Crookston High School Homecoming coronation took place Tuesday morning in the Crookston High School auditorium.  Danica Brekken was crowned queen and Ben Dorman was crowned king.
The queens attendants are Sydney Boike, Madison Crane, Kenzie Klatt, and Abby Parr.
The other king candidates are Luke Edlund, Tanner Gaetz, Isaiah Ramirez and Cody Weiland.
The Pirate football team will play Breckenridge on Friday with the homecoming dance on Saturday.

 Queen Danica Brekken and King Ben Dorman     Back Row - Cody Weiland, Tanner Gaetz, Isaiah Ramirez, Ben Dorman, Luke Edlund
                                                                                    Front Row - Madison Crane, Kenzie Klatt, Danica Brekken, Sydney Boike, Abby Parr




A ceremonial ground breaking for a new wellness center will take place on Monday, September 22, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The ceremony, which begins at 12:15 p.m., will be held on the site of the new wellness center just west of the Sports Center. All are welcome and parking is available in Lot G near the Kiehle Building on campus.
Prior to the ground breaking there will be a major gift announcement for the project by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. The announcement will take place in the Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center at 11:30 a.m.
Guests for the ceremony include University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, along with several members of the U of M Board of Regents and the Minnesota Legislature.
When completed, the new wellness center will be approximately 36,000 square feet featuring a two-court recreational gymnasium space, workout and fitness spaces, locker rooms, public spaces, a classroom, and a multipurpose room. 
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the 2014 Legislative Bonding Bill last May. The bill included state funding for several projects for the University of Minnesota system, one of which was a $10 million allocation for a Wellness Center at the Crookston campus.  An additional $5 million will be raised for the project through philanthropic efforts.

Originally built in 1930 when the campus was a residential high school, the current recreational facility, the UMC Sports Center, has been significantly updated only once--in 1980 when Lysaker Gymnasium was added along with some additional office space and training rooms. The central core of the facility, Knutson Gymnasium, is more than 80 years old and houses the current fitness and exercise area. 
The Sports Center is shared by varsity athletics, intramural sports, and the student body. Because of the need for student-athletes to use the facility for conditioning, practice and training, it is overcrowded and virtually inaccessible to most other students.
Studies indicate that college wellness facilities have a positive impact on successful student persistence, grade point average, and graduation rates. These studies also show that habits related to wellness directly impact lifelong health and are connected to a stronger workforce. In addition, the Wellness Center will help enhance academic programs such as UMC's sport and recreation management, and develop new opportunities to meet workforce needs for training in the areas of health and wellness.




The Crookston City Council had a budget review last night with the department heads. Brian Halos, a Crookston Firefighter spoke in place of Chief Tim Froeber who was out of town at training. “There were some questions about are trucks, we have a new pumper being built for delivery after the first of the year,” said Halos. “Our ladder aerial truck will be replaced next which is a 1977 model with the aerial functioning well but the fire pump does not work well enough to be certified, but it works with other trucks and hydrants.”
The new pumper is being built and will cost around $300,000. “The city has two pumpers at the station, engine 1 and 2,” said Halos. “The firefighters own engines 7 and 8 and they are putting together funds for a new truck to replace engine 8.”

Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier reviewed his budget with the city council where they had questions about tasers and the new cameras for the patrol cars. “We have five tasers, one is not repairable and one needs repairs so we are down to three. We have had tasers since 2004 and their life expectancy is about five years,” said Biermaier. “The taser companies come out with a plan that we pay so much a year forward to help pay for the repairs, and each taser is about $1,000 each.”
Cameras have been in the cars for several years starting with a video tape, and in the newest car now they have a watchcard system costing about $4,500. “You can’t argue with video, you can’t argue with recorded audio,” said Biermaier. “Whether it is to keep the officers safe or disputing any facts and the other side is that the recordings are saved to be used if a complaint is received.”
The city has four marked patrol units and put on 20,000 to 30,000 miles a year on each car. “About every four years we try to replace one car,” said Biermaier. “This year we bought a Ford Expedition for the winter. We have a Ford Explorer, Ford Taurus, and one Crown Victoria, which are not being made anymore. We have two investigators cars and a spare car and drug task cars for travel.”
Costs of uniforms for the officers is covered by the city and vests cost $1,100 each so the clothing allowance is large.



