Aleece Durbin is crowned Miss Crookston      Karlie Brekken, Amy Follette, Aleece Durbin, Merran Dingmann, Katelyn Wagner, and Kate MacGregor

The Miss Crookston Scholarship Pageant was held Friday night in front of a packed house at the Crookston High School auditorium with the theme, “Celebrate and Live Strong”.   Aleece Durbin was crowned Miss Crookston 2017 and was also the winner of the On-Stage Presence, Talent, and Personal Interview competitions. Aleece is the and daughter of Kim and Scott Durbin.  
The first runner-up was, Amy Follette, daughter of Brian and Julie Follette, and she was also co-winner of the Evening Gown competition and Miss Congeniality.
The second runner-up was Merran Dingmann, daughter of Melissa and Brian Dingmann.
The American Legion Auxiliary Freedom Award went to Karlie Brekken, daughter of Robin and Karen.  The People’s Choice award and the other co-Evening Gown competition winner went to Katelyn Wagner, daughter of Laurie and Daryl Wagner.
Miss Crookston 2010 Michelle Stahlecker was the Mistresses of Ceremonies. JeanAnn Bienek is the Miss Crookston Pageant Director and committee members include Lisa Anderson, Judy Meyer, Lindsey Erdman, and Adrianne Winger.  Marie Sandman choreographed the production number.  Steve and Joe Krueger were in charge of the lights and sounds and Bo Brorby of KJAD Productions was the videographer.  The contestant interview host was the Crookston Inn.  Over $4,000 dollars in educational scholarships were awarded. And two-thousand-two-hundred and fifty dollars in U.M.C. scholarships were awarded.  Other pageant contestants were: Kate MacGregor, daughter of Kris and Scott MacGregor.

Miss Crookston 2016 Morgan Kresl with the 2017 Miss Crookston candidates in the opening number

PAST MISS CROOKSTON'S                                                

2016 Morgan Kresl
2015 Marietta Geist                2001    Katie Proulx                1967   Georgia Rude 
2014  Madison Crane             2000    Andrea Martin             1966    Constance Broden                  
2013  Carly Welter                 1999    Therese Noel               1965    Leann Juve
2012  Mikayla Hensrud          1998    Sara Brorson               1964     Sue Bakke                         
2011  Kelsey Kaml                 1997    Ann Gregg                   1963    Lolly Dewar            
2010  Michelle Stahlecker      1996    Alyson Gilbert             1962    Ruby Mathies          
2009   Kristen Remick            1995    Michelle Larson          1954    Jacqueline Schipper                           
2008   Danie Wavra                1994    Jessica Sayler              19??     Kelsey Homvik                                  
2007   Taylor Davis                1993    Paula Olson                  1948    Rosita Ellingson
2006   Alex Thompson           1992    Carmen Kriebech         1947    Frances Ristau
2005   Taushia Brooks            1991    Myra Odom                 1946    Audrey Neff                           
2004    Alex Dorman              1990    Heather Williams         1938    Loretta Burgess                                                          
2003    Katie Bakken              1985    Kristi Nelson                1936    Marie Olson
2002    Bethany Meier            1984    Kristi Palmer             





The first annual Miss Tootsie pageant was held at the Crookston Eagles Club on Friday night and Mike Flipse (Bobbie Franklyn) was crowned Miss Tootsie 2017 and he also won the talent and peoples choice award.  The first runner up was Todd Strem (Ophelia Nutz) and Evening Wear winner was Eric Aguilar (Cinnamon).
Other contestants were Tom Skjei, Wade Cordts, Todd Strem, Travis Oliver and Bob Magsam.

      Mike Flipse was the winner      Todd Strem was first runner-up                     Eric Aguilar won evening wear                 

        Bob Magsam                       Wade Cordts

                 Tom Skjei                         Travis Oliver



FRIDAY - AUGUST 18,  2017


The Crookston Fire Hall was the place to be this morning, “well over a thousand” Crookston and area residents turned out to support the Crookston Fire Department in celebrating their 125th year, and join their friends and neighbors for breakfast. “We’ve had long lines here all morning, we’ve got a full house right now, too. The guys are doing a great job cooking pancakes and French toast and sausage," said Crookston Fire Chief Tim Froeber. "The community has just been wonderful; they’ve been asking lots of questions about the fire equipment that we have out front, and they’re very interested in our 125th Anniversary. The community has just been so supportive of us this year.”
Froeber also mentioned that he was very pleased with the turnout for the Water Wars contest, held on Ash Street last night. “Water Wars went extremely well; you couldn’t have asked for a nicer night temperature-wise, with no mosquitoes," said Chief Froeber. "We followed the RiverView bed races, and they brought the crowd in, and they stayed to watch the Water Wars afterward. We had some really good competitions going on. I talked to a lot of the competitors this morning and last night, and they said they can’t wait to do it again next year."
As an additional nod to the Fire Department’s impressive anniversary, former Crookston Fire Department Chief, George Jacobs, is the Grand Marshall of the OxCart Days parade on Saturday night.

                                            A big crowd enjoys food and fellowship at the Crookston Fire Hall on Friday morning

      Kids and adults enjoyed checking out the fire engines in front of the Crookston Fire Hall

                          Another view of the fire engines and ladder truck with the flag hanging    




128 kids participated in the Ag Country Farm Credit Services pedal pull competition as part of the Ox Cart Days festival on Thursday afternoon.  We have a picture of all 128 kids by clicking on the links below. 

4 year olds: 1st – Logan Petry           2nd – Judson Reese         3rd Levi Bullerman Jr
5 year olds: 1st - Braiden Gunufson  2nd- Atley Goodman        3rd- Caliana Donarski
6 year olds: 1st- Nolan Johnson         2nd- Brady Samuelson     3rd- Lyla Oman
7 year olds: 1st- Danny Jacobson      2nd- Josiah Herberg         3rd- Adley Vigness
8 year olds: 1st- Skyler Berg             2nd- Greg Cano                 3rd- Macie Haskett
9 year olds: 1st- Ashlyn Bailey          2nd- Carter Fee                 3rd- Leo Moland
10 year olds: 1st- Hunter Nicholas    2nd- Addie Fee                  3rd- Tessa Weber
11 year olds: 1st- Koda Donarski      2nd- Anthony Reading      3rd- Alec Haskett







  A huge crowd took in the Crookston Times/UMC Admissions Lip Sync contest on Thursday night




The Polk County Highway Department team of Seth Desrosier, Doug Larson, Ian Johnson, and Parker Nicholls (pictured above) won the RiverView Health Bed Races on Thursday evening.  PCHD beat the defending champions, Oliver Canoe Outfitters, Travis Oliver, Jimmy Perreault, Matt Sperling and Rainer Simmons.  Six teams competed in the races that were watched by a large crowd lined along Ash Street. (All pictures by Chris Bruggeman)

The Make Crookston Great Again team finishes one of their races   One of the RiverView Health teams were all smiles

        Oliver's Canoe Outfitters finishing strong                   The second team from RiverView Health

               The champs celebrate as they cross the finish line                   The Shakers getting close to the finish line




Two Crookston coaches won the Crookston Fire Department's Water Wars competition, in front of a big crowd on Thursday night.  Mitch Bakken, Crookston High School Baseball coach and Don Stopa, UMC Softball coach, won the competition held on Ash Street in Crookston. 

Mitch Bakken and Don Stopa with their prize      One of the teams pushing the barrel back during one of the contests

        The Widseth Smith Nolting team working hard in the Water Wars contest





The Lip Sync and Air Guitar contest sponsored by the Crookston Daily Times and UMC Admissions was a big hit with a large crowd taking in the entertainment on Thursday night. 

