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Spring Recycling

Lawn & Garden

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Income Tax Tips Page 23

Saints Finish Strong at State Wrestling Tourney Page 24

Spring Musical at St. Francis High School Page 32



The Courier School district focus on safety 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



We are living in a stressful and unnerving time given the recent school violence that has gripped our nation. Our awareness and trepidation are heightened by the tragedies in Florida and Maryland. Sadly, these acts of senseless violence have become common and are the focus of broadcasts and social media far too often. We are all deeply saddened by these tragedies and mourn the loss of innocent life. It is important during these times to remind everyone that the safety and security of our students and staff has always been and will remain a top priority in St. Francis Area Schools. The school district works closely with both city and county law enforcement and has developed partnerships aimed at prevention and quick intervention when an unexpected emergency arises. We contract with the St. Francis

Police Department to have two police liaison officers in our schools within St. Francis city limits. The Anoka County Sheriff ’s Department serves our schools on the east side of the district. Officers make a committed effort to connect with students and work with staff. The relationships they build are instrumental in keeping our schools safe. A year and a half ago, we began training students and staff on ALICE protocol for an armed intruder situation. We continue to advance that training and preparedness in the event that the unthinkable should ever happen. We have tightened procedures for entering our buildings during the school day. Building entrances are monitored by school staff and an ID is required to enter during the school day. While this may seem an inconvenience to some, I ask for your understanding and patience. Our office staff are often

greeted with a statement like, “You know me. Why do I have to show my ID?” To that I say, all know me as well and I have told them if I don’t produce an ID, they are directed to not let me in. The passing of the bond in November will help us greatly improve the security of entrances in all of our buildings. In addition to the secure entrances, we will update and improve video surveillance and warning capabilities within the buildings. We know these measures are important to our community, as you voiced the importance of safety when

we presented our bond information last spring and fall. We understand many of our students may be struggling with the recent events in Florida and Maryland and they may want to talk to you about them. We have links to resources on the home page of our website at www. isd15.org, that may help you with those discussions. In addition, our school counselors, social workers and staff are available to support your children and your family to work through these challenging times.

St. Francis Area Schools prepare to right-size TROY FERGUSON SUPERINTENDENT, ST. FRANCIS AREA SCHOOLS

In what will be a multi-year effort to right-size the budget for St. Francis Area Schools, district leaders and the school board are working to adjust the budget by $3.7 million for the 2018-19 school year. Budget right-sizing is aligning revenues and expenses to create a balanced budget by evaluating enrollment trends and projections. The goal is to continuously end the fiscal year better than projected on a multi-year basis. The school board approved moving forward with right-sizing the budget at the January 22, 2018 school board meeting. A number of factors, including last year’s larger than expected decrease in enrollment, this year’s projected decrease in student enrollment and correcting previous budget oversights, have resulted in the adjustment amount. In addition, general operating expenses continue to rise every year and school district revenue sources do not keep pace. District leaders are working together to right-size the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Mike Stoffel, St. Francis High School language arts teacher, read Hooray for Reading Day! by Margery Cuyler to Kathi Greene’s kindergarten class during “I Love to Read” Day on March 2 at Cedar Creek Community School. Stoffel is a regular guest reader in this class to share his love of reading with these children.  PHOTO CREDIT: KATHI GREENE, CCCS KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

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Inside Schools in Action..................................... 2 School Board Highlights........................ 8 Community Education......................... 10 Community & Business........................ 20 Sports & Outdoors................................ 24 Meetings, Benefits & Events................. 27 Life........................................................... 28


APRIL 2018


Schools in Action Superintendent’s Bulletin



With safety and security in our schools being foremost on all of our minds, I want to share with you an example of what’s working well and how it helped prevent a possible tragic incident. As you may remember, I closed all St. Francis Area Schools on February 23 due to a verbal threat of violence. This threat was initially reported by a student who told a staff member. The police were informed and contacted me. That started a process to determine whether the threat could be deemed credible or not. After several hours of

investigating and consulting with police, administration and others, we determined we could not say with certainty that threat was not credible. All schools and afterschool activities were canceled and an exhaustive investigation by local law enforcement resulted in an arrest. We can’t know for sure what may have happened if this threat wasn’t taken seriously, but we can say for sure that because a student spoke up and staff listened, no one was hurt at St. Francis Area Schools on February 23. I assure you we will take any threat to our students

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and staff with this same level of seriousness. I encourage students to continue to pay attention and report to an adult immediately anything they see or hear that could constitute a possible act of violence. I also want to remind everyone that a threat is not a joke and the consequences are often lifechanging in a negative way. I ask parents to continue to talk and listen to your children and seek assistance if you hear or see any possibility of potential threat or violence. We have experienced firsthand, the power of building relationships, paying attention and working together to keep our schools safe. I thank you all in advance for your continued support and commitment to this most important priority.

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budget and determine how this will impact staffing and programs. A resolution addressing budget adjustments was presented at the February 26, 2018 school board meeting. The resolution passed, with a 6-1 vote. For the past several years the school district has been working hard to build financial reserves, which is referred to as a fund balance. St. Francis Area Schools is not alone in its budget challenges. A recent survey by the Association of Metro School Districts shows that 27 of its 40 member districts face budget deficits totaling $97 million for 2017-18. School systems with declining or flat enrollment, like St. Francis Area Schools, feel the effects of fewer resources even greater. In order to comply with school board policy, the school district must also maintain a fund balance of five percent of its general fund budget. The current fund balance cannot sustain projected deficits and still meet the reserve policy, thus the need to reduce spending. The school board and administration values smaller class sizes and also values compensating our teachers competitively. These values are important because we want to recruit and retain the best and brightest teachers. With our declining enrollment, the school board and administration are faced with difficult choices. The reality is, just like most school districts, almost 83 percent of our annual spending goes to staffing costs and the majority of the remaining 17 percent of school district spending are for essentials (utilities, insurance, student transportation, etc.). Therefore, although reductions are being done in other areas a major share of the reductions must include staff positions. The challenges we are facing today bring uncertainty and Join us Sundays apprehension. It is imperative we continue to focus on the 9am & 11am vision of the school district. St. Francis Area Schools continues its pursuit to be a school district of choice where students are empowered to achieve their dreams. To learn more about rightsizing and other budget information for St. Francis Area Schools, visit www.isd15.org/business.

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APRIL 2018

What’s new in elementary technology? Elementary students are programing robots DIANE KROCAK-PETERSON, TERESA GALBRAITH, RYAN FIERCK


St. Francis Area Schools’ new robotics program for elementary computer technology launched in February. Our program features Blue-Bot robots for kindergarten through thirdgrade students and Ozobot robots for fourth and fifthgrade students. Students program their pocket-size robots using computer coding learned in previous lessons. This real world application connects the importance of learning code to solve problems using technology. Students are writing code, downloading it to the robot and having the robots solve the assigned tasks. They must collaborate with a partner and problem-solve the coding sequences, then download their programs to the robots. Fifth-graders Quinn Reid and Aidan Menke partnered up to

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Mason Haynes and Hunter Bacon wrote and downloaded code to the Ozobot. Students were tasked to program the Ozobot to run a circuit course. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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St. Francis High School theatre students showcased their talents at the All-State Thespian Conference over President’s Day weekend. The students performed in a number of different categories. All State cast members performed Almost, Maine for over 400 students from around the state. The cast included Simon Luckow, Austin Adler and Brianna Waste. The one-act cast of A Spoon River Anthology performed February 19, to a full house. Additionally, Simon Luckow, Brianna Waste and Chloe Ojeda performed in the individual events category of musical song and monologues. Charlotte Sonterre was elected as a State Thespian Officer and will be representing St. Francis High School next year on the Student Thespian Board. “Thanks for all you do to help our students become thoughtful, engaged and creative humans,” commented Glenn Morehouse-Olson, the high school’s theatre director.

A total of 34 sixth-grade honor students visited St. Francis Elementary School on February 28 to read to firstgrade classrooms. Students (L-R) Megan Larsen, Alex Piedra, Zoey Wilber, Vanessa Fiedler listen to her sixth-grade sister, McKenzie Fielder (front right), read If You Give a Mouse a Brownie by Laura Numeroff.

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APRIL 2018


Elementary students program robots at St. Francis Area Schools KATRINNA DODGE


East Bethel Community School (EBCS) third and fourth-graders finished their robotics unit on February 22 through creativity and computer programming. Students were buzzing with excitement to be innovative and problem-solve with their robots. EBCS third-graders in Ryan Fiereck’s technology class have been learning to program Blue-Bots through puzzles and mazes. To do so, they worked together in solving classmates’ puzzles by button programming their Blue-Bot to move forward, backwards, left, right, sequencing, counting, directionality and problem-solving. Students had to complete a puzzle going from one shape to another and a school maze from one room to another. Fourth-graders learned how to program line-follower robots by using different line color combinations. Each color told the Ozobot to move forward, spin, zigzag and more. The students were

able to draw their own line-based coding that was connected by Fiereck to create a network the Ozobots could explore. Fiereck emphasized to the students how companies such as Amazon utilizes line-follower robots in their massive warehouses. “It was a big deal when we got this [curriculum] started last year,” commented Fiereck. “It is exciting to see the program grow.” EBCS computer technology is included in St. Francis Area Schools four-day rotation for elementary specialists classes, which also includes physical education, art and music. The districts’ elementary computer technology classes introduce students to typing, programming and more. These skills continue to progress at St. Francis Middle School and St. Francis High School through the Career Technical Education curriculum. Adding robotics in St. Francis Area Schools’ classrooms was part of the Career Technical Education (CTE) districtwide curriculum that was passed

in May 2017 by the school board. CTE includes real-life application of K-12 subjects such as welding, MedTech and family and consumer sciences.

St. Francis Area Schools is in its first year of curriculum implementation after two years of evaluating needs, program assessment and piloting.

East Bethel Community School third-grade students solve a school maze by button-programming their Blue-Bot.


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APRIL 2018

Recap of All-District band concert JAKE HUMPHREY


It was the Ides of March [March 15] and a beautiful night, when I and what seemed like a million other people, shuffled in from an overly packed parking lot to take in St. Francis Area Schools All-District Band Concert featuring “Music of the Silver Screen.” Talented, hard-working students in grades six through 12 and their band directors put on quite a show that featured music from popular movie soundtracks. The sixth-grade band, patiently led by Britta Bauer, took us to a galaxy far away before heading west on a cowboy cattle drive. The seventh and eighth-grade bands, passionately led by Danielle Trebesch, traveled a heroic comic book path with the Avengers and then touched on a Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast. They hit the scales high above an Austrian mountain top with Do-Re-Mi before going back into the woods with a fairy tale theme, No One is Alone. It was amazing to hear the progression among even these relatively green bands from the early days of picking up an instrument to “Mom and Dad, I’m ready for high school.” Back in my day, our early band concerts sounded more like throwing a baby elephant down an elevator shaft. Needless to say, I was quite impressed with the program these youngsters put on. Woven into the mix came the upperclassmen, gregariously conducted by Chad Armbruster. The ninthgrade Symphonic Band presented a Polynesian tune from Moana and the theme song from the well-known superhero Spider-Man. Continuing up the ladder, the concert band took a magical turn with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as a spirited Ant-Man rendition. Finally, at the pinnacle of time spent behind the music stand, came the wind ensemble

with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. It’s fantastic to see in one room how hours, days, weeks, months then years of practice pay off with due diligence obviously on the minds of these highly skilled musicians. The event was emceed by guest of honor Jeff Fink, who will be retiring after serving our district for the past 36 years as a teacher, mentor, coach and high school activities director. Fink has been an outstanding supporter of music and closed the program with glowing

into all aspects of a person’s life. Be sure to catch the upcoming combined middle school and high school jazz band concert Friday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the St. Francis High School Performing Arts Center. Please support our schools’ music programs by attending concerts, contributing time or money to related booster fundraisers and encouraging friends to join in on the fun that is the St. Francis Area Schools band scene.

American Indian Education Parent Committee Meeting Tuesday, April 10 • 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.sargent@isd15.org.


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remarks for the roughly 500 student musicians who performed. It’s talent like this and the loving, supportive massive audience it attracts that makes me proud to be a member of the St. Francis Area Schools community. Learning to play an instrument helps nurture unforeseen talent in the youth of today, which helps them to grow, think creatively and live purposely through practice and dedication. This all pays off in wonderful concerts as proud parents, friends and family flock to enjoy. Such accomplishment carries


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APRIL 2018


Upcoming plant sale at Crossroads School & Vocational Center EMILY TROUT


Saints Academy and Saints Online students have been working and preparing for the 2018 spring plant sale. The spring sale will be May 10-11 and May 16-17 from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. There will be flowers, vegetables and herbs available for sale. Students are also building a variety of products that will be sold, such

as planter boxes, picnic tables, and lawn dice and more. All proceeds go back into Saints

Academy and Saints Online programming for the next school year.

Courier Contacts Main Phone����������������������������763-753-7031 Advertising�����������������������������763-753-7032 Billing������������������������������������������763-213-1588 Fax�������������������������������������������������763-753-4693 Email�������������������������������������news@isd15.org Website�������������������� www.the-courier.org Like us on Facebook

Geraniums, petunias and calibrocha plants being grown by Saints Academy and Saints online students. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Address 4115 Ambassador Boulevard NW St. Francis, MN 55070-9368 Publisher Lisa Rahn�����������������������������������763-753-7048 lisa.rahn@isd15.org Editor Kathleen Miller����������������������763-753-7042 kathleen.miller@isd15.org Production Binie Bertils Katrinna Dodge��������������������763-753-7033 katrinna.dodge@isd15.org Pat Johnson�����������������������������763-753-7025 pat.johnson@isd15.org Advertising Representative Sarah Yannarelly��������������������763-753-7032 ads@isd15.org



St. Francis High School student Shannon Croston participated in the Minnesota House of Representatives High School Page Program March 12-16. This program started in 1975 for Minnesota high school juniors and is modeled after the United States congressional page program. Croston was St. Francis High School junior selected through a formal Shannon Croston applied and was accepted into the High School process, which included Page Program. She is pictured submitting an application, with Speaker of the House a faculty recommendation Representative Kurt Daudt (31A). and writing an essay.  SUBMITTED PHOTO Her essay addressed the question, “Why do you wish to participate in the 2018 Minnesota High School Page Program?” Throughout the course of the week at the capitol in St. Paul, Croston and other High School Page Program participants were exposed to a wide variety of experiences, designed to provide them with a deep understanding of our state government. They participated in mock legislative committees, met with legislators to discuss matters that are important to them, experienced the legislative process first-hand by assisting members during legislative session and had the opportunity to meet with congressional officers, members of the judiciary, lobbyists and members of the media. The pages were also invited to attend the State of the State Address given by Governor Mark Dayton March 14 at the capitol. Source: www.house.leg.state.mn.us

St. Francis High School All-Night Party Third-grade students at Cedar Creek Community School participated in the Connexus Energy electrical safety program. Students learned about ways we use electricity and how to be safe when using it. PHOTO CREDIT: ANNE MARIE CARTER, CCCS TEACHER

Music Education In a class of its own!