The Crookston Park Board met on Monday and were presented a strategic plan for the board from Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen. Trails, birding and parks were part of the plan, along with more usage of the Crookston Sports Center.  “I thought it was something we needed for a long time, it was talked about so this was good,” said park board chair Larry Brekken. 
A location for the proposed Splash Park was discussed with the city wanting it at the swimming pool, which the school district owns. “That will be going to the Crookston School Board and see what they want and then we will move on from there,” If they choose to have it by the swimming pool, the park board will go along with that otherwise Highland Complex will be considered.”
Maintenance and clean up work has been done at the Crookston Sports Center to get ready for the hockey season. “There is a new locker room being set up as we are short of locker space when we have all the teams coming in on weekends, which is great for everyone,” said Brekken. “Maintenance and clean up has been done. I toured the center last Friday with Shannon so it looks nice, we have to look at a lot of painting for next year.”
Registration for hockey and figure skating will be at the Sports Center today and tomorrow.




The Crookston Park Board met on Monday and were presented a strategic plan for the board from city administrator Shannon Stassen. The plan included trails, birding and parks along with ideas to have more usage of the Crookston Sports Center. Park Board Chairman Larry Brekken appreciated the presentation. “I thought it was something we needed for a long time, it was talked about so this was good,” said Brekken. When the budget comes to us we get about 20 minutes to look at it and the figures are highlighted so we don’t much control, it is pretty much up to the city but I think that will change down the road.”
A location for the proposed Splash Park was discussed with the top spot at the Crookston Pool, which the school district owns. “That will be going to the Crookston School Board and see what they want and then we will move on from there,” said Brekken. “If they choose to have it by the swimming pool, the park board will go along with that otherwise Highland Complex will be considered.”
Maintenance and clean up work has been done at the Crookston Sports Center to get ready for the hockey season. “There is a new locker room being set up as we are short of locker space when we have all the teams coming in on weekends,” said Brekken. “Maintenance and clean up has been done, I toured the center last Friday with Shannon so it looks nice. We have to look at a lot of painting for next year.”
Registration for hockey and figure skating will be at the Sports Center today and tomorrow.






Crookston High School Homecoming coronation will take place on Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the high school auditorium.
The queen candidates are Sydney Boike, Danica Brekken, Madison Crane, Kenzie Klatt, and Abby Parr.
The king candidates are Ben Dorman, Luke Edlund, Tanner Gaetz, Isaiah Ramerize and Cody Weiland.
The coronation is open to the public. The Pirate football team will play Breckenridge on Friday with homecoming dance on Saturday.




The Fisher High School home coming court was announced last week and the king was Kane Perrin and Queen Taylor Altepeter. Queen candidates were Emily Love and Annabel Aguilar. The Junior Attendant was Rachel Wagner and Sophomore Attendant was Mikayla Vasek. The King candidates were Nick Donarski, Adam McDonald, Devin Peterson and Jordan Peterson. 





The City of Crookston has received good news on their health insurance rate in August and will have a zero percent increase. “We were fortunate enough that we actually have a zero percent increase which is helpful as we had high increases the last two years, our utilization is down and that is the biggest reason for the zero,” said Crookston City Finance Director Angel Hoeffner. “They look at the past history also so we are fortunate to get a zero. Last year it was 17 percent increase so it is a big drop.” Another reason why the insurance rate stayed the same is the participation in the wellness program by city staff.
The zero rate in health insurance compares to a one percent increase for Polk County. The two groups are in the same service coop.




