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THURSDAY - DECEMBER 18,  2014

UMC ADDS TWO NEW MAJORS, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND ENGLISH

Two new majors will be added to the list of academic offerings at the University of Minnesota Crookston following recent approval by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. A major in International Business will be added to the degree programs in the Business Department, and a major in English will be offered in the Liberal Arts and Education Department. Both new majors lead to Bachelor of Science degrees, and International Business will be available to students entirely online as well as on campus. Students will also have the option for a minor in each area. The programs will be available to students beginning spring semester 2015.
"We are very excited to begin offering these two new majors,” said Barbara Keinath, the U of M Crookston's vice chancellor for academic affairs. “They provide our students more educational options than ever before. With English or International Business as a major, graduates will be able to move on to exciting employment opportunities. They will also be prepared for advanced studies in graduate or professional programs. Both of these new majors build on existing coursework and curricular strengths and capitalize on the expertise of current faculty members."

International Business Major

The major in International Business at the University of Minnesota Crookston will help meet the need for graduates who understand and have experience in global business. Students will develop valuable skills to help streamline global pursuits with companies that trade, manufacture, or use contract manufacturing globally. The International Business major is designed to cultivate a global mindset that can support a company’s international production and marketing needs.
Classes like international business cultures and etiquette, international business law, international financial management, international marketing, international business management, and senior seminar in international business strategy are combined with field experience in international business and/or study abroad. The curriculum is designed to broaden graduates’ understanding of global business operations. The curriculum also permits a student to incorporate subjects focused on their specific interests as well as marketing, financial management, supply chain management, technology services, human resource management, and many other traditional business support and leadership subjects.
Opportunities for graduates with the international business major from the Crookston campus include supply chain management, operations management, human resources management, sales and marketing, or financial management. Graduates may be contract workers or entrepreneurs.

English Major

English is among the most popular degrees in the nation, and English graduates have created careers in such diverse areas as writing, editing, publishing, advertising, research, and in education, law, medicine, government, administration, sales, non-profit agencies, and cultural, entertainment, and communications industries.
Students majoring and minoring in English will take writing-intensive courses and will work on skills unique to the humanities, as large portions of the English major and minor focus on the field of literature.  UMC’s program will include literature from multicultural and global perspectives with the intention of developing and expanding the cultural awareness of graduates. The study of literature allows students to form and articulate aesthetic judgments on creative works; analyze personal, philosophical, and global issues; and learn about diverse cultural practices.
The English major will aid students in developing analytical and communication skills, aesthetic responsiveness, moral imagination, and intellectual integrity.  English majors and minors present the best of both worlds, as they are exposed to both applied and theoretical aspects. A degree in English also prepares students for graduate school.

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY - DECEMBER 17,  2014

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS INCREASE LEVY THREE PERCENT FOR 2015

Polk County Commissioners passed a final levy and budget for 2015 at their meeting on Tuesday, with an increase of three percent over 2014.   “We set that back in September and talked about reducing it, but we held it at three percent and it is about $600,000 increase to the overall levy over $20 million,” said Polk County Administrator Chuck Whiting. “We have capital needs to address in fixing buildings, labor costs are up and we are dipping into some reserves for some capital items.  We kept coming back to the board on the increase and the settled on three.”  The final budget had questions on the salaries for elected officials.  “We settled on the capital things earlier as the pieces were minor, so the budget is just over $60 million with 40 percent coming from property taxes with the rest coming from fees and state and federal government,” added Whiting. The final levy was $20,654,891.00 and the final budget is $60,566,206.00. Commissioners salaries were give a two percent raise to $28,055.53 while the per diem will remain at $75 per meeting.

The Polk County Administrator, Chuck Whiting, salary will be $118,243 and Polk County Sheriff, Barb Erdman will get $89,200.   

In other county business, Fertile Oil was the low bidder for three months of diesel fuel for the highway department at $138,300.

The board renewed the contract with Morris Electronics for advanced technical consulting and support for 2015 for $30,180.00.   The Polk County Landfill is being prepared for expansion and Wenck Associates will serve as the engineer on the project for $125,800.00. 

The hauling contracts between the transfer station in Crookston and the landfill and the recovery facility in Fosston were granted to Lenes Sand and Gravel and Hagen Construction, both of Fosston for just over $1 million.  Solid Waste contracts with the Polk County Resource Facility in Fosston and landfill were approved with the counties of Beltrami, Clearwater, Mahnomen and Norman.

In other county business, Greater Minnesota Management which manages Summerfield Apartments in the region made their payment in lieu of taxes in the amount of $47,466.00 for 2011/2012.

Salaries were set for the Polk County parks and camp hosts.  The camp host at Tilberg Park will receive a raise from $1000 a month to $1250 a month and Jim Wenger will be employed full time at Maple Lake Campground for $1,750 a month.

Richard and Jean Rock were approved for a conditional use permit to build an accessory structure on their lot on Union Lake.  The board gave final approval for the Eickhof Estates Plat over 70 acres in Section 26 of Woodside township on Union Lake.  Five or more lots will be formed on the estates.

 

 

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SHOOT DOWN POLK COUNTY ATTORNEY GREG WIDSETH'S REQUEST FOR A LARGER RAISE

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met on Tuesday and heard from Polk County Attorney Greg Widseth about his salary for 2015, which the commissioners set at $105,000.  Widseth wanted them to consider what other attorneys are getting. “I asked them to readdress my salary on my proposed budget which I had set at $112,000, which I feel is justified based upon my duties and case load that are office experiences and if you look at counties that compare in size and filings you will see that my salary is substantially below any of the county attorney’s that are similarly situated,” said Widseth.  “I just asked them to do what they are supposed to do under the statue, which is to consider my job duties and responsibilities and job performance over the last year and experience and set the salary by that, but the board chairman told me they picked the number $105,000 out of a hat.”  
Attorney Luke Gonzales is leaving the county office for another job in St. Cloud.  “Our office is extremely busy and always has been compared to other counties our size,” said Widseth. “I asked them to consider that, but they made the determination they did and we will go on from there.”
The board took no action on the salary, but did approve hiring an attorney to replace Luke Gonzales.  
County chairman Don Diedrich explained the reasons behind the salary decision. “Three weeks ago Greg Widseth came in with information on comparable salaries and we took that under consideration and last week we decided on a salary and today he came in to ask for justification as to why we set it lower than his expectation,” said Diedrich. “I think we had a nice conversation and left the salary at $105,000 and consequently the issue is settled for this year.”
Widseth’s salary was raised from $98,000 to $105,000 which commissioners felt was a big enough raise of $7,000 over one year.  

 

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD PRESENTED INFORMATION ON THE DISTRICT-WIDE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PLAN

The Crookston School Board was presented information on the district-wide continuous improvement plan and Title I school-wide program plan at their meeting on Monday.  Chris Trostad, Highland School Principal said Minnesota wrote for a waiver to the No Child Left Behind program. “They decided to do something more challenging, which considers the number of proficient students in the spring, but two other domains which is the achievement gap which takes the lower students and higher students and try and lower the gap which will bring in the bottom students up,” said Trostad. “The other domain is called growth so we are working on the areas of closing the gap and increasing the growth of each student’s score. We would have a continuous improvement plan and we are asking parents for input and get all the ethnic groups and figure how to serve all the students.”   

