Student United Way (SUW) club of the University of Minnesota – Crookston (UMC) is a chapter within the United Way of Crookston.  SUW’s purpose is to serve and provide support to charities and individuals in need within the Crookston community and the neighboring area.
A club of eight students advised by two UMC faculty members, with the guidance and support of Crookston’s United Way director Lori Wagner, SUW has made efforts to serve in many different fashions. 
SUW is here to support the United Way of Crookston 2017 campaign. Volunteering at the annual chili cook-off and hosting the UMC campaign portion assisting with department donations.  Previously, SUW began a mentoring program for children from Highland Elementary.  Each SUW member gained two “buddies” for different activities and events the club participated in.  These events ranged from creating tie blankets with each buddy, to an end of the year pizza party at Northern Air of Grand Forks.  This mentoring program allows bonds to form between the students of UMC and the students of Highland, providing fun, safe, and rewarding activities for all students involved.  SUW looks to continue the mentoring program this year for fifth and sixth graders from Highland.
Other services provided by SUW include delivering school supplies to Crookston schools and neighboring schools in need.  Fundraisers to support the United Way campaign and the club.  SUW is currently in the process of building Little Libraries to be placed within the Crookston community, stocked with books, providing free available literature to children in the neighborhood. 
Last spring, seven SUW student members accompanied by two advisors attended “Break a Difference” movement in Newark, New Jersey and New York City, New York.  Assisting in two volunteer categories, hunger and homelessness, along with child and youth.  This volunteer movement in partner with United Way provides services to people and organizations in need throughout the country.  Taking place over spring break the seven students stayed in the Boys and Girls Club of Newark, providing support to after school youth programs.  Included was maintenance of the building.  The club was also sent to food pantries in New York City to help feed the homeless and package food.  This allowed SUW members to experience helping others in a different environment with different people and recognize the similarities individuals face in a dense metropolitan compared to Crookston.

     UMC United Way members with blankets that they made at Highland School and helping out around town and the area




Emily Shea, a seventh grader at Crookston High School has taken the first step to become an internationally recognized artist by winning a local competition sponsored by the Crookston Lions in which she received $25.  Emily's poster was among more than 600,000 entries submitted worldwide in the 30th annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest. Lions Clubs international is sponsoring the contest to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere.  

        Emily Shea displays her winning poster




The Crookston American Legion Auxiliary presented students at Our Savior’s Lutheran School with patriotic rulers recently.

Pictured are principal Sandra Trittin, Caden Sanders, Andrew Johnson, and Auxiliary representative Elaine Metzger.






On Friday, at approximately 10:00 p.m., the Crookston Police Department attempted to stop a motor vehicle for high speed, on Fisher Avenue in Crookston.  The suspect vehicle fled from the stop.  A pursuit ensued in the City of Crookston that led into Polk County.  A Polk County Sheriff’s Office Deputy responded and eventually took over the pursuit near the City of Fisher MN on US Hwy 2.  Shortly after, the suspect motor vehicle, a 2002 Ford Taurus, lost control, struck a road sign and traveled into the south ditch of US Hwy 2.  The Ford Taurus became disabled and the suspect fled south on foot, into a wooded area.  Polk County Deputies, Minnesota State Patrol and East Grand Forks Police Department established a perimeter.
Robert Adam Torres Jr., age 19 of Crookston,  was later located in the City of Fisher MN and taken into custody.  Robert Adam Torres Jr. was arrested and is charged with Felony Fleeing in a motor vehicle, Gross Misdemeanor DWI, Fleeing on Foot, and Damage to property.
There were no injuries as a result of the crash.  No further information is being given out at this time.

  Robert Adam Torres Jr.




The Crookston High School has announced that Brock Heppner and Thea Oman will be the Crookston High School nominees for the Minnesota State High School League 2017 EXCEL AWARD.

