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FRIDAY - APRIL 24,  2015

EICKHOF COLUMBARIA RECEIVES IDEA COMPETITION $10,000 AWARD

The IDEA Competition announced the names of three 2015 winners and three runners-up on Wednesday, April 22 at the IDEA awards banquet held at University of Minnesota Crookston. Each winner receives $10,000 in cash to advance their business idea, plus additional specialized technical assistance. 

The 2015 winners are:
·  Paul Eickhof, Crookston, president of Eickhof Columbaria, Inc. – manufacturer of columbaria, now bringing to the market the Ossuarium, a new product that incorporates traditional architecture with the idea of an ossuary.
·   William Weaver, Bemidji, founder of LitWeaver, Inc. – a cloud-based digital curriculum provider for grades 5-12, designed to address the opportunities and challenges of 21st century education.
·  Adam and Tim Wagner, founders of Vertical Malt – a craft malting company, which is rooted in the local agricultural economy and provides specialty malt products to the craft brewing industry.    

The 2015 runners up are NISKY, LLC., creator of the GOALTENDERS BFF, Trinity Land Craft, LLC., creator o the Tanto™ personal vehicle, and Stittsworth Meats, a family-owned and operated meat market.
The main goal of the IDEA competition is to assist promising local entrepreneurs in the commercialization of innovative products, processes and deliveries by connecting them to the best resources available, along with access to the capital it takes to launch a successful venture. 
The IDEA Hall of Fame added the Steiger family, creator of the Steiger tractor to its distinguished list of inductees. The IDEA Hall of Fame was established to recognize the accomplishments of the region’s legacy innovators—those within the region who have inspired others with their entrepreneurial vision, leadership and achievement.
Major sponsors of the IDEA Competition include: Northwest Minnesota Foundation, 360 Manufacturing Center of Excellence, University of Minnesota Crookston, Bremer Banks of Crookston and Warren, Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc., Security Bank USA, Northwest Regional Small Business Development Center, Border State Bank, Ultima Bank Minnesota, and LaValley Industries. 


Front Row - Mychal Stittsworth, Edwin Dale Hahn, Jack Eickhof,  Eric Niskanen, and Adam Wagner
Back Row - Paul Eickhof,
William Weaver, and Tim Wagner.

 

 

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA CROOKSTON TO HOLD GRADUATION CEREMONY ON MAY 9

Entrepreneur David G. Ekman will address the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) Class of 2015 during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 9, 2015. Graduates will take part in the ceremony, which begins at 2:00 p.m. in Lysaker Gymnasium. All are welcome to attend.
Ekman (pictured right), a 1981 graduate of UMC, grew up in Argyle, Minn., and has more than 30 years of business experience. During his time at UMC, he played college basketball, served as student senate president, and earned his associates degree in agricultural business management. While attending North Dakota State University and majoring in agricultural economics, Ekman started in the computer business by purchasing a ComputerLand franchise at the age of 20. This began a series of business ventures including a technology company, an internet service provider, a travel agency, hotel development and investment, a self-storage business, and various real estate projects.
He recently retired as the CIO of Multiband Corporation, a NASDAQ-listed field services company with more than 3,000 employees which he helped start.  He serves on various boards and committees, including the Campus Advisory and Advancement Board for the Crookston campus, and stays active in his many business dealings. Ekman and his wife, Paula, reside in Fargo, N.D., with their three teenage children.
A reception in the Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center, precedes the commencement ceremony from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The public is welcome to attend both events; no tickets are required.
 Additionally, a special reception for online graduates will be held at 10 a.m. in the Prairie Room, Sargent Student Center, and a reception for international student graduates will be held following commencement exercises at 4:00 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.
On Saturday at 2:00 p.m., the formal procession of faculty, candidates for degrees, and platform guests will begin from the Sargeant Student Center to the gymnasium led by Mace Bearer William Peterson, professor in the Math, Science, and Technology Department. The procession also includes Faculty Marshal W. Daniel Svedarsky, professor and director of the Center for Sustainability on the Crookston campus.
Bringing greetings from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents is the Honorable Peggy Lucas, from Minneapolis, Minn., who will also assist with the conferring of the degrees. 
UMC Alumni Association (UMCAA) Board President Lauralee (Nicholas) Tupa '05 will bring greetings from the UMCAA and welcome the new graduates to the alumni association. The UMC Community Band under the direction of TJ Chapman, lecturer in the Math, Science, and Technology Department, will perform along with selections during the ceremony by the campus choir under the direction of Associate Professor George French.
Graduating senior Justin Goodroad, a horticulture major from Lindstrom, Minn., Crookston Student Association (CSA) president, will speak on behalf of the Class of 2015 and pass the torch of education, a Crookston campus tradition, to the incoming CSA president Tareyn Stomberg, a junior double majoring in animal science and agricultural business from Menahga, Minn.
The 2015 commencement exercises mark the 107th graduating class to be recognized on the Crookston campus. A live audio stream of the commencement exercises will be available at www.umcrookston.edu/people/services/mediaservices
For more information, visit the commencement website at www.umcrookston.edu/commencement.

