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MONDAY - MARCH 30,  2015

CITY OF CROOKSTON HOLDS STRATEGY SESSION ON FUTURE PLANS FOR GROWTH IN THE CITY

The Crookston City Council held a strategy session on Saturday to work on priorities and future plans for growth in the city.  City Administrator Shannon Stassen said the session brought forth a lot of ideas for the future.   “We talked about a number of things and with the new council members and we needed to get on the same page. We talked about the University and the importance of partnering with them and getting some interns working with the city and continue to work with them in economic development and strategies they have,” said Stassen. “The incentive plans for housing and downtown businesses were discussed, engagement with the chamber of commerce as they are a great asset for the community. All in all it was a good morning and afternoon spent.  We have a list of things for the staff to work on immediately and some we have to research and then make a plan.”
Plans to use city facilities like Highland Park and the Crookston Sports Center were discussed. “All facilities were discussed with more time on Highland Park.  It is an opportunity to bring people to the community to spend time and cash,” said Stassen. “We want to welcome them for events at the downtown square, Highland Complex and the Crookston Sports Center, so we want to bring people to town so they can come and enjoy our assets.” 

 

 

VILLA ST. VINCENT FOUNDATION AND AUXILIARY FRESHEN UP ROOMS IN THE LONG TERM CARE AREA

The Villa St. Foundation’s midyear appeal successfully raised enough funds to refurnish 22 rooms in the long term care area of the facility.  Foundation Director Lori Wagner noted that the last room updates were back in 1975. “We are so grateful to the families and businesses that helped to make this happen.  In addition, the Foundation Glow in the Dark Golf Committee raised enough money to do seven rooms and the Villa Auxiliary did four rooms.  The residents today were so grateful to get new furniture.  A nurse just stopped in to say thank you and added that the residents were smiling ear to ear.”
The Foundation’s Annual appeal in November also raised enough to do another 30 rooms on the Villa side in the near future along with new bedspreads with shams for the short term stay rooms. 
Rodger Coauette, Chair of the Villa St. Vincent/The SUMMIT Foundation Community Relations and Annual Planning Committee helped place donor plates on the newly refurbished rooms.  These plates recognize donors and are set next to the original donor plate from the seventies when the building opened; to continue recognition of the generosity of donors both today and yesterday. 

 
              Lori Wagner putting up the new name plates.                                   The Villa maintenance team bringing in new furniture.

 

 

UMC STUDENT-ATHLETE ASHLEY MARTELL GETS IT DONE ON THE COURT AND IN THE CLASSROOM

She’s cool. On the basketball court or in the classroom at the University of Minnesota Crookston, Ashley Martell keeps it together. With a major in health science and a minor in chemistry, the senior from Somerset Wis., has become adept at making decisions that will keep her on track and her priorities straight. Basketball brought her to the Crookston campus and Martell has been a leader for the Golden Eagles serving as captain of the team for the last two years. Playing since she was six years old, Martell grew to love basketball and devoted time to better herself as a player.
Outside of basketball, she was deeply interested in health science. A genetic disorder in her family known as Marfan syndrome ignited her interest in science and the health field in particular.
A major that focuses heavily on the sciences requires a high level of dedication. “I have had to make tradeoffs,” Martell explains. “In order to give the time I needed to homework, I put school first and fun second, but I was willing to give up something I could do in the moment for something I really wanted long term. And, I have always found time for friends and fun as well.”
She credits the instructors in health science for helping her achieve. “I liked the small classes and the fact that I know my instructors well,” Martell says. “Coming to the University of Minnesota Crookston has been perfect for me. I don’t think I could have accomplished what I have here anywhere else.”
Under the guidance of Associate Professor Venu Mukku, Martell has been working on an undergraduate research project isolating bacteria to identify possible resistance to pathogens. She also works five to ten hours a week at RiverView Health in Crookston in the care center. 
These hours help fulfill a vital part of the requirements she needs to attain her goal to become a physician assistant. “As part of the application to school in a physician assistant program, I need to have a significant number of patient contact hours,” Martell says. “Those hours helped me get accepted into the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora where I will start school in May following my graduation here.”
Martell likes the fact that as a physician assistant she will be able to spend more time with patients, have decision-making responsibilities along with some independence while working as part of a team led by medical doctors.  In many ways, it is similar to her experience on the basketball court where she worked with her teammates under the guidance of a coach—a truly successful formula for her.
Volunteering has been an important part of her experience in Crookston. Last summer she spent time every week at the Care and Share, a local homeless shelter; at Washington Elementary School, and with Head Start. She also spent a week in Haiti with medical personnel as a volunteer working with children on dental care and more as part of the clinics the group set up in local churches.
As a tutor for chemistry and organic chemistry and helping with reading at the elementary school, Martell has developed her teaching skills. “Assisting as a tutor has taught me that we all learn at our own pace and what comes easily for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will come easily for the next,” she says.
Involvement with several clubs including serving as an officer in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Club fills out Martell’s time. To say she is busy is an understatement, but no matter what she is busy with, she always gives her best effort. “I am not a procrastinator,” Martell says. “I have always liked a challenge and I am willing to work hard to accomplish it.”
She has proven that claim to be true. When Martell sets her mind to something, there is no stopping her and the good news is she is just getting started.


