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WEDNESDAY - DECEMBER 4, 2013
UMC CHOIR TO PERFORM ON DECEMBER 7 AT THE HAFSLO CHAPEL AT THE POLK COUNTY MUSEUM
Celebrate the holiday
season with a concert of the holiday's best music performed by the University of
Minnesota Crookston choir under the direction of Associate Professor George
French. The concert will be held on Saturday, December 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the
Hafslo Chapel located on the grounds of the Polk County Museum. The concert is
free and all are welcome, but a free-will offering will be taken.
The Hafslo chapel, once a Norwegian country church, was built in 1888 and closed in 1978. It was moved in 1983 to the Crookston campus where it was located for almost twenty years before it was moved to the Polk County Museum grounds located at 719 East Robert Street in Crookston.
CROOKSTON COMMUNITY BAND TO PERFORM ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8 AT UMC
The Crookston Community
Band, under the direction of TJ Chapman, will perform in Kiehle Auditorium on
Sunday, December 8 at 3:00 p.m. A special concert highlight will be the
performance of Joel Pugh, instructor of Low Brass at the University of North
Dakota, as euphonium soloist. All are welcome and there is no charge, but
free-will donations will be accepted.
Chapman teaches mathematics at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The principle tubist with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, Chapman is also the acting principle tubist for the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly with the North Dakota Trombone Choir.
TUESDAY - DECEMBER 3, 2013
CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT CLASS OFFERED AT RIVERVIEW HEALTH OVER HOLIDAY BREAK
If you are interested in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), the
Northwest Minnesota Area Health Education Center (AHEC), a partner of RiverView
Health, will be holding a CNA class December 30 to January 9
(with the possibility of storm days added) at RiverView Health, in Meeting Room
4 near the Rehab entrance.
The 75 hour class/clinical time will be taught by Debbie Evenson, BSN, MS, LATC.
The class is designed to accommodate UND, UMC, and other students on holiday break, but the class is open to anyone 16-years-old and above.
The cost of the class is $750 per student. That cost and the class do not include the exam for certification that must be passed in order to work as a CNA, but information will be provided on test locations and cost.
Preregistration is required for the course, and space is limited. For more information or to register for the class, contact Evenson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this class does not fit your schedule, contact Evenson regarding future classes.
CROOKSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO HOST EARLY CHILDHOOD SCREENING IN JANUARY
The Crookston Public Schools has
scheduled Early Childhood Screening for January 13, 14, 16 and 17. Early
Childhood screening is for children 3 to 5 years old so they can identify any
issues that me be happening with the child as he or she prepares for
Kindergarten. “We are mailing out letters so if you do not receive a letter in
the next couple days give us a call at Washington School at 281-5078,” said
Early Childhood Education Director Denice Oliver. The screening is mandated by
the state. “All children are required to be screened before they can start
kindergarten so doing it early is important so we can identify anyone who needs
services for vision, hearing, speech concerns,” said Oliver. “We like to catch
them early which the state requires so starting at three years is the best time
Children will receive a backpack with school supplies to take home after screening. Anyone with questions should call 281-5078.
ALTRU CLINIC TO HOST A COMMUNITY WELLNESS CONNECTION ON DECEMBER 9
Altru Clinic in Crookston is set to host its monthly Community Wellness Connection on Monday, December 9 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in its conference room. This month’s 30 minute presentation followed by a question and answer session is focused on Cholesterol-Surviving the Holidays including tasting of healthy holiday recipes. Presenters include Dr. Makarem, internal medicine and Marla Love, dietitian. Call 281-9100 to register (limited to 20 participants) There is no charge for this session.
BLUE CHRISTMAS SERVICE TO BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11 AT WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
The Christmas season abounds with
joy! All around us are brightly wrapped presents, Christmas trees, holiday
parties, garland and holly, Christmas carols and songs, baking, cooking and all
the rest! Yet each year some people dread this Christmas season. People who know
this Christmas will be a difficult one, the grieving, the lonely and the
hopeless, they have no heart for the cheer and bustle, the anticipation and
excitement. The Blue Christmas or Longest Night Service is an attempt to
minister to the needs of people going through these life struggles while
recognizing that part of the reason for Jesus coming was to bring hope and
comfort, to heal the sick, to seek the lost, to restore the broken and broken
On Wednesday, December 11 at 6:30 p.m. you are invited to gather for a special Blue Christmas worship service at Wesley United Methodist Church in Crookston. Pastor Jo Gast of Trinity Lutheran Church and Pastor Michelle Miller of Wesley United Methodist Church, Pastor Mark Ellington - Hospice Chaplain with Altru Health in Grant Forks will share the message for the evening. Come and join them for a time of music, scripture, stories, silent reflection and healing prayer.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR FROM POLK COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH'S SARAH REESE
Letter to the Editor
As the Director of Polk County Public Health and lifetime Polk County resident,
I want to applaud the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) for being among
the first colleges in the state to put in place a tobacco-free policy.
