenhorn, University of Minnesota Extension Educator Join us for more great speakers, excellent vendors and silent auction. Registration $27 with lunch or $20 without lunch Visit for more info Contact Carla Trupe, 763-689-1810 or



Anoka Hennepin Credit Union’s SPIRIT Foundation receives first partnership donation TONI GERARD


Corporate partner, Enterprise Car Sales & Holdings, generously donated $2,000 to Anoka Hennepin Credit Union’s SPIRIT Foundation. The mission of the SPIRIT Foundation is to reduce student participation costs so that all kids can be involved in healthy activities. The SPIRIT Foundation serves students at seven area high schools throughout Anoka, Champlin, Circle Pines, Coon Rapids, Forest Lake and St. Francis. “We are off to a great start and hope to break last year’s record,” said Jeff Claussen, CEO.


Homeowner education for septic systems JULIE BLOMQUIST


Are you a homeowner? Do you have a septic system? Are you interested in saving money? Would you like to protect your family’s environment and the natural environment? Homeowners wanting to better understand, operate and maintain their septic systems will want to attend a Homeowner Education for Septic Systems program being presented by the University of Minnesota Extension. You will learn how to keep your septic system operating properly—when to pump, how to protect it from freezing and more. This two-hour program will be held Monday, March 12 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Boulevard NW, Andover; two miles west of Highway 65 on Bunker Lake Boulevard NW. The cost to attend is $10. You will receive the University of Minnesota Extension Septic System Owner’s Guide at the class. Pre-registration is required. You can get the flyer and registration form online at If you have any questions or to request the flyer and registration form, call the University of Minnesota Extension, Anoka County at 763-324-3495. Presentation of this program is partially covered by an Anoka County Ag Preserves Grant and is presented by Valerie Prax, Retired Extension Educator.

Call Michelle

Anoka County childcare licensing orientation program recognized ERIK THORSON


An online childcare licensing orientation program has earned Anoka County a Local Government Innovation Award (LGIA), given annually by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Anoka County is one of just five counties statewide to receive an LGIA. Awards are based on a project or program’s innovation, impact, and sustainability. Anoka County’s new online process for childcare Profit from 40 years of experience. licensing is more convenient and accessible for people who Call Gary at 612-812-2698 are considering becoming licensed for family childcare. 3296 Bridge Street NW The streamlined system allows Gary Zimmerman St. Francis, MN 55070 Licensed since 1977 potential applicants to pursue a license at their own pace and from the convenience of their home. The new process has reduced the number of staff needed and dramatically cut paper use, since all documents are available online. Staff Temperature Sensing For Today… and Tomorrow. workload has also become more manageable since applications now come in on 3175 Bridge Street NW a steady basis throughout the St. Francis, MN  55070-9612 year. 763-753-2974 • FAX 763-753-5401 • 800-272-5709 LGIA recipients were recognized at a December 7 MANUFACTURER OF RESISTANCE TEMPERATURE SENSORS ceremony at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in We accept applications for employment and Minneapolis. offer on-the-job training



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Anoka County’s new online childcare licensing orientation program was honored recently with a Local Government Innovation Award (LGIA), given annually by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. (L-R) Jay Kiedrowski, senior fellow, Hubert Humphrey Public Nonprofit Leadership Center; Jerry Pederson, director, Anoka County Community Social Services & Behavioral Health; George Borrell, manager, Anoka County Program Planning & Support Services; Evelyn Nelson, supervisor, Anoka County Childcare Licensing; Dave Schwenk, Anoka County multimedia communications coordinator; and Susan Morris, Association of Minnesota Counties. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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Community Education Community Ed Spotlight: Carmel Leasure, instructor KATRINNA DODGE


On a Wednesday evening, laughter can be heard down the halls of St. Francis Middle School (SFMS) as students read lines and practice character motions. Cafeteria A is buzzing with energy as second day auditions are held on January 10, student after student testing their range with different characters for the one-act, 15 Reasons Not To Be in a Play by Alan Haehnel. Amongst this bustle of energy is Carmel Leasure, theatre director, quickly scrawling notes as she makes eye contact with an auditioning student, “I like your energy!” Leasure, SFMS Saints Theatre instructor, oversees drama extracurricular programs at SFMS, Cedar Creek Community School and East Bethel Community School through Youth Enrichment, a division of ISD 15 Community Education. She inherited the elementary musical programs from Carol Krupke and Christine Tauer, teachers who retired in 2017. Leasure saw a

Calling all 3 & 4 year olds! Early Childhood Screening is waiting to see you! Do you have a child who is three or four years old? Have they been through Early Childhood Screening? Early Childhood Screening should be completed after the child’s third birthday. Screening is a free, simple check of a young child’s health and development; it does not determine kindergarten readiness. Screening includes a development assessment, vision and hearing checks, immunization and health review. Call 763-753-7187 if you currently have a 3 or 4-year-old child who has not been screened. Safety

