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After consecutive years of high-profile problems plaquing our district, it’s refreshing to get through a school year without any new incidents. I do realize there’s room for improvements, there always will be, but not having negative stories grabbing headlines is a good start (negative press…

I am a young father of two beautiful children and I live in the city of Shakopee with my wife. I volunteer within the community as much as I can when I have the free time, and I work frequently in the recovery community in advocacy. So I know how hard it is sometimes to find any amount of ti…

After former Superintendent Rod Thompson pled guilty to 19 felonies last November, I wasn’t planning to write about him ever again. He finally admitted his guilt and was heading to jail. All that was left was the formality of the sentencing, which all parties had pretty much agreed would be …

I was talking with City Administrator Bill Reynolds the other day. With all the bad weather that we have had, we started talking about snow plowing. Bill said he was disappointed in the number of snowplowing complaints he gets. He is very proud of our snowplow drivers. He doesn’t think peopl…

The snow drought is officially over. The one-two punch of bitter cold followed by a couple weeks of heavy snow reminded us of how resilient people in Minnesota are. As I shake off a pinch of cabin fever, it’s a good opportunity to recognize people who helped get 2019 started off on the right note.

Last week, RJ Roder called me out in a letter to the editor because I mentioned that boys hockey has a pattern of losing. I understand Roder’s passion for hockey. My kids also played it, among other sports. Many of our friends are parents we met from having kids on the same teams, and we con…

It is an exciting time to be a S hakopee community m ember! Whether you are a parent with little ones or big ones, a grandparent, or a community member with no students in the district, there is something for every member of Shakopee to be excited about.

There’s a saying that success breeds success. A good example is the teams heading to the Super Bowl on Sunday. The Patriots and the Rams franchises have been to the big game multiple times, which each having at least one win. Both teams’ coaches have a proven history of success and setting r…

Life after high school can be tough, even for those who seemed destined for success or thought they had all of life’s answers at age 18. As many of us can attest, life after high school rarely goes as planned and can be full of obstacles and U-turns that we never could have anticipated. That…

I was in Qdoba recently having supper with my younger son when I bumped into a parent I know. He bought some food, chatted with me briefly, then filled up his water cup with pop and left. Seeing him take pop that he didn’t pay for bothered me.

I’m surprised and disappointed how often the Shakopee Valley News is attacked on social media for perceived biases. Case in point — after a story on the protest at Amazon, a person charged on the Valley News Facebook page, “You seem to be afraid to say ‘Muslim’ in your stories, last week and…

I saw a figure last week that caught my eye — holiday shoppers in the U.S. spent about $7.9 billion on Cyber Monday this year, including $2 billion just on smartphones. As of close of business that day, shoppers had already spent a whopping $58.5 billion online so far for this holiday season.

I like the theater and I’m not afraid to admit it. My preference is rock operas like The Who’s Tommy and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. I also get goosebumps whenever I hear the theme from Les Misérables. The complex story of love, courage, and redemption are themes many of us…

The Rhythm on the Rails events in Shakopee showed what’s possible when people in our community work intelligently toward a common goal. The five-week free concert series brought thousands of people downtown each week to eat, drink, listen to live music, and catch up with friends and neighbors.

Like most people I know, I’m progressive on some social issues and conservative on others. One topic that falls squarely in the latter category is the use of vulgar language that’s becoming increasingly and unfortunately, commonplace.

It’s surprising that local employers are struggling to hire seasonal help. One benefit of living in Shakopee is the numerous opportunities for students to land a summer job and, if wanted, part-time work during the school year. I know today’s teenagers are busier than ever, especially with s…

What do you do when a blizzard hits in late April? It feels almost as momentous as the great Halloween blizzard of 1991. This blizzard may be worse, though, because snowfall in late October is just an exciting prelude of a beautiful winter to come. A blizzard in April? It feels like spring w…

Now that winter is finally in our rearview mirrors and we’re experiencing the long-awaited spring, it’s great to see so many people outside. Our sports teams can finally take to the fields and the track. The rest of us can shed our jackets and get our fishing or boating gear ready.

We knew this was coming. After years of unapologetic, out-of-control spending, the school board has found itself mired in a mess of its own doing. With reserves nearly depleted, the board is looking to slash about $2.6 million from the budget.

One of the inevitable aspects of getting older, along with worrying about cholesterol levels and hypertension, is dealing with occasion moments of feeling sentimental for people I miss. Sometimes a memory is triggered by an old song that takes me back several decades or, surfing through the …

Author, agitator, and muckraker Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

Most of the youth sports programs in Shakopee are run by volunteer boards of directors and volunteer coaches. When my kids were younger, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a volunteer coach for baseball, basketball, and football, and serve on the Shakopee Youth Football Ass…

Last week’s article in this paper about poverty sparked a conversation in our house about people in need. My younger son said he has a friend who eats everything offered for the school lunch because it will probably be the only full meal for the day. Food in the household is tight, and this …

All is well again with the Shakopee Schools’ administrators and School Board as they are slowly stepping out from behind the curtain again. The former superintendent is gone, the interim super is super, and the city is busy waving their arms for attention with their own soap opera cliff hangers.

When President Trump announced his intention to end an Obama-era initiative that allows young undocumented immigrants to stay in our country, it predictably sparked criticism and protests. Both sides have valid points about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as the DACA o…

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