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With reference to a preceding column on the search for alien life, i.e. life not indigenous to earth, a reader sent the following quote: “The Fermi Paradox, and most discussions about the Fermi Paradox, tend to anthropomorphize or humanize some fundamental assumptions about alien life and ad…

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If you were in grade school in the 1940s, 1950s or even 1960s, you may recognize the book, The Little Woodsman of the North. It was part of a series called Children of America Stories. There were six books in all, chronicling travels through five different regions of the United States. This …

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Minnesota has come a long way when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We’ve learned that our differences are assets, and diversity of thought, experience and identity translates into meaningful work, success and growth, no matter the industry. Companies and their leaders h…

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One of the things I like about the library is that it allows each of us to live a bit more comfortably. Navigating the world can be a challenge some days and we can all use a little guidance. Understanding other people, for example, can be stressful. We all understand our own personal experi…

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When it comes to water, I feel like every child loves it. Maybe not some, but at least my two do, and all my little daycare kids. ​

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The search for life on planets beyond earth is heating up.  In our own solar system preliminary plans are underway to explore the ‘water’ moons of Jupiter and Saturn, which are Europa and Enceladus. Though both have frozen surfaces now, if they were somehow heated up to above freezing, both …

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Breakfast is said the be the most important meal of the day. It is also my favorite meal of the day. My favorite breakfast by far would be my family’s recipe for Swedish pancakes. These thin pancakes with some warm pure maple syrup are such a treat. Over the years, I have had to explain to o…

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Honestly? I’m still a little emotional. The Itasca County Commissioners recognized our need, saw how much Itasca County residents used our library, and responded. They listened, they asked good, pertinent questions, they discussed. And they decided.

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Earlier this year, when I met with leaders from several southern Minnesota rural electric cooperatives, their communities were still reeling from the devastating blizzards and high winds that knocked out hundreds of power lines across the region and left thousands of families and businesses …

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Governor Walz recently announced he would be using the bureaucratic rule making process to impose California’s rules for low and zero emissions vehicles on to Minnesota car buyers. While the Governor has tried to frame this as a win for consumer choice and the environment, the facts suggest …

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For most of us, our direct experience with American politics starts and ends with the voting booth, supplemented with what we learn, selectively, from the media. We rarely see our elected representatives in action, proposing and bargaining over bills and budgets. In general, politicians rank…

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This fall, as students and teachers greet the new school year with a mix of enthusiasm and reluctance, I’m having similarly mixed feelings about the 2019 Minnesota public education budget.

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As a bit of an animal lover, I have been scouring the Internet for some special occasion celebrating animals. I came across an international observance called a “day for animals,” but it wasn’t quite what I expected.

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How can I offer correction to family members? I have family members who are Catholic, but they openly do not live as Catholics. I don’t know how to offer them correction. What do I do?

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Editor’s note: The following commentary was originally published Aug. 9 in the Star Tribune. It is reprinted here with permission from the Star Tribune.

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To the person or persons who saw fit to cut the transducer wire on my boat that was attached to my dock on the early morning of Sept. 23 on Prairie Lake, thank you. I am not sure what I did to deserve this and this is the second boat to have the wire cut - mine and one of my family’s earlier…

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It’s a big week at the library! Minnesota author Allen Eskens will be visiting the library on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 6:00 p.m Eskens is the author of five fiction novels based on the characters Joe Talbert, Max Rupert, Boady Sanden, and Lila Nash. Two more novels are forthcoming. Prior to becomi…

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For just 26 days of the year, my husband and I are the same age. Nearly a year separates us but I joke with the kids that I’m not his ‘old lady’ during this time between his September birthday and mine in October. Astrologists say matches made under the same horoscope sign are doomed. I disa…

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When KOOTASCA Community Action began the Itasca Area Crisis Nursery almost 20 years ago, our goal was to reduce child mistreatment and abuse by offering emergency and short-term childcare for stressed and overwhelmed parents. Since then, the Crisis Nursery has served over a thousand of famil…

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God’s holy prophets speak of Jesus Christ – Acts 10:43

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My friend TimBob and I routinely make a variety of observations and then ask the question, “Do people not know what they are doing, or do they not care?” TimBob generally believes people ‘don’t know’ their actions are harmful. I tend towards ‘people don’t care.’ Here are a few frequent topics.