 

 

TRI-VALLEY OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL HOLDS COMMUNITY FORMS, THE BUS CONTINUES TO GROW RIDERSHIP NUMBERS

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council has been holding community forums around the area. The forum was held in Crookston on Wednesday where executive director Jason Carlson talked about transportation, Head Start and Senior Programs.  “The transportation system is working well and has grown significantly over the years and it is public transportation for everyone,” said Carlson.  “We are providing more than double the rides we did four to five years ago.  We are busy in the mornings and afternoons to get people to jobs and the rest of the time we get people to appointments and we have the Fun Bus in the summer in Crookston to get kids to their summer activities and it is safe and hugely popular.”
The Head Start program can take new students.  “We are the only Migrant Head Start in North Dakota and Minnesota with year round Head Start in Crookston, East Grand Forks, and Hendrum and anyone interested in getting in Head Start should contact the main office,” said Carlson, who added that they also offer Senior programs.  “We take the senior programs very seriously and are starting a new caring companion program very soon.”
Tri-Valley has been providing services since 1965.


 

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA CROOKSTON ROTARACT CLUB INSTALLS A PEACE POLL ON THE UMC CAMPUS

The UMC Rotaract Club installed a peace pole on the campus grounds yesterday by planting the Universal Message of Peace.   “I’ve been working with peace poles for many years,” said Edward Gerke, of Detroit Lakes, who represented the World International Peace Prayer Society at the installation.   There are 250,000 peace poles around the world.  At UMC we have eight languages and we want people to come sit, meditate and pray to focus on peace for all humanity.”
Dennis Imbiek, of Wadena, released a dove.  “The dove is the universal sign of peace along with love and hope for the future,” said Imbiek.  “I think it is about as appropriate thing you can add to the peace pole project, we haven’t had a lot of peace for a long time, but many wars.”

 

 

 

THURSDAY - APRIL 23,  2015

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL TO HOST THE TRIPLE A SENIOR RECOGNITION BANQUET ON MONDAY

The seventh annual Crookston High School Triple A (Arts, Academics, and Athletics) senior recognition banquet will be held on Monday, April 27 in the Crookston High School Commons.   The Crookston High School Hall of Fame recognition has been moved to homecoming in September and will not be part of the banquet.  “We moved the Hall of Fame to homecoming so the Triple A banquet will be on Monday, April 27,” said Crookston High Activities Director Greg Garmen.  “Seniors should be in place by 5:30, the meal at 6:00 and move to the auditorium at 6:45 and with the senior talent part of the program and the Dave Davidson will read the awards, academics, arts and athletics in order for the seniors.”  People not going to the banquet can attend the awards ceremony free starting about 6:45.  Sponsoring the event are Crookston Kiwanis, Crookston Rotary, Noon Day Lions, Fine Arts Boosters and Pirate Boosters.

 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL PROM AND BLAST TO BEDE WILL BE HELD THIS WEEKEND

The Crookston High School Prom is set for Saturday, April 25 followed by the Blast to Bede. Grand march starts at 5:00 p.m., so the students should line up at 4:30, the dinner at 6:30 and the dance from 9:00 to 11:00.  After the dance the students have an hour before the doors to Blast to Bede (the after prom party) close at midnight. 
There are standard rules for the prom and Blast to Bede - Zero tolerance for smoking, drinking, drugs or violence.  At Grand March they don’t allow baseball hats, sunglasses or chewing gum.  The theme for the Blast to Bede is Uptown Bede from Bruno Mars song Uptown Funk.

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY - APRIL 22,  2015

CROOKSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT ARRESTS HIT AND RUN SUSPECT

On Tuesday, April 21 at 2:10 a.m. the Crookston Police Department was dispatched to a vehicle accident at 1201 Walsh Street in Crookston.  Upon the officer's arrival, they found a white pick-up in the yard with major front end and right side damage.  It appeared the vehicle struck a tree in the yard at 1201 Walsh Street.  There were no occupants in the vehicle when the officers arrived and owners of the residence were home at the time of the crash.  Officers learned a male was seen running from the vehicle after the crash.  Officers also found the vehicle had driven through multiple yards between the 600 block and 1200 block of Walsh Street, prior to the crash.  The vehicle had been stolen earlier in the night from Thief River Falls. 
Santos Bower, 25 years old, was identified as a suspect and was located at 504 Summit Avenue in Crookston.  He was arrested, transported to RiverView Hospital and was treated for minor injuries and then transported to the Northwest Regional Correction Center in Crookston. 

 

 

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVE BIDS FOR ROAD CONSTRUCTION AND CALCIUM CHLORIDE APPLICATION

Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and approved bids for road construction in the county this summer.  Darrin Carlstrom of the Polk County Highway Department said they had the letting for the federal aid overlay projects for County Road 8 south of McIntosh, County Road 2 south of Gully, and County Road 45 south of Crookston.  The total for the three projects is $2,581,549.40, which was about four percent under the estimated cost.”  The low bidder was MinDak Asphalt of Thief River Falls.