Analysis shows that across the state these policies are having the intended effect: students on campuses with stronger tobacco-free policies were less likely to use smoking tobacco than were students on campuses with weaker policies. Also, students were less likely to report exposure to secondhand smoke on campus when the school had a tobacco-free policy compared to a designated smoking area policy, highlighting the need to prohibit tobacco use campus-wide.
I understand that this policy is now under routine review, as is required every three years. We hope that UMC will find this is a good opportunity to strengthen rather than weaken the policy.
Across Minnesota, smoke-free campuses are fast becoming the norm as administrations prioritize student health. As we all know, students learn a lot more at school than what is taught in classes. Demonstrating a commitment to healthy living teaches everyone that our students are our priority. UMC students and faculty deserve nothing less.
Increased opportunities for tobacco-free living means less tobacco exposure; leading to improved health, lowering health care costs and improving quality of life for students and faculty.
We appreciate the partnerships that UMC, the Crookston community and Polk County Public Health have to make the healthy choice easier where we live, learn, work and play.
Sarah Reese, MS, CHES
Polk County Public Health
MONDAY - DECEMBER 2, 2013
SNOW STORM LIKELY, CROOKSTON SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT BATES OUTLINES HOW HE DECIDES ON SCHOOL CLOSURE'S
Most of northern Minnesota, including Crookston and the KROX listening area, is
in a winter weather advisory from Monday morning through Tuesday, December 3 at
6:00 a.m. The advisory turns to a winter storm watch from Tuesday morning
through Wednesday afternoon.
Snow accumulations from 2 to 5 inches are expected through this evening with 6 to 9 inches possible Tuesday through Wednesday. Strong northerly winds may lead to near blizzard conditions in some areas Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, making travel difficult. Cold temperatures combined with strong winds will result in wind chill values falling to 25 to 35 below by Wednesday night, with dangerous wind chills continuing through late week.
With that being said, the Crookston Public Schools Superintendent Chris Bates released the following note to the District 593 staff.
I hope that Thanksgiving found you in the comforts of home and the warm glow of loved ones. I guess winter waited till we got home before presenting itself to us in all it's glory! Bad weather and cancelations rarely get universal support, indeed off or on I can expect 6-12 calls telling me I was wrong, or that the hill at Taco John's was icy.
I always try to do what makes the most sense based on the information at hand. Rick (Niemela), does a fantastic job, and is up, driving round in the country and usually calls me before 5:00 am. We have weather radar that tracks storms patterns one hour at a time, so you usually get a good idea of what's coming and when. However it is not 100% accurate. So what we try to do is honor the predictable--when a storm covers the entire state of North Dakota and is slowly headed East chances are we in Crookston are going to get snow!
Based on my bus driving days, things that help are, no wind, warmer temperatures, and daylight. If it snows through the night I try and call a two hour delay the night before by 9:00 pm (KROX and TV stations are informed). If it's a morning call, I pre-set to go off at 6:00 am. Two hour delays basically give the plows time to blow people out and buy some time for us to make another decision, if needed, in daylight.
When we call school it for all Crookston Schools Public and private as the busses don't operate. Always remember that parents have the final call, as if they have a particularly large drift, the plow breaks down, or any other reason they may just not be able to make it. We make the best decision we can for the great majority of the students.
Tomorrow is calling for 80% chance of snow by the hour after midnight, accumulations 6-8 to add to the 4" we already have. I have seen 15" predicted but 6" or 15" the problem is really the same. The wind then becomes a factor, or when it starts blowing becomes a factor.
