MONDAY - MARCH 19,  2018


A theater production of the courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men will take place in March in Kiehle Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Crookston. A co-production of the Crookston Community Theatre in conjunction with the UMC Music and Theater Department, performances begin on Thursday, March 22 at 12:15 p.m. followed by performances on Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $12.00 at the door or one Crookston Community Theatre season’s ticket per person.  UMC students are free with their student ID.  By special arrangement, high school students may attend Thursday’s afternoon performance for $1.  Parking is recommended in Lot G and no parking permits are required.
This production is unique, combining the artistic talents of the Crookston Community Theatre and students, faculty, and staff at the U of M Crookston—the first collaboration by the two since 2005.
Cast members include community member Andy Pokel and UMC students Mathias Braun, a sophomore from Grey Eagle; Chris Schmiesing, a senior from Sauk Centre; Austin Holweger a freshman from Mahtomedi; Harsha Praveen from Plymouth; Harrison Waylee from Abidjan, West Africa; Steven Gonzalez, a senior from North Hills, Calif.; and Navjot Singh, a senior from Gurdaspur, India.
Alumni in the cast include UMC alumnus and admissions staff member Mark Belanger 2008 and Northwest School of Agriculture alumnus Allan Dragseth 1957.
Faculty members in the cast include Assistant Professor Scott Leckie from the Business Department and Professor Lyle Westrom and Lecturer Ranjit Riar from the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.
Alumnus Ken Mendez 2011 co- directs with Colleen MacRae from the Crookston Community Theatre. Associate Professor George French from the Music and Theater Department along with Lauren Wallace, a freshman from Bloomington, have been assisting with all aspects of the production.
The play, adapted by Sherman L. Sergel, is based on the Emmy award-winning television movie by Reginald Rose. The story’s focus is centered on Juror Eight, played by Andy Pokel, who is the only holdout in an 11 to 1 guilty vote. Juror Eight is determined to get the other 11 jurors to look at the situation in a way that forces them to move beyond their personal biases and in the process show America at its best and worst. Produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Chicago.

 The 12 Angry Men cast will perform March 22-24 at Kiehle Auditorium





The Crookston Early Childhood Initiative has named Loren “Punky” Johnson and Craig Larson, as Champions for Young Children for the positive impact their community contributions have had on young children and their families in our community! 
The Early Childhood Initiative started a project called the “Little House of Books” in the summer of 2015.  They are free standing libraries with a “take a book, leave a book” philosophy to encourage reading and being read to with children and their families.  These efforts would not have been possible without the contributions of Craig Larson and Punky Johnson.  Punky and Craig both shared their time and talents to construct each of the four uniquely created “Little House of Books” located throughout town.  The ECI and the families of Crookston want to thank them for playing their role to provide an opportunity for more books to get into the hands of the children in our community. 
Both Loren “Punky” Johnson and Craig Larson extend their passion for children and their community in numerous other ways.  Punky encourages kids to get out and active through his membership on the Kids at Castle Committee and through his volunteering on the Friends of Rydell and Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuges.  He is always putting time in behind the scenes to enhance the experiences of those who visit these spaces.  Punky also educates the youth through taking part in the Park and Rec “Take a Kid Fishing Day”.
Craig Larson is always willing to share his skills and talents to enhance any community effort.  His craftsmanship has been on display in the décor at numerous “Gala for Girls” events (Parents Helping Parents).  His original sign creation can be seen at our community Splash Park.  Craig has also volunteered his time at Kids at Castle events and has shared his passion and knowledge on the board for Crookston Youth Basketball Association (CYBA) for numerous years. 
The Crookston ECI is pleased to recognize these Champions for Young Children Awards to individuals, organizations, and businesses that help to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for our young children, ages birth through five.  If you would like to learn more about current projects of the Initiative or be involved visit us on Facebook.
   If you would like to visit our “Little House of Books” that Punky and Craig have created, you can find them at the following locations:  Castle Park, Crookston Sports Center (CSC), Evergreen Park and Landslide Park.