need for theater at important to me the middle school to than the whole help students express process of learning themselves and to of figuring out who better connect the you are.” elementary and The 2017-18 high school theater school year is SFMS’ programs. Youth pilot year through Enrichment’s theater Youth Enrichment. programs are offered After SFMS had afterschool fall, a hiatus on a winter and spring. theater program, On a personal Leasure pursued level, Leasure providing drama as expressed her desire an extracurricular to give back because activity for sixth of her connection to through eighthmusic, theater and grade students. the arts. “My earliest Joined by Language recollection was Arts teacher Katie being in a play in Cady, Leasure elementary school,” welcomed a sizable said Leasure. “Being turnout of students a creative person and Alexis Neumann will be playing Mandy, a girl from all interests love struck by Travis, in 15 Reasons Not To Be in a and talents at Saints an arts person, that PHOTO BY KATRINNA DODGE Play.  experience helped Theatre auditions. define who I am. Growing up, with her audience is apparent Leasure began working at it was more than part of my in watching her interact SFMS as the accompanist life, it was me. When I started with students. The care and for Sandy Manglos, SFMS working at SFMS, I wanted to nurture of ushering students choir teacher, five years ago. make sure there were similar into theater can be seen in the Inspired by working with her theater options for students first 15 minutes of practice. and the students, Leasure here as well.” Leasure cultivated her love for began the steps to pursue a Leasure’s love for music, learning when she went back to vocal license to add to her arts and drama influenced school at age 31, obtaining her academic repertoire. “There her decision to attend Brown bachelor’s in music education was something that struck Institute in Minneapolis for from Hamline University. me about the intimacy of the broadcasting after high school. “For me, [teaching] is less voice. In drama, you have that “I loved the idea of having that about ‘here’s this information’ relationship with the audience and more ‘I teach because to play the music you love, but I care about you,’” affirmed have a conversation,” expressed Leasure. “I want you to be this Leasure. wonderful, dynamic person. This concept to connect The knowledge itself is less

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

intimacy. That’s your voice on stage,” said Leasure. “And that can be scary. You have to believe in yourself enough to let go.” “That is what extracurricular means to me — be free. Do volleyball. Do theater. Do the science club and know you are there because you don’t have to score A, B or C. It’s because you love it and are going to be with like-minded kids.” “I believe extracurricular offerings help students who otherwise might not make emotional or social connections. It’s remarkably sad that each child has a unique voice and is sometimes terrified of being heard, being seen,” commented Leasure. “The beauty of theater is that you can be someone else on stage. You can get lost in it. Get lost... but then find yourself.” 15 Reasons Not To Be in a Play is 30-minutes of irony portrayed through comical monologues, duets and ensemble scenes all about not being in play. The minimal staging required and hilarious characterizations create a safe atmosphere to enter the world of theater and to explore one’s self. Watch for notifications at SFMS for performance dates. Relaxed nior atmosphere – seur aged to citizens are enco attend!

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

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Fitness 15 Sandhill Center • 23820 Dewey Street • Bethel

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




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 St. Francis Area Schools Early Childhood on Facebook to stay in the know and connect with other parents.

Looking for Preschool? Preschool Place 15 has a place for you. Watch your mail the beginning of February for 2018-19 Preschool Place 15 preschool registration information!

Check out 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 Best curriculum...then you’ll have Choice Registration the information to decide about Day for 2018-19 Preschool registration for the 2018-19 school Place 15 is Tuesday, year. No sibling care available for February 13 younger/older children. No need to pre-register. Saturday, February 3 10:00-11:30 a.m. The curriculum of Preschool Place 15 focuses on social skills and early literacy development. Mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, social You may qualify for FREE or reduced studies, the arts and physical development are also preschool tuition and fees based on part of the curriculum. Environments are designed family size and income. to enhance and expand children’s understanding Available through Early Learning Pathway II of the world as they direct their own play. Teachers Scholarships and/or School Readiness fund. facilitate the child’s learning; they guide and If you meet income eligibility requirements encourage independent learning in each child. or participate in one of the following programs: } Classes offered at the Lifelong Learning Minnesota Family Investment Program, Child Center in Oak Grove Care Assistance Program, Free and Reduced} Programming takes place September Price Lunch Program, Child and Adult Care through May Food Program, Food Distribution Program on } Morning, afternoon and evening Indian Reservations, Food Support (SNAP) or sessions available Foster Care. } One, two, three or four times per week Call Jenny at 763-753-7196 for more } Two-hour to two-and-a-half-hour sessions information. } 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

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

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

Winter Early Childhood Events Parent/Child Yoga 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: EC 9707 Date: Thursdays, March 22-April 26 Time: 5:00-5:45 p.m. Fee: $30 per child Deadline: February 28

A Day With Your Sweetheart Have your child bring their sweetheart (grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, friend), while dressed in their fanciest attire for a fun filled morning. Dance to your favorite song, make some crafts, listen to stories, have a snack and take a photo. Make it a special day! Course: EC 9701 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

KinderKonzert @ Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis From learning about acoustics of the building to playing an instrument, children (and parents) list this as one of their favorite

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.

trips ever. Share the joy of music with this experience especially for four and five year olds and their parents (Orchestra Hall requirement) We’ll even get a behind the scene look at Orchestra Hall. Pack a bag lunch to eat on the bus. Course: EC 9404 Date: Friday, May 4 Time: Bus leaves LLC at 9:30 a.m.; returns by 2:00 p.m. Fee: $10 per person Deadline: Noon, April 17

Come to Pop In and Play! Do you and your children need something to do in this cold weather? Check out Pop In and Play! 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. 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: February 6 Ruby and Max 7 Colors of the Rainbow 13 Lots of Love 14 Be My Valentine 21 1, 2, 3 Count With Me 27 Planes, Trains and Automobiles 28 Exploring Shapes Visit our webpage at for more events and classes.