Billing Amy Lindfors��������������������������763-213-1588 amy.lindfors@isd15.org Deadline Information Deadline for the May issue of The Courier is April 6. Delivery For delivery inquiries, call 763-753-7031. Letter to the Editor For the complete Letter to the Editor policy, visit www.the-courier.org.

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Subscriptions The publication is delivered at no charge to all St. Francis Area Schools residents. 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.

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On June 1, St. Francis High School seniors will graduate and have the opportunity to spend a great evening with their classmates at the All-Night Party. Over the years, this event has become a great partnership between graduating seniors, the school district, the All-Night Party committee, and the St. Francis area businesses and organizations. One of the committee’s larger sponsor is the St. Francis Lions Club. Each year, the Lions donate four scholarships to be given away only to attendees of the All-Night Party. Lions members also donate their time to run the casino area at the event. Two other local partners are SRO Bar & Grill in Oak Grove, where a fundraiser was held March 23, and the Dugout Bar & Grill in Bethel. On April 21, a fundraiser will be held at the Dugout where the community is invited to have dinner and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the All-Night Party event. This year the All-Night Party will be held at St. Francis Middle School with a carnival theme. Some of the fun planned includes sumo wrestling, money machine cash cube, casino games, hypnotist, life-size hamster balls, photo booth, DJ and much more! CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

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APRIL 2018


CCCS celebrated “I Love to Read” month KAREN PRIBULA


Cedar Creek Community School (CCCS) celebrated “I Love to Read Month” in February. In the spirit of the Winter Olympics, students were encouraged to go for gold with an opening ceremony where they passed the book torch, followed by a book walk with books supplied by the CCCS Parent-Teacher Organization. Every student was given a paper medal on which to record the books,

chapters or minutes they read throughout the month. On March 1, students wore comfy clothes and had guest readers come to their classrooms to read. The culminating activity was an obstacle course with winter-themed activities and an awards ceremony where students received actual medals. (Left) Judy Gleiter’s first-graders take the podium. (Right) Anne Marie Carter’s third-graders reading to Lori Allard’s kindergartners.


On March 14, many students chose to walk out of class across the nation for 17 minutes to honor the Florida school shooting victims. Two students opted to hand out 17 anonymous notes, each with a charm. School Resource Officer Jody Black, St. Francis Police Department, received two notes and charms that day. She did some investigating and found sisters (far left) Brooklynn Myers, St. Francis Elementary School, and (left) Arayanna Soucy, St. Francis Middle School, were behind these random acts of kindness. The girls told Officer Black that they wanted to do something positive during the walk out. They bought the charms with their own money and wrote out the 17 notes. Officer Black wanted to share this story and publicly thank these two students for their compassion and humble acts of kindness. She added, “It made my day.”

High School Art Show Results JENNIFER CLOSE




Art students from St. Francis High School (SFHS) displayed their creations at the recently held art show in the school’s Media Center. Jenn Close, SFHS art teacher, noted, “It was fun to see all the staff, students, parents and community members for a night to celebrate our students!” People’s Choice Relief Sculpture/Sculptural Ceramics, Shelby Reynolds Photography Best of Show, Sarah Robinette Honorable Mention, Brooke Alfredson Graphic Design Best of Show, Chloe Rotter Honorable Mention, Krysten Vang Drawing Best of Show, Madison Nelmark, Luke Oberleitner Honorable Mention, Monica Sauer Painting Best of Show, Grace Menge Honorable Mention, Madelyn Dunski and Cody Loud Sculptural Ceramics Best of Show, Emily Waldock Honorable Mention, Sam Globensky, Tyson Berwald Functional Ceramics Best of Show, Shelby Reynolds Honorable Mention, Cooper Johnson, Rileigh Vojta


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APRIL 2018


School Board Highlights School Board Highlights KATRINNA DODGE


February 26, 2018 All members present. Late start/professional development report Staff from St. Francis Elementary School and St. Francis Middle School briefed the school board of St. Francis Area Schools on the positive effects of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) on monthly late start days. Staff noted that PLC time allows them to be innovative in lessons, problem-solve with colleagues, determine educational assistant schedules and have conversations with peers districtwide. St. Francis Elementary School gave an example of improved reading achievement and word fluency by 15 percent from the 201617 school year because staff were able to analyze individual school performance during PLC time. The next PLC day is Wednesday, April 18. Learn more about Professional Learning Communities at www. isd15.org/plc. St. Francis Middle School Site Report Beth LaCoursiere, principal, and Shelly Gilmore, assistant principal, presented the St. Francis Middle School site report to school board members. The site report included plans to increase student achievement in

math, science and reading, family involvement for school activities and continuously work toward STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) standards. The full site report article was published in the March issue of The Courier. Read past issues of The Courier online at www. isd15.org/thecourier. District right-sizing plan passed Superintendent Troy Ferguson, Director of Human Services Brandon Nelson and Director of Business Services Bernice Humnick reported discontinuing and reducing of educational programs and positions, also known as rightsizing. Ferguson stated the district is beginning a multi-year effort to bring spending inline with revenue and rebuild the fund balance. Humnick overviewed internal and external factors contributing to the $3.7 million deficit, public school revenue streams and expenditures. She also presented projected enrollment and local taxpayer graphs. Nelson summarized staff reduction areas, the continued staffing of media centers and moving position the activities director to the unaffiliated staff group. The school board of St. Francis Area Schools asked questions regarding right-sizing such as target class sizes, other options besides right-sizing and if loss of programs would negatively affect enrollment. Some school board members inquired about a potential operating levy in the coming

School Board Members

School Board Meeting Schedule

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.

Sean Sullivan Clerk763-807-0010 Rob Schoenrock Treasurer763-232-7902 Barbara Jahnke Director763-753-6846 Amy Kelly Director763-744-8458 Marsha Van Denburgh Director  763-753-6653 Email: schoolboard@isd15.org

Monday, April 9 & 23 Dialogue with School Board 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Monday, May 14 Dialogue with School Board 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Monday, May 29 Retiree Recognition Program 6:00 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Live streaming and video archives of school board meetings are available at www.isd15.org/sbvideo.

years. The action passed 6-1; voting against was Director Rob Schoenrock. Read the right-sizing article on the front page.

School Board Highlights KATRINNA DODGE


March 12, 2018 Director Rob Schoenrock and Superintendent Troy Ferguson absent. Director of Curriculum & Instruction Nichole Rens acting-superintendent. St. Francis High School student report Ellie Tibodeau-Lissick, St. Francis High School student representative, updated the school board of St. Francis Area Schools on Fighting Saints wrestling season success, alumni Maggie Ewen continuing setting track and field records at Arizona State University and the band traveling to Disney World in Florida where they performed Let It Go from the movie Frozen. Tibodeau-Lissick also announced that some high school students were planning

to participate in National School Walkout on March 14. Saints Academy and Saints Online site report Scott Manni, principal of Saints Academy and Saints Online schools, and students presented with support from staff to the school board of St. Francis Area Schools. Manni shared that Saints Academy student enrollment has increased 20 percent, independent study increased 13 percent and Saints Online third through eighth-graders increased 26 percent from the 2016-17 school year. Students shared their success stories with an alternative curriculum. Saints Academy and Saints Online serve 135 students at Crossroads School & Vocational Center, with one in five high school seniors taking at least one class through this program. Students Madeline Kleinman, Andrew Denney and Donald Muonio presented on their experiences at Saints Academy and Saints Online. Kleinman, seventh-grader and published author of Beginners Guide: Handbook for Chickens, finished Algebra I and started Algebra II through Saints

Online. Denney is a senior at St. Francis High School and Saints Academy. He takes welding, strength training, ceramics and computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) at the high school and core classes at Saints Academy. Denney also connected with the pile drivers union through Saints Academy construction program, potentially securing a job after graduation. Donald Muonio, Saints Academy student, was promoted to foreman at Rum River Tree Farm after four years of employment. He also gained valuable management experience by leading his peers on-the-job-training work experience program. Through Saints Academy building and construction class, Muonio connected to the carpenters union and is now an apprentice. Manni emphasized the importance of Saints Academy and Saints Online, earning the trust of families and providing alternative learning to students. Read the Saints Academy and Saints Online site report on page 9. Learn more about Saints Academy at www.isd15. org/saintsacademy and Saints Online at www.isd15.org/ online.

Building Our Future Together Update for April 2018 LISA RAHN


On November 7, 2017 voters approved a $80,060,000 bond referendum to address critical deferred maintenance and physical facility needs, improve districtwide safety and security and accessibility and to enhance educational spaces and learning environments. St. Francis Area Schools is very grateful to the community for passing this bond and we are dedicated to informing you of the progress as we build our future together. In February the district focus teams finished touring middle schools, elementary schools and media centers in other school districts to see design concepts to help determine what will be best for our district. The focus teams are continuing to meet with the architects and project managers with the goal of coming to a consensus on the high-level design concepts that apply to multiple buildings within the district. An example of an overall consistent concept design is building entryways at the elementary level. The elementary focus team would like all school entrances to flow through the school office for safety and security during the school day. The focus team would also like

the entrances of the elementary schools to look similar, using the same school colors and logos. Building-specific design teams have also begun meeting with architects and project managers to begin applying some of the design concepts to each building specifically. Once a consensus is reached, the architects begin user group meetings which will take the high-level design and further develop building-specific plans. The big question is, what site improvements will you see first? At St. Francis High School you will see bleacher replacement and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements starting over the summer. You will also see track resurfacing at the high school, which is not part of the bond but long-term maintenance facility revenue. The rest of the work continues to happen behind the scenes. As indicated during our bond presentations, the planning process takes around nine months. We know these projects represent a significant investment in our community and schools, and we continue to be good stewards with community tax dollars.


APRIL 2018


Saints Theatre opens with 15 Reasons Not to Be in a Play Fourth-grade students

experience Kindness Retreat



Saints Theatre opened its inaugural season with the hilarious one-act play, 15 Reasons Not to Be in a Play by Alan Haehnel, on February 28 in the St. Francis Middle School gym. Our middle school actors delighted the audience with plenty of laughs and physical comedy. Saints Theatre’s next production, the spring musical The Nifty Fifties by Tim Kelly and Bill Francoeur, will be performed in mid-May.



(L-R) Damian Hansel, Anthony Gerlach and Kayla Nagel give their impersonations of weather geeks. PHOTO CREDIT: JESSICA ROWLES

Updated on Saints Academy and Saints Online SCOTT MANNI


It has been a very busy year at Saints Academy and Saints Online as we provide students with alternatives to traditional education. Since we know our community and our families best, we are able to provide our students with a personalized, high-quality learning experience that is not offered by other programs. Saints Academy and Saints Online offer plenty of opportunities to all types of students with a wide variety learning styles. Saints Academy serves students in grades 7-12 with a focus on career and technical education. Saints Academy features an open commons area, individual classrooms, state-of-the-art technology, a woodshop, greenhouses, a full gym and cafeteria. Core classes are taught by a staff of highly-qualified teachers who use alternative learning and teaching methods, including hands-on approaches. Some of our highlights are: ■ Providing agricultural education and Future Farms of America after a 39-year absence from St. Francis Area Schools ■ Having students take part in the Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs (MAAP) leadership training and competing in MAAP Stars ■ Partnering with St. Francis Middle School to give students hands-on learning experiences Saints Academy programs are valuable, not only in producing skilled individuals for future generations, but in providing a creative outlet

for those who like hands-on activities. Saints Online serves students in grades 3-12 by providing personalized online learning experiences to those students who, for one reason or another, are unable to attend a traditional school. Saints Online accommodates the flexibility necessary for those students needing classes outside of the traditional school day. Whether you are a student who attends Saints Academy, Saints Online or a combination of both, our programs prepare students for success in college and careers by developing skills, technical knowledge, academic rigor and real-world experience for high-skill, highdemand and highly successful careers. Our programs are supported by dedicated teachers who can tailor a student’s learning

experience to best fit their needs and learning style. Our programs are successful due to our teachers’ diligence, hard work and many late nights and early mornings. Saints Academy and Saints Online have dedicated student bodies and parents/ guardians who are focused on their students’ success and in helping them make the transition from high school to a lifelong career. There is an enormous body of research on the positive impact of parent/ guardian partnerships and student success, not just in school but throughout life. We know these strong relationships are extremely important for a students’ academic success. Our programs continue to expand every year and we say thank you for being genuine, for seeing us as a partner in learning and sharing, and for being you.

On February 15, East Bethel Community School (EBCS) fourth-grade students and teachers had a unique experience during a Kindness Retreat. Kindness Retreat presented by Youth Frontiers is a combination of high-energy activities and experiences that focus on making a positive impact on the school and highlight the impacts of bullying. Youth Frontiers facilitates the day through the use of small group leaders. These small group leaders were made up of St. Francis High School National Honor Society students. There are three learning objectives to help students develop empathy, promote kindness and prevent bullying. The first is to understand why and how to make kind choices. The second is to develop an understanding how words and actions affect others. The final learning objective is to enhance skills to safely and responsibly respond to situations of bullying. Staff would like to thank the EBCS Parent Teacher Organization for making this event possible. Small group leaders from SFHS National Honor Society help EBCS fourth-grade students during Kindness Retreat.



RIB Cook-Off

$300 FOR FIRST $150 FOR SECOND $75 FOR THIRD $50 FOR PEOPLES CHOICE Stop or call to enter. $75 entry fee, ribs supplied Ribs will be for sale to public at approximately 4:00 p.m. for a $1 per bone.

Saturday, April 28

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(L-R) Nathan Dahlheimer, Jesus Hernandez and Kai Bouataipho are working on a problem-solving activity during Saints Time. The goal of Saints Time is for academic intervention, to help students figure out who they are, where they are headed and how they are going to get there. Students are required to make SMART goals every Monday and analyze them on Friday. Saints Time helps students organize their lives, learn time and project management skills, and get much needed academic support. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

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APRIL 2018


Community Education Community Ed Spotlight: Adult Basic Education KATRINNA DODGE STAFF WRITER

By definition, adult learners include nearly everyone over the age of 17—neighbors, family members, local business owners and community members. The great thing about being an adult learner is that they set their own goals to work toward. St. Francis Area Schools Adult Basic Education (ABE) provides the support system adult learners need to accomplish their educational goals.