New staff please make sure Marilyn has you on the SchoolReach list, then just keep your phone in one hand and your shovel in the other.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR ON TEACHERS UNION BENEFITS
To fellow school district 593 taxpayers:
We just passed a referendum to maintain our school buildings which is good. We have great facilities and curriculum, but we still have too many students choosing to attend other area school districts. Are our students learning more? Are our test scores better than other schools of our size. Is our drop out rate lower than our counterparts? I do know that our teachers are given on average $5000.00 more in benefits and over $4000.00 more in salary then comparable districts. Why does the school board and taxpayers give the teachers union more than other districts in our area? The Union leadership is now asking for more in negotiations. We as taxpayers need to voice our opinion weather to give more benefits or keep them the same by going to the school board meetings and calling our board members or we will be talking about this again when this contract is up. All the board members need to hear your wishes. As for Shirley and I, keep the salary and benefits the same this time around.
Leroy and Shirley Reitmeier
CITY OF CROOKSTON TOYS FOR TOTS CHARITY HALF WAY TO GOAL OF $5,000
The city of Crookston employees have kicked off their Toys for
Tots campaign for 2013. Toys for Tots is for needy children in the City of
Crookston that might not otherwise get a toy for Christmas. Donations can be
sent to 124 North Broadway, Crookston, MN 56716 or brought to the Crookston
Water Department during business hours at 124 North Broadway. Cash
donations are greatly appreciated and preferred which allow the volunteers to
purchase age and gender specific gifts for each child. Toy and gift wrap
donations have also been received.
Donations through – December 2, 2013
Robert and Terri Quanrud $35.00
Mathein Study Club $25.00
Crookston Classic Cruisers $200.00
Norman and Amy Ellingson $35.00
Donald and Marlene Mjoen $25.00
Crookston Kiwanis Pionner 100”s $100.00
Bertils Gravel & Excavation $100.00
Carrie and Rich Clauson $100.00
Robert and Lynette Young $30.00
Betty and Richie Johnson $50.00
GFWC Woman’s Club $25.00
Fischer Law Office $100.00
Crookston Eagles Aerie $100.00
Crookston Eagles Auxiliary $100.00
Crookston Rotary $50.00
Margaret (Margee) Keller $25.00
Richard Heldstab $50.00
John and Jan Vallager $100.00
Total this deposit $2250.00
Total to date $2620.00
HAPPY JOES PIZZA AND ICE CREAM PARLOR DONATES TO THE RIVERVIEW FOUNDATION
again, Happy Joes, Crookston, has made an annual donation to the RiverView
Health Foundation. “Happy Joes is committed to supporting the most critical
needs of the organization,’’ said Foundation Director Kent Bruun. “They are
‘Friends for Life’ supporters since 2006, which means they are dedicated
stakeholders and understand the importance of strong healthcare for their
employees, their patrons, and the communities they serve.’’
For more information on this program or any other program through the RiverView Health Foundation, contact Bruun at 218-281-9249 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Happy Joe’s Manager Brent Evenson (left) hands RiverView Foundation Director Kent Bruun a check as part of the “Friends for Life’’ program.
UMC TO HOST A GOLD OUT AND MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY ON DECEMBER 7
It is a night of
remembrance and a time to show your appreciation for the U.S. Military.
Demonstrate your support by wearing gold at this weekend’s “Gold Out” during the
men’s and women’s basketball games on Saturday, December 7, in Lysaker
Gymnasium. The women’s game begins at 4:00 p.m. followed by the men’s game at 6
p.m. with both teams taking on teams from St. Cloud State University. The “Gold
Out” is sponsored by the Sport and Recreation Management Association (SRMA) and
the Crookston Student Association (CSA) at the University of Minnesota
The Military Appreciation night "Gold Out" is designed to show the men and women serving as well as those who have served that we appreciate what they do. SRMA will be taking donations to help Operation Gratitude send care packages overseas. People who give a donation will be given raffle tickets to enter a drawing to win numerous prizes. Raffle ticket prices are $1 per ticket, 7 tickets for $5, and a wing span for $10. You must be present to win.
Admission to the basketball games for an adult is $6 for the doubleheader or $5 for a single game; children in grades 1-12 are $3 for the doubleheader and $2 for a single game; children in kindergarten and younger are free.
Ashley Manusos, vice president of SRMA encourages people to attend in support of the military, "Be a hero to the men and women who have risked their lives protecting our freedom.”
The evening will also incorporate “Letters to Soldiers,” allowing students, faculty, staff, and community members to show their gratitude in a letter for a soldier on deployment. Other competitions and activities will be a part of half time at each of the games.