Brock Heppner, son of Brad and Kari Heppner. Brock is active in soccer, hockey, golf, student council, Leo Club, and has been involved in choir.  He has been on the A honor roll for the past two years. He has also volunteered at the Food bank, Humane Society, Food Drive, Meals on Wheels, Operation Christmas Child, helped out in elementary classrooms, and has given golf lessons.
Thea Oman, daughter of Andy and Lynnea Oman.  Thea is active in swimming, track, choir, student council, and Leo Club.  She has been on the A honor roll for the past two years.  She also volunteers at the Humane Society, Meals on Wheels, adapted toys for disabled children, and Food Bank, as well as having helped residents of the Monastery move into a new building, served meals with her church youth group, gave school tours to the incoming seventh grade class, and helped out in elementary classrooms.

Excel Award recipients at Crookston High School meet the following criteria:
1. The student must be a junior in high school.
The student must be making satisfactory progress toward his or her graduation requirements.
 He or she must be a participant in League-sponsored fine arts and/or athletic activity.
 The student must hold a leadership position in school.
 He or she must work voluntarily within the community of Crookston.
 He or she must meet MSHSL General Eligibility Requirements.

Brock Heppner and Thea Oman





The Crookston High School announced that Merran Dingmann and Zachary Sanders will be the schools nominee for the Minnesota State High School League's TRIPLE A Award. Merran Dingmann, daughter of Brian and Melissa Dingmann.  She is active in orchestra, speech, visual arts, swimming, dance, and track.
Zachary Sanders, son of Steve and Laurie Sanders. He is active in choir, one-act, speech, soccer and tennis.

The purpose of the Triple A award is to recognize and honor high school seniors who have excelled in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in fine arts.  Triple A Award recipients at Crookston High School meet the following criteria:
 The student must be a senior in high school.
 The student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at the date of the nomination.  
 He or she must be a participant in League-sponsored fine arts and/or athletic activity.
 He or she must comply with the MSHSL’s Student Code of Conduct.

Zachary Sanders and Merran Dingmann





The RiverView Foundation Board of Directors would like to thank KROX for another great year of broadcasting RiverView’s Philanthropy Day event on Wednesday, November 15.
This year marked the fourteenth year KROX has broadcast live, on-site for this meaningful event filled with heartfelt stories from RiverView patients and staff sharing testimonials of the exceptional care they and their loved ones have received at RiverView Health. RiverView’s first Philanthropy Day event was held November 15, 2004. Since then more than 270 personal interviews have been shared with KROX listeners detailing how critical local healthcare services are for the people that live and work in our rural community.  “Philanthropy Day is an important day for our organization,’’ said Foundation Director Kent Bruun. “The annual event is important in helping to create an increased awareness of services offered at RiverView Health and to share the important role of donors and their support of RiverView’s mission. The Foundation Board and I want to thank Chris Fee and KROX for the years of support they have given this event. Without them it would not happen.’’
The Foundation Board of Directors would also like to thank those who shared their stories with KROX’ listeners, as well as everyone who participated in the Community Health Fair and the growing charitable support received from donors. As volunteer board members we are honored and committed to serve our locally governed community hospital so it remains healthy and strong, today and in the future.  Philanthropy Day is a great way to share all that we are thankful for at the Foundation. It is a great way to highlight the priority programs and medical equipment that provide the greatest benefits to the highest number of patients. We thank you for being a part of this important event, and for your continued support of the RiverView Health Foundation.

The RiverView Foundation Board of Directors
Kurt Heldstab – President
Ingrid Remick
Amy Ellingson
Christian Kiel
Sue Westrom
Jerry Lindsay
Maggie Grove
Marcia Schoenborn
Dr. Colin Fennell





The Crookston High School band helped to send Kate MacGregor off to compete in the state swim meet this morning. Kate will compete at her fifth straight Minnesota Swim meet next weekend after she broke school records in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly and was part of the school record breaking 200 Medley Relay team (along with teammates Merran Dingmann, Thea Oman, and Elizabeth Erdman) at the Section 8A Swim meet. She will swim in the 100 backstroke after winning the section championship and breaking her own school record in the process.  Kate also finished third place in the 100 butterfly and 400 freestyle relay, and she was part of the fifth place 200 medley relay team.   