New Baby? New Class! a division of ISD 15 Community Education

A new semester of ECFE classes is just beginning! Sign up NOW! ■ Birth to Kindergarten classes ■ Toddler classes ■ Baby classes ■ Evening class

Babies and Parent Class Course: EC 0502 Ages: Birth-14 months Dates: Thursdays, February 8-March 22 Time: 9:15-11:15 a.m. Fee: Free for class; fee for Sisters & Brothers Care



St. Francis Area Schools Adult Community Education

Spotlight Class Festive Spring Salads

Head into spring with a Wild Rice and Breast of Chicken Salad or Wild Rice with Fresh Mushrooms and Cashews. We will also feature a vegetarian main dish salad using multi-colored peppers and the unique grain Quinoa. What could be more refreshing than the fruit salad combination of cantaloupe and strawberries with orange sauce. Equally as pretty is Raspberry-Spinach Salad with Glazed Pecans. Then round out the evening with three easy dressings for your favorite combination of assorted garden greens—Feta Cheese, Creamy Blue Cheese and Orange Dressing. You will be ready for family, friends and spring! There is a $12 supply fee payable to the instructor the night of class, cash please. #AE18202 1 Session Date: Monday, March 12 Time: 6:00-9:00 pm Location: St. Francis High School Instructor: Laurel Severson Fee: $15 Register Online at and use your Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover card. Register by Phone by calling 763-213-1640 and have your credit card ready.

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 763-213-1616 or 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 763-213-1616 or 763-213-1641

Classes & Events 23820 Dewey Street Bethel, MN 55005 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

Rockin’ Woody Tuesday, February 13 Course: LB176 A man of many talents, Tom Strohmyer, known professionally as Woody, has been entertaining audiences from age one to one hundred since 1983 playing guitar, keyboards, saxophone, trumpet, flute and singing, both in various bands and as a solo performer. A Lunch Bunch favorite, Woody is a one-man variety show, offering a variety of music delivered in a variety of ways, both instrumentally and vocally. Did we mention he is also a juggler and a magician who can shoot the bull while keeping five balls aloft simultaneously?

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.





Sports & Outdoors Fighting Saints hold steady in wrestling KURT WERK


2017-18 St. Francis High School wrestling team.


Saints varsity gymnastics update MICKAELA O’MALLEY


SODERVILLE/BLAINE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION Registration for the 2018 baseball and softball season will be in February. Registration is open for in-house baseball, softball and 10U and 12UC traveling fastpitch softball.

SBAA has programs available for school-age boys and girls.

LINE REGISTER O28Nat February 1– rg www.sodervilleblaine.o using a credit card.

A walk-in registration date is available at the SBAA Building at 1831-153rd Avenue NE, Ham Lake

Tuesday, February 20 5:00-8:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please call 763-413-3555 or send an email to


If you are 14 years old or older and are interested in being an umpire for baseball, please register online using the website above. We will train you and pay you based on your experience level.

Competition season is always an exciting time of year for gymnasts. The St. Francis High School (SFHS) Saints gymnastics team has been working hard this season to upgrade their skills. With eight incoming seventh graders, the team had many new faces. The team has been working hard, practicing the skills needed to compete and pushing each other to do their best at every practice. The Saints recently traveled to River Falls High School in Wisconsin for the Winter Wonderland Invitational. The girls were excited for a new experience, being out of state with brand new competition. They started off the meet winning the costume contest! They were best dressed out of 12 teams. That set the bar going into the first rotation, which was floor. They performed like they were season veterans. Next up was the vault. The girls did some of their very best vaults of the season. Uneven parallel bars followed and the girls were excited to show off their routines. Last up was the dreaded balance beam. Some of the girls were nervous but coaches reminded the team they just have to get up and do their routines they have been practicing all season. That’s exactly what the girls did. The team finished with a score of 137.4, placing third out of twelve teams. That was the team’s highest score of the season. Vault Summer Helland, 5th place Felicia Bartell, 3rd place Bars Summer Helland, 2nd place Felicia Bartell, 3rd place Beam Summer Helland, 8th place Felicia Bartell, 4th place Floor Allie Frank, 8th place Summer Helland, 5th place Felicia Bartell, 4th place All Around Allie Frank, 8th place Summer Helland, 4th place Felicia Bartell, 3rd place

The St. Francis High School Fighting Saints wrestling got off to a great start this season that continues into the second half. In December the team went 7-3 and is working toward defending our conference title. Our wins at home were very exciting with a 33-32 victory over Cambridge and a 38-26 win over Coon Rapids. The junior varsity (JV) team placed eighth at the Anoka JV Christmas tournament. The varsity had four wrestlers place at the Minnesota Christmas tournament: Nick Pierce, 8th; Kyle Lindenfesler, 8th; Tanner Kunshier, 5th; Cole Kirpach, 5th. Over winter break the team traveled to Fargo and participated in one of the largest tournaments with 87 teams. The team had two individuals place at the Rumble on the Red: Tanner Kunshier, 5th and Cole Kirpach, 1st. In January the team had two individual tournaments, two duals and two team tournaments that will help them for the post season in February. The section team tournament is in Cambridge on February 16 and the individual sections are held in Anoka, February 23-24.