CROOKSTON BOY SCOUTS RAISE BIG BUCKS SELLING POPCORN
Pack 44 would to thank the Crookston community for a successful year selling Cub Scout Popcorn. The Pack sold over $16,000 worth of popcorn. Cub scouts who sold over $600 were able to pick a leader of choice to throw a pie in the face!! A great time was had by all!!!
The Pack 44 Cub Scouts after delivering pies in the face to some of the leaders.
Everybody gets a kick out of a pie in the face!!
AUTHORITIES CALLED TO STRUCTURE FIRE IN FOSSTON (UPDATED 3:30 P.M.)
On Sunday, December 1 at approximately 10:35 p.m. a
structure fire was reported at the Fosston Chiropractic Office on North Johnson
Avenue in the city of Fosston. The upper portions of the building were
engulfed in flames upon the arrival of the Fosston Fire Department. The
Erskine and McIntosh Fire Departments were also dispatched to the scene for
mutual aid. The Polk County Sheriff's Office, First Care Ambulance Service
and Minnesota State Patrol assisted at the scene.
The Minnesota State Fire Marshall’s Office investigated the scene and is ruling the fire accidental. The Building had three apartments inside and nobody was injured in the fire. No further information is being released at this time.
FRIDAY - NOVEMBER 29, 2013
SIXTH ANNUAL GALA FOR GIRLS IS SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 7, 2014
sixth Annual Gala for Girls will be held on Friday, February 7 from
5:30-8:30pm at the National Guard Armory in Crookston. This event is for girls
in grades K-6 and their dad, uncle, grandpa or other adult male role model. For
just $35 the couple can enjoy a souvenir photo, a sit-down dinner, a take home
gift, and an evening of memorable dancing to create memories that will last a
Registration forms are available at Polk County Public Health or online by clicking here Public Health. Registration is limited and closes on January 10. Register early as the first 15 paid registrations will be eligible to sit at the Table of Honor during the event.
The event is sponsored by the Polk County Child Abuse Prevention Council/Parents Helping Parents along with many community volunteers.
CROOKSTON FINE ARTS BOOSTERS DONATES OVER $13,000 TO THE FINE ARTS
The Crookston Pirate Fine Arts
Boosters raise funds for the Crookston School District Fine Arts programs and
this week Jim Kent presented a check for over $12,000 to the Crookston school
board. $13,562 was awarded with $12,312.00 going to the school board and the
rest goes in the fund for the small equipment needed in the auditorium. “We are
pleased people have responded this way and support the programs in the arts,”
Junior High Art received $500, High School Art got $1,662 for a Lockerbie pottery wheel, $1,500 to the theater program, $2,500 for the band, $2,500 for the choir and orchestra to buy a 16 channel mixing console, $750 for the choir for smart music, $400 for Washington Elementary music, and $2,500 for Highland Elementary music.
The Pirate Fine Arts also supports scholarships and the Artist in Schools residencies along with the AAA banquet.
The Pirate Fine Arts Boosters has given the school district $141,775.00 since they were organized in 2002.
DAN WEBER HIRED AS NEW NRCS AREA CONSERVATIONIST AT TRF OFFICE
Dan Weber, former Crookston resident, has been hired as the new NRCS Area Conservationist for Northwest Minnesota at the office in Thief River Falls. Weber will manage all the NRCS offices in Northwest Minnesota and the staff at the area office in Thief River Falls. He will be the liaison between the state office and the county level offices. Weber has been a district conservationist for NRCS in Duluth.
THURSDAY - NOVEMBER 28, 2013
CATHEDRAL FIRST GRADE STUDENTS CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING
Cathedral School 1st Grader's performed the skit "Hooray for Thanksgiving" for their families along with a few Thanksgiving songs! The class dressed as pilgrims, Indians, corn, the turkey and the minister.
MNDOT URGING MOTORISTS TO TRAVEL WITH CARE OVER THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND
As holiday travel season approaches, the Minnesota Department of Transportation
reminds motorists to use caution while driving across the state and to take
advantage of the tools MnDOT makes available for safer, more predictable travel.
Travelers in the Duluth area should note that southbound Interstate 35 between Lake Avenue and 21st Avenue West is closed while crews repair deteriorated bridge piling under one pier. The repairs are expected to be completed in three to four weeks. For detour information, see www.mndot.gov/d1/index.html. “Getting people safely from A to B during this holiday season is a team effort,” said Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “MnDOT does its part to keep our roads in good shape and clear of snow and ice, and motorists have the responsibility for driving attentively and according to the road conditions.”
