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FRIDAY - FEBRUARY 27,  2015

CROOKSTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND OX CART COMMITTEE TO HOLD COMMUNITY MEETING MARCH 5

Crookston Area Chamber’s staff, board members, and Ox Cart Committee are excited to begin the planning process for this year’s Ox Cart Days Festival, scheduled for August 13-15, 2015. In order to make this festival a continued success, there will be a community meeting, Thursday, March 5 at Crookston Inn at 4:30 p.m. Our goal is to continue the momentum created from Ox Cart Days 2014 by allowing individuals, organizations, and businesses to sponsor and organize their chosen event(s). The Chamber office will continue to be the resource and marketing hub, as well as be responsible for creating the master schedule. Following is a list of events already accounted for (however, there is still space for additional events): Tractor Pull, Corn & Brat Feed, Bed Races, Pancake Breakfast, Ice Cream Social, Veterans Ceremony, Medallion Hunt, Rib Fest, Little Miss Crookston, Miss Crookston, Teen Dance, 5K/10K/Lil Tykes Run, Car Show, Kiddie Parade, Dodgeball Tournament, Parade. Please join us as we discuss goals, planning, and events, March 5, at 4:30. Community involvement is key to all successful Ox Cart Days’ 2015 events.

 

 

CROOKSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT WARNS RESIDENTS OF IRS SCAMS

The Crookston Police Department has received reports of phone scams involving people claiming to be from the IRS. A variety of reasons for the phone calls are being utilized including audits, money owed the IRS, liens on property, etc. The following information was obtained at www.irs.gov Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the email to phishing@irs.gov.

· Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
· Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
· Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
· Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
· After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
For more information search the internet for IRS Scams.

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT KINDERGARTEN ROUNDUP WILL BE APRIL 7 AND 9

Kindergarten roundup for the Crookston Public school has been set for April 7 and 9 at 6:00 p.m. each night. “We will start each evening at 6:00 p.m. with pictures, organization and a program, ride the school bus, meet Albert the Bear,  they will visit the classrooms and parents can get all the information they need to know,” said Washington School Principal Denise Oliver. “It is also a chance for students to separate from their parents and see what is ahead for them.”

 

 

TOM ANDERSON RETIRING FROM VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

Tom Anderson, rehabilitation manager for Vocational Rehabilitation Services in the area is retiring.  A retirement celebration is set for Monday, March 2 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Crookston Inn and Convention Center. Anderson started in 1986 as a counselor and became manager in 1992 covering 15 counties and said the work has been rewarding.  “I really enjoyed my time with vocational rehab, basically we work with people that have disabilities that have issues in terms of preparing and obtaining employment and maintaining work,” said Anderson. “We provide many services, funding to go to school and get training to go to work and just help some who just want a job for a long time.” A counselor in Bemidji has been hired to replace Anderson.
His wife Lenora is retiring next week so they will be doing some traveling in retirement. “We are going to Yakima to visit our son Tim and his five children for a few weeks and will come back and then drive to Atlanta to see our two daughters, Tara and Leah and take in sights along the way with no plans to when we come back,” said Anderson.  My wife Lenora went to work at Riverview in 1989 as an occupational therapist and works with kids and created a program and is certified to do therapy in the swimming pool and will retire on March 9 so we can enjoy retirement together.”    The couple plans to remain in Crookston. “The house is paid for and we enjoy our place where we can pursue our interests in the outdoors and we planned to leave, but never did,” said Anderson. “It was a good place to raise kids as they were safe.  I am busy with Lions, coaching and plan to do more with the Lions and we have no plans to leave.” 

 

 

 

CROOKSTON PACK 44 CUB SCOUTS GRADUATE TEN MEMBERS INTO BOY SCOUT TROOP 41


Crookston's Pack 44 Cub Scouts had their annual Blue and Gold Banquet recently. Many Scouts and their families attended enjoying skits, good food and company.  Lots of awards were handed out to the Scouts. They also had 10 Scouts earn their Arrow of Light and Cross Over into the Boy Scout Troop 41. 
March will continue to be a busy month for the Scouting Program as they have winter camps, Scouting for Food and their Pinewood Derby.

 

 

MNDOT TO LOOK AT RAISING MORE NORTHERN AND WESTERN MINNESOTA TWO LANE HIGHWAY SPEED LIMITS

About 340 miles of highways in northern and western Minnesota will get higher speed limits in the next few weeks, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The two-lane highways, currently posted at 55 miles per hour, will increase to 60. The increases are the result of a 2014 legislative mandate for MnDOT to study the posted speed limits on all two-lane highways having a speed limit of 55 mph over a five-year period and make recommendations about changes. The first report of MnDOT’s findings was presented to the Legislature in January. Reports will be presented each year for the next four years.
All of the increases are based on a traffic and engineering investigation of each location, which looks at past crash rates, physical attributes of the highway such as shoulder widths and access points, and what speed drivers are currently driving.
“A speed study gives MnDOT the opportunity to review speed limits on all 55 mph roads in Minnesota and identify the ones that can support a higher speed limit without compromising safety,” said Julie Whitcher, assistant state traffic safety engineer.
In some cases, the study results in the speed limit are staying the same. About 570 miles were evaluated in 2014 and 340 miles were increased.
Minnesota has about 7,000 miles of two-lane, two-way roads that will be studied in the next four years. This year, about 1,500 miles of highways will be studied.
The speed limit is effective when new speed limit signs are posted.



 

CROOKSTON CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS HOLD THEIR 2015 EDUCATION CONTEST

The Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) Court Bishop Schenk #2010 recently conducted its 2015 Education contest.  First Place and State Entrant for her Essay was Ainsley Boucher, a fifth grader.  Second Place winner was Grace Miller and third place co-winners were Blaine Andringa and Gianna Hollcraft, who are all in fifth grade at Cathedral School.
First Place and State Entrant for Poetry was Victoria Proulx, a sixth grader at Cathedral School.  First Place and State Entrant for Art was Andrew MacGregor, a sixth grader at Cathedral School. 