 

 

FARMERS GIVEN AN EXTRA WEEK TO CHOOSE BETWEEN ARC AND PLC THROUGH THE FSA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today provided farm owners and producers one additional week, until April 7, 2015, to choose between Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), the safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres also will be April 7, 2015.  “This is an important decision for producers because these programs help farmers and ranchers protect their operations from unexpected changes in the marketplace,” said Vilsack. “Nearly 98 percent of owners have already updated yield and base acres, and 90 percent of producers have enrolled in ARC or PLC.  These numbers are strong, and continue to rise. This additional week will give producers a little more time to have those final conversations, review their data, visit their local Farm Service Agency offices, and make their decisions,” said Vilsack.
If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by the deadline, the farm's current yield and base acres will be used. If a program choice of ARC or PLC is not made, there will be no 2014 crop year payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage for the 2015 through 2018 crop years. Producers who have an appointment at their local FSA offices scheduled by April 7 will be able to make an election between ARC and PLC, even if their actual appointment is after April 7.
These safety-net programs provide important financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace. As part of the strong education and outreach campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in September, to date more than 5 million educational postcards, in English and Spanish, have been sent to producers nationwide, and more than 5,000 events with more than 430,000 attendees, including training sessions and speaking engagements, have been conducted to educate  producers on the programs. The online tools, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc
, which allow producers to explore how ARC or PLC coverage will affect their operation, have been presented to more than 3,400 groups.  
Covered commodities under ARC and PLC include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.
Producers need to contact the Farm Service Agency by April 7. To learn more, farmers can contact their local Farm Service Agency county office. To find local offices, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

 

 

CROOKSTON RSVP READERS VISIT CATHEDRAL SCHOOL STUDENTS


Crookston's RSVP readers visited the Cathedral School students to encourage
reading during National Reading Month.  The group read a selection of stories to the students including, “There Was An Old Woman and Miss Nelson is Missing.

 

 

CATHEDRAL SCHOOL FIFTH GRADERS PRESENT MISS LOUISA AND THE OUTLAWS


On Tuesday, March 24, the Fifth Grade at Cathedral School presented the play, “Miss Louisa and the Outlaws.”  It is a play set in a one-room schoolhouse back in around in the early 1900’s.  The play tells us about how the students learn an important lesson life lesson, thanks to their courageous teacher, Miss Louisa.                                                                                           

 

 

 

FISHER SCHOOL ANNOUNCES THE THIRD QUARTER HONOR ROLL

The Fisher School recently released their third quarter honor roll for the 2014-2015 school year.  To see all the honor roll students click here.

 

 

 

FRIDAY - MARCH 27,  2015

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL AAA SENIOR RECOGNITION BANQUET TO BE HELD APRIL 27

The seventh annual Crookston High School AAA (Academics, Arts, and Athletics) Senior Recognition Banquet is Monday, April 27 at 6:00 p.m. in the Crookston High School Commons. Tickets for parents, family members, and friends may be purchased at the Crookston High School. KROX and Montague’s. Tickets must be purchased ($13.00) by Monday, April 20 by 2:00 p.m.  No tickets will be sold after this date.  Please make checks payable to Triple A.  If any special dietary needs are needed, please contact Irishman’s Shanty at 281-9912. Seniors may pick up their free tickets at the Crookston High School office. Any questions, contact Greg Garmen at 281-2144 or Margee Keller at Crookston National Bank at 281-1976. Triple A is sponsored by the Crookston Kiwanis, Pirates Fine Arts Booster, Crookston Rotary, Crookston Noon Day Lions, and Pirate Boosters.

 

 

MARV MAGNUSON TO BE HONORED AS THE EXPERIENCE AMERICAN FOR MARCH TODAY (MARCH 27)

Marv Magnuson is the Experienced American for the month of March and will be honored with a reception on Friday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. with a program at 2:00 p.m. at the Golden Link.    Magnuson is a native of St. Paul and came to Crookston with his wife, a Crookston native Diane Johnson, in 1972.   “When we moved here I got involved in the Crookston Police Reserve and Ambulance Service which I enjoyed and worked at the Polk County Nursing Service where I drove the Mobile Health Unit and kept it running and did the books for the nurses,” said Magnuson.
Singing is the real passion for Marv Magnuson which he has done since he was a child. “I started when I was six or seven with my brother and my mother and we went to the nursing home to sing where my grandmother was,” said Magnuson. “I still like doing it with the Sing-A-Long group at RiverView Memory Care unit twice a month and every Tuesday at the Villa where Lucille Torkelson plays the piano for us.”  Magnuson and his wife Diane have one daughter who has two grandchildren.
Everyone is welcome to the reception this afternoon (Friday, March 27) from 1:30 to 3:00 at the Golden Link.