Because weather can change quickly during this time of year, MnDOT urges motorists to know what the driving conditions are like before heading out.
MnDOT’s 511 travel information service provides road and winter driving conditions for the entire state and links to official weather information from the National Weather Service. 511 is available online at www.511.mn.org and by dialing 5-1-1. Motorists also may download a free 511 application to get the same information on their smartphones and other mobile devices. The 511 mobile app is intended to be used before motorists hit the road and should never be used while driving.
Safety experts agree that taking rest breaks is important, especially on long driving trips. Most of Minnesota’s rest areas are open and available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. For a complete listing of rest areas and their availability visit www.dot.state.mn.us/restareas.
For safe driving at any time of the year, MnDOT advises motorists to:
-Stay alert, especially at night
-Obey posted speed limits, and drive for the conditions
-Avoid distractions; stay off cell phones and mobile devices
FOSSTON IS HOME TO A NEW UNIQUE BUSINESS, NORTHERN WOOLEN MILLS
The city of Fosston is experiencing
growth and one of the new businesses is very unique according to Polk County
Extension Educator Jim Stordahl who came before the county commissioners this
week to talk about the Northern Woolen Mills. “They do a variety of fibers along
with wool, bison hair, and alpaca. They buy in small amounts, prepare the wool
used at the next level, like for home knitters and the Bemidji Woolen Mills
where they manufacture products along with the retail business,” said Stordahl.
“This is market for those selling sheep wool, goat hair or other products.”
This unique company is the second largest in the nation. Tours are available anytime upon request.
POLK COUNTY 4-H LOOKING TO BRANCH OUT AND ADD NEW MEMBERS
Kristina Johnson, Polk County 4-H coordinator, came before the Polk County commissioners to talk about the 4-H program, which is having a growth in membership. Johnson has an after school program in Fisher and would like to do the same at other schools. “I have the after school program for about 30 kids at Fisher on their early out days,” said Johnson. “We learn about science technology based with hands on things, so they get something to take home. We would like to do the same at other schools and reach out to more schools so that is a goal for 4-H this year.”
WEDNESDAY - NOVEMBER 27, 2013
CROOKSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT, SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT AND STATE PATROL TO CRACK DOWN ON DISTRACTED DRIVING
During the first week in December the Minnesota State Patrol, Crookston Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff's Office will be working in a joint effort to enforce distracted driving violations. The agencies will be focusing on texting while driving and drivers that are being distracted by other actions that are going on in the vehicle. This enforcement effort is aimed at keeping our roads and community safe during the holiday season.
POLK COUNTY PROPOSED TAX STATEMENTS SHOW A BIG INCREASE IN AG LAND VALUATION
Proposed tax statements went out
last week and residents are asking questions of the Polk County Assessor Rob
Wagner. Wagner said taxes were a mixed bag for county residents. “The statements
went out and each one is individual to the taxpayer, but most of the residential
stayed the same or down a little bit,” said Wagner. “Commercial was about the
same but down a little, because the ag land increased tremendously in value.”
The commercial tax was shifted more to the ag land, as the land valuation went
up substantially. “Ag taxes are up from zero to over 20 percent,” said Wagner.
“Residential taxes are up one to two percent and there is one that is 20 percent
The hearing is set for Tuesday, December 3 at 6:00 p.m. at the Polk County Government Center.
CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES THE MOVE OF A PROPERTY LINE ON A LOT BY DRAFTS
The Crookston City Council approved
amending the final plat on what is known as the Crookston Sports Center addition
to accommodate new business. Public Works Director Pat Kelly said the change was
made on a lot behind Draft’s Sports Bar. “The westerly lot line did not match up
with Draft’s so we moved the property line to be even with the west line of
Draft’s and made the 30 foot area an easement,” said Kelly. “Any building can
move closer to the lot line and protect the utilities.”
The Crookston Ways and Means committee approved a three year street improvement plan and a five year capital improvement plan for the city. The recommendations will go to the city council for final approval. To see the proposed capital improvements and the cost click here.