The photo of all participants Front Row - Victoria Proulx, Andrew MacGregor, Emma LaJesse, Olivia Forgit and Ainsley Boucher. 
Back row is Cathy LaJesse, CDA member, Jean LaJesse CDA Regent, Blaine Andringa, Alex Kozitka, Isabelle Herberg, Gianna Hollcraft, Grace Miller and Margee Keller, CDA Vice Regent.

 

 

 

THURSDAY - FEBRUARY 26,  2015

DOWNTOWN CROOKSTON GETS SIX MORE APARTMENTS WITH MORE TO COME

More apartments are now available in downtown Crookston as Northern Properties, owner of the Quist Building has competed renovations on several apartments and are ready for occupancy. “Northern Properties has recently competed six units which have been offline for decades,” said Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen. “It is basically new housing stock for downtown, the city was able to partner with them through the Small Cities Grant from the Department of Employment and Economic   Development with John Scheving being instrumental in pulling it all together. We are excited and thankful for Northern Properties in investing in our downtown which brings housing stock and will bring people to the area to support the retail and service businesses so this is the formula we want to go after.”  Six apartments are ready and nine more are gutted to be completed and they are seeking funding options.

 

 

EAGLE THRIFTY WHITE PHARMACY DONATES RIVERVIEW FOUNDATION

The RiverView Foundation recently received a donation from Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy designated to support a new laboratory analyzer.  This is the sixth year of sustained support from Eagle Thrifty White and Manager Steve Olson, according to RiverView Foundation Director Kent Bruun.  “In 2010 Thrifty White Drug committed to annual financial support towards medical equipment enhancements at RiverView,” Bruun stated. “Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy continues to work with the Foundation to identify meaningful RiverView projects with the intent of creating a healthier community.’’

Lab Analyzer
The laboratory analyzer is a priority project in which the Foundation Board of Directors is committed to raising funds. The analyzer project will benefit a large population of people, with more than 7,000 tests done annually in RiverView’s Laboratory, which is open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.  "The new hematology analyzer is responsible for running one of the most common blood tests – a complete blood count or CBC,'' explained Emily Nelson, director of RiverView's Laboratory. "This basic test aids in determining your general health status and is used to screen for, diagnose, or monitor any one of a variety of diseases and conditions that affect blood cells, such as anemia, infection, inflammation, bleeding disorder or cancer.'' Nelson goes on to state that this highly administered, very quick and simple test produces valuable information with which providers can work to determine the best route of care.

June 8 Golf Classic Project
The new lab analyzer is at the top of RiverView’s equipment priority list for 2015. Funds from the upcoming RiverView Foundation Golf Classic will also go toward this project, said Bruun. The annual Golf Classic will be held on June 8th at Minakwa Golf Course. “Donor support, like that of Eagle Thrifty White, is so powerful,’’ Bruun shared. “It literally allows us to enhance our quality of care which results in a community and environment that has a higher quality of life and safety.’’
For more information on the lab analyzer or any other RiverView Foundation project, contact Bruun at 218-281-9249 or kbruun@riverviewhealth.org.


Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy Manager Steve Olson and Thrifty White Pharmacy Market Manager Lee Omberg present RiverView Foundation Director Kent Bruun with a check that will go toward RiverView’s lab analyzer project.


 

 

CHS AG SERVICES SHARING $7.4 MILLION IN CASH PATRONAGE AND EQUITY WITH CUSTOMERS

About 1,551 eligible patrons of CHS Ag Services will share in the distribution of $7.4 million in cash patronage and equity during 2015 based on business they’ve conducted with the company. “We’re extremely proud that we once again can deliver this important benefit of being part of a cooperative business to our customers and owners,” said Ryan Anderson, general manager. “One of the most important ways we help producers grow is by delivering an economic return on the business they do with CHS Ag Services. This – along with the quality energy and crop inputs, crop marketing and services we provide year-round – underscores the added value of being a cooperative system owner and customer. “Through their ownership in a cooperative like CHS Ag Services, not only do they have access to products and services, they also share in our success and that of the integrated CHS system. This enables all of us to invest in the future of our local producers, this business and our community.”
During 2015, this locally controlled retail division of CHS Inc., the nation’s leading producer-owned cooperative will allocate a total of $7.4 million in patronage dividends to its eligible customers in its local area based on business done Sept. 1, 2013 – Aug. 31, 2014, of which $3.1 million is being paid out in cash. 
Overall, CHS expects to return an estimated $518 million – its third highest return on record – during its 2015 fiscal year in cash patronage, equity redemptions and dividends paid on preferred stock to about 1,100 eligible cooperatives and more than 55,000 individual members and others in 49 states. CHS net income for its fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2014, was $1.1 billion. Patronage is based on business done with CHS during fiscal 2014, while equity redemptions represent retirement of ownership in CHS earned in past years. Over the past six fiscal years, CHS has returned $2.6 billion in cash to its owners.
If they have not already done so, individuals who have reached age 70 and representatives of the estates of deceased members should contact Ryan Anderson and request redemption of their equity. CHS makes equity redemptions to eligible individual direct members throughout the year, based on attaining age 70 or estate retirements, but potentially eligible individuals must make contact.
CHS Inc. (www.chsinc.com) is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to helping its customers, farmer-owners and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS, a Fortune 100 company, supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, animal feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.

