SATURDAY - APRIL, 21 ,2018


The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has received multiple calls on residents finding damage to their property that appeared to be cause by a fire arm. Locations of these reports are in the Northland and Sandsville Townships in Northern Polk County. Numerous vehicles have been reported hit by what appears to be rounds from a firearm along with a dog that was shot and killed. At this time, it appears the cases are related with an unknown suspect. The Sherriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help with any information related to these cases. If anyone in the area finds any similar damage, please report it along with any suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Office.



FRIDAY - APRIL 20,  2018


The week of April 23 is Spring Clean-Up Week in Crookston. Clean-up items will be picked up only on your regular garbage pickup day and must be placed on the street boulevard. Please note: Compost material - grass clippings, lawn or garden waste - WILL NOT have to be in City compost bags for this week only. Cleanup items should be separated into the following piles: garbage, clothing, cardboard, etc.; appliances; branches and yard waste; furniture, metal items, demolition, etc. and tires. Placing these items out in separate piles will help speed the clean-up process. Polk County Public Health advises to not bring furniture, mattresses, box springs, or bed frames found on the street into your home in order to prevent the spread of bed bugs.
Due to State Law, all video display devices (TV’s, computer monitors, etc.) cannot be land filled. Therefore, these items will not be collected during clean-up. These devices may be disposed of at Polk County Environmental Services (Transfer Station), free of charge. Video display devices left on the boulevard more than 48 hours are subject to a $25 penalty surcharge.
Concrete, batteries, partially full paint cans, other chemicals, or large amounts of demolition debris will not be accepted. Branches must be cut in four foot lengths and bundled. Items should be placed on boulevards no more than 72 hours prior to your collection day.




Blast to Bede after-prom party co-chairs, Janelle Brekken and Amy Lubarski revealed the 2018 Blast to Bede theme, "Sweetest Bede Yet" during the prom reveal in the CHS Auditorium this morning. The "sweetest" theme reveal was accompanied by "candy-themed" music and assorted sweet treats tossed out to the audience of juniors and seniors.





The West Polk County Extension Home Council selected two recipients of the Norma Bigger Memorial Scholarships.  The scholarships are presented each year in memory of Norma Bigger, who was an active member of the Extension Home Study Group program in West Polk County.
The 2018 recipients are Clair Frydenlund of Crookston and Tyler Vonasek of East Grand Forks.

Frydenlund will graduate from Crookston High School in May.  Clair is a PSEO student at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Some of her high school activities include Track Manager, Volleyball, Orchestra, Marching Treasurettes, Ensemble Contests, Pop Strings Ensemble, Leo Club, Girls State Participant, RYLA Participant and National Honors Society.  She volunteers as a Sunday School Teacher, Girl Scout Leader, and at the Food Shelf (backpack program). Clair plans to attend the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth where she will major in Nursing. 

Vonasek is currently a student at the University of North Dakota and majoring in Civil Engineering.  At UND, Tyler is a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, a student member of ASCE and was on the Dean’s list in the fall of 2017. Tyler was a 2016 graduate of the East Grand Forks Senior High School, where he was a member of the Knowledge Bowl Team, Golf Team and Concert Choir.   He earned a Superior Medal for Tenor-Tenor-Bass-Bass Quartet, at the State Section Music contest and was a member of the National Honor Society while attending high school. 

           Claire Frydenlund                  Tyler Vonasek





The Crookston High School Concert Choir will be performing their Spring Concert on Monday, April 23rd, at 7:30 pm in the CHS Auditorium. The concert will include some of the vocal contest performances from the past year.  Concert admission at the door: $5.00/ Adult and $4.00/Student.




Polk County Public Health Promotes MN STI Testing Day on April 25

Local health officials are calling for sexually active young people to get tested for sexually transmitted infections, also referred to as STIs during STI Testing Day in Minnesota on April 25. STI testing Day began in 2015 exclusively in Minnesota as a way to heighten the awareness about the epidemic levels of STIs and to encourage STI testing.
Sexually active persons interested in getting free or low cost STI testing can go to either of the following locations in Crookston on Wednesday, April 25: Polk County Public Health, 816 Marin Avenue, 2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., or UMC Student Health (UMC Students, Staff, Faculty) at the Sargent Student Center Health Office 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.  “We are seeing state record numbers of STIs reported in Minnesota, particularly among those between the ages of 15 and 24,” said Amy Van Den Einde, RN, PHN. “The Minnesota Department of Health reported that nearly 29,000 cases of bacterial STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, occurred in 2016. A record high of 22,675 chlamydia cases were reported alone! And this isn’t the only reason we are actively promoting testing on this day. One third of those cases occurred in greater Minnesota, which includes Polk County.”
STIs pose a serious public health threat and can lead to serious health consequences. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to infertility in women and men and can be passed from an infected woman to her newborn children, causing premature delivery, infant pneumonia and blindness. Untreated gonorrhea can spread to organs and joints leading to life-threatening conditions. Untreated syphilis can cause blindness, mental illness, dementia and death. “Since most STIs don’t show symptoms, it’s important for sexually active persons to get tested each year or when involved with a new partner,” said Van Den Einde. “Testing, diagnosing and treating these diseases in their early stages will prevent long term health consequences and prevent their spread.
Local health officials noted that STIs can be prevented by abstaining from sexual contact, limiting the number of sexual partners, always using latex condoms during sex, and by not sharing needles for drug use, piercing or tattooing. Partners of STI infected patients also need to get tested and treated to prevent re-infection or spread to others.





Are you one of the 16 million people in the United Sates who have trouble eating or drinking due to swallowing issues? Or maybe your throat issues are harming your voice and your ability to be heard. No matter the issue, RiverView’s April 24 Health Luncheon, “Throat Matters: Voice and Swallow Health’’ is for you.
Difficulty with eating and/or talking doesn’t have to be a normal part of aging, according to RiverView Speech Pathologist Erin Jore, who will present at the luncheon. Jore will share what speech therapy can do for those suffering with these issues. She will address how to identify red flags for swallowing and voice issues and share how to apply safe swallowing and voice strategies to your daily life. Jore will also discuss when it may be appropriate to seek medical attention for these concerns.

Luncheon Details
The luncheon will be held in Meeting Room #1 of RiverView Health, 323 S. Minnesota Street, Crookston. Meeting Room #1 is located near the RiverView Clinic entrance on the north side of the building and across from the elevators on first floor.
The luncheon series is in its 20th 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. Pre-registration is required. A boxed lunch can be purchased for $3, but must be ordered while pre-registering for the event. Call Holly Anderson at 218-281-9745 for additional information and to pre-register.





Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge Prairie Grouse Viewing Opportunities Each spring, Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge staff place small, two- or three-person public viewing blinds alongside the dancing grounds (aka – leks) of greater prairie-chickens and sharp-tailed grouse within the Refuge. These native prairie grouse species are unique in their behavior each spring when males gather at regular breeding sites and engage in tremendous territorial displays, all in hopes of attracting a nearby female. The antics include an array of calls, booms, leaps, foot stomping, and chasing, among other “dance moves”. The blinds are positioned adjacent to the lek, so they don’t disturb the birds, yet are close to the action. For many visitors, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is generally an early morning activity, with visitors needing to show up at their blind a full hour before sunrise. The early alarm clock is well worth it though, as the displays can be amazing and provide for terrific photo and video opportunities. When you reserve a blind, you will be provided maps, spatial coordinates, and written directions to it. The trail to each blind is marked with a number of reflectors that will be highly visible in the dark with a flashlight. If visitors can be situated in the blind well before sunrise and stay quiet, the “show” put on by the birds is usually tremendous. Grouse activity at the leks typically tapers off around 8:00am. Reservations for this unique activity can be made beginning April 18 through late May. Because of the extended winter weather this year, the starting date for this neat public viewing opportunity is beginning about a week later than normal. To obtain more information about this free wildlife viewing activity or make a reservation, contact the Crookston Chamber of Commerce at 218-281-4320, 800-809-5997, or For more information please contact: Gregg Knutsen, Manager Glacial Ridge and Rydell NWRs 218-687-2229 x16





Senator Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) issued a statement reacting to Wednesday’s ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court on the case between State Auditor Rebecca Otto and several Minnesota counties over the constitutionality of a provision within the 2015 State Government Finance bill allowing counties to contract with private CPA firms to conduct their county required audits.
“The MN Supreme Court’s decision - regarding a 2015 law which gives the counties the authority to contract with private CPA firms to conduct annual county audits – is a big win for our counties,” said Senator Mark Johnson.  “Ms. Otto’s insistence on trying this case all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court cost the state, counties, and private auditors a large amount of time and money. Had she not tried to circumvent the law, she might have realized that the bipartisan legislation allows counties to save money and better serve their communities. With a definitive ruling now on hand, I am hopeful that the auditor will serve Minnesotans and allow counties the freedom to choose their auditor.”   
In their unanimous ruling, the MN Supreme Court concluded that the Legislature’s 2015 law did not violate the separation of powers clause in the Minnesota Constitution, nor a clause requiring that bills at the Legislature deal with a single subject. When the law was initially passed, it did so with the broad support of both Republican and Democrat members.
While pursuing her frivolous lawsuit, State Auditor Rebecca Otto wasted more than a quarter-million dollar in taxpayer funding, money that would have been better spent on pension auditing and other state priorities. Her action also forced officials from Becker, Ramsey, and Wright counties to expend over $135,000 in local resources to build their legal defense. 