The Lip Sync champions Jackson Reese, Mason Reitmeier, Jay Reese, Blake Melsa

     Sydnee Overgaard, Mariah Overgaard, and Rochelle Chaput

Tim Eggebraaten entertained with great music




Representative Deb Kiel, of Crookston, and members of the House Capital Investment Committee toured the University of Minnesota Crookston campus and the North Country Food Bank on Wednesday afternoon as part of their northwest Minnesota tour to view proposed bonding projects and the impact they would have. The committee’s first stop was the UMC campus and second stop in Crookston was the North Country Food Bank (NCFB) where they toured the facilities.

The members of the Minnesota House Capital Investment committee and staff members with UMC Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause

Kiel said that her knowledge of the NCFB's operations and challenges due to the vast area they cover, coupled with the determination by Feeding America (a primary contractor for NCFB’s  food supplies) that their current location is unfit for a food bank operation, made it an easy project for her to champion in the Committee, along with those at UMC, saying, “They are all projects in my district, and sometimes I hesitate, thinking should I be there or not, because there are things that I hear that the rest of the committee doesn’t necessarily hear. Susie asked if I would carry this project, and it was in this bonding bill until maybe the last 12 hours, and then it got pulled, unfortunately. When Senator Stumpf was the Chair of the Senate, and Chair of Capital Investments, I had five or six projects, and they were all funded, because he’s the Chair – that’s how that works. And then when he wasn’t anymore … now there are a few members I’m going to work with who are not crazy about the project, but they are members who don’t see this, and don’t have this knowledge (about how serious the situation is for the Food Bank).”

North Country Food Bank Executive Director, Susie Novak, explained, “We are looking for state bonding funding in the amount of $3 million dollars; that’s half of our project building cost of $6 million dollars. We need a new facility just to be able to distribute more food across our 21 county service area. Right now we’re hampered by space limitations, especially warehouse space, freezer space and cooler space. So it’s the right thing to do to have a better facility, so we can access and distribute more food to people in need across northwest and central Minnesota. But at the same time, we have contractual obligations with Feeding America and other organizations, and they have deemed our current building non-compliant. Working toward the new facility is the right thing to do, and it’s also necessary under our contractual obligations. We’re working really hard every day to raise more and more money just to feed more people, and do more work, and at the same time, now we actually have to raise half of the project costs in order to build a new facility. So it’s very challenging, but we’re really hoping that state bonding comes through in May 2018, so we can get a jump start; get half the project costs in place from the bonding funding. We have applied for some grant funding; there are some funders out there who are very interested in our project, and they feel that it is necessary. It’s something they want to be behind, but they feel that the match with the bonding funding for half of the total project cost needs to be in place. They say this is great, but come back to us when you have the bonding funding in place. It’s kind of ironic, if you think about it, because we need their help even more if we don’t have the bonding funding in place, but that’s what we come up against with funders. Being able to go out there and talk with funders, if we knew we had the match – if we could say, if we raise $3 million, we can get $3 million in bonding funding – that’s a huge thing to be able to say when talking to donors who want to help us with the project, because it makes them feel even better about supporting the project, when they see that we have that kind of support.”

UMC Director of Communications, Andrew Svec, explained that the University of Minnesota has requested a total of $200 million in bonding funding for Higher Education Asset Preservation (HEAPR) projects; $3.7 million of that for the UMC campus. “The University of Minnesota is really putting their focus on what they call Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR). Really, that whole concept is to maximize the effectiveness of existing structures, and bring existing structures and infrastructure up to modern standards or codes, thinking that it is much more effective to bring existing structures up to levels, than to create brand new structures. A big portion of the University of Minnesota’s request this year is going to focus on HEAPR dollars. As part of that system request, the Crookston campus is looking at a number of projects we’d like included in that," said Svec.  "Dave Danforth, our Facilities Director, talked to the Committee about an upgrade to the campus electrical system. We received some money for Phase 1 of that, which hadn’t been upgraded since the 1950s, and now we’re asking to fund Phase 2 of that project, which would give us total redundancy on both ends of the campus for our electrical system. Additionally, we are asking for an upgrade to our campus natural gas infrastructure piping, which also has not been upgraded for 50 years. In order to be safe, and make sure that we don’t have any major issues with it, it is basically time to take a look at upgrading that system. Those are the two major parts of the HEAPR request. Another project included in the request is to replace the Owen Hall windows and doors. That building was built in 1908, and is the oldest building on campus that still exists from the very first part of the Northwest Ag school. As you can imagine, it needs a little bit of help. The roof, too, is kind of obsolete – we’re lucky so far that there aren’t any leaks. It has been 40 years since Owen Hall has been remodeled, as well.”

In addition, the University of Minnesota has requested $10 million for Greater Minnesota Academic Renewal Projects, of which the UMC portion is less than $1 million.  "On the other part of things, there is a part of the bonding funding that the University of Minnesota wants called the Greater Minnesota Academic Renewal. That’s really about taking a look at across the board disciplines, academic space, and that kind of thing. As part of that request, Crookston campus has two things that we’re hoping to get funded," said Svec. "One of them is to optimize 9,200 square feet in Dowell Hall lab. We’re hoping to make a lab space that is much more flexible and can be used for more things. Recently we received a grant from the State of Minnesota for a number of our faculty in Math, Science and Technology to do some research on fresh water sponges, and that would be one of the projects that we’d like to have a little bit more flexible space for. Additionally, Professor Brian Dingman in Biology is working with a number of faculty in what’s called the Small World Initiative, trying to find alternatives to antibiotics from natural plant materials, wildflowers, and other plant substances, since there is an increasing amount of antibiotic resistance from bacteria and germs. It involves a lot of student undergraduate research with these faculty members. Additionally, Owen Hall has kind of a conglomeration of additions, and one of the additions from about 1993 is a 4,000 square foot empty research bay, which we hope to get money to renovate into another scientific research lab.”

The capital investment committee and staff members touring the University of Minnesota Crookston campus on Wednesday afternoon

      The capital investment committee and staff members touring the North Country Food Bank





The seventh annual Crookston Veteran’s Ceremony was held on Wednesday afternoon at the University of Minnesota Crookston's Bede Ballroom, with Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier served as Master of Ceremonies. Each of the five honorees; Louis Biermaier, Darrell (DJ) Johnson, Michael Lundgren, Paula Lundgren and Ruben Resendiz, was introduced by a person significant in their lives, who introduced them, shared a short biography of their military service, and presented them with a plaque.

Louis Biermaier served in the Army from 1955-57. He served in Germany as a member of the 293rd Construction Engineers, operating heavy equipment and building tank trails. “It’s quite overwhelming, really. I was in duty in peacetime; there are so many people more worthy of this than me," he said of today's honor. "I look at some of these old-timers, and think about what they did go through. I was in Germany ten years after WWII, so it was very good duty at that time. I feel that, for so many of the young people today, it would be good to serve for a while.”

Darrell (DJ) Johnson served in the Army from 1969-1970, and trained in Infantry and Mortars. His service in Vietnam included walking point (first man out – leading the troops.) He expressed his appreciation for the honor today, saying: “It means a lot. I didn’t expect some of the stuff that went on today. I’ve been to these ceremonies before, but it was kind of a surprise to get that quilt.”

Michael Lundgren served in the Air Force from 1985-1989, and again in 1991 at Lackland Air Force Base during Desert Storm. His wife, Paula Lundgren, served in the Air Force from 1976-1994 in Germany and Turkey, finishing her career at Grand Forks Air Base in 1997.  The Lundgrens expressed their appreciation for the way the Crookston community has embraced them, saying, “I’m at a loss for words at the moment. It was nice to be honored – we’re not originally from here, but we’re Air Force transplants. We feel like we’re more a part of the Crookston community than Grand Forks. We’ve been welcomed with open arms, and we’ve really enjoyed being here, and it’s kept us here. The hospitality the open arms, it’s great.”

Ruben Resendiz served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1990-1995, and then with the Minnesota National Guard from 1998-2014.  “It’s just an honor to be up there," he said of the ceremony. "I’m glad I followed in my Dad’s and brothers’ footsteps. It was an honor, and I’d do it all over again.”

