• by Peggy Bakken peggy.bakken@ecm-inc.com
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My backyard sits next to a couple of small ponds. One is home to trumpeter swans every year, from early spring through late fall. They make a very distinctive sound when they sing – a very low-toned “whoa whoa” that indeed does sound like a trumpet. 

  • by Peggy Bakken peggy.bakken@ecm-inc.com
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My inbox has been inundated the past week with messages from area nonprofit organizations, expressing deep concern about the federal tax bill before Congress. If predictions hold true, sweeping tax reform will have passed by the time you read this.

  • ECM Editorial Board
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This is the sixth installment in an editorial series called The Changing Face of Minnesota. This year, the ECM Publishers Editorial Board is examining demographic changes and disparities in Minnesota that center around race, wealth, age, region and employment.

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Santa Claus uses special colored dust from fairies to make the magic of Christmas live all year in the minds and hearts of children and adults.

  • Joe Nathan
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The rash of reports about sexual harassment, intimidation and rape convinced me it was time to ask some experts for their advice to parents, grandparents and guardians. So during the first week of December, I talked with two experienced authorities, Katie Eichele and Walter Roberts.

  • By Dick Brown Guest Columnist
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In the year 2000 approximately 30 citizens of Champlin went before the City Council to preserve Champlin’s remnant of “Ancient Oak Savanna.” Members were Bill Bauer, Dick and Vera Brown, Joan Chalmers, Darby Nelson, Josephine Nunn, Bill Simpkins, and Bill and Betty Stein. We represented Izaa…

  • ECM Editorial Board
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Abuse of coworkers, subordinates, associates, acquaintances, male or female is wrong. Intimidation and coercion through power and position is wrong. Gender bias and gender arrogance is wrong. Suppression of human value, accomplishment and subsequent diminished reward, especially by gender, is wrong. Unwanted sexual advances, regardless of work or social environment, are wrong.

  • Bob Ramsey
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I like old folks. They’re my people. I’m one of them. But I have to admit that some seniors are jerks. They give growing old a bad name.

  • Lori Swanson
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Some companies attempt to convince people to hand over some of their monthly pension payments in exchange for a short-term loan. Exchanging future pension benefits for quick cash now might seem enticing, but can be a very expensive way to borrow money and result in low monthly pension paymen…

  • Sen. Al Franken
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On a recent Saturday, I had the opportunity to meet several veterans from Northern Minnesota as they arrived in Washington, D.C. on an “Honor Flight.” These flights allow the men and women who have served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam to travel to the nation’s capital to visit the memorials de…

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This year’s elections are history, but area citizens still have a voice about what is happening in their communities. As a reporter, I am inspired to see the various ways that citizens give their input between elections.

  • Joe Nathan
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Katie was referred to me when she started screaming uncontrollably at her social studies teacher. The teacher didn’t know what had set off this normally quiet 12-year-old. All the teacher knew was Katie (not her real name) would not stop screaming.

  • Don Heinzman
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City Councils throughout Minnesota are considering raising the sales age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 to protect the health of our young people.

  • Joe Hagerty
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The Wright County Sheriff’s Office would like to put out a friendly reminder and request for assistance to all retailers that fraud, scams and identity theft continues to be a growing problem. The problem is also evident in reports being filed with the Sheriff’s Office as well as surrounding…