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I would like to publicly thank the generous stranger who paid for my Girl Scout items at Super One North on Sept. 19 at 3:45 p.m. I was in line trying to pay for items to use at our Service Unit Bridging Ceremony, but when I used my Girl Scouts debit card, it had expired. This was completely…

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The closest human relative from the myriad species in the animal kingdom is often identified as the chimpanzee. Human DNA and chimpanzee DNA are only about 1 percent different. In other words the biological ‘blueprints’ that create both are about 99 percent the same. But a slightly closer co…

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There are nine lakes in Itasca County named Bass Lake. The smallest is less than 20 acres and the largest, where Wildwood Resort is located is nearly 3000 acres! According to the 1930 Itasca County Booster Fishing Contest the following fishermen from Wildwood Lodge had winning entries:

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The Grand Rapids Sports Complex was the site of the Paul Bauer Invitational Grand Rapids High School Cross Country Meet Tuesday, Sept. 17. Over 400 runners from 17 teams participated in the races. The meet was by all accounts a big success.

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I am pleased to announce the Friends of the Grand Rapids Area Library are winners of the Evy Nordley Award for their wildly successful Pop-Up Book Sale Concept!

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For many of us living in Northern Minnesota, fall is a season where energy levels are high, planning is crucial and excitement is beyond recognition in comparison to the first eight months of the year.

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Just an FYI for the upcoming election, it is our chance for those of us in Itasca County to protect those we love and cherish from black market marijuana vape oils being distributed by citizens of the county. Those of us that use it for chronic pain,cancer, mental illnesses, etc, vote ‘yes’ …

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To whoever stole the flowers off my parents’ grave: I am trying to be forgiving and not wish karma would pay you back. I only hope you had a good reason for taking them.

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After seeing and reading about us firearm enthusiasts being continually trashed in the news and reading the recent opinions in the Herald-Review I feel compelled to respond. I have been a hunter and shooter for 55 years. First of all, almost every firearm ever invented was as a weapon of war…

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For the past several years, artificial intelligence – or AI – has increasingly found a place in many walks of life. Almost certainly, you use some form of AI, whether it’s your time on social media, your use of mobile banking, the navigation system you rely on for directions, or any of the m…

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I’m not a TV watcher. Movies are often too long for that last hour before falling asleep. In recent years, we’ve watched two who-dun-it series, available on Netflix, that stand out for their excellence in conception and stylish, culturally-embedded filming: “Death in Paradise” and “Miss Fish…

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Various stories from ancient times talk of a ‘great flood’ that swept over the land, perhaps the most famous originating with the Babylonian civilization and that was later adopted by the Jewish people. In the Babylonian telling the gods and then God in the Jewish version were so disgusted w…

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Everyone is invited to join the Earth Circle and friends at the Grand Rapids Global Climate Strike on Friday, Sept. 20, 2 - 5 p.m. on the south lawn at Central School in downtown Grand Rapids. We are joining with people, young and old, from around the world to stand up and speak out on this …

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I love secret codes. Sometimes it can be fun to discover the hidden meaning of a mysterious cipher. Just like Indiana Jones, it is often an entertaining mental exercise and a satisfying accomplishment to create or figure out a secret code. We have great resources for creating and solving sec…

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About a month ago, we welcomed two feline critters into our family. Tank and Chloe, two jet-black kittens that my sister needed to get off her farm.

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It all began Friday afternoon with a call from a probation officer to Grand Rapids Police Officer Troy Scott. There was a 29-year-old man in a local hotel room, wanted on a felony warrant for his arrest. Troy went to the hotel room to arrest him. He walked down the hallway, stopped, and knoc…

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This letter is in response to the September 4th “Policing the Rapids” column by Scott Johnson, Grand Rapids Police Chief. I read this column hoping throughout the reading that I would come across some compassion or at least some recognition of some of the factors that might lead people to be…

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