 

 

VILLA ST. VINCENT QUALITY IMPROVEMENT WORK FEATURED IN PROVIDER MAGAZINE

The December, 2014 issue of Provider, a monthly print publication of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living featured local talents.  Sr. Rita Bonneprise, Villa St. Vincent, and Dr. Allan Peterson, The SUMMIT, authored two of the three poems recently highlighted in the Provider magazine.  In 2011, Bonneprise released her book, NEW HORIZONS - INTO MIDLIFE AND BEYOND, which included the poem, “The Winters of My Life”.    Dr. Peterson, age 100, a retired Professor of Entomology at the University of Minnesota shared a Villa St. Vincent community favorite, “A Lake is Like a Mirror”. 
Also featured in the December, 2014 issue of Provider, was an article written by Jill Brown, Quality Management Coordinator “Keeping QAPI (Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement) Simple, One Step at a Time” was the featured article written to share Villa’s steps to quality improvement.  “Our quality journey is never ending," states Brown. "We work hard to seek out opportunities, listen to the voice of those we serve and respond.  We thought this was a way to help other facilities across the nation embrace some simple steps they, too, can incorporate into the day to day challenges.”  Brown’s full article can be found in the NEWS section of www.villastvincent.org.

A LAKE IS LIKE A MIRROR by Dr. Allan Peterson
A lake is like a mirror;
It reflects the mood of the sky.
When the clouds are dark and threatening
The lake has anger in its eye.
But when the sky is clear and blue
And the sun is shining bright
The lake’s a thing of beauty,
its face with radiance alight!

And so it is with people;
your personality shines through.
Your thoughts and deeds are never hidden,
because they’re reflected back to you
in the thoughts and deeds of others
Who react in the same way.
Thus we have the power to set the mood for every passing day!


THE WINTERS OF MY LIFE by Sr. Rita Bonneprise
It is winter.
Trees are stripped and bare.
Now I can see through the woods
tracks of deer and rabbit on the new fallen snow.
Trees create shadows on the glistening whiteness
as far as my eyes can see.
I discover beauty not glimpsed before.
I am aware of the winters in my life:
Barren, empty, exposed
uncluttered
a stripped and naked spirit.
But also
a chance to see new spaces
contemplate realities unnoticed before.
Possibilities discovered
vision stretched, deepened.
Understandings clarified, broadened.
New loveliness perceived for the first time.

 
            Allan Peterson                Sr. Rita Bonneprise

 

 

CATHEDRAL SCHOOL STUDENTS TO PRESENT THE CHRISTMAS CROSS ON THURSDAY


The Cathedral School will present "The Christmas Cross" on Thursday,
December 18, at 7:00 pm in the Cathedral Church.  All are welcome!

 

 

TUESDAY - DECEMBER 16,  2014

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD OKAYS THREE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS AND LEVY FOR 2015

The Crookston School Board held their final meeting of 2014 on Monday evening and approved three employment agreements at their meeting on Monday evening.  The first employment agreement was with Youth Services Director Linda Morgan. “We renewed her contract and set her hours to 5.6 a day which was at half time,” said School Board member Tim Dufault, the chairman of the negotiating committee. “Her salary stayed the same which is $15, 863.00 a year.”
The bus driver contract was approved through 2016. “We raised the lane step as we have trouble getting bus drivers and increased the starting salary a year ago so now it follows it up the steps,” said Dufault.
The last employment agreement was the administrative assistants.  “Their contract will be good through 2016,” said Dufault. “It was  slight increase in the hourly raise at three percent.”

The board held the truth in taxation hearing for the year.  There were no audience members to ask questions about the levy.  Laura Lyczewski, Crookston School District Finance Director said the levy was a decrease for the year, “Our levy decreased by 10 percent this year so we certified it for $2,996,219.18,  the main reason for the decrease was we are getting more general education aid from the state and we appreciate that.”

General Fund revenues for the coming year will be $14,958.410 with expenditures at $14,519,437.  67.2 percent of the district revenue comes from the state with 19.3 percent coming from the local levy.  

The board heard from Josh Hardy, Crookston High School dean of students and health and phy ed instructor about the new plan for teaching health this year starting with the ninth graders to have four days a semester with outside resources participating. 
Barbara Jorgenson was hired as the Community Education Administrative Assistant at Washington School to replace Jan Aamoth.
The board approved new rates for travel meal reimbursement at $8 for breakfast, $12 for noon meal and $15 for dinner.


 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT SAYS GOOD BYE TO BOARD MEMBERS KEITH BAKKEN AND PHIL GREER

School board member Keith Bakken was not in attendance for his last meeting but expressed his thanks and gratitude to the residents for selecting him to serve on the board. "It's been an opportunity that I have appreciated, as well as both an honor and a privilege to serve," said Bakken. "I want to share my good wishes for the district going forward: including its residents, students, staff and board.  We all will have to continue to work diligently as we strive to achieve the goals that have been set so our students can succeed in our ever changing world."  Phil Greer, school board member resigned his position as he is leaving for another job, but appreciated the experience he had on the board.  “It was a short term and I was hitting my stride and getting comfortable in the position,” said Greer.  “I learned a lot and am highly impressed with the administrative staff, educators and staff.  There is a lot more in running a school district than one would think.”  Greer will leave for Albuquerque, New Mexico in January to start his new position.  Greer said he will miss the people, relationships and challenges he had in Crookston.

 

 

CROOKSTON TEACHERS TALK ABOUT THEIR VISIT TO PARK RAPIDS SCHOOL DISTRICT

Several Crookston teachers and administrative staff have visited other schools in the region to learn new ideas and programs that would help the district.  Sixth grade teacher Barb Chapman visited staff in Park Rapids.  “I was impressed with their building which is beautiful, I was with the sixth graders and they are doing some things right and I brought back some things we can improve upon,” said Chapman.  “They are doing ability group reading which we did a bit last year. After Christmas vacation we are going to start this in sixth grade to expose all students at grade level materials which is our philosophy.”

Megan Parenteau, first grade teacher liked how the technology was integrated at Park Rapids. “I feel like we took away good ideas.  I visited with the first grade team to see a variety of things,” said Parenteau. “I liked the collaboration with other schools along with the collaboration within in the district, it’s nice to have the connection with other school districts.”
Chapman and Parenteau said they learned a lot and will integrate their classrooms with the new ideas.

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS 25 MORE ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER STUDENTS THIS YEAR, EXTRA INSTRUCTION HELP NEEDED

Anna Alme, English Language Learner teacher in the Crookston School District informed the school board on Monday about the large increase in students.  This year there are 67 students needing the services of Alme, compared to 42 last year and some help is needed.   “The increase was large and more staff is needed so getting Maria Argueta for half time will help the students with reading, writing and speaking English to get them on track with grade level standards and we also want to raise the test scores.” said Alme.
Alme travels from school to school, within the district, to meet the needs of the students on their schedule and the half time position for Maria Argueta will give more instruction time to the students.