Each of the veterans received a handmade quilt from Quilts of Valor. These quilts are “tokens of appreciation that unequivocally say, ‘thank you for your service, sacrifice, and valor.’” As of October 1, 2016, the Quilts of Valor Foundation has recorded the awarding of 135,500 Quilts of Valor.

Paula Lundgren, Mike Lundgren, Louie Biermaier, Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier, Darrell (DJ) Johnson, and Ruben Resendiz.





On Wednesday, the East Grand Forks Police Department was dispatched to 6th street NE and central Ave for a person acting erratically in his vehicle. Officers ultimately arrested the individual for controlled substance DWI. During the arrest, officers and EMS were dispatched to 7 6th St NE for an individual who reported having his throat sliced. Officers responded from the street outside and found a resident clutching his neck as though he had been cut. There was no injury; it was quickly apparent that he was hallucinating and the two calls were related. The individual was transported to Altru for a possible drug overdose. An empty baggy of methamphetamine was located on-scene.
The Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force has learned that another individual in Grand Forks reported a similar overdose and was hospitalized after using what they thought was methamphetamine in the previous 24 hours.
Throughout the course of the investigation it appears that a bad batch of methamphetamine is being trafficked in the greater Grand Forks area. The symptoms appear to mimic a "bath salt" ingestion.
Police are urging the public to be diligent and use caution with this suspicious substance. Task forces have seen the synthetic designer drug called “bath salts” (methylenedioxypyrovalerone MDPVor synthetic cathinones) in the area before, but not lately.  Signs of ingestion and overdose are: constant twitching, feeling like they want to die, crawling skin, dilated pupils, erratic behavior, hallucinations and death.
If you have any information, you can report it anonymously to either the Grand Forks Drug Task Force, Grand Forks Police, Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force, or the East Grand Forks Police.
EGF drug tip online form:
Polk County Anonymous tip line: (877) 204-7505
Grand Forks Police Text a Tip: 847411




The University of Minnesota Crookston hosted the annual Ice Cream Social on campus Wednesday afternoon.  A light rain forced the social inside to the Sargeant Student Center.  Hundreds of people enjoyed the ice cream served up by UMC Women's Soccer players.

Members of the UMC Women's Soccer team serve up ice cream at the ice cream social

A lot of people from the community came out to enjoy some ice cream at the Sargeant Student Center on the UMC campus




A little after 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 15, a resident in Emardville Township in rural Brooks made a report of suspicious activity.  They reported that four individuals, 3 females and 1 male, came into their yard in a pickup truck.  The reporter claimed they were acting very suspicious and thought law enforcement should be aware of the incident.   
While a deputy was investigating that incident, a resident in Poplar River Township, approximately four miles west of the first report, claimed that he caught some people attempting to steal a pickup from his yard.  One of the females was detained by the victim and law enforcement apprehended another female attempting to flee the area.  Investigation revealed that the suspects stole items from inside of the house at that residence, then attempted to steal a pickup, but were thwarted when the occupants came home and blocked the driveway.  It appears that all of the property stolen from the house has been recovered.
Red Lake County law enforcement searched the surrounding area and were also assisted by the Thief River Falls Police Department’s K9 Unit, but the other two individuals were not located.  The search was called off around 2am.  At this time, two of the individuals involved in these crimes are still at large.  They are a male with a dark complexion and a female with blonde hair, and both are described as around 40 years of age.  It doesn’t appear that they pose a danger to the public, but residents in that area are urged to contact the Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office if they have any information related to this incident. 
Two females were arrested and transported to the jail in Crookston.  Both were booked on Felony Burglary charges, Theft of a Motor Vehicle and one was booked for Driving While under the influence of a Controlled Substance.  They are being held until their first Court Appearance.  This matter is still under investigation and names of the arrestees are not being released at this time. 





Due to predictions of continued damp and rainy weather, the Ox Card Days Ice Cream Social set for today, Wednesday, August 16, from 3 to 5 p.m. will be held in the Sargeant Student Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota Crookston.  Members of the Crookston community are invited to enjoy free ice cream courtesy of University Relations.
Music will be provided by George French, associate professor of music.
The UMC Bookstore will be open until 5 p.m. and will have special T-shirts on sale for only $7.99. Discounted tickets for the Minnesota State Fair will also be available to purchase at the Bookstore.
At 4:45 p.m. the first clue for the 2017 Ox Cart Days Medallion Hunt will be announced.
Arrive early and attend the Ox Cart Days 7th Annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony from 3 to 4 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. Sponsored by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Crookston.




19 girls competed for the crown of Little Miss and Junior Miss Crookston at the Crookston High School Auditorium on Tuesday evening and Mady Knutson, nine year old daughter of Trevis and Amy Knutson, was crowned Little Miss Crookston and Kaylie Clauson, daughter of Rich and Carrie Clauson, was crowned Junior Miss Crookston.

Little Miss Crookston is for girls 7-9 years old and 10 girls competed for the crown.  Knutson was crowned Little Miss and 1st runner up was Avery Trudeau, daughter of Dale and Kari Trudeau, and the 2nd runner up was Teagan Fanfulik, daughter of Chad and Mindy Fanfulik.  The talent winner was Fanfulik, while Trudeau won the on-stage question competition and Brynlie Rarick, daughter of Jake and Jess Rarick won the formal wear competition.

Junior Miss Crookston is for girls 10-12 years old and nine girls competed for the crown.  Clauson was crowned Junior Miss and 1st runner up was Brynn Olson, daughter of Terry and Stacy Olson, and the 2nd runner up was Ava Martin, daughter of Derek and Jaclyn Martin.  The talent winner was Olson, while Clauson won the interview and Autumn Flaten, daughter of Kevin and Jenny Slyt, won the formal wear competition.

Mady Knutson is crowned Little Miss   Kaylie Clauson is crowned Junior Miss






Crookston High School Senior Zach Sanders participated in the Minnesota Music Educator's All State Choir Camp held at St. John's University this past week. This is Zach's second year as an MMEA All-State Choir member. Zach auditioned and was selected to sing Bass I both years, first in the Men's Chorus and this year in the Mixed Choir. The camp concluded with a public concert this past Saturday morning in the Abbey at St. John's. Conductor of the All State Mixed Choir was G. Phillip Shoultz III, Associate Conductor with VocalEssence. The MMEA All State Choirs will perform again this coming February at Orchestra Hall at the Minnesota Music Educator's Association Convention.

Zach Sanders outside the Abbey at St. John's University





Summer Arts Safari and The Crookston Community Theatre will present Disney’s The Lion King JR. on Friday, August 18 at 5:40 p.m. and Saturday, August 19 at 11:00 a.m. at UMC Kiehle Auditorium. Registration will be Monday, August 14 at 9:30 in the UMC Kiehle Auditorium and is limited to 50 children in grades 3 through 9. Practices will be Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Bring your own lunch and water bottle. Cost is $20 per child. If you have any questions, call Shea Proulx at 289-0006.





It was a “Big Deal” at Brown Dining Room on the University of Minnesota Campus earlier this month when the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Red River Valley hosted their annual Volunteer Recognition Banquet, honoring more than 200 guests throughout the seven county region for their outstanding volunteer service. The “Full House” of volunteers enjoyed a Casino-themed party, tying in door prizes, a delicious buffet meal, volunteer awards and parting gifts… all designed to remind volunteers that they comprise the “Jackpot!” RSVP Director, Tammy Frohlich reminded them of their incredible value, stating how their 60,200 reported hours of service throughout the year generated a pot of $1,453,228 savings to the state of Minnesota and Northwest Minnesota Counties.  “All 600-plus of our volunteer are winners; every hour of giving impacts our rural communities and individual lives!” The Banquet included senior volunteers from all seven counties in northwestern Minnesota.

