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Home Care In Marine On St Croix, MN

Home Care Marine On St Croix, MN

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Marine On St Croix Bell gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Marine On St Croix, MN is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Marine On St Croix, MN

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Words cannot express how grateful we are for your companies services. We know it can be difficult to schedule around changing situations. We appreciate your flexibility and the care and compassion shown for my mother. A special thanks to your team.”


What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Marine On St Croix, MN?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Marine On St Croix, MN

Types of Elderly Care in Marine On St Croix, MN

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Marine On St Croix, MN
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Marine On St Croix, MN
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Gazebo at Marine on St. Croix with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Marine On St Croix, MN
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Änna's Bistro or visit Marine Mill, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Marine On St Croix, MN

Benefits of Home Care in Marine On St Croix, MN

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Marine On St Croix, MN, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Marine On St Croix, MN

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your MN's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Marine On St Croix, MN

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Marine On St Croix, MN understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Marine On St Croix, MN

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Marine On St Croix, MN

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • St. Croix CBRF
  • Scandia Elder Care
  • Comforts of Home Advanced Assisted Living and Men's Memory Care - St. Croix Falls
  • Sandhill Shores
  • Croixdale
  • The Lodge
Home Care Marine On St Croix, MN

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Marine On St Croix, MN

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Marine On St Croix, MN 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Marine On St Croix, MN

Latest News in Marine On St Croix, MN

See St. Croix 360 at the Marine Fall Festival

St. Croix 360 will once again have a booth at the Marine Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 16. Please stop by to say hi and peruse our River Goods. We’ll have numerous maps and other St. Croix merchandise for sale, the only chance to buy them in-person all year.The Marine on St. Croix community is coming together on Saturday, September 16 to celebrate the beauty of autumn and handcrafted art in the St. Croix Valley.Everyone is welcome at th...

St. Croix 360 will once again have a booth at the Marine Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 16. Please stop by to say hi and peruse our River Goods. We’ll have numerous maps and other St. Croix merchandise for sale, the only chance to buy them in-person all year.

The Marine on St. Croix community is coming together on Saturday, September 16 to celebrate the beauty of autumn and handcrafted art in the St. Croix Valley.

Everyone is welcome at the free Marine Fall Festival hosted by Marine Mills Folk School (MMFS), taking place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on September 16. Drop in anytime to enjoy a variety of activities that put community front and center.

The largest attraction at the Marine Fall Festival is the Artists’ Marketplace & Raffle. Each participant in the Artists’ Marketplace brings a unique point of view and connection to the St. Croix Valley, Marine on St. Croix and Marine Mills Folk School community.

More than 55 vendors will be on display, offering everything from buffalo fiber and art glass to wood carvings, pottery, and paintings, as well as herbs, maple syrup, candles, and much more. Many participants also will be demonstrating their craft.

In addition to the Artists’ Marketplace, the Marine area community is participating in every facet of the festival, from the food for sale to the live music and children’s activities.

As a festival sponsor, the Scandia-Marine Lions Club is selling food and donating the proceeds to MMFS. They also are providing tents for festival activities. Girl Scouts Troop #57357 will be selling beverages, and Marine Village School and the Marine General Store will be selling grab-and-go snacks.

Playing bluegrass music throughout the festival are North Shore Trail, whose members are from nearby Forest Lake, and Bluegrass Jam Session participants, who meet the second Saturday of the month at the folk school. Drummers from MMFS’s West African Drumming class, led by instructor Janice Hutton, will play in the children’s activities area.

Marine Village School, which co-shares the learning space with MMFS, is organizing children’s activities that spotlight the school’s vibrant arts programming.

A fire engine will be onsite and open for curious folks to explore, inside and out, courtesy of thevolunteer Marine Fire Department.

Sheep dog–herding demonstrations will be conducted throughout the day by Koru Farms’ Dan Reuter, who will bring a small flock of sheep and several border collies.

Additional activities for all ages will be offered by the Living History Society of Minnesota, whose civilian reenactors will provide opportunities for festival goers to play and interact with toys and games that children used in the 19th century, such as ball in a cup, a bilbo catcher, fabric dolls and others.

Knitting in Public will be led by Marine on St. Croix knitter extraordinaire Liz Towers. Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their knitting projects and join the community in knitting together.

Visitors also will learn more about the Marine Civic Club, Stone House Museum, Marine Community Library and Washington County Public Works at their respective booths.