 

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR FROM CROOKSTON SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT CHRIS BATES ON SCHOOL CLOSINGS

December 16, 2014

As we learned again last yesterday, Minnesota weather is sometimes very difficult to predict.  As most of you are aware, the schools’ weather policy 730 deals with closings, delays and dismissals.  All Crookston schools (including parochial schools) will work together in case of weather-related emergencies, and will rely on the expertise of meteorologists, forecasts, and relevant updated information concerning road conditions. Those experts, together with a number of supporting phone weather applications, will advise school officials whether or not to close schools, delay openings, or order an early dismissal. In addition Mr. Niemela is out driving the country roads, when necessary, well before 5:00 am and reporting the most up-to-date Crookston conditions, to me by phone.

Besides the obvious winter-weather hazards of snow, winds, ice, extreme cold – fog and mist can also be treacherous, making driving dangerous.  In any weather emergency, the main objective is to best provide for the safety of our over 1200 students.  As I have always done, when possible, I will make every effort to announce school related messages before 
10 p.m. the night before bad weather is predicted and seemingly unavoidable.  Where the decision is made to wait until the morning; KROX radio, and SchoolReach (phone call, text, and email) will be used and pre-set to begin calling at 6:00 am.  

The purpose of our weather-related communication is to help parents and guardians be better prepared to deal with appropriate supervision and to help assist in family organization.  Parents are also encouraged to plan ahead for childcare arrangements in case of a late start, cancellation, or early dismissal from schools.  When school has been cancelled and an improvement in weather and travel conditions is expected, the district reserves the right to have practices, events, or contests, at suitable times in cooperation (where necessary) with opponent schools.  These events will be scheduled on a case-by-case basis, depending on distance, type of roads, age of students, etc. etc. etc.  Always remember that ultimately, the parent/guardian should make the final decision whether their child should attend school during severe weather.

Sincerely,

Chris Bates
District 593 Superintendent

 

 

 

OTTO BREMER FOUNDATION TO DOUBLE POLK COUNTY RESIDENTS DONATIONS THROUGH DECEMBER 24

The Christmas shopping season is in full force and the bells that ring at the Salvation Army kettles seemingly have more meaning this time of year—and for good reason. Donations to kettles in many outstate locations of Minnesota and North Dakota, including Polk County, will be doubled until Christmas.
“Thanks to a generous matching grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation in St. Paul, counties all over North Dakota and Minnesota will qualify for a much needed bump this Christmas season,” said Colonel Robert Thomson, Salvation Army regional commander in Minnesota and North Dakota.
The $120,000 Otto Bremer Foundation matching grant includes 21 counties The Salvation Army serves. As for how much each county receives as part of the match, a lot depends on how much you donate to the red kettle. But know your donation in Polk County will be doubled up to $4,000 beginning today, Monday, December 15 through Wednesday, December 24. You can also donate online by visiting www.safedonate.us/bremer
The money that you drop into the red kettle is often the only money The Salvation Army receives for that area all year long.
During the propane shortage last year it was kettle money that helped keep homes and families warm in outstate communities. If somebody needs assistance going to a doctor’s appointment, or picking up a prescription, the kettles help pay the gas money needed to fill the tank. If somebody in an outstate county gets stranded, it happens more often than you would think, kettle money provides for them too. If a family suffers a setback and cannot purchase diapers for a child, yet again it’s the kettle money that comes through to help in that time of need.
In some areas like Marshall County, near Thief River Falls, this year’s Otto Bremer Foundation match of $3,000 would double last year’s budget of $1,500 for the county. In Douglas County, there’s a $25,000 match, which is roughly a quarter of last year’s $94,000 budget. In Foster County of North Dakota, last year’s budget was $155, the Otto Bremer Foundation match this year is $1,000, and if raised would increase the budget fivefold.
"In counties where there isn’t a Salvation Army Worship and Service Center we have amazing staff and volunteers who perform the mission of the Army to those who have lost hope," said Thomson. "This grant will mean so much to those smaller communities where a double match can make a greater difference to those in need of assistance."
To donate and ensure your money is doubled as part of the Otto Bremer Foundation match visit www.safedonate.us/bremer

The Salvation Army Northern Division has been serving Minnesota and North Dakota communities since 1886. Today the Northern Division serves in all 140 counties of both states, providing food, shelter, clothing, youth programs and other critical services to more than 480,000 people per year. To volunteer with The Salvation Army or make a donation, call 651-746-3400 or toll free at 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769). Checks made out to The Salvation Army may be sent to 2445 Prior Ave. N, Roseville, MN 55113. Find us on social at www.Facebook.com/SalvationArmyNorth and Twitter at @salarmynorth.


 

 

 

MONDAY - DECEMBER 15,  2014

RED LAKE FALLS MAN CHARGED IN DISTRICT COURT TODAY AFTER ASSAULT ON FRIDAY

Paul David Weber (51) of Red Lake Falls was arraigned on two counts of Domestic Assault, one a misdemeanor and one a felony in District Court in Red Lake Falls on Monday, December 15. He was released on the promise to be at his next court appearance on January 1 2, 2014 and he must also abide by a number of release conditions set by the Court. He cannot have any contact with the victim or go to her address and he cannot possess or consume alcohol or possess any firearms. Weber was arrested Friday, December 12. The Red Lake County Sheriff s Office received a 911 call from a female who stated that "Paul was being abusive and he had a loaded gun.”  When law enforcement officers arrived, Weber was sitting in his vehicle outside of the house. He was apprehended without incident, and further investigation revealed that he had assaulted a female at that residence.  He was placed under arrest for these offenses and was booked into the jail in Crookston on two counts of domestic assault.  Because of the incident’s location, near the school, the Lafayette High School in Red Lake Falls was notified and they were ''locked down'' for a short period of time. Red Lake County Sheriff s Office deputies also seized two firearms from Weber's home.

 

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET ON MONDAY

The Crookston School Board will hold a regular meeting on Monday at 5:00 p.m. at the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra room.  The feature programs will be Health Day, presented by Crookston High School Dean of Students/Phy. Ed instructor Josh Hardy.  The other program will be on the recent school visits, presented by Kathy Stronstad and Denice Oliver.
The personnel items are the resignation of school board member, Phil Greer, who will be moving to Arizona.  They will approve an employment agreement with Linda Morgan, Youth Services Director, and Barbara Jorgenson as the Community Education Administrative Assistant at Washington School.  They will look at restructuring the English Language Learner position with the possible addition of staff.  The board will also approve the employment agreements with bus drivers and the administrative assistant group for 2013-2016.
The board will have reports from Chris Trostad, Highland School principal, and a budget and economic forecast from Superintendent Chris Bates.
The main agenda includes the approval of the districtwide continuous improvement and school improvement/Title 1 plan.  They will also look at new rates for travel authorization and travel claim meal reimbursement.
After 6:00 p.m. there will be a brief Truth in Taxation levy and then approval of the levy payable in 2015.
After the meeting there will be a reception for outgoing school board members Keith Bakken and Phil Greer.

 

 

CROOKSTON UNITED WAY HAS MOVED TO THE VALLEY TECHNOLOGY PARK, GETTING CLOSE TO THEIR FUNDRAISING GOAL

The Crookston United Way has moved from the office they shared with the chamber to an office at the Valley Technology Park.  Katya Zepeda is the United Way administrator and said the campaign is going well.  “It is looking great and we are excited with all the new things we are doing.  The new office and atmosphere is very energetic and we are happy with what is to come,” said Zepeda.  “We are at 88 percent of our fundraising goal and we know we could not have done is without the support of the community.  It is Crookston nice and we are fortunate to have such a loving and supportive community.” There are still a few donations to come in and they are hoping to reach their goal again this year.
Becky Cymbaluk has returned to United Way as the administrative assistant.