 

 

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA EXTENSION OFFERS TIPS ON GROWING GRAPES IN MINNESOTA

Grapes can grow in almost any part of Minnesota if varieties adapted to our cold, dry winters and short growing season are chosen. Grapes need full sunlight and high temperatures to ripen, so plant on southern slopes, the south side of windbreaks, or the south sides of buildings. Avoid northern slopes and low ground since these will be cooler throughout the growing season, delaying ripening of the fruit. Choose deep, well-drained soils to avoid standing water in the spring and encourage early growth. Plants can be put in the ground as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. Use healthy plants with well-developed root systems. Space the plants six to eight feet apart. Before planting the vine, remove all canes except the most vigorous one. Trim off any broken or excessively long roots.
Dig a hole large enough so you can spread the root system out without bending the roots. Plant vines at the same depth as in the nursery. Do not plant too deeply. Spread the roots and cover them completely with soil. After planting, shorten the remaining cane to two strong buds. Each bud will develop into a cane.
Although vines often are allowed to grow at random, sprawling over the ground during the first season, it's best to train the stronger of the two canes that develop from the plant to a strong stake, five to six feet tall. Remove any suckers growing from the base of the canes. Remove the weaker cane in March. If neither cane is three feet long, cut the plant back to two buds again the second year.
Although there are several systems for training grapes, the four-arm Kniffen system is the most simple for varieties that do not require winter protection. In this system, two horizontal wires are stretched between posts to support the vine. The bottom wire is 36 inches and the top wire is 60 inches above the ground. The young vine is tied to a stake and, as it grows, to the two wires. This ensures a straight trunk for the mature vine.
Begin training after the vine reaches the first wire. Remove all shoots between the wires and cut back shoots along the lower wire to two buds.
When pruning, keep in mind that fruit is produced on the current season's growth, that in turn grows from last season's wood. Heavy pruning provides the best fruit. Light pruning result in large yields of poor-quality fruit; very heavy pruning produces too much vegetative growth and very little or no fruit. Table, juice, and jelly varieties can have 40 to 60 buds per vine, but wine varieties should have only 20 to 30 buds per vine after pruning.
Grapes change color long before they are fully mature, so it's possible to pick the clusters before they have reached their peak in flavor, size, and sweetness, if berry color alone is used as a guide. For best fruit, taste the grapes first to see if they are ripe. If they aren't, wait for optimum quality to develop. Grapes will not improve in quality once they are harvested.
It's easy to propagate grapes from cuttings. Take sections of the canes from healthy, moderately vigorous vines while they are dormant. This can be either in late fall or in early spring before growth starts; early spring is preferred because once the cuttings have leafed out and formed roots they can be placed outside, first in the shade, and then planted out in the vineyard. Cut the sections directly from the vine or from brush that has recently been pruned off. Make cuttings three nodes long with the bottom cut (the portion that will form roots) just below the bud or node and the upper cut at an angle of about 45 degrees, one- inch above the bud or node.
Plant cuttings as soon as possible after they are made. Place the cuttings with the second bud from the top at soil level and cover with loose soil. Rooting will be enhanced if the cuttings are placed in a humid environment. After rooting has taken place, move the cuttings outside if the temperature remains above freezing. Protect new plants from direct sun. After the cuttings have adjusted to the outside environment, they can be planted in the vineyard. It is important to not let the cuttings dry out during this process.
If your goal for raising grapes is to harvest your crop for something you can store in a bottle, please join us on-line for the annual Local Foods College webinar series. This interactive session will be broadcast on Tuesday, March 3rd beginning at 6:00 pm. In this session, Eric Sannerud from Mighty Axe Hops; Ron Leasman from Leatherwood Vinegary; Mike Swanson and Cheri Reese from Far North Spirits will share stories from three innovative farm-to-bottle businesses from around Minnesota, and how they are adding value to locally grown grain, herbs and fruit through the process of fermentation.
The Local Foods College is free to everyone, but registration is required to provide access to the on-line classroom. Please register online at localfoods.umn.edu.
The Local Foods College is part of a movement to strengthen local and regional food systems. For more information, contact me at 800-450-2465 or stordahl@umn.edu. Most of this information was adapted from the UM publication, Growing Grapes for Home Use.

 

 

WEDNESDAY - FEBRUARY 25,  2015

JUSTIN ERDMANN TO BECOME A FIFTH GENERATION VOLUNTEER FIRE FIGHTER AT CROOKSTON FIRE HALL

The Crookston Fire Department has a new volunteer fireman who is part of a family of volunteer firemen.  25 year old Justin Erdmann is going through training to become a volunteer fireman to follow in the footsteps of family members. Erdmann will be a fifth generation firefighter.  “Ever since I was little I went with grandpa and played around the trucks and my dad has been on for a while so sometimes I would go on the call with him,” said Erdmann. “They decided to get me gear and so I applied, the five generations are my grandma Linda Cournia’s grandpa Frank Morrisey; Del Cournia, my great grandpa and father of grandpa Bob Cournia; my dad Rod Erdman and also Doc Welter and my uncle Chris Cournia.”
Training has begun for Erdmann to be totally certified.  “Last March I filled out an application and did a physical test in front of the fire hall with a six minute time limit,” said Erdmann.  “I did an interview and Matt Johnson was certified and then I was next, so when Dave Larsen retired in December I got notified I could start on February 1, 2015.”
Erdmann had to pass a physical and has a couple more classes before he is ready for the job. “After the paper work I had to have a physical with a doctor and now I have to go to a couple of schools before I get finally certified, but I can go to the hall and help out when they get a call,” said Erdmann, who has been through a lot in his young life. “I have been through Leukemia when I was a freshman in high school, which is 11 years ago and in 2009 I had seizures from a brain tumor and have recovered from surgery,” said Erdmann.  “I work at Valley Plains Equipment and farm the rest of the year with my dad and  uncle Chris and his son.”  Erdmann went to UMC for farm and ranch management and wants to try and get financing to buy some land of his own.
Volunteer firemen are always needed as some retire so anyone interested can contact the fire department.