THURSDAY - APRIL 19,  2018


The Crookston Planning Commission met Tuesday evening and discussed a request from RiverView Health for offsite directional signage, citing difficulty they have experienced with directing patients to their emergency room.  RiverView requested permission to put up a sign at the intersection of South Minnesota and Hill Street, right off Old Highway 75. “We had a request from RiverView to the City Council to put up an offsite directional sign," explained Building Official Matt Johnson. "They are having issues with directing people to their emergency room. Current City Ordinances do not allow this type of sign, so we made some ordinance changes for them, and for any other businesses that might have similar issues, so they could place signs near their property to help direct people. That was recommended to be approved by the Council, and RiverView, and any other business, would have to apply for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to put up a sign like that.”

Johnson said the Commission also continued their discussion of Gateway Overlay Districts for the City. The Districts provide additional architectural and site requirements for development and redevelopment along key roadways leading into the City.  “We reviewed some of the standards, prohibited uses within the City, such as adult-oriented businesses, junkyards, salvage yards, different types of exterior sales, buffer yards (greenspaces), trees and landscaping – just to try to keep it clean and make a good impression as people come into town," said Johnson.  "It’s all preliminary yet, nothing has been decided, and the Council may even decide not to do it. We’re still in the preliminary stages of discussing the concept, and getting something to the present to the public in the near future in an open-forum type of event, and gather input from businesses and people. A lot of the regulations in a Gateway Overlay District, if it comes to fruition, wouldn’t apply to existing businesses. It would either be for changes in a business, or a new businesses coming in.”





At the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) Board meeting on Tuesday this week, the Board heard a summary of the recently-completed City of Crookston Housing Study from Steve Griesert of Community Partners Research, Inc.
Community Partners Research was hired by CHEDA to update the housing study they had completed in 2014. The same firm conducted housing studies for the City of Crookston in 1998 and 2007.  “Steve presented the results of that updated study to the CHEDA Board, several community members, developers, City Council members, staff members, etc," said CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth.  "He basically went into depth about what the study revealed, and everybody was very appreciative of his time and presentation. We saw some of the highlights and also some of the things that we have accomplished over the past four years, which have been significant.”
The multiple goals of the study included: providing updated demographic data; providing an analysis of the current housing stock and inventory; determining gaps or unmet housing needs; examining future housing trends that Crookston expects to address in the coming years; provide a market analysis for housing development; and provide housing recommendations and findings.
As part of the study, 865 rental units, targeting projects with six or more units, were contacted and surveyed. However, some limited information was also obtained on single family homes and small rental projects. The survey found an 11.6% vacancy rate in general occupancy market rate units, a 6.7% vacancy rate in the tax credit units, an 8.6% vacancy rate in general occupancy subsidized units, no vacancies in subsidized housing for senior/disabled tenants, and a 5.0% vacancy rate in the senior with services project.
Griesert explained that the study identified limited pent-up demand for rental housing due to the higher vacancy rates, but did identify continued pent-up demand for additional senior housing with light services in Crookston, and for new high quality rate rental housing. After factoring current vacancy rates and rental units in the construction phase, one recommendation in the study is the development of 36-44 new general occupancy market rate units, 8-12 affordable/conversion units, and 22-26 senior with light services units over the next five years from 2018 to 2023.
The complete Housing Study Update will be posted on CHEDA’s website:





Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. “Of the Year” Award winners were nominated by area residents. The  Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is proud to announce this year’s recipients are Scott Pream of Thief River Falls, Betsy Saurdiff of Grygla, and Jim Kent of Crookston.
These “Of the Year” awards and the NW Art Exhibit awards will be presented at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Exhibit Reception on Saturday, April 28 in Thief River Falls at the Ralph Engelstad Arena at 2:30 pm. Doors open at 9:30 am to view the 99 pieces of high quality regional artwork on display in the REA lobby and to vote for people’s choice. At 2:00 pm enjoy a snack and music entertainment. The program will begin promptly at 2:30 with the main focus being the recognition and celebration of artists and the arts in Northwest Minnesota. Everyone is welcome to this free event.
In addition, there will be an Arts Expo starting with a VSA presentation by Executive Director Craig Dunn at 11:00 am in the Dakota Room. This is for artists with disabilities, as well as Arts Leaders or other organizations trying to provide access to people with disabilities. Round table presentations by representatives from numerous arts organizations will be held from noon to 2 pm in the Imperial Room. Organizations represented include Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Springboard for the Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council, the Playwrights’ Center, Minnesota Music Coalition, Northern Clay Center, MN Assn of Songwriters, MN Theater Alliance, MN Fringe Festival, Nemeth Art Center, Women’s Art Institute, North Dakota Museum of Art, MN Arts Online, Explore MN Tourism, and the Teaching Artist Roster Program.

Jim Kent of Crookston will receive the Northwest Star Award. Mr. Kent is a musician and previously a school teacher in the Crookston School District. He is active in the Crookston arts community through the community theater, Civic Music League, Pirate Fine Arts Boosters, Community Oratorios and his church. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive the Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award.

Scott Pream of Thief River Falls will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award. Mr. Pream is an extraordinary actor who also works behind the scenes to help others shine. The Artist of the Year award can be given to any discipline artist including visual, performing, or creative writing who are emerging or at a mid-way point in their artistic endeavors. It is a cash award of $500.00.

Betsy Saurdiff of Grygla will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. Ms. Saurdiff is an art teacher in the Goodridge School District. She is passionate about the visual arts, an accomplished artist who works primarily in ceramics and encourages art exploration in her community. The Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

For more information about the Arts Exhibit or the Arts Expo see Northwest Minnesota Arts Council website at





Dr. Ram Prasad Paneru has been providing care in RiverView’s Emergency Department since 2013 when he started as a locum provider. He became a RiverView employee in May 2016. He comes with high praise not only from patients, but also from his co-workers, as is evident by the fact that he was recently named RiverView’s Employee of the Month for March.
A native of Nepal, Dr. Paneru and his wife, Jeanette, live in Grand Forks with daughter, Yajaira, 9, and son, Vincent, 1 1/2.  Of his EOM honor, Dr. Paneru stated: “It was a great honor to receive this prize.’’

             Dr. Ram Prasad Paneru





The American Legion Auxiliary Nels T Wold Unit 20 has added the latest book exchange box to a city park.  Punky Johnson constructed the “Flag” box with the help of Ray St Michel and Rusling Signs. Carl Melbye and Bill Cassavant helped with the plaque.  Members of Unit 20 started off the book exchange by stocking the box and there has been a weekly turnover ever since.  The box is located at the Stearns/5 Corners Park on North Broadway and Stearns in Crookston. 

Pictured left to right are Margee Keller, Ethan Lanctot, Stacey Lanctot, Sharon Lanctot, Ella Lanctot Elaine Metzger, Joyce Chesley and Clarice Vik. 







The Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and hosted a group of Eldred farmers who are concerned about a road project near the Eldred beet piling station on Highway 45.   Rich Sanders, Polk County Highway Engineer has made a proposal to change a road leading to the piling station which would put include a curve and the county would need to purchase land from Russell and Dean Sylvester.   Allan Dragseth presented the farmers point of view. “The road goes to the Sand Hill Church, it goes west one mile and then turns and goes north to the piler,” said Dragseth.  “They are proposing to put a limit on the road that goes north, which mainly affects Sylvesters land.  We kind of feel it is a solution looking for a problem.  We would like to see them not put the curve in as it only gets used two weeks out of the year during piling and they should not spend money in no man’s land as no one lives along that stretch, just one person.” 
Rich explained how the project would work. “County Road 280 runs north and south past the Eldred piler and County Road 221 runs east and west a mile south of the piler over to Highway 75.  We are proposing to regrade and pave a mile and a half of 221 and a mile of 280 up to 45 by the piler.  The design has a 55 mile an hour curve in the road, so the traffic would stay on a paved road and not have to make a 90 degree turn and would be safer than a T intersection. We are planning on having truck traffic south and east of Eldred use the road to get to the south end of the piler instead of north of Eldred and take 45,” said Sanders. “This would reduce congestion when the piler is being cleaned, it is a safety project to help the farmers in the area, it will affect the landowner as we will take a chunk of property for the curve, the landowner does not want a curve at all, so we will work through the hoops and the project will not happen this year but maybe next year.”  
The farmers said they didn’t know about the proposed project until March 15 and felt they should have had input in the idea sooner.    The commissioners did not make any decision and will have further study before taking action.  