 

 

 

43RD ANNUAL CROOKSTON CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT SCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER 20

One day is set aside each Christmas season between December 14 and January 5 when local volunteers gather to count wintering birds in designated locations all over North America.  Saturday, December 20 is the date set for the 43rd annual Crookston Christmas Bird Count.  The volunteers spend the day covering a 15 mile diameter circle from Crookston east and south trying to find as many species of birds as they can during the daylight hours (see attached map).
Last year 20 volunteers recorded 33 different species.  This year organizers hope for another great turnout of participants.
You don’t have to be an expert to participate because the volunteers will be divided into groups with experienced birders to cover different portions of the circle.  The rural areas are covered in the morning and early afternoon, and then they move to the city of Crookston to finish the day.  Volunteers can assist for the full day, just the morning or afternoon.  Bird feeders are an important part of the count, too.  If you would like to report sightings at your feeder or have the volunteers stop by, please contact Tom Feiro, Crookston’s compiler or John Loegering, count day coordinator, for details on how to record your feeder activity.
The birders meet at RBJ’s Restaurant at 7:00 am on Saturday, December 20 for breakfast and prepare the groups for the morning.  They gather for lunch at Arby’s at noon to compare sightings and divide Crookston for the afternoon count.  There is no charge to participate.
Data collected is used to help biologists determine bird populations, movements and conservation needs.  2014 marks the 115th year of Christmas Bird Counts in North America.
If you want more information or have an interest in helping with the count, please contact Tom Feiro, volunteer compiler, at 281-5515 (home) or 218-521-0223 (cell) or John Loegering, count day coordinator at 218-280-8014 (cell). To see the map of the 15 mile radius click here.

 

 

 

CROOKSTON CHAMPIONSHIP TAE KWON DO STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTOR COMPETE IN THIEF RIVER FALLS INVITATIONAL

Crookston Championship Tae Kwon Do students along with their instructor recently competed in the Thief River Falls Tae Kwon Do Invitational Tournament held in Thief River Falls Auditorium. The results are listed below.

Brannon Tangquist - Second place sparring, third place in forms, and fourth place in breaking.
Gavin Winger -First place in forms, first place in sparring, second place in breaking, and third place in weapons.
Logan Melvie - Fourth place in forms.
Beth Plante - Second place in weapons.
Jacob Hesby - Second place in forms, and second place in sparring.
Samantha Rezac - Third place in forms, third place in breaking, fourth place in weapons.
Sophia Rezac - Second place in forms, second place in weapons, fourth place in breaking.
Gabe Montieth - First place in forms, first place in weapons, second place in sparring, and third place in breaking.
Rick Quirk - second place in Black Belt sparring, second place in Black Belt weapons.


The Crookston Tae Kwon Do participants with all their trophies from Thief River Falls

 

 

SUNDAY - DECEMBER 14,  2014

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA EXTENSION ASKS YOU TO CONSIDER HAVING A LOCALLY GROWN CHRISTMAS DINNER

As you plan the upcoming meals for Christmas, consider planning your menu around locally produced ingredients. By doing so, you’ll delight your family with food that is robust with natural flavors, will reduce your impact on the planet and will keep your food dollars circulating locally. A food dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy.  When businesses are not owned locally, money leaves the community at every transaction. This does not mean you need to bypass your local grocer; many locally owned stores are avid supporters of local producers.
Many of the common holiday food staples are easily sourced locally.  The foundation of most meals begins with a protein source, and turkey may be the most common protein source over the holidays. Since 
Minnesota leads the country in turkey production, getting locally produced turkey should not be difficult.  Turkeys can be divided into three groups, conventionally produced in barns, heritage breeds grown in free-range conditions and wild turkeys, which are truly free range. It’s tough to beat turkey at Christmas.
Pork, ham especially, is another excellent protein choice that can be sourced locally, Minnesota is the third largest producer of pork, and so finding local pork should be easy as well. Lamb may not be traditional Christmas fare, but is certainly another excellent choice, while beef may have become everyday fare; it’s another good choice and easy to source locally.
If Lutefisk is your protein of choice for the Christmas dinner -- and you want to keep a local theme -- let me offer another option, mock lutefisk. The first step in this culinary treat is to find neighbor that likes ice fishing, preferably spearing. You have species options, but my recommendation would be a nice fat northern pike. If you don’t know anyone that can catch fish for you, simply call Donnie, the most famous local fisherman in our small community. Donnie sets the standard on local fishing (and stories) and to merely say he’s excellent fisherman would be like saying the Pope is sort of religious. In fact, he’s is the only guy I know that has so many fish houses, on so many lakes, he has to hire underemployed extension agents during the winter fishing season.
Once you have your northern pike in hand, carefully fillet it the normal fashion taking extra care to keep it clean. Next, hide it behind the woodstove until the pets will no longer come into the house and your wife is searching the phone listings for cadaver dogs. At this point, don a Tyvek disposable hazmat suit and an OSHA approved X300 hazardous waste respirator and rewrap your fillets in clean cheesecloth and allow them to marinate in the lower level of the outhouse for another 48 hours, longer if the fillets are more than six pounds. Once marinated, rinse the fillets, season and bake at 350 until flaky – be careful to not overcook, which can ruin lutefisk. Before serving, season with sea salt and plenty of melted butter and your family will be amazed how mock lutefisk has the same robust, unique flavor as the real stuff sent here from thankful Norwegian fish exporters.
Moving around the plate, the choice of starch is typically the potato, which is another easy one. Minnesota tips the scales at number 7 in potato production, so whether mashed or baked, these are starchy tubers are easy to find. Wild rice is another great option. Minnesota typically produces about half of the domestic production of wild rice, so it’s easy to find locally. If sweet potatoes are typically on the menu, they can be sourced locally if you’re a professional gardener, or has a generous one living nearby. If not, this carotene rich colorful vegetable can be substituted with local squash.
Winter squash and sweet potatoes are two nutritional powerhouses that are similar in many aspects. Both are off the charts in vitamin A so it's easy to see why they're both champs in the food pyramid. Both are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B6 and E, not to mention fiber and protein. These two colorful vegetables are also rich in vitamin C and offer delicious additions to the Christmas dinner plate.
The veggies are a no-brainer. If you garden, and preserve them by canning or freezing, you choices are many. If you don’t put by your own garden veggies, corn, green beans and peas are common processing crops in Minnesota and easy to source locally.
If you like the idea of keeping your meal as local as possible, there’s help. The University of Minnesota Northwest Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership has made it easy for you.  They have produced a website called Local Foods Partnership (localfoods.umn.edu) to help you source local foods.  The website lists producers, processors and farmer’s markets near you.  You can search the website to find a grower near you or you can search for a specific product to see who produces it.
So as you plan your upcoming feasts, take a moment to stop and think about where the food is grown. Ask your local grower if they are willing to provide locally grown food.  In my experience, most grocers are happy to provide what their customers request.  Indeed, this creates is a clear “win-win” situation because it keeps those food dollars in our local communities and provides fresher, tastier, healthier food for you and your family.
For more information on sourcing local foods or additional mock lutefisk recipes, contact me at 800-450-2465 or stordahl@umn.edu.  For help finding that big fish, call Donnie at 800-BIG-FISH.