 


 

CROOKSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT TO HIRE A POLICE OFFICER CITY HALL TO GET A BACK UP GENERATOR

The Crookston Police Department needs to hire another police officer to replace a recent resignation.  The Crookston Ways and Means Committee gave approval for Chief Biermaier to start the hiring process.  “We had one officer resign for personal reasons so now we need to look at the hiring process and get it rolling,” said Biermaier.
The committee also approved the purchase of a back up generator to be placed at Crookston City Hall.  “We are going to install a permanent generator at city hall to keep power for the emergency operations center which is now located at city hall and for the storm shelter which is at city hall,” said Crookston Fire Chief Tim Froeber. “It will also serve all the departments and keep the phone systems going down if the power goes down so this will provide sustainability for the entire city departments.” The cost of the generator purchase is $23,500 and will be split between the emergency  management fund and the technology department.

 


 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES TO BE HELD TODAY AND THURSDAY

Crookston High School parent teacher conferences will be held today (Wednesday, February 25) from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. and Thursday from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., 11:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 4:45 to 7:00 p.m.  Conferences are on a walk in basis, no appointments are necessary.  Please note the earlier end time on Thursday so everyone can come and cheer on the Pirate Boys Basketball team at 7:00 p.m.  There is no school on Thursday or Friday.


 

 

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ACCEPT TWO GRANTS AND FIND OUT THE JUSTICE CENTER HVAC UNIT NEEDS REPAIR

Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and accepted two grants for Polk County Public Health. The grants were a total of $15,000. “We received a Medica Foundation grant of $5,000 to help us reach our mission and vision which is to offer people health care with a nurse in a concept called “Be Well” kits focused on licensed childcare   and foster home providers,” said Polk County Public Health Director Sarah Reese. “A gift from Health Partners was for $10,000 to support the family home visiting program for both training of staff and clients. This is a priority for Health Partners to make sure children develop healthy.”
Reese said they are applying for a grant of $125,000 for Drug Free Communities. “We are applying with our partners in Norman and Mahnomen Public Health for a support grant from the federal grant,” said Reese. “It is a priority as recent assessment showed a need to build community coalitions to support reduction of alcohol and drug use and focus on primary prevention.” The grant would be for five years of $125,000 each year.  
Approval was given to have a UND public health student Shannon Kaiser, a Crookston High School grad and current member of the UND Women’s Hockey team, serve as an intern for the summer without pay.  
An agreement with Bemidji State and Northwest Technical College was approved to allow student nurses a clinical experience with a Polk County Public Health nurse.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Justice Center in Crookston is in need of repairs, according to Polk county Facilities director Mark Dietz, who informed the Polk County commissioners of the needed repairs.  “Basically we are getting into the stage of discovery where we found that the coils are not getting the amount of glycol that they need to heat like they should so we are looking at the next step to do the necessary work without interrupting the daily function of the building,” said Dietz.
A bid of $19,000from Lunseth Plumbing was accepted to do the screen installation to prevent further damage.    The board approved the appointment of Paul Jore of McIntosh to the planning and zoning committee.

Ross Hier, Area Wildlife Manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources office in Crookston came before the commissioners with information on a proposed DNR Crystal Lake Project in Woodside Township.  “It is about 600 acres and surrounds Crystal Lake which is quite undeveloped which is unique. It has timber, grasslands, wetlands and a watershed that is quite wild with some farming,” said Hier. “The lake is good quality of clarity and fishery, and owner Keith Danks, Sr. would like to sell it to the DNR section of wildlife and keep it in tact.” No action was required from the board, but they are interested in making sure they get a payment in lieu of taxes.
The estimated market value of the property is over $1 million.

 

 

FARMERS HAVE UNTIL FEBRUARY 27 TO SIGN UP FOR BASE AND YIELD REALLOCATION

The deadline is approaching fast for farmers to make a decision on the 2015 farm program.  “There will be no extension for farmers to sign up for the base and yield reallocation deadline on Friday, February 27, so farmers need to get in this week and bring paperwork with them on yields and signatures of landlords,” said Bruce Nelson, West Polk County Farm Agency Executive Director.  “There is an extension for those who have been in and are waiting for signatures, it is 15 working days.   About 25 percent of the farmers have not been in yet and probably are not going to sign up, but this is an opportunity  not to be wasted.”  The deadline is Friday, February 27.

 

 

 

TUESDAY - FEBRUARY 24,  2015

CROOKSTON WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE SAYS NO TO CHICKENS IN TOWN

The Crookston Ways and Means committee put the backyard chicken program to roost last night when they voted 4 to 3 to not allow chickens in city limits.  The vote will go to the city council at their next meeting. Council member at large Wayne Melbye voted in favor of the chickens. “I wanted to get it before the council and see where we are at and move on to the next project.” Voting yes with Melbye was Tom Jorgens and Dennis Regan.
Council member Tom Vedbraaten has opposed the idea of chickens in the city limits since the beginning of the idea.  “I talked to a lot of people and the majority of them were opposed to chickens in town and all that I have read is not in favor of having them in the community,” said Vedbraaten.
Voting no with Vedbraataen were Dale Stainbrook, Bob Quanrud and Steve Erickson.   Council member Clayton Briggs was absent, but had indicated he opposed the idea as did Mayor Gary Willhite.

The ways and means committee approved the purchase of more cameras for the police cars in Crookston.  “We have cameras in the cars which are outdated and repair costs are getting high so we are going with a system that is good and reliable and easy for the officers to use and allows for expansion if we get to the use of body cameras,” said Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier.

Approval was given to purchase a new car for the police department.  “We are on a four year rotation and our last Victoria is going down from primary patrol,” said Biermaier. “In a snow storm on the northeast part of town we need a bigger vehicle and we have six policemen are over six feet or taller and the smaller vehicles do not allow for leg room and all the equipment needed and we spend 11 hour shifts in the car which can be uncomfortable.”  Cost of the car is $32,500 from Brost in Crookston.