The proposed street improvement plans for the next three years are the following-
Euclid Avenue - South Main Street to Vance Street - Estimated cost $400,000
3rd Avenue South - Bruce Street to Foskett Street (overlay) - $50,000
Lowell Street - Linden Avenue to 2nd Avenue Northeast (overlay) - $60,000
South Central Avenue - Minnesota Street to Railroad Right of Way - Estimated cost $200,000
Alexander Street - Central Avenue to Summit Avenue (overlay) - $20,000 (state aid street)
1st Avenue North - Albert Street to Stearns Street (overlay) - $25,000
Johnson Place - North Front Street to Radisson Road (overlay) - $20,000
McGrew Street - Lincoln Avenue to Washington Avenue - $100,000
Radisson Road - Stephens Drive to Sherman Street - Estimated cost $250,000
Twin Drive - Campbell Road to Adams Street (Overlay) $50,000
Robert Street - Main Street to Sampson's Bridge (Overlay) $35,000 (state aid street)
Will look at Stephens Drive. Overlay on Campbell Road, South Front Street and Riverside Avenue
JIM CURRAN NAMED ASSISTANT DISTRICT ENGINEER FOR MNDOT DISTRICT 2
has been named assistant district engineer for program delivery for the
Minnesota Department of Transportation District 2 in Northwestern Minnesota.
Curran had been serving in an acting role since June 2012 and has been with MnDOT for over 25 years. He has previously held roles with construction, design, surveys, materials, bridge, right of way and maintenance operations.
A native of Aitkin, Minn., Curran earned his civil engineering degree from North Dakota State University in 1986. He will oversee the traffic, materials, project management, design, right of way, and contract administration of the district’s construction program.
District 2 comprises over 1,800 miles of state highways across 14 counties and employs approximately 220 people to handle snow and ice control, roadway construction, traffic, land acquisition, business operations, planning, design and other transportation-related duties.
You can learn more about MnDOT District 2, at to www.mndot.gov/d2.
RIVERVIEW HEALTH AND VILLA ST. VINCENT AUXILIARIES TO HOST AN ANGEL TREE DECEMBER 3-5
RiverView Health and
Villa St. Vincent Auxiliaries will be hosting an Angel Tree on December 3, 4 and
5 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The trees are located in the main lobby at
RiverView and in the Sun Room in the East Wing at the Villa St. Vincent. The
trees are covered by angels displaying the names of Care Center residents and
Adult Day Services participants in Crookston. These are community members who
are no longer able to participate in community holiday activities as they wish.
The Angel Tree provides us an opportunity to give back to these people who have
given so much in their lifetimes.
Everyone is invited to stop by and pick an angel from either or both trees. On the back of the angel is the number of a resident along with their wish list of items ranging in price from $5 to $15. You may then sign out that angel and go purchase something from the gift suggestions. After you have purchased the gift you bring it back to where you picked up the angel by December 12. It will be wrapped and later delivered for opening on Christmas Eve.
By picking an angel you will be bringing much joy to a resident who may or may not receive a present otherwise. You will also experience the true meaning of Christmas.
UMC HUNT SEAT EQUESTRIAN TEAM SHOWS WELL IN HOME SHOWS
The University of Minnesota Crookston hunt seat equestrian team is coming off a very strong weekend in a pair of home shows at the University Teaching and Outreach Center (UTOC) on the UMC campus. The Golden Eagles had a landslide victory Saturday to finish the day with 40 points and capture the High Point Team title. In Saturday’s show, the next closest team to the Golden Eagles was North Dakota State University, who had 25 points. Sunday, Minnesota Crookston came in a close second behind the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. “I am thrilled at how well my team rode this weekend,” said Head Coach Brooke Leininger. “They really came together and helped each other every step of the way. It’s every coach’s hope that the team competes under pressure as well as they practice, and that’s exactly what happened this weekend. They have worked extremely hard and it was great to see that commitment pay off.”
The competition Saturday started out with strong rides over fences and continued
throughout the day on the flat. The day was filled with big wins and very
competitive rides. Emily Steeley (So., Portsmouth, R.I./) started things out
with a second place finish in Open Equitation Over Fences. Sable Bettencourt
(So., Cloquet, Minn.) followed suit with a win in Intermediate Equitation on the
Flat. Hannah Nedrud (Sr., St. Louis Park, Minn.) won the Novice Equitation Over
Fences, and Rebekah Landmark (So., Montevideo, Minn.) won Advanced Walk Trot
Canter with Mikala Guidinger (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) finishing second in her
section. Hedi Morris (Fr., East Bethel, Minn.) also picked up a second place
finish in her Advanced Walk Trot Canter class. Rachel Quale (Sr., St. Cloud,
Minn.) and Maggie Blunck (Fr., Bloomington, Minn.) rounded things out with wins
in Beginner Walk Trot Canter and Walk Trot, respectively.