The “Payout” provides proven health benefits for the 55 and older group of volunteers, such as reduced mortality and heart disease, less depression and greater life satisfaction.  Additionally, a newly released study from the University of Calgary found that seniors who volunteered regularly (at least one hour per week, averaging 52 hours/year) were less likely to develop dementia. It’s a “Win – Win” situation, as communities and individuals are impacted by the services RSVP volunteer programs provide, such as Elementary literacy enhancement, falls prevention exercise classes, grocery shopping and handyman home repairs for seniors, home delivered meals, and others.  RSVP engages adults 55 and older in volunteer service to meet community needs, and to provide a high quality experience that will enrich the lives of volunteers.  With RSVP, you choose the amount of time you want to give.  You choose whether you want to draw on your skills or develop new ones.  When you volunteer, you’re not just helping others—you’re helping yourself.  Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends.

Among the “Best Hands” in the house were those who “Upped the Ante” and received the prestigious Presidential Volunteer Service Award. Current RSVP volunteers who surpassed 4000 lifetime service hours being honored included: Mary J. Carlson, Hallock, Doris Nelson of Argyle and Ardell Snare, Roseau.
RSVP is housed and sponsored by the University of Minnesota, Crookston. To “Cash in” on the rewards and benefits of volunteering, contact RSVP at 218-281-8289, or

Tammy Frohlich, RSVP Director, Mary J. Carlson of Hallock, Ardell Snare of Roseau and Jennifer Erdmann, RSVP Coordinator




TUESDAY - AUGUST 15,  2017


The Crookston Ways and Means Committee met on Monday night to review the preliminary budgets for the Building Official Department, Fire Department, Police Department and Public Works Department. They heard from Kim Durbin of Brady Martz and Associates, who explained the 2016 Audit Report and the City is in good financial shape.  "Kim kind of touched on the fact that the City is positioned well. We have paid off virtually all of our debt, other than the Revolving Loan Fund, which will remain there basically forever. From that standpoint, we’re positioned well – our reserves are healthy, and that gives us flexibility," said City Administrator, Shannon Stassen. "Added to that, we have really very low fees in our enterprise funds, so as far as the burden on the community goes, we’re going to keep taxes and fees low. It was a very positive message from Kim, and nice to hear.”

Stassen complimented the City Department Heads, who have worked hard on the preliminary budgets, while managing to add equipment as necessary, and help to build reserves for upcoming years. “Hats off to all of our department heads – they do a great job taking care of their departments, making sure that they have what their people need to get the job done, but also being conservative, by keeping their budgets in line. The most common comment we heard was, ‘it’s pretty much the same as last year," said Stassen.  "We need to live within our means and still get done what we need to. What that leads to is lower taxes and lower fees for the people in the community, so we really appreciate what they do. We invite transparency in this process. We look at all this very closely, and scrutinize it, but Angel does a phenomenal job with so many moving parts. Her whole team in the finance department makes sure we are in good shape. This is kind of her time to shine, and she certainly did.”

He also noted that the City Councilmen have significantly helped the process. “For a few months now, we’ve been meeting every Monday, so it’s a big commitment for our Council members. We’ve gone through line-by-line in every department now – essentially down to the last penny," said  That’s empowering for Council members and staff; as you go through the budgets and explain them, it helps solidify the rationale in your mind for the things that you’re doing. It also helps the Council members when they are approached in the community with questions about why we are doing this or that. They can say very assertively that we look at this very closely, and our department heads do a great job of managing things. We are very good stewards of the dollars of our residents.”

At Councilman Jake Fee’s urging, the Ways and Means Committee approved budgeting for two Motor Grader Plow Gates for use in the winter. The plow gate attachments interrupt the material windrow for snow clearing, assisting the operators in snow removal past driveways, cars, and intersections.  “We’re going to give a trial run to snow plow gates that are fitted to our two road graders. We’ll give it a year or two, and see how effective that is, before we determine what we’ll do going forward," Stassen explained. "The majority of our residential areas are plowed by trucks, and currently there isn’t a technology that fits for the truck plows, but word is that there is something emerging, so maybe in a couple of years, after we’re done evaluating this, there will be something ready for the trucks, as well.”

The Ways and Means committee also approved the sale of real property, Lots 1 and 2 Block 25, Original Townsite and Lots 9-12 Block 1 in the Stearns Addition (The old Professional Building site) to TK Properties of Crookston, LLC.
Approve a transfer of funds in the amount of $2,000 to cover additional cost of sod improvements to the Splash Pad.
They approved appointments to the Convention Visitor’s Bureau with the appointment of Debbie Shea (Owner of the Golf Terrace Motel), Janessa Quanrud (UMC) and Karl Selander, manager of the Cobblestone Hotel, (to fulfill the unexpired term of Eric Bubna).  They also reappointed Paul Gregg (owner of the Irishman's Shanty) to the board.
The council awarded the contract for realtor services to Century 21 Red River Realty to sell city owned lots as all three bids were similar, but Century 21 Red River Realty did not have a minimum fee.




The Crookston School Board met on Monday night, and accepted resignation letters from fifth grade teacher Krystyna Freeman, and from Washington Elementary school Kindergarten Aide Katlyn Rajchel; and approved acceptance of a donation of $3,800.00 from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation for the Early Childhood Initiative.
A motion to accept the Fall Coaching staff failed for lack of a second.  School Board member Dave Davidson made a motion, but none of the other board members seconded the motion.  The lack of a second to pass the motion led led board Chairman Frank Fee to call for another motion, accepting the list of Fall Coaching Staff with the deletion of Brian Follette as Assistant Girls Tennis Coach. That motion passed, with Board Member Dave Davidson as the only ‘nay’ vote, saying he “didn’t think it was right to ‘cherry pick’ the Athletic Director Greg Garmen’s list.” Chairman Fee directed an apology to Garmen, but said that he “should have known that there would be some friction with the Board and Mr. Follette.”

The board also accepted a retirement letter from Superintendent Chris Bates, who has decided to retire at the end of the 2017-18 school year. He anticipates that his last day will be at the end of June 2018. “Where do I start?” he states in his letter. “It seems Crookston has always been special to my heart and for that matter always will be. A foreign exchange student in 1973-74; a teacher and coach between 1990-95; and now Superintendent of Schools from 2012-2018. I have so much to be thankful for.”
Fee noted that the Board appreciated the advance notice, as it assists them in their search for Bates’ replacement.  “I think that’s important. Obviously, as I retire here, we want to get the best pool of candidates that we can, and I think doing it now gives the Board some wiggle room to do some thinking and maybe, as Frank said, be out there doing some interviewing over Christmas break," said Bates. "People start to look at about that time, and you certainly don’t want to be too late and miss the boat. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to hire the best Superintendent we ever had, and carry on the work we have been trying to do.”
Asked what is on the horizon for him post-retirement. “I don’t want to go cold turkey, so I’m sure I’ll be doing something, but my days of five-day work weeks will be gone. Somebody asked me the other day if I’d be interested in a three-day-a-week job somewhere closer to where our lake home is, and I said ‘maybe.’ I haven’t really given it that much thought," said Bates. "Interim Superintendents are in great demand, but if I’m going to do that, I might as well stay in Crookston and do it here. So I’m just sort of sitting back and thinking; I’ve still got a few days left to figure things out. I think I’d like to keep a little busy, but we have grandkids, and also like to go fishing and things like that. We’ll just see how this plays out.”

Bates’ resignation letter goes on to say, “I would like to say that I am extremely appreciative of the many opportunities afforded me by the Crookston community and School District. I have so many positive memories, it is impossible to begin to list them. I hope people will view my time here as Superintendent as a time of progress and the establishment of stability.”