 

 

 

FRIDAY - DECEMBER 12,  2014

SEVENTH ANNUAL GALA FOR GIRLS WILL BE HELD JANUARY 30, 2015 - REGISTER NOW

The seventh annual Gala for Girls will be held on Friday, January 30, 2015 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the National Guard Armory in Crookston. This event is for girls in grades K-6 and their dad, uncle, grandpa or other adult male role model. For just $35, the couple will enjoy a souvenir photo, sit-down dinner, take home gift, and an evening of memorable fun and dancing designed to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Tickets/Registration forms are available at Polk County Public Health 218- 281.3385 or online at www.co.polk.mn.us. Registration is limited and closes on January 16, 2015.

 

 

 

FISHER AREA COMMUNITY FUND DONATION TO HELP WITH BASELINE CONCUSSION TESTS AT RIVERVIEW HEALTH

Thanks to the Fisher Area Community Fund, student athletes in the Fisher area and their parents will enjoy the sports seasons with less worry this year. The Community Fund recently donated to the RiverView Foundation to sponsor baseline concussion tests for athletes through RiverView’s ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) Baseline Concussion Program. The contribution allows Fisher athletes to be tested pre-season for a starting point should a concussion occur later in the season calling for more testing.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth.
Even with today’s advanced safety equipment, preventing a concussion is impossible. Fortunately, there have been advances in diagnosing and treating a concussion. ImPACT is one of the most popular concussion management programs available today. It is used by many professional and amateur teams, including the National Football League and Major League Baseball.
Gone are the days of a coach holding fingers up in front of a player’s face and asking them how many they see, only to send the player back out into play if he or she guesses correctly. Today ImPACT provides invaluable information that can help take the guesswork out of concussion management and promote safe return-to-play decisions for athletes.
RiverView Health’s Marie Johnstad, coordinator of the Speech-Language Department, and Physical Therapist Rhonda Salentiny, administer the ImPACT computerized assessment to document an athlete’s neurocognitive functioning before the sports seasons begin. If a possible concussion occurs, after the athlete has seen his or her primary caregiver, another ImPACT test is done to determine any damage since the baseline testing. The computerized program evaluates and documents multiple aspects of neurocognitive functioning, including verbal and visual memory, attention span, brain processing speed, reaction time, and post-concussive symptoms. The user-friendly injury documentation system enables medical providers and therapists to track the injury from the field and through the recovery process. An athlete is usually cleared to go back to play after favorable ImPACT results. ImPACT baseline testing is repeated every two years by all athletes to take into account cognitive development.
The baseline testing is free for the Fisher athletes because of the contribution from the Community Fund. “Without entities that care, like the Fisher Area Community Fund does, we wouldn’t be able to offer this very important program,’’ Johnstad shared.
For more information on RiverView’s ImPACT Concussion Management Program, contact Marie Johnstad at 218-281-9463.


Amy Theis, clerk-treasurer for the City of Fisher, and Barb Short, committee member of the Fisher Area Community Fund, present a check to RiverView Health Foundation Director Kent Bruun, and RiverView Speech Department Coordinator Marie Johnstad for the ImPACT Program.

 

 

CROOKSTON LIONS CLUB HANDS OUT TWO AWARDS AT THE CLUBS ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY

The Crookston Lions Club recently held their annual Christmas party and handed out two awards. Betty Arvidson was awarded the Melvin Jones Award and Tom Anderson was awarded the Helen Keller Award.  These are the two of the highest awards in Lions.
The Christmas party was hosted by the Crookston Lions Club (Noon Day) and also attended by the Dawn to Dusk Lions, the UMC Lions Clubs members and members of the Crookston High Leos Club.  5M11 District Governor, Dennis Olson spoke about Lionism on an International and District basis.


                 Betty Arvidson and Tom Anderson with their awards

 

 

THURSDAY - DECEMBER 11,  2014

CROOKSTON CIVIC ARENA LLC HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING

The Crookston Civic Arena LLC held their annual meeting on Wednesday at the Valley Technology Park.   They reviewed the financials for 2014 and approved the budget for 2015. Crookston Finance Director Angel Weasner said it was looking better than the past years after losses in 2012 and 2013. “In 2012 we had a loss of over $480,000 and we reduced it to a loss of $290,000 in 2013. We are still working on ways to lower the costs and keep an eye on utilities. We have a task force that is set up to watch the expenses of the arena,” said Weasner.  “The budget for 2015 is $982,000 which is less than 2014 (just over a million dollars).  Member capital equity is over $1.8 million which is very good, we are spending down a little as we are still learning what we can handle and can’t handle.”    
The new mayor, Gary Willhite, will take over the job of chief manager for the sports center in January after taking the oath of mayor.  The group continues to look at ways to reduce costs of the Sports Center and bring in other revenue.


 


CHEDA BOARD EVALUATES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CRAIG HOISETH AND DECIDES ON GIVING HIM A RAISE

The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) held a closed session on Wednesday to evaluate the performance of the executive director Craig Hoiseth.  “We continued going over the objectives and now will meet with Craig on the objectives and keep some of the same ones like downtown development and housing and look for some new ideas,” said CHEDA Chairman Kurt Heldstab. “As far as salary we are going to give him a two or three percent increase.”
The complete board of CHEDA was in attendance for the closed session.

 

 

POLK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE RESPONDS TO BOMB THREAT AT FOSSTON HIGH SCHOOL

The Polk County Sheriff's Office received a report of a bomb threat at the Fosston High School on Wednesday afternoon.  The school was searched and no bomb or suspicious items were located.  The incident is under investigation and no further information is being released at this time.  The Minnesota State Patrol assisted. 

 

 

UMC STUDENT-ATHLETE ADVISORY COMMITTEE WRAPPING UP A BUSY SEMESTER

The University of Minnesota Crookston Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has been busy this semester with service projects to benefit both the Crookston Campus and the community. SAAC is an organization on campus that serves to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity, communication and to foster a positive student-athlete image. SAAC consists of 40 members with representatives from the 11 teams on campus.
The SAAC group was honored as club of the month during October for their work both on and off campus. The members of SAAC have logged over 600 hours of community service volunteering at different events both on campus and in the community.  “I really liked working with the members of the Special Olympics and helping them bowl,” junior women’s basketball player Christine Thorn said. “It was fun being able to help them succeed and have fun bowling.”
In addition to volunteering with Special Olympics, SAAC has served community members during NFL Youth Flag Football, at the North Country Food Bank, at Kid’s Christmas at Trinity Lutheran Church, and at Villa St. Vincent. They also collected pledges during an anti-alcohol initiative on campus. 

SAAC has also initiated several drives for charity both on campus and off. During the Week of Wishes in October, members of SAAC collected over $400 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In addition at basketball games, they collected 80 pounds of food which was donated to the North Country Food Bank for the members of the Crookston community. They also collected over 50 toys that were donated in the Toys for Tots drive. 
A larger project that SAAC initiated was a fundraiser for fellow student, Brady Schmidt, who was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. Members of SAAC collected donations and pledges per point at both a men’s and women’s basketball game. To date more than $1,200 has been raised to be donated to Brady during his bout with cancer. “It was an honor to be able to help Brady out,” senior men’s basketball player and SAAC president Tomas Parker stated. “That is one of the reasons I wanted to be on SAAC was to make an impact and help bridge the gap between student-athletes and other students on campus.”

