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Living through, or even observing these moral, economic and health crises continue to unfold is taking an emotional toll. We have three choices in response to a crisis. We can fight, take flight or freeze. We can move in with high energy and take control; we can move away, going about our bu…

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Never in a million years would I think that my small town would take part in something so big. On June 5, La Porte played host to a protest in response to the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota man whose death sparked national outrage.

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David Rock, Ph.D., coined the acronym SCARF which stands for status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and fairness. These are the five domains that influence us emotionally, much of the time as a threat. Leaders can mitigate the impact of SCARF threats by creating some SCARF rewards.

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Just recently, one of the “regulars” at the Oasis Ballroom in Michigan City passed away – Martha Keserich Vance, known to most as Martha Nash. I thank Patty Nocek of the La Porte County Health Department for sharing Martha’s obituary. Martha sang regularly at the Oasis Ballroom in Michigan C…

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Ask any middle schooler their feelings about school on a normal day in the middle of the school year, you might hear something like, “I don’t wanna go to school,” or “I’m tired of school; I wanna stay home.” Fast forward to the end of March 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic, and you are…

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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and establishes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act both effective April 2, 2020, until Dec. 31, 2020. The bill basically amends the employers’ threshold from 50 or more employees to fewer than 500 emplo…

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Although there have been numerous tragedies in La Crosse, there have been good things there too – one was a doctor who cared for its residents for many years. His name was Dr. David Daniel Oak and in 1948 he had practiced medicine in La Crosse for 38 years.

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Some stress is good, even required to elicit activity. Too much stress is bad leading to feeling overwhelmed. Amy Arnsten, Neurobiology and Psychology Professor at Yale University, calls this the “Goldilocks of the brain.” Stress must be just right to achieve peak performance. This sweet spo…

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About 40 years ago a successful local realtor by the name of Marjorie Gondeck was in charge of the sale of a building at 809 Franklin St., Michigan City, when she was inspired by her passion and hobby of collecting trinkets and treasures. They found a home in this vacant space and her dreams…

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This month my class was assigned to write an essay or poem to honor Black History Month. I chose to write a poem. I also chose to write about more than one person and to honor many civil rights activists in my poem. I liked this project a lot because it gave me a chance to write about my eth…

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Indiana became a state in 1816 and Michigan City celebrated its 100th birthday with a Centennial Homecoming on Aug. 21-26, 1916. Continuous vaudeville was offered every day of the event at various “platforms” (locations). A six-episode pageant entitled “The Spirit of the Dunes” was offered o…

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I was at somewhat of a loss for what to write for this piece. So I decided to go with a topic that has been the center of more than a few (heated) classroom debates.

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Threat is more powerful than reward because our brains are designed to keep us safe. Studies show the avoid (threat) response generates more arousal, more quickly and lasts longer than the approach (reward) response. The limbic system within the brain controls our emotions. It can process in…

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During the 2019 holiday season, some were, for the first time, introduced to the Giese Chapel, which has been a holiday favorite since 1947.

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There are a number of goal setting practices. SMART, published in 1981, is still used today. Defining Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound aspects of the goal is still a popular model. SMART, as well as other goal-setting models use information to develop a clear state…

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Right now in the United States, even after years of fighting to raise awareness, the LGBTQ+ community is still being attacked. It doesn’t even have to be provoked; every day, people who are a part of this community are harassed. Whether it’s because of religion or just an unfair bias, it’s s…

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Although La Porte County is generally identified as an “agricultural” county, it has had its share of manufacturing firms. Today, these firms have been replaced with much smaller companies with lesser employees. It is important, however, that we remember how “it was” to understand how “it be…

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Q: I recently tried to renew my car registration and was told there was a “hold” put on me for unpaid toll violations! I do not remember not paying a toll or any toll booths as they said it was in southern Indiana. And is this really true that they can stop me from registering my car?