 

 

CROOKSTON NATIONAL BANK FUNDS TWO BARIATRIC POWER TRANSFER STRETCHERS THROUGH THE RIVERVIEW FOUNDATION

In its continued support to RiverView Health, Crookston National Bank recently funded two bariatric electric power transfer stretchers through the RiverView Foundation. One stretcher will be used in the Same Day Surgery Department and the other in the Emergency Department.  “Having first class health care is vitally important to the wellbeing of our community,’’ said Jim Ingeman, president of Crookston National Bank. “We at Crookston National Bank realize how fortunate we are to have RiverView Health and it’s dedicated employees as a part of our community.’’
RiverView patients and staff will benefit from the latest Crookston National Bank funded project. 
“The stretchers are a great benefit for patients’ comfort as well as for safety for staff,’’ said Jami Mathews, director of Surgical Services. “The carts are motor operated therefore making it easier to steer and operate.’’
For more information on this project or any other through the RiverView Foundation, contact Foundation Director Kent Bruun at 218-281-9249 or
kbruun@riverviewhealth.org.


April Grundhovd, director of RiverView’s Emergency Department and Infection Prevention, Kent Bruun, Foundation director, Matt Hann, assistant vice president of Crookston National Bank, Jim Ingeman, president of Crookston National Bank, and Jami Mathews, director of Surgical Services.

 

 

 

CROOKSTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AMBASSADORS VISIT THREE BUSINESSES THIS MONTH

The Maroon Team of Crookston Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors made three visits earlier this month.  The ambassador members present are: Christine Erdman (American Federal), Kent Bruun (RiverView Health), Aaron Rosten (Strander Abstract) and Tracy Kuchan and Sue Gallagher (LeBlanc Realty). Also included in the photos is Mackinizie Burke, director of the Chamber of Commerce.


The first stop for the March Ambassadors was to visit Paul Gregg owner of the newly remodeled Irishmen’s Shanty.  


Second, was the new location for Care & Share Thrift Shop at 116 W Robert St. in Crookston and visited with director Sue Shirek.


The final visit welcomed Manhattan Duong with the “First Dollar of Profit” for their new business Tips & Toes Nail Spa, located at 2211 Sahlstrom DR., Unit C in Crookston.

 

 

CROOKSTON EAGLES CLUB ANNOUNCES EAGLE AND SISTER EAGLE OF THE YEAR

The Crookston Eagles Club #873 held their annual Pin Night/Recognition dinner earlier this month.  Many members were recognized for the number of years they have dedicated to the club.    Also, that night, Steve Barrus was named Eagle of the Year for the Aerie and Serena Fredericks was named the Sister Eagle for the auxiliary.  The pin night award winners (with years of service) are listed and pictured below-
 

Back Row: State Aerie President Terry Meyer, Past President Wanda Wilkens (64), Past President Amy Asman (15), Past President Kelly Henry (10), Daniel Strommen (35), Gary Williamson (40), Past Worthy President Rick Holweger (15), Past Worthy President Glenn Myrold (20), State Auxiliary President Vi Manderud and Doug Beiseker (57). 
Front Row: Clarice Vik (35), Past President June Mosher (50), Terry Moser (5), Myles Drellack (74), Lonnie Olson (15), Adolph Donarski (62) and Jerry LeBlanc (66).

 

Eagle of the Year Steve Barrus and Sister Eagle Serena Fredericks

 

 

UMC WESTERN EQUESTRIAN TEAM RIDERS COMPETE IN OHIO

The University of Minnesota Crookston western equestrian team had two riders competed at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Semifinals Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22 at Eden Park Equestrian Complex in Sunbury, Ohio.
Danielle Schelonka (So., Randall) competed in Novice Horsemanship and earned second-place in the class. Schelonka advances to the IHSA National Championships, which will take place April 30-May 3 at Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In addition to Schelonka, Chloe Nelson (Sr., Little Falls) competed in the Advanced Horsemanship division and placed third in the class. Nelson also advances to the IHSA National Championships. Both Nelson and Schnlonka will be competing against the top 12 riders in the nation for their specified division.
Last season, Shannon Salm (Sr., Larsen, Wis.) competed at the National Championships, finishing 10th in Novice Horsemanship.

