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SATURDAY - DECEMBER 3,  2016

REPRESENTATIVE DEB KIEL LOOKING TO RETURN SURPLUS MONEY TO TAX PAYERS

On Friday, the Office of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released its November Economic Forecast, revealing updated budget numbers that will guide state leaders crafting a budget during the 2017 legislative session. For the current budget cycle, $334 million of this biennium’s balance will automatically go into the state budget reserve, leaving $678 million in surplus for 2016-17, and a $1.4 billion overall surplus heading into Fiscal Years 2018-19.
“While I am pleased our state is celebrating a surplus, Minnesota families aren’t always seeing a surplus in their own budget,” said Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston. “My focus is on returning those funds to the hardworking taxpayers who helped fund our state’s $1.4 billion surplus. Next session, I will advocate for meaningful middle-class tax relief, as well as work to provide relief for folks affected by our state’s health care cost crisis.”
According to MMB, Minnesota has a structural surplus moving forward, with a projected surplus for the 2020-2021 biennium. An updated forecast will be released in February which legislators will use as a final economic outlook to craft our state’s budget.

 

 

FRIDAY - DECEMBER 2,  2016

UMC CHANCELLOR FRED WOOD GIVEN KEY TO THE CITY

During the recent Crookston City Council meeting Mayor Gary Willhite presented Chancellor Fred Wood the "Keys to the City of Crookston" in gratitude for his work on campus and in the community.  The Council was on campus for their meeting on Monday, November 28, 2016, following a tour of the Wellness Center, UCLEAR lab, and Heritage Hall. Support of the community and City Council of Crookston is appreciated and Chancellor Wood has played a key role in community relations. 


UMC Chancellor Fred Wood receives the key from Mayor Gary Willhite

 

 

TOYS FOR TOTS PROGRAM IS BACK FOR ANOTHER YEAR

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

Donations through – November 28, 2016
Crookston Valley Co-op/Proseed                                            $680.00
OtterTail Power Co.                                                                 $100.00
Dennis McDaniels                                                                    $ 20.00
Order of Eastern Star                                                               $ 50.00
American Legion Post No. 20                                                   $ 50.00
Lynn Thoen                                                                               $ 25.00
Crookston Noon Day Lions                                                     $100.00
Sisters In Spirit                                                                         $ 50.00
Fischer, Rust & Stock PLLC                                                  $100.00
Crookston Area Public Employees #1353                              $100.00
Fitzgerald, Reynolds, Harbott, Knutson & Larson PLLP     $100.00

Total this deposit                                                                   $1375.00
Grand Total                                                                           $1375.00
Goal                                                                                       $5,000.00

 


 

UMC HORTICULTURE DEPARTMENT SHOWS OFF ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL POINSETTIA CROP

There were 365 rooted poinsettia cuttings that arrived in August at the University of Minnesota Crookston in anticipation of another holiday season.  Under the skill and coaxing of students involved in the commercial floriculture class, those cuttings develop into a beautiful poinsettia crop.  This year's poinsettias create a beautiful and colorful display with their showy "flowers" known as bracts and include varieties such as Autumn Leaves, Cortez Burgundy, Enduring Pink, Polar Bear, Winter Rose Early Red, Christmas Wish, Christmas Beauty Marble, Euphorbia Luv U Hot Pink, Gold Rush, Orange Spice, and Ruby Frost.
Members of the fall semester class include: Nathan Hvidsten, a senior majoring in horticulture from St. Paul; Heidi Shol, a junior majoring in horticulture from Crookston; MacKenzie Cochran a junior majoring in horticulture from Grand Forks, North Dakota; and Jeffery Ness, a junior majoring in horticulture from Bagley.

In October, students started the process of forcing the plants to induce bract color in time for the holiday season in December. Following a specific procedure to control the light, the students covered the plants with a dark cloth at 4 p.m. and uncovered them at 8 a.m. each day to regulate the length of daylight the plants receive. The students are responsible for greenhouse chores on the weekends as well. Although the class is taught by Rick Abrahamson, the crop is in the hands of the students. The work and production of the poinsettia crop is entirely the responsibility of the class.  Abrahamson says, "our goal is to give the students as much hands-on experience as possible, they make cropping decisions and get to see the results."

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Department offers commercial floriculture as part of the horticulture program to teach students to produce quality plants for a specific date - a skill necessary for employment in a greenhouse or garden center. "The colorful portion of poinsettias are actually modified leaves called bracts.  If you look closely in the center of these bracts you will see the small petal-less flowers.  Poinsettias are short day plants, meaning they initiate flowering when the day length is less than twelve hours.  The length of the day can be manipulated to ensure that the crop blooms at the desired time.  Poinsettias will bloom anytime of the year if given short days.  Our crop was given short days during the first week of October."

Abrahamson often allows problems to develop to see how the students will solve them--something they would have to do in an employment situation and giving them an opportunity to apply what they have learned. The class demands hard work, dedication, and a strong team effort to grow the best poinsettias. Leadership, responsibility and strong problem solving skills are three of the qualities that develop in this type of teaching and learning environment. "Students learn so much more by applying their classroom learning to the real-world experience of growing a crop," Abrahamson explains. "Students are held accountable for the outcome of their decisions making the commercial floriculture class one of their favorite courses and most memorable." The class is excellent training for a career in horticulture, a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S.

To learn more about the horticulture program with emphases in environmental landscaping, production horticulture or urban forestry, visit www.UMCrookston.edu/academics or www.facebook.com/UMChort/.


           Heidi Shol, Nathan Hvidsten, MacKenzie Cochran, and Jeffery Ness  (Picture by UMC)

 

 

 

POLK COUNTY LEGAL SELF HELP CLINIC ESTABLISHED AND READY TO SERVE THE PUBLIC

The Polk County Self-Help Clinic was established on December 1, 2016, as a joint venture between the Polk County Law Library Board and Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota.
The purpose of the clinic is to assist people who are representing themselves with civil court matters in Polk County.  This may include explaining the legal process and options, assisting and reviewing court-approved pro-se forms, or referral to other appropriate resources. District