Randy Huot, Polk County Highway Department Maintenance Supervisor said calcium chloride will be available for dust control for the rural areas and anyone else who wants to use it. “People that previously had the service were sent letters along with township officers and city officials,” said Huot. “We have forms on the county website to be returned in person or mailed in. The resident makes the request and pays for it while the county will apply the product.”  Tri City Paving got the bid for the calcium chloride at $1.09 a gallon.

 

 

POLK COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES RECEIVES GRANT FOR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Polk County Social Services received an additional grant of $14,800 for adult mental health services.  “This is for the mental health initiative in the eight northwestern counties to serve individuals who need a level beyond hospitalization to help support people get back in the community with the funds from the Department of Human Services,” said Kent Johnson, Social Services Director.

 

POLK COUNTY PLAT BOOKS SHOULD BE AVAILABLE BY THE END OF THE MONTH

Michelle Cote, Polk County Property Records Director, informed commissioners that the new plat books are being printed and should be available at the end of the month.  She was given approval for book binding at a cost of $9,658.00 for records from 1873 to 1952.   A temporary liquor license was approved for the Knights of Columbus on May 24 for Johnny Holm Band at the Maple Lake Pavilion.   Johnson Controls was awarded the bid for Justice Center Air Handlers repair on coils and diagnostic work at a cost of $17,860.00.  

 

 

UMC BRINGING IN MORE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOLS TO CAMPUS AND MOVING THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE

The University of Minnesota is going to moving forward with more economic development for the region with new agencies moving in according to UMC Chancellor Dr. Fred Wood. “We have the long time commitment of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies on campus, we are getting the Small Business Council moving to campus in January and the Economic Development Authority is coming to campus,” said Chancellor Wood. “We are interviewing for the director so this will be good for the campus and region.”

The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) is moving from the UMC campus across the road to the Valley Technology Park. “We have been working with the city on the Valley Technology Building and they have worked on space for us to move AURI here in the next month or so and then we will work over the space for the UMC Admissions office, which has been buried in Owen Hall,” said Chancellor Wood. “This will be great for the admission office and it will be very nice with more parking so Carola Thoreson, Admissions Director and staff are very excited to make the change.”

 

 

UMC STUDENT ATHLETES STOP BY HIGHLAND SCHOOL TO PLAY WITH THE KIDS


The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden
Eagle student-athletes recently came to Highland School and played games with the students at recess.  

 

 

TUESDAY - APRIL 21,  2015

CHEDA APPROVES LOAN REQUESTS AND TEAMS UP WITH TRI-VALLEY TO WORK ON MORE HOUSING

The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority met this morning and approved loan requests for two projects in Crookston.   The first request was from Hector Santellanes for a loan to demolish his garage and pour a new slab, patio and build a three car garage for himself and his renter.  “The board felt it was a good use for the rehab money,” said CHEDA executive Director Craig Hoiseth.  Another request was from Rosalyn Nephew, owner of Berry Burst, for a revolving loan. “They want to expand with a mobile unit to travel around the city selling their product,” said Hoiseth. Hector Santellanes will borrow $25,000 for the project and Nephew will borrow $10,000.

Hoiseth presented a low income tax credit housing update to the board.  “We have been keeping this low income housing plan for 30 condominium units for Crookston,” said Hoiseth.  “We are evaluating the property for environmental concerns and change the zoning to get the site in place for the application.” The City of Crookston and Tri Valley Opportunity Council are part of the housing project.  “Tri Valley is working with us on this project, they could be the one percent equity partner which would manage the project,” said Hoiseth.  “This would duplicate what was done on the west side of the tracks and do it on the east side of the tracks.  This would be 30 more work force housing unit so we are excited to be working with Tri-Valley.”

 

 

CROOKSTON PARK BOARD GETS AN UPDATE ON THE SPLASH PARK, TURNS DOWN HOVEN LANE HOUSING

The Crookston Park Board met on Monday and had an update on the Splash Park which will be built at Highland Park.   City Administrator Shannon Stassen said a timeline is in place to get quotes to get costs in place.  “We will be reaching out this week to get quotes and prices from vendors to bring back to the Park Board in May to have solid figures on the cost,” said Stassen.  “The city wrote a grant to the DNR outdoor activities program a month ago and we should hear if we get it this summer.  The Splash Park committee also wrote a grant.”
The Splash Park committee has $52,168 in cash along with $32,000 of in kind work to be done and pledges of $12,000.

The Park Board rejected the proposal to take three lots from the Hoven Lane Park for new homes. “We will just move forward and keep it as park land which is fine and maybe review it in a few years,” said Stassen. “I will not be moving forward at this time as the park board has spoken.” There was a concern about competing with private property owners who would like to sell lots for homes and covenants as to keep the homes built as single family dwellings.