The UMC SAAC group has several projects on tap for the spring semester as well. Some of these projects include reading to elementary children, volunteering with the Polk County DAC, visiting the Villa St. Vincent, and volunteering at the Care and Share. They will also be spearheading the Play 4 Kay games, Make-A-Wish games, and It’s a Slam Dunk Don’t Drive Drunk initiatives during the basketball season.


              The University of Minnesota Crookston Student Athlete Advisory Committee at their recent meeting

 

 

FERTILE-BELTRAMI STUDENTS VISIT UMC


Students from Fertile-Beltarmi High School visited the University of Minnesota Crookston for an experience on research techniques earlier this month. The students are in the process of writing research papers in Leah Burke’s composition courses through College in the High School. The students spent the day with Owen Williams, director of Library Services learning about campus resources and how to use sources appropriately in their projects. The students also took a campus tour, talked with an admission councilor, visited the immersive visualization lab, and enjoyed lunch in the dining hall.  

 

 

WEDNESDAY - DECEMBER 10,  2014

CROOKSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT ACCEPTS FEMA GRANT FOR NEW BREATHING APPARATUS'

The Crookston Fire Department recently accepted an $18,175 grant from FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security for new equipment. “We received assistance from a grant for firefighters to replace our self-contained breathing apparatus air masks as our current ones are 16 years old and as you know they are the life line for the firefighters in a fire to get fresh air,” said Crookston Fire Chief Tim Froeber. “FEMA is going to pay 95 percent of the project which is over $17,000 and the city share will be $908.00. This is just the air masks not the air packs, which we will go after in another grant. We retrofitted the air packs about eight years ago to new standards and a higher pressure.”
The firemen continue to apply for grants to keep their equipment up to date.

 

 

CITY OF CROOKSTON "TALKS TRASH", WILL BUY A NEW GARBAGE TRUCK

The Crookston Public Works Department will receive a new refuse collection diesel chassis and packer (garbage truck) after approval by the city council on Monday.   Public Works Director Pat Kelly said the present garbage truck is no longer working.  “We have been approved for a new garbage truck,” said Kelly. “The old 1980 truck has died on us so we awarded the contract today with Sanitation Products with a price of a little under $116,000 which I was pleased with as it was less than I thought. I hope we have it in time for clean up day in the spring.”
The funds will come from the public works department central garage fund.

 

 

 

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DEB KIEL (R-CROOKSTON) NAMED VICE CHAIR OF HOUSE AG FINANCE COMMITTEE

State Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, was recently named Vice Chair of the Minnesota House Agriculture Finance Committee for the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions. Kiel, a sugar beet farmer, will serve alongside Committee Chair Rod Hamilton, a pork producer from southwest Minnesota. Together, they will be responsible for overseeing and delegating funds for all state agriculture programs, including the Department of Agriculture. Kiel will also work closely with two new Minnesota House committees, Agriculture Policy and Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development Policy, to further prioritize the needs of farmers, workers, and job providers in rural Minnesota. “I am proud to say the new House majority believes that rural Minnesota matters, unlike the past two years under a metro-controlled Legislature,” said Kiel. “We have restored the Agriculture committee and I look forward to bringing decades of real life experience to the table as we work on behalf of all Minnesotans.”
With the start of the 2015 legislative session quickly approaching on Tuesday, January 6, Kiel encourages area residents to contact her with any questions or concerns at rep.deb.kiel@house.mnor 651-296-5091.
State Rep. Deb Kiel serves District 1B, which includes the counties of Pennington, Polk, and Red Lake. She can be reached at rep.deb.kiel@house.mn, 651-296-5091, or 337 State Office Building, 100 MLK Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

 

 

CROOKSTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND CVB OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES BURKE AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau would like to announce they have filled the position of Executive Director.  Mackinzie Burke began her job as the Interim Executive Director in September. She accepted the official position on December 1. Mackinzie was formerly employed by Alerus Center in Grand Forks, after graduating from Minnesota State University, Moorhead with a Bachelor of Science in Communications degree. She is originally from rural Fertile/Beltrami area, and currently lives in Ada with her husband.

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH HOSTING CPR PROGRAMS ON DECEMBER 11

On Thursday, December 11 RiverView Health in Crookston is offering a free CPR program specifically geared for the general public. This two and one-half hour course contains basic information about what to do in life-threatening situations, and is designed for all ages to participate. The skills that will be taught in the program are those that can be used to save the life of a loved one, a friend or neighbor. The courses are being made available to the public at no charge, thanks to grant funds made available by the Crookston American Legion Post 20. 
The classes are a part of RiverView’s American Heart Association (AHA) Community Training Center offerings.  The class will be held on Thursday from 6:30 to 9 PM in Meeting Room 4 at RiverView.  No test or card is issued and participants will receive the Family and Friends CPR book.

RiverView Health in Crookston is also hosting a HeartSaver CPR Course as a part of its American Heart Association (AHA) Community Training Center. The course is being held at 6:30 PM in Meeting Room 4 at RiverView. The program is required for day care providers and others needing certification. The course includes the Heartsaver card and book for $45.

Contracted Community Training Centers (CTCs) and their affiliated sites are the only facilities permitted to offer AHA courses to the public and professionals through their affiliated instructors and programs. To register or for more information on this class or other courses offered through the CTC, contact RiverView Education at 218-281-9405 or 1-800-743-6551, extension 9405.  See our web site: www.riverviewhealth.org
The American Heart Association strongly promotes knowledge and proficiency in all AHA courses and has developed instructional materials for this purpose. Use of these materials in an educational course does not represent course sponsorship by the AHA. Any fees charged for such a course, except for a portion of fees needed for AHA course materials, do not represent income to the AHA.

 

 

CROOKSTON TOYS FOR TOTS SURPASSES THE $5,000 GOAL ONCE AGAIN!!

Toys for Tots is a charity sponsored by the employees of the City of Crookston for needy children in the City of Crookston. Donations can be sent to 124 North Broadway, Crookston, MN 56716 or brought to the Crookston Water Department during business hours at 124 North Broadway. Cash donations are greatly appreciated and preferred which allow the volunteers to purchase age and gender specific gifts for each child.  Toy and gift wrap donations have also been received.