“Adult learners need to have perseverance and confidence to know they can advance,” stated Tammi Bernard, ABE coordinator. “Not only do our students have childcare and work schedules to juggle, some of our students come from other countries that have been at war. We always try to make our ABE program a welcoming environment for everyone.” Bernard encourages adult learners not to be

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 www.isd15.org • www.the-courier.org • www.communityed15.com

Fitness for all!

Only $2 per visit & no membership fees

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

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

Contact ISD 15 Adult on at Community Educati



for more informatio

overwhelmed. ABE provides a flexible learning schedule that includes mornings and/ or evenings. Students create their own class schedule. This flexibility assists students who have unreliable transportation, varying or heavy work schedules, childcare or personal adversities. St. Francis Area Schools ABE is a member of Metro North ABE which includes eight communities: Anoka, Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Centennial, Columbia Heights, Fridley, Elk River and St. Francis. Last school year, St. Francis Area Schools ABE program served

Education Level of Adult Basic Education Participants 10%

5% 7.5%

Secondary School Diploma or Alt Credit, 15%


Post Secondary or Prof Degree, 15% Grades 9-12 (No Diploma), 47.5%



52 adult learners including 20 English Language Learners with ages ranging from 17 to 60+ and varying educational levels (Graph 1). “Some of our students





instruction at St. Francis High School CLASSROOM EDUCATION

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

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

Fitness 15 Sandhill Center • 23820 Dewey Street • Bethel

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

Grades 6-8, 7.5% Grades 1-5, 5%

Debbie Marko (right), Adult Basic Education instructional assistant, helps a student advance his math skills. 

Some Post Secondary No Degree, 10%

State of Minnesota certified instructors Fee $260

Applications available at www.communityed15.com or call 763-213-1640 for more information. Sponsored by ISD 15 Community Education

have had bad experiences with education in the past,” expressed Bernard. “Maybe they didn’t have their learning style met, were bullied in school or had a bad experience with a teacher. We help adult learners see that their educational experience is different. We can help.” Bernard along with Debbie Marko, ABE instructional assistant, and three volunteers in the program, assist these active, motivated adult learners to achieve their goals. In the 2017-18 school year, they typically see 8-10 students every day. Some students need a more flexible schedule due to life responsibilities and are not able to attend as often. St. Francis Area Schools ABE builds relationships with students and assesses each of their needs. Bernard and Marko help students create a plan for college and career readiness, prepare for the General Education Development (GED) test, citizenship test, driving tests or brush-up skills in reading, writing and math. Career readiness includes developing resumes, soft skills, interview skills and general computer skills. If you are interested to learn more about St. Francis Area Schools ABE, contact Tammi Bernard at 763-753-7190 or tammi.bernard@isd15.org for an orientation. An orientation includes goal setting, completing a registration form and assessment test. Walk-ins are welcome. To learn about St. Francis Area Schools ABE, visit www.isd15.org/abe. St. Francis Area Schools ABE is located at Lifelong Learning Center at 8900 Cedar Drive NW in Oak Grove. Check-in at the front desk.


APRIL 2018

Vehicle Day

Classes & Events

Sponsored by the Early Childhood Advisory Council Young children and parents can explore vehicles of many types, shapes and sizes. Look at them, touch them and climb into them! Remember to dress for the weather as this event will be outdoors. Course: EC 9702 Date: Saturday, May 5 Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m. Location: Lifelong Learning Center, 18900 Cedar Drive NW, Oak Grove Fee: FREE, please pre-register and bring a non-perishable food item for the local foodshelf. For more information visit www.isd15.org or call 763-753-7170.

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 a first-come, first-served basis. For reservations, call


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. 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, well-supervised environment. Extended childcare options are available. Customize your childcare arrangements! Before and after preschool daily and weekly rates are available for Just 4 Kids.


Call 763-213-1616 or 763-213-1641 or visit communityed15.com/kc

Coming Soon

Summer Camps Check for more details in the May Courier. Registration opens soon. Camps offered Summer 2018 Football Basketball Girls Soccer Tennis Track and Field

23820 Dewey Street Bethel, MN 55005

Volleyball Weight Training and Conditioning Wrestling

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 St. Francis Area Schools

or register online at www.communityed15.org.

Remembering the King Tuesday, April 10 Course: LB178 Remembering The King features Steve Marcio. He prides himself on being a family-friendly show and he enjoys entertaining people with his respectful and authentic tribute to Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll. Marcio was the winner of 2005 You Be The Judge contest at the Paramount Theater in Austin, performed at the Minnesota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, won the Mall of America Contest of Kings in 2007, the Ultimate Elvis Contest at the Owens Theater in Branson Missouri in 2007 and 2008 finalist at the Elvis Explosion in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

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.



APRIL 2018



in St. Francis Area Schools Early Childhood


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 www.isd15.org/ecfe Follow St. Francis Area Schools Early Childhood on Facebook to stay in the know and connect with other parents. Birth to K Express

Early Childhood Family Education A division of ISD 15 Community Education www.isd15.org 763-753-7170

Do you have a new baby in your house? Celebrating Baby

Birth-12 months Enjoy songs and games together and meet others who are experiencing the joys and challenges of raising a baby. Course: EC 0505 Date: Thursday, April 12 Time: 9:15-11:15 a.m. Fee: FREE

Come join us for an ECFE Babies and Parents Class

Birth-16 months Enjoy songs and games together and meet others who are experiencing the joys and challenges of raising a baby. This is a non-separating class. Course: EC 0504 Dates: Thursdays April 19-May 24 Time: 9:15-11:15 a.m. Fee: FREE

A Moving Child is A Learning Child Explore why movement matters for children’s learning. When children move they unlock the world around them and wire their brain. Learn the importance of reflexes, the senses, balance and spatial orientation, a sense of strength, gross and fine motor development as part of movement and learning. Foster a diet of physical activity to help your child move, grow and learn on their timetable. Course: EC 5508 Time: 9:15-11:15 a.m. Dates: Wednesdays April 4-May 23 (no class April 18 or May 16) Fee: $48

Tuesday Evening Nightowls Birth to K Express Play together and learn together. Discussion will focus on topics of interest to families with children of all ages. Course: EC 5506 Time: 6:00-7:30 p.m. Dates: Tuesdays April 10-May 22 Fee: $48 Above fees are based on $105,000+ annual gross income. Visit www.isd15.org/ecfe for class sliding fee chart.

Early Childhood Events Come to Pop In and Play! 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 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 Visit our webpage at www.isd15.org/ecfe for more events and classes.

Do you and your children need something to do? 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)

Pop In and Play! Schedule: March 28 April 3 4 10 11 17 18

Celebrate the Week of the Young Child The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers, and families. Here are some ideas from NAEYC to help you celebrate with your child.

math and science concepts and develop their social and early literacy skills. Children can use any building material—from a fort of branches on the playground to a block city in the classroom, or a hideaway made from couch pillows at home. Practice organizing blocks by size! Try building a block tower with large blocks on the bottom and little blocks on top!

Music Monday, April 16

Artsy Thursday, April 19

April 16-20, 2018

Sing, dance, celebrate, and learn Through music, children develop math, language, and literacy skills—all while having fun and being active! Make up and record your own unique version of a song or write your own. Find the beat to connect music, movement, and math. Practice clapping, drumming, or stomping to the beat of the music while counting.

Tasty Tuesday, April 17

Healthy eating and fitness at home and school This fun, food-themed day is about more than just cheese and crackers. Cooking together connects math with literacy skills, science, and more. With the rise in childhood obesity, you can encourage healthy nutrition and fitness habits at home and in the classroom. Measure your ingredients while making your snacks! Ask children if they’d like the same or different amounts of each ingredient.

Work Together Wednesday, April 18

Work together, build together, learn together When children build together they explore

Think, problem solve, create Children develop creativity, social skills and fine motor skills with open-ended art projects where they can make choices, use their imaginations, and create with their hands. On Artsy Thursday celebrate the joy and learning children experience when engaged in creative art making. Use any materials from crayons to paint, clay to crafts! Bring art outdoors! Offer dark and light paper, chalk and pastels, and suggest children create their own versions of the day and night sky!

Family Friday, April 20

Sharing family stories Engaging and celebrating families is at the heart of supporting our youngest learners. NAEYC applauds family members role as young children’s first and most important teachers. Share pictures and stories about your family on NAEYC’s Facebook page or post to Twitter using the hashtag #woyc18 as we celebrate the unique role families play in their children’s learning and development.

Registration for the 2018-19 Preschool Place 15 preschool year is going on now! You may qualify for FREE or reduced preschool tuition and fees based on family size and income. Tuition reduction is available through Early Learning Pathway II Scholarships and/or School Readiness funds. If you meet income eligibility requirements or participate in one of the following programs: Minnesota Family Investment Program, Child Care Assistance Program, Free and ReducedPrice Lunch Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, Food Support (SNAP) or Foster Care. Call Jenny at 763-753-7196 for more information.

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

Turtles and Frogs

} Busing available for ALL full-year morning and afternoon classes

Shake Your Sillies Out Pete the Cat Dinosaur Roar Windy Weather Spring is Here Wild Wheels

} Sliding fee scale is available based on family size and income

For more information on classes and to register, visit www.isd15.org or call 763-753-7170.


APRIL 2018

Crossroads participate in Schoolyard Garden Conference


East Bethel Community School and the Scare Squad scare away heart disease JAMIE STUDNICKA




The Crossroads School & Vocational Center (CSVC) Victory Garden team presented at the Schoolyard Garden Conference on March 2 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Our team consisted of Mark Sorteberg, Gayle Boswell and Dave Berger, all University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners and Lisa Wong, Extension nutrition educator. The session was moderated by Lynne Hagen, Anoka County Master Gardener coordinator. As we entered the building Saturday morning and approached the registration table, we were greeted Gabriel H., Crossroads School & Vocational by very friendly staff and a table full of brochures Center student, monitors his decomposer with the Victory Garden featured on the front cover. (worm) farm.  PHOTO CREDIT: DAVE BERGER During the keynote address, the Victory Garden was mentioned as an example of a successful schoolyard garden. A video featuring CSVC Schoolyard Garden followed. It was quite an honor to have our garden so well-represented and also to be asked to present for one of the afternoon sessions. Our presentation focused on the story about how our garden started and how students benefit from it. The amazing thing was, we had just attended this conference four years earlier in order to learn how to create a schoolyard garden. We had a very attentive (L-R) Kaine M., Crossroads School & Vocational Center student, and audience that asked a lot of Gayle Boswell, University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener, great questions. labeled a newly planted row of kohlrabi.  PHOTO CREDIT: DAVE BERGER Back in the classroom, facilitated by Extension Master Gardeners Mark St. Francis Sorteberg, Gayle and Rachel Lioness & Lions Beehler, students had their hydroponics set up and were invite you! growing arugula, cilantro, lettuce, parsley and spinach. Hydroponics is a system of growing plants without soil. It is a clean and easy way to get plants started indoors to enjoy directly or for transplanting outside in a month or two. Traditional seeding of broccoli, St. Francis American Legion red romaine, kale, radiccio, 3073 Bridge Street, St. Francis broccoli and kohlrabi has 11:00 a.m. Social also begun under grow lights. 12:00 p.m. Luncheon Some of these plants will be transplanted to our hoop house 12:30 p.m. Fashion Show in the outdoor garden. Donation $7 Tickets at the door CSVC Students have also created identical clones All proceeds will be used for of mother plants such as St. Francis High School geraniums, cactus, spider scholarships. plants and lemon balm by taking cuttings and rooting Fashions courtesy of them in a rooting medium. Walmart and Within a few days, they will be Christopher & Banks. transplanting these clones into For more information, containers. Finally, students please contact Lioness have had great fun creating Marolyn Baumann at worm farms out of two-liter 763-753-2041. bottles. They watch as the worms decompose vegetable The perfect scraps as they do in nature and function as an important part Mother’s Day event. of the ecosystem.

For the seventh year East Bethel Community School students have participated in the American Heart Association’s annual fundraiser known as Jump Rope for Heart. Students volunteer to raise money that will help people with heart conditions. This year’s theme was the Scare Squad. The Scare Squad are seven monsters that each take a separate roll in scaring away heart disease. Physical education students at EBCS focused on Rocky the Monster’s message. Rocky encourages everyone to get at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. This is what is recommended by the American Heart Association and the Center for Disease Control to live a healthy life. Every student at EBCS participates in the Jump Rope for Heart day during physical education class. Students Jump Around the United States in order to exercise. Activities that make you sweat, increase your breathing and increase your heart rate provide good exercise for your heart. During Jump Around the United States, each state has an activity that is designed to provide good exercises for students and their hearts.

First-grader Ellie Prince was the leading fundraiser by raising $635 for the American Heart Association.  PHOTO CREDIT: JAMIE STUDNICKA

St. Francis High School Theatre presents

Minneso ta Premier

Saturday, May 5





Original concept by Seth Rudetsky and Drew Garaci with additional material by Drew Garaci It’s a hilarious pop parody of classic disaster films like The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Tidal Wave and even Jaws.

St. Francis High School Performing Arts Center

3325 Bridge Street NW, St. Francis, MN

APRIL 26-28 • 7:00 P.M. APRIL 29 • 2:00 P.M. $8 Adults, $6 Senior Citizens/Students/Children Visit www.seatyourself.biz/stfrancishs to order tickets or for more information, call 763-213-1527. Music Theatre International, 423 West 55th Street, Second Floor, New York, NY 10019


APRIL 2018


Spring Recycling Tips for novice composters The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that food scraps and yard waste account for between 20 and 30 percent of what we throw away. Thanks to composting, such waste can be put to work rather than discarded. Compost is organic material that helps plants grow when

added to soil. Benefitting the planet in a myriad of ways, compost enriches the soil by helping it retain moisture. The EPA notes that composting also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers while also suppressing plant diseases and pests. In addition, when homeowners compost, they inadvertently reduce methane emissions from landfills, thereby lowering their carbon footprints. Homeowners who do not know how to compost can

2018 Goal 751

consider the following tips as they start compost piles on their properties. Choose an accessible spot on your property When looking for a spot on your property for your compost bin, choose a location that’s easily accessible. The less accessible the bin is, the less likely you are to stick with composting over the long-term. The EPA also recommends placing a compost bin or pile in a dry, shady spot near a water source.