 

 

CROOKSTON PARK AND REC TO HOST SUMMER REGISTRATION DAY

The Crookston Park and Rec Department has been coordinating Summer Registration Day set for Wednesday, April 22 at the Crookston Sports Center.  “People can sign up for all the summer activities from all agencies beside the city, Boy Scouts, school programs, and all the different clubs will be on the event rink until 7:30 for parents to bring their children and get signed up,” said Scott Butt, Crookston Park and Recreation Supervisor.

 

 

CROOKSTON ROTARY CLUB SPONSORING JUNIORS (TO BE SENIORS) AT THIS YEARS RYLA TRAINING PROGRAM AT UMC

The annual Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) Camp is scheduled for July 12-18, 2015 at the University of MN Crookston. RLYA is a leadership training program offered to students who have completed the 11th grade in high school and will be sponsored by the Crookston Rotary Club. The program is designed to develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship. More information is available online at www.district5580ryla.org.  Applications are available in the Guidance Office or from Sarah Reese. Completed applications can be returned to the Guidance Office or directly to Sarah Reese. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 1 at 3:30 p.m. Additional questions, please feel free to contact Reese by phone at work 281-3385 or cell 218-349-0457.  For an application click here.

 

 

CROOKSTON UNITED WAY IS CALLING FOR GRANT APPLICATIONS

The United Way of Crookston is calling for funding proposals for programs and services that benefit Minnesota’s youth within 25 miles of Crookston, MN. The desired outcome for these grants is to enhance or improve the opportunities, education and quality of life for our young people throughout the state.
We envision a region where Minnesota’s youth reach their full potential. They are our state’s future teachers, scientists, medical professionals, and civic and cultural leaders.
The deadline for submission of proposals is May 12, 2015. Grants will be awarded by May 22, 2015. Applications will be available at the United Way of Crookston’s office or through our website www.unitedwayofcrookston.org
For questions about the application, contact Katya Zepeda, UWC Executive Director at 218-281-1715 or by e-mail at katya@unitedwayofcrookston.org.

 

 

UMC'S COLLEGE IN A HIGH SCHOOL COORDINATOR ORGANIZES ACTIVITIES FOR CATHEDRAL SCHOOL

Megan Luxford, College in the High School coordinator at the University of Minnesota Crookston, organized activities for a meeting of the Helping Hands Club at the Cathedral School that highlighted Crookston as a GreenStep City and what we can do for the earth. With help from DeAndra O’Connell, Sustainable Community Outreach coordinator; Riley Bell, a senior natural resources major from Laurens, Iowa; Laura Gabrielson, a senior software engineering major from Orr, Minn.; and Alison Agresta a community outreach corpsmember with Conservation Corps Minnesota, they discussed how individuals can take care of the earth. Partnering with U of M Extension and Project Get Outdoors, a non-profit organization promoting nature exploration for kids by promoting biking, the group talked about topics around sustainability including, gardening, biking, and developing a list of sustainable tasks they might see in the community. Hands on activities and a brainstorming session on what each students "gift to the world" might be were also a part of the monthly meeting. 


In the back row of the photo are (left to right): Megan Luxford, DeAndra O'Connell, Laura Gabrielson, Alison Agresta, and Riley Bell

 

 

MONDAY - APRIL 20,  2015

CROOKSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT RESPONDS TO CAR/MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT, TEEN SITED FOR INATTENTIVE DRIVING

On Saturday, April 18 at 2:52 p.m. the Crookston Police Department and Crookston Area Ambulance responded to a report of a car/motorcycle crash on University Ave at the intersection of North Acres Drive. Through the investigation Officers determined Matthew Hughes, age 29 of Crookston, driving a 2008 Honda Goldwing, was  northbound on University Avenue, and Jennifer Seeley, age 18 of Roseau, driving a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu, was westbound on North Acres Drive crossing University. Seeley was distracted by an electronic device and failed to yield as she entered the intersection. Hughes was unable to avoid the crash and struck the Malibu. Hughes was transported by ambulance to Riverview Healthcare. Seeley was cited for inattentive driving. The Crookston Fire Department assisted at the scene.  

The Crookston Police Department reminds drivers of the importance and responsibility to not be distracted and to pay attention when operating motor vehicles. It is the season for motorcycle use, please be aware and take the extra second or two to look twice at intersections for everyone using our streets including bicyclists, walkers, runners, golf carts and especially children playing.