 

 

 

THURSDAY - MARCH 26,  2015

POLK COUNTY ASKS FOR FAIR DISTRIBUTION OF WATERSHED DISTRICT MANAGERS

Polk County Commissioners have been working to redistribute managers on the Middle Snake Tamarac Rivers Watershed district, with an office in Warren, for a long time and the problem is coming to a head now with a letter written by the commissioners to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.   Polk County Commissioner Craig Buness said a solution is needed.  “There have been issues for 12 to 13 years and Polk County got involved two years ago and we are trying to see improvements and that the Board of Water and Soil Resources follows through with the findings they found in 2008,” said Buness. “The letter addresses the situation since Polk County became involved and had them complete the study and that three managers would not be appointed by Marshall County as five counties have land in the watershed.  Marshall County has six managers and we have one, so we would like that broken up more.”  For the letter from the Polk County click here.

 

 

POLK COUNTY HAS A FUND THAT OFFERS SOME HELP WITH HOUSING LOANS

Residents needing assistance to build a home in Polk County can find housing loans in a Polk County Single Family Fund through the Northwest Minnesota MultiCounty Housing and Redevelopment   Authority with offices in Mentor. “The fund gives secondary funds to people who qualify income-wise and there is about $126,000 in the county pool of money,” said Polk County Commissioner Nick Nicholas.  Only three loans were made last year and the limit has been raised from $7,500 to $10,000 and an additional $2,500 for rehabbing a home to help make improvements to sell the house.
The interest rate remains at two percent and some small town banks work with the agency and have a working knowledge to assist residents.

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH AUXILIARY FUNDS SEVERAL REHAB SERVICES PROJECTS

If part of your occupational therapy treatment at RiverView Health includes a paraffin bath, you can thank the RiverView Health Auxiliary, in part, for the relaxing, pain-reducing experience. The Auxiliary recently funded many projects in RiverView’s Rehab Services Department, including the new paraffin wax unit.
Paraffin baths are used as a treatment modality by occupational therapists to treat pain and increase range of motion. Paraffin is a common option in heat therapy treatments for people with arthritis or other rheumatic diseases, as the heat helps increase blood flow and relaxes muscles, which can help relieve pain from arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
Rehab Services patients will also benefit from the Auxiliary’s generosity in a number of other ways, as well. RiverView’s Respiratory Therapy Department recently received funding for a television for the sleep lab to be used for patient education and entertainment; new exercise CD’s have been purchased to educate physical therapy patients on exercise and techniques they can do at home to enhance their outcomes; and funds were provided to continue the ImPACT Baseline Concussion program for area athletes and schools.  “I am grateful to the Auxiliary Board for its continued support of the Rehab Services Department,’’ said Director Crystal Maruska. “Through Auxiliary donations, we have been able to increase our patient, team member, and provider satisfaction. Our patients enjoy the spa-like sensation with the paraffin unit, our team members enjoy the new tools used to educate our patients, and our providers value the baseline concussion testing that we offer here at RiverView Health Rehab Services."
The Auxiliary also recently funded several other projects at RiverView Health, including:
· RiverView Clinic’s Reach Out and Read program
· Inpatient Unit photos
· Chairs for family programming at the RiverView Recovery Center

If you have questions about any of the Auxiliary’s projects or would like to join the Auxiliary, call RiverView Health Community Relations Speciliast Kari Moe at 218-281-9211 or email her at kmoe@riverviewhealth.org.


Members of the RiverView staff and Auxiliary Board are pictured with the new paraffin wax machine and exercise cd’s for Rehab patients. Pictured above (left to right): RiverView CEO and President Carrie Michalski, RiverView Rehab Services Director Crystal Maruska, Auxiliary Board members Gloria Watro and Linda Morgan, RiverView Physical Therapist Lori Hefta, Auxiliary Board members Shirley Iverson, Ann Riedlinger and Judy Luettjohann, and RiverView Community Relations Specialist Kari Moe.


 


CROOKSTON SPEECH TEAM WRAPS UP REGULAR SEASON WITH TWO COMPETITIONS

The Crookston High School Speech team traveled to the Fisher Novice Speech meet on March 19 and the team finished first.  The team traveled to Detroit Lakes on March 21 and finished 11th out of 24 teams.  with an overall team placement of 11 out of 24 teams.  At the Detroit Lakes meet there were over 400 students competing!!!
Top placers for Crookston in the Detroit Lakes meet are listed below-
Second place - Merran Dingmann in Creative Expression, and Marietta Geist in Oratory
Red Ribbons - Merran Dingmann and Marietta Geist in Duo Interpretation, Mariah Frisk and Madison Crane in Duo Interpretation, Megan Frisk in Humor, Madison Crane in Humor, Isabel Rodriguez in Oratory, and Muira MacRae in Prose.
Blue Ribbons - Gabriella Ostgaard in Great Speeches.
Team members are busy this week getting ready for the Sub-Section meet that will be held on March 28 in Oklee at Red Lake County Central High School and the Section meet in Fosston on April 7.  