Christ Lutheran Church of Marine will have a booth at the Artists’ Marketplace and has also organized a separate garage sale and church supper during the festival (located at 150 5th Street, Marine on St. Croix, MN).

In addition to participating in the festival, Artists’ Marketplace vendors generously donated items to the Artists’ Marketplace Raffle. Tickets for the raffle may only be purchased at the festival, for $5/ticket or $20/5 tickets, with ticket sales benefitting Marine Mills Folk School.

“Marine Mills Folk School follows a traditional folk school model emphasizing individual strengths combining to create stronger communities,” says Robin Brooksbank, outgoing Executive Director of Marine Mills Folk School. “A free community festival is a perfect way to share our mission, introduce new audiences to the artists we partner with and the classes we offer, and celebrate the vibrancy of the Marine on St. Croix community.”

After the festival ends at 4:00 p.m., attendees are encouraged to visit downtown Marine on St. Croix for more food, beverages and desserts from local establishments such as Änna’s Bistro, the Marine General Store, ’Nita Mae’s Scoop, St. Croix Chocolate Company, St. Croix Coffee Roasters, and the Brookside Bar & Grill, which will host live music.

American contemporary artist Mary Jo Van Dell’s Marine on St. Croix studio will be open along with a number of nearby artists’ studios as part of ArtReach St. Croix’s Take Me to the River event, for which Marine Mills Folk School is a sponsor.

The Marine Fall Festival is family-friendly, free and open to the public, and takes place on Saturday, September 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the folk school’s grounds at 550 Pine Street, Marine on St. Croix, Minn.

Sponsors include Scandia-Marine Lions Club and Security State Bank of Marine. Find complete information online at

These Minnesota-made chocolates are declared among the best in the world

St. Croix Chocolate Company in Marine on St. Croix took home high honors at the recent International Chocolate Awards world finals.The company, run by Robyn Dochterman, won a silver award for its burnt cinnamon and bourbon bar, which consists of — get this! — layers of real bourbon caramel and a ganache filling made by infusing flame-charred cinnamon sticks into cream, all inside b...

St. Croix Chocolate Company in Marine on St. Croix took home high honors at the recent International Chocolate Awards world finals.

The company, run by Robyn Dochterman, won a silver award for its burnt cinnamon and bourbon bar, which consists of — get this! — layers of real bourbon caramel and a ganache filling made by infusing flame-charred cinnamon sticks into cream, all inside brown butter milk chocolate.

They also won bronze for macadamia bonbons, which include macadamia blossom honey and brown butter macadamia shortbread cookies along with Venezuelan chocolate.

In the Americas division of the chocolate awards, announced in September, the bonbons earned the highest score in the “fillings” category and a gold award, which secured their spot in the global competition.

Results of the International Chocolate Awards, the largest craft chocolate competition in the world, were announced Nov. 23 in Florence, Italy. Dochterman herself was not able to attend in person — she’s in the middle of the holiday rush, after all — but former employee Nathan “Fox” Eisinger and Scandia-based beekeeper Cathy Mackiewicz, who produces some of the honey Dochterman uses, accepted the awards on her behalf.

Dochterman, 61, formerly a journalist at the Star Tribune, launched St. Croix Chocolate Company in 2010.

“The wins that we’ve had reinforce, for me, that we’re doing it right,” she said in October, the day before she sent samples of her chocolates to Italy for judging. “And that we’re creating an experience for our customers that makes your eyes roll back in your head for a moment, that sort of stops time.”

She’s been entering her chocolates in competitions since the beginning, even when she knew she wouldn’t win, she said. How else would she discover the high-water mark in chocolate — and set goals to beat it? This was before you could just scroll through Instagram, she pointed out.

“When I first started entering contests, I was a hilarious failure,” she said. “But it helped me to see, here’s where I want to be. Now, how do I get there?”

Online orders are currently sold out, but you can buy Dochterman’s chocolates in person at her small production facility/retail store in Marine. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

St. Croix Chocolate Company: 261 Parker St., Marine on St. Croix; 651-433-1400;

Marine on St. Croix hosting third annual Paddle Craft Show

Due to successful previous years, Marine on St. Croix will hold its third annual Boat and Paddle Craft Show, displaying canoes, kayaks, and other man-made watercraft. The event, organized by Marine residents, Bill Simpson, Curt Moe, and Mayor Kevin Nyenhuis, will take place July 11 where visitors can expect, beautifully crafted boats, food and drink, and other events for all who attend.“It was something I had been thinking about and brought it up to my Thursday morning coffee group,” Simpson explained in a previous intervi...