59 Tons

Recycled in February St. Francis has recycled 133 tons in 2018 so far.

Recycling is now easier with simple sort recycling. You no longer need to sort items. Just place them all in the large roll-off container provided by your hauler.

Spring Recycling Day


All Anoka County Residents Welcome Saturday, April 28 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Appliances, electronics, fluorescent bulbs and mattresses will be accepted. There is a charge for each item. (Mattresses $15 each piece, you unload.) Contact JR’s Advanced Recycling at 651-454-9215.

Saturday, April 28 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Police and Public Works Facility

4020 St. Francis Blvd. NW St. Francis, MN 55070

FREE Document Shredding Questions call 763-767-5114.


1785 Crosstown Blvd. NW, the Public Works Complex

East Bethel Spring

RECYCLING DAY Saturday, April 28 8:00 a.m.-Noon EAST BETHEL ICE ARENA 20675 Hwy 65 NE, East Bethel


Add the appropriate materials Animal waste, cooked foods, diseased plants and fresh weeds from perennial plants should not be added to a compost pile. The EPA recommends moistening dry materials as they’re added and adding brown and green materials as they are collected. Examples of green waste include grass clippings, weeds from annual plants and plant trimmings. Brown materials include dead leaves and shredded cardboard.

Representatives reserve the right to refuse items.

Questions? 763-367-7840 These events are sponsored by the City of East Bethel and Cedar/East Bethel Lions and Lioness. Funded by the Anoka County Board of Commissioners and State (SCORE) Funds.

Chop or shred large pieces before adding them to the pile. Give the pile structure Layering materials can give compost piles better structure. The EPA suggests burying fruit and vegetable waste under 10 inches of compost material, including brown and green waste. Turn and aerate the pile Using a garden fork, periodically turn the compost pile. This aerates the heap and provides oxygen that can accelerate the decomposition of the pile. Piles that are not periodically turned and aerated may grow malodorous, which can be unpleasant for homeowners who hope to add materials to their piles on a regular basis. In addition, without the heat produced by aeration, composting piles will break down very slowly. Recognize when the material is ready The EPA notes that compost is ready to use when materials at the bottom of a pile are dark and rich in color. According to the EPA, this can take anywhere from two months to two years, so composters must be patient. More information about composting can be found at www.epa.gov.

ELECTRONICS Small/Medium Electronics (Household) ............................One item $5 Unlimited items $10 Large Electronics (Office).........One item $10 Unlimited items $20 Computer (Laptop or Tower)................FREE Monitor.........................................................$15 Treadmill .......................................................$5 Television (19" or smaller)....................$20 ea (20-29") ................................................$30 ea (30" and larger)...................................$40 ea (Projection & Wood Console)..........$50 ea

FURNITURE Mattress....................................................$25 ea Small Furniture (Lazy Boy, Chair).......$30 ea Couch.......................................................$40 ea Hide-A-Bed.............................................$50 ea

BULBS Fluorescent bulbs (4' and up).......................$1 HIDS bulbs.....................................................$2

• Scrap metal (Freimuth Enterprises) • Computer hard drives/disk drives, cables, circuit boards • Used bicycles • Used oil and oil filters (East Side Oil) • Ink jet cartridges, cell phones and rechargeable batteries (East Bethel Royalty) • Used and new fishing rods and reels for Fishing for Life (East Bethel Royalty) • Automotive batteries, used eyeglasses/ hearing aids, laser cartridges and food shelf donations (Cedar/East Bethel Lions/Lionesses) • Worn and torn flags for proper disposal

APPLIANCES** Small Appliances......................................$5 ea Normal Appliances (Washer, Dryer, Refrigerator, etc.)................................$10 ea Small Freon Items (Window Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier)..............$15 ea Gas Refrigerators (Ammonia or LP)........................... min $75 ** Appliances should be free of food and debris, not compacted. No commercial appliances.

TIRES Tires........................ $5 / if attached to rim $6 Semi Tires.....................................................$10 LAWN EQUIPMENT .....................$5 each, Tractors $10 ea ITEMS COLLECTED FOR



APRIL 2018

Recycling champions wanted MAGGIE YAUK


Do you know a recycling super star? An individual, group or organization passionate about recycling and exceptionally committed to reducing, reusing, recycling or composting? Nominate them for an Anoka County Recycling Champion Award. Recycling Champions selected will be acknowledged with a certificate of appreciation at the Recycling Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday, May 16, 2:30-4:00 p.m. at the Anoka County Government Center. Here are examples of activities that make an individual or an organization a Recycling Champion: Waste Reduction Activities Waste reduction activities prevent the generation of waste, which saves natural resources by reducing and reusing. One example is organizing reuse or repair events.

Activities Examples of recycling activities include finding out exactly what is recyclable and why; convincing others to recycle; starting a recycling program at work, school or in the community; picking up recyclables along roadways, parks or other public areas Composting/Organics Diversion Activities Examples of composting activities include: backyard composting or vermicomposting (composting indoors with red worms); starting a composting or organics collection program at work, school or in the community; participating in an organics program Outreach Examples of outreach activities include creating educational displays or opportunities for others to learn how to reduce, reuse, recycle or compost To nominate someone for a Recycling Champion



8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

No furniture or garbage please.

Nowthen Recycling Center 19800 Nowthen Boulevard NW Call 763-441-1347 for prices of appliances, tires, fluorescent bulbs or electronics. Mattresses and box springs will be accepted at $20 each. First Saturday of each month drop-off assistance 8:00 a.m.–Noon

YOU’RE INVITED! Gather your recyclables and join us for Spring Recycling Day! SATURDAY, APRIL 28 8:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M. at the Public Works Garage 815 Viking Boulevard NW

For accepted materials and prices visit www.ci.oak-grove.mn.us

Award, simply complete the nomination form online at AnokaCounty.us/recycle. Applications are due Friday, April 20. If you have any questions about the Recycling Champion Awards, call Anoka County Recycling & Resource Solutions at 763-324-3400. Nominate an individual, group or organization that is passionate about recycling and exceptionally committed to reducing, reusing, recycling or composting for an Anoka County Recycling Champion Award. PEXELS PHOTO

RECYCLING DAY Saturday, April 28 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Police and Public Works Facility

4020 St. Francis Blvd. NW St. Francis


Call Public Works at 763-233-5200 or visit www.stfrancismn.org/publicworks/ page/recycling

Items Accepted at NO CHARGE • Holiday lights • Unwanted cell phones • Household recyclables • Paper to be shredded • Automotive batteries • Passenger tires without rims • Bicycles • Leaves and grass clippings NO plastic bags, woody debris, pet waste or garbage • Scrap metal Free of oil, rubber and plastic • Household goods and clothing donations Usable, clean and free of holes/tears

Curbside Pickup

(St. Francis Residents Only)

Brush – FREE

Monday, April 23 & Tuesday, April 24

Please sign-up with Public Works by calling 763-233-5200.


Wednesday, April 25 & Thursday, April 26 Cost is $20 per appliance. Please sign-up and pay by calling Public Works at 763-233-5200.

Items Accepted for a FEE Televisions

Up to 28"............................................................. $25 29" or larger........................................................ $35 Console and oversized..................................... $45 All wooden televisions................................add $5

Electronics and Small Appliances

Copier, Printer, VCR, DVD, Radio, Fax, Game Console, Cable Box, Digital Converter, Satellite Receiver, Pager, Small Server, MP3, Toaster, Vacuum or Blender...............................$5


Batteries Ni-Cad/rechargeable, alkaline, button, gel cell, etc.............................$1.25 per lb. Mattresses........................................................... $15

Appliances (no commercial appliances) Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Humidifier, Microwave, Stove, Water Heater, Trash Compactor, Refrigerator, Washer, Dryer, Freezer or Water Softener.............................................. $10 ea Gas Refrigerators (Ammonia or LP)...........................Minimum $75


Passenger Tires with Rims..................................$3 Semi Tires........................................................... $10

Light Bulbs Visit the city’s website at: www.stfrancismn.org/publicworks/page/ recycling for pricing

Volunteers reserve the right to refuse items. No hazardous materials accepted. Funded by Anoka County Board of Commissioners and State Select Committee On Recycling and the Environment (SCORE) Funds.



APRIL 2018


Spring Lawn & Garden Select the right fertilizer for your needs For plants to truly flourish, the right growing conditions and soil that offers the right nutrients is of paramount importance. Fertilizer enhances soil so that plants and flowers can thrive. However, fertilizer is not a one-size-fits-all mix. Choosing fertilizer can be a little overwhelming thanks to the variety of formulations available at neighborhood lawn and garden centers. Shelves contain all-purpose products, such as those billed as vegetable fertilizer, and even formulations geared toward specific flower varieties. Others may feature buzz words such as all-natural


or organic and consumers may not be sure just what they need to keep plants healthy. The following guidelines can help any would-be gardener or landscaper grow more vibrant plants. Start with a soil test It’s difficult to determine what plants need without an accurate picture of what’s going on in the ground. A soil test can paint a picture of what’s going on and indicate if any nutrients are lacking. A common misconception is that gardeners fertilize plants. But fertilizer amends the soil that feeds plants, according to the

soil-testing lab professionals at Virginia Tech. Soil types vary by region, and conditions may even vary between spots on a landscape. Testing where the plants will be placed can yield the most accurate results. Soil tests are available at gardening centers and online. Otherwise, landscaping professionals can conduct tests. Know the N-P-K ratio Most fertilizers will come with information concerning the nutrients within. Most notably it will have a breakdown of how much nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) is in the

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mix. Judging by the soil test, gardeners can choose a product that will give them the right ratio to amend the soil for the type of plant they are hoping to grow. Complete fertilizers often have NPK in the formulation. Incomplete fertilizers may have only one or two nutrients. This allows a person to customize fertilizer even more without overdoing it with a particular nutrient. Grow plant knowledge A cursory knowledge of the plants being planted in the garden also can be helpful. Gardeners must recognize that some plants will not tolerate excess amounts of a particular fertilizer component, while some may need more.

Checking books out of the library, seeking information online and consulting with landscaping experts will help expand homeowners’ knowledge about plant types and the needs of each particular plant they hope to grow. Solid and liquid fertilizer Fertilizers are generally sold in pellets, spikes and liquid forms. Pellets or granules are dispersed over large areas and will gradually offer nutrients when the soil is watered. Liquid fertilizer is concentrated and fast-acting. These may be used for container plants or smaller areas. Spikes usually are placed in houseplants or to feed individual trees or shrubs. Depending on the formulation, fertilizer may need to be reapplied once a month or more. Consult the product packaging for the correct application advice. Fertilizer amends soil to grow stronger, more resilient plants. Source: MetroCreative Graphics Editorial


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APRIL 2018


Business Spotlight: Green Barn Garden Center KATRINNA DODGE STAFF WRITER

Along Highway 65 is your local one-stop shop for all your gardening needs, including seeds, bedding plants and decorations. Green Barn Garden Center grows their own bedding plants, produces vegetables and packages seeds from their two acres of greenhouses or 100 acres of field production. “Green Barn is a garden center that grows our own bedding plants onsite,” stated Kelsey Sparks, greenhouse and nursery manager. “Besides being a greenhouse we are also a farm market where we produce vegetables to sell

in our store during summer months.” Established in 1957, Green Barn began selling extra seedlings from crops. As demand rose, they built greenhouses in the 1980s which enabled Green Barn to expand to stocking bedding plants. Today, Green Barn sells their products in stores, farm markets and at their location near Isanti. “Because we are a rural area,” commented Sparks. “A lot of people need smaller vegetable plants and flower seedlings. Other people want prefinished container plants like hanging baskets for those smaller spaces.” Green Barn staff is there to assist you with your gardening, produce or outdoor decor needs. With years of experience and/or degrees in horticultural, staff are qualified to assist with general gardening advice and greenery ideas for landscaping. This perk is emphasized by providing a robust selection of seeds, bedding plants and garden decor such as wind chimes, gnomes, A Green Barn Garden Center employee remembrance stones packs dirt in a pot before a sprout is and more. planted.  PHOTO CREDIT: KATRINNA DODGE

“A lot of time now with mobile devices, customers bring in a picture to show the area they are working with,” said Cathy Sparks, owner. “This allows us to say this will work and this won’t.” “This makes it easier for us to assess and help identify plants and pests,” added Kelsey Sparks. Besides providing a venue for local gardeners, Green Barn offers free classes and partners with programs from the University of Minnesota. Green Barn hosts interns. Interns are obtaining a degree in horticulture as they receive hands-on experience in cultivating and producing agricultural and horticultural crops. Kelsey Sparks teaches free classes on plants, gardening techniques and creating seasonal decorations, such as pruning, fairy gardening, container gardening, evergreen patio planters and more. To learn about upcoming classes, got to www. greenbarngardencenter.com Cathy and Kelsey Sparks noted an uptick in vegetables and decorative house plants being purchased as people become more conscious of where their food comes from. The Sparks’ advice to beginners starting their own home gardens is to purchase large containers with a few plants

Cathy Sparks (left) and her daughter Kelsey (right) continue the family tradition of producing seeds and bedding plants for the surrounding community. PHOTO CREDIT: KATRINNA DODGE to start out and follow the direction of the species’ label. Good plants for new gardeners are herbs, radish, lettuce, green beans and zucchini.

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APRIL 2018


Masterful Gardeners ERIK THORSON


In 1983, the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Program in Anoka County (ACMG)

Rachel Beehler (right) from University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardens is teaching Jacob L. (left), Crossroads School & Vocational Center student, when an eggplant is ready to harvest.


began training volunteers to provide research-based advice on home landscaping and gardening. Initially, county extension agents addressed gardening questions as part of their general support of farm life. Starting in the 1940s, U of M Extension hosted home beautification tours and offered classes such as A Well Mowed Lawn and Beautiful Shade Trees. They also assisted garden clubs with classes and advice. Beginning in the 1950s, Anoka County was growing more urbanized. Classes and home visits became the means of providing advice about landscaping, tree diseases, dealing with sandy soils, lawn care and fertilization. By the 1990s, ACMG volunteers had launched a lecture series titled Lasting Landscapes, along with a phone answering line. In addition, plant health clinics and Ask a Master Gardener booths were available to answer questions in person. These services continue today with minor format and name changes. The Home Landscaping and Garden Fair has replaced Lasting Landscapes classes and the phone line service is now a statewide line instead of a county line. U of M Extension Master Gardeners are also involved in local schoolyard garden programs, community gardens, youth programming, Habitat for Humanity, local community environmental programming and U of M Extension horticulture research programs. The Veterans Peace and Memorial Garden, located at the Bunker Hills Activities Center in Andover, was first installed in 2007. The garden features shrubs, small trees, perennials and a new theme display of annuals every year. Originally published in Anoka County News, Volume 1, 2018.

