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February is national “I love to read” month. With that in mind, The Times asked the librarians at Hardwood Creek Library what’s popular right now and what they’d recommend.

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An artistic idea that came to life when Eric “Ernie” Ernst opened his Ernie’s Eatery on Lake Street in February of last year will soon be publicized to an even greater extent as the restaurateur plans to host an art opening to feature the paintings he displays on his wall.

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When Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo, and a band of rowdy penguins escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and get captured in the subway, they soon find themselves on an unexpected journey to their homeland of Madagascar. Children’s Perform…

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It was lunchtime one beautiful autumn day in the north central plains of Montana. The leaves crunched beneath my feet and the sun warmed my back as I walked home from school during my junior year. At least once a week I would take advantage of the open campus policy and have lunch with my da…

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Guests are invited to spend an hour touring the world through the guitar and voice of Robert Everest during his Latin music program at 2 p.m. Feb. 13 at Parmly on the Lake, 28210 Old Towne Rd., Chisago City. The performance will be held inside the chapel.

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Amanda Grundtner, a seventh grader at Century Junior High School, placed third at the annual Youth Art Month Flag Design Contest sponsored by Art Educators of Minnesota. The artwork of those students who placed third or higher in their respective categories will be displayed at the Minnesota…

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Young girls between the ages of 10 and 12 can apply to become the next Miss Pre-Teen Washington County. The winning candidate will represent the county at the Miss Pre-Teen Minnesota pageant at the Wellstone Center in St. Paul April 28. The young lady chosen as Miss Pre-Teen Minnesota will r…

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Forest Lake author Tracy Nelson Maurer’s children’s picture book “John Deere, That’s Who!” received the 2018 American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Book of the Year Award during the Flapjack Fundraiser Breakfast at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2018 Annual Convention and IDE…

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The Forest View Glee Club sang a selection of winter songs at the Forest Lake Senior Center Banquet on Jan. 17. The group is comprised of second graders from Forest View Elementary School led by Anna Hogan, the music teacher at Forest View. The students practice during recess twice a week an…

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If you follow politics, you already know about “Fire and Fury,” and if you don’t know about “Fire and Fury,” it is probably true to say that you don’t follow politics. In the opening weeks of the year, Michael Wolff’s analysis of Donald Trump and his administration has enjoyed star status as…

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War is ugly, but heroes shine in the face of darkness and impossible odds. “12 Strong,” the new Jerry Bruckheimer-produced film, is a war saga about 12 special forces soldiers who were the first to enter Afghanistan after 9/11, riding horses through the rugged terrain and even into combat.

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“Footloose” is the story of a bunch of restless youth in a small town who decide to rebel against a local preacher’s ban on dancing and in the process show the whole community that young people do indeed have an important voice. Youth Performing Arts will stage the show at Forest Hills Churc…

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The 12th in the series of free Songwriter in the Round performances will bring artists from throughout Minnesota to the Hallberg Center for the Arts at 5521 E. Viking Blvd. in Wyoming Jan. 25 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event will feature Dan Rumsey, Vicky Emerson, and Zak Norton.

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2017 passed, unfortunately, without me marking the 10th anniversary of one of my favorite albums. It was October 2007, and college sophomore Ryan was anticipating the sophomore album from Steel Train, whose debut, “Twilight Tales From The Prairies Of The Sun,” was an uneven but compelling mi…

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‘Insidious: The Last Key’ offers weak justification for human evil

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The City of Scandia will present Vinterfest Jan. 27 from 7 a.m. to midnight. The Scandia Parks and Recreation Committee is sponsoring the annual community celebration and Vinterfest 2018 buttons can be purchased at Scandia businesses, including SuperAmerica and Scandia Olde Towne Liquor.

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The Marine on St. Croix library will celebrate its sixth birthday as an independent library this month. On Dec. 31, 2011, the library, which was formerly part of the Washington County library system, closed down due to lack of funding, and by Jan. 13 of the following year, just two weeks lat…

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Scripted dramas from a specific historical era can often serve as an interesting expansion of the information that is found in most textbooks. Although it is obvious that certain liberties are taken in an effort to add some excitement to the storyline, “Frontier” (co-produced by Netflix and …

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East Bethel resident Stacy Bauer has been writing stories ever since she first learned how to hold a pen. Although she loved to express herself creatively, it was just for fun for most of her life. Recently, however, she got serious about that passion and took to publishing her latest story.

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Children ages 18 months to three years old including siblings will enjoy stories, songs and play during winter toddler storytime at the Wyoming library from 10:30-11 a.m. each Tuesday Jan. 9 through Feb. 27. For more information about this and other events, drop by the library at 26855 Fores…

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We have a lot of different film tastes at The Forest Lake Times, and this year, our year-end rankings were so dissimilar that there was really no way an aggregate list would have done any of our picks justice. With that in mind, Hannah Davis and Ryan Howard have penned small write-ups on eac…

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There are three kinds of funny writing. First, there is satire, which cuts incisively against one or more of society’s favorite errors, foibles, crimes or shortcomings: “The Republicans, the party of family values, where the definition of ‘family values’ is constantly being broadened to enco…

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Aaron Sorkin does it again with his screenplay “Molly’s Game” – and for the first time, in his directorial debut. Like most of Sorkin’s work, “Molly’s Game” is a biopic, this time based on the journey of “Poker Princess” Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) and how she came to run one of the world…

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Sixth grade students at Scandia Elementary had the opportunity to experience their first-ever Ranger Hour on Dec. 12 during one of their recess times. Ranger Hour happens every fourth day in the school’s media center and allows students to study, read, play board games, and get help from the…

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The fourth annual Scanley Cup Adult Hockey Tournament will be played on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at the Scandia Town Hall Ice Rink. The tournament begins at 8 a.m. and usually ends at midnight with a break for fireworks at 7 p.m. It is a one-day tournament with between eight to 10 teams, most…

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Bob Fedderly, a Realtor with Edina Realty in Forest Lake, was an English teacher at Forest Lake Area High School in 1981 when he signed up for a teacher exchange program that saw he and his family living in England for a year. That trip ignited a spark that would result in seven more trips t…

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A record 110 members and guests of the Scandia-Marine Lions Club attended the Christmas meeting on Dec 14. Lion President Lynnette Welsch announced that, to date, the Lions have given $6,500 to local families in need.

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St. Joseph of the Lakes Catholic Church will host the Lino Lakers 4-H Family Fun Dance Party Jan. 5 from 7 to 10 p.m. at its Great Hall at 171 Elm St. in Lino Lakes. The event will raise money for 4-H Camp Salie Programs. Camp Salie is located in Linwood Township. Cost is $5 per person. Gues…

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Chisago Lakes Baptist school students rang in the Christmas season Dec. 7 with a program entitled “The Colors of Christmas.” The concert began with the fourth grade beginning band playing three selections, followed by the fifth grade junior band playing two songs. The six through 12th grader…