        The Pirate Speech team at the Detroit Lakes meet

 


TRI-VALLEY OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEER DRIVERS FOR THE RTC PROGRAM

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.’s Rural Transportation Collaborative (RTC) Program is a curb to curb, mileage based public transportation volunteer driver program. People are transported for various approved purposes. Volunteer drivers are available seven days a week with extended hours with the core service area is Polk, Red Lake, Pennington, Norman, Marshall, Roseau and Kittson counties. However, the program has working agreements with multiple other counties and has provided transportation to customers that have appointments as far as Minneapolis, Rochester as well as many North Dakota destinations.
RTC is currently looking for drivers. RTC is a partnership program that coordinates volunteer drivers to transport those who have no other means of transportation or cannot drive. For more information on becoming a driver visit the RTC webpage at www.tvoc.org to fill out an application or call Marcia at 1-866-884-2695. The RTC drivers donate their time and are reimbursed the IRS rate per mile they drive to cover the expenses they occur while on the road.
If you are in need of a ride through the RTC Program, please call Marcia at 1-866-884-2695 for more information.
Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is a not-for-profit community action agency headquartered in Crookston, Minn. In existence since 1965, Tri-Valley provides services in 84 counties in Minnesota and Northeast North Dakota. The mission of Tri-Valley is to provide opportunities to improve the quality of life for people and communities.

 

 

POLK COUNTY WELLNESS COALITION THANKS BUSINESSES AND PEOPLE FOR SUPPORT OF FEBRUARY FITNESS FEEVER

February Fitness Fever 2015 was once again a great success. We had a total of 300 people in attendance at four fitness related events.  The Polk County Wellness Coalition (PCWC) would like to thank the following merchants and organizations for sponsoring February Fitness Fever. Without their contributions we would not be able to host these events. 
AmericInn, American Federal, Agassiz Study Club, Bremer Bank, Championship-Tae Kwon Do, Crookston Community Pool, Crookston Daily Times, Crookston Rotary, Crookston School District #593, Crookston Sports Center, KROX Radio, Sun Opta-Dahlgren’s, UMC Student Center/Students, Polk County Wellness Coalition Members, Widseth, Smith & Nolting & Assoc., Inc. and Ye Ole Print Shoppe.
As part of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), the PCWC encourages and promotes healthy choices for all residents.

Tammy Conn
Fitness Fever Coordinator
Polk County Wellness Coalition
Polk County Public Health

 

 

 

FIRE DANGER HIGH THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF MINNESOTA

With the recent warm weather, Department of Natural Resources fire behavior analysts are predicting an early start to Minnesota’s spring fire season.  Predicted temperatures this week in the 40s and 50s will likely take care of what little snowpack the state had this winter. Plus, forecasts for the next two weeks show mild temperatures and a dry weather pattern. Minnesota also had a relatively dry fall and very little snow this winter. All of this points toward abnormally dry conditions in early spring. 
In addition to predicting an early start to the spring fire season, fire behavior analysts say that based on past weather patterns and fire occurrence, Minnesota will likely have an average to above average number of fires this spring. Without the snow compaction, grass fires will move faster and be more intense. And, with dry conditions, Minnesota could face fire mop-up and peat fire issues. 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting above average temperatures and average precipitation for Minnesota this spring. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows most of the state as abnormally dry with some areas of moderate drought.  And, predictive services at the National Interagency Coordination Center in Boise, Idaho says Minnesota will likely see above normal fire potential starting in April and May. 
But, even during dry periods, timely rain can lessen fire danger over the short term. Spring fires are predominantly wind-driven in fine fuels like leaves and grasses. These fine fuels respond quickly to changes in the weather. Spring fire danger will vary with the weather, so fire activity could be subdued with well-timed periodic rain. “Because the snow is disappearing quickly, we urge people to check fire conditions and burning regulations prior to doing any open burning and to use extra caution when burning,” said Tom Fasteland, Minnesota Interagency Fire Center coordinator. 
With an early start to spring, open burning restrictions are likely to be implemented earlier than normal. Residents may need to find alternatives to burning or wait until after green-up when it is safer to burn. The DNR restricts open burning shortly after snow melt when exposed dead grass and brush can light easily and burn quickly. Once spring open burning restrictions are in place the state will not give out burning permits for burning brush or yard waste. The restrictions normally last from four to six weeks until sufficient green vegetative growth occurs. 