This week consists of one of the most fun-filled and action-packed weeks the Crookston area residents and businesses have with the arrival of Ox Cart Days and the largest attended event of the entire week is without a doubt the Torchlight Parade on Saturday night.  Crookston Police and Police Reserve Officers will be involved with many of the events providing security, traffic control and whatever else is necessary to help ensure everyone’s safety.  With the large number of spectators, participants and the large area involved, the most difficult event for us to cover is the parade. The Crookston Police Department is asking for everyone’s help to make sure this event ends successfully with everyone going home; not one that ends with a tragedy.
"Parade participants please know it is illegal to throw or toss candy, toys, balloons or any other items from a float, vehicle, etc., involved in and during the parade,” said Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier. “This is for the safety of the spectators and the parade participants. Over the years, across the country, we’ve all heard of incidences in which people, often children, have been seriously injured or killed because they were chasing after items thrown from parade vehicles. The parade is such a huge event – I think it is the most-attended thing for Oxcart Days, and the people love it. But we need to do some more work on the ‘safety side’ of the whole parade, and that includes abiding by the state law that it is unlawful to throw any candy, toys, trinkets, or anything from a moving float, vehicle, tractor, etc. We’re going to enforce that; and what we ask is that the entries in the parade arrange to have walkers. We still encourage them to hand their things out – especially the candy, but we need to have them walk along the sides of the street, four to six feet away from the curb, and hand those things out.”
The Crookston Police Department is requiring all participants to abide by this law. Once again, if you are planning to pass out candy or other items, please do so by involving helpers walking alongside your float, close to the spectators near the curb and tossing or handing the items to them. Participants disregarding this law will be asked to exit the parade immediately. “If some of the participants in this parade don’t follow this rule, we’ll give them a warning, and then if it happens again, we’ll just have them exit the parade. We don’t want to have to do that, but I think everybody understands that we don’t want anybody – especially the kids – to get hurt or run over,” added Chief Biermaier.
Crookston Police and Police Reserve Officers will be involved with many of the events providing security, traffic control and whatever else is necessary to help ensure everyone’s safety.  With the large number of spectators, participants and the large area involved, the most difficult event for them to cover is the parade. But the responsibility does not rest alone on the shoulders of the participants or the police officers. "Too often we see parents allowing their children to run into the street for that prize, or the parents are 10, 15, or more feet away not supervising their children," said Chief Biermaier. “We tell our kids two things as they grow up: don’t run into the street, and don’t put anything in your mouth that you pick up off the ground, but when it comes to a parade, that seems to change. We need the parents to really step up and help out. They need to watch their kids, and know where they’re at and what they’re doing the whole time. We need everybody’s help, from the spectators to the participants, to law enforcement to help keep this parade going as one of the best parts of the whole Oxcart Days celebration.” (Picture courtesy of Livingstone Enterprise)





Summer Arts Safari and The Crookston Community Theatre will present Disney’s The Lion King JR. on Friday, August 18 at 5:40 p.m. and Saturday, August 19 at 11:00 a.m. at UMC Kiehle Auditorium. Registration will be Monday, August 14 at 9:30 in the UMC Kiehle Auditorium and is limited to 50 children in grades 3 through 9. Practices will be Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Bring your own lunch and water bottle. Cost is $20 per child. If you have any questions, call Shea Proulx at 289-0006.





Recently, Crookston Valley Cooperative, with help from a matching grant from CoBank, completed their pledge for the enclosed heated drop off addition project early to the Villa St Vincent.  Originally set up as a $15,000 donation over a period of ten years,  with the help of CoBanks Sharing Success program they were able to fulfill their commitment early with a check from both Crookston Valley Coop and CoBank for $4500 each. 

Pictured are Crookston Valley Cooperative Board of Directors Chris Cournia, Christian Kiel, and John Boucher, and Villa St. Vincent/ Summit Foundation Development Director Cindy Hulst. Not pictured are CVC Directors Eric Erdman and Trevore Brekken.




MONDAY - AUGUST 14,  2017


The Crookston School Board will meet on Monday, August 14 at 5:00 p.m. in the Crookston High School Choir and Orchestra room. 
Agenda items include the approval of current bills, acceptance of a letter of retirement from Superintendent Chris Bates (effective at the end of the school year), acceptance of a letter of resignation from fifth grade teacher Krystyna Freeman, acceptance of a letter of resignation from Washington Elementary School kindergarten aide Katlyn Rajchel, and approval of the fall coaching staff.
The board members will also be asked to approve the acceptance of a donation of $3,800 from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation for the Early Childhood Initiative.
School board meetings are open to the public and comments, questions and concerns can be brought up at the beginning or the end of the meeting.




The Crookston Ways and Means Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. in the Crookston City Hall Conference room.  The committee will look at the Building Official and Fire Department budgets for 2018 before the council meeting.

The Crookston City Council will meet on Monday, August 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the Crookston City Council Chambers at City Hall. Consent agenda items include resolutions to approve City of Crookston bills and disbursements in the amount of $502,619.91; approve Partial Payment Estimate No. 2 to Knife River Materials for 2017 Federal Funded Street Improvements in the amount of $437,587.82.
The city council will be asked to authorize/approve the following -
The council will be asked to authorize the sale of real property, Lots 1 and 2 Block 25, Original Townsite and Lots 9-12 Block 1 in the Stearns Addition (The old Professional Building site) to TK Properties of Crookston, LLC.
Approve a transfer of funds in the amount of $2,000 to cover additional cost of sod improvements to the Splash Pad.
Approve appointments to the Convention Visitor’s Bureau with the appointment of Debbie Shea (Owner of the Golf Terrace Motel), Janessa Quanrud (UMC) and Karl Selander, manager of the Cobblestone Hotel, (to fulfill the unexpired term of Eric Bubna.  They will also be asked to reappoint Paul Gregg (owner of the Irishman's Shanty) to the board.
Accept a quote and awarding contract for realtor services to Century 21 Red River Realty to sell city owned lots.
Enter into a Commercial Firm Service Agreement with Community Co-Ops of Lake Park to supply natural gas to the Crookston Municipal Airport; enter into a Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition for State Project at the Crookston Municipal Airport; to act as a legal sponsor for the Crookston Municipal Airport while applying for funding from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The last item is to issue a Dance Permit to OxCart Days for the Chris Hawkey Band in the Downtown Square.

A public hearing will be held for the Riverview Health Project - Refunding Revenue Bonds. Regular agenda items include a resolution authorizing and providing for the issuance and sale of refunding revenue bonds, at the request of Riverview Healthcare Association, and approving forms of documents in connection therewith.

The Crookston Ways and Means committee will also meet after the city council meeting to go over the Police Department budget and Public Works Department budget and discuss motor grader plow gates. (The plow gates are a grader attachment which interrupts the material windrow for snow clearing, and assists the operators in snow removal past driveways, cars, and intersections. They can also be used to reduce aggregate loss when grading in the summer.).  The meeting will be held in the Crookston City Hall conference room after the city council meeting. 





On Saturday, August 12 at 6:36 a.m., the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a one vehicle accident in Woodside Township.  The vehicle left the roadway and struck a power pole.  The driver, who was the only occupant, was outside the vehicle when first responders arrived.  The driver was transported to RiverView Hospital in Crookston for evaluation and later medically cleared with no reported injuries.  The driver was arrested and booked into the Northwest Regional Corrections Center for Third Degree DWI.  Assisting with the accident were the Minnesota State Patrol, Mentor Fire and Fertile EMS.





L'Ambizioso Duo will perform a concert on Monday August 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. Sponsored in part by a grant from the Minnesota Arts Council, the concert is free and open to the public.
Italian for "The Ambitious," L'Ambizioso Duo is composed of bothers Brock, a double bassist, and Brayden, a pianist, Drevlow. Brock Drevlow is a Jephson Educational Trust Scholar and is pursuing a degree in double bass performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Brayden Drevlow is a GE/Ronald Reagan Presidential Scholar and is currently pursuing a degree in piano performance at Concordia College in Moorhead.

          Brayden and Brock Drevlow comprise L'Ambizioso Duo





A new model of mental and chemical health care is now available in northwestern Minnesota, and today Minnesota Department of Human Services Assistant Commissioner Claire Wilson toured the clinic, met with staff and community leaders and got to see first-hand how Northwestern Mental Health Center is breaking new ground.