 

 

CITY OF CROOKSTON TO HAVE SPRING CLEAN UP WEEK THIS WEEK, APRIL 20-24

The week of April 20 is Spring Clean-Up Week in Crookston. Clean-up items will be picked up only on your regular garbage pickup day and must be placed on the street boulevard. Please note: Compost material - grass clippings, lawn or garden waste - WILL NOT have to be in City compost bags for this week only. Cleanup items should be separated into the following piles: garbage, clothing, cardboard, etc.; appliances; branches and yard waste; furniture, metal items, demolition, etc. and tires. Placing these items out in separate piles will help speed the clean-up process. In awareness of clean up week in Crookston, Polk County Public Health advises to not bring furniture, mattresses, box springs, or bed frames found on the street into your home in order to prevent the spread of bed bugs. http://www.bedbugs.umn.edu/
Due to State Law, all video display devices (TV’s, computer monitors, etc.) cannot be land filled. Therefore, these items will not be collected during clean-up. These devices may be disposed of at Polk County Environmental Services (Transfer Station), free of charge. Video display devices left on the boulevard more than 48 hours are subject to a $25 penalty surcharge.
Concrete, batteries, partially full paint cans, other chemicals, or large amounts of demolition debris will not be accepted. Branches must be cut in four foot lengths and bundled.
Items should be placed on boulevards no more than 72 hours prior to your collection day. Remember, Spring Clean-Up Week is April 20 - April 24 in Crookston.

 

 

CROOKSTON TRAP SHOOTING TEAM READY TO START ANOTHER SEASON

The Crookston Pirate Trap Shooting team is in their third year as a club sport and they are getting ready for competition again this year. There are 33 kids signed up, up from 24 last year and 16 the year before. “We shoot each Wednesday night at the Crookston Gun Club and post the scores online and get grouped up with conferences around the state,” said advisor and coach Darren Gjerswald. “This program went from three teams in 2001 to 240 teams now.  States like South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin have started and now it is called U.S. A. Trap shooting,” Area schools like Fosston is getting started, and Warren is working on a new facility.  “It worked out nice for us because we use the Crookston Gun Club. We are waiting for a trap machine to be delivered and are working to replace the trap houses to update the Gun Club,” said Gjerswald.  “Competition is virtual in conferences so we are going against about 12 other schools.  Like any other school sports, we have a big tournament in Alexandria this year shooting on site. We hear there will be 8,000 students attending,  up to third place goes to the state championship in Minneapolis.”
The trap shooting club is for grades 6 through 12 and a valid firearms safety certificate.

 

 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY TO HOLD THEIR INDUCTION CEREMONY APRIL 30 

The Crookston High School National Honor Society will hold its Induction Ceremony on Thursday, April 30 at 8:00 pm in the Crookston High School Auditorium. Three seniors and eleven juniors will be inducted as new members.  They will join nine sustaining members of the Society.  The public is welcome to attend.

Sustaining Senior Members: Sydney Boike, Danica Brekken, Madison Crane, Dan Davidson, Amber Froeber, Mercades Haglund, Jonathan Miller, Gabriela Ostgaard, Taylor Perry

2015 Inductees: Seniors: Luke Edlund, Kari Gillette, Michael Hajostek
Juniors: Brooke Bergeron, Charles Brantner, Timothy Cymbaluk, Gunther Dingmann, Marietta Geist, Alyssa Goelzer, Brooke Gornowicz, Zachary Lutz, Haley Roed, Elisa Samuelson, Marie Sandman, Alyssa Schultz, Kyle Stegman, Robert Tiedemann, Leah Trostad

 

 

KEM SHRINE CIRCUS WILL BE HELD APRIL 25-26 AT RALPH ENGLESTAD ARENA IN GRAND FORKS

The Kem Shrine Temple Shriners and the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks is proud to present the 69th annual Kem Shrine Circus on April 24, 25 and 26.  Kem Shrine Circus has selected the Cindy Migley’s Circus as the producer with several new acts, including five white Bengal tigers, sword balancing, human cannon, elephants, and more.  Business and professional people throughout the area provide free tickets to every child in school up through eighth grade with the goal to ensure that every child has an opportunity to see the Kem Shrine Circus free of charge.

 

CATHEDRAL STUDENTS HELP CLEAN UP CENTER COURT AT THE VILLA ST. VINCENT


Cathedral students from Tammy Kraft and Colleen Thompson’s classes volunteered to clean up the center court at the Villa St Vincent.  “We are so thankful to have such wonderful volunteers that come and help us.  We are truly blessed,” said Arleen a resident at the Villa St Vincent.  

 

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TO PROVIDE SKY WARN TRAINING CLASSES AT THE END OF APRIL

The National Weather Service will be holding 2015 Sky Warn Training classes in Fosston, Fertile and Crookston at the end of April. The classes are listed below.
Fosston - Monday, April 27 at the Embassy Community Center from 6:30-9:30 p.m.  
Fertile - Tuesday, April 28 at the Fertile Community Center from 6:30 -9:30 p.m.
Crookston – Wednesday, April 29 at the University of Minnesota Crookston Kiehle Auditorium from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

The Basic Class is designed as both an informational class for the general public and a first step in the Sky Warn Spotter training series. This class is about 1 ¼ hours (75 minutes) in length and covers in basic terms what severe weather is, how it develops, and how severe storms generally behave. Computer graphics, slides and video clips will introduce the participants to the great variety of storm phenomena which affect the area.