The Crookston Airport Commission met last week and discussed the five year plan, which includes pavement rehabilitation, a new hanger and other improvements at the airport. “We went over are capital improvement plan for the next five years as we have a meeting coming up with the Federal Aviation Administration and the state aviation agency and we have to reaffirm the projects we want to do over the next five years so the commission needed to go over the projects,” said Hoeffner. Projects coming up are the ones that were delayed from this year to next year and include pavement rehabilitation around the hangers and aprons and replacing the fuel tank system. “We have an airport layout improvement plan to be done before we can do a new hanger which we would like to do in the next few years,” said Hoeffner.




The City of Moorhead was recently awarded the best drinking water in the United States and KROX talked to Crookston Public Works Director Pat Kelly about the city’s drinking water. “One thing about our water is that it is well water with minimal treatment,” said Kelly. “When it comes from our wells out east it is pumped to our water plant, we filter out the iron to acceptable level .05 parts per million, we fluoridate and chlorinate it to kill any bacteria and that is in it,” said Kelly. “Places that take water from the river have to add a lot of chemicals to take out the contaminates. We get good ground water which tastes good.”
The water department has not raised rates for many year and does not anticipate any raise in the future. “We are in the good graces with the state, which samples our water and analyzes it twice a month,” said Kelly. “They keep a good eye on us and we keep an eye on it to make sure it stays good as we are proud of that.”






The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) located at UMC has begun the process of moving to the Valley Technology Park, just north of the campus, which is managed by the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA). “The university is squeezed for space, they want to find a space for the admissions staff to showcase the university and AURI occupies the space so we are going to renovate a space at the Valley Technology Park to house AURI going forward,” said CHEDA director Craig Hoiseth.
The Crookston Gun Club has requested CHEDA assistance to do some work on their club on Highway 75, north of UMC. “The Crookston Gun Club is really unique because they continue to grow and are serving the high school students with trap shooting so there is utilization there and they want to spiff up the area and make a capital investment,” said Hoiseth. “They are looking for way for CHEDA to help fund them or work with fund raising, the board received the request good so we will move forward.”




Eickhof Columbaria in Crookston has renovated and expanded their facility in Crookston. “Initially the goal a few years ago was to combine our offices with the manufacturing part and the Phoenix Building came for sale and we purchased it and initially remodeled the manufacturing space and moved in and took advantage of all it had to offer,” said Paul Eickhof. “We knew the existing offices would not meet our needs and we went into the second flood office space when we moved in and with a goal of remodeling the first flood for offices and then to design for an entrance at the middle of the building to encompass access to the second floor for future expansion for offices or a possible tenant on the second floor.”
The renovation created an interior showroom for our product. Visitors can examine the product in the showroom in the winter or the patio they built on the south side of the building which will have product. “It was all about creating an office and manufacturing facility that works for us now and in the future,” added Eickhof.




The 19th annual Crookston Rotary Club rose sale is underway in Crookston.
The price of the roses are $15.00 per dozen and they come in many colors.  Professional bouquet arrangement with greenery in a vase is available for $7.00 extra.  In town delivery is also available for just $3.00. Orders for roses can be placed with any local Rotarian.  Orders are also being taken at Bremer Bank (Annette Thompson), Crookston National Bank, NAPA-Crookston Welding, and Titan Machinery. All orders must be placed by September 25.  Roses may be picked up at Montague’s on Thursday, October 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Lorna Hollowell, Stefanie Paverud of Montagues, Annette Thompson