Crookston welcomes “A Musical Jouirney of Ireland” with Cahal Dunne, coming to Crookston High School Auditorium Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. This highly entertaining show is sponsored by the Crookston Civic Music League as part of its current Entertainment Series.
Cahal Dunne, “Ireland’s Happy Man,” is a composer, classically trained concert pianist, singer, story teller, comedian, and television personality. His style is rich and deep, reflecting the many sides of this distinguished career. He has performed with Bob Hope, Al Martino, and Tony Orlando and has performed for several American presidents. With his Irish to Broadway to Country repertoire, a great show is guaranteed.
Cahal received his musical degree from the Universit
y College of Cork. He started a band in Ireland in 1977 and against all odds, they made it. They won the equivalent of American Idol in1979 with his own song “Happy Man.’ It was his first number one hit. Fighting a recession in Ireland, he emigrated to the United States and now enjoys playing and singing all over the United States.
Cahal possess that certain magical quality known in show business as “it.” “Ir” transcends talent. “It” comes from deep within an entertainer and washes over an audience, captivating them. Cahal has a following of loyal admirers and friends and continues to make new friends with each appearance.
For further information contact Elaine Metzger at 281-2681 or Alvern Wentzel at 281-7873. Admission is by season ticket only.
Anyone needing a ride to the performance should call THE BUS at 281-0700.





Friday, April 20 is the deadline to register for Safety Town, a comprehensive safety education program for children who are eligible to enter kindergarten in 2018.  It is a one-week summer program at Washington Elementary School from 8:45-11:30 a.m. Monday June 4 through Friday, June 8.  The cost of the program is $20 per participant, which includes a t-shirt and daily snack.  The program is open to 40 participants, and all participants must pre-register.  Registrations are to be returned to Washington Elementary School. 




The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) Board of Directors met on Tuesday morning and enjoyed a tour of Dee, Inc.'s facilities and manufacturing processes following the meeting. 
Dee, Inc. is a foundry and machine shop, since 1971 they have been serving a variety of industries, including automotive, agriculture, off-road, industrial and recreational.  CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth, said of Dee, Inc and the tour, "They were so gracious today to bring us through their facility, showing us their parts, and their employees, and the type of work that they do, and customers they have. Everybody came away very impressed with the operation going on at Dee. We’re so appreciative of their business here in Crookston; for a long time they have employed a lot of people, generated a lot of tax base and payroll, and we’re just as excited as can be to have them in our industrial park.”

A mixture of CHEDA Board members and staff, City Councilmen, and real estate developers were treated to a personalized tour of the Dee, Inc. operation, following the CHEDA Board meeting this morning





Now that spring weather has finally decided to arrive, be sure to attend the Crookston United Way's Annual Ice Cream Social Spring Fling on Thursday, April 19 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Bede Ballroom at the University of Minnesota Crookston. 
This free event is an opportunity to not only enjoy the nice weather, but also welcome Spring with ice cream sundaes and musical entertainment.  You can also meet with United Way 2018 partner agencies.




Celebrate the Young Child at the Family Festival and discover S.T.E.M. on Thursday, April 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Crookston High School commons and gymnasium.  The event is for families with young children ages birth to eight years and will include a free meal and informational booths.  Explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics through a variety of hands-on activities for kids.
Tri-Valley will provide free transportation (Call ahead at 281-0700 to schedule.)





The Crookston VFW Post 1902 and the VFW Auxiliary have kindly donated a folded American flag, to be hung in the Veteran's Hallway at the Villa St. Vincent.

Teresa Person, Tammy Parkin, Bill and Jamie Cassavant (middle) and Pastor Bill Humiston.





Sometimes, the obvious choice is the very best one. For senior Kennedy Resendiz, choosing the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) was not only the best choice it was the perfect choice for her.
Resendiz grew up in Crookston and graduated from the Crookston High School. She knew she wanted to major in animal science with a pre-vet emphasis and attending UMC offered her the preferred degree as well as the scholarships to help make it work.  She has spent a lot of time shadowing veterinarians in the area and is currently working with Assistant Professor Leslie Lekatz on a research project. “We are feeling sheep barley malt culm, a powdery substance we add to the feed of five ewes along with their corn and oats,” she explains. “We will be studying how this additional protein affects them and their offspring.”
The other thing that has dominated Resendiz’s experience at UMC is studying abroad. In May 2016, she took her first study abroad trip to France studying ag marketing and processing. That trip was only two weeks, but her second trip took her to Thailand for a semester with Loop Abroad. One of the most outstanding memories for her was two weeks working in elephant medicine and studying marine life which included watching tiny sea turtles make their way back to the water.
In July 2017, Resendiz headed back to Thailand when she had the chance to serve as a trip leader with Loop Abroad on a high school study abroad trip in veterinary medicine.  This spring, she will spend two weeks in Ireland and Scotland with Professor Rachel McCoppin and focus on the humanities.  “It is great to focus on your area of study, but it is also important to experience culture, history, literature, and the like. It’s the reason why I am really excited for my trip in May,” Resendiz says. Loop Abroad has offered her the chance to travel Australia later this summer as one of their ambassadors.
“Studying abroad changes you and your perspective,” Resendiz says. “You gain a broader global awareness, and I believe it will give me an edge as I apply for veterinary medicine programs and whatever else I choose to do in my life. The greatest lessons you learn studying abroad are really about you as a person. I came back a better me.”
When she has a chance, the one place Resendiz would like to go is the Galapagos Islands. “I want to lie on the beach, eye-to-eye with a Galapagos tortoise,” she smiles. “I want to soak up their wisdom and study their faces.”
Involvement on campus includes serving as president of both the Pre-Vet Club and the Study Abroad Club, serving as a Student Orientation Staff Leader, and tutoring in any area there is need.
The close relationships she has developed with her professors are one the great advantages Resendiz feels she has had attending school in her own backyard. “I am always guaranteed a ‘hi’ in the hallway, and when I wanted to do research, all I had to do was let someone know, and an opportunity came my way,” she says. “I have been given so many opportunities, and all you have to do here is express interest.
“I would not change anything about my decision to go to school here,” she continues. “In fact, I wish everyone could experience education like this.”




The Red River Valley Shows hosted a breakaway and team roping school with Lari Dee Guy, WPRA All Around Champion Roper, from Abilene, TX.  The roping school was held this past weekend in Crookston.  Below are some pictures from the session.

      Pictured is the LDG Group with the presenter Lari Dee Guy on the far left.

Kristen Schwarz (heading the steer) of Fisher on her horse Captain with Hope Thompson (Lari Dee's assistant)

Allie Mcphee (heeling the steer) of Bemidji with Hope Thompson





TUESDAY - APRIL 17,  2018


The Crookston High School will be offering three new elective classes next school year.  They will add Intro to Agriculture, Anatomy/Physiology and Astronomy.
Crookston High School Principal, Eric Bubna, was mildly surprised, but happy to see the interest in three of the new classes being offered next year.   He said the addition of the Intro to Agriculture Class was an easy fit for our area. “It is something with our geographic location would be of interest to the students,” said Bubna. “Long term we would like to see more of an Ag program.  We had 15 kids sign up for the class and that is great for a class we are offering for the first time and that interest might allow us to offer more agriculture classes in the future.”  Scheduling will be tricky next year, because the teacher, Travis Oliver, will be student teaching as he finishes up his teaching degree.  Oliver started teaching as a community specialist and he is looking to wrap up his teaching degree and student teaching is part of that requirement.  

Two new classes in the science department will be Anatomy/Physiology and an Astronomy class.  “We have had good interest in those classes and that is good to see,” said Bubna. “We are always trying to offer electives because it is something the kids are interested in when they take the class.  There are a number of kids that are looking at taking it because they are looking at doing something with it in their career field.”
Bubna said they hope to have next years schedules in the hands of the students by the end of the school year.




Crookston Park and Rec Board met last night and received the good news from Director Scott Riopelle that the spring/summer Fun Finder is now available online, so families can register their kids in activities from the comfort of their homes. “Everything’s online with all of the classes and activities lined up for the summer," Riopelle explained. "For people who don’t have access to a computer, you can still come down to City Hall and talk to Andrea, and she’ll help you to complete the registration. We no longer have hard copies available, other than just a few here in the office. We’ve tried to go totally digital with our format now, so register your kids and let’s let them have some fun.”
To view the Crookston Park and Rec Spring/Summer FunFinder click here.