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On Nov. 15, 77 students from Krueger Middle School traveled to various locations around Michigan City to give a helping hand to the staff members of Friendship Botanic Gardens, the Elston YMCA, Fried's Cat Shelter, the Macedonian Missionary Baptist Food Pantry, and the Washington Park Zoo. L…

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Q: I think this is a good police question. I just don’t understand why some people caught speeding just get a warning ticket, and others get a paying one. If someone is speeding, shouldn’t it just be a ticket for everyone, end of story?

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Most leaders have been thinking for others for decades; knowing what is best; and leading and directing others. That is what leaders do. Recent neuroscience wants to rock that boat.

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Q: I recently read on Facebook that you can dial 112 on your cell phone and you get emergency help right away that shows your name, phone number, address and exact location of where you are at! I find this hard to believe as it is not advertised anywhere else. Is this really true or just Fac…

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Well, this is middle school. Today we are going to talk about the life of a Middle schooler! (It's not as hard as you think. The more we get into the school year, the better it gets.)

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The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has pledged to save a percentage of the state’s old-growth forests, but this must be done in the proper way to get the true benefit. At present, the strategic plan includes protecting 10 percent of state forests to allow them to become old-growth forest.

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Q: My grandfather recently had passed away and my wife and I went through his basement and attic. During our search we found a very large amount of .22 shells and two .22 handguns that are very old and look dangerous. Where and how can I get rid of them?

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The sympathetic nervous system lights up in response to negative feedback. This is the “fight or flight” system. The brain is focused only on survival when it’s activated.

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I’m sad to say good-bye to August, but a few lazy, hazy days of summer remain. Time enough to take a walk down memory lane.

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Q: We live in an apartment complex here in Michigan City and one of the tenants has a daughter that is 12 years old and she is not attending any school. She tells my children it’s because she just doesn’t want to! Now of course my kids want to stay home! Can her parents just allow this?

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Jammed lockers. Forgotten gym shorts. Lost lunch money.

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Q: All summer I have been constantly harassed by some jerks from school. I am only 17 and not old enough to get a handgun permit, so is it legal to carry a fake/toy gun that looks real? Can I get arrested?

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Training Magazine, the Association for Talent Development and many others have conducted studies to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of training. As a result, we learned instructor-led classroom training is the most used and is the second most effective method despite all the advancem…

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Q: I am so upset because I recently just found out from my friends that a guy I went to school with last year has been taking pictures of me with his cell phone over the last few weeks without my permission. There were several photos of me at the parade and fireworks and one at the beach. No…

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There is a stigma associated with suffering. People don’t want to show it and onlookers don’t want to see it. Grieving the loss of a loved one is a private sadness. Caring communities come together to support those in grief. Workplaces promise a sense of community, yet have much to learn to …

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Q: I own a small farm in La Porte and since school is out some kids have been coming on my property messing around in my barn. Am I legally allowed to shoot at them with a BB gun just to scare them?

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According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 10.5 out of 100,000 adults will develop oral cancer. Yet people might not recognize the symptoms until the cancer is discovered on a routine visit to their dentist or healthcare provider.

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I am writing in response to the article “Smoking ban snuffed out” in The News-Dispatch on May 29. I commend Councilwoman Sharon Carnes for leading the smoke-free parks public health initiative in Michigan City. Though the ordinance was rejected, this is an opportunity to raise awareness abou…

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Employers would be wise to stop promoting individuals as a reward for performance in a different role. Choose supervisors based on their talent to communicate well and ability to develop others. Natural supervisors want to be open and are approachable. Good supervisors establish priorities a…

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Q: I got a “what if?” kind of question. My friends and I want to make a cool video that may or may not involve a little mischief and sort of stealing some stuff. We would eventually return everything, but my question is, if I am just involved in the filming and production of the video, can I…

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My Krueger experience was very different from my experience at my old school. Krueger was a very big change for me. Coming from a private Montessori school, things weren’t what I was used to. I was used to doing things very hands-on and learning the same thing every year, just in a different…

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As my last year in middle school comes to an end, I will give you the perspective of middle school from the eyes of a 13-year-old eighth grader. When I first walked into Krueger I remember all the thoughts going through my mind. I felt as if this was a new beginning, which it actually was. I…