As of July 1, Northwestern Mental Health Center, which serves Kittson, Marshall, Red Lake, Polk, Norman and Mahnomen counties, is designated as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC).  CCBHCs are a new pilot program that not only brings together chemical and mental health care, but coordinates a person’s total health and social service needs, including physical health care. In short, CCBHCs serve as a “one-stop-shop” for both adults and children who have trouble otherwise getting the help they need. The two-year demonstration project is funded until July 2019. “We have to put the needs of people first,” said Wilson, who oversees chemical and mental health services for the state. “By offering a wide range of services, Northwestern Mental Health Center is doing just that. Whenever I travel around the state, I just feel such enormous gratitude for the deep commitment to the work, and for the issues that we’re discussing today about improvements that need to be made to the system. That’s being articulated by the people today who are doing their best to administer a system that has, for a long time, been siloed and fractured, and they feel the pressure of that. The CCBHCs are just one example of the way we’re trying to correct that. It has really been because of the intelligence of the people who are administering the programs and services, and their guidance that we need to integrate and coordinate this care in a different way.”

Minnesota is one of eight states selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to pilot this new model. Locations are in both rural and urban communities from the northwest to the southeast of the state. For Northwestern Mental Health Center, becoming a CCBHC was a natural extension of its already wide range of services. Shauna Reitmeier, CEO of Northwestern Mental Health Center explained, "NWMHC is one of six agencies demonstrating a federal pilot project called Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. We went live in July, and it’s really intended to be a One Stop Shop for a complicated array of integrated services. If someone has co-occurring mental health substance use needs, they’ll be able to get what they need here. If they have primary care needs, like diabetes along with depression, we’ll be able to coordinate their care with their primary care physician. We’re able to provide rapid access into treatment, so if someone needs immediate care due to a crisis, our Mobile Crisis team can respond within a matter of hours. And if someone has a routine need, we need to be able to get people in within 10 days. So we’re ramping our staffing up, we’re making sure we’re as integrated and coordinated as we can be. It’s a really exciting project, not only from a service delivery, it’s also a new way that we get reimbursed for our services.”

As a CCBHC, Northwestern Mental Health Center is able to provide a wide range of services and, by extension, make sure people are getting the right care at the right time. People who use CCBHCs may receive:
·  Outpatient mental health and substance use services
·  Primary care screening and monitoring
·  Behavioral health screening, assessment and diagnosis, including risk management
·  Psychiatric rehabilitation services
·  Crisis mental health services, including 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention services and crisis stabilization
·  Patient-centered treatment planning
·  Targeted case management
·  Peer and family support
·  Services for members of the armed forces and veterans
·  Connections with other providers.

To access services at a CCBHC, a person can contact the clinic directly or talk to their service provider.  “We are appreciative that Northwestern Mental Health Center stepped up to take on this pilot program,” Wilson added. “Northwestern Mental Health Center was chosen because we knew they had both the ability and desire to lead the way in this important new way of offering services. The potential for the impact of this new model for delivering services is really huge, and what I heard today from the providers is that they are already seeing an increase in clients, and people who are really, desperately seeking this level of care and coordination. I hear the impact that we really making sure that we’re providing substance use disorder service, mental health services, primary care services in a coordinated way, really positively impacts the community. I’m also hearing that we have a long way to go, in terms of investments in community mental health services, and our systems work to provide wrap-around services for individuals, and that we still need to build up our capacity on the “deep end;” we still need more beds and more providers willing to provide intensive treatment services. And that we, as a state, need to focus early on in people’s experience and make sure that we’re addressing trauma, and prevention, early intervention and just really infusing a recovery model into every piece of the continuum.”





The Crookston Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors recently made trips to several businesses to congratulate them on various milestones.  The visits are pictured below-

Crookston Building & Rent It Center – Welcome New Ownership

Patty Hajostek, Garret Kollin, Ryan Palm, Jared Cameron (New Owner), Dan Erdman, Justin Cameron (New owner), Christopher Christian, Jo Bittner, Aaron Meyer, Carrie Michalski, and Shirley Iverson

Raki Lifestyle – 1st Dollar of Profit

Kay Whaller, Judy Kerr, Danielle Carlson (Raki Lifestyle), Amanda Lien, and Shirley Iverson.

Minakwa Country Club – Remodel & New Menu

Judy Kerr, Kay Whaller, (Jasmine Leach, Jessica Ross, Tina Leach, Joslynn Leach all of Minakwa), Shirley Iverson, & Amanda Lien.





Carly Hansen, CCC-SLP, is doing just that at RiverView Clinic East Grand Forks with recent training she’s completed to help children with dyslexia. Hansen is now trained in the Institute of Multi-Sensory Education’s Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach which provides a unique type of instruction to help children with dyslexia learn and improve reading and writing skills. The approach incorporates phonological awareness activities, phonics, promotes vocabulary development, improves fluency, and uses reading comprehension strategies. The OG approach teaches children using three main sensory pathways: sight, sound, and movement. Using these sensory pathways allows the learning process to be active rather than passive. The approach allows for the program to be unique to each child’s needs. Hansen says patients often struggle with finding motivation for working on reading and writing, but she has already seen increased motivation since incorporating the OG approach. “It’s great to see that the tools I am using in therapy are not only helpful, but something that my patients look forward to within the sessions,’’ she shared. “I feel that this training is something I can use with every patient whether they are just learning to read or simply refining their skills.’’ The OG approach encourages outside-the-box ideas to make each session different and fun for each individual, Hansen reported. Sessions may include writing letters in colored sand, using flashcards, tapping along to each sound in a word, drawing, singing, listening to a story or a variety of other fun activities. “Using this approach has been motivating for my patients not only because it’s fun to use, but the patients are seeing their own success within each session,’’ Hansen concluded. Hansen is part of a comprehensive therapy team that also offers occupational and physical therapy at RiverView’s Rehab Services Department in EGF. She also sees patients in Crookston and Red Lake Falls. For more information on the OG approach or any other services offered in East Grand Forks, please call 218-773-1390.




FRIDAY - AUGUST 11, 2017


Ticket sales for the 2017 Miss Crookston Scholarship Pageant will go on sale on Wednesday, August 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Crookston High School Commons, and will also be available at the door the night of the pageant.  Six girls will compete for the title of Miss Crookston 2017.  Katelyn Wagner, Karlie Brekken, Aleece Durbin, Kate MacGregor, Merran Dingmann, and Amy Follette.  The six will appear on KROX's Valley Talk program at 10:40 a.m. on Tuesday, August 15.  The six contestants are pictured and listed below - 

Karlie Brekken, Katelyn Wagner, Kate MacGregor, Aleece Durbin, Merran Dingmann, and Amy Follette

Contestant Parents Talent Sponsor
Katelyn Wagner Daryl and Laurie Wagner Dance RiverView Health
Karlie Brekken Robin and Karen Brekken Piano Reese Electric
Aleece Durbin Scott and Kim Durbin Tap Dance Regional Sanitation
Kate MacGregor Scott and Kris MacGregor Painting MacGregor Storage
Merran Dingmann Brian and Melissa Dingman Violin/Dance Crookston Eye Clinic
Amy Follette Brian and Julie Follette Science Experiment RBJ's Restaurant





The Minnesota Department of Education has released the Standardized Test scores for the required testing done every spring in Minnesota schools. We spoke with Crookston High School Principal, Eric Bubna, who said that the test scores measure math and science skills, and English and reading skills. This year’s scores indicate some grade levels and areas where CHS is strong, as well as areas that can be improved upon. “I’d say that the same as every year, there are some things that we’re proud of, and some things that we say hey, we need to get a little better at that," he said. "Our seventh graders this year probably got the best test scores that we’ve seen in our seventh grade for a number of years. They are above the state average in both math and reading, so that was a high point for us. We put some emphasis on having a little better middle school experience for the kids coming through last year, but this group has tested well as they came up through Highland, as well, so we’re definitely beneficiaries of that. I’m glad to see some of that work pay off, and hopefully that will continue with that grade.”
Bubna explained that high school science scores continue to be good at the high school. “Our science scores continue to be pretty good – especially at the high school level. We’re just a little below the state average this year, but you never want to get too excited about one year, or get too down on one year. What has been nice about the science scores is that in previous years we were probably 10-15 points below the state average, but over the past five years we have been above by about six points, or maybe below by three to five points. That’s a trend line that has really improved; we’ve gone from being consistently below in science, to being right at or slightly above the state average, so that’s been a good thing.”