Sunday, Steeley again started out strong with a strong second place finish in Open Equitation Over Fences. Nedrud followed that up with a big win in Novice Equitation Over Fences. Sam Kramer (Jr., Corcoran, Minn.) had a really strong performance during Sunday’s show, opening things up with a win in her section of Novice Equitation Over Fences, which was her first time competing over fences. She also captured a win in Novice Equitation on the Flat in order to win the High Point Rider title for Sunday’s competition. Steeley came back for a second place finish in Open Equitation on the Flat. Bettencourt took second in Intermediate Equitation on the Flat while Morris took second in Advanced Walk Trot Canter and Quale finished second in Beginner Walk Trot Canter.
The Golden Eagles will not compete again until their home shows February 1 and 2 at home at UTOC.
TUESDAY - NOVEMBER 26, 2013
CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES INCREASE IN CREDIT AND TAX ABATEMENTS
The Crookston School Board met on Monday and changed the graduation requirements starting with the graduating class of 2017. Superintendent Chris Bates said it was necessary to get caught up with other schools. “In the work we had done in looking at graduation requirements I gathered some information and found we were behind a little behind about 1.6 credits,” said Bates. “I asked the board to approve an increase from 23 to 24 credits, which will align us with schools around us and that will go into effect in 2017.”
The board also approved a two year
abatement on four parcels of homes in Crookston and a five year abatement for
the owners of the former Super Valu where they are making apartments for
seniors. “These are things that don’t come to the board regularly, but if we
have to allow a deduction in taxes for a while it will bring us a larger amount
in the future so it is good for all.” The two year abatements amount to $3,600 a
year and the five year abatement is $11,250 per year. School Board member Keith
Bakken opposed the five year abatement.
The board renewed an agreement with Johnson Controls for five months at a cost of $29,000 and a lease agreement with Liberty Business System for new and larger machines and lower monthly rates, which will save the district $329 a month.
Matt Bjorgo was hired as an assistant basketball girls coach.
The final audit for 2012-2013 was accepted by the board.
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER, ROBIN BREKKEN, CALLS OUT TEACHERS INSURANCE COSTS
Health Insurance costs have long
been a concern of the Crookston School Board and last night at their meeting
school board member Robin Brekken presented information on health insurance
costs on 20 schools with similar enrollment of Crookston, which showed that the
Crookston district pays $5,111 above the average of $6,331. “Superintendent
Bates, in his normal course of work as he has to account for the cash flow in
and out of the district, did some work on similar schools in size and enrollment
and he came up an average cost of health insurance per district which showed
that Crookston pays the teachers $5,111 above the average of all the other
Brekken serves on the negotiations committee and has been chairman. “I’ve been chairman for most groups,” said Brekken. “My wife is an ECFE teacher along with three others and they have a memorandum of understanding since 1996 with the district and now since I am standing up and defending the taxpayers, basically they are changing that the health care thing needs to change direction and I took a stand during the meeting and addressed the first dollar plan, that it had to go away or they had to pay a larger portion than they are paying now.” Brekken said the move by the union leaders made him stand up for the taxpayers. “They took a stand that forces them on the ECFE group, which automatically creates a conflict of interest for me which they know and pushes me away from the negotiating table with their group and initially forced me out of the room, which they cannot do, but they did,” said Brekken. “There is another negotiation committee meeting this evening. I will be in the room, but not at the table until I get more legal clarification of my rights are so we will see what happens going forward.”
Brekken is cautioning the taxpayers that it isn’t the teachers, but the teachers union leadership that is doing this. “Do not assimilate this with every teacher in the district, this came from their leadership tactics,” said Brekken. “Their stand, position on health care, I believe most teachers in the district would give their eye teeth or right arm on a daily basis for child benefits. I do not know how many know what is going on. I caution the taxpayers to not take this out on single teachers as a whole which would be inappropriate.”
Board member Keith Bakken agreed with Brekken and said the insurance costs are high district wide.
The head of the Crookston Education Association,
Kim Davidson, responded, "It's
been a typical practice during contract talks over the years to not negotiate in
public, and the CEA will continue to abide by that practice.
The comparison of similar school districts is below.
|Crox above the Avg.||1||0||4.07||$5,111|
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