2018 Home Landscaping And Garden Fair LYNNE HAGEN


The University of Minnesota Extension Anoka County Master Gardener Program is sponsoring the 2018 Home Landscaping and Garden Fair on Saturday, April 7, 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Blvd NW, Andover. Sixteen classes are open to the public and feature subject experts on a variety of popular topics including but not limited to: Best Performing Perennials for Cold Climates; What Every Minnesotan Should Know About Tickborne Diseases; Plants for Pollinators; A Changing Climate and the Best Trees for 2050; Peerless Peonies, Growing Fruits, Herbs & Vegetables, Vertical Gardening and Lawn Care for the Water Wise. A Make and Take a Fairy Garden Workshop will give attendees an opportunity to get their hands dirty and bring home a garden! Registration for this event is required (space is limited). Early Registration: $25 per person if postmarked by Friday, March 30. Late Registration/Walk-ins: $30 per person. Parking is free. Bag lunches will be available by reservation for an additional fee. A material fee will be added for the Make and Take a Fairy Garden workshop. For registration information, please go to anokamastergardeners.org or for questions, call 763-324-3495.

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APRIL 2018


Fresh on the Farm


Here’s the dirt on gardening Whether you are a brand new gardener or have had a garden in one spot for many years, take some steps in April to improve the chances of success in your harvest this summer and fall. One often overlooked factor in your garden’s success is the dirt beneath your feet. Soil is important in many ways: it anchors the plant, provides oxygen to the roots, allows water to pass to the plant, insulates the roots from dramatic temperature fluctuations and carries nutrients to the roots. The soil in your garden has two main components: minerals and organic matter. The ratio and type of these components will determine how compact or fluffy your soil is. If soil is too dense, oxygen, water and nutrients will have a hard time passing through. If the soil is too loose, the plants may actually have a hard time

staying anchored in it. Your soil stores nutrients such as phosphorous, potassium, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium and sulfur. These are macronutrients and are usually contained in varying ratios in commercial fertilizers for home gardeners. On our farm, we don’t guess about the condition of the soil. As we do every year, we’ve sent in soil samples from our three hoop houses and were really surprised to see how much the soil varied from spot to spot. Some of the variables were the crops that we grew in each one and how much organic matter was left at the end of the season. The



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soil test results are sent with recommendations for what nutrients are needed and how much organic matter should be added, if any. We also send in soil samples from various fields. Soil tests and the recommendations that come with them help us amend the soil to increase our chances of a higher yield and healthier product as well as help us avoid over applying nutrients, especially nitrogen. This all may seem quite daunting or even unnecessary,

to a home gardener. However, simple soil tests can be purchased in garden centers and online. The University of Minnesota offers very accurate tests. You send them a sample of your garden soil and they will send you an analysis and recommendations. A basic test is only $17. Information is easily found at soiltest.cfans. umn.edu. No matter the quality of your seeds and transplants, how careful you are in watering or how meticulous you are in weeding, if your soil quality is poor, your garden will not thrive. You can take a step this month by getting your soil tested so that your soil is in the best condition to ensure lovely vegetables this summer.

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APRIL 2018


Community & Business Local scholarship program looking for candidates JACQUIE GOEDEL


It is that time of year when the Miss St. Francis Ambassador Program is looking for young ladies from our community to become involved in our scholarship program! There are two age levels for the Ambassadors; Little Miss Ambassador’s: eligible ages are 6-9 and Miss

Ambassadors are 16-21. Candidates must fit in one of the age categories by Saturday, June 9, or receive an exception by the program coordinator. Candidates must live, work or go to school in St. Francis to be eligible. We are looking forward to an exciting couple of months celebrating an amazing group of girls! Emma DeRoo-Arndt, Amanda Renfro, Bella Castro and Sydney Fiereck have

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represented the City of St. Francis with grace and poise in spectacular fashion. We couldn’t be more proud of how well they have represented the program and the city. Thank you ladies for a great year! We will be holding information sessions on Tuesdays, April 17 and 24 and Thursday, April 26 at the St. Francis City Hall beginning at 7:00 p.m. Candidate practices will begin on Saturday, April 28 and conclude on Saturday, June 9, the day of the Pioneer Days Parade and Coronation. If you cannot make it to one of these dates but are still interested, please contact Jacquie Goedel at 612-282-7226 or sfambassadors@hotmail.com.

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Opening Early May

Pictured are front (L-R) 2017 Little Miss St. Francis Ambassadors Sydney Fiereck and Bella Castro; back (L-R) Miss St. Francis Ambassadors Emma DeRoo-Arndt and Amanda Renfro.


Oak Grove Senior Center 19900 Nightingale Street NW Oak Grove

Sunday, April 15 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Oak Grove Lions 13th Annual

Cost: Family $20, Adults $6, Children (12 & under) $4


Proceeds from ticket sales help area youth groups.

Toast Breakfast

The Oak Grove Seniors will also be hosting a bake sale. Contact Lion Meghan 763-753-0056, Lion Mark 763-753-2215 or email bluesage51@gmail.com

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Anoka Technical College hosts Open House April 12 NICHOLAS TAYLOR


High school seniors, returning college students and adults looking to change careers are invited to the Anoka Technical College Open House on Thursday, April 12, 5:00-7:00 p.m. No advance reservations are needed to attend this free event, but RSVPs are appreciated. The open house is a great opportunity to visit the college and learn about more than 35 degree, diploma and certificate programs and the college’s high job placement rate. Attendees will have a chance to tour the campus, visit with program faculty and learn about applying and how to pay for college. Program representatives and faculty will be on hand to discuss equipment, industry standards, program expectations and local employers. Adult learners may be surprised to learn about the flexible options the college offers, including online and evening courses. For more information about the open house or to RSVP, visit www.anokatech.edu/ BecomeStudent/VisitCampus.


APRIL 2018


East Bethel News


After our March snowstorms, I’m sure we all have had our fill of winter. The tulips should be sprouting soon, the grass growing and the spring allergy season in full force. Gotta’ love our changing seasons in Minnesota. Senior Housing In my 25 years of being involved with governing the City of East Bethel, the need for senior housing opportunities is the constant subject of discussion. Many of us (present company included) may actually be in need of such housing opportunities in the not-so-distant future. The consistent comments I have heard through the years are that we grew up here, we wish to stay here and would like senior housing in East Bethel— the area we know and love. We are probably as close as we have ever been to having senior housing in East Bethel. The city had several meetings with developers, interested landowners and other stakeholders with a vested

interest regarding the ability and potential locations for senior housing in East Bethel. To this end, the city recently commissioned and received a Senior Housing Market Study to evaluate our area’s needs. The report summarizes that there is a sufficient unmet need in the area for senior housing at all levels of care. To many this would be no surprise, but this report is important to potential developers of a senior housing project and in supporting efforts to address senior housing needs. Comprehensive Plan The City of East Bethel Planning Commission will be presenting the Draft Comprehensive Plan to the City Council at our April 18 City Council meeting. The Draft Comprehensive Plan is posted on the city’s website. We encourage you to provide any comments or further suggestions regarding the document to the city prior to or at this meeting. If the city council accepts the proposed

Draft Comprehensive Plan at this meeting, it will be submitted to the Metropolitan Council for their review, comment and approval. The Comprehensive Plan is an important document for the city as it lays out how we want our city to grow and develop into the future. Public feedback is critical to the process and we encourage your participation. City Parks Would you be surprised to know that the City of East Bethel has 19 parks with various levels of services and activities? Booster Park East and Booster Park West provide recreational opportunities as neighborhood parks. Many of our parks have become under utilized, primarily due to the change in neighborhood demographics (newer neighborhoods generally have younger families with small children), yet some are used regularly. Regardless of level of use, the city maintains all of our parks. One of our unknown gems

Fixed rate, affordable loans for first-time Anoka County homebuyers ERIK THORSON


More than $5.9 million is available to qualified first-time homebuyers to provide fixed rate, affordable loans through a collaboration between Minnesota Housing and Anoka County. Homebuyers may use the loan to purchase a new or existing home valued at up to $306,000. Additional funds may be available to assist with closing costs and down payment. Buyers must use a lender approved by Minnesota Housing. (View a list of approved lenders at www.mnhousing.gov. Click on “Homebuyers & Homeowners,” then “Find a Lender.”) To participate in the program, homebuyers must meet the following minimum requirements: ■ Be a first-time homebuyer or not have owned a home in the last three years ■ Meet minimum credit score requirements as set by Minnesota Housing ■ Not exceed the following combined household income limits: 1-2 person $90,400, 3+ person $103,900

To learn more, call Anoka County Community Development at 763-324-4601 or visit www.anokacounty.us/cd. Minnesota Housing is

is Fish Lake Trails, which is actually on the Cedar Creek Ecological Science Reserve property in the northern portion of East Bethel. These trails are maintained by the city through a partnership with the University of Minnesota and provide our residents with the ability to walk through a forest, an oak savanna, prairie lands and along a pristine,

undeveloped lake on a network of easy walking trails. Fish Lake Trails are a nice opportunity to get away from it all with a leisurely nature walk. For a map of our city parks and other recreational activities, please visit www. ci.east-bethel.mn.us. On behalf of the East Bethel City Council, please have a safe day and a wonderful spring.

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APRIL 2018


Rusty Windmill anniversary open house KATRINNA DODGE


It’s hard to believe a year has passed since the Rusty Windmill first opened last April. “It’s been a fun year,” expressed Micki Albro, owner. “The community is open and I get a lot of people who come here for the first time and several that come weekly.” The Rusty Windmill is a local artisan hot spot in St. Francis that continues to provide shoppers with original, shabby-chic upcycled items, including furniture, home decor and art pieces. The shop has grown from 40 to 78 local artisans and vendors since last June. “[These items are created by] people you see at the restaurant, you grocery shop with, worship with at church and Micki Albro, owner of The Rusty Windmill. drink with at the bar,” stated Albro. She PHOTO CREDIT: KATRINNA DODGE added that people are enthused once they find out their neighbors’ talents by visiting her store—it adds a personal touch. “The vendors are single moms, working families and retired folk,” added Albro. “We are very blessed for everyone that is here.” The Rusty Windmill will celebrate their one year anniversary April 12-15. On April 16 at 6:00 p.m. Raw 2 Rustic will hold a painting on wood boards with stencils class. Drinks and snacks will be available and a chance for customers to win door prizes. “We are deeply thankful to the community for supporting our little store,” stated Albro. The Rusty Windmill is participating in Spring Fling, hosted by North Anoka County Boutique Crawl, May 17-19, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. The boutique crawl features local vintage, antique, handcrafted and upcycled stores and three eateries in Cambridge, East Bethel, Ham Lake, Isanti, Princeton and St. Francis. This a selfguided tour with door prizes available at each location upon registration. Participating businesses are: Kim’s Korner, FN Bargains, Upcycles by Lori D, Creekside Xpressions, Walt’s, Rusty Windmill, Rockstad and Company, Relics & Wares, Heritage Barn Wood Products, Rusty Reds, The Rustic Depot, Creamery Crossing, Route 65 Pub & Grub and the St. Francis American Legion. Other upcoming events include Pioneer Days, June 8-10, and Paint Along with Darcy on Friday, April 20. Rusty Windmill is located next to Community Park in St. Francis and plans to remain there for years to come. For updates on items and events at the Rusty Windmill, visit www.rustywindemillmn.com or their Facebook page.

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Letter to the Editor I am a single mother of an amazing seven-year-old son. During the 2017 holiday season, I recently lost my job and was struggling to give my son a much-needed happy holiday. A friend of mine posted on Facebook, looking for recommendations in the St. Francis area for help for my son, suggesting a few gifts under the Christmas tree. What happened next was unbelievable and amazing. Within the first 10 minutes, there were 81 responses from people wanting to help and it continued! My friend, who was unprepared for this kind of response, asked for help. In stepped Laurie Miller-Kirpach, who volunteered to help get the word out and coordinate all the donations. In a few weeks, our home was filled with holiday cheer, including a tree, ornaments and holiday decorations. Dinner was brought to us on two evenings and transportation was provided for my son and I to enjoy an evening out. When all the donations were gathered, the Kirpachs brought them to our home along with everything needed to wrap the gifts. We had a magical Christmas! Words are not enough to express my sincere gratitude to all involved and for the entire St. Francis community to know just how much we appreciated everything. Sincerely, A mother and her son If you are interested in submitted a Letter to the Editor please visit www.the-courier.org for more information.

No wheelage tax in Anoka County ERIK THORSON


Anoka County has not collected the $10 wheelage tax since the county board repealed the tax in 2013. The tax applies to vehicles that are required to be registered annually, such as automobiles and trucks, and is based on where the vehicle is kept. While Anoka County is one of 35 Minnesota counties that does not collect the wheelage tax, all of its bordering counties do. A small number of Anoka County residents who live in areas served by a post office outside the county have mistakenly been charged the $10 tax by the State when they paid their vehicle registration fee. (Ex. Columbus resident with a Forest Lake mailing address.) If your vehicle registration notice for a vehicle kept in Anoka County includes a wheelage tax, please visit your local license center and let them know about the error. License center staff will be able to remove the wheelage tax and process your registration renewal. Originally published in Anoka County News, Volume 1, 2018.