Bubna said some curriculum changes are in the works to try to raise the test scores in some of the challenge areas. “Our eighth grade reading and math obviously didn’t come back the way we wanted it to, and 10th grade as well, in the reading. One of the things we’re looking at in our English department is that, generally speaking, the students do very well in English. They like the teachers, and we have a high engagement rate. We’re looking at trying to align our curriculum a little better to what’s on some of those tests, and lining that up with the Common Core standards a little bit better than we currently do. So we’ve got a little bit of work cut out for us in some of these areas, but we’ve got some things to be proud of, as well. And we’ll keep plugging away.”




The Crookston Rotary will be having their Rotary Radio Day on KROX AM/FM this Saturday, August 12 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Rotary members have gone to local businesses and they have provided ads and donated money to the Rotary to have the ads read over KROX. The Rotary members will be reading the commercials and informing the KROX listening audience of the many different club activities, social events and volunteer projects the Rotary is involved with throughout the year locally and the world. So be listening Saturday from 9:00 to noon to find out more about the Crookston Rotary.




Bob O'Halloran, Store Manager at Hugo's in Crookston, presented a check for $934.00 to CHS Choir Instructor Belinda Fjeld, and Band Instructor Matt Torgerson, for use in the CHS Music Department. Hugo's customers donated $467.00 to the CHS Music Department, which Hugo's matches every year.

Belinda Fjeld, Matt Torgerson accept the check from Bob O'Halloran and Hugo's





Almost $5 million dollars is now available to support landowners in meeting the requirements of Minnesota’s buffer law.  The buffer cost-share program funds were approved at the June meeting of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). These Clean Water Funds, passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Dayton at the end of the 2017 legislative session, provide important support to the Governor’s Buffer Initiative. The funds will be distributed to soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) and are to be used for cost-sharing contracts with landowners or their authorized agents to implement riparian buffers or alternative practices on public waters and public drainage ditches.
The 2017 legislation also recognizes that some landowners may have hardships (such as weather) in meeting the public waters deadline.  The added language allows for an eight-month extension for implementation when a landowner or authorized agent has filed a riparian protection “compliance plan” with their local SWCD by November 1, 2017.  Compliance waivers offer a buffer deadline extension until July 1, 2018.  The state buffer law requires a buffer on public waters by November 1, 2017 and a buffer on public drainage ditches by November 1, 2018.  
For more information on the buffer law, including the cost-share program, contact West Polk Soil and Water Conservation District 218-281-6070 ext 4 or visit the BWSR webpage at   







This fall, 6,100 four-year-olds will be attending free, school-based pre-Kindergarten programs across Minnesota, thanks to funding secured by Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature since 2016. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released a list of 59 school districts and charter schools that will receive new pre-K funding this year – programs that have significantly expanded access to high-quality early learning opportunities across the state. The Crookston School District is receiving over $275,000 to use for Pre-K and school readiness funding. Washington Elementary School Principal, Denice Oliver said that the School Readiness Plus grant the school district recently received means that they can expand their Pre-K sections from four to six, "It will allow us to use our School Readiness money to open up a section to three year olds. That’s something we’ve never been able to offer before, so we’re excited to be able to offer the three year old program, and then offer more slots for four year olds in our  four year old program, through the School Readiness Plus money we received. We’re very excited about it."
The “mixed delivery system” that the School District already had in place, put Crookston Public Schools in a good position to be awarded the grant money. "The Commissioner of Education is really trying to push schools to do what is called a ‘mixed delivery system,’ which means that you are utilizing other people in your community to help you serve these four year olds," Oliver explained. "We do have a partnership with Head Start, already. We had about 28 students last year who went to Head Start in the morning, and then came to School Readiness in the afternoon. That allowed some of our half-day program students to participate in a full-day program. If your child goes to Head Start as a four year old, there were 12 on the list who weren’t signed up for School Readiness yet, who have the opportunity for a full-day program.”
Oliver stressed the importance of enrolling kids in Pre-K enrichment programs. "All of this grant money is truly giving families an opportunity to get their four year olds into programs to help them get ready for Kindergarten," said Oliver. "I really think that Pre-K school readiness is the new Kindergarten, because what kids are learning in Kindergarten now, they used to learn in first grade. All of those skills have become more rigorous, expectations for children are higher, and you know, they truly are ready for all that learning. They’re just like little sponges, and we’re just excited for them to show up in the fall.”

Before and After School Care Program
In a separate non-grant related project, the school district will start a free before and after school care program. Starting today (Thursday), the school district is launching the new School Age Care Program, a free before and after school care program that will serve four year olds (who come to school in the afternoon) through sixth graders. The program will start at 6:45 a.m. and will run after school until 5:30 p.m.   Oliver said the before-and-after school programs can help relieve stress for working families. "Parents can drop their children off at either Highland or Washington School (whichever school your child attends.) That’s designed for working families. If you have to be to work at 7:00 a.m., dropping your child off at 6:45 is a great thing," said Oliver. "You know they’re at school, you don’t have to worry about them for the rest of the day. And then after school programming runs until 5:30 p.m., so when parents get off work, they pick up their children from school, and don’t have to worry about where they are. Part of what’s wonderful about this program is that kids will be reading, and doing homework, and that relieves stress at home at night. It can also help with the cost of childcare, and the shortage of childcare openings in our community. We’re hopeful that this will help with those situations that families are in, and provide a service that will help them."
As part of the after school program, the kids will do homework, they will have learning activities, games, and have 4H activities to name a few of the things they will be doing after school as part of the program.  For more information contact Denice Oliver at Washington School.





Bill Anderson, Crookston Market President, American Federal Bank, has graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado (GSBC), a three-summer banking scho
ol which provides management and leadership training for community-banking professionals.  
Anderson was among 176 graduates of the 67th Annual School Session, hosted July 16-28 on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder. A degree in banking is widely recognized by the banking industry at large, and is a mark of advanced education.   Graduates receive a diploma after successfully completing six weeks of graduate-level classroom training staged over three two-week summer sessions on campus. Classroom coursework focuses on general management and technology, lending, leadership, and financial management in banks; intersession research projects and participation in a bank-management simulation course designed to provide students with experience managing a bank. Requirements for graduation include passing grades in all coursework, intersession research projects and comprehensive examinations.
Anderson has 28 years of experience in agriculture and banking.  He joined American Federal in 2003 as an Ag and Business Banker at the Bank’s Hallock Sales Office.  In 2011, he transferred to the Crookston Sales Office and was named Market President in 2012.  
Anderson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Crookston, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agricultural Industries Sales and Management. He is active on several community boards, including the Polk County Developmental Achievement Center, Otter Tail Community Board and the UMC Ag Education Advisory Board. Anderson and his spouse, Holly, who is a Marketing Specialist at Riverview Health in Crookston, were named the 2012 Polk County Emerging Leaders.  The Andersons have two sons, Jack and Thomas.  




Officers of the Grand Forks Police Dept. responded to St. Anne’s Guest Home in reference to a vulnerable adult male who had walked away from the facility.  Terrance Brenna was last seen at the facility at approximately 9:00 pm on 08-09-2017.  Terrance is described as a white male, 73 years of age, 160 lbs, 5’08” tall, with blue eyes, and brown hair.  Terrance was last seen wearing a red sports coat and blue jeans.  Terrance walks with the assistance of a cane.  The Grand Forks Police Dept. is asking the public for their help in locating Terrance. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Terrance please contact the Grand Forks Police Department at 701-787-8000.  The Grand Forks Police Department would like to thank the public for their assistance in this matter. 
There is no picture of Terrance available at this time.