St. Francis High School gymnasts placed third out of twelve teams at the Winter Wonderland Invitational. Standing (L-R): Allie Frank, Felicia Bartell, Emma Oman, Jessi Mehregan, Summer Helland; sitting (L-R): Riley Lawin and Lia Mehregan. SUBMITTED PHOTO




St. Francis High School alum playing collegiate football BRENT SWAGGERT


Over the past several years, the St. Francis High School (SFHS) football program has compiled some of those most impressive seasons in school history, including appearing in four consecutive Section 7AAAAA championship games. With this new-found level of success, a growing number of SFHS graduates have continued their football careers at the collegiate level. As one of their former high school coaches, I am proud to celebrate the following student athletes for their continued academic and athletic success.

games for the Mavericks and helped pave the way to a perfect regular season (11-0) and a North Sun Conference Championship. Minnesota State University Mankato advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II tournament before falling to Texas A & M Commerce 21-13. PHOTO CREDIT: MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY MANKATO FOOTBALL ARCHIVE

Hunter Trautman, business management major, redshirt freshman quarterback at Northern State University. Trautman won the starting quarterback job in week five and posted a 5-2 record. Trautman led the Wolves in passing yards (1314) and threw 10 touchdowns.

John Santiago, criminal justice major, junior running back at University of North Dakota. Santiago lead the Fighting Hawks in 717 yards in rushing, five rushing touchdowns, 766 yards in kick returns, 204 yards and one touchdown punting. Santiago was named First Team All Big Sky for the third year in a row.

Levi Ross, exercise sports science major, sophomore offensive left tackle at University of Wisconsin River Falls. Ross started all 22 games in his career at UW-River Falls. Ross was named Second Team All Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in helping lead the Falcons to a 4-6 overall record. PHOTO CREDIT: UW-RIVER FALLS FOOTBALL ARCHIVE


Blake Moreno, business marketing major, redshirtsophomore tight end at Minnesota State University Mankato. Moreno played in all 14

Mason Meadows, undecided major, sophomore linebacker at Central Lakes College. Meadows played in seven games for the Raiders and recorded 16 tackles. Meadows helped Central Lakes College to a 10-2 record and the team reached the MN CC State semi-final game. PHOTO CREDIT: CENTRAL LAKE COLLEGE FOOTBALL ARCHIVE

Need times and locations for St. Francis High School sports? Visit



Chris Gerlach, physical education major, redshirt freshman offensive lineman at Northern State University. In his second season with the program, Gerlach was a reserve offensive lineman that was on the travel squad. Gerlach hopes to compete for a starting position this spring when practice begins in March.

Tay Toft, undecided major, freshman linebacker at University of Wisconsin River Falls. Toft recorded two tackles and played in four games for the Falcons on both special teams and at linebacker. Toft is looking forward to year two and competing for more playing time as a sophomore.




REGISTER online at ANYONE NOT REGISTERED BY FEBRUARY 28 WILL BE SUBJECT TO A LATE FEE. Youth Winter Baseball Camp instructed by the St. Francis High School coaches and current players is scheduled for Saturday, March 17 at the SFHS. Register online through the St. Francis Area Schools Rec Dept.


Anoka Ramsey Community College Field House 11200 Mississippi Blvd. NW Coon Rapids, MN 55433 Visit for age groups and tryout times. Coaches needed – visit for an application Open to any player in St. Francis Area Schools Have other questions? View contact information at




Dance Team does well in conference championships MEGAN TABAKO


The St. Francis High School (SFHS) dance team competed in the Mississippi 8 Conference Championship at Monticello High School on January 6. Going into the meet, the varsity jazz team was leading the conference with 16 points and the SFHS varsity kick team was in second place with 14 points, trailing the team from Chisago Lakes. All five of the SFHS teams competed and had mostly clean performances, with just a few errors. Routines scored well in the difficulty categories, which is something the team has really worked on for the end of the season.

The SFHS dance team ended with a clean sweep by having all five teams earning first place wins in their divisions. This was the first time varsity kick had earned the first place spot in team history. The varsity teams made the Saints the 2018 Mississippi 8 Jazz Conference Champions and 2018 Mississippi 8 Kick Conference Champions; a first in history for the SFHS kick team. Teams have a break until January 27, where they will compete at Blaine High School for the junior varsity and B-squad championships. Section 4AAA Tournament will follow at Forest Lake High School on February 3.