Leah Olson, Punky Johnson, Craig Larson, Tammy Thommason, and Gina Gunderson





The Crookston Pirate Competitive Speech Team has been very busy this month. On Saturday, March 3 the team held a workshop at the high school, where they worked on team building, honing skills, and creating team spirit by making locker posters.
The senior Duo of Zach Sanders and Merran Dingmann participated in the Chuck Beckman Memorial Speech Tournament in Walker and won the second place medal in their category. They were able to attend thanks to the Fisher Speech Team who provided transportation.

Crookston traveled to the Detroit Lakes meet on March 10.  Merran Dingmann and Zach Sanders won the  second place medal in Duo and the Duo of Emily Gillette and Katherine Geist won a red ribbon; this pair was also double entered in the Drama Category where Emily Gillette won a 5th Place medal and Katherine Geist won a blue ribbon. In Humor, Victoria Proulx earned a fifth place medal and Linnea French received a red ribbon. Ben Brantner received a blue ribbon in Creative. Also participating in the tournament were Bailey Bradford, Georgie French, Sophia Rezac, and Samantha Rezac.

On March 17, Crookston traveled to the Fosston-Bagley Meet and brought home five medals and three ribbons. The Duo of Dingmann and Sanders won the first place medal in their category, Muira MacRae received the thirrd place medal in Discussion, Samantha Rezac was a first time medal winner with a third place in Storytelling. The double entered Victoria Proulx won a fourth place medal in Storytelling and won a fifth place medal in Humor. Also in Humor, Zara Baig won a blue ribbon, and Linnea French and Georgie French each won red ribbons. Also participating in the meet were Bailey Bradford, Ben Brantner, Evan Christensen, Emma Sherman, and Sophia Rezac.




SATURDAY - MARCH 17,  2018


KC Pro West Racing for Kids will be in Central Park today (March 17) and Sunday, March 18 – plan to come on out and cheer on the kids in two exciting days of snowmobile racing. “KC Pro West started back in the ‘80’s with Arctic Cat Kitty Kats," explained KC Pro West Racing’s President, Tony Wensloff. 'Now we have Arctic Cats, Ski-Doos, Polaris 120s, modified stuff, Arctic Cat 200s, and recently, a transition class, where kids ages 8-13 are riding 500s and 600s snowmobiles. It’s a good learning curve for the older kids – getting them prepared to move on to different series and different circuits.”
Wensloff said that the racers range in age from 4 years old up to 13 years old, and that the races involve 60-70 kids racing every weekend. “This year we have about 50 different families, and the kids range in age from 4-13. 60-70 kids race every weekend. It’s a busy weekend for families with kids in a couple different classes. We raced at 7 towns in northwestern Minnesota this year. It’s nice for us being able to stay so close.”
He said the race course in Central Park will be set up as a snow cross/cross country race, and should provide some exciting entertainment. “We’ll have anything ranging from 4 year olds going 6-8 miles per hour, up to the 13 year olds with their big sleds. It’s exciting to me – I’m passionate about the sport, and the kids out there racing. This weekend’s race will be a snow cross/cross country race. How this came about is that Casey Brault contacted the Pro West Board, and we decided that we weren’t done racing yet this year, so we made the arrangements, and it’s exciting to have Crookston welcome us this weekend."
Wensloff explained that the racers will not earn points this weekend, saying, “This weekend will be a “fun” race, so hopefully we’ll all have a lot of fun. The top 12 racers will get a nice plaque for competing. 8 kids make the finals. It’s all head-to-head racing in heats of 5 or 6. We have 11 different classes from beginners all the way up to Champlin 20s and Champ 206s, which are belt-drive, fully-modified snowmobiles. Those kids really move – it’s fun to watch.”
Hotlaps start at 9:00 a.m., with a Drivers Meeting at 9:45 a.m., and Flag Drop at 10:00 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free, so come out and watch a fun weekend of racing!