Todd and Andria Ellingson, Christian missionaries in Rwanda, Africa, for four years., will be in the Crookston area during the month of October. Todd graduated from Crookston Central in 1983 and is the son of Bud and Judy. They will be accompanied by their children, Ella (2 1/2 years old), and Zebadiah (1 ˝), both born in Rwanda.
In January of 20l2, they opened the City of Joy Christian School in a building they built across from the rented farmhouse where they live. This year there are 160 students ages 3-6 yrs., who attend half-days. They are taught in English by four native teachers. Only 106 of these students have sponsors. Next January each age level will move up a grade, and they won't be having a three year old class. Instead, there will be two classes of each level: preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and they will add a 2nd grade level. In 2016, they hope to have built four more classrooms so they can have all-day sessions for each class.
Todd and Andria hired a lady early on to teach adult sewing classes and, to date, 180 students have graduated and have gone on to use their skills to help support their families. Treadle sewing machines were donated by sponsors for use by the sewing students.
A popular project, both for the Rwandans and for sponsors, is the donation of money to buy a female goat for poor families. As of August, they have given away 743 goats. They have also given seven cows to families in need.
Members of a church in Pennsylvania are talking of planting a Christian church at City of Joy, possibly in the early months of 2015. This has been a project that the Ellingsons have prayed for since they started the City of Joy. The children who attend their school are taught to love Jesus, but Todd and Andria have wanted to reach the adults with the gospel message, too.
Here are some ways that you can get involved in Todd and Andria's mission work:
- Become a prayer partner
- Receive their weekly newsletter
- Sponsor a student $40/month
- Donate a goat or a pig (a new project)
- For more information go to:

Todd and Andria's speaking schedule so far while they are home is:
Sunday, September 28, Peace Lutheran Church, Baldwin, WI (the pastor is John Hanson, former Crookston resident)
Monday, September 29,Noon Day Lions' Club at the American Legion
Thursday, October 2, at Savior's Lutheran Church - 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 5, Trinity Lutheran Church
Wednesday, October 8, The Golden Link Senior Center - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 11, Corn Stalk Jamboree at Town Square, booth of African items
Sunday, October 12, Roseau Evangelical Church
Monday, October 13, Ken Study Club at the Golden Link
Sunday, October 19, St. Paul's Lutheran Church - 10:00 a. m.
Sunday, October 26, Sand Hilt Lutheran Church, rural Climax

If you'd like Todd and Andria to speak at your organization or church during the month of October, please call Todd's parents at 2l8-281-5440 for more information.





Motorists on Highway 2 between Mentor and Marcoux in northwestern Minnesota will experience a detour beginning Monday, September 15 as Highway 2 temporarily closes to traffic for road construction work. The westbound detour from Mentor will follow County Highway 12 north four miles, and then County Highway 49 west five miles to Marcoux. The eastbound traffic detour from Marcoux will follow County Highway 49 east five miles, and then County Highway 12 south four miles to Mentor.
Crews are concluding pavement work, and will be installing a 4x8 box culvert under the highway. The new culvert will be located one mile east of Marcoux. When the project is completed, motorists will notice a smoother highway and improved drainage along the route.
The detour is expected to last through Sept. 19, with extensions possible due to weather delays. Sporadic lane closures will still be seen along the route after the detour concludes, lasting through the end of the month. These closures will cause very minimal delays. For statewide travel information, visit       




Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and his administration are encouraging Minnesotans to fill up their propane tanks early – and many already have. In doing so, propane customers can take advantage of low prices and prepare in advance for their winter heating needs. The Minnesota Department of Commerce offers these tips to propane customers across the state:

·Buy Early – Fill up your propane tanks now to avoid the high-demand prices of the winter months. Buy during the summer and early fall when there is less demand and prices are lower
·Make a Budget – Consider a budget plan to spread out the payments. A new law requires propane distributors to offer all customers a budget plan. Distributors must also notify budget-plan customers of price or fee changes that may affect their monthly payment amount by more than 20 percent.
·Know Your Rights – A new law signed by Governor Dayton this year enacted new consumer protections such as transparent pricing (distributors must inform customers of current per-gallon price and additional charges, fees and discounts) and the prohibition of extraneous fees (adding any service, distribution, transportation, or other fees to the bills of customers who enter into a contract with the distributor are prohibited). Read more about these consumer protections.
·Apply for Assistance – Apply for the state’s Energy Assistance Program that helps low-income customers pay their energy bills. An average grant per household is about $500. Information about the Energy Assistance Program is available on the Commerce website or by calling 1-800-657-3710.
·Conserve Energy – Explore options to reduce your propane demand. Consider energy conservation and efficiency measures that will lower heating demand, such as programmable thermostats, air sealing, and insulation. Consider alternative heating systems such as solar thermal to supplement existing systems.