Winter events at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge JESSICA NELSON


St. Francis High School dance team


3220 Bridge Street, Suite 107 in the St. Francis Mall


763-753-1277 for an Appointment

Kendall W. Goodian, D.C. Chiropractic Orthopedist

Specializing in Sports, Industrial and Auto Accident Injuries


Spring Rec Registration

Moonlight Ski/Hike* Friday, February 2, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Oak Savanna Learning Center If snow levels are adequate, trails will be groomed. Skis not provided and a headlamp is recommended. Bonfire, treats and drinks provided by Friends of Sherburne. Afternoon Snowshoe/Hike* Sunday, February 11, 1:00-4:00 p.m. Oak Savanna Learning Center Snowshoes are available to borrow if snow levels are adequate. There are family-friendly guided hikes at 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Bonfire, treats and drinks provided by Friends of Sherburne. Visit for more information. Preregister for events by emailing or calling 763-389-3323. All events are free and pre-registration is suggested. Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge is open from sunrise to sunset on a daily basis. Refuge headquarters is open 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday and closed on all federal holidays. Oak Savanna Learning Center (OSLC) is located at 16797 289 Avenue NW, Zimmerman (½ mile west of refuge headquarters off Sherburne County Road 9). The Refuge headquarters address is 17076 293 Avenue NW, Zimmerman (Sherburne County Road 9, five miles west of Hwy. 169). *Eagle’s Nest Nature Store at the OSLC, run by the Friends of Sherburne, will be open during or following this event. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to these events for all participants. Please direct all requests for special accommodation to the Refuge Headquarters at 763-389-3323,, or TTY 800-877-8339 at least two weeks prior to the event.

Check out St. Francis Area Schools Rec Department offerings for Spring available online now T-Ball Ages 4–6

Softball/ Baseball Ages 6–8

Spring Gymnastics Ages 3–12

Contact Diane Guinn, Rec Department Manager for more info 763-213-1823 Direct registration questions to 763-213-1588 The Rec Department is a division of ISD 15 Community Education

Congratulations to the St. Francis Basketball Association (SFBA) players for joining the 10,000 Shot Club. Pictured are David Tupper, Macy Hass, Caleb Schoenrock, Ben Magnuson, Evan Peterson and Matthew Bothun. Players logged their shots daily from June through September last year and submitted them to the SFBA Board at tryouts. SUBMITTED BY KARI MENSINK, SFBA SECRETARY

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve upcoming events CAITLIN POTTER


An Intro to Climate Science for Minnesotans February 6 and 8 Interested in learning about the science behind climate change? Join atmospheric scientist Dr. Sam Potter for a two-session class to deepen your understanding of the climate system! This class covers the basics of climate science, both historically and in the present day, and the impacts of climate change on Minnesota. All topics will be presented for a general audience and no science degree is necessary. Registration is required. Register at the Minnesota Master Naturalist website, www. Fee: $30, adults only Cedar Creek Wildlife Winter Survey Day February 10 Join your fellow trackers and citizen scientists for our winter survey. We’ll be out on the property in teams looking for tracks and signs and documenting what animals are using our natural areas! Dress warmly and bring a lunch. Please RSVP to Caitlin at or Jonathan at Inclement weather back-up day is February 17. Fee: free, adults recommended Winter StoryWalk with the Anoka County Library February 17, 9:00 a.m.–noon Come celebrate winter with your friends and neighbors! Cedar Creek educational staff will team up with Anoka County Library librarians to share some favorite winter books, hot drinks and arts and crafts! Our StoryWalk will feature a short self-guided walk through the snow following the pages of Over and Under in the Snow by Kate Messner. Fee: free, families welcome Nature Talk with Cedar Creek: Minnesota’s Native Plants February 26, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Join Cedar Creek scientist Kate Freund at the Johnsville Library in Blaine to learn about native Minnesota plants and pollinators. Meet at the library at 12461 Oak Park Boulevard NE, Blaine. Fee: Free, adults recommended



Meetings, Benefits & Events


ISD 15 School Board

Community Service



ISD 15 SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS: February 12 & 26 Dialogue with the School Board 6:30 p.m., Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m., March 12 & 26 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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. St. Francis Area Schools 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 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

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.

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.

Area Chamber of Commerce ST. FRANCIS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Board meeting is the third Wednesday (February 21) 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 or call 763-4385163 for more details. NORTH 65 CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 2018 East Central MN Spectacular Wedding Fair, February 25, Noon-3 p.m. at Cambridge Middle School. For more information about the North 65 Chamber visit www. EAST BETHEL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Board meeting is February 27, 8:00-9:00 a.m. at Aggressive Hydraulics, 18800 Ulysses Street NE, Cedar. Visit www. for more info. HAM LAKE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Board of Directors meeting is February 21, 9:00 a.m., location to be determined. Annual Snowbowl February 10 Visit www.hamlakechamber for location and more information.

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.

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! St. Francis Area Schools 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!

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 dance on Friday, February 2 will have old time music played by Michael Elsenpeter. Entertainment for March 2 will be by Jim Armstrong. 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.

Have an engagement, wedding or birth announcement or an article you would like published in The Courier? Use the convenient online submission form at Questions? Call 763-753-7031 for more info.


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4115 Ambassador Blvd. NW Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.


The Courier 4115 Ambassador Blvd. NW St. Francis, MN 55070




Life Pet Corner


may or may not need attention or monitoring. Small dogs don’t tend to chew on hard items as often or vigorously as large dogs (although some do!) and their teeth are more crowded, both of which result in more plaque and tartar accumulation. Plaque and tartar continue to build up over time once started, resulting in recession of the gingiva (gum tissue) and loosening of the teeth. Some cats need no special dental care over the course of their lifetime; however, some build up excess tartar and develop resorptive lesions of

Question How do I know if my dog or cat needs special dental care? Answer Dogs and cats vary on how much and how often they need veterinary intervention for good dental health. Large dogs tend to keep cleaner teeth because the teeth are not as crowded together which decreases tight spaces that can accumulate plaque and tartar. Also, large dogs more often are happy to chew on hard items that help scrub their teeth to keep them clean. However, chewing on hard things results more often in broken teeth that

ut Ask us abo our online pet med pharmacy!