The committee also approved the purchase of new sirens through the fire department.  Fire Chief Tim Froeber said they will purchase three new sirens.  “We have been reserving money for the last three or four years to replace the older sirens that are around the city and we need a better system to work around the city in an emergency,” said Froeber. “We will replace the oldest and smallest sirens located at Todd’s Tire Service, by the city shop and one at the sheriff’s department.  They will be replaced with two new ones with better coverage, and use one of the old ones out by the Crookston Sports Center for further development.” $35,000 has been budgeted for the sires.
The city council will vote on these decisions at their next meeting.

 

 

CITY OF CROOKSTON GETS A BIG GRANT TO MAKE A TRAIL ALONG FAIRFAX AVENUE

The big news at the Crookston City Council meeting on Monday evening was the awarding of a grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for a project on Fairfax Avenue. The Minnesota DOT awarded Crookston a grant of $279,000 for a Fairfax trail and they will need to write another grant to purchase the right of way. “We are well on our way to make that happen as we have worked on it for a long time,” said Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen.  “It will connect the Memorial walkway with South Main and creates a loop that includes downtown, the industrial park, and several residential areas.  It is a big step forward and we have a couple of years to make it happen and they encouraged us to work with partners to get the other grant.”

A proclamation for the West Polk County Farm Bureau Take Action Against Hunger Day on February 25 was signed by Mayor Willhite which stated over 10,000 people are in need of food in the area.   
The Council rescinded two resolutions dealing with Barrette Street Estates lots 5 and 6 to amend the covenants and rescind the sale of the lots to Robert Herkenhoff.    A resolution to support legislation moving through the legislature with funding for municipal streets was presented by Council member Tom Jorgens and approved.


At the beginning of the meeting Mayor Gary Willhite presented a certificate to George and Lois Widman, owners of Widman’s Candy, for having the best candy store in the state according to WCCO.  Widman’s Candy received over 4,000 votes from across the state and country for the honor. (Picture above by Philip Barton)

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD AGREES TO CONTRACT WITH DIETARY STAFF

The Crookston School Board met on Monday and approved an agreement with the dietary staff for three years through 2017.   “We are making our way through all the groups and focused on the dietary group to keep some people from getting stuck at the top so we put in step nine this year and next year step 10,” said Superintendent Chris Bates. “In the grid they get an automatic two percent raise and went across the board to a three percent raise in the final year. This keeps our starting salary competitive by adding a step we take one off the bottom and it stops the people who have been with us for years being stuck at the top.” Bates said negotiations were reasonable and went quick.

The school board accepted the resignation of Jeff Perreault as the head girls hockey coach.

An evaluation form was handed out to school board members so evaluate superintendent Chris Bates in the next two weeks.  A grant of $1,170.00 was accepted from Altru Clinic as a portion of the sports physicals done in the fall with the money going to the athletic department.

Early Childhood Family Education Director Denice Oliver said legislation is being considered for children’s programs.  “There is some legislation which would give more funding for pre-k education and we will find out what that means for are programs and young families,” said Oliver.  “This leads into the kindergarten years like for the readiness programs, also we are doing community needs assessment which will review the programs we offer  and what is working and doing well and what we need to improve for the families.”
I Love to Read month will be kicked off next month with many fun activities planned to get the students reading.

 

 

UMC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM TO HOST NSIC FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF GAME, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!

The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team led by Head Coach Mike Roysland will host their first-ever Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) playoff game Wednesday, February 25 as they take on Concordia University-St. Paul at 6:00 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium. The Golden Eagles have tied their best season during the Mike Roysland era with 13 wins, matching their wins total from the 2010-11 season.
The Golden Eagles are the third seed in the NSIC North and will take on the Golden Bears, who are the sixth seed in the NSIC South. Tickets prices for the game are set by the NSIC and are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (65 and older). Students ages six to Seniors in high school are $2 and children under five will receive free admission.  UMC students get in free with their Ucard. The Golden Eagles will also hand out shirts to students and are asking the rest of the fans to wear Maroon as the Golden Eagles look fill Lysaker Gymnasium with Maroon. The winner of Wednesday’s game advances to the second round of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament, where they will face the winner of Minnesota State University, Mankato and Minot State University Saturday, February 28 at 2:30 p.m.

 

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH TO OFFER CLASSES FOR EXPECTING PARENTS

RiverView Health is again sponsoring classes for expecting parents. The course includes four two-hour classes offered on four consecutive Tuesdays. The sessions will be held March 3, 10, 17, 24.  The first and second classes will focus on the stages of labor, breathing and relaxation techniques during labor and delivery, coaching instructions and a tour of hospital rooms. The later classes will focus on baby care, breastfeeding and CPR.  All area physicians encourage their obstetrics patients to attend all four classes, with a support coach, to better understand what to expect during pregnancy and childbirth; and to help ease the fear of the unknown and make for a more enjoyable childbirth experience.
The course instructors for all sessions will be labor/delivery nurses at RiverView Health. The sessions each start at 7:00 PM and last until 9:00 PM and will be held in Meeting Room 4 of RiverView.  Twenty-five dollars is the fee if you are not delivering at RiverView. For more information or to pre-register, call the obstetrics department at RiverView at 218-281-9300 or 1-800-743-6551, extension 300 or register on-line under the “events’’ category at www.riverviewhealth.org.


 

 

OUR SAVIORS LUTHERAN SCHOOL FIFTH GRADERS PARTICIPATE IN BIBLE BOWL

Fifth grade students from Our Savior’s Lutheran School recently competed in the annual MN North Lutheran Schools Bible Bowl in Walker, MN on Saturday, February 21. One of the teams earned second place.