The United Way of Crookston continues their capital campaign with the return of a popular Crookston tradition: Dine out Week. All you need to do is eat out at any of the participating local restaurants; Arby’s, Crookston Inn, Happy Joe’s, McDonald’s, I C Muggs/Mugoo’s, Irishman’s Shanty or RBJ’s, and the restaurant will donate up to 10% of their sales this week to the United Way.  “We haven’t done Dine out Week in a few years, so it has a fresh, new start," said  United Way Director, Lori Wagner.  "We have quite a few restaurants participating this year, who will give up to 10% of their sales from November 12-18 as a donation to the United Way of Crookston. So we strongly encourage you to go out and eat with your families this week at any of the participating restaurants: Arby’s, Crookston Inn, Happy Joe’s, McDonald’s, I C Muggs/Mugoo’s, Irishman’s Shanty or RBJ’s. It’s an easy way to support local businesses, as well as to give to the United Way. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Find out how your gift can make a very real, and area-wide impact at, or email Wagner at

Left to right: Dineout Week co-chair Tracy Kuchen, UW Director Lori Wagner, McDonald's manager Andrea Hensrud, and Arby's manager, Lynn Olson




Crookston Public Schools Superintendent Search Summary of Comments

Two community forums/listening sessions (one on Monday, October 30, at Crookston High School, and one on Tuesday, October 31) were held in the District and were facilitated by Minnesota School Boards Association representatives.  Forums/listening sessions for School District staff were held on Monday, October 30, and Tuesday, October 31, at Highland Elementary School and Crookston High School. A listening session for students was held on Tuesday, October 31, at the Crookston High School. In addition, the “Crookston Public Schools Superintendent Qualifications Survey” was available to the Crookston School District’s staff and community members via the School District’s website from October 17 to October 31, 2017.

A total of 143 people completed the survey (this number includes five surveys that were completed on paper). Survey takers were asked to identify the role that best reflected the basis for their responses. The survey takers indicated:
“Staff Member” - 38%
“Parent” - 33%
“Community Member” - 18%
“Business Owner” or “Student” - 11%

The on-line survey takers were asked to identify the top six desirable areas of expertise they believe the new superintendent must possess. The most frequently noted areas of expertise are listed below in order of preference:
Budget and Finance; Declining/Increasing Enrollment; School Reform (i.e., strategic planning, etc.); Personnel Management; Curriculum Development/Evaluation; and Public Relations

When asked to identify the top six specialized skills they believe the new superintendent must possess, the most frequently noted specialized skills were:
Act with honesty and in an ethical manner in dealings with the School Board, staff, and community
Visible in the School District and accessible to the School Board, staff, students, parents, and community
“People person” with proven abilities in human relations and communications
Develop and direct an effective leadership team
Knowledge of and successful experience in school district management practices
Knowledge of and successful experience in school finance

When asked if previous superintendent experience is important, 56% of the respondents selected “Yes,” while 44% of the respondents selected “No.”

And when asked to identify the top six personal characteristics they believe the new superintendent must possess, the most frequently noted personal characteristics were:
Honest and ethical; Effective communicator; Problem Solver; Consistent; Personable; and  Resourceful




Approximately 13 people, including some school board members, attended the community forums/listening sessions, and approximately 20 staff members participated in the staff forums/listening sessions. Eleven students participated in the listening session for students. The forum/listening session attendees were asked the same five questions. Their responses to the questions are available by clicking here.




A delegation from the University of Minnesota Crookston recently attended an Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Strategy Forum in Chicago, Ill. The Strategy Forum is central to the AQIP Pathway because it brings together teams from other AQIP Pathway institutions in a supportive workshop environment to generate new strategies and tactics for institutional improvement. 
The Forum also provides opportunities for institutional teams to give and receive constructive feedback on their quality systems as well as input on specific projects that may evolve into formal AQIP Action Projects. Whether institutions are new to the AQIP Pathway or experienced program participants, the institutions at Strategy Forums all share a commitment to continuous quality improvement. Higher Learning Commission staff and experienced facilitators are also available to assist the institutions throughout the workshop.