Alumni from the University of Minnesota Crookston gathered for a social at TCF Bank Stadium on the Minneapolis campus. With around 60 in attendance, the evening was a success and included greetings from Chancellor Wood and a tour of the stadium. 





The Crookston Fire Department has a display honoring the fallen fire fighters on the 9-11 attacks and this year they have put together another display.  You can see the display below!

                                                                                         A view of the display from the ground

                                            The fire fighters used a snorkel truck to take this aerial photo




The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority met this morning and discussed the budget for 2015 which could have a deficit of $22,000. “A preliminary budget for 2015 was presented to the board and we see some subsidies on the housing side with HUD that we could improve with a bit of the deficit,” said Hoiseth. “The EDA (Economic Development) side is doing well.”
Hoiseth is hoping to get $400,000 from the city for investing in future projects. “The CHEDA board has recommended that I ask the city to invest more money,” said Hoiseth. Last year they had invested and so I did and have outlined things we could invest in. Essentially we want to business incentives and help the businesses and also focus on housing so we have a platform to work with the housing study. We have an asset in the University of Minnesota Crookston to align ourselves with them as they have a ton of resources that we can partner well with them.”
The investment would coincide with the city council looking at possible investments which would promote and grow the city.




The Schuler family of Crookston had a fire which destroyed their trailer home, and they lost all their belongings in the fire. The family has three children in the Crookston School, District. “The Schuler family had their trailer home destroyed when they were gone, two dogs died and five kittens, everyone in the family was okay and we set up a fund at Bremer Bank,” said Highland School Principal Chris Trostad. “I asked the kids to make a list of what they need, if people want to donate items they can get a hold of me as I will have a list.” Trostad added the best this to do at this point is to donate money so they can get with they need. “The three (school-age) children are young and the boy came to school at Highland without a coat so we got him one,” said Trostad. “They will have lots of needs so we want to get them taken care of immediately.”
There are two boys, ages 10 and 6, and two girls, ages nine and three. A fund has been set up at Bremer Bank for the Schuler family and you can stop by and donate or send a check in the mail to Bremer Bank, in care of the Schuler family, 201 North Broadway in Crookston, 56716.





RiverView Recovery Center and the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) are finalizing plans for Recovery Month 2014.  This year’s events include a concert by an award winning musician, a recovery celebration with fireworks, a talk from one of recovery’s strongest voices for treatment and recovery, and a public screening of a new, ground-breaking documentary on the topic of addiction and recovery in America.

Local events kick off Friday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m. at RiverView Recovery on Highway 2 East of Crookston. Following an evening of recovery speakers, the band Sky Blues will take the stage. Following the band’s performance a fireworks show will light the night sky.

On Thursday, September 18 a free public showing of the new documentary The Anonymous People will be held at 7:00 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium on the UMC campus. The feature length film focuses on the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs and asks the question; “Are deeply entrenched social stigma and discrimination to blame for keeping recovery voices silent and faces hidden?”  The film features numerous high visibility Americans including actress Kristen Johnston perhaps best known for her role in the TV show “3rd Rock from the Sun.” In the documentary Johnston reads from her book, “Guts,” “I refuse to feel ashamed of who I am. I most certainly will not be ashamed that I am an addict. I am going to tell whoever I damn well want to.” The screening will be followed by Questions and Answers.

Monday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium, William Cope Moyers takes the stage with his much sought after experience, strength and hope about addiction and recovery. As Vice President of Public Affairs at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Moyers is one of the nation’s most renowned speakers in the area of public policy pertaining to addiction and recovery and has been a powerful advocate for change. Moyers is the author of two books which detail his personal journey with addiction and recovery. Moyers calls himself a person in long-term recovery from an illness that has no cure but does have a solution. He has gone on record saying, “The fact that there is still a stigma is unacceptable. Addiction is the most misunderstood disease of our time. But through science and advocacy, we're making important gains. In the past decade alone, we've come a long way in recognizing addiction as a disease and embracing the reality that people do recover. We know that addiction doesn't discriminate, that treatment works, and that recovery is possible.” William Cope Moyer’s father, journalist Bill Moyers, produced The Hijacked Brain, the critically acclaimed HBO series on addiction.