FRIDAY - MARCH 16,  2018


The Crookston Police Department responded to Central Park at approximately 5:35 PM on Thursday to assist the Crookston Area Ambulance on a report of a collision involving two snowmobiles. While preparing the race track for this weekend’s races two snowmobiles collided; injuring two juveniles. Both juveniles were transported to the RiverView Hospital Emergency Room. The extent of any injuries is presently unknown. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and MN State Patrol also responded and assisted with this incident.




The Crookston Gun Show, a long-standing spring tradition in Crookston, is right around the corner. The Show will be set up at the Crookston Armory this weekend, Saturday, March 17 from 9am-5pm, and again on Sunday, March 18 from 9am-3:30pm.

Dan Radi, owner of Radi’s Sports here in Crookston, has hosted the gun show for years and said they will have more than guns,"We'll have sporting goods, guns and ammo, fishing tackle, coins, gun cleaning and maintenance kits, and gun parts all available. Pheasants Forever, Wild Turkey Federation, Girl Scouts, Crookston Gun Club will also have tables set up to sell raffle tickets.”

Radi emphasized that background checks on individuals interested in purchasing long guns or hand guns at the Gun Show are always done according to all federal, state and local regulations. “If you want to sell or trade your gun, it has to be unloaded, and we inspect it at the door before you can take it into the show. We use the national instant background check, which is the same for gun shops or gun shows," said Radi.  "You fill out a 4474 form and that information is called in to the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). They usually approve people right away, but sometimes it might take a day or two to be approved. In that case, the person has to wait and pick the gun up from a dealer. Buyers have to be 18 years old to buy a long gun, and 21 years old to buy a handgun. Handguns require a carry permit or a purchase permit you get from the local police or sheriff’s department. Everything is done by the book."
The event also includes a food vendor, who has both “walk around” food, like pulled pork sandwiches or hotdogs and chips available, along with more traditional “sit-down” fare, like turkey and gravy – and various sweets, of course.
Admission to the Gun Show is $5 for adults. Children under 12 are free, when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Dan Radi can be reached at 218-280-6655 for any questions.





Two majors and a minor have been added to the portfolio of academic offerings at the University of Minnesota Crookston. A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Agricultural Communication along with an online B.S. in English, and an English minor online, were approved at the February 2018 meeting of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, the University system's governing body.

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communication
A Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communication prepares students to be effective communicators in agribusinesses, commodity groups, agricultural advocacy agencies, and agricultural communication organizations. The program blends agriculture, communication, and liberal education courses that prepare students for a wide variety of career choices.
The communication major, offered since 2005 at the University of Minnesota Crookston, prepares students to be communication professionals. The program emphasizes communication theory and practice in the creation, presentation, and evaluation of coherent messages.
For students interested in combining communication with agriculture, the new Agricultural Communication degree offers students the ability to blend the two majors in a truly interdisciplinary degree and gives them the opportunity to explore career possibilities in both areas. To learn more about Agricultural Communication, visit

Bachelor of Science in English online, English minor
English is among the most popular degrees in the nation, and English graduates have created careers in diverse areas. A major in English offered on campus since early 2015 will now be offered online giving students greater flexibility. An English minor online will also be offered on campus and available online. The B.S. in English prepares students to succeed in professional organizations in a myriad of fields. Concepts learned and skills developed through the English major will be advantageous in a wide range of employment situations as well as prepare students for graduate study. The minor in English prepares students to succeed in professional organizations and myriad fields by offering students skills that will supplement their chosen majors.
English major and English minor graduates gain an understanding and appreciation of the English language, develop critical thinking and theoretical application skills through the study and critique of literature, and gain insight into the importance of diversity. Students majoring and minoring in English take writing-intensive courses and work on skills unique to the humanities. To learn more about the English major, visit





Highland School fourth graders are on a field trip to St. Paul to visit the State Capitol, Como Zoo, and the Minnesota Science Museum (where they slept over night).
There were several highlights of the first day of the trip when they were at the Capitol and saw Miss Minnesota 2018 Kalie Wright.  They also took a picture with area politicians, State Representative Deb Kiel and State Senator Mark Johnson.  Some pictures from the trip are below-