Donations through – December 8, 2014

Denny & Bev Brekken                             $100.00
Robert & Lynnette Young                        $ 25.00
Paul & Gloria Kaste                                  $100.00
Bill & Gloria Watro                                   $ 25.00
Anonymous                                                $100.00
Mary Tuseth                                              $ 25.00
Tim & Kristie Palmer                                $ 20.00
Carrie & Rich Clauson                             $100.00
National Assn & Letter Carriers             $100.00
Bud, Terri & Gavin Salem                        $ 25.00
Rod & Francine Olson                              $ 50.00
VFW Aux Post No. 1902                           $ 25.00
Allen & Judy Dragseth                             $100.00
Moen Apartments                                     $100.00
D & D Myerchin                                       $ 25.00
Ron & Sue Hann                                       $ 50.00
Viv’s Daycare                                           $100.00
Fargo Water/DSG                                     $100.00
Thomas Lenertz                                        $ 25.00
Jim & Phyllis Sheridan                             $ 25.00
Tim & Kim Persson                                 $300.00
Wagner Mobile Welding (Marc Wagner) $200.00
Harley Torgerson                                     $ 20.00
Mathein Study Club                                 $ 50.00
Norman & Amy Ellingson                        $ 35.00
Total this deposit                                   $1825.00
                                               Final total $5055.00
                                                       Goal $5,000.00

 

 

 

POLK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE AND FOSSTON AREA FIRE DEPARTMENTS RESPOND TO A STRUCTURE FIRE

On December 9, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a structure fire located at 27372 430th Street SE in rural Fosston. The fire was contained to an upstairs bedroom. The members of the family did get out of the house with no reported injuries. The fire was contained to the upstairs bedroom and the house suffered minimal damage. Other agencies involved: Fosston Fire Department, Winger Fire Department, and Essentia Ambulance

 

 

 

TUESDAY - DECEMBER 9,  2014

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES FIVE PERCENT LEVY INCREASE IN 2015

The Crookston City Council held the budget hearing for 2015 before the council meeting on Monday evening.  Angel Weasner, City of Crookston Finance Director, said there will be a levy increase of five in 2015.   “That will create $85,724.00 with the general fund budget at $4,947,000 and the entire budget for 2015 is over $10 million,” said Weasner. “Local government aide will be $3,573,000, the revenue is over $10 million for 2015 and the expenditures are a bit over $10 million as the water and wastewater has projects to do and will use some of their reserves.”  To see the proposed 2015 budget numbers click here.
Crookston resident Jane Sims questioned the five percent increase and if it would be a reserve for the city.  She would like to have a more definite purpose for the money.  Council member Wayne Melbye said the city may need and want to do some projects in the future that would require seed money as an example there will be property needing rehabilitation now that flood protection levies have been certified so the money could be helpful in that area to support the community.   
After the hearing the council approved the budget, levy and five year capitol improvement plan.  Council members Tom Jorgens and Dana Johnson opposed the budget as Johnson was disappointed that five percent cuts were not made.  Johnson also opposed the levy increase.    

Four public hearings were held on street projects for 2015 for South Central Avenue, Eickhof Boulevard, Alexander Street and Sargent Street.  Paul Henre had questions on the assessment for the Sargent Street project, but was pleased to learn that the residents only are assessed 20 percent of the $47,000 costs for the project.

The council had a presentation from Heidi Castle on backyard chickens at the meeting. Castle said it is a way to teach children about where food comes from and research shows that eggs from backyard chickens are high quality with one third less cholesterol and more vitamin A and D. Bemidji and Red Lake Falls allow chickens in their cities with few complaints.   The council agreed to appoint a committee in January to work on an ordinance for backyard chickens.


 

 

CROOKSTON WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE INFORMED ON MNDOT GRANT THAT WILL BE USED FOR POSSIBLE TRAIL ALONG FAIRFAX

The Crookston Ways and Means committee met after the Crookston City Council meeting on Monday and heard about a plan from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to get a multi use trail along Fairfax Avenue with the city.   Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen said safety is a concern by MnDOT and the city.  “We have an opportunity as we were invited to submit a full application to the MnDOT transportation alternative program that would be for construction of a multi-use path along Fairfax Avenue in south Crookston,” said Stassen. “The path would connect the Memorial walkway to South Main and create a loop from downtown and continue to serve three areas of the city including the industrial park and provide safe alternative transportation opportunities for people in the area. People use Fairfax now for walking and biking and there are big trucks and lots of traffic so bikers, walkers, rollerbladers will have a safe alternative for the area, and that is important.”
A letter of intent will be sent to MnDot with the city being the sponsoring agency for the project as well as providing maintenance for the trail.  The construction plan calls for the state to provide 80 percent of the costs for the project and the city providing 20 percent of the funds.  The unused rail bed would be part of the project.   The council members expressed support for the project as it has been discussed for a long time and it is the time to make it happen.   The decision will go to the council for final approval with a deadline of January 9.

 

 

CROOKSTON WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MAKES PLANS TO FILL WARD 3 OPENING

The Crookston Ways and Means Committee made plans to fill the Ward 3 council position vacated when current Ward 3 Council member, Gary Willhite, won the mayoral election in November.  Three residents have expressed interest in the position, Ernie Taus, Brad Epema and Clayton Briggs.  Mayor Genereux said they have a plan in place, “Three residents have expressed interest and we hope to do interviews on Thursday, December 18 afternoon or evening and they will make a decision for the council and get them on board in January.” The committee of council member and residents of Ward 3 will give their recommendation to the full council.

 

 

CROOKSTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WINTER WONDERLAND WILL BE HELD ON FRIDAY DECEMBER 12

Crookston Chamber of Commerce annual Winter Wonderland is set for Friday, December 12 throughout the city of Crookston.   Special sales and events are planned by many businesses from 3:30 to 8:00 p.m. Santa Claus will be at Willow and Ivy from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Sandy Kegler, tourism coordinator for the Crookston Chamber said wagon rides will be given from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. “Mule drawn wagon rides leaving from the old Wayne Hotel Parking lot next door to the Chamber office, which will be open with warm cider and a chance to meet the new Chamber Director MacKenzie Burke and warm up while they wait for the ride,” said Kegler. “The wagon ride will go into Central Park by Candy Cane Lane from the Library to the downtown square.”
The old Carnagie Library will be open with an exhibit on Electrifying Minnesota from 4:00 to 7:00 along with a treat and hot cider.  The downtown square will be open with the Relay For Life with an ornament making event and a tree lighting ceremony.
A free classic holiday movie will be shown on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the Grand Theatre with prizes and Santa.

 

 

POLK COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY WILL HAVE THEIR FOURTH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT AT HAFSLO CHURCH

The Polk County Historical Society will have their fourth annual Christmas concert at the Hafslo Church at 7:00 p.m. on the museum grounds.  The concert will feature University of Minnesota Choir under the direction of George French.  Everyone is invited to come and enjoy an old fashioned concert and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa in the auditorium after the concert.

 

 

 

 

MONDAY - DECEMBER 8,  2014

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL TO PRESENT THE 2015 PROPOSED BUDGET AT MEETING TONIGHT

The Crookston City Council will present the proposed 2015 budget and levy at a hearing at 6:30 this evening in the council chambers at Crookston City Hall.   The five year capital improvement plan will also be presented.  The council meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. with a presentation by Heidi Castle on chicken keeping.
The consent agenda as a resolution for partial payment to Spruce Valley for the 2010 raw water line relocation.  An 18 month extension on the Barrette Street Estates construction and assessment policy for Dr. Craig Theede will be considered.  A grant agreement for the funding of the drug task force is on the agenda.  A public hearing will be set to consider tax abatement of city property tax for parcels qualifying for the housing incentive program.  A grant agreement from FEMA and Department of Health will be accepted for the fire department.
A resolution to approve the purchase of the refuse collection diesel chassis and packer from sanitation Products to be paid from the Public Works Department Central Garage Fund will be considered.   Four public hearings will be held on projects for South Central Avenue, Eickhof Boulevard, Alexander Street and Sargent Street.  
The regular agenda includes resolutions for the 2015 street improvements, five year capital improvement plan for 2015-2019, adopting the 2015 budget and property tax levy for taxes payable in 2015.   The meeting is open to the public. 
The Ways and Means Committee will meet after the council meeting and then go into a closed session at the end of the meeting.