The Advanced Class is designed for the experienced Sky Warn Spotter who wishes to maintain or develop their proficiency.  It is recommended only for persons who have previously attended a basic class. This class is also about 1 ¼ hours in length and will teach you how to best view a severe or tornadic storm, interpret what you are seeing, and to correctly report these phenomenon’s. Those who complete both basic and advanced training will be included on our certified Sky Warn Spotter list. Those with previous certification need only attend the advanced class for renewal.

A typical evening’s offering would have the basic class start at 6:30 p.m. and run until 7:45p.m. After a half hour break for coffee and refreshments we would continue with the advanced class, and run from 8:15 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. (Actual class times may vary with location.)
This should increase the availability of the class to the general public while reducing the amount of time that our trained spotters need to spend in the classroom each year to stay certified.
For questions concerning the Sky Warn Program or to find a Sky Warn Spotter class near you, contact your local Office of Emergency Management or check the National Weather Service website at:  http://www.crh.noaa.gov/fgf/wxsafety/skywarn.php#sched.

 


MNDOT TO REPLACE OVERHEAD SIGNS IN DOWNTOWN CROOKSTON

Motorists on Highway 2 in downtown Crookston will experience minor traffic flow disruptions April 20-23 as crews replace overhead signs, weather permitting. Crews inspect, repair, and replace signs to ensure that they are good condition for the traveling public. For statewide travel information, visit www.511mn.org.  

 

 

 

FRIDAY - APRIL 17,  2015

18 YEARS AGO TODAY, THE RED LAKE RIVER IN CROOKSTON HIT 28.33 FEET AND CROOKSTON ESCAPED DISASTER

April 17, 1997 is an infamous day in Crookston in the Red River Valley, and now it is 18 years later and Crookstonites are still remembering it well.  The numbers 28.33 (feet) represent the crest hit by the Red Lake River in Crookston on that Thursday afternoon.   The morning of April 17 was spent worrying about ice jams heading through town westward.  Harold Slager was dispatched to the west end of town to the riverbank with his backhoe strapped to a caterpillar, so he wouldn’t slide into the river.  Slager kept trying to break up the ice jams and the river kept rising, putting areas of Groveland and Pleasant Avenue in serious danger. People had been evacuated from the Sampson and Woods additions and the emergency centers throughout town were hectic.  Residents were still sandbagging in Crookston, East Grand Forks and Grand Forks.  Slager and a higher power got the ice jams to move enough and the river dropped to 25 feet by the next day. Crookston was able to relax for a moment and then our neighbors to the west, East Grand Forks and Grand Forks had a levee break and Crookston became the evacuation center.  Everyone responded with aid for days to come. KROX had announcers on the air 24 hours each day for what seemed like an eternity and the community was filled with people needing shelter.  There were traffic jams, lines at the post office, National Guard soldiers and organized chaos at the schools and churches.    We remember it well….April 17, 1997……..28.33…………18 years ago.

 

 

UNPLUG AND PLAY EVENT TO BE HELD AT THE CROOKSTON LIBRARY ON TUESDAY

Unplug and Play to celebrate the young child at the Crookston Public Library on Tuesday, April 21. The free event will start at 6:00 p.m. and is sponsored by the C.A.L.L. committee.  There will be junk art, movement bands - where they get into stretchy bands and try and move around,  the parachute will be available,” said Coordinator Francine Olson. “UMC students will have mystery touch activities, the fit kids will perform a technology skit to offer a balance in their life and not miss out things while overusing technology.”  The event runs from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and is free to all.


POLK COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH TO HOST SEVERAL SCREENINGS OF INVISIBLE THREAT

Polk County Public Health will host a screening of “Invisible Threat” on Monday, April 20 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. as part of the local observance of National Infant Immunization Week April 18-25. The video explores the science of disease and the risks facing a society that is under vaccinated. The event is an informative “Bring your Own Luncheon” at Polk County Public Health. Other video screenings will be held at the Golden Link at 2:00 p.m. on April 22 and the East Grand Forks Senior Center on May 20 at noon.  “National Infant Immunization Week provides an opportunity to celebrate the success of immunizations in preventing deadly diseases,” said Nanette Widseth, Polk County Public Health Disease Prevention and Control Coordinator.  Check your child’s immunization records and make sure they are up to date with their shots.

 

 

UMC CHANCELLOR FRED WOOD AND DAN SVEDARSKY TO GIVE JOINT PRESENTATION ON AFRICA

University of Minnesota Crookston Chancellor Fred Wood and wildlife biologist Dan Svedarsky will give a joint presentation on Africa, on Tuesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. in the Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center. 
Chancellor Wood visited South Africa in December  2014 since he has a daughter in Swaziland serving as a Peace Corp Volunteer. While there, he also visited Kruger National Park.  “It was a rich cultural and natural history experience,” notes Chancellor Wood. “The conditions are very different from North America in so many ways, and I now have a deeper appreciation for that part of the world.”
Dan Svedarsky was in Durbin, South Africa, in 2012 presenting a paper at the International Wildlife Management Congress and also visited Kruger Park.
The joint presentation will feature many slides and accompanying narrative on the people, places, and incredible animals of the African Bush and Savannah. The event is open to the public and is part of Earth Month at the Crookston campus and sponsored by the Crookston Students for Sustainable Development. Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, contact Dan Svedarsky at 218-281-8129.