Federal passport execution fee increasing ERIK THORSON


Effective April 2, the U.S. Department of State is increasing the passport execution fee from $25 to $35. The increase only applies to passport applicants who use the DS-11 form — typically first-time applicants over age 16, children under age 16 and applicants who are re-applying after reporting their passport lost or stolen. The fee increase does not apply to adults who renew their passport by mail. When applying for a passport book or card at either of Anoka County’s passport centers, the execution fee is payable to Anoka County. In addition, there is an application fee of $110 for a passport book or $30 for a passport

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card, payable to the U.S. Department of State. Customers also will need two identical 2 inch x 2 inch photos that meet federal requirements. These are available for $18 at both Anoka County passport centers. Due to limited space and staffing levels, customers are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to submit a passport application. Find the convenient online scheduler at anokacounty.us/passport. Anoka County Passport Centers locations ■ Blaine Passport Center 10995 Club West Parkway, Suite 600 763-324-2140 ■ Coon Rapids Passport Center 455 99th Avenue NW, Suite 100B 763-324-2140

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APRIL 2018


Income Tax Tips Financial Focus


Should you make extra mortgage payments or boost your investments? Every month, you pay your mortgage. And depending on your circumstances, you may be able to afford to put in additional payments, perhaps sizable ones. But should you? Or if you really have the extra money, should you invest it? Initially you might think it would be quite nice to rid yourself of that mortgage sooner rather than later. But is it really the burden it seems? Actually you get some real benefits from a mortgage. It certainly provides something of great value to you— your home. If you got your mortgage or refinanced your home within the past decade or so, you are borrowing money at a pretty favorable interest rate by historical standards. And even assuming a mild rate of inflation such as we’ve had for the past several years, you’ll essentially be paying off your mortgage

with cheaper and cheaper dollars over time. Plus your interest payments may well be tax deductible. (The new tax laws limit deductions on new mortgages of $750,000 or more. For questions on your specific situation, consult your tax professional.) Given these advantages, an argument could be made that you should be in no hurry to pay off your mortgage. Still you might be tempted to make the extra payments because you’ll be building home equity. After all, isn’t this equity valuable? It is to a degree. The larger your home equity, the more money you’ll get to keep when you eventually sell your home. In the meantime that home equity may be less useful than you might imagine. Just building more equity won’t make your home more valuable, it will rise (or fall) in value along with whatever’s happening in the housing market. By contrast you could take the extra money and buy more shares in an investment such as stocks—the more shares you own, the more valuable your investment will be if the price per share rises. If you were to experience a temporary job loss or some other financial emergency, your home equity

Property tax relief for seniors, veterans ERIK THORSON


The state of Minnesota offers two programs that help seniors and veterans pay their property taxes. The Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral program limits the amount of property tax a senior pays to three percent of their total household income. This is not a tax forgiveness program; rather, it is a low interest loan from the state. A lien is attached to the property, meaning the state can take possession of the home as payment if a senior leaves the program and doesn’t pay back the loan. To be eligible, you must be age 65 or older and have a household income of $60,000 or less. Learn more by calling the Tax Operations Division of the Minnesota Department of Revenue at 651-556-4803. The Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Property Tax Exclusion program reduces the

market value of the home that is subject to property taxes. There are two exclusion levels: Up to $300,000 of market value is excluded from property taxes for: ■ veterans who have a serviceconnected disability rating of 100 percent permanent and total ■ surviving spouses of qualifying veterans and service members ■ qualifying primary family caregivers of permanently and totally disabled veterans Up to $150,000 of market value is excluded from property taxes for ■ veterans with a 70 percent or higher service-connected disability rating ■ qualifying primary family caregivers of veterans with a 70 percent or higher serviceconnected disability rating Learn more by contacting Anoka County Veteran Services at 763-324-4500. Originally published in Anoka County News, Volume 1, 2018.

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might not help you much. If you’re not working, you could even have trouble getting a home equity loan. Conversely your investment portfolio can offer you greater liquidity, depending on your specific investments. Most investment vehicles, such as stocks and bonds, generally can be sold quickly without much difficulty. (Keep in mind though, that if you were forced to sell investments when their price was down, you could take a loss on the sale.) Clearly you could gain some advantages by using any extra money to invest, rather than paying down your mortgage. You may simply get emotional and psychological satisfaction by speeding your progress toward the day when your house is paid off and that type of satisfaction certainly has value. You’ll need to weigh these intangible factors carefully in deciding whether to increase your investments or make extra mortgage payments because ultimately, you need to feel that you’re doing the right thing for the right reasons. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

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APRIL 2018


Sports & Outdoors Fighting Saints wrestling finishes strong KURT WERK


The season has come to an end for the Fighting Saints wrestling team. They finished their season with a strong showing at the team and individual section meets. The team won their first round dual versus Coon Rapids 40-28, which put them up against seventh-ranked Forest Lake. The Saints came up just five points short of making it to the section finals for a third straight year. One week later individuals took a shot at making a trip to the Minnesota State Tournament, but they needed to place in the top two in their bracket at sections to make that trip. With just 12 wrestlers in the tournament, the Saints placed ten wrestlers and sent four to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The three section champions were Tanner Kunshier, 126 pounds, Mitchell Wilson, 145 pounds, and Cole Kirpach, 170 pounds. Nick Pierce was the only runner-up, but all four wrestlers qualified for state. The other six wrestlers that placed were: Luke Lipinski, third; Joey Lipinski, Nick Gerlach and Zach Bonte,

Saints softball prepared for 2018 season CHELSEY LIEFFRING


The St. Francis High School softball program began practice March 12. To kick off the season, the varsity team participated in a scrimmage on March 24 at St. Cloud State University. All squads will attend Chisago Lakes on Tuesday, April 3 to start the 2018 season. The coaching staff is excited to begin the 2018 season with such a great group of student-athletes and their families. The 2018 softball coaches are Chelsey Lieffring, varsity head coach, Sharon Bergman, varsity assistant coach, Katie Windsperger, junior varsity coach, and Kaitlyn Lemke, ninth-grade coach. The Saints softball program would like to wish the best of luck to the rest of the spring St. Francis Area Schools athletes and their coaches! Go Saints! St Francis High School three-time state entrant Tanner Kunshier looks to turn his opponent. Kunshier had a sixth place finish at the 2018 Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament. 


fourth; and Mike Wasche and Brady Peltier, sixth. The state tournament took place March 1-3. In the first round the Saints went 4-0 with each wrestler winning their most important match of the season. After the second round, two of the four would be in the semifinals and guaranteed a spot on the podium. Gerlach and Kunshier entered the wrestle-backs with a loss in the quarterfinals. With one more match to make it to the

second day, Kunshier made easy work by winning 11-2 and moved onto day two. Gerlach would not be as lucky as he lost a close match 3-2. Gerlach will be able to take this season and his experiences to help motivate him to get back to state and find his spot on the podium next year. Day two was exciting as all three seniors were ready to end their season on the biggest stage as Wilson and Kirpach made it to the state finals and Kunshier broke through the blood round (aka Round of 12, one round away from placing) to the medal round. This was Kunshier’s second consecutive year participating in the blood round and left no doubt about how bad he wanted to place with a pin in the third period. Kunshier went on to place sixth at 126 pounds. Wilson and Kirpach were left to find out how their season would end. It did not go as planned and both lost in the last match of the season. However, these two young men have no reason to hang their head as they both are in the top ten in wins in St. Francis High School wrestling history. Wilson is ninth all time with 132 wins and Kirpach is fourth with 148. With the season officially over, the coaching staff would like to thank all of the supporters in our community, school and family members for a great season for all of our 28 wrestlers!

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Active Day Camps for Active Kids at Wargo Nature Center ANDY SOLTVEDT


Are you looking for summer opportunities that are as active as your child? Wargo Nature Center is ready for a summer of funfilled day camps that will excite and educate while making sure participants are constantly enjoying new experiences. A variety of day camps for ages pre-kindergarten through grade-eight offer children the opportunity to explore nature, have fun and get outside. New offerings this year include Express Yourself with Art and Sound and Junior Ecologist camps in addition to twelve other camp options. By utilizing small groups, individual attention is available for each child. Hands-on activities and great resources allow participants to explore the natural world around them. Day camps are held in various Anoka County parks, with diverse offerings in a variety of nature settings. Don’t want to miss out on the fun that the kids are having at summer camp? Be a Kid for a Day with our brand-new adult day camp! Try your hand at various recreational activities including kayaking, paddle boarding, log rolling and more. A great lunch will be provided and no experience is necessary. Camps are coordinated by Wargo Nature Center naturalists, who are all college graduates, professional educators and have years of experience educating and engaging kids. Campers will spend their days safe, happy, engaged and worn out. To view a brochure of upcoming camp offerings or to register, visit www.anokacountyparks.com or call Wargo Nature Center at 763-324-3350.



This summer, Wargo Nature Center is teaming up with Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (ESR) to offer Jr. Ecologist Camp! The camp is for students grades 6-8 and will be held June 18-21, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Cedar Creek ESR, a University of Minnesota biological field station, offers a diverse landscape and large variety of plants and animals and is home to 75 years of world-famous scientific research. We’ll spend the week exploring the science reserve and learning about the different ecosystems there through hands-on science activities. Participants will have a chance to collect data, use scientific equipment and even meet some of the scientists who do research at Cedar Creek! Cost for the camp is $155 (+tax). Pre-registration is required. For more information, call 763-324-3350 or register online at anokacountyparks.com



APRIL 2018

Saints lifting competition results Red-headed woodpeckers at Cedar Creek BRENT SWAGGERT


St. Francis High School (SFHS) hosted the annual Mississippi 8 Conference Lifting Competition on February 28. Over 225 athletes from eight schools competed in two weightlifting categories — the bench press and power clean. Athletes competed in weight classes and their one repetition total weight was added together for a total weight. Over 40 SFHS athletes participated in the event. Senior Trevor Bode set a Mississippi 8 Conference record in the 181-pound division with a two-lift total of 580 pounds. Five SFHS athletes placed first or second in the weight division: ■ Senior Aaron Molksness placed second in the 198-pound division ■ Senior Trevor Bode places first in the 181-pound division ■ Junior Zach Pogorelec placed first in the 148-pound division ■ Junior John Bauer and sophomore Jake Bergman tied for second in the 148-pound division

St. Francis High School weightlifting competition participants (L-R) junior John Bauer, senior Aaron Molksness, senior Trevor Bode and sophomore Jake Bergman. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Saints baseball shaking off 2017 LUKE SCARDIGLI


Spring weather has many of us thinking of the start of baseball season. The St. Francis High School baseball team started practice March 12 and is currently preparing for their scheduled season opener Tuesday, April 3, at home against Chisago Lakes. The 2017 season was an uneven one for the Saints. Injuries and inconsistency led to a 9-11 regular season record and a 7-6 conference record in Mississippi 8 Conference. The Saints had a spirited Section 7AAAA postseason run, losing to eventual state runner-up Forest Lake 5-0 in the first round before eliminating Andover 7-1 in the second round and losing a heartbreaker in extra innings to section top seed Blaine 3-2. This year’s team lacks experience, as many contributors graduated in 2017. Among returning players, the Saints will be looking to seniors Blake Kulsrud and Jaren Ingberg, juniors Cody Kolb and Cole Linson to be productive right from the start. A number of upperclassmen will battle for the remaining spots in the lineup and pitching rotation, along with some sophomores. St. Francis High School has a great 20-game varsity schedule this year, highlighted by night games on back-to-back weekends in May. The Saints will host Forest Lake on Saturday, May 5 and also host Irondale on Friday, May 18. In between they will travel to Anoka to play the Tornadoes at Castle Field on Friday, May 11. First pitch of each game is at 7:00 p.m. The Saints have eight other home games that start at 4:30 p.m. and welcome fans from all over the school district. For a full 2018 schedule, visit gostfrancissaints.com. Please come out and support Fighting Saints baseball.



Spring has sprung! Despite the snowy start to March, at least a few spring migratory birds showed up at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve right on schedule. By early March, staff and visitors had spotted sandhill cranes returning from their wintering grounds in the southern U.S., a sure sign that spring is on its way to Minnesota. We’ve also noticed cardinals singing, Canada geese flying over, rose-breasted grosbeaks foraging, and mourning doves cooing. Staff and visitors even spotted a rough-legged hawk! This incredible raptor spends its winters in the northern United States and its summers on the arctic tundra. There are trumpeter swans on Fish Lake and robins and bluebirds returning to feeders and nest boxes. In the areas where the snow has melted out, grasses are sending their shoots skyward. Spring is here indeed! In early April, Cedar Creek birders are often on high alert for the return of our breeding cluster of red-headed woodpeckers. Not this year though! Thanks (we think) to a substantial crop of acorns last fall, nearly all of our red-headed woodpeckers overwintered on the property so there’s no need to wait for spring to see them! On our annual Christmas Bird Count, observers counted a whopping 92 red-heads, and visitors to the Fish Lake Nature Trails have regularly observed adults, juveniles, and birds sporting all manner of fancy research equipment: the standard colored ID bands on their legs as well as backpacks with GPS and radio telemetry sensors, as well as light-level geolocators. For the last 10 years, volunteers have been monitoring the red-headed woodpeckers here at Cedar Creek in an effort to learn about their habitat requirements and how to reverse their decline in Minnesota. In 2017, the volunteers were joined by Dr. Elena West, an accomplished ornithologist, who has helped lead the project to new questions investigating their behavior, migration and survival. In addition to locating and monitoring

active nests, the project now also investigates topics like what the birds are eating at different times of year, how successful pairs of adults are at raising young, why the birds overwinter some years and migrate in others, and where they go both during the breeding season (home ranges) and when they migrate. The new gear the birds are sporting was attached by Dr. West’s team last summer, and has been recording data throughout the winter. It’s an exciting time to learn about woodpeckers! There are lots of ways that you can get involved in this awesome community-run project. If you want to contribute on a regular basis, you can attend the annual volunteer orientation at Cedar Creek on April 14. Interested in contributing financially? This year, the project is raising money for the GPS and telemetry backpacks the birds wear by offering people the chance to name a redheaded woodpecker for the cost of a GPS ($500) or geolocator ($150) device. Contact project member Jim Stengel at slheidiss@yahoo.com for more information. Want to see the birds but feeling short on the time or energy needed to be a volunteer citizen scientist? Join us for Red-headed Woodpecker Day on Saturday, June 16! You can also attend one of this summer’s guided bird hikes, led by experienced birders and project members, but fun for everyone. The dates will be on the Cedar Creek website and Facebook page later this spring and summer. If you just can’t wait for those upcoming events, 2018 is your lucky year; no need to twiddle your thumbs until the birds return and get settled: spring has sprung and the red-headed woodpeckers are waiting to see you at the Fish Lake Nature Trails off 229th and Durant. Come visit any time!