The fourth graders and teachers take a picture with Deb Kiel and Mark Johnson

The fourth graders, teachers and chaperones take a group picture on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol building

The students in front of the State Capitol and Miss Minnesota Kalie Wright signing autographs

The girls were all smiles while taking a picture with Miss Minnesota

Little Miss Crookston




Andy Larson, Executive Director at the NW Regional Corrections Center, explained that one of the largest undertaking at the facility in recent years, a multi-year project involving significant upgrades to the security system, is now nearing completion. The new security system should be fully in place by March 21, which means that visiting hours can resume, with several notable improvements. “Our visiting hours should resume on Wednesday, March 21, assuming everything goes as planned," he said. "With the new system, there will be some changes. With our old system, all visitations had to occur on-site. But with the new system, we still have the capability for on-site visits, but will also be able to offer an alternative “Skype-like” option where you can visit from home using your computer or smartphone. Our visiting hours will change as a result of that: most of our on-site visiting will occur during the day; roughly 8am-4pm, excluding various lock-down hours during the day, when we can’t have visiting occur. Those on-site hours will be strictly weekdays, we won’t be doing any on-site visiting on weekends or after hours anymore.”

“The hours for off-site visitation, because it is so much less staff-intensive, will be expanded. The off-site visiting will be available from around 7:30am to 9:30pm and with those same lock-down periods in there. That will be a really good thing, especially considering we do so much housing for other jurisdictions. Family and friends who want to visit a loved one here will no longer have to make the drive here and back home, they can do it from their home computer.”

Larson said the overall improvement to the security system will also better accommodate many of the professionals who need to be in periodic contact with the inmates.“As our population has grown, we often run into problems with available meeting space, so this way attorneys, probation agents, social services, and so on can meet off-site. Really the options are pretty limitless,” he said.







THURSDAY - MARCH 15,  2018


The Crookston Police Department responded to an accident at 7:08 PM on Wednesday in front of the Holiday Store at 411 North Main Street.
The vehicles and drivers involved were a 2014, white Chevrolet Captiva driven by Gabriel Amon, age 80, of Crookston. And a 2015 white Freightliner tractor trailer combination driven by Jordan Hunter, age 34, of Northfield, MN (the trailer was a refrigerated unit, not fuel).
The Freightliner was travelling south in the far right lane of traffic and attempted to enter the Holiday Store parking lot.
The Captiva was travelling south on Main in the parking lane and collided with the trailer portion of the semi.
There was little to no damage to the trailer and light to moderate damage to the Captiva.
There were no injuries,
The crash is still under investigation.





RiverView Health is pleased to welcome Noah Chelliah, MD, to its medical staff as the medical director of RiverView’s Cardiology and Rhythm Management Services.
Dr. Chelliah is a cardiologist working to diagnose cardiovascular diseases such as congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart rhythm disorders and heart failure.  His Crookston practice will allow patients additional services close to home. Along with cardiology consultation, Dr. Chelliah will perform cardiac procedures including pacemaker implants, cardiac defibrillator implants and Biventricular pacemaker implants. He will work closely with RiverView Internal Medicine Specialists Bosun Fashoro, MD, and Sherine Talaat, MD, PhD.  “Dr. Chelliah is an accomplished cardiologist who brings with him more than 30 years of experience,’’ shared Dr. Fashoro. “He undoubtedly will be a resource to our facility.’’
After completing his medical degree at Christian Medical College, Vellore, South India, Dr. Chelliah completed an Internal Medicine residency in New York City and a Cardiology fellowship in New Jersey. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology.
To make an appointment with Dr. Chelliah, call RiverView’s North Clinic at 218-281-9595.