Wednesday, September 24, singer Mike Farris performs in Kiehle Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Farris, winner of the 2008 American Music Association’s Award for “Best New or Emerging Artist” has performed with the who’s who of American music legends including Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Dave Matthew’s Band, Sheryl Crow, and Bob Dylan. With a personal history that includes alcohol and drug addiction, Farris’ music celebrates his freedom from chemicals and his faith in God. He said in a recent interview, “I was a destructive person. I was a drug addict and an alcoholic, so being where I am now and being able to share this spiritual music, this great musical heritage from America, and being part of a healing force is great.” Farris travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark last year and in an interview there he talked about the diverse music genres that have influenced his style and he cited African American spiritual music as the foundation of his music. “This music was born out of a people in bondage, literal bondage, and because it was born out of struggle, it is still relevant and it is going to be relevant as long as there are people on earth because we are all struggling, we are all trying to figure it out, we are all trying to be free. I spent a lot of time in my life being on the wrong team.

Recovery Month is a national observance each September that spreads the positive message that chemical dependency treatment is effective and people can and do recover. Events will be held across the country throughout the month.
Local Recovery Month events are made possible through generous sponsorship from The Glenmore Foundation, the UMC Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) education program, the UMC Career Development and Counseling Department, UMC Concerts and Lectures, UMC Campus Ministries, and RiverView Recovery – a division of RiverView Health.




The City of Fisher Utilities Department will be conducting smoke testing of the sanitary sewer system.  This testing will begin September 15, 2014.  This study will involve the opening and entering of manholes in the streets and public utility easements.  An important task of the testing will be to locate breaks and defects in the sewer system.  The smoke will also reveal sources of where storm and other surface water enter the sewer system.
A special non-toxic smoke will be used in these tests.  The smoke is manufactured for this purpose, leaves no residuals or stains, and has no effect on plant or animal life.  The smoke has a distinctive, but not unpleasant, odor.  Visibility and odor last only a few minutes, where there is adequate ventilation.
Because the plumbing appliances in your house or building are connected to the sanitary sewer system, some smoke may enter your home or place of business if the:

-Vents connected to your building’s sewer pipes are inadequate, defective, or improperly installed.
-Traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers and other drains are dry, defective, improperly installed, or missing.
-Pipes, connections and seals of the wastewater drain system in and under your buildings are damaged, defective, have plugs missing, or are improperly installed.

All residents are advised that if traces of this smoke or its odor enter your house or building, it is an indication that gases and odors from the sewer also may enter.  These can be both unpleasant and dangerous, as well as a health risk to the occupants.  Should smoke enter your home or business, you may contact a member of the smoke testing crew working in your area.
The crew member will be able to help and check with you as to where the smoke has entered your building.  Location, identification, and correction of the source of smoke that enters your building are urgently advised.  Your cooperation will be appreciated.
The information gained from this testing will be used to improve your sewer services and may reduce the eventual cost to utility customers.
Should you have any questions on this matter, please contact Amy Theis at (218) 891-2207.