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the enamel. These lesions are very painful because the pulp cavity, which contains the nerve supply, is exposed. When do you know your pet needs dental help? Your veterinarian can check the teeth to evaluate for broken or loose teeth, gingivitis and other abnormalities. Also monitor your pet for dropping food while eating, trying to carry toys but dropping them, or biting down on a hard item then dropping it. In cats, excessive drooling and lack of grooming or even excessive grooming may be seen instead. All can be signs of dental pain. Oftentimes, pets need dental cleaning under anesthesia,

dental x-rays and sometimes extractions. What can you do to maintain good dental health? Encourage your dog to chew on items such as rawhide, antlers, real beef bones, cornstarch-based chewing treats, bully sticks, tug toys and hard rubber or nylon chewing toys. Brushing teeth regularly (at least weekly) can also help to keep teeth clean. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on chewing items, special foods and help getting started with brushing. Cat teeth are not easy to brush since their mouths are much smaller. Chewing on hard cat food helps and there are even dental foods made for


cats (and dogs) that require more chewing to increase the scrubbing time on the teeth.

Anoka County Library announces Doug Ohman speaking at Winter Reads Program Nowthen KARLY HALL 12461 Oak Park Boulevard NE, Blaine Alliance Church ■ Bao Phi on Saturday, ANOKA COUNTY LIBRARY SUPPORT SERVICES

The Anoka County Library is proud to offer the Winter Reads adult reading program now through February 28 with a series of local author visits, including: ■ P.J. Tracy on Saturday, February 3, 1:00-2:00 p.m. at the Rum River Library, 4201 6th Ave NW, Anoka ■ Jesse Chandler on Saturday, February 10, 1:00-2:00 p.m. at the Crooked Lake Library, 11440 Crooked Lake Boulevard NW, Coon Rapids ■ Jim Walsh on Wednesday, February 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Johnsville Library,

February 24, 1:00-2:00 p.m. at the Northtown Library, 711 County Road 10 NE, Blaine In addition to author visits, Anoka County Library is pleased to offer the following extras as part of the Winter Reads program: ■ An online reader’s advisory service ■ Prize giveaways ■ Adult Read Down Your Fines program ■ Popup library promotional events throughout the county For more information, please visit www.anokacountylibrary. org.



Travel down the Mighty Mississippi on Thursday, February 22 at 1:00 p.m. with photographer and story teller Doug Ohman on the second leg of his journey, which is full of history, education and beauty. Nowthen Alliance Church is located at 19653 Nowthen Boulevard NW, Nowthen. Please enter at Door A. Refreshments following the speaker. All ages welcome. For more information please call 763-441-1600.

New year, now it’s time to enroll at Lit’l Sprouts! Grooming by Fido’s

Fido’s Barber Shop

23256 St. Francis Blvd. NW, St. Francis

All Breed Professional Dog Grooming and Personal Care Boarding

Contact our center at

19847 Orchid Street NW, Oak Grove

Day and Evening Appointments


Want to learn more? 763-753-5010

for a tour or visit us online at

• Lit’l Sprouts childcare center of St. Francis is a high quality childcare program in the area. • We have high quality educators who give children the skills and experiences to help them grow and prepare for school entrance and beyond! • Hours 5:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Monday-Friday • Flexible scheduling allows for several budget friendly options making high quality childcare affordable to everyone. • Families like our secure fingerprint access entry and surveillance system. • Home cooked meals prepared and served each day on-site in our full service kitchen at no extra charge. • County, military, and other approved assistance accepted.




The Friends of the Isanti Area Library (FIAL) invite you to visit our East Central Regional Library Outreach site in the Isanti City Hall at 200 1st Avenue NW. It’s open from noon until 4:00 p.m. each Wednesday, and offers both a helpful librarian (Tim) and a computer for public use provided by FIAL. There is even a volunteer on hand 1:00-3:00 p.m. to assist you with the computer and printer. The 5th Annual Book Sale is scheduled for February 16-17 at Junction Bowl in Isanti. We are still collecting donated books, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks for the sale. Contact or 763-444-4585 for information.

Births Faith Aubrey Bryant was born on November 22, 2017, at Cambridge Medical Center to Dalton and Bryana Bryant of Isanti. She weighed eight pounds, three ounces and was 20 inches long. Proud grandparents are Bryan and Tammy Finney of St. Francis and David and Theresa Bryant of Oak Grove. Evy Lynn Bazille was born on December 4, 2017, at Cambridge Medical Center to Mike Bazille and Tina James of Cambridge. She weighed seven pounds, eleven ounces and was 21¼ inches long. She was welcomed by siblings Anthony, Haillie and Riley. Proud grandparents are Mary and Bryan Johnson of Isanti and Kevin and Paula Bazille of Cambridge.