For more information on fire conditions and burning restrictions, visit the Minnesota DNR website,www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html

 

 

WEDNESDAY - MARCH 25,  2015

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TURN DOWN U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITAT EASEMENT REQUEST

Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and had a request from Lynn Sebek of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service for a habitat easement for Section 27 in Rosebud Township, which is privately owned.  The easement would protect wetlands and uplands while allowing haying on the 120 acres.  The landowners will continue to pay the taxes on the permanent easement, which will not be open to public hunting.   The request was denied by the commissioners.  “What the real concern is the DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife with the amount of land they have in the county and it is a problem for me. It is the perpetual easement on the land which is forever, so we are making decisions for people who are not even born yet,” said Polk County Commissioner Craig Buness.  “We would like to see where there is a period of time the decision would be revisited and it limits what the land can be used for as it is limited to haying.   It is permanent and no way to go back, some of the landowners don’t live here anymore and are willing to sell and they are paying the price of the value of the land with access to U.S Fish and wildlife, hopefully we can go down to the Land Exchange in June and plead our case why we are opposed to the request.”  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take the case to the Land Exchange Board in hopes of them over-ruling the Polk County Commissioners.   “We will take the case before the Land Exchange Board in June and they could approve it,” said Sebek. “The Polk County Commissioners will be invited to attend, the Land Exchange Board could override the county decision as they have the final say.”

New road signs for the county were purchased from Lyle Signs of Jamestown for $27,527.00 for the year.  

 Two boiler bids for the Government Center were opened with the bid of $328,000 from Peterson Sheet Metal  being approved.

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PARKING LOT PROJECT ON APRIL 13

A public hearing will be held by the Crookston School Board at the next school board meeting on April 13 at 5:00 p.m. in the Crookston Choir/Orchestra room to discuss the parking lot project at the high school to be renovated over the summer.  “Back in 2013 we had a public hearing for the entire project which included the parking lots, than we had the issues with the Attorney General on the abatement,” said Crookston Superintendent Chris Bates.  “We persevered and got a little lower interest rate so this is the required public hearing for the parking lots and the amount of money is $100,000. Cheaper than we estimated and the project is $1.64 million for both parking lots.  Hopefully we will get a good job and the community will be proud of the facility.” Everyone is welcome at the hearing and the school board meeting which will follow the hearing.

 

 

CROOKSTON COMMUNITY THEATER CAST TO DO A PUBLIC READ THROUGH OF DEAD GIVEAWAY ON MARCH 25

The Crookston Community Theater cast is doing a read-through of Dead Giveaway and the public is invited to attend on Wednesday, March 25 at 5:30 at the Crookston Public Library.   This fast paced story is about five elderly women who live in the same house but who don’t like each other very much..   What keeps them together?   What dark secret are they hiding? Who does and who lives?  This comedy chiller is filled with mystery so that you’re not sure who or what to believe.  The production is set for May 28, 29 and 30 in Kiehle Auditorium at UMC.
The reading is intended to introduce people to how a play is put together, meet the cast members and generally pique your curiosity.   The public is invited today at 5:30 at the Crookston Public Library.

 

 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC TRIP FROZEN FOOD DELIVERY IS SATURDAY

The Crookston High School Music trip frozen food will be delivered to the high school on Saturday, March 28th at 7:00 am.  All kids and parents are asked to be at the high school at 7:00 a.m. and bring boxes/carts to help with the loading process.  If you have purchased frozen food from a student, be aware that they will be delivering early Saturday morning.  Parents – make sure to sign up for a table as many people are needed to help out to make sure the morning goes as quick and smooth as possible.

 

 

FORMER CROOKSTONITE ROGER SONDROL CELEBRATES HIS 80TH BIRTHDAY PARTY AT THE PRICE IS RIGHT SHOW

Former Crookstonite Roger Sondrol celebrated his 80th birthday on March 9 and to celebrate his family had shirts printed and arranged a trip to Los Angeles to attend his favorite TV program, The Price is Right.  Sondrol has enjoyed The Price is Right since the Bob Barker days and he wore a t-shirt that said PAPA 1935,  I’m older than dirt and Price is Right 1972.    The family was called to come down and it was a family effort to say hi to Crookston friends.  Taking part in the show were Tim and Crystal Knotek of River Falls, Wisconsin;  Dean and Carman Sondrol of Waupaca, Wisconsin;  Cory and Braydon Sondrol of Canon City, Colorado; and Roger and Gladys Sondrol of River Falls, Wisconsin.  The show will be aired on April 1 on CBS at 10:00 a.m.


Tim Knotek, Dean Sondrol, Cory Sondrol, and Braydon Sondrol
Crystal Knotek, Roger Sondrol, Gladys Sondrol, and Carman Sondrol

 

 

 

TUESDAY - MARCH 24,  2015

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD GIVES SUPERINTENDENT BATES A NEW THREE YEAR CONTRACT, APPROVES CONTRACTS WITH ALL THREE PRINCIPALS

The Crookston School Board met on Monday and accepted three resignation letters from Highland School second grade teacher Wendy Greer, Crookston High School math teacher Jaclyn Kramer, and Pirate Girls Basketball coach Lon Boike. They also accepted two retirement letters from Crookston High School Art teacher Mary LaFrance, and Crookston High School social studies teacher Shirley Simonson.  Superintendent Chris Bates said they appreciate the early opportunities to get the jobs posted.  “It is always a sad time of the year, I remember teaching with Shirley Simonson when I taught and she helped me a great deal, but she decided now was time.  I read Mary LaFrance’s letter and she wants to spend time with her family and do some art work,” said Bates. “We appreciate the heads up so we can start to get the jobs posted and they will be some big shoes to fill.”  