On Tuesday, September 16, the Core Ensemble will perform the chamber music theatre work Tres Vidas at 7:00 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Chamber Music Theatre is a unique performance format developed by the Core Ensemble featuring a marriage of theatrical narrative to chamber music performance.
Christina Isabel Lucas (pictured right) portrays multiple characters while interacting with the onstage musical trio of cello piano and percussion.
Tres Vidas celebrates the life, times and work of three significant Latin and South American Women: painter Frida Kahlo of Mexico, peasant activist Rufina Amaya of El Salvador and poet Alfonsina Storni of Argentina. With storylines including Frida Kahlo’s dramatic and passionate relationship with painter Diego Rivera, Rufina Amaya’s astounding singular survival of the massacre at El Mozote and Alfonsina Storni’ life long challenges as Argentina’s first great feminist poet.
Tres Vidas presents dramatic situations timeless in their emotional appeal and connection to audiences across all gender and ethnic spectrums.
With a script written by Chilean poet/writer Marjorie Agosin, Tres Vidas offers powerful portrayals of each woman and includes the singing of traditional Mexican folk songs as well as Argentinean popular and tango songs made famous by Mercedes Sosa and Carlos Gardel. Additional music by Astor Piazzolla, Orlando Garcia, Pablo Ortiz, Alice Gomez, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Michael DeMurga and Osvaldo Golijov round out the musical score.
Since 1993, the Core Ensemble has toured nationally to every region of the United States and internationally to England, Russia, the Ukraine, Australia and the British Virgin Islands. The Ensemble was the recipient of the 2000 Eugene McDermott Award for Excellence in the Arts awarded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has received support from the State of Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, New England Foundation for the Arts, Palm Beach County Cultural Council, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the Virgil Thomson Foundation.





Even though harvest is one of the busiest times of the year, farmers and their helpers need to pay as much attention to what’s above their heads and within reach of their machinery as they do to their harvesting and tillage work, says Eric Hamm, manager of safety services for Otter Tail Power Company.  “When you’re working long hours or rushing to beat the weather, it’s easy to overlook power lines and related equipment,” says Hamm. “But it’s important to plan ahead and caution employees and family members working with you about potential hazards. Know the size of your machinery. And always remember to look up.”

Hamm offers these additional tips to help keep everyone safe and productive this harvest season.

- Use a spotter when moving large equipment, such as combines, grain augers, beet lifters, and tillage, spraying, excavation, or irrigation equipment, near power lines.
- Pay special attention when hoisting truck boxes or folding tillage equipment for transport so they don’t contact energized lines. And be careful when entering or leaving a field. That’s where farmers may encounter power lines that cross the field approach.
- Allow ample room around all utility equipment. Might your tractor’s or combine’s rear wheels snag a guy wire in a tight turn at the end of a field? When extended, might tillage equipment strike that nearby pole? If an electric line were to fall on your equipment the operator would be at risk of serious injury or even death. The cost of replacing one pole, for example, and repairing your damaged equipment would outweigh by far any benefit of farming right next to that pole. If your machinery is equipped with GPS you may want to take advantage of marking power poles as an additional reminder to steer clear.
- Lower portable augers or elevators to the lowest possible level before moving or transporting them, and use care when raising them.
- Maintain adequate clearance between an electrical line and the top of any equipment. Don’t guess; know the height of the lines and the height of your equipment, including antennas.
- Steer clear of power lines, guy wires, junction boxes, and pad-mount transformers that may be along the edges of fields, in farmyards, and at grain-handling sites.
- Never build storage bins near overhead electrical lines.

Hamm says to be aware of what might be in the ground as well. Before tilling an unfamiliar field or doing any excavating (to install drain tile, for instance), use the One Call service to locate buried utilities. The national number to call is 811. Or call your state’s One Call center: 800-252-1166 in Minnesota, 800-795-0555 in North Dakota, 800-781-7474 in South Dakota.
If you’re in a vehicle or equipment that’s contacted an electrical source, Hamm says to remain there until help arrives. But if you’re in danger of fire or explosion, jump with both feet together and shuffle away. Do not allow contact with the vehicle or equipment and the ground at the same time.
If you encounter an electrical accident, make sure the electrical source no longer poses a threat before assisting a victim. If in doubt, call 911 and wait until help arrives. And remember, even victims who don’t appear to be injured should seek medical advice because injury from an electrical shock may not be apparent immediately.
Hamm adds that an electrical outage caused by mishandled farm machinery can impact a number of customers and poses a threat not only to the farmers involved but also to others who rely on electricity for critical systems.