The Board also heard from Riopelle that they have received applications for the Crookston Parks and Recreation Matching Funds Program, which offers 50/50 matching dollars for development of “city owned” parks and playgrounds. An annual allocation up to $5,000 is available for individuals or groups pursuing a project, however projects submitted must meet the goals, philosophy and mission of the Parks and Recreation Department. The deadline for applications is May 1, 2018.

The seventh Annual Senior Wellness Fair is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Crookston Sports Center. "We have a great event planned with a lot of activities, booths for chiropractors, health screenings, police and fire department, the Mental Health Center, and so on. It’s kind of a one-stop-shop for seniors to come in and get information, and everything’s free. We’ll be serving pulled pork at 12:30 p.m., so come out and enjoy,” said Riopelle. A free lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m., and free transportation in Crookston to the event will be provided by the Tri-Valley Bus. Anyone looking for a ride is encouraged to call Tri-Valley at 281-0700 to make arrangements.

Parks & Rec Supervisor, Scott Butt reported on upcoming football Skills and Drills for fourth, fifth and sixth grades, as well as the need for coaches for boys’ 10U and 12U baseball. Both the football camp and boys’ baseball starts this week. He said plans are underway to add girls’ fastpitch softball for 13-16 year olds, and informed the Board members about 13U and 15U District Baseball Tournaments, which will be played in Crookston August 2-4. Riopelle added that they are considering adding a second disc golf course this year, which would be located at Castle Park.

Finally, City Administrator Shannon Stassen informed the group of an award that Riopelle received from Minnesota Hockey this past weekend. He was awarded the prestigious President’s Award in recognition of his contribution to the sport of hockey over the many years he has served on the Minnesota Hockey Board.  “Minnesota Hockey governs all amateur hockey in Minnesota. It’s probably one of the largest organizations in the United States for hockey – Minnesota is probably the premier state for hockey in the U.S.," said Riopelle. "I’m an Assistant Director for Region 16, and was representing our district, as our Director couldn’t be there. It’s an honor, and very humbling to be recognized by them for my years of service, and working for them throughout the years in different capacities.”

Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors President, Dave Margeneau presented the President's Award to Scott Riopelle





The University of Minnesota Crookston will recognize Earth Week with a host of activities starting on Tuesday, April 17 through Sunday, April 22. Events are free and all are welcome.

Tuesday, April 17 - A program entitled “The ABCs of Tree Ownership” will take place in Kiehle Auditorium at 7 p.m. Rick Abrahamson, lecturer in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. Abrahamson will talk about tree care and attendees will receive a free oak sapling.
Wednesday, April 18 – Use your talents as a chef to enter your favorite squash recipe creation in a contest by bringing the dish to the Sustainability Office (Hill Hall 109) from 2 to 6 p.m.  along with the recipe. Prizes for the contest include kitchen equipment and inclusion in a squash cookbook.
Thursday, April 19 – Learn about sustainable building design with Trey Everett from the Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing (MICAH) and Dave Danforth from U of M Crookston Facilities and Operations at noon in Bede Ballroom.
Friday, April 20 – Watch the movie “Farmers for America” and learn how young farmers are helping the environment and growing food at the showing in Kiehle Auditorium at 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 22, Earth Day – Gather your friends and neighbors to help clean up downtown in partnership with City of Crookston from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Meet at City Hall and bring your refillable water bottle.





The Crookston Public Library received a $125,000 Otto Bremer Trust Grant in November 2017, which will be used toward updating the library’s facility, furniture and equipment. The Bremer foundation offered an additional $25,000 challenge grant to the library, which they will receive if they can successfully raise $25,000 from the Crookston community for their project. The fundraising goal is May 1, and the Library recently received a generous $5,000 donation from American Crystal Sugar’s Community Roots program toward that goal.

“American Crystal's Community Roots program enables us to give grants out to the surrounding areas for projects that benefit people in the community, and helps the community to grow. We realize that, in the future, we will have more employees who want to be part of American Crystal," said Tammy Moe, Factory Cost Accountant at American Crystal Sugar. "For the Community Roots program, people need only to fill out an application that tells us a little about your organization, and how your project will benefit the community. That is how we found out about the need here at the Crookston Library. Bremer had donated $125,000 for their remodeling project, and challenged them to raise $25,000 more, and they would match those funds. That could be a $175,000 impact for the community, so we are more than happy to give them $5,000 to use toward that goal, to leverage their $25,000 into $50,000.”

Crookston Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) Branch Director, Chris Boike expressed what the generous donation means to the fundraising effort, saying, “This is fantastic. We couldn’t be more excited and grateful to the American Crystal Sugar company for their Community Roots grant of $5,000. It’s a huge boost for our $25,000 match, and t’s a nice reinforcement of what we work so hard on every day for our community and beyond. We have a number of people who come in on a regular basis from outside of Crookston, who comment on how beautiful the facility is, how much they appreciate the help they receive from our staff, and we are all partners in this. We all need to partner more and rely on each other more to be the community we want to be."

We do serve a lot of people who are employed by American Crystal Sugar Company, but in addition to that, American Crystal realizes that they are a part of this community, as we all are, and we all have to support each other to make it go, and make it grow. This is a great example of what we can do when we work together."

Boike explained that their project goal is to create a welcoming, productive environment where individuals and community groups can find the information, resources and support to improve their lives and the lives of others. "When you are doing a project like this, things really add up very quickly – especially when you are redoing bathrooms and that type of work," said Boike. "In addition to that, we are also looking at furnishings for our teen and children’s area, our computer area, our sunroom, and meeting room. We are really trying to do our due diligence and research, so we get as much bang for our buck as possible, and make as big an impact on the entire space as we possibly can. We’re looking at doing something to almost every area, including new shelving for our children’s nonfiction, tables and chairs, new displays for our new books and DVDs, some equipment, wireless projector and laptop for programming needs. We’re trying to look at the space we have and trying to be as accommodating as we can to not only the groups and individuals who currently utilize the space, but also to grow and expand beyond that, and see who else we can serve and meet the needs of.” 
Boike detailed what some of the renovations will involve. “The chairs that we have on hand are in need of repair, and we are no longer able to get them repaired. One of our reading tables has collapsed and had to be thrown out. Our booths have cuts and tears in the seats and on the backs, and some of the tables have been welded twice. It’s nice to know that people want to use the space, and we want to give them comfortable, usable pieces," said Boike. "We’re looking at tables that can be used separately, or pulled together for collaboration. We’re looking at some more comfortable seating, and rearranging some existing pieces with new chairs. I really think people are going to be very pleased with the changes we make. We’re working with Lynn Willhite to design those changes. She’s put a lot of time and effort into the design and pieces we have chosen. We want to ensure that we’re going with colors and furnishings that will stand the test of time, and will compliment the architectural structure and what we currently have, so it brings it all together in a complementary way. We’re very fortunate to have her on board with this, and she has been fantastic to work with.”

“When we’re done, people are going to be able to come in and say, wow, we’re really very fortunate to have what we have here. This is a gem. I think it will be something the entire community can be proud of," said Boike. “Every dollar counts. There is no donation too large or too small, honestly. Every dollar helps to get us closer to our goal. If you can’t give in a monetary way, come and be a part of our community’s library by utilizing the services that we offer. That really does make a difference, and affects how our library is funded at the state level. LARL does an amazing job with what we have to work with, but we are always trying to do more with less. This grant from the Otto Bremer Trust, along with the $25,000 matching grant, and donations like this from American Crystal Sugar allow us to do some things that we would not otherwise have the opportunity to do. We want to thank them for believing in what we do, and for partnering with us.”
As for those persons interested in making a donation to the fundraiser, you can stop by the library and make a donation, send it to the Crookston Public Library at 110 North Ash Street, Crookston, MN, or they can go online at and make their donation, or call at 281-4522. 