 

 

 

CROOKSTON ATTORNEY, ED ODLAND, TO RETIRE AFTER 47 YEARS.  OPEN HOUSE WILL BE THURSDAY

Crookston Attorney Ed Odland has practiced law in Crookston for over 47 years and has announced his retirement at the end of the year.   Odland started July 31, 1967 when he joined Leonard Erickson and Ken Erie. “At that time we didn’t even have dictating machines or copy machines,” said Odland.  “The practice of law what different then compared to all the technology now.”
Most of the staff at the office has been with the firm for a long time and they have become a real family.  “We call ourselves the law office family with me at 47 ˝ years, Colleen Bjerke was 19  years old and had been with us 44 years, Pam Swenson started at 20 and has 39 years,  Chuck Fitzgerald started in 1976 at 26 years old and has 38 years, Corky Reynolds  has been there for 36 years, Brenda Kaiser started at 20 years old and has 33 years in the office, Lisa Street has been in the office 17 years, Stephanie Harbott  has been with us for 14 years and Steven Larson started about 2 ˝ years ago, Mary Anderson six years and Emily Moulds two years, so it is quite a family,” said Odland.

Looking back at some memorable cases, Odland said there was a unique case early in his career in Warren. “I had the opportunity to be in a trial with Lyman Brink and Curt Charlston,” said Odland. “Warren Satre was the judge and the lawyers got into it, one calling himself as a witness, the judge was pounding on the bench and the court recorder left the room. I’m sitting there with my eyes as big as saucers and not believing what I was seeing.”

Odland is a Minot, North Dakota native. “I keep moving east and I was born in Minot, North Dakota and went to UND and got my bachelor’s degree in 1963 and law degree in 1966 and came to Crookston.   I have my wife Mary Ann and we celebrated 50 years this summer. She graduated from Grand Forks Central and UND,” said Odland. “Our daughter Carrie is in Minneapolis working on her doctorate degree on athletic training, and son Mitch is married to Paula Olson, daughter of Rodd and Francine Olson,and they have three children ages 8, 6, and  3 ˝.“

Odland said his career has been better than he would have ever dreamed. “My career has been way more than I ever believed that I would have been here over 47 years and enjoyed it as much as I have,” said Odland. “It has been a blessing and far more than I expected.”
Retirement means going to Fort Myers, Florida where the Odland’s have a home for the winter. A retirement get together will be held on Thursday, December 11 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Draft’s Sports Bar and Grill in Crookston.

 

 

 

HAPPY JOE'S PIZZA AND ICE CREAM PARLOR GIVES ANNUAL DONATION TO RIVERVIEW HEALTH FOUNDATION

Once again, Happy Joes Pizza and Ice Cream Parlor in Crookston, has made an annual donation to the RiverView Health Foundation. “Happy Joes is committed to supporting the most critical needs of the organization,’’ said Foundation Director Kent Bruun. “They are ‘Friends for Life’ supporters since 2006, which means they are dedicated stakeholders and understand the importance of strong healthcare for their employees, their patrons, and the communities they serve.”
For more information on this program or any other program through the RiverView Health Foundation, contact Bruun at 218-281-9249 or e-mail him at kbruun@riverviewhealth.org.


Kent Bruun receives a check from Jodee Mikkelson, Happy Joes Manager

 

 

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR FROM CAVALIER COUNTY JOB DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

To The Editor:

Earlier this fall, we had an opportunity to visit your community as representatives of the Cavalier County (ND) Job Development Authority. Our visit was prompted by an article in the Grand Forks Herald that focused on housing development currently underway in your city center.
Availability of housing is a key component of economic development and is an issue that many communities are working to solve. Employers, whether local or potentially new, need the assurance that the people they plan to hire will be able to find quality places to live.
One of our strategies is to re-develop second floor apartments where possible in our historic anchor buildings, not only to increase available housing but to give those familiar buildings a “new life.” The development taking place in your unique city center is, without question, a top quality example of what others can accomplish. Kudos to your community leaders and the public/private partnerships that have led the way.
We would like to thank your City Administrator Shannon Stassen and developer/business owner Jerry Persson for the time they spent giving us a tour of your downtown and the discussions we had regarding the housing development programs that are available, both in Minnesota and in North Dakota.
You have a beautiful community!

Shannon Duerr, Exec. Dir. – CCJDA
Carol Goodman, Dir/Primary Sector Development - CCJDA

 

 

UMC STUDENT FROM DEER RIVER COMPLETES HIS FIRST SOLO FLIGHT

Brice Giffen, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota Crookston from Deer River, majoring in natural resources aviation recently completed his first student solo flight. His flight instructor is Ali Jaffari, and the milestone flight was completed at the Crookston Municipal Airport.
The first solo flight is a significant accomplishment in a pilot's career and creates a memory that will stay with the student forever. During this flight, a new pilot completes three takeoffs and landings in a row while his or her eager flight instructor watches from the ground and stays in communication via radio. Much preparation has gone into the first solo flight, with the student and instructor putting in hours and hours of flight and ground training on a wide range of subjects including FAA regulations, weather, and aerodynamics. Eventually, after passing a written test and satisfying the instructor that he or she can consistently make safe landings, the instructor gets out of the airplane and endorses the student's logbook for solo flight. Landing an aircraft is one of the most difficult skills to master for any pilot and involves difficult and complex eye-hand coordination as well as good judgment.
Following American aviation tradition, removing a new pilot's shirt tail is a sign of confidence by the instructor in the student following the completion of the first solo flight. This tradition stems from the days when a student sat in the front seat of the aircraft with the instructor behind. Radios and intercom systems were not a part of early aviation, making it necessary for the instructor to tug on the student pilot's shirt tail to get his/her attention. A successful first solo flight is significant in that it means the student can fly without the instructor, and consequently, no longer needs a shirt tail. In observance of this tradition, aviation students at UMC have their shirt tails cut off by the proud instructor, and they are displayed at the Crookston Municipal Airport.
The aviation program at UMC is a partnership between UM Crookston and the University of North Dakota Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF). All academic classes and ground schools are conducted at UMC campus while hands-on flight training is conducted by UNDAF and UMC staff just three miles north of campus at the Crookston Municipal Airport. Unlike most university aviation degree programs which focus solely on aviation, UMC "dual function" degree programs offer students both strong fundamentals in aviation, as well as significant coursework specific to their "other" field of study whether it be agriculture, law enforcement or natural resources. This integrated approach prepares graduates for a career in aviation and much more. To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu/aviation.


                             Brice Giffen stands in front of the plane after his first solo flight

 



OUR SAVIORS LUTHERAN SCHOOL KINDERGARTEN THROUGH FOURTH GRADERS SING AT THE TRI-VALLEY SENIOR PROGRAMS  CHRISTMAS PARTY


Our Savior’s Lutheran School kindergarten through 4th grade classes were privileged to sing for the Tri-Valley Senior Programs Christmas party Friday morning. Many thanks to Tri-Valley for allowing us to be a part of the celebration.

 

 

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