School Board chairman Frank Fee reported on the evaluation of Superintendent Chris Bates.  “We have six board members with two of them just starting in January so we didn’t feel it was fair for Kari Miller and Patty Dillabough to be a part of the evaluation, but they had some comments.  The other four board members did a questionnaire evaluation sheet with 10 questions and sub questions with one to five points with five being outstanding.  The superintendent passed all 10 questions by the four members and his rating was a 4.1 which was pretty high,” said Fee. “The board is extremely pleased with his visibility in the schools and the community, all the contracts that have been settled he accelerated, so we are about up to speed which is great.  We like the way he oversaw the renovation process last summer and being fiscally responsible and kept the fund balance at 10 percent, which is what the board wants.”
An agreement with Superintendent Bates was approved for three years with a raise of 2.8 percent, three percent and another three percent over the three years. “It was a reasonable contract, tip the hats to Kari Miller, Dave Davidson and Tim Dufault for getting the contract and the other contracts done,” said Fee.
 
Contracts with Crookston High School Principals Eric Bubna and Washington School Principal Denice Oliver were approved as was a contract with Chris Trostad, Highland School Principal.  An agreement was approved for Kathryn Stronstad as special services director.
Bubna will receive $92,000 in 2015-2106, 95,000 in 2016-2017, and $98,000 in 2017-2018.  Oliver will recieve $90,000 in 2015-2106, 92,000 in 2016-2017, and $94,000 in 2017-2018.  Trostad and Stronstad will receive $88,000 in 2015-2106, 90,500 in 2016-2017, and $93,000 in 2017-2018.

The board is also advertising for bids for carpeting and tile at the Crookston High School.  “We fixed the outside of the building and now we are not getting the water, so we are coming up with a plan to fix some things inside,” said Bates.  “The carpet is 18 years old and will not serve us forever so we are looking at the cost of carpeting and tile or a combination of the two, so the bids are being sent to Richard Niemela by April 10.”

 

 

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL GREETED BY A PACKED HOUSE OF FAMILIES IN SUPPORT OF THE SPLASH PARK

The Crookston City Council meeting had a standing room only crowd at their meeting on Monday evening with families in support of the Splash Park which had recommendation by the Park Board to be located at Highland Park. The group presented a poster to the council with signatures of youngsters who could not attend.  

Mayor Gary Willhite proclaimed April 7 as the County Day of Recognition for National Service. Wayne Swanson of the Crookston Lions praised the Crookston High School Leo Club for their many years of service to the community.   “The Crookston High School Leo Club has received their 24th consecutive international award of excellence for the work they have done,” said Swanson.  “This is unprecedented in the Leo Club, and there are 6,607 Leo Clubs in the world and only 43 receive such and honor.  The Lions started the Leo Club in 1991 and it is our future.”  Leo Club Advisor Linda Morgan and students talked about their program and appreciated the support from their sponsors.      

The council approved the conditional use permit to allow an apartment on a portion of the first floor on lot 12, block 2 of Fletcher and Houston.

The council approved two grant applications to the Department of Natural Resources for two projects. “We are applying for a grant to purchase the right of way on Fairfax trail, we have a grant for $280,000 for the construction costs of that trail so this grant is a normal process,” said City Administrator Shannon Stassen.   “The second grant is from a different pool of money for the Splash Park committee to make the project happen, the deadline is next week.”

Interviews and testing will be done for a new police officer on April 2. 

 

 

CROOKSTON WAYS AND MEANS TALKS SPLASH PARK AND MINIMUM MAINTENANCE ROAD AT THE END OF EICKHOF BOULEVARD

The Crookston Ways and Means Committee approved the location of the Splash Park to be at Highland Park and final approval will go to the city council.

The committee also approved the purchase of a Kubota diesel powered mower from Acme Equipment for $13,233.88 for the public works division and approved the proposal to improve the Eickhof Boulevard minimum maintenance road. The mower bid was well below the $15,000 the city had budgeted for the new equipment, which was good news. “The minimum maintenance road that we have coming at the end of Eickhof Boulevard has not platted, but it has been used by the public for 15 years or more so it has turned into a public right of way,” said Pat Kelly, Crookston Public Works Director.  “Bob Herkenhoff proposed a 50/50 cost share with all the road usage. People getting stuck and poor drainage, so this would get it graveled and drained and the residents could use it to get to Fisher Avenue.  The road was private property, but once it was used by the public it is called an adverse position and becomes public right of way after 15 years.”