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APRIL 2018


Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve Upcoming Events CAITLIN POTTER


Nature Talk with Cedar Creek: The Rum River Watershed (Offsite) April 9, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Did you know that scientists at Cedar Creek have been intensively studying Anoka County’s local creeks and lakes since the 1930s? The presenters will discuss local watershed, how and why scientists study aquatic systems, and historical and current research conducted in one of the Rum River’s tributaries. Weather permitting, we will spend some time outside at the river itself. Meet at the park building: 23100 Rum River Boulevard NW, St. Francis. Free, families welcome. Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project annual volunteer training April 14, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Attend the yearly training to become a part of Cedar Creek’s longest-running citizen science project, now in its tenth year! You will help monitor and study Cedar Creek’s red-headed woodpecker population and contribute to the conservation of this incredible species. You’ll learn about the history of the project, our plans for 2018 and specific projects you can get involved with. Lunch provided by the Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project leadership team. Please RSVP to Caitlin (caitlin@umn. edu). Free, adults recommended. City Nature Challenge April 27-29 Join fellow nature nerds to document the diversity of life in urban Minnesota! A coalition of environmental organizations in the greater metro area is partnering to document urban biodiversity using the free iNaturalist app. Details will

Sherburne Spring 2018 Events

be coming soon, but plan for some time outdoors at Cedar Creek and around the metro exploring the forests, prairies, savannas and wetlands while looking for and photographing interesting plants and animals! Help Minnesota compete for the most observations with other metro areas like Chicago, San Francisco, Berlin and Sydney. Free, families welcome. Conservation on the Northern Plains lecture and discussion May 4, 6:30-8:00 p.m. (Nature walk at 5:45 p.m.) Co-sponsored by the Cedar Creek Ecology Book Club. Here’s a unique opportunity to learn about plains and prairie conservation from a trio of local authors and scientists! Conservation on the Northern Plains: New Perspectives is a compilation of essays that examines the ecology, land use and conservation of one of North America’s largest biomes. Raymond Lindeman, an early Cedar Creek scientist, features prominently in one of the chapters. Join us for short walk at 5:45 p.m., followed by a lecture and discussion at 6:30 p.m. Free, adults recommended. 4-H Environmental Fun Fair at Springbrook Nature Center (Offsite) May 5, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Come look for the Cedar Creek table at the 2nd annual 4-H Environmental Fun Fair at Springbrook Nature Center! We’re excited to participate in this youth-led event for the second year in a row. Arts and crafts, live animals, youth projects, interpretive hikes and more. Free, family friendly. For more information, please visit www.cedarcreek.umn.edu or call 612-301-2600. Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is located at 2660 Fawn Lake Drive NE, East Bethel.

23256 St. Francis Blvd. NW, St. Francis



Spring Celebration Saturday, May 12 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Oak Savanna Learning Center Learn more about pollinators and migratory birds! Nature crafts, guided hikes, a Friends of Sherburne plant sale and more.

A meadowlark was captured in mid-song at the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.  PHOTO CREDIT: MARY CARLSON

Bird Tour Saturday, May 12 8:00-10:00 a.m. Mahnomen Trail Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day by viewing and learning about local birds. Binoculars are available to borrow. Led by Volunteer Dave Martin. Kid’s Photography Workshop Saturday, May 12 1:00-3:00 p.m. Oak Savanna Learning Center We will discuss composition tips and go outside in small groups to practice. Camera or camera phones not provided. In collaboration with the Sherburne Photography Club.


Lit’l Sprouts is currently hiring for positions at our growing program. Applicants must be at least 18 years or older. Call 763-753-5010, apply within or online at litl-sprouts.com.

Photography Hike Saturday, May 19 9:00-11:00 a.m. Oak Savanna Learning Center No minimum experience or equipment necessary. Bring your camera or just join to learn some tips and tricks and enjoy the outdoor exploration! Led by members of the Sherburne Photography Club. Kid’s Photography Contest K-12 students are encouraged to submit one photo that they’ve taken on the refuge. Entries are due by October 6 and winners will be announced on November 14 (prizes for top three and honorable mentions). Visit website for details and entry form. Sherburne Photography Club Monthly meetings, Second Wednesday 6:30 p.m. social, 7:00 p.m. meeting Oak Savanna Learning Center New members and individuals of all experience levels are encouraged and welcome to attend. Visit www.fws.gov/ refuge/sherburne for more information. Preregister for events by emailing sherburne@ fws.gov or calling 763-3893323.

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 is closed on all federal holidays. Oak Savanna Learning Center (OSLC) is located at 16797 289 Avenue NW, Zimmerman, ¼ mile west of Refuge Headquarters off Sherburne CR 9. Refuge headquarters is located at 17076 293 Avenue NW, Zimmerman, Sherburne County Road 9, five miles west of Hwy. 169. * Eagle’s Nest Nature Store at the Oak Savanna Learning Center, run by the Friends of Sherburne, will be open during or following this event. Also, the refuge is beginning their prescribed fire season. Please be aware that prescribed burns can be occurring when visiting. 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: 763-3893323, sherburne@fws.gov, or TTY 800-877-8339 at least two weeks prior to the event.

4-H Clover Dash Fundraiser KIM FERGUSON


Anoka County 4-H is hosting our 8th Annual 4-H Clover Dash on Saturday, April 28 starting at 9:00 a.m. There will be a 5K Fun Run/Walk and Two Mile Walk. The event takes place in beautiful Bunker Hills Regional Park in Andover. Race route will wind through the scenic park on paved trails. All are welcome— runners, walkers, youth and adults. There will be medals and/or prizes for top finishers and a prize drawing. Visit anokacounty. us/2432/4-H-Clover-Dash for more information. Gather your family, friends, and co-workers for a fun-filled morning to help support Anoka County 4-H youth. All proceeds from this fundraiser will support Anoka County 4-H Youth Development programs and scholarships. This event will not only raise funds for our program, but will feature and celebrate the 4-H health project and making healthy lifestyle choices. If you have any questions or if your company would like to be a sponsor for this event, contact Kim Ferguson at 763-324-3499 or fergu029@umn.edu. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

All-Night Party There will be lots of food and beverages including Mansetti’s pizza, chips and cheese, and cotton candy. There will be many prizes and two $500 scholarships given away during the evening. Information about the 2018 All-Night Party was

mailed to all St. Francis High School seniors. If anyone would like to donate prizes, money or volunteer time, please reach out to Amy Pogorelec at 763-2296723 or amypogo11@gmail. com. Find the All-Night Party on Facebook @St Francis High School Senior All-Night Party or on Twitter at #SaintsANP.


APRIL 2018

Meetings, Benefits & Events


St. Francis Area Schools

Community Service



SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS: April 9 & 23 Dialogue with the School Board 6:30 p.m., Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m., May 14 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 www.nacefoodshelf.org.

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 Sandy Dabrowski at 763-689-1705.

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 www.tops.org.

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. longlakeluth.org. For general information on the GriefShare program, visit www. griefshare.org. GRIEFSHARE grief recovery support group: Meets at First Baptist Church in St. Francis each Wednesday beginning April 4-June 27, 7:00-8:30 pm. Child care is provided. The church is located 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 GriefShare.org

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 Chambers of Commerce ST. FRANCIS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Board meeting is the third Wednesday (April 18) of each month, 11:00 a.m. at the St. Francis Community Center, 23340 Cree Street, St. Francis. Meetings are open to the public. Visit our www. stfrancischamber.org or call 763-438-5163 for more details.

American Legion

NORTH 65 CHAMBER OF COMMERCE For more information about the North 65 Chamber visit www.north65chamber.com.

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.

EAST BETHEL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Board meeting is April 24, 8:00-9:00 a.m. at Aggressive Hydraulics, 18800 Ulysses Street NE, Cedar. Visit www.eastbethelchamber. com for more info.

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.

HAM LAKE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Board of Directors meeting is April 18, 9:00 a.m., location to be determined. 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. OAK GROVE LIONS CLUB Meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at Oak Grove City Hall, 7:00 p.m., adjourning at 8:00 p.m. For more information, call Lion Mark Silvernagel at 763-753-2215. NOWTHEN LIONS CLUB Are you looking to serve in your community of Nowthen? Meet new friends? Have a lot of fun? Come join the Nowthen Lions Club! The Nowthen Lions meet at Nowthen City Hall on the first Thursday of the month for the board meeting and on the third Thursday of the month for the membership meeting. Please email nowthenlions@yahoo.com. 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@ gmail.com. 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 www.stfrancismn.lionwap.org. 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 www.isd15.org and click on employment. Find your next job with MinnesotaJobs.com! 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 minnesotajobs.com 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 Rollie Spier at 612-501-0916 for more info. EAST BETHEL SENIORS Dances are held 1:00-4:00 p.m. Cost is $6, lunch included. The dance on Friday, April 6 will have old time music played by Dick Szyplinski. Entertainment for May 4 will be by Michael Elsenpeter. 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 www.the-courier.org/submissions. 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


APRIL 2018


Life Oak Grove native Jillian Johnson stars in Dancing at Lughnasa MELISSA CLUTTER


University of Northwestern/ St. Paul student and Oak Grove native Jillian Johnson played Michael’s mother in Dancing at Lughnasa at the Patsy Miller Studio Theatre January 18-27. Johnson is a theatre major in her junior year. This extraordinary play is the story of the five unmarried Mundy sisters, eking out their lives in a small Irish village in Oak Grove native Jillian Johnson (left) played Michael’s mother 1936. Their existence is spare, interrupted only by brief, colorful in Dancing at Lughnasa play at the Patsy Miller Studio Theatre. SUBMITTED PHOTO bursts of music from the radio— their only connection to notions of romance and to the spirit and valor of exploring identity, family unity and, above all, how our lives are hope. Widely regarded as Irish playwright Brian Friel’s masterpiece, this haunting play is a tribute shaped by the past.

Long Lake Lutheran Church Join us each Sunday and Wednesday for worship, fellowship and education.

8:00 & 9:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

Worship Service Education/Sunday School Hour Wednesday Education Wednesday Worship Service

3921 277th Avenue NW, Isanti • 763-444-5315 • www.longlakeluth.org

Isanti Friends Book Sale success GERALD GOLDEN


The Friends of the Isanti Area Library (FIAL) are excited about the success of their 5th annual I Love to Read Month Book Sale at Junction Bowl. Over 4,000 books, DVDs and audiobooks were included in the sale—all donated by members of the community. Thank you to everyone who participated in this special event. Special thanks go to Mike Warring, owner of Junction Bowl, and the Minnesota authors who were on hand to discuss and sign their books: June Kramin of Harris, and Kate Goebel, teacher at Isanti Intermediate School, Denise Devine of East Bethel and Carol Maschke from New Hope. A huge thank you goes to all the volunteers who helped to make this event possible! Profits from sales are used by FIAL to help support the East Central Regional Library Outreach Site and its programs, as well as to promote literacy in the Isanti area. Librarian Tim Olson is eager to help patrons find the books and other media they want. The Outreach Library, located in Isanti City Hall, is open Wednesdays, 12:00-4:00 p.m. FIAL provides a computer and printer at the Outreach Library, along with a member to help answer questions.

Birth Charles Michael Isum was born on March 8, 2018, at Cambridge Medical Center to Alicia and Mark Isum of Nowthen. He weighed six pounds, twelve ounces and was 20¾ inches long. Charles is welcomed by siblings Gracelynn and Spencer. Proud grandparents are Mark and Liny Storke of Stanchfield and Mike and Jo Isum of St. Francis.

Book lovers perusing the many selections at the 5th annual Friends Book Sale in Isanti. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Do you order from Amazon? A percentage of your purchases on Amazon will be donated to the Isanti Friends group when you log in at smile.amazon.com to make your Amazon purchases. Simply enter Friends of the Isanti Area Library Inc. when selecting your charity choice. There is no cost to you! The Isanti Friends have books, DVD movies, and audiobooks april 8-14 available for purchase at the Isanti Outreach Library year round. Media donations are appreciated—especially westerns, cookbooks, children’s and large print books. Please contact Susi at 763-444-4585 or Susi@IsantiLibrary.org to “Reaching Out With A Voice Of Hope” arrange a drop off or to be Pastors Dan Nordin, Maria Pederson, Deacon Glenndy Ose contacted about future book sales. Sunday Wednesday Us! in o J The public is welcome Worship Schedule Ignite Service to attend planning fun, 8:30 & 10:00 a.m. 6:30 p.m., Meal at 5:00 p.m. informative meetings on the 19001 Jackson Street NE • East Bethel third Monday of each month West County Road 22, south on Jackson Street at 7:00 p.m. in Isanti. For more For information call 763-434-6117 or visit our website at information, please visit our www.oursaviourslc.org or email to: oslc@oursaviourslc.org website at www.IsantiLibrary. org or contact Susi at susi@ IsantiLibrary.org or call 763444-4585. ELCA

OUR SAVIOUR’S Sandhill Community Fair Saturday, May 19 • 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

23820 Dewey Street NW Bethel, MN

Experience a sampling of community organizations, resources and services. All ages welcome to this FREE event! More information coming in the next issue of The Courier!



APRIL 2018


Isanti County Public Health announces opening Music through the Decades at Nowthen Alliance Church of Breast Milk Depot HELEN PETERSON




The benefits of breast milk for infants have been well documented, but not every mom can produce it. Now area mothers with excess breast milk can share that gift to babies in need by donating through the Isanti County Public Health Breast Milk Depot. The depot, which opened February 9, provides a convenient drop-off for women to donate their extra breast milk. Breast milk donation fulfills an important role in providing proper nutrition to babies in need. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, human milk is the standard food for all infants including premature and sick infants. One of the biggest problems premature infants face is receiving enough calories and protein to develop and survive, a problem that can be greatly addressed through breast milk donation. The breast milk donated through the milk depot is used to help very low birth weight babies in neonatal intensive care units and other medically fragile infants.