Update – August 10, 2017 9:15 am

Terrance Brenna has been located in Grand Forks this morning.  The Grand Forks Police Department thanks the public for their assistance in this investigation. 



The Crookston Airport Commission met Monday morning to discuss changing over the heating system at the airport, and at the Airport Manager’s residence, from propane to natural gas. City Finance Director Angel Weasner explained that "The Community Cooperative Development company out of Lake Park, MN had contacted the airport, along with several residents in the vicinity, about hooking up a new line to provide natural gas to their homes and to the airport. Since one of the Airport Commission member lives near the airport, it was brought to his attention. He wanted more information, so in the last few months it has been reviewed, and discussed whether it would be a good option, as opposed to the propane we are currently using, to switch over to natural gas as a heat source. We’ve had several meetings, and found that the average use of propane at the airport is 8,000 gallons. If we switch to natural gas, with a 10-year contract, there is no cost to the City to put the line in all the way up to the airport. The only cost the City will incur is the usage over the 10 year period, and to switch out the fixtures on the heat sources we currently have, and to run a small additional line from the airport arrival/departure building to the airport manager’s house. That cost is expected to be approximately $5,000 to $5,500. There is a variation in cost per therm, or cost per gallon of nearly 30 cents, with natural gas being cheaper. We thought it would be more cost beneficial to make the switch to natural gas.”
Weasner said that the company has also offered to extend the natural gas line to the residents who live across the highway from the airport ."They will have an opportunity to get onto the line also. It doesn’t affect the airport in any way, but it gives them the opportunity. The company has a line about a mile and a half north of the airport already, so they would just be bringing a new junction down to the residents and the airport along highway 75.”

In other business, the Commission also discussed progress being made on the airport fuel tank expansion project, which is currently underway. "The fuel system is being expanded this year," said Weasner. "The FAA, State of Minnesota, and City of Crookston have all agreed to a cost sharing. By expanding the fuel system, we won’t have to have our tanker truck run up to the airport as often, because we do have a steady flow of customers who fuel up at our airport. This will give us a little more room, and we might even be able to get some cost savings, because we will have a bigger tank." The project was recapped at the meeting, because everything has already been approved, and the FAA and State have already awarded the grant to Crookston. The City Council will approve the final documentation next Monday night, and the project finalization will be in 2018.






The Red River Valley and the region are seeing signs of another above-normal sugar beet yield, and the growers and factories are gearing up for it.  During pre-pile, about 10 percent of the crop is harvested to allow factories to begin processing with full-scale harvest scheduled for later in the fall. American Crystal Sugar Co. of Moorhead, expects to start pre-pile harvest on August 15, with full-scale harvest starting October 1. This is the second earliest pre-pile in the history of American Crystal Sugar. Shareholders planted 398,000 acres, which is about the same as 2016. The company is projecting a yield of 27 tons per acre, which makes for about 10.75 million tons. The 2016 sugar beet crop was green well into fall, but this year, dry conditions have contributed to an early yellowing of beets. Early tests indicate higher-than usual sugar content.
Growers will also be evaluating the co-op’s investments in things like "scoop doors" on the piling station apparatus in some of the factory yards, which it is hoped will improve safety and efficiency. The doors are provided with a sensor that allows the driver to stop, dump and move, eliminating a lot of backing up and repositioning. The scoop doors are an engineering retrofit for some of the piling machines that have been in service for more than 50 years.

Sugar beet samples are taken from area fields to determine anticipated yield and sugar content





If you’re looking for some healthy competition during Crookston’s 2017 Ox Cart Days festivities, RiverView Health is offering two fun-filled nights of activity with the fourth Annual Ox Cart Days Dodgeball Tournament (15 and under) Wednesday, August 16 and the 20th Annual Bed Races Thursday, August 17.

Dodgeball Tournament
RiverView’s Dodgeball Tournament will be held at 5:00 p.m. at UMC’s Wellness Center. The RiverView event is for participants 15 and under. Each team is required to have six players. The entry fee for each team is $40. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams.

Bed Races
If racing a hospital bed down Ash Street is more your style, register your team of four now for the Thursday, August 17 bed races. The downtown races will be held at 6:30 pm. The races will be run much like the previous years’ events, with heats of two beds running against each other, and the winner moving on to the next heat of the race. The course will be about two-blocks long, one block down, turn around, and one block back Entries must be there by 6:00 pm to check-in and be assigned a heat. Beds will be provided by RiverView Health. Participants must be at least 16 years of age and have their parent’s permission/signature to participate. There is no fee for participation. The winning team will receive the traveling trophy for display for the next year.

The registration deadline for both events is by Monday, August 14. To register for either event, go to and find the registration forms and rules under Schedule of Events. For more information, call RiverView Health at 218-281-9745.





Crookston Community Theater will present the comedy,  “Jake’s Women” by Neil Simon, on October 27, 28, 29 and 30. Open auditions for the women’s roles were held July 25 and 26. The cast will be:

Karen—Lynne Mullins
Maggie—Beth Carlson
Edith—Sue Meyer
Sheila—Cindy Fahser
Julie—Laura Bennett
Young Molly—Charlotte Whiting
Older Molly—Jessica Willits/Victoria Proulx

The role of Jake will be played by Anders Berggren. “Jake’s Women” will be produced through special arrangements with Samuel French, Inc. and will be directed by Joyce Johnson. Crookston Community Theater and the director thank everyone who came to audition and did such a nice job.





The Compassionate Friends (TCF) of North Star MN is joining with other chapters across the country this summer, in a “Walk to Remember” their children, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, and other family members who have died. We are joining with bereaved families and friends, walking in unity in numerous states across the country to remember all children who died too soon, no matter their age or cause of death.  The North Star MN Chapter Walk will be held August 20th at the Sportsman’s Park thin Red Lake Falls.  Attendees are invited to bring a picture of their loved one to display and a thoughtful message to send with their balloon.  They should arrive by 5:00 PM, as the short walk will begin at5:15 to where the balloons will be released.  Following the walk, participants will be provided a free picnic lunch. Everyone is invited to join with family and friends who care that an important person is missing from our lives. As the world’s largest self-help bereavement organization, The Compassionate Friends offers friendship, understanding, and hope to families that have experienced the death of a child at any age from any cause. There are more than 650 chapters in the United States, with a presence in at least 30 countries worldwide. For more information about the national organization as well as the Compassionate Friends of North Star MN, visit TCF’s national website You may also contact Mary Jo Schmitz, at 218-253-4160 or Kathy Stich at 218-253-2272 to learn more.





Entrepreneurs and small business owners can receive valuable assistance through an opportunity offered by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES) at the University of Minnesota Crookston. CRES is seeking regional entrepreneurs and small business owners interested working with UMC students on a class project for their business. Potential projects may include, but are not limited to, marketing and management strategies, business plans, assistance with accounting software, marketing research, competitive analysis, social media marketing, and other projects identified by the client.  All projects are completed by U of M Crookston students under the guidance of qualified faculty at no cost

Each semester, both spring and fall, CRES integrates projects into courses offered on campus. These projects become an integral part of the course curriculum and are designed to benefit small business owners and entrepreneurs while providing students with real-world business experiences. Applications for the program are accepted anytime; however, priority is given to applications received prior to the due dates. The 2017 fall semester application deadline is Monday, August 14, 2017

Interested individuals and business can fill out a short application form at  All applications are screened by CRES, and the projects that best fit the mission of CRES and enhance the learner outcomes for the course will be contacted for a follow-up meeting to determine guidelines, client expectations, and to review other relevant information regarding participation. For more information about the opportunity, contact Rachel Lundbohm, director of CRES at 218-281-8190 ( or visit the CRES Web site at The CRES office is located in Dowell Hall 117 on the Crookston campus.



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