Leopard with a Reedbuck kill in Tanzania. Photo taken by James Ramaka, friend of Dan Svedarsky.

 

 

THURSDAY - APRIL 16,  2015

MINNESOTA STATE CLIMATOLOGIST VISITS CROOKSTON, PRESENTS JIM CAMERON WITH AN AWARD

Dr. Mark Seeley, Minnesota State Climatologist and University of Minnesota Professor, was in Crookston Wednesday to participate in the Climate Minnesota Fair and to present Jim Cameron of the Northwest Outreach and Research Center with an award for collecting weather data.  “We are acknowledging Crookston as a highly valued climate station in the state,” said Seeley.  “Crookston is one of the most coveted of the 20 or 30 stations in the state, it has daily data that goes back to 1891so it is a great data set that allows to study the weather in Polk County and Jim Cameron has been doing the gathering of data for about 40 years which is a long stint as a weather observer.”

Dr. Seeley talked about what they learned from the data collected by Cameron.  “There are some profound trends in the climate data for the last few decades,” said Seeley.  “The fact that we see a rise in temperature overall, especially at night with minimum temperatures getting warmer as opposed to day time. We are seeing larger and larger doses of thunderstorm rainfall more frequently 2-3-4-5 inch rain storms which did not occur very often in past history.
  A thunderstorm would be very welcome in the Red River Valley.  “Yes, the soil is extraordinarily dry right now for mid April, we have had hardly any moisture this year,” said Seeley.  “There was deep frost this winter, so there is frost still down below 32 inches.  The frost has gone out above 32 inches, the soil could drink up all the water it could get if we started to get rain periods this month would really benefit the agricultural season.”

The Red River Valley relies on stored moisture.  “The stored moisture would get us through the summer as our soils in the valley are so deep and have a high water storing capacity,” said Seeley. “92 percent of the state is in a moderate drought and could use a good drink of water, southeastern Minnesota has been getting some moisture.  I see the 2015 growing season shaping up as a warm one compared to the last two, it will be a warm May and the moisture is hard to see,  I don’t see May as being wet.”  Global warming has effects on Minnesota.  “The frequency of thunderstorms has grown, minimum temperatures have warmed,” said Steeley. “Growing degree days have grown in numbers and we tend to have decade by decade of longer growing seasons with a later frost and early spring frost with an expansion of corn and soybeans in Northern Minnesota,  the mold and allergy season has been extended.”

 


CROOKSTON EARLY CHILDHOOD SUMMIT DISCUSSES SENSORY PROCESSING

The Crookston Early Childhood Summit was held this week for teachers, day care providers and everyone involved in working with young children.   The group heard from Robbie Gregoire, who discussed sensory processing in children.  “Sensory is a big headache, it is a disorganized brain that takes in all the input from the senses and in some children you can make sense of the input, but if you have an a-typical brain all the information is coming at you and it is hard to decipher picking out what is important and not important,” said Gregoire. “A lot of kids end up with sensory overload and can have a meltdown and go into fighter flight.  If they have a disorganized brain the kids have trouble attending and behavior and then teachers contact me for help.”
Helping children starts with an evaluation to design a program.  “We set up a program to meet their needs, like front loading their day by providing activities to organize their brain so they can learn and be attentive,” said Gregoire.  “Little movement breaks help them and everyone under stress has an unorganized brain.”  Gregoire consults with teachers and paraprofessionals about different techniques that help the students.
Summit participants took home practical ideas for providing sensory integration into their work with children.  Tool kits, funded by the Otto Bremer Foundation, were also distributed to all the participants to take home.

 

 

WINDS CAUSE LIMITED VISIBILITY AROUND CROOKSTON ON WEDNESDAY


              Wind driven dust reduces the visibility three miles south west of Euclid.

 

 

CROOKSTON UNITED WAY HANDS OUT AWARDS

The United Way Campaign of 2015 held their spring fling with 23 agencies attending and receiving their first allocation grant.  Attendees nominated an agency to be awarded a grant of $250 at the event.   Home Delivered Meals was the winner and was nominated by Jan Vallager.  Local photographer Mike Crawford donated a picture of the Northern Lights dancing over Crookston which was sold at a silent auction with Nancy Capistran as the highest bidder.  The Outstanding Corporate Support Award was given to UMC and the Outstanding Support from an Individual was given to Bob O’Halloran of Hugo’s for their efforts in making the campaign a successful one.  The Chairman’s Outstanding Service award went to Becky Cymbaluk for her efforts during the transition process of United Way.  Erin LaPlante received the excellence in leadership award for her relentless work in making sure the United Way of Crookston survived during the transition period.