Left to right, Mark Huglen, professor, Liberal Arts & Education Department; Tricia Sanders, finance director; Sue Erickson, institutional effectiveness; Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause; Barbara Keinath, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs; Lisa Sameulson, interim associate vice chancellor for student affairs; and Jeff Sperling, director, technology support services 






Last week, 32 Crookston High School art students made a trip to Chicago to take in art of all kinds and of course some tourist items.  This was the sixth time Crookston High School students traveled to Chicago.  Each day, they would see a tourist attraction in the morning, visit a museum in the afternoon and a show each night.  The shows they watched were School of Rock on Broadway and Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. The main attraction was the Art Institute of Chicago. “The Institute would boast their Trip Advisor ranking of the third best museum of any kind literally on the planet,” said Crookston High School Art Teacher Gary Stegman. “We visited the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Field Museum. The Field’s artistic stake in the ground is arguably the best collection of Egyptian Art in America. We also saw the Jurassic World exhibit and were stalked by velociraptors and a T-Rex.”
Stegman said they ate authentic Chicago deep dish pizza and Chicago hot dogs at landmark restaurants. “We lived like Chicago would, riding el trains and walking 35 miles while we were there,” said Stegman. The kids explored Millenium Park and took selfies at “The Bean,” shopped the Magnificent Mile, saw Wrigley Field and saw Chicago from the tallest building in America. “The unwritten curriculum taught the kids to be responsible and street savvy as the kids learned to navigate a large city on their own, to live without a car, to interact with diverse people, to exhibit compassion for homeless, to recognize sheep from wolves,” said Stegman.  “Artistically, and maybe the most profound thing I could say was that the kids learned that art speaks for itself. The art has already impacted the kids. They already have been planning original artistic compositions, discussing literature/theater with their teachers and “how we ought to live,” writing papers, auditioning for the theater production, performing in musical groups. The trip is far from a vacation. It is a total learning experience through immersion in the arts. The kids came home tired and cranky, but more mature. The impact will be felt for years to come.”
The Chaperones on the trip were Jill Carlson, Sue Tiedemann and Chris Bates. “Each time we go, alumni ask to chaperone,” said Stegman.  “I get emails and texts from former students wishing us well as they recall their own trip years ago. Thanks to the school for allowing us to go, to chaperones Jill Carlson, Sue Tiedemann and Chris Bates, and thanks to the parents for supporting our program and sending their kids.”
You can hear more about the trip on the Focus on Education program on KROX Radio this Saturday at 8:45 a.m. 

The 32 students and chaperones at the bean in Chicago     A view of some of the building in Chicago (Pictures submitted by Chris Bates)




The Pirate Fine Arts Boosters recently made its fall program awards in the amount of $10,398.39.  In addition, PFAB awarded funds to support the Crookston High School auditorium in the amount of $6,100.  This past summer PFAB awarded $1900 in scholarship funds for four students to attend arts related camps.  
The Pirate Fine Arts Boosters work is made possible through the generous donations of citizens of Crookston and the surrounding area who support the arts programs in our public schools.   PFAB also received a generous donation from the estate of June Shaver.   Because of these donations our students and teachers are able to experience a quality of arts programming that would not otherwise be possible.   
Members of the Board include Elaine Metzger, Amy Ellingson, Alvern Wentzel, Phyllis Hagen, Belinda Fjeld. Dale Knotek, Beth Carlson, Greg Garmen, Liz Thompson and Jim Kent.
Donations may be sent to PO Box 743, Crookston, MN 56716.  All donations are tax exempt.





Jill Yohe, Ph.D., assistant curator of Native American art at the Minneapolis Art Institute will be presenting at noon on Thursday, November 16, 2017, in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston.  The event is free and everyone is invited to attend. Parking is recommended in Lot A and no parking permits are required.
Her presentation, Blanketing the Plains: Navajo Chief Blankets in Indian Country, will focus on blankets as a significant symbol/artifact in Native American Culture. 
oversees the Minneapolis Museum of Art’s (Mia) collection of Native American art. She arrived at Mia in 2014, having previously served as assistant curator and Mellon Fellow of Native American Art at the St. Louis Art Museum. There, she installed the museum’s first three permanent galleries of Native American art and collaborated with Lakota artist Arthur Amiotte and Crow artist Wendy Red Star to bring Native understandings to works from their respective communities.
She grew up in rural Pennsylvania, received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland, and studied anthropology for her Master of Arts at the University of New Mexico. For her Ph.D. (2008), also from the University of New Mexico, she focused on Navajo textiles, learning the Navajo language and living on the vast Navajo reservation for 4.5 years. Among her initiatives at Mia is showcasing native Minnesota artists, highlighting the art of native women, and bringing native perspectives to bear on the museum’s collection.
The Kiehle Murals Committee and the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Programs will be co-sponsoring the event in recognition of Native American Heritage month, which is recognized annually in November.