Back Row: Karissa Wagner, Waylon Yarbro, Gage Nelson
Front Row: Liam Hoefler, Aislinn Hoefler, Alexis Gudvangen, Grant Nelson

 

 

 

MONDAY - FEBRUARY 23,  2015

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET ON MONDAY, JEFF PERREAULT RESIGNS AS GIRLS HOCKEY COACH

The Crookston School Board will hold their regular meeting on Monday at 5:00 p.m. in the Crookston High School Orchestra/Choir room.  Personnel items on the agenda include the resignation of Pirate Girls Hockey Head Coach Jeff Perreault. They are expected to approve the contract with the Dietary Staff for the school years 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017.
The board will hear from administrators, Crookston High School Principal - Eric Bubna, Highland School Principal - Chris Trostad, and Washington School Principal/ECFE/Community Ed - Denice Oliver.  Superintendent Chris Bates will give a report on the principal evaluations.
The board will also accept a donation of $1,170 from Altru Clinic for a portion of the sports physicals done there in the fall of 2014.  The money will be given to the Athletic Department for the School District.
The meeting is open to the public and visitors can share concerns or comments with the board five minutes before or after the meeting.

 

 

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL AND WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE TO MEET TONIGHT

The Crookston City Council meets tonight at 7:00 in the Crookston City Council chambers at city hall. A proclamation will be presented on West Polk County Farm Bureau Take Action Against Hunger Day.  The consent agenda includes a resolution to authorize the city of Crookston to participate in the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program.  Plans and Specifications will be approved and call for bids on the 2015 street improvements.  Final payment of $6,461.33 will be paid to Davidson Construction for 2013 street improvements.
The regular agenda has a resolution to rescind and amend the Barrette Street Estates declaration of restrictive covenants on lots 5 and 6, block three in Barrette Street Estates. They will look to rescind a resolution to authorize the sale of real property, lots 5 and 6 to Robert Herkenhoff.  The meeting is open to the public. 

The Crookston Ways and Means committee will meet after the council meeting and end the evening with a closed session to work on negotiations with AFSCME.

 

 

 

POLK COUNTY ASSESSOR'S OFFICE PLANS TO MAIL 2015 INFORMAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENT NOTICES TO COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNERS

The Polk County Assessor’s office plans to mail the 2015 informal property assessment notices to commercial property owners on February 23. The notices are intended to inform the commercial property owners of the estimated market value of their property.  The values should not be confused with taxable value or the tax bill.
Vanguard Appraisals, Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa was awarded the contract to reappraise all commercial class of property in the City of Crookston.  Company representatives have measured and attempted to inspect all property. A sales analysis and a review of the information collected were conducted before the values were finalized.
Property owners will have an opportunity to meet with a representative of Vanguard Appraisals, Inc. beginning March 25.  These meetings are an opportunity for the property owner to submit any information which may affect the estimate of market value of their property.  Property owners who wish to meet with a representative of Vanguard must request an appointment prior to March 20 by calling the county assessor’s office at 218-281-4186.
The current reappraisal was conducted to equalize commercial assessed values since not all properties have decreased or increased at the same rate. Vanguard representatives will not adjust the assessed values if the property owner objects to the new values based solely on the fact that there was an increase in assessed value.  Property owners who disagree with the new values should be prepared to state their estimate of market value and present evidence to support that estimate.
Property owners will also have an opportunity to appeal through their
formal valuation notice which is sent by about April 1.  This notice outlines the statutory methods of appeal.

 


 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES THE CAST FOR THE SPRING PRODUCTION YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN

The Crookston High School Drama department has announced their cast and crew for the spring play, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, with the shows on April 10, 11 and 12.  “It is a big cast of 19 students this year,” said co-director Beth Carlson.    They are all actual characters from the Peanuts gang and they all have history.”  Beth McDougall is co-director and two student directors Gabi Ostgaard and Madison Crane.
The cast includes Zachary Lutz as Charlie Brown along with Bethany Newquist as Sally. Other cast members are Zachary Sanders, Allison Reinhart, Charles Brantner, Marie Sandman, Bailey Bradford, Maddie Everett, Alex MacGregor, Megan Frisk, Brianne Visness, Kari Gillette, Macy Larson, Callie Boucher, Kaitlin Selzer, Michelle Cuno, Luke Edlund, Mike Kostrzewski,  and Brita Fagerland.  To help out with the technical side are Shaylin Goodrich, Mallory Cuno and Presley Chandler.


 

 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL SEVENTH GRADERS BUILD PAPER AIRPLANES

The Crookston High School seventh graders have been reviewing their knowledge of the scientific method or the inquiry process they originally learned about at the beginning of the year.  The question posed to the students was, how can I make my paper airplane fly the farthest?  They built a basic airplane and collected data by throwing the planes in the commons and measuring how far they traveled.  Then they developed a hypothesis about a change they could make that would make their plane fly farther than the control/basic airplane.  They built their test planes and collected data.  On Friday, they had a mini-lesson about the forces of flight, graphed their data, and drew conclusions about whether their hypothesis was correct.  They also recognized any errors or mistakes that could have happened during their tests and suggested what they would like to test next.  Some of the students are pictured below with their airplanes.


One of the seventh grade classes with the paper airplanes that they built for the project


    Another of the seventh grade classes with the paper airplanes that they built for the project

 

 

VILLA ST. VINCENT RECEIVES THREE AED'S THROUGH A GRANT

The Villa St. Vincent was pleased to receive three AED’s (automated external defibrillators) through a gift from the Greater Northwest EMS/Life Care AED Grant Program funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services –Health Resources and Service Administration.  Captain Bob Magsum, Chief Tim Froeber and the Crookston Fire Department were instrumental in helping Villa St. Vincent develop a proposal requesting these crucial pieces of life saving equipment.
The AED’s were placed in The SUMMIT Assisted Living, Good Shepherd Hall/Mount and a central location of Villa St. Vincent.   These are public access AED’s and step by step simple instructions are given audibly via the machines to guide any individual through the basic steps of correct operation. “Thank you to the Greater Northwest EMS and Life Care for the generous donation and the Crookston Fire Department for your constant and gracious support,” states Administrator Judy Hulst. “We appreciate these AED’s-no doubt we are better prepared for emergencies not only involving our tenants, residents and clients but our team members and visitors as well.”