 

 

VILLA ST. VINCENT/THE SUMMIT SALUTES ITS VOLUNTEERS DURING NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK

Villa St. Vincent/The SUMMIT salutes its volunteers as part of National Volunteer Week, April 13-17.  On Thursday April 16,  Villa St. Vincent is celebrating Volunteer Recognition Day to honor the many individuals who dedicate themselves to the residents, assisted living tenants and short term care clients on campus.  The volunteers give countless hours of time and their talents making others happy. 
In 2014, 35 youth and 139 adults donated over 5,010 hours volunteering which is almost 14 hours every day!  We are so grateful.  We are especially proud of the 10 volunteers who donated over 100 hours of service in 2014, including: Mary Anderson, Allean Boschee, Sister Jeanne Campeau, Louis Cournia, Jean Hanson, Sister Agatha Hermann, Sister Joanne Johnson, Judy Kuzel, Marilyn Leblanc and Ann Riedlinger.

Volunteering is a win-win for all, check out these facts:
-Volunteering helps you make new friends and contacts
-
Volunteering combats depression
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Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy
(Studies reveal those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants)
-
Volunteering kindles happiness 
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Volunteering can advance your career and provide valuable career experience
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Volunteering increases your social and relationship skills
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Volunteering as a family activity teaches children valuable lessons
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Volunteering increases self-confidence 
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Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life

Volunteers are priceless and crucial to our organization.  We hope everyone will Thank a community volunteer this week and consider making a difference by becoming a volunteer themselves.  For more information about volunteering at the Villa St. Vincent/The SUMMIT, contact Tamara, Enrichment Coordinator at 218-281-9723 or tamara.parkin@bhshealth.org.

CATHEDRAL SCHOOL STUDENTS VISIT A BANK AND DO A SERVICE PROJECT 


Cathedral School 1st Graders are learning how to count money in their mat
h unit.  They took a field trip to Crookston National Bank where they were introduced to different coins and shown how the machine is used to count them and package them.  Margie Keller showed the students how safety deposit boxes are used.


Cathedral School Second and Third Graders went to The Villa Saint Vincent to do a service project on April 15.  The students raked and weeded in the inner courtyard at the Villa.  They were assisted by Mary Jo Cournia and Arlene Montreuil.

 

WEDNESDAY - APRIL 15,  2015

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS LOOKING AT MAKING BUILDINGS MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT, AND RELOCATING PUBLIC HEALTH

The Polk County Commissioners held a special meeting on Tuesday afternoon to review county buildings and bonding options to make needed renovations.  The county is looking at a number of things to make the buildings more energy efficient and will have to update the boilers. The Polk County Public Health Department is in a rented building, which has deficiencies and a huge rent bill. “We would like to get out of the $50,000 rent each year, there is room at the Justice Center on the second floor where the courts are and we are talking about moving the county attorney office up there and discussing putting public health out there,” said Polk County Administrator Chuck Whiting. “We are putting drawings together, we are looking at energy improvements and taking advantage of tax credits for solar panels on the justice center building which would not be any cash outlay for the county.”  The discussion took about three and a half hours, which was done during the special meeting.
Several options are on the table for discussion as to which departments could be relocated and funding the changes.   Commissioners will be setting priorities as to what needs to be done now and what can be done in stages.

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES THREE STAFF, LOOKING TO FILL A HANDFUL OF TEACHING OPENINGS

The Crookston School board hired three new teachers at their meeting on Monday evening.  One of the teachers will be the industrial technology instructor at the high school and that will help bring back the house building project.  “It is a position that the community feels is important,” said Superintendent Chris Bates.  “We hired, Douglas Lee, who worked for the district a few years ago and Chris Trostad contacted him to see if he would consider coming back, and then his wife Lori Lee is a special education teacher and they are the only two applicants for the two jobs,”

Linda Grenier was hired as an elementary teacher at Highland School.   “I met her again this week and she was a long term substitute at Highland School,” said Superintendent Bates. “She is contracted at step 5 and an experienced veteran.”
The school district is looking for five more teachers and have several applicants for social science and still need others so they will continue to advertise the openings.

Enrollment increased by 15 students and will bring more income to the district.  “15 students is about $8,000 a year if they come for a quarter that is about $2,000 so that will be about $60,000 extra for the budget at the end of the year,” said Superintendent Bates.  “We hope they like Crookston and stay for next year, we are not sure where they come from or why they come, but we are pleased that they came.”

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT TO OFFER A FREE NOON MEAL TO CHILDREN 18 AND YOUNGER THIS SUMMER THROUGH USDA PROGRAM

The Crookston School District is offering a free noon meal this summer for children who are 18 and younger.  “The Department of Education contacted us about running a summer meal program in the Crookston area.  Headstart has a meal program at Carmen now and our program would be at the Highland Park area,” said Crookston Food Service Director Anna Ogaard.  “We will be giving away a free noon meal to all kids 18 and younger, no paper work they just need to show up between 11:30 and 12:30 Monday through Thursday for 10 to 12 weeks, on a first come first served basis and we will feed all the kids that come.”
For more details on the summer meal program listen to Focus on Education on Saturday, April 18 at 8:45 a.m. on KROX Radio.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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