Due to successful previous years, Marine on St. Croix will hold its third annual Boat and Paddle Craft Show, displaying canoes, kayaks, and other man-made watercraft. The event, organized by Marine residents, Bill Simpson, Curt Moe, and Mayor Kevin Nyenhuis, will take place July 11 where visitors can expect, beautifully crafted boats, food and drink, and other events for all who attend.

“It was something I had been thinking about and brought it up to my Thursday morning coffee group,” Simpson explained in a previous interview with The Messenger on organizing the event. “I knew guys with historic canoes and thought it would be fun to have

about 10 canoes or so at the park for people in town to view. A light bulb went off in Kevin’s head. We put together the event and had a great turn out. People in Marine came, and we saw a lot of people from out-of-town attend.”

From the first year’s event, the number of watercrafts continued to grow. Now roughly 50 or more boats of various builds and designs show up at Burris Park. Although the idea started with handmade wooden boats as the center of the show, plenty of cleverly crafted watercraft began to show up from the modern, to the traditional.

“It’s kind of a wooden paddle sports focus… but it’s not just wood,” said, Curt Moe. “There are a lot of different hand-built canoes. We had a young man last year build some boats out of Styrofoam that he brought along. The very first year, Ann Bancroft brought a birch bark canoe that got a lot of attention. We’re hoping she can bring it again this year, but it’s a delicate beast. We also have a lot of vintage canoes from the latter part of the 19th century, early 20th century that are either fully restored or in various states of restoring.”

This year’s event will have a spoken-word poetry portion containing poems written by Marine residents that pertain to the event, or relevant poems that attendees found that they feel are worth sharing. There will also be food, drinks, vendors, and various tables set up for crafts like paddle making

“We’re really pleased with the turnout of people,” said Moe. “We’ll have a grill going, so we encourage people to bring food and drinks for a cookout. We’ll also have things set up for kids and the Folk School will have a table set up in talking about their activities along with Kevin Nyenhuis’ paddle making class.

“My goal for the event would be a friendly gathering of people who are interested in canoes and related watercraft. The event may appeal to woodworkers, since many of the boats are historic and handmade. Other boats are designed by noteworthy canoe designers, such as Gene Jensen.”

This year’s show will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Burris Park on 240 Judd Street. Set up will start at 4 p.m. for those wishing to help and take down will be shortly after 8 p.m. The Brookside Bar & Grill will be open for refreshments along with the Marine General Store.

“Mid-week, mid-summer is a great time to visit the village and I think we draw locals out, knowing it won't be a weekend crowd,” said Kevin Nyenhuis. “Come meet a new friend, meet a maker of paddle crafts, and be inspired by the beauty of community.”

Minnesota-made bonbons win awards at international chocolate competition

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A Minnesota chocolate shop was recognized with two awards from an international chocolate competition held over the weekend in Florence, Italy.

Robyn Dochterman, the chocolatier behind St. Croix Chocolate Co. in Marine on St. Croix, entered two creations — a Burnt Cinnamon and Bourbon bar and a Macadamia Bon Bon.

The milk chocolate bar, which contains a layer of bourbon caramel and a ganache filling infused with flame-charred cinnamon sticks, scored a silver award at the International Chocolate Awards.

The Macadamia bon bon, which had earned a Gold in regional Americas competition this fall, won bronze in the international competition.

Leila Navidi, Star Tribune

The awards are the world's largest craft chocolate competition. Entries are judged on flavor, texture and balance.

"I'm so pleased, and really proud of what we have accomplished," Dochterman said in a statement. "It's a huge achievement to compete on this level, and excel. ... We will always work hard to make sure our fine chocolates are among the very best in the whole world."

Dochterman, a former journalist at the Star Tribune, changed careers in her 40s to become a professional chocolate maker. "There's so much energy when you want to do something new, and that totally filled my brain," she told the paper earlier this month. "And then it was all about discovery."