        Dr. Noah Chelliah





The Minnesota Department of Transportation has released a report with recommendations regarding the agency’s mowing and haying permit process.
MnDOT developed the report, required by the 2017 Minnesota Legislature, with input from a stakeholder group of environmental, agricultural and other interests. In addition, MnDOT held nine listening sessions across the state during the past several months and took public comment via the website, email, regular mail and face-to-face. The information from the public engagement shaped the recommendations that were made available March 1.
“MnDOT is charged with managing and maintaining the roadway right of way,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “We worked closely with Minnesotans from across the state to ensure that we fully understood the wishes and needs of others and how those things could be integrated with the state’s need to care for that land.”
The Legislature outlined specific elements for the recommendations, including:
 Ease of permit application or notification
 Frequency of permits or notification
 Priority given to the owner or occupant of private land adjacent to a state highway right of way
 Determination of authority to mow or hay state highway right of way in which adjacent land belongs to state or local government
 Recognition of differences in the amount of wildlife habitat based on geographic distribution across the state

The cover letter and the full report are available at as well as on the mowing/haying webpage. The cover letter contains MnDOT’s recommendations for changes to the permit process. The full report contains the recommendations as well as the feedback from the public meetings, including suggestions from the stakeholder group for changes in state law. It also details the process used by the stakeholder group to develop the recommendations.
Locations of the mowing/haying listening sessions and stakeholder meeting minutes can be found on the MnDOT mowing website at




Retired Brigadier General Norvell V. Coots, M.D., to Speak AT UMC MARCH 20

As part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, Retired Brigadier General Norvell V. Coots, M.D., will speak on Tuesday, March 20 at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The presentation, sponsored by the Business Department, will take place at 12:15 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. The event is free and all are invited to attend. Parking is recommended in Lot G, and no parking permits will be required.

Retired Brigadier General Norvell V. Coots, M.D., former Commanding General and CEO of Regional Health Command Europe, and Command Surgeon, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, has more than 20 years executive experience in all aspects of healthcare management and medical administration.
Dr. Coots held direct responsibility for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Bavaria Health Command, Dental Command Europe and Public Health Command Europe. He was the point person in maintaining and nurturing partnerships with more than 40 civilian hospitals in Germany, Belgium and Italy.
Previously, Dr. Coots served as Deputy Commanding General (Support) for the Army Medical Command and as Assistant Surgeon General for Force Projection at the Pentagon, and as Surgeon General, United States Forces, Afghanistan. He also previously served as chief executive officer of the Walter Reed Health Care System in Washington, D.C., and the Keller Army Community Hospital in West Point, New York.

Retired Brigadier General Norvell V. Coots, M.D.






About 100 Crookston High School students walked out of class at 10:00 a.m., and gathered on the west side of the school for 17 minutes to honor the deaths of 17 students and staff at the hands of a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14. The walkout was part of the 17 for 17 national walkout that had over 2,000 schools participating.  A roll call of each of the names of those killed in the Florida shooting was read, with the crowd chanting, "We will remember," while some of the students carried posters.



The letter below is a letter to the editor from Crookston School Board member and retired teacher, Dave Davidson.

As a life-long educator, a parent, and as a person who has been intimately involved with Crookston Public Schools since 1973, I'd like to take this opportunity to voice support for the nationwide student walkout, that was held on March 14.  But, not for the reasons you might think.
I've always believed that "teachable moments" can be more important than curricula, tests, paperwork, etc, and that educators need to be able to recognize these moments, and that they need to be flexible enough to make time for them in their classrooms, or on the sidewalk as the case might be.  Not to impose a teacher held political agenda, but to allow for age appropriate discussion, discourse and debate.
Sadly, this was one of those moments.  It's not about a particular course or subject, it's about one of those things on everyone's agenda; citizenship.  In my opinion, students, our children, need to become engaged in their society, learn to have a voice, and learn appropriate methods of expression.  Who best to help them in this process than teachers, staff, administrators, and all of us in the community?
We may not all agree with the politics of the kids in Florida who survived this mass murder, the most recent of many, and who began this nationwide movement, but it seems to me that they tragically provided us all with a nationwide teachable moment.
On a personal and local note, from my view in the CHS parking lot, seventeen minutes for seventeen lives was conducted here in Crookston in an impressive and respectful show of solidarity.  Bravo to all involved.  Keep the discussion going, and remember that these young people are priceless, they're our future.