Memory Maker Kits at Anoka County Library JANET KLECKNER

The Anoka County Library is pleased to announce it has added Memory Maker Kits to its collection. Memory Maker Kits are designed for use by caregivers and family members who are caring for people experiencing memory loss. Kit materials include items such as books, CDs and items for hands-on activities. All materials were selected to help create conversation, spark memories, and allow for positive interaction and engagement between those with dementia or Alzheimer’s

disease and their caregivers. “These kits demonstrate the Anoka County Library’s commitment to our patrons by providing materials unique to the needs of specific communities,” said Library Board President Dan Greensweig. In addition to the Memory Maker Kits, the Library hosts Dementia Dialogue, a book and film discussion group that explores dementia through stories, both real and fictional. The group meets the first Tuesday of the month from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Rum River Library, 4201 6th Ave NW, Anoka. The

Join us at Trinity Lutheran Church

for our weekly Lenten Services held each Wednesday beginning February 14 through March 21 at 6:30 p.m. Come early for our soup supper, 4:30-6:15 p.m. in the Family Center for a free will offering.

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

next session is February 6. Please contact the Rum River Library or visit http://www. for the titles that will be discussed. Dementia Dialogue is held in coordination with the Anoka County Family Caregiver Connection and ACT on Alzheimer’s Anoka. Memory Maker Kits are funded by a grant from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership. For more information, contact Janet Kleckner at janet. or by calling 763-325-1513.

Lenten Themes



February 14 Community Meal at 5:30 p.m. Service at 6:00 p.m.


Wednesdays, February 21, 28 March 7, 14, 21, 28 Community Meal at 5:30 p.m. Service at 6:00 p.m.

“Reaching Out With A Voice Of Hope”


LUTHERAN CHURCH & PRESCHOOL Sunday Worship Services 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. Wednesday Ignite Service at 6:30 p.m. 19001 Jackson Street NE • East Bethel West County Road 22 and south on Jackson Street For information call 763-434-6117 or visit email to: Pastor Dan Nordin • Pastor Maria Pederson • Deacon Glenndy Ose

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

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

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

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

Cross of Hope Lutheran Church 5730-179th Lane NW Ramsey • 763-753-2057 Elim Baptist Church 114 Dahlin Street SE Isanti • 763-444-9221

February 21 “Bread from Heaven”

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

March 7 “Blest Communion” March 14 “Rest for the Weary” March 21 “Nuptial Feast”

Sunday Worship Service 8:00 & 9:30 a.m. Sunday School Hour/Education 9:30 a.m. Wednesday Worship Service 6:00 p.m. Wednesday Education 6:00 p.m.

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

February 14 Ash Wednesday “Life-Giving Fruit”

February 28 “Healing Medicine”

Join us each Sunday and Wednesday for worship, fellowship and education.


Donations sought for annual book sale




Living Hope Evangelical Free Church 23038 Rum River Boulevard NW St. Francis • 763-753-1718 Long Lake Lutheran Church 3921 277th Avenue NW Isanti • 763-444-5315 New Life Church - Oak Grove 18975 Lake George Boulevard NW Oak Grove • 763-753-5717

St. Andrew Lutheran Church 1450 237th Avenue NE East Bethel • 763-434-7146 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




Make a splash for a great cause ALANA FAULK


The Arctic Splash has arrived! We are a brand new non-profit organization, aimed at helping bring our Long Lake, St. Francis, Cambridge and Isanti communities together. Captain’s Lakeside Grille is hosting a fun filled weekend in February with the hope to raise money for local organizations, such as local veterans, Special Olympics, food banks, fire, police/rescue units and more! Visit for a complete list of beneficiaries. On Friday, February 9, SPLASH organizers will kick off the three-day Arctic Fest with a preregistration party. The evening will include a gun raffle, and live music. Be sure to pick up your limited edition Arctic Splash sweatshirt while they last. Saturday, February 10, the party moves out on to Long Lake where you will find entertainment, helicopter rides, food trucks, a VIP Igloo, photo booth and more. At 11:00 a.m. the Englund family will perform an old-fashioned ice cutting ceremony. At 1:00 p.m. Ray Erick from radio

station KQRS will be here live, to host the Arctic Splash 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 Wars honor guard and Polaris Sea Cadets salute the flag. Hang tight after the jump while local firefighters face off against police officers in a polar powered tug of war. 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, to 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

College announces cast for upcoming production of The Boy Friend MELISSA PRIEBE


Anoka-Ramsey Community College is proud to announce the student-actors recently cast in its spring production of The Boy Friend. The musical is set to hit the Coon Rapids Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. on February 9-10 and 15-17. Congratulations to the following performers (role: student name): Maisie: Cai Sparks, Dulcie: Kelly “Luna” Picton, Fay: Corina Mitreanu, Nancy: Haley “H” Dorumsgaard, Polly Browne: Matthew Worthington, Madame Dubonnet: Dawn Rogers, Hortense: Jade Lefever, Bobby: Luke Martin, Percival Browne: Jess Hernandez, Tony: Ben Cornelius, Lord Brockhurst: Samuel Fish, Lady Brockhurst: Micaela “Mac” Wester, Marcel: Jim Belden, Pierre: Jacob Schmid, Alphonse: Cody Johnson, Waiter: Derrick Smith, Cop: Isaiah Williams and Pepe: Jake Fredricks.