Pictured are Melissa Carstensen, Isanti County Health Educator, Evelyn Lindhom, Breast Milk For Babies nonprofit organization, Barb Anderson, WIC coordinator and lactation educator, Summer Kelly, executive director of Mothers Milk Bank of Western Great Lakes, Tony Buttacavoli, Isanti County Public Health director and Susan Morris, Isanti County Commissioner. SUBMITTED PHOTO

“Isanti County Public Health and the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) have always been about providing up-to-date and consistent information to help mothers and families reach their breastfeeding goals. We know so much more now about the benefits of breast milk for all infants and we want every baby to have an equal opportunity for a healthy life,” said Barb Anderson, WIC coordinator. Isanti County Public Health’s commitment to breastfeeding promotion makes it a natural

Faith Listings Abundant Life Alliance Church 3840 197th Avenue NW Oak Grove • 763-753-0284 www.AbundantLife4U.org

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

Bethel Community Church 23860 Dewey Street NW Bethel • 763-434-9834 www.bethelschurch.org

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

Cedar United Methodist Church 17541 Jefferson Street NE Ham Lake • 763-434-7463 www.cedarumc.org

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church 207 Whiskey Road NW Isanti • 763-444-4035 www.stelizabeth-isanti.org

Cross of Hope Lutheran Church 5730-179th Lane NW Ramsey • 763-753-2057 www.crossofhope.net Immanuel Church (OPC) 15036 Round Lake Boulevard NW Andover • 763-210-5846 www.immanuelchurchopc.org Living Hope 23038 Rum River Boulevard NW St. Francis • 763-753-1718 www.LivingHopeEFC.org Long Lake Lutheran Church 3921 277th Avenue NW Isanti • 763-444-5315 www.longlakeluth.org New Life Church - Oak Grove 18975 Lake George Boulevard NW Oak Grove • 763-753-5717 www.newlifeoakgrove.org

St. Andrew Lutheran Church 1450 237th Avenue NE East Bethel • 763-434-7146 www.standreweb.org The Bridge Church 6443 Norris Lake Road Nowthen • 763-753-2134 Services 10:30 a.m.

fit for the milk depot location and is the first public health department in the state to have a milk depot. Breast milk can be donated by mothers who have excess supply for their own child, have completed breastfeeding their baby, have frozen milk left or have experienced the loss of an infant. The process is simple. Area mothers register with the Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes and complete a screening process. Once approved, they bring their frozen milk to the Isanti County Public Health Milk Depot. Then it’s transported to the milk bank headquarters in Illinois to be screened, pasteurized and distributed to moms and babies in need.

The community is invited to join us on Thursday, April 19 as Mark and Jill Winger, a husband and wife duo performance. The Wingers have been performing together for more than 25 years throughout the upper Midwest. They were a part of the entertainment team traveling and singing Gospel music at autumn and spring festivals for 15 years. The Wingers have also entertained at county fairs, churches and a variety of different events. They will be performing Music through the Decades, a mix of popular and Gospel music styles along with fun trivia. A potluck luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. and Performers Mark and Jill Winger.  SUBMITTED PHOTO the concert begins at 12:45 p.m. Nowthen Alliance Church is located at 19653 Nowthen Boulevard NW, Nowthen. Please enter through Door C. A handicap entrance and elevator is through Door B. Free will offering will be accepted. Call the Church office 763-441-1600 for more information.

ut o b a s u k s A our online pet med pharmacy!


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St. Francis Veterinary Clinic 763-444-9359

Two miles north of St. Francis on Highway 47 Visit us on the web at www.sfvetclinic.com

Home Bake Pizzas

GlutenFree Crust Available!

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Trinity Lutheran Church, School and Childcare 3812 229th Avenue NW St. Francis • 763-753-1234 www.trinitysf.org

$ 50

West Bethel United Methodist Church 1233 221st Avenue NE East Bethel • 763-434-6451

Featuring Lasagna, Chicken Alfredo, Rigatoni or Spaghetti

Always Available

Hwy 47 & Pederson Drive, St. Francis, MN


Place your order online at

www.mansettis.com Sun 11:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. • Mon-Th 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Fri 11:00 a.m.-10-30 p.m. • Sat 11:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

1 Off $ 00 4 Off Any Regular Size Pasta Dinner Valid on Dine-In St. Francis Mansetti’s Only

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APRIL 2018


Pet Corner


Question Why is heartworm disease prevention important for my dog and cat? Answer Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets caused by worms that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but heartworms also live in other mammal species, including wolves, coyotes, foxes, sea lions and in rare instances, humans. Because wild species such as foxes and coyotes live in proximity to many urban areas, they are considered important carriers of the disease. Dogs The dog is a natural host for

heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, prevention is by far the best option and treatment should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible. The mosquito plays an essential role in the heartworm life cycle. Adult female heartworms living in an infected dog, fox, coyote or wolf produce microscopic baby worms that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites and takes a blood meal from an infected animal, it

picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature over a period of 10 to 14 days. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another victim, the baby heartworms are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite wound. Once inside a new host, it takes approximately six months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms. Once mature, heartworms can live for five to seven years in dogs and up to two or three years in cats. Because of the longevity of these worms, each mosquito season can lead to an increasing number of worms in an infected pet. Signs of heartworm disease may be unnoticeable at first but can progress to a mild persistent cough, reluctance to

exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure. Cats Heartworm disease in cats is very different from heartworm disease in dogs. Most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage. While this means heartworm disease often goes undiagnosed in cats, it’s important to understand that even immature worms can cause damage. Symptoms in cats may include coughing, asthma-like attacks, periodic vomiting, lack of appetite or weight loss. Occasionally an affected cat may have difficulty walking, fainting or seizures or suffer from fluid accumulation in the abdomen. Unfortunately, the first sign in some cases is sudden collapse of the cat or sudden death. Even if heartworms do not seem to be a big problem here, mosquitoes can be blown great distances by the wind. The relocation of infected pets to previously uninfected areas also contributes to the spread of heartworm disease (this happened following Hurricane Katrina when 250,000 pets, many of them infected with heartworms, were adopted and shipped throughout the country).

The fact is that heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states, and risk factors are impossible to predict. Multiple variables, from climate variations to the presence of wildlife carriers, cause rates of infections to vary dramatically from year to year, even within communities. Additionally, infected mosquitoes can come inside, both outdoor and indoor pets are at risk. All dogs should be tested annually for heartworm infection by your veterinarian. Even when dogs are on heartworm prevention yearround, annual testing ensures that the prevention program is working. Heartworm medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected. If you miss just one dose of a monthly medication or give it late, it can leave your dog unprotected. Even if you give the medication as recommended, your dog may spit out or vomit a heartworm pill or rub off a topical medication. Heartworm preventives are highly effective, but not 100 percent. If you don’t get your dog tested, you won’t know if your dog needs treatment. Heartworm disease is easy to prevent and is found all over the country. Your veterinarian can discuss with you options for prevention.


CHILDCARE Taking Enrollment for Both Locations, All Ages

East Bethel

763-434-1980 Isanti

763-444-3774 tbcchildcare.com

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APRIL 2018

Hmong people and the important role they played in American history percent of the Hmong population in Laos, over 100,000 Hmong soldiers and civilians were killed during and after the Vietnam War. In February of 1973, a cease-fire and political peace treaty was signed in Paris requiring the U.S. and all foreign powers to withdraw all military activities from Laos. The Hmong people left in Laos became refugees in their own homelands. After Americans left Laos in 1975, the communist government gained control of the country and the Hmong were quickly overrun by communist forces. A campaign was launched to eliminate the Hmong people who had assisted the Americans during the war. Hmong villages were burned and the people massacred. Many Hmong people fled deep into the jungle or left Laos by fleeing across the Mekong River to Thailand, where they lived in refugee camps. Initially those directly associated with General Vang Pao’s Secret Army were evacuated to the United States. Four years later, with the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980, families of the Secret Army were also permitted to immigrate to the U.S., representing the second-wave of Hmong immigration. In 2009 Hmong veterans of the Secret War finally got their recognition as an important ally to the Americans. The 2010 census recorded more than 260,000 Hmong in the U.S., more than 66,000 of that number lived in Minnesota. Most live near or around the Twin Cities, the largest urban Hmong population in the U.S. Over 200 Hmong students are enrolled in the St. Francis Area Schools. The clans, from which the Hmong take their surnames, are: Chang (Tsaab) or Cha (Tsab), Chao (Tsom), Cheng (Tsheej), Chue (Tswb), Fang (Faaj) or Fa (Fag), Hang (Haam) or Ha (Ham), Her (Hawj), Khang (Khaab) or Kha (Khab), Kong (Koo) or Soung (Xoom), Kue (Kwm), Lee (Lis), Lor (Lauj), Moua (Muas), Pha (Phab), Thao (Thoj), Vang (Vaaj) or Va (Vaj), Vue or Vu (Vwj), Xiong (Xyooj) and Yang (Yaaj) or Ya (Yaj).



Oral tradition and evidence from archives and archaeology suggest that Hmong people originated in Southern China and later into the mountainous regions of Southeast Asia, areas known today as Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Vietnam. The Vietnam War was a conflict within its own country, North Vietnamese government was communist and the South Vietnamese government wanted to be more democratic. Many Hmong people were in favor of a more democratic government. The United States government became involved because they feared that if one country fell to communism, then other countries surrounding it would also surrender to communist rule (known as the Domino Effect). In the early 1960’s the U.S. government began recruiting the Hmong people living in Laos into the CIA-sponsored secret operation known as Special Guerrilla Units (SGU) or General Vang Pao’s Secret Army. The conflict in Laos was reported in U.S. press reports as the CIA’s “Secret War in Laos” because details were unavailable due to official government denials. The denials were seen as necessary because both the North Vietnamese and U.S. governments had signed agreements of neutrality in Laos. The U.S. government wanted help from the Hmong people because they were familiar with the region and could block and intercept the invading communists from the north. Another reason why the U.S. government recruited the Hmong people was because of finance, the U.S. government believed that it was much cheaper and a better way to fight a war in Southeast Asia than to commit American troops. The U.S. government promised to take care of the Hmong people for their On February 20, Hmong students (L-R) Angel Her, Adam Vang, Gokasheng Vue support in the and Mao Lee from St. Francis High School presented information about their “Secret War” during family origin, history, traditions, culture, spirituality and language to staff at the Vietnam War. Crossroads School & Vocational Center, Saints Academy and Transition 15 An estimated 25 during professional development.


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Helen Dawson died on March 12, 2018, one day before her 96th birthday. A long-time resident of Bethel, she lived at Gracepointe Crossing in Cambridge since August 2016. Helen was born in Minneapolis on March 13, 1922, the second of five children of Alek and Anna Manick who immigrated to the U.S. before World War I from what is now Ukraine. The family moved to a farm in Henriette, Minnesota, in 1931. She graduated from high school in 1940, trained as a teacher, then taught in rural Isanti County schools. She was a substitute teacher in St. Francis Area Schools for 30 years. In 1947, Helen married Fred Dawson, who died in 1979. She is survived by her three daughters, Mary of Bethel, Deanna of Greenbelt, Maryland, and Kathy (Norman Allott) of Dublin, Ireland; two granddaughters, one grandson and 14 nieces and nephews. A celebration of Helen’s life will be held in late May or June.


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APRIL 2018


Disaster! The Musical at St. Francis High School DAWN DEROO


Have you ever experienced a St. Francis High School theater production? If you answered “no,” then perhaps you should give it a try. Come out and see the talented students perform the Broadway hit Disaster! The Musical for the first time on a Minnesota high school stage. Starting April 26, Disaster! will explode on stage with four performances. The show is set in the era of bell-bottoms, platform shoes and The Hustle surrounded with mishaps from box office smash hits such as Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Poseidon Adventure and Jaws. You will be dancing in your seat to unforgettable 1970s hits such as Knock On Wood, Hooked On A Feeling, Sky High, I Am Woman and Hot Stuff. So pull out those lively leisure suits and gold lamé dresses from the back of your closet and come experience Disaster! The Musical. Show times are 7:00 p.m. April 26-28 and 2:00 p.m. April 29 at St. Francis High School Performing Arts Center. Visit www.seatyourself. biz/stfrancishs to purchase tickets; $8 for adults and $6 for seniors, students and children. Call 763-213-1527 for more information. The St. Francis High School (SFHS) theater program has been producing live theater for students, families, friends and our community for decades. A typical school year produces a dramatic play, a competitive one-act production mid-winter and a spring musical. Holidays

Earthquakes, tidal waves, infernos and the unforgettable songs of the 1970s take center stage in Broadway’s side-splitting homage to classic disaster films in Disaster! The Musical. (L-R) John Quale (Maury), Tess Humphrey (Ben/Lisa), Brianna Waste; Alicia Fahland (Levora Verona), Ruby Schroeder (Sister Mary Downey), Kenny Cully (Ted), Emma DeRoo-Arndt (Jackie), Simon Luckow (Chad), Kami Ferguson (Marianne), Roenin Iverson (Scott) and Austin Adler (Tony Delvecchio).  PHOTO CREDIT: GLENN MOREHOUSE OLSON

are always the perfect time to see classics such as A Christmas Carol or It’s A Wonderful Life. Under the direction of Glenn Morehouse Olson, students audition for roles in these theatrical productions as well as placement in working sound design or stage lighting and assisting stage management or costuming. Student and parent volunteers create sets from the director’s vision with leadership from Dale Blonigen. Deb Oas Koepsell creates imaginative and beautiful costumes while overseeing volunteers. Many of the costume creations are also sourced from years of high school productions, community donations and theater exchanges. Students have already begun the intense rehearsal schedule for this season’s

musical. For seven weeks cast members receive daily vocal training, practice executed choreographed dance routines, memorize lines and are coached by the director. All of which leads up to tech week. Tech week is a time for the technical crew and actors to come together for show finalization. This means eight more days of seven-hour rehearsals in make-up and costume, synchronizing queues with a live band under bright lights and moving set pieces. Then, it is on with the show. Four performances round-out the weeks of preparation in the hopes of receiving recognition through Spotlight Education. Spotlight Education is a high school community program developed through the Hennepin Theater Trust that honors high school musicals

and students by formally recognizing their extraordinary achievements, onstage and offstage, in Minnesota high school musical theater programs. Spotlight evaluators visit each participating school production and evaluate each show in several categories, including movement and dance, vocal and acting technique for ensemble, execution of the technical aspects of the production and individual performances. The evaluation is also a determining factor for honors granted to the school production and the students. Evaluators observe their work ethic and the effort they display helping others develop through the process.

Children’s Summer Theatre St. Francis Area Schools Community Education offers a Children’s Summer Theatre program. The children’s summer program has provided throughout the community an opportunity to experience live theater every summer since 1995. The shows cover a wide variety of lively musicals such as School House Rock, High School Musical, Peter Pan and The Lion King. Junior versions of these theater productions are selected to appeal to all age groups. For further information on the 2018 Children’s Summer Theatre, visit www.isd15.org/ce and read The Courier during the coming months.

Students from St. Francis Area Schools participated in the National School Walkout March 14. Staff supervised students as they exited buildings and remained on school grounds. The national event was planned so that students were to walkout of class at 10:00 a.m. and remain outdoors for 17 minutes—one minute for each person who was killed in the recent Parkland, Florida school shooting. Students respectfully returned indoors after the walkout ended.



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.

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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 4/30/18

Profile for St. Francis Area Schools

The Courier - April 2018  

Publication of St. Francis Area Schools (Independent School District 15)

The Courier - April 2018  

Publication of St. Francis Area Schools (Independent School District 15)