Dave Davidson







RiverView Health Physical Therapist Lori Hefta recently became certified in Astym Therapy, an effective treatment that regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions. 
Hefta, along with fellow RiverView Physical Therapist Tony Kuchan, offer this non-invasive treatment in Crookston in RiverView’s Rehab Services Department; with her recent certification, Hefta will also offer Astym at RiverView Clinic Red Lake Falls.  “I’m excited to offer Astym to our RiverView patients,’’ shared Hefta, who has been with RiverView for more than ten years. “Astym treatment works to eliminate the cause of your problems, making it possible for your symptoms to resolve.’’
There is a long list of conditions that have been successfully treated with Astym Therapy, including joint and muscle stiffness, sprains and strains, Carpal Tunnel, chronic ankle or wrist pain and stiffness, Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow, low back pain and the list goes on. Astym treatment is often prescribed for patients to treat their condition rather than undergo surgery, injections or other invasive treatments.
The following are all benefits of Astym Therapy when conducted by an Astym-certified therapist:
· Short treatment course: A typical course of treatment lasts only four to six weeks. Most patients typically experience a decrease in pain with an increase in movement within the first three to four treatments.
 You get to stay active: During Astym treatment you are typically encouraged to continue most normal activities.
 It really fixes the problem: Astym treatment doesn’t just treat the symptoms or hide a problem with a temporary solution. Instead, the Astym process stimulates the body to regenerate and remodel tissues. Response rates to Astym Therapy are high and most patients experience improvement.

During this treatment, Hefta conducts a thorough evaluation and follows specific treatment parameters to initiate a regenerative process in the affected soft tissues, including applying mild to moderate topical pressures with Astym instrumentation, and providing a customized program of stretching and exercise.  For more information on Astym Therapy, call the RiverView’s Rehab Services Department at 218-281-9463.




UMC Sophomore Josh Kauck: Connecting Academics and Opportunities to Build for the Future

Unsure about his plans after high school, Josh Kauck considered going right into the workforce. Then, an offer for a scholarship to play football at the University of Minnesota Crookston made him reconsider.  Playing football took him to UMC where he plays defensive line for the Golden Eagles. A chance to help with a robotics camp over the summer may have changed the direction of his future altogether. This semester, Kauck who developed his own curriculum materials, is teaching public school teachers how to teach their students to program robots using EV3, a third generation robotics kit in Lego's Mindstorms line.  “In summer 2017, I ran a three-day robotics camp for kids on campus, and it has served as a stepping stone to opportunities like the one I just finished in Blackduck, teaching teachers robotics,” he says. “I happened to be in Christine Bakke’s office when her phone rang and someone wanted help with their school’s robotics program, and there I was,” he smiles. “It’s been a great opportunity for me.”
Bakke, Kauck’s advisor and mentor, is enthusiastic about her protégés work with both kids and teachers. “Josh doesn’t really need me there at all,” she explains. “He has worked out his own materials based on the needs of the teachers, and he runs with it.” Bakke has been integral in the formation and development of the curriculum and opening opportunities for Kauck, but the teaching is all him.
The sophomore from Coon Rapids, began working in his family’s flower shop when he was 14 years old. The experience taught him the value of hard work and what it means to work together. “Football also reinforced the hard work ethic and keeps me focused,” he says. “These are lessons I carry with me into academics and into my personal life.”
The teachers in Blackduck had some knowledge of robotics, but Kauck helped them get the hands-on experience they needed and further their understanding. By developing their lessons and helping them work through the packet of materials, Kauck was able to help them trouble shoot and answer their questions. He based his lessons on what they needed for their students. The result is a standalone packet students can work through on their own with the guidance of their teachers.
In Blackduck, they have been and will continue to use what they learned to prepare their robotics team to compete as part of FIRST LEGO League, where students must design, build, and program a robot and compete on a table-top playing field.  
Kauck enjoyed programming when he was in high school, which, in turn, influenced his choice of software engineering as a possible major, and later, he added a second major in information technology management. His ambition doesn’t stop there, however. His grandfather, an attorney, has helped Kauck set up his own limited liability company, and he is working on a webpage for the business that includes his abilities as a consultant, website designer, and robotics instructor.   “It seems funny now, but I couldn’t have imagined where education would take me,” he reflects. “I think the size of this campus and the opportunity here helped me focus on what I really want to do."

