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They were special places for special occasions: Harry’s Café, Charlies, the Criterion, Blue Horse, Gannon’s, Birch’s Café and more. It was the late 1940s and early 1950s, and I remember all of them because, at one time or another, I was there.

At Prior Lake-Savage Area schools we transitioned our secondary students back to in-person learning on April 15 so now all students, E-12, have the opportunity to be back learning in our schools. We also continue to provide distance learning for families who choose that model.

At one time developers paid local fees, built their subdivisions, pocketed their profits and walked away — but that wasn’t enough. They got greedy and wanted more. One of them sued the city of Woodbury over its road fees, and, in 2018, the Minnesota State Supreme Court ruled that local commu…

This year we seemed to zip right past Groundhog Day without even noticing. Perhaps this is because during COVID time, every day seems the same, just like the movie "Groundhog Day." Nothing new or different. Just one day like the other. But for the groundhog, also known as the woodchuck, spri…

In 1950, at a time when long distance telephone calls were reserved for special news and family emergencies, the U.S. mail was the most reliable way for most people and families to communicate over long distances — and that communication, everything from the handwriting to its grammar and se…

As winter loosens its grip on the northern states and it finally feels like spring, my mind turns to all the changes in nature. In particular, the animals in the northern climates that change the color of their coats (pelage) or the birds that change their feathers (plumage) from brown to wh…

In just a couple weeks, we will experience the vernal equinox — one of the two times in the year when the sun is exactly above the equator. Apart from this astronomical anomaly, though, the equinox is mostly known as the beginning of spring — a fresh beginning and the time to spruce things up.

The bison turned quickly, ready to charge. The two feet of snow didn’t slow its powerful hooves, but rather kicked up a rooster-tail of shiny ice crystals into the cold winter air, highlighting the bison’s efforts.

The bison turned quickly, ready to charge. The two feet of snow didn’t slow its powerful hooves, but rather kicked up a rooster-tail of shiny ice crystals into the cold winter air, highlighting the bison’s efforts.

For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic may be putting a hold on dinner at the charming local bistro, but the spirit of Valentine’s Day cannot be extinguished. This year, perhaps more so than in the past, you may want to make your Valentine’s Day gifts even more meaningful. So, for example, wh…

The events of Jan. 6 were a bad omen and a disappointing start to 2021, but I’m staying optimistic. COVID-19 numbers are trending down. My wife, Marcia, and I had our first COVID-19 shots — and hallelujah for that. We may live through 2021 and greet 2022. Still, I needed a distraction and in…

I enjoy watching most sports, especially football. During college bowl game season and now as we head into Super Bowl Sunday, a variety of storylines dominate talk radio and sports news. Oftentimes what I find personally inspiring or motivating is not necessarily what’s grabbing the headlines.

It’s Monday, Jan. 18 and I’m writing this as I watch the morning news programs — especially some disgusting, new videos of Jan. 6. It’s a national holiday, Martin Luther King’s birthday. It’s also an unhappy irony as we recognize and celebrate the meaning of Dr. King’s work and reflect on th…

The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, but not his own facts” — a distinction that gets more difficult in direct proportion to the popularity and proliferation of social media.

Many seniors will be alone this holiday season, some separated from family and friends because of COVID-19, some afraid for the future. An experience I had as a middle-aged adult helps me understand what being alone and afraid feels like.

George Schultz is a Republican and a distinguished fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. He is among the grand old men of 20th century public service, having worked for three US presidents serving on the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Management and Budget and as sec…

This winter has been a bit strange in the northland where I reside. Not much snow but enough cold temperatures to start freezing the lakes. The small lakes and ponds freeze up tight right away, but the larger lakes have open water near the center or in the deeper areas. While out photographi…

'Tis the season of the reindeer. After all, it’s hard to not notice them at this time of year. They make appearances in holiday movies, or on holiday greeting cards, and sometimes they are seen in Christmas tree lots as the featured animal. They appear on stage in plays or re-enactments and …

The recent weather rollercoaster has found me stomping around the woods in search of rutting White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). One week I am wearing a short-sleeved shirt and light-weight hiking shoes and the next week I am dressed in four layers and waterproof boots along with a h…

It’s almost Thanksgiving. And although 2020 may have been a difficult year for you, as it has been for many people, you can probably still find things for which you can be thankful — such as your family. How can you show your appreciation for your loved ones?

Most Americans today are a bit disappointed as well as a bit relieved as we wait for the final votes for our president to be certified by the states. Neither Republicans nor Democrats were completely victorious or devastated as we will continue to have a divided government in Washington D.C.

My wife Char and I are of a generation that revered Election Day as a time when America’s best was on display, a time when the rest of the world looked on with envy at what America had become. We seemed to be a nation proud of its flag and constitution, and thankful to our forefathers who be…

History is full of rulers who refused to take a hint and vacate when their subjects got restless. Mostly, it didn’t end well for them. Roman emperors, in particular, had to keep an eye on their Praetorian Guard (their secret service), especially the leader of the guard, the Praetorian Prefec…

I really find that some of the most amazing animals on the face of the earth are the insects. I recently spent some time capturing a few incredible images of just one of these amazing animals, the praying mantis, often just called mantid.

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