Bradley Peterson of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities was in Crookston on Tuesday to talk with city staff and council members. The coalition represents 85 cities, including Crookston, in St. Paul. Peterson said Local Government Aid looks good for Crookston in 2015. “Because of an increase the legislators put in the LGA at the last session, Crookston will get about $42,720 more,” said Peterson. “There has been an attitude change in the LGA program as the citizens has let their legislators know how necessary it for there fire and police departments.” Crookston will get $3,573,500 in local government aid in 2015.
The legislators approved $20 million for a new Broadband infrastructure fund. “Broadband is not necessarily city specific, but in some parts of the state cities are involved with other agencies and other building so Crookston could get involved,“ said Peterson. “Transportation for 2015 will be a big discussion topic, here is a group called Move Minnesota which is working on a comprehensive funding package. No matter what side of the spectrum legislators are on they know they need to do more for transportation with the only question is where will the money come from.”
Housing is another topic of discussion for the coalition. “In 2014 they passed a grant program for a couple of counties for a pilot program for work force housing specifically,” said Peterson. “There are a lot of programs for low income housing but work force housing is still being grappling with by counties and cities.”
Other items the legislature will look at in 2015 are infrastructure for industrial parks, job training and changes in the angel investment program.




The fourth annual Sisters Sojourn will bring together nearly two hundred women for the two day event on September 12-13 in Mentor. Sisters Sojourn was created in 2011 to “celebrate the creativity and commitment that women bring to their communities, families, and friends.”
Art and Music, Health and Wellness, Home and Garden, Food and Wine, Body, Mind and Spirit, Music, Dance and Inspiration are the categories that will provide a total of twenty-four workshops for participants to choose from.  In addition to workshops, the event is highlighted with a concert each day.  This year, Friday’s concert will feature Bluebird from Bemidji, MN.  Bluebird is comprised of Jesica Conrad, Kari Lou Pickett, and Anne Meredith Will.  They have been together for over ten years singing and eclectic list of alt country, contemporary folk, originals and old favorites.
Saturday’s concert will highlight Caleigh, a Northern Minnesota band featuring Dee Furfaro, April Larson and Lenore Siems.  Caleigh is a repeat concert for Sisters Sojourn.  Their music is constantly evolving and includes Celtic, World Folk, Old Time, Scandinavian, Cajun, Classical, Quebecois, Bluegrass, Originals and more.  They are multi-instrumentalists and storytellers, making their performances unforgettable.
Each day of the event will offer inspiring opening and closing gatherings by Mary Bratrud of Erskine, Kimberle Nagle of Bemidji and Jamie Lee of Cass Lake.  Workshop presenters come from over fifteen communities in Minnesota and North Dakota.
Again this year, an Open-Air Market will be located in the Mentor City Park.  Over thirty vendors will display and sell their fine art, crafts and commercial products. The market is open to the general public as well as event attendees.  Hours will be from 11:00 – 6:00 PM on Friday and from 9:00 – 3:00 on Saturday. 
The success of this annual event is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship from area businesses.  Major sponsors for 2014 include the McIntosh Country Store and The Thirteen Towns, Fosston.  Many businesses and individuals throughout the region also sponsor workshops.  A complete listing can be viewed on the website.
Sisters Sojourn will be held September 12-13, 2014 in Mentor, MN at the Historic Mentor School just off Highway 2.  A complete listing of workshops, presenters, sponsors and other event activities can be found on the event website  The website also provides registration information.  Questions can be answered by calling Bonnie Stewart at 218-280-9176.




On Thursday, September 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.
RiverView Health in Crookston is 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.
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.
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:
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.




Heidi Lamb Castle has been hired as an assistant counselor in UMC Career and Development and Counseling Services. She holds a master of science in school counseling from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas and a bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. She completed post baccalaureate work in special education a Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Don Buegel has been hired as a program director for international admission for the Office of Admissions and enrollment management and the office of International Programs. He came to UMC from Concordia College in Moorhead where he served as director of international recruiting and support from 1999 to 2014. He was an assistant English teacher for three years in Shibayama, Japan.





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