The third grade classes at Highland Elementary School might never have expected to be learning not only in their classrooms, but as it turns out, also at the Villa St. Vincent nursing home. “We thought it would be a really neat way for our students to do an outreach and community service project. We contacted the activities director at the Villa, and she was all for it, and we have been going ever since. Each of the four 3rd grade sections goes once a month,”said Andrea Ingersoll, a third grade teacher at Highland School.  “We do a lot of different things with the residents," she said. "Sometimes we’re reading to the residents, which is a really nice way for the kids to practice their fluency, and share some of their favorite books, and for the residents to have that one-on-one interaction with the kids; sometimes we bring seasonal art projects, and the kids really love that they leave those there for the residents, and the residents, from what we hear, like to show off their projects to their family members and visitors; sometimes we’ve had game days, where we’ve brought board games over and they’ve done things like that.”
While the activities provide a nice break in the daily routine for the residents of the Villa, and have naturally led to the development of new friendships, Ingersoll said, “I think the kids benefit even more than the residents. They are learning how to show respect for someone who is older than they are; how to be patient with the residents and repeat things if they need to; how to be accepting, not afraid, of someone in a wheelchair. Some of our students have never been exposed to a nursing home environment before, so when they go, it’s a real highlight for them.”





Crookston community businesses and organizations recently wrapped up with the Adaptive Leadership Learning Series this Thursday after 4-sessions at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites. The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), The Villa St. Vincent, LeBlanc Realty, RiverView Health, AgCountry Farm Credit Services, City of Crookston, the University of Minnesota Crookston, and the Chamber Board of Directors all took part in this second series of educational offerings for Chamber members and businesses put on the Chamber Growth & Development Committee. The sessions we focused on “Becoming Your Best Leader – Life Skills for the Adaptive Leader” with session topics ranging from mission & purpose, people skills, communication skills, and inspiration values & vision. The series was led by Tim Denney with Level 5 Services and Wonderful Life Foods catered each session.

L to R:
Lindsey Erdman, Villa St. Vincent, Judith Meyer, Villa St. Vincent, Lea Reitmeier, AURI, Nataki Morris, University of Minnesota Crookston, Crystal Maruska, RiverView Health/Crookston Chamber, Tracy Kuchan, LeBlanc Realty/Chamber Growth & Development Committee, Amber Lindemoen, Villa St Vincent, Linda Thompson, AURI, Aimee Wagner, AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Amerae Edgar, AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Shannon Stassen, City of Crookston, Tim Denney, Level 5 Services
Not pictured: Lorna Hollowell, University of Minnesota Crookston, Ryan Hager, Emily Nelson, Amy Seaver, & Annie Waldal, RiverView Health





The Crookston School Board met Monday night and heard a presentation by Kelly Smith, Vice President of Springstead Inc., who commended the Board on their upgrade from A3 to A2 in their general obligation unlimited tax (GOULT) rating, which, he said, reflects the school district’s moderate, but growing tax base; average resident wealth indices; strengthened financial position and liquidity levels; and manageable debt and pension burdens. The credit opinion was issued by Moody’s Investors Service.  “Each year Moody’s comes and asks a series of financial questions to determine the financial stability of the district," Business Manager, Laura Lyczewski explained. "This year we were granted an improvement in our rating – we went from an A2 to an A3 rating, which is a significant benefit for the school district, if we need to go out and borrow additional money, as we’ll get a lower interest rate. It’s a great thing, we’re happy to have it, and it’ll keep the district financially secure.”