St. Croix Chocolate Co. is at 261 Parker St., Marine on St. Croix,

Stillwater school district error leads to late notice of new Marine polling place

Stillwater Area School District officials are calling it an unfortunate pre-election mistake.A district employee mistakenly left Marine on St. Croix households off of an initial required mailing alerting residents of a change to their polling place. Instead of voting in the special election at Marine Village Hall on Tuesday, residents must drive to the May Town Hall in neighboring May Township.Postcards alerting the 630 Marine households of the polling place change weren’t sent out until Oct. 25 – 10 days after requ...

Stillwater Area School District officials are calling it an unfortunate pre-election mistake.

A district employee mistakenly left Marine on St. Croix households off of an initial required mailing alerting residents of a change to their polling place. Instead of voting in the special election at Marine Village Hall on Tuesday, residents must drive to the May Town Hall in neighboring May Township.

Postcards alerting the 630 Marine households of the polling place change weren’t sent out until Oct. 25 – 10 days after required notices were sent to the 3,344 other affected households in the district. District officials say the postcards were mailed out as soon as the error was discovered so residents would get the notice of the changed polling place before Election Day.

Polling places also were combined in Afton and Lakeland – at the request of election officials in Washington County – based on “manageability of the precinct due to the number of registered voters, voter experience and proximity to the even-year precinct for the voter,” county officials said.

State law requires that the district send out a notice 25 days prior to the election to inform voters of any change in polling-place location.

“It’s pretty late,” said Diane Mills, a Marine resident and election judge who discovered the error. “To have this happen, it kind of looks bad.”

When Mills learned on Thursday that the notice had not been mailed to Marine, she immediately called Washington County election officials. They, in turn, contacted district officials, who said they had mailed out the notices.

A district employee inadvertently missed Marine on St. Croix in the mailing, according to district spokeswoman Carissa Keister.

“It was an unfortunate mistake,” she said. “It was an administrative error, human error. It’s especially upsetting because Marine has already been deeply impacted by past decisions. We’ve been working to build connections again with the community of Marine and move forward.”

$175 million bond referendum

In 2016, the school board voted to close Marine Elementary School – along with Oak Park and Withrow elementaries — to save money and use its resources more efficiently.

Washington County election officials in December 2022 reached out to the school district with a proposed list of combination polling places for 2023, Keister said.

“This is a typical process for special elections,” she said. “The list included changes to three combined locations, which impacted a total of 3,974 households.”

The changes included:

State statute permits school districts to utilize combination polling places for their elections, said Christie Piskura, Washington County’s taxpayer services and elections division manager.

“The county partners with the school district in making a recommendation for polling locations, and we take several factors into consideration,” she said. “The two primary things we look at are population counts and geographical location. It is important that a voter does not need to travel a large distance to get to their combined polling place, while also considering resources and tax dollars needed to administer the election. The goal is to strike the right balance and to consider how potential changes might affect a voter’s experience.”

The school district on Tuesday will be asking voters to approve a $175 million bond referendum to fund construction projects to address growth in the southern and central parts of the district and improve safety at schools throughout the district.

The bond referendum would help the district add capacity in the communities served by Andersen Elementary in Bayport and Lake Elmo Elementary, the two oldest schools in the district, and construct additional classroom space and a new gymnasium at Oak-Land Middle School in Lake Elmo. It also would be used for safety and security improvements at all district schools, including a secured front entrance addition and remodel at Stillwater Area High School in Oak Park Heights.

The $175 million request would cost taxpayers with a median-priced home of $500,000 approximately $200 a year for 20 years.

Voters in the district also will elect a school board member to fill the seat vacated by Eva Lee, who resigned last winter. Chris Lauer, who was appointed to fill out Lee’s term, and Jessica Johnson are running for the seat.

Thankful to observant resident

Mills, the Marine resident who discovered the error, said she asked officials at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office to postpone the election, but they declined to do so.

“It really bites,” she said. “There’s nothing we can do at this point other than hire a private attorney and take them to court, but that would not accomplish a delay in the election because it would have to go through the court system.”

Superintendent Mike Funk said the district is “thankful to the Marine resident who reached out to us so we could address this issue prior to the election.”

Mills said she would not be supporting the referendum on Tuesday.

She said there are still hard feelings in the town, population 702, about the closing of Marine Elementary. She said she and others now support the two local charter schools — Marine Village School and River Grove Elementary School.

“A lot of people take this personally,” she said. “The district closed three perfectly good schools, and now they want to spend millions of dollars on two new schools. It just doesn’t make sense.”


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