Josh Kauck (in gray shirt) with teachers in Blackduck.




Crookston Public Library Announces Annual “FRED” Family Literacy Events

Families with small children are encouraged to join the Crookston Public Library for Families Reading Every Day (FRED), an annual series of events that aim to increase family involvement in children’s literacy development. Beginning Tuesday, March 20 at 6:00 p.m., there will be a weekly program for families with children ages two to five, featuring an activity and special Storytime. Families Reading Every Day will continue for three weeks, concluding on Tuesday, April 3. Each child will be given a free book, thanks to the library’s partnership with the Crookston Early Childhood Initiative.
The March meeting of the Spinecrackers Book Club will be held on Tuesday, March 27 at 6:30 p.m., and will feature a discussion of The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom.  All are welcome to join this fun group, which meets monthly to discuss popular books.
Adults are invited to discuss good books with library staff at The Crookston Inn on Tuesday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m., during the next meeting of the Books and Brews Book Club. The selected title for discussion is The Camel Club by David Baldacci. RSVP by calling the library at 218-281-4522. 
The library hosts two regular events for children and their caregivers. Infants and toddlers will love songs stories and action poems at Baby Bounce, which is held alternating Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. The next Baby Bounce will be held Tuesday, February 13. Each Thursday at 10:30 a.m., children can enjoy stories, songs and crafts at Storytime.
The library is seeking the community’s support in raising $25,000 by May 1, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Otto Bremer Trust. The funds will be used to improve the library's facility, furniture and equipment. Donations can be made at the Crookston Public Library, or online at





Crookston High School Seniors taking the Woods class has been working on projects in the class that range from a desk, TV stand and many other projects.  We have some of them below.

              Lucas Andringa with his two-piece desk                                                       Jared Theis with his Vikings woodburned plaque

                                Ben Trostad with his TV cabinet                                Perry Larson and Dylan Haller show their ice fishing house floor

  Ethan Magsam finishing up work on a cabinet for hockey pucks




TUESDAY - MARCH 13,  2018


The Crookston City Council held a regular meeting on Monday night and passed resolutions to approve City of Crookston bills and disbursements in the amount of $230,995.14; and to approve payment Estimate No. 4 - Final for 2016 Crookston Airport Improvements to Knife River Materials in the amount of $5,000. They also passed a resolution to enter into MnDOT Agreement No. 1030612 to provide the use of Old Hwy 75, South Main Street, and South Broadway Street as a detour route during the contract construction; and a resolution authorizing the transfer of funds from the General Fund to the Water Fund and Wastewater Fund.

Public Hearings had been postponed until a future meeting, as the staff is awaiting contract language pertaining to the franchise fees for economic development projects.

Crookston Fire Chief, Tim Froeber, announced that Dan Crane will be retiring from the Fire Department at the end of March, after 23 years serving the City. The Councilmen commended him on his service, and wished him well in his future endeavors.

Crookston Police Chief, Paul Biermaier, informed the Councilmen that the Police Department is currently interviewing a candidate, and if that proves successful, the Department will have their officer hiring completed.