The committee approved a grant application to the Northwest Regional Development Commission to develop a comprehensive plan for the city which has not been done since 1991.  The Intermediary Relending Program loan status was discussed with $443,000 in the fund for lending and they indicated to keep $150,000 in the fund.  This is a program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

 

CITY OF CROOKSTON HAS 10 PEOPLE ATTEND HOVEN LANE PARK HOUSING PROJECT PUBLIC MEETING

A public information meeting was held on the possible development of Hoven Lane Park for a housing project for three single family homes at city hall on Monday evening to get information from residents in the area on their concerns with the project.   Members of the Crookston City Council and the Park Board attended the meeting. About 10 residents had questions and concerns about the changes.   “This is an important step in the process to get the community members to weigh in and let the Park Board know what they want so they can make a recommendation,” said City Administrator Shannon Stassen.  “There are some concerns about private developers so we are sensitive to that.  We are open to all suggestions that come forward.”
The Park Board will make a recommendation to the council on April 20.


 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE ELLIOT BREKKEN GRADUATES FROM BASIC TRAINING

2013 Crookston High School graduate and current Air Force Airman Elliot Brekken, graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.  Brekken completed an intensive, eight week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principals and skills.  Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. 
Brekken is the son of Jaclyn Brekken and Kevin Brekken of Crookston.

 

 

MONDAY - MARCH 23,  2015

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL AND WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE WILL MEET TONIGHT

The Crookston City Council will meet at 7:00 tonight (Monday) in the council chambers at city hall. A proclamation declaring April 7 a County Day of Recognition for National Service will be signed by Mayor Willhite.  The consent agenda has a resolution to approve the application for a conditional use permit to allow apartments on a portion of the first floor at lot 12, block 2 of Fletcher and Houston’s addition.  A gas fitter license to Home Heating Plumbing and Air Conditioning of Fargo is up for approval.  The regular agenda has a resolution supporting application for Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) local trail connections program and a resolution for an application to the DNR for the outdoor recreation grant program.  

The Crookston Ways and Means Committee will meet following the council meeting.  The meetings are open to the public.

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD TO ACCEPT SEVERAL RESIGNATIONS AND APPROVE CHRIS TROSTAD AS HIGHLAND SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

The Crookston School District School Board will hold their regular meeting on Monday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m. in the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra room.
The personnel items include resignation letters from Lynanne Wendy Greer as a second grade teacher as her husband has taken a job in New Mexico.  Also letters of resignation from Crookston High School match teacher Jaclyn Kramer, head girls basketball coach Lon Boike, Crookston High School art teacher Mary LaFrance, and Crookston High School Social Studies teacher Shirley Simonson.  The board will be asked to approve the Principal’s Association and superintendent’s master agreement for 2015-2018.  They will also be asked to approve an agreement with the special services director – Kathryn Stronstad and the employment of Chris Trostad as the Highland School Principal.
The only topic on the main agenda is the resolution relating to the proposed tax abatement for a parking lot reconstruction project at Crookston High School.
The school board chair, Frank Fee, will report on Superintendent Chris Bates’ evaluation and there will also be reports from CHS principal Eric Bubna, Special Services Director Kathy Stronstad, ECFE/Community Ed and Washington School Principal Denice Oliver.
The public is welcome to voice concerns, comments, etc for five minutes at the start or the end of the meeting. 
The next Crookston School Board meeting will be Monday, April 13 at 5:00 p.m.

 

 

SENATOR LEROY STUMPF RECEIVES MINNESOTA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

Sen. LeRoy Stumpf’s (DFL-Plummer) “wisdom and compassion” is noted by the Minnesota Association of School Administrators in their announcement that he is receiving their Distinguished Service Award. Stumpf received the award at a statewide recognition ceremony held at the MASA/MASE Spring conference this weekend at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park. Stumpf has been an advocate for children and public schools for the last 34 years, ever since being elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1981.
“I have always taken pride in representing a state that truly values public education. As the former chair of the Senate E-12 Committee, I’ve seen educational trends come and go, but I’ve always worked to give Minnesota kids the opportunities to achieve success,” said Stumpf. “I’m honored to receive this award from the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.”

Dr. James Hess, a member of the committee responsible for selecting the Distinguished Service Award recipient, applauds Sen. Stumpf’s dedication to public education. "Minnesota educators have always been able to count on Senator Stumpf’s unwavering support for teaching and learning, and providing adequate resources to educate our children. Senator Stumpf listens, learns and then acts with wisdom and compassion,” said Dr. Hess.
In the past biennium, Stumpf has worked on legislation to help schools who have experienced a natural disaster gain access to facilities funding, and helped create the School Facilities Working Group which formed a set of recommendations that are now moving through the legislative process.


              Senator Stumpf receiving his Distinguished Service Award

 

 

 FOR THE OBITUARY PAGE  CLICK HERE

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