Nancy Moser, LPN Quality Service and Development Nurse and Chief Tim Froeber.


 

RIVERVIEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS THANKS EVERYONE FOR THEIR SUPPORT ON GIVING HEARTS DAY

Giving hearts is not just the name of last week’s on-line giving event sponsored by the Dakota Medical Foundation; it’s also the perfect way to describe the generosity and commitment of wonderful donors who gave to the RiverView Health Foundation during the February 12 Giving Hearts Day event.
The RiverView Health Foundation Board of Directors would like to thank all of those giving hearts for making the 2015 Giving Hearts event a huge success! In 2015 we received online donations, additional checks and cash, and grant support that totaled more than $96,000.
RiverView donations numbered 269 for the 2015 24-hour event. This is a new record for RiverView, and a reflection of the growing desire of donors to give back to our Hospital.
Over the eight years that RiverView has participated in the annual Giving Hearts Day event, an amazing $519,042 has been contributed by hundreds of generous donors. Meaningful projects have been initiated including the development of a miscarriage support program, defibrillators, state of the art CT and MRI diagnostic equipment, Inpatient beds, renovation of the Cardiac Rehab/Radiology procedure room, central monitor and telemetry monitors for the ER Bays, a Kiwanis Children’s Fund was established, and many ongoing purchases of critical medical equipment have taken place.

A few of the projects touched during the 2015 Giving Hearts Day include:
-Lab Analyzer
-Infusion and PCA Pumps
-Music In Memory program for the Care Center residents
-Transfer stretcher for Emergency Department
-Chapel Fund
-Diabetes Fund
-Matter of Balance
-Reach Out and Read
-RiverView Recovery Center
-Comfort bears for pediatric patients
-Barrett’s Esophagus pre-cancerous treatment program
-Scholarships were funded by scholarship stakeholders and their families
-“Forget Me Not” miscarriage program
-“Operation Hugs” pediatric surgical program
-Healthy Moms and Baby Fund
-Speech Pathology Fund
-Baby Blanket Fund
-Kiwanis Children’s Fund
-Pediatric Equipment
-Angel Fund - patient experience support
-Rehab Services
-RiverView Community Support Groups
-Cardiac Rehab
-Prostate screening fund

As the Foundation Board of Directors, we assure you the RiverView Foundation’s operating expenses are supported by interest earned on Board designated endowments given to support and sustain the works of the Foundation. This allows contributions, including your Giving Hearts Day donation, to be completely dedicated to enhancing and growing medical services and not absorbed in the day to day operations of the Foundation.
Giving Hearts Day is a powerful movement of caring people coming together to help others by making an online donation to support projects that will provide the greatest benefits to the highest level of patients. We thank you for being a part of this important program, and for your continued support of the RiverView Health Foundation.

Sincerely,
The RiverView Foundation Board of Directors
Kurt Heldstab – Chair, Tom Lenertz, Ingrid Remick, Amy Ellingson, Christian Kiel, Machelle Engelstad, Trent Fischer, Dr. Kari Miller, Jodi Dragseth.

 

 

 

FRIDAY - FEBRUARY 20,  2015

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT POSTS THE HIGHLAND SCHOOL PRINCIPAL JOB, BECAUSE THEY ARE REQUIRED TO POST IT

Crookston Public Schools Superintendent Chris Bates is answering concerns about the posting of the Highland Principal job now held by interim principal Chris Trostad and the question being asked is why. “You have given us an opportunity to put things straight, we have a situation where Mr. Trostad was an interim principal and I am not sure if we have had that before,” said Bates.  “The first concern of the person who takes a job like this that comes from the teacher ranks is they want to make sure that if they don’t warm to the administrative job and they can return to a job they really love. Mr. Trostad was open when he took the job, he does drivers education, construction trades and he loves those things so the person should be able to go back to the job they used to have.”  Bates said Trostad came out of the teacher’s union agreement and into the principal’s agreement, but only for one year. “You have a set of rights, but only for a year.  The contract was legally reviewed and he gets protection to go back to the teaching job if he wants too and also protection to apply for the principal job without an advantage or disadvantage so the playing field is level.”    The job was posted about two weeks ago and two people have applied and the ad runs until March 10. “We will look at the applications and decide how many finalists and the process will be done like we always do as an equal opportunity employer.”
Bates said they want to do the process early,  “We have gone out early because once the decision is made we can make decisions about teachers and we don’t want this to be a roadblock and decide by the end of March and get at the teacher vacancies by May so we get the best people possible.”

Interim Highland Schooll Principal Chris Trostad told KROX he plans to apply for the principal job as he likes the job at Highland School and appreciates the opportunities he has to interview for the job or return to the construction trades position if he should desire.

 

 

RIVERVIEW FOUNDATION ESTABLISHES THE JUNE E. SHAVER HEALTHCARE SCHOLARSHIP

In memory of long-time Crookston community and healthcare champion June Shaver, the RiverView Foundation has established the June E. Shaver Healthcare Scholarship for area college students going into a healthcare field from the communities (and their surrounding areas) of Crookston, Climax, Fertile, Mentor, Erskine, Red Lake Falls, Warren, Argyle, Stephen, Fisher and East Grand Forks.
June Shaver served as the administrator of the Northwestern Clinic in Crookston from 1953 until her retirement in 1983. She passed away in 2014 at the age of 94, but left a lasting impression on the community professionally and personally.
The RiverView Foundation is honored to provide this regional health care scholarship program established in memory, honor, and respect of June E. Shaver’s life values and commitment to serving others. In her professional career, June was a woman of high integrity, impeccable work ethic, and dedication. She was a strong and passionate leader, actively engaged in community service. She was a well-rounded woman of many interests. She valued self-motivation, high achievement, and the betterment of self.
For information on the scholarship or for an application, contact Foundation Director Kent Bruun at 218-281-9249, email kbruun@riverviewhealth.org or Kari Moe at 218-281-9211, email kmoe@riverviewhealth.org or stop by the foundation office. The application is also available by going to the Foundation link at www.riverviewhealth.org.  Applications are due by noon on March 19.
 