The Crookston Ways & Means Committee met on Monday night and were informed by City Administrator, Shannon Stassen, that the representatives from the Farmers’ Market had requested to delay their presentation to the Councilmen, and reschedule at a later date. A discussion of the City’s Recycling Policy also took place, with several of the Councilmen questioning whether the City’s once a month pickup of recyclables was adequate for residents, or if it needed to be increased. “Some folks indicated that they would like to see recycling done twice a month, which may or may not be a good idea. We just don’t know how feasible it is, but our Public Works Director, Pat Kelly, indicated that he would take a look at the issue over the next several weeks, and come back to the Committee with a recommendation for our discussion at our first meeting in April,” Mayor Wayne Melbye explained.

The Committee also discussed approving a transfer of funds for $6,761.92 from the Municipal Land and Building Trust to the Airport fund to cover the cost of retrofitting equipment at the Crookston Municipal Airport from propane to natural gas. City Finance Director, Angel Weasner, indicated that the fuel project at the airport has been completed now for several months.

The Mayor adjourned the meeting and the Committee entered into a Closed Meeting to discuss the potential sale of property on Hoven Lane. “We just had a discussion about offers on the lots, because several of the Councilmen plan to be out of town over the next few days. If we do get an offer that the realtor brings to us, we wanted to have some agreement on whether or not we could keep things moving. It looks promising, as we have had a few nibbles on the lots,” said Melbye.





The Crookston Area Women’s Chorus will begin rehearsals for the spring season on Tuesday, March 13 at 6:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. All area women singers are invited.
Sandy Perkins, a member of the Crookston Area Women’s Chorus said the group has been performing for about 3 years, and, “We usually perform a couple of times a year. We do a concert around the Christmas holiday time – last year we performed at the Carnegie Library, as part of a benefit. We’ve performed at Trinity Church, the Presbyterian Church, and at the Methodist Church.”
Perkins said that the Women’s Chorus also performs in joint concerts with the Crookston Area Men’s Chorus. While their concerts often include secular music, she said the group is concentrating on lighter, familiar music this spring:
“A lot of times we do a combined concert with the Men’s Chorus, with each of us having a segment of the program, and sometimes combining on a number. Around Christmas time, the music tends to be more of the sacred music, although we sometimes do some of the fun Christmas songs, too. Our spring program is usually pop music. This spring we’re doing a selection of songs from Rogers and Hammerstein.”
The Women’s Chorus is typically made up of 15 to 25 voices, but she said new talent is always welcome: “We try to make it fun, so if anyone knows of someone who would like to get involved, please pass the word along.”
For those women considering joining the Chorus, Perkins said the time commitment to practices and concerts includes breaks over the summer months and from Christmas until the beginning of March.





A creative and determined collaboration of Crookston groups, including the Crookston Farmers Market, Crookston Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Estate Sale Guys, Crookston Classic Cruisers and the Crookston CAN group, have put their heads together and come up with an exciting idea to make the Downtown Square a “mark-it-on-your-calendar” destination every Thursday night beginning in June and continuing until September.
Nell DeBoer, one of the event coordinators, explained, “We’ll combine fresh local produce, flea markets, local home businesses, live entertainment, kids’ games and activities, classic cars, and more, all at one location on the Downtown Square. We’ve talked about guest musicians and artists, bubble stations, trunk sales, petting zoos, cooking nights with special chef guests, water wars, building wood projects, and on and on. The possibilities are really endless.”
Vendors who have committed to the Farmers Market will have a wide variety of food items available throughout the summer, including vegetables, strawberries, jams, pickles, salsa, syrups, eggs, and baked goods, along with homemade crafts, and seasonal décor items.
The group hopes to continue the Crookston’s Marketplace in the off-season, as well, in an indoor space yet to be determined.
While the details are still being worked out, DeBoer said there is still time for any persons interested in being a vendor, or for those who have ideas or suggestions to share, to contact the Crookston’s Marketplace group. “Weekly vendor spots are $10. You can find out more information on the Crookston’s Marketplace Facebook page, or by contacting Jim Borkowski at 289-5454, or myself at 289-3199, or visit the Crookston’s Marketplace Facebook page,” she said.




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