More about The Boy Friend Set against the backdrop of the French Riviera, this romantic spoof of 1920s musical comedies tells the story of English heiress, Polly, who is longing for only one thing: a boy friend. Polly’s father, convinced that any boy who isn’t wealthy will court Polly strictly for her financial situation, forbids her to engage any potential suitors. Honoring his wishes, Polly explains to Tony, the messenger boy with whom she’s fallen in love, that she is no rich girl. This is just the tip of the mistaken identity iceberg, as love proceeds to find its way charmingly to nearly everyone in the area and bring them all to a happy ending. Tickets are $8. For more information about the production or the Theatre Department at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, visit departments-faculty/theatre.

Child Care Center Now Taking Enrollment Both Locations, All Ages

East Bethel

763-434-1980 Isanti


Drop-ins welcome. We offer great before & after school program rates. Call for Employment Opportunities

2017 Goal 727


149 Tons Recycled in November & December

St. Francis recycled 851 tons in 2017, 124 tons more than the goal. 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.

Holiday Lights & Cell Phone Recycling! Drop off your unwanted holiday lights and cell phones at the Public Works & Police Department, during normal business hours Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 4058 St. Francis Blvd. NW St. Francis, MN 55070



Mastering Your Garden


Creating a succulent topiary The snow has finally come to blanket my garden for the cold months. With a cup of tea and some ancient Christmas cookies, I have time to catch up on the garden magazines and catalogs which have piled up. I also have time to putter with my houseplants. Some time ago I ran across a project for a succulent topiary. This past summer I purchased a whole flat of sedums and other succulents, most of which I planted in the new garden beds along the boulevard. I still had a few of the less hardy plants like stonecrop (Aeonium), donkey tail (Sedum morganianum) and a few hen & chicks (Sempervivum tectorium). I found an old twig-covered tuteur (wire cone) about 20 inches tall, gathered sheet moss, coir mulch (shredded coconut husk), potting soil, a medium sized urn and plastic pot fit inside. The coir comes in a solid disk, which becomes a mulch, something like fine coffee grounds, when soaked in twice its volume of warm water. I like the idea of using a more earthfriendly source of peat-like material). The twig covering is a bit of overkill, but if I had not had it, I would have needed to line the inside of the cone with fine chicken wire mesh. I filled

the cone with a mixture of the soil and moistened coir mulch then continued to fill with potting soil alone. I covered the outside of the cone with sheet moss, bending small paper clips to hold the moss in place (hair pins might have done as well or better). Piece by piece I pushed the hen and chicks, the garlands of sedum and the other succulents into holes poked into the mosscovered surface with an old pen. Although it sounds easy, lots of floral wire was needed to keep the mulch and plants in place. The tuteur fits fairly snugly into the pot of soil set inside the urn (if it hadn’t been a tight fit, a skewer or two might have helped to fasten it down). With everything firmly inserted, a good hose-down in the kitchen sink is all that it is needed every month or so to keep the moss green and the succulents happy. None of the plants require regular feeding, so once a year is probably just fine. It isn’t a masterpiece, but it is a charming little bit of garden by the front door and should be fine on its own outside in the shade when warm weather comes. For local information, contact the Isanti County Master Gardeners office at 763-6891810. Sources: Baldwin, Debra Lee. Make a Succulent Topiary. Fine $250 OFF any project $2,500 or more — or —18 months interest free financing!* Our look has changed but our services have not.

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Gardening, 137. For information on the selection and care of succulents: University of Minnesota Extension website at is a good source.

Succulent topiary



Anoka-Ramsey student competes in Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival MELISSA PRIEBE


Jim Belden, a student at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, presented his work during the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in Des Moines, Iowa. His play, The Camera, was selected for the Ten-Minute Play Festival, a part of the festival held January 21-28. Belden is an associate of fine arts student, who is studying creative writing and majoring in theatre at Anoka-Ramsey. He wrote two original plays and submitted them to the festival, then learned he was a regional finalist in December. He describes the play that was nominated as a comedy with a mysterious quality and a surprise ending. “I wanted to write something that was interesting and thoughtprovoking,” said Belden. “The Camera is about two neighbors who sit on their front lawn and drink every Saturday. One week, they come outside and discover that there is a surveillance camera, on top of an electrical pole, aimed at their houses. They have no idea why it’s there.” “Jim’s play was selected from 110 submissions—a record number—through a blinded screening process led by Ben Gonzalez, National Playwriting Chair of Region VII,” said Theatre Instructor Blayn Lemke. “One of these plays will be selected to represent the region at a National Theater Festival hosted by the Kennedy Center in the spring,” said Lemke. “Both the Theatre and the creative writing programs are extremely proud of our scholar’s accomplishment.”

763-753-6336 19035 Lake George Boulevard NW Oak Grove, MN 55303 Amy Morgan, D.V.M. Lisa Johnson, D.V.M. Kaija Youngner, D.V.M. Dawn Price, D.V.M. Melissa Powers, D.V.M.

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SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2018 Blaine High School - Fieldhouse

Event begins at 9:30, be there to collect your “giant check” during the SPIRIT Walk Awards.

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The Courier - February 2018  

Publication of St. Francis Area Schools, St. Francis, MN

The Courier - February 2018  

Publication of St. Francis Area Schools, St. Francis, MN