 

CHANCE FOR SPRING FLOODING IN CROOKSTON AND THE RED RIVER VALLEY STILL MINOR

The National Weather Service in Grand Forks has released the Red River basin flood outlook and it is still very good news for Crookston and other towns in the Red River Valley Basin.  The Red Lake River in Crookston has a five percent chance of reaching 15.1 feet, which might not even flood Central Park.
The National Weather Service  said the threat for significant, impactful, snowmelt flooding is currently quite low, generally much less than historical risks for the Red River basin for points north from Wahpeton, North Dakota into Pembina.  This markedly low conditional risk is largely due to low flow conditions on most rivers and streams, low soil moisture, and low snowpack moisture.

Soil moisture at freeze-up is below normal, frost depth is deeper than normal, and river and lake ice reports are spotty at this point, but the few reports received indicate that 2-3 foot ice thicknesses are common on lakes and rivers in northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. The winter snowpack is below normal. 
The breakdown of river level forecasts are below.

CHANCE OF EXCEEDING STAGES AT MAINSTEM RED RIVER LOCATIONS

VALID 2/23/2015 - 5/24/2015                    

LOCATION         95%   90%   75%  50%   25%  10%   05%
--------         ---- ----  ---- ----  ----  ---- ----
 
FARGO               15.4   15.7   16.5   17.3   20.6   26.3   29.6
 HALSTAD              7.0    8.3   10.3   13.3   17.9   24.0   28.6
 GRAND FORKS         17.5   17.7   18.5   20.1   23.2   31.0   37.4
 OSLO                10.5   11.2   13.2   17.3   22.9   31.4   33.9

AT MINNESOTA TRIBUTARY LOCATIONS
Marsh River.....
SHELLY               4.0    4.3    4.8    5.9    7.7    9.3   11.7

Sand Hill River.....
CLIMAX               5.0    5.3    5.9    6.7    8.3   11.8   19.1

Red Lake River.....
CROOKSTON            7.8    8.0    8.5    9.8   11.6   13.7   15.1

Snake River.....
ABOVE WARREN        61.5   61.6   61.8   62.3   62.8   64.2   66.2
ALVARADO            97.1   97.2   98.0   98.8  100.2  101.9  107.1
 

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH TO HOLD THEIR MONTHLY LUNCHEON ON FEBRUARY 26

February is American Heart Month, and RiverView Certified Nurse Practitioner Erika Beckett is ready to teach you how to take better care of your ticker at the Thursday, February 26th Health Luncheon. Beckett will present “Obesity and Heart Disease in America’’ in an effort to share positive ways in which to fight off heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. Obesity plays a big part in heart disease. According to the American Heart Association,
nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese. Being obese puts you at a higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.
But there is good news. Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. A step in the right direction is to lose a few pounds and reap the great cardiovascular benefits carrying around less weight can have on your health.
Attend February’s RiverView Health Luncheon and let Erika Beckett point you in the direction of healthier living.
The luncheon will be held in Meeting Room #1 beginning at noon. Meeting Room #1 is located near the RiverView Clinic entrance on the north side of the hospital and across from the elevators on first floor.
The luncheon series is in its 17th year of sponsorship by RiverView Health. All men and women interested in improving their health are invited to attend. Each luncheon starts a few minutes past noon and luncheons are kept under one hour so those needing to return to work can attend. The presentations are free and attendees can bring their own lunches or purchase a healthy, boxed lunch for $3.00. Pre-registration is required and boxed lunch orders must be placed at the time of pre-registration. Call Holly Anderson at 281-9745 or toll free 1-800-743-6551, extension 9745, for additional information and to pre-register.


 

CROOKSTON ROTARY CLUB INDUCTS THREE MEMBERS


Three new or returning members were inducted at today's meeting. We welcome the return of Kenneth Johnson (far left) along with new members Sue Shirek (second from left) and Megan Luxford (third from left). They are pictured with Crookston Rotary President Krista Proulx (far right).

 

 

CROOKSTON NOON DAY LIONS CLUB LOOKING TO RAISE $25,000 TO PURCHASE A STAGE, RAFFLING A RANGER

The Crookston Noon Day Lions Club is kicking off a campaign for a signature project that will ultimately lead to the creation of a mobile event stage. Crookston is currently host to many outdoor events each year including: Ox Cart Days, Crazy Days, Nite to Unite, Cornstalk Jamboree and more. The mobile stage will also allow for additional events to blossom in the future. These events improve the quality of life for residents and provide a positive economic impact for the local economy.
A committee of Lions members has set a goal of $25,000 for the purchase and customization of the stage.  The Lions Club will be raffling a Polaris Ranger as a major portion of the fundraising effort
.  Raffle Tickets for the Polaris Ranger as the Grand Prize, $500 second prize and $250 prize are available at Bremer Bank.  In addition tickets can be purchased at the following local businesses: Titan Machinery, Hugo’s, American Federal Bank, Willow & Ivy, Four Seasons Clothing, Montague's Flower Shop, and City Hall as well as from the members of the Crookston Noon Day Lions Club.


 


                     A 3D image of the stage created by Chris Trostad                                      A Polaris Ranger will be raffled off 


 FOR THE OBITUARY PAGE  CLICK HERE

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