Crookston Public Library Director, Chris Boike, accepts a $5,000 donation check from Tammy Moe of American Crystal Sugar. Also pictured are Ryan Wall and Luann Beiswenger from American Crystal Sugar, along with library employees Patty Perry, Paula Ous and Tammy Thomasson





Three students from the University of Minnesota Crookston traveled to Oklahoma to present at the 32nd annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) held at the University of Central Oklahoma. The conference, held in early April, was an opportunity for the students to showcase their undergraduate research projects.
The students presenter, joined by Assistant Professor Megan Bell, included Hannah Riveland, a senior from Moorhead; Maggie Perrel, a recent alumna from New Germany, and Maggie Mills, a junior from Lake City.
Formal presentations during the four-day conference were given by Hannah Riveland and Maggie Perrel on the “Effects of Anthropogenically-Derived Antibiotics on Microbial Distribution and Diversity” and Maggie Mills on “Evaluating Mediated Communication within Romantic Relationships.” Faculty mentors for Maggie Perrel and Hannah Riveland were Associate Professor Brian Dingmann and Teaching Specialist Karl Anderson. Bell was the faculty mentor for Maggie Mills.
The National Conference on Undergraduate Research 2018 conference theme, Connection to Place, recognizes the increasing need for direct relevance of an educational experience to the communities that await the college graduate in 2018 and beyond.

The idea for a national conference open to all undergraduates was conceived and first implemented at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in 1987. The first conference drew more than 400 participants from schools across the country. Now in existence for 30 years, the conference has become the leading conference for undergraduate research, hosting 3,500-4,000 students and their faculty mentors each year. One of the only conferences of its kind within the world, it provides students and faculty mentors from all disciplines the ability to present their research through posters, oral presentations, visual arts and performances. The conference is hosted at a different university across the U.S. each year.





MONDAY - APRIL 16,  2018


Muira MacRae, Zach Sanders and Merran Dingman advanced to the State Speech Compeition

The Crookston High School Speech team had eight individuals competing in the Section 8A Speech Tournament last week at the Fosston High School and three will advance to the State competition.  Merran Dingman and Zach Sanders received a second-place medal for Duo Interpretation and Muira MacRae received a second-place medal for Discussion and they will advance to state on April 21 in Apple Valley.  
Zara Baig received a fifth-place medal for Humorous Interpretation. Victoria Proulx received a sixth-place medal for Storytelling.  Georgie French received a sixth-place medal and.  Katherine Geist received a sixth-place medal for Dramatic Interpretation.  Emma Sherman placed 11th in her category of Informative Speaking. 
The team was coached this year by Phyllis Hagen with Assistant Coach Gaye Wick.

Back row: Emma Sherman, Merran Dingmann, Zach Sanders, Muira MacRae, Emily Gillette, Katherine Geist
Middle row: Cheerleaders Sophia Rezak, Samantha Rezak, Lynnea French with Zara Baig
Front row: Victoria Proulx, Georgie French and Ben Brantner





The Crookston High School Drama Department had three productions Almost Maine this past weekend at the Crookston High School Auditorium.  The show was well done by all the cast and crew and very entertaining.  We were at the Sunday show and have a few pictures below.  The cast and crew is also listed below.

                     The cast at the end of the show after Sunday evenings performance of Almost Maine

Cast -
Makayla Tate... Ginette
Cyle Keim... Pete
Jessica Willits... Glory
Zach Sanders... East and Phil
Anna Huck... Sandrine
Damian Hodgson... Jimmy and Chad
Bailey Bradford... Villian
Sarah Ryan... Marvalyn
Blaine Asman... Steve and Daniel
Victoria Proulx... Gayle and Suzette
Justin Pietruszewski... Lendall and Randy
Gina Visness... Marci
Eliza Meyer... Hope
Skylar Weiland... Rhonda
Logan Johnson... Dave

Jordan Lessard and Trevor Boe... Lights
Sophia Rezac and Adalaid Shea... Sound
Pat Seidel... Head of Set Construction
Phyllis Hagen... Costumer
Steve Krueger... Technical Director
Trey Everett... Artistic Director
Beth Carlson and Madison Crane... Directors

The pictures above are from three of the 11 acts from Almost Maine on Sunday evening at the Crookston High School Auditorium





April is Children and Youth Month for the American Legion Family.  Children and Youth is one of the four pillars of the American Legion and a designated program for the American Legion Auxiliary. The purpose of the program is to assure care and protection for children of veterans and to improve conditions for all children.   Commander Kent Shafer of American Legion Post 20 and eight members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 20 volunteered an hour to pack 256 bags for the backpack program at the North Country Food Bank.  The packages will be distributed to schools all over northwest Minnesota for children who might not have enough to eat over a weekend.  Commander Shafer also presented a check to the North Country Food Bank for $150.00.

Left to right - Ella Lanctot, Margee Keller, Kent Shafer and Elaine Metzger, all American Legion Family members, pack bags for the back pack program, not pictured, Joyce Chesley, Clarice Vik and Sharon, Stacey and Ethan Lanctot.

Mike Davidson, Operations Manager at North County Food Bank receives a check from American Legion Nels T Wold Post 20 Commander Kent Schafer





Occupational Therapy works with people of all ages who need specialized assistance to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives due to physical developmental, social, or emotional problems through the use of meaningful and purposeful activities.
Occupational therapy practitioners can work in various sites including: nursing homes, schools, outpatient clinics, hospitals, and Veterans Affairs ect.
Physical therapy treats impairments, focusing on preventing injuries, uses exercise and message and increasing mobility by aligning bones and joints or lessening pain. Occupational therapy helps people fully engage in daily life, looks at how to promote roles, helps rehabilitate developmental and cognitive disabilities along with different emotional and behavioral problems.
Northland Community and Technical College has a 2-year Occupational Therapy Assistant program in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Occupational Therapy average salary is $56,000 as of 2016 and is expected to grow by 28%. Occupational therapy is a very rewarding and satisfying job.

Northland Community and Technical College OTA Class of 2018





The MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) just released this week Minnesota’s first statewide deer management plan.  Area Manager Emily Hutchins said that anyone interested in deer can comment on Minnesota’s draft statewide deer management plan now through Wednesday, May 9.  Comments can be submitted online or in writing at public open houses being held around the state in April where people can talk to wildlife managers and ask questions. One of those open houses will be held Monday from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Crookston Public Library. There will be no formal presentation at the meetings. Instead, local wildlife staff will provide handouts explaining the deer plan and process and will talk with attendees individually and in small groups. People can arrive anytime during the two-hour time frame. “We’re setting a course for deer management that encourages more dialogue among stakeholders, the public, and DNR staff,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “Our ultimate goal is to support our hunting traditions, better engage the public, and to maintain sustainable, healthy deer populations throughout Minnesota.” For those who can’t make the meetings, DNR is encouraging the public to contact their local wildlife manager for additional information or to address any questions they may have about the deer plan. The Crookston DNR office phone number is 281-6063.
Information about the deer plan, and a link to submit online comments are on the DNR website at





FRIDAY - APRIL 13,  2018


The Crookston High School Drama department will present the play, "Almost, Maine" April 13-15 in the Crookston High School auditorium. “Almost, Maine” is a series of eleven short scenes that explore love and loss in imaginary town called Almost, Maine.  The play is set in a wintery scene of snowy trees and a sparkling sky, and shows the audience a wide range of emotions from love and loss, sadness and pain, to relief and happiness.
This is the final Crookston High School stage appearance for seniors Zach Sanders, Jordan Lessard and Bailey Bradford.  The intense production provides a great showcase for their acting skills.
The play will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m.  Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students.

Cast -
Makayla Tate... Ginette
Cyle Keim... Pete
Jessica Willits... Glory
Zach Sanders... East and Phil
Anna Huck... Sandrine
Damian Hodgson... Jimmy and Chad
Bailey Bradford... Villian
Sarah Ryan... Marvalyn
Blaine Asman... Steve and Daniel
Victoria Proulx... Gayle and Suzette
Justin Pietruszewski... Lendall and Randy
Gina Visness... Marci
Eliza Meyer... Hope
Skylar Weiland... Rhonda
Logan Johnson... Dave

Jordan Lessard and Trevor Boe... Lights
Sophia Rezac and Adalaid Shea... Sound
Pat Seidel... Head of Set Construction
Phyllis Hagen... Costumer
Steve Krueger... Technical Director
Trey Everett... Artistic Director
Beth Carlson and Madison Crane... Directors





The Crookston High School Music Department hosted the Sub-section 31 Large Group Band and Choir Contest on Wednesday, April 11, in the Crookston High School Auditorium.
There were five high school bands that performed in the morning, including; Crookston, Climax, Warren/Alvarado/Oslo, Roseau & Red Lake Falls. Four high school choirs performed in the afternoon including; Crookston, Climax, Red Lake Falls & East Grand Forks.
Deland Elseth, Jim Hallan, and Sheila Nelson were the adjudicators for the event. The large groups were scored on tone quality, intonation, rhythm, balance, blend, technique, interpretation, musicianship, diction, articulation, execution and other performance factors. Based on total points, the groups can earn a Fair, Good, Excellent or Superior Rating. The Crookston High School Band and Concert Choir both received Superior Ratings from the three judges.