Kelly Smith, Vice President of Springstead Inc., presents District Business Manager Laura Lyczewski,  a plaque commending the District on their credit upgrade

The Board also approved an employment agreement increase with Mike Delorme, Assistant Mechanic at the Bus Garage, from 28 hours per week to 40 hours per week with benefits; and approved the employment of Gayathri Venkatachalam as Title Aide at Highland Elementary School.

The Board also approved the list of Winter Coaches.
Boys Basketball - Head Coach Greg Garmen, Assistant Robbe Nessler, 9th Grade Tyler Porch, 8th Grade Wade Hanson, 7th Grade: Travis Ross, and Volunteers: Kevin Weber and Tom Anderson.
Girls Basketball - Head Coach Darin Zimmerman, Assistant Leah Kent, 9th Grade Tayler Christiansen/Katie Houdek, and 7th Grade: Brandi Nesseth.
Boys Hockey - Head Coach Josh Hardy, Assistants - Connor Morgan and Sam Melbye.
Girls Hockey - Head Coach Jaclyn Martin and Assistant Tim Moe.
Wrestling -  Head Coach Wes Hanson, Assistants - Chris Dufault, Jake Larkin, and Nate Merten. Volunteer coach Zach Berube.
Danceline - Co-Head Coaches Adrianne Winger and Sarah Kanten.
Speech - Phyllis Hagen and Gaye Wick
One Act - Beth Carlson
Skating - Erica Uttermark
Knowledge Bowl - Kristen Alston
Jr. High Knowledge Bowl - Katelyn Stegman.





The Crookston City Council met Monday night and began the evening with a Mayoral Proclamation by Mayor Wayne Melbye, proclaiming November 13-17, 2017 as American Education Week. They also heard from Marcia Meine, who appealed to the Council to consider funding a School Resource Officer (SRO), saying that an SRO in the schools would greatly benefit junior high students, and, “make a child feel more at ease when they transition to the high school.” Mayor Melbye informed Meine that the Ways and Means Committee would be discussing that topic later in the evening.

In other business, the Council passed resolutions to approve City of Crookston bills and disbursements in the amount of $275,807.84. 

Marcia Meine implored the City Council to consider funding a School Resource Officer





The Crookston Ways and Means Committee met on Monday night and heard an update from Police Chief Paul Biermaier on the status of the grant application for funding assistance for a School Resources Officer (SRO). Biermaier contacted the Department of Justice, and was informed that they hope to have notifications made on funded applications by the end of November, giving a few weeks of breathing room before the 2018 Budget needs to be certified by the Council at their December 11 meeting. If the application is funded, it would cover 75% of the officer’s salary and benefit in the first year, 50% in the second year, and 25% in the third year. Biermaier detailed a few of the benefits of having an SRO, including increased safety and a quicker response to calls; crime deterrence; relationship building and increased trust between the students and the police department. “An SRO is a community investment,” stated Chief Biermaier. “Here in Crookston they can positively impact 1,000 students plus their families, and really help change the face of law enforcement.”

The Councilmen also voted to approve a financial commitment of $30,000 (over two years) for a for a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) partnership with University of Minnesota Crookston. The SBDC office would likely be located at Valley Technology Park, which would put it in close proximity to UMC, and would allow businesses and entrepreneurs to work in tandem with Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) and their economic development incentives.

Preliminary budget discussions continued, with City Finance Director, Angel Weasner informing the Councilmen that she finally received notification from Polk County on the City’s tax capacity, which will assist in setting the levy for 2018. “We received our tax capacity estimate from the County, and it was an increase of $371,000. That brings the City’s estimated tax capacity up to $3.7 million dollars. What that $371,000 increase does is spread the bills out over more homes and more property taxes, so the levy percent will actually decrease in everybody’s taxes," said Weasner. "So it is a benefit to everyone, because we have managed to increase our tax capacity, the City’s portion on your homeowner’s taxes will be going down. The levy set by the County is still preliminary, but at eight percent, we will be receiving $2,123,424 over the next year. That is spaced out over 3,170 homes. The homes vary in price, of course, so if you have a more expensive home, you’ll pay proportionately more taxes, but you will still see a decrease in your City taxes next year.”



© 2000-2017™  - 1-218-281-1140 webmaster-Chris Fee

Copyright ©2017 KROXAM.COM All Rights Reserved.