The Crookston High School Choir performing at the Sub-Section 31 contest





Our final comments for Severe Weather Awareness week come from Crookston Fireman Kent Ellingson, who spoke to the importance of the dangers that Extreme Heat can present. Ellingson said that heat-related fatalities outpace deaths in several other weather categories. Based on a national average from 1992 to 2001, excessive heat claimed 219 lives each year. “The National Weather Service puts out a Heat Index number, which is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperatures. The National Weather Service will initiate alert procedures when the Heat Index is expected to exceed 105-110 degrees F for at least two consecutive days," Ellingson explained. “Heat disorders occur when the body loses its ability to shed heat through circulation and sweating. When heat gain exceeds heat loss, or when the body can no longer compensate for fluids and salt lost through perspiration, the core temperature of the body begins to rise, and heat-related illness may develop.”

And Ellingson reminds us how important it is to check regularly on those with higher risk of suffering from excessive heat-related issues, saying, “Never leave children, disable adults or pets in parked vehicles. Each year dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia, an acute condition that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can handle. Hyperthermia can occur even on a mild day. Also, drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), stay indoors if possible, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, visit at-risk adults at least twice a day and watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and check on infants and children much more frequently, limit your activity to morning and evening hours, and protect yourself with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.”





April is National Alcohol Awareness Month. In recognition, RiverView Recovery Center and several partners are planning free events in the region.
Presenting at these events will be Michael DeLeon, founder of Steered Straight Inc., a non-profit organization that focuses on steering youth in a positive direction, teaching them about life choices and helping them understand the consequences of their actions. 
“I don’t want my past to be their future,” DeLeon shared. “My 63-year-old mother was strangled and killed on Mother’s Day, and I’m 100 percent responsible for that. I brought this madness into her life. I stand before you as a person who has to live with that fact for the rest of my life.”
After nearly eight years of drug addiction and gang involvement, DeLeon spent 12 years in state prison and half-way houses for a gang-related homicide. Today he describes himself as “a successfully acclimated ex-offender’’. Since his release from prison, he has earned three Associate’s Degrees; a Baccalaureate Degree in Business Management, with a minor in Criminal Justice; and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor educational certificate. He is now in the process of obtaining his Master’s Degree in Social Work, as well as pursuing his Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor standing.
He travels the country sharing his personal journey of the troubled road of a life entwined in drugs.
DeLeon also founded Stay in Your Lane Media and has produced documentaries, including “Marijuana X’’ with Congressman Patrick Kennedy for parents and educators documenting the changing trends of marijuana and concentrates; “An American Epidemic” a documentary about the opioid crisis; “Kids are Dying” a documentary looking at the opioid crisis in a city in the USA;  and “Higher Power’’ which documents the spiritual foundation in a strong recovery of many people who have found that journey to be guided through spiritual principles.
The following events will feature DeLeon and are free and open to the public:
April 15, 6:30 PM: Freedom Church, 308 Demers Ave., Grand Forks (Sponsors for this event are Celebrate Recovery; Freedom Church, Grand Forks; RiverView Recovery Center; and the Glenmore Foundation.)
April 16, 10:30 AM: RiverView Recovery Center, 309 N. Labree St., Thief River Falls. (This event is sponsored by RiverView Recovery Center and the Glenmore Foundation)
April 17, 7:00 PM: Roseau City Center, 121 Center St. East, Roseau, MN. (This event is sponsored by RiverView Recovery Center, the Glenmore Foundation, the members of the Community Justice Collaborative Committee, and the LifeCare Health Care Fund.)
DeLeon will also present at closed sessions at the Polk County DWI Court, Pennington County DWI Court, Roseau County DWI/Drug Courts, Douglas Place Inpatient Treatment, Roseau High School and RiverView Recovery Center in Crookston.  
For more information on these community events or recovery programs offered at RiverView Recovery Center, call the RiverView Recovery Center at 218-281-9511.





The Northwest Minnesota Tourism Conference, presented by Riverland Association, will be held on Tuesday, April 24, at the University of Minnesota in Crookston. This one-day seminar is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Sargeant Student Center's Bede Ballroom. It is titled “The Road Best Traveled - A Shared Experience in NW MN" and designed to provide tourism education in Northwest Minnesota. A wide variety of sessions focusing on marketing, tourism development and digital trends will be presented.

Presenters will include Jody Horntvedt - University of Minnesota Extension, Erik Osberg - Otter Tail County, Davin Wait - Hjemkomst Center, and Julie Ramer and David Bergman from Explore Minnesota Tourism.

The conference will also include a panel of event organizers highlighting Northwestern Minnesota success stories and giving best practice tips, including Jamie Bakken - Peder Engelstad Pioneer Village Director, Sarah Prout - Former Grand Forks Downtown Development Assn. Director, and Angela Liedke- Bemidji Dragonboat Festival Co-Chairperson.
All parties interested in attracting visitors to their community, business or event are invited to the conference. The cost is $40.00 for members and $45.00 for non-members, which includes conference materials and lunch. The registration deadline is Tuesday, April 17. 
Riverland Association consists of local individuals, volunteering to make a difference in the world of tourism.  Riverland is comprised of six communities (Crookston, Fertile, Greater Grand Forks, Red Lake Falls, St. Hilaire and Thief River Falls) working together to further the opportunities available through tourism. Call 281-4320 for more information.





The Polk County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a series of “Coffee with a Cop” events to encourage opportunities where law enforcement and our citizens can come together in an informal setting to discuss concerns, build relationships and to get to know each other better. 
The Polk County Sheriff's Office has invited our partners from the Minnesota State Patrol and Department of Natural Resources to join us.  Strengthening relationships with our citizens is important and vital as we work together to keep our county safe.

Our first three events will take place as follows:
Gully Café, 301 South Main Street, Gully, MN from 8:30 – 10:00am on Tuesday, April 17, 2018;
Fosston City Hall, 220 East First Street from 9:00 – 10:30am on Thursday, April 19, 2018;
Lengby Community Hall, 104 N. Main Ave., Lengby, MN from 8:30 to 10:00am on Wednesday April 25, 2018.

More events will follow in other communities in Polk County as we work our way west.  Always remember, should you have a situation or circumstance where you need to talk with a law enforcement officer or need assistance, please contact the Polk Sheriff’s Office at 218-281-0431.  For emergency assistance always dial 911.
Any questions on our “Coffee with a Cop” events can be directed to Polk County Sheriff Barb Erdman @218-281-0431 or e-mail or





This month, the Climax Public Library is bringing popular children’s musician Siama to the library to perform interactive music and storytelling for young children and their families, featuring his trademark Congolese guitar music. This event is held in celebration of the children who have read 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, as part of the library’s initiative to encourage literacy development. “Music with Siama and Dallas” is brought to the community free of charge, thanks to funding from the Minnesota Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. All are welcome to come to the library for this performance on Thursday, April 26 at 1:30 p.m. at the Climax Public Library.
As a prolific composer from east Africa, Siama performed with many great entertainers and was a sought after studio musician, recording hundreds of popular songs during the golden area of soukous music in the 1970s and 1980s. Siama launched his solo career in 2014 in Minneapolis, after being awarded a McKnight fellowship. He performs for small children and life-long learners at concerts, festivals and special events.
The Climax Public Library is pleased to offer “1,000 Books before Kindergarten”, a program that encourages parents and caregivers to read to children from birth to kindergarten and beyond. Incentives will be awarded for each reading milestone achieved, with a special award for those who read 1,000 times before kindergarten. Visit the library to sign up, or learn more at
The Climax Public Library is a location of Lake Agassiz Regional Library, which is a consolidated library system comprised of 13 branch libraries and nine library LINK sites serving the residents of seven counties in northwest Minnesota. More information is available at, and the library’s app, LARL Mobile, is available in the iTunes and Google Play stores for free download.




THURSDAY - APRIL 12,  2018


Today’s Severe Weather Awareness Week topic is Tornadoes, considered one of nature’s most intensely violent storms. Minnesota averages 40 tornadoes per year, but in 2010 the state had the most tornadoes of any state in the United States with 113 recorded. Tornadoes can occur at any time of the day or night, but most often occur in the late afternoon or evening.

As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, Fireman Chris Klawitter explained that, “Today is the statewide Tornado Drill day, so at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., the drill will take place. It’ll start out with a simulated watch, which will turn into a warning from the National Weather Service. The idea is that it gives schools, businesses and households an opportunity to practice their tornado drills. You should hear the sirens if you are in town, and should receive other alerts on your mobile devices, on the radio and on television.”

Klawitter explained some of the dangers associated with tornadoes, saying, “Tornadoes are high wind events involving a rotating column of air extending from a cloud – which could be a thunderstorm, to the ground. They can produce winds up to 200 mph (an EF5, meaning Enhanced Fujita scale) which can do a lot of damage. Tornadoes can actually happen any time of year, but we normally associate them with summer and hot, humid weather. You need to be ready, and be aware of your surroundings.”

The important difference between watches and warnings are that, “A tornado watch is issued anytime the conditions are right for a tornado to form. Those can even happen on a sunny, beautiful day. A tornado warning is issued when rotation is noted on the radar, or if a sighting is reported. That means that a tornado is in the area. The tornado warning area is usually a lot smaller than the watch area, and indicates the path it might take. Tornadoes can move up to 70 mph across land, but typically move about 30 mph – so you might be able to out-drive a tornado, but you can’t out-run one. Keep in mind that they can move in any direction,” he said. “In order to be prepared, be ready, and be aware of your surroundings. Listen for notifications and alerts on your mobile devices. Don’t take watches and warnings lightly – have a plan in place. Basements are good places in the home, and have a kit on hand. Remember that Crookston does have a public shelter available in the basement of City Hall which will be opened anytime of the day or night, if necessary. We’ll send notification of the shelter opening on radio or through neighborhood notification by the police. The bottom line is to make sure that your home is prepared, and that you are prepared.

This afternoon’s tornado drill at 1:45 p.m. will include simulated warnings from the National Weather Service, and outdoor warning sirens will sound. The second drill at 6:45 p.m. will include the same notifications, and is primarily intended for families at home to practice their sheltering plans.






The Care and Share Center in Crookston is in need of a remodel/facelift project in one of the dorm rooms for its residents. The Crookston Lions Club is helping with the project after a suggestion from fellow Lion, Tom Anderson. The decision was made to provide volunteer labor and designate funds towards the project. Several University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Men’s basketball players (Nate Lorenz, Daren Viken, Bryan Sitzman and Gable Smith) along with two coaches helped carry sheetrock up several flights on stairs.  Thrivent Financial has provided some seed monies to be put towards construction materials. Garret Kollin, of Thrivent Financial, was instrumental in helping secure a portion of the funds needed.  

UMC Men's basketball players (Nate Lorenz, Daren Viken, Bryan Sitzman, Gable Smith) and coaches helped out at the Care and Share



Minnesota’s Severe Weather Awareness Week continues through Friday, and today another of Crookston’s Firefighters, Brian Halos, gave us some information about Floods and Flash Floods, one of the most common natural hazards in Minnesota.
Halos noted that all indications from the National Weather Service are showing very low probability of flooding issues in the Crookston region this year. “I would say this year we’re not looking at the potential for typical spring flooding," said Halos. "I don’t think we’ll have any river issues, to speak of, but there is always the possibility of overland flooding, especially if we have a rapid warm-up. That will depend on whether the drainage ditches and culverts are open, and how quickly the water can channel to the river."

However, the Crookston Fire Department continues to monitor the river levels, and is prepared to respond quickly, if conditions change. “None of the national weather service organizations are really concerned about possible river flooding this season. Right now, the Red Lake river in Crookston is at about 5 feet; our minor flooding occurs at about 15 feet, and there’s not really a good chance we will get to that," said Halos. "For minor flooding, Crookston Public Works closes some gates on storm sewers, so the underpasses don’t flood. The National Weather Service and NOAA have predicted about a 90% chance that the river will only get to about 12 feet in our river level this year. With the flood improvements the City has made over the last 20-25 years, our levee systems protect us to 22-23 feet before we have to start emergency preparations. We’re really sitting pretty good this spring."

Despite the low risk for flooding this spring, Halos said it is important for residents to stay alert and prepare for any changes that may develop, since flash floods can develop quickly, leaving little time for preparation. The risk is greater in low-lying areas, near existing water, and behind a levee or downstream from a dam. Similar to other severe weather warnings and alerts, a flood or flash flood watch means that conditions exist for possible flooding, while a flood or flash flood  warning means flooding is occurring or will occur soon, and you should get to higher ground immediately and avoid flooded roadways.





On Monday, April 9, Senator Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) presented SF 3406 in the Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Finance. The bill allows the Department of Agriculture’s Commissioner to reimburse expenses incurred by university extension agents who provide fair market values for destroyed or crippled livestock, building on legislation carried by Senator Johnson during the 2017 session that appropriated relief for farmers to recoup losses incurred as a result of wolf and elk predation.  “Last year we passed important legislation that supported Minnesota’s farmers and ranchers from wildlife disturbances and the financial burdens caused by wolf and elk predation,” said Senator Mark Johnson, Vice Chair of Agriculture Finance Rural Development and Housing Policy. “Unfortunately, based on the structure of the U of M Extension and county limitations, expenses have been covered through the state’s general fund rather the Department of Agriculture and depredation program, which we are now correcting.” 

As a result of the 2017 law, market valuations for the livestock losses have been provided by University of Minnesota Extension livestock experts. However, due to the county-based structure of U of M Extension, and that fact that many counties with wolf populations do not have Extension livestock experts, it has become quite problematic for existing experts to use their local county paid time to provide their services for losses incurred in other counties.  As a result, the U of M Extension has been receiving compensation for this service out of state general fund rather than the Department of Agriculture’s appropriation. The new law corrects this, allowing the commissioner to cover expenses with funds already appropriated to the department’s depredation program.
The bill went through committee and is laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus bill.





Motorists on the Kennedy Bridge in East Grand Forks will experience an additional lane closure on Monday, April 16 to allow MnDOT bridge crews to perform inspections and maintenance.
The lane closure is expected to last from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and flaggers will control traffic by allowing only one direction of traffic at a time. Short delays can be expected by motorists.
As springtime weather allows, the pavement markings on the bridge will be repainted and the tube delineators will be reinstalled to separate the traffic lanes. The delineators were removed for the winter to allow MnDOT snowplows to safely and efficiently remove snow.
The two year project to reconstruct the Highway 2 Kennedy Bridge kicked off in February last year and will last through this fall. Traffic will remain one lane in each direction until the project is complete.
The $15.66 million project is a joint design of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, North Dakota Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. Visit the project website at for more information.






Administrative Professionals Week is April 23-27, and your administrative professional will have a chance to win flowers once a month for a year! Montague’s Flower Shop in Crookston and KROX know how important your administrative professional is to your business, so give them the recognition they deserve! Nominate them as Montague’s Administrative Professional of the Week.  Just drop off, mail, email, or fax your entries to KROX. Please include their name, where they work, address and phone number of work location Then be listening on Wednesday, April 25, at noon, when the winner will be announced. The winner will receive flowers from Montague’s Flower Shop once a month for a year. All with best wishes from Montague’s Flower Shop and KROX Radio in Crookston.  Drop off or mail your entry to KROX, 208 South Main, Crookston, MN. 56716, fax to 281-5036, or email it to





The Crookston, East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls Police Departments, along with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, are taking part in extra enforcement along with more than 300 law enforcement agencies across Minnesota. The distracted driving campaign that runs through April 22 is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS).  “Who would run through the halls of a school or a crowded mall blindfolded? Only those looking to get hurt you might say,” said East Grand Forks Police Chief Mike Hedlund. “So why would you do the same behind the wheel of a car? That’s essentially what people are doing when looking down at their phones. Enough is enough! Now is the time to change the culture, put down the phone, tune out the distractions and speak up if you see others on the road making dangerous decisions. Together we can save lives on Minnesota roads.”

Distracted Driving is Dangerous Driving
Texting citations climbed nearly 23 percent from 2016 to 2017.
- Distracted driving contributes to one in five crashes in Minnesota.
- Distracted driving contributes to an average of 59 deaths and 223 serious injuries a year (2012 – 2016).

*Preliminary Data
Campaign History (2015 – 2017)
During the 2017 distracted driving extra enforcement campaign, law enforcement cited 1,017 people for texting and driving. 
- During the 2016 distracted driving extra enforcement campaign, law enforcement cited 972 people for texting and driving. 
- During the 2015 distracted driving extra enforcement campaign, law enforcement cited 909 people for texting and driving.

Distracted Driving Behaviors
Posting on Facebook, checking that box score or Googling information on a device while driving are all against the law under Minnesota’s “Use of Wireless Communications Device” statute, which is commonly referred to as the texting and driving law.
Distractions that could lead to a crash also include fiddling with controls for music, eating and drinking, children fighting or an adult passenger’s behavior.

Distracted Driving Consequences
With Minnesota’s “No Texting” law, it’s illegal for drivers to read, send texts and emails, and access the web while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. That includes sitting at a stoplight or stop sign.
    *$50 plus court fees for a first offense.
    *$275 plus court fees for a second and/or subsequent offense.
- If you injure or kill someone because of texting and driving, you can face a felony charge of criminal vehicular operation or homicide.

Do Your Part and Join Minnesotans Driving Distracted-Free
·       Cell phones — Put the phone down, turn it off or place it out of reach.
·       Music and other controls — Pre-program radio stations and arrange music in an easy-to-access spot. Adjust mirrors and ventilation before traveling.
·       Navigation — Map out the destination and enter the GPS route in advance.
·       Eating and drinking — Avoid messy foods and secure drinks.
·       Children — Teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle and model proper driving behavior.
·       Passengers — Speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behavior and offer to help with anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road.

Distracted driving education is a component of Minnesota’s core traffic safety effort, Toward Zero Deaths (TZD). A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency medical and trauma response.

Distracted Driving







Texting Citations














Serious Injuries











The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) introduced a proposed Administrative Penalty Order (APO) last week that would fine farmers out of compliance with Minnesota's riparian buffer law by up to $500 per linear foot, which could result in thousands of dollars in fines annually for farmers who are even a few feet out of compliance across their entire property.
“Once again, the Dayton Administration is showing it’s no friend to farmers, choosing to push forward with excessive and overreaching one-size-fits-all policies, instead of partnering with our agriculture community,” said Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau. “There is a short public comment period on these proposed penalties, and I would highly encourage folks to let BWSR and the Dayton Administration know this proposal is overkill and simply unacceptable. We all have to stand together and push back against Governor Dayton’s war on agriculture.”
“For Northwest Minnesota, agriculture is a staple of our communities and economy, and these onerous penalties being advanced by the Dayton Administration will be harmful to our farmers and landowners,” said Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston. “It is critical that you make your voice heard on this important matter. We all share the goal of clean waters and protecting our environment, but once again state agencies are going too far, doing far more harm than good.”
The public comment period lasts until 4:30 PM on Monday, April 16, 2018, and comments can be submitted by email to, or by U.S. Mail at the following address:

Tom Gile
Buffers and Soil Loss Operations Supervisor
Board of Soil and Water Resources
3555 9th Street NW, Suite 350
Rochester, MN 55901





According to the Homeland Security and Emergency Management website, over the past 10 years, more than 55 people have died and dozens more injured as a result of weather-related events in Minnesota. The top severe weather hazards in Minnesota are: severe storms, hail and lightning; floods; tornadoes; and extreme heat.

In a nod to Severe Weather Awareness Week, Crookston Fireman, Shane Heldstab acknowledged that, “In our area, severe weather mainly refers to thunderstorms. Thunderstorms aren’t typically widespread; they tend to be more localized in a smaller area, but within that area we are looking at lightning, hail and high winds, and heavy rain. Here in the Fire Hall, we start monitoring that right away. We have a weather call list, we stay in touch with Polk County, and will activate the warning sirens, if necessary. Keep in mind that the warning sirens are activated to notify persons who are outside that severe weather is approaching, and they need to seek shelter. If you are inside and don’t hear the sirens, you are already in a shelter. So watch for lightning, hail and high winds along with the thunderstorms. The cogs are moving even once we even receive watches, so we are well-prepared in case the storms develop. If it looks like the approaching weather will have some impact, we have our storm shelter in the basement of the City Hall. Once that is open, we try to get that information on KROX as quickly as possible. If people in mobile homes or campers who don’t have a real secure place they can be, we put a sign in front of City Hall to let people know that the shelter is available."
In an effort to keep the Crookston community informed about shelter options, Heldstab said he will be targeting specific areas of the city and going door-to-door to hand out informational pamphlets. "The Crookston Police Department is fantastic about going to some of the areas of concern and alerting people that they need to get to a safe place. I will also be handing out pamphlets door-to-door in those areas to make sure people are well-aware of the shelter location.





The Minnesota Department of Transportation is observing National Work Zone Awareness Week April 9-13 to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. 
The week is an annual spring campaign to coincide with the start of road construction season. MnDOT officially kicked off the construction season April 4, although many construction projects started earlier.  The theme for the week is “Work Zone Safety is Everybody’s Responsibility,” 
reinforcing the message that motorists and construction and maintenance workers should use extra caution in work zones.

More than 250 active work zones are scheduled throughout the state this construction season. A work zone is defined as any area where highway construction, maintenance or utility work is being done. Work zones are identified by warning signs, signals, barriers, pavement markings and flaggers.
Each year in the U.S., a work zone crash occurs once every 5.4 minutes. Every day, 70 work zone crashes occur that result in at least one injury. Every week, 12 work zone crashes occur that result in at least one fatality.
In Minnesota in the past four years, an average of seven people died in work zone crashes and more than 1,700 fatal or serious injury crashes occurred each year.  “Drivers and passengers are more likely to be killed in work zones than workers, but maintenance and construction crew workers have also lost their lives, been injured or had close calls,” said Jay Hietpas, Office of Traffic, Safety and Technology director. “Rear-end crashes are the most common type of work zone crash. Most of these crashes occur because of driver inattention and speeding, both behaviors we can change.”
Hietpas said MnDOT works to alert motorists in work zones and sets speeds that are safe for navigating through it. He said when entering work zones, motorists should obey the posted speed limits, pay attention to signs and flaggers, be patient and not drive distracted.  “These work zones exist because we’re making roads better and safer. We’re asking that people look for the work zones, slow down and put down their cellphones and other distractions,” Hietpas said. “The website is a good resource to check for road closures, detours and traffic incidents.”

The National Work Zone Awareness Week observance is in cooperation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Federal Highway Administration and the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation.





The Crookston Eagles Club presented a $2,500 donation to the Crookston Firefighters Association at their annual Firefighter Fun Night this past Saturday.

(Pictured from left to right: Crookston Eagles Aerie Secretary Jake Fee, Aerie President Matt Parnow, CFA member Cole Ricard)





Cathedral School 1st and 2nd graders are studying rhythm and dance in gym class. Just for Kix Instructors, Grace Espinosa and Hailey Olson taught the class a Hip Hop Dance. The kids worked step by step until they had the whole dance down.





After an afternoon of eating, playing games, and bidding on silent auction items, many of the students of Our Savior’s Lutheran School gathered to share some of their favorite songs with the crowd. The fundraiser was a great success and the students and staff of the school thank all who donated items for the event.

Students from Our Savior's Lutheran School performed on Celebration Sunday








KROX is celebrating 70 years, and we’re giving away over $1,000 worth of gift certificates and prizes in our Mystery Phone Number Contest. To enter, send us a postcard with your name, address and a phone number to KROX, P.O. Box 620, Crookston, Minnesota, 56716; e-mail it to; fax it to us at 281-5036 or drop a card off at our studios at 208 South Main Street in Crookston. Limit one entry per household please! Be sure to include your name, address and A phone number that is easiest for us to get a hold of you during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 
During Anniversary Week, April 23-27, every half hour, from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., listen to see if your phone number will be called for your chance to win one or more gift certificates or prizes from area businesses. Call KROX at 281-1140, within 12 minutes and 60 seconds, and you will become an Anniversary Week winner.





Four new members of the Crookston High School Hall of Fame Class and two members of the “Legends Hall of Fame” were announced today. The Class will be Inducted Saturday, August 18 at 3:00 PM during Ox Cart Days. Ron Thompson, Len Devos, Carol Anderson, Elaine Anderson Phillips and Charles Potter will be inducted in the Hall of Fame and Hank Hulst and Bill Taylor will be inducted into the Legends Hall of Fame. 

Ron Thompson, was a teacher, coach and long-time sports official, for over 31 years in Crookston. He also taught drivers training for many years.

Len Devos was a three-sport letter winner at Crookston Central High School in the early 1970’s. He was a co-captain of the 1974 State Championship Track Team, placing third in both shot and discus.

Carol Anderson Barrett and Elaine Anderson Phillips are sisters who will be inducted together in this year’s class. Carol is a composer whose works have been recorded and performed world-wide. Elaine has published books and essays and is a recognized lecturer.

Charles Potter was a classroom teacher, principal and superintendent in the Crookston Public Schools in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He was considered to be an educator innovator by his peers.

The two new members of the “Crookston High School Legends Hall of Fame” are Henry “Hank” Hulst and Bill Taylor.

Hank Hulst was the first 1,000 point scorer in boys’ basketball history. He also held the State of Minnesota scoring record of 47 points in one game for a number of years.

Bill Taylor was a four-sport letter winner in the late 1950’s. He was quarterback of the first undefeated football team and the first Individual State Champion when he won the high jump at the state tournament in 1959.




© 2000-2018™  - 1-218-281-1140 webmaster-Chris Fe

Copyright ©2018 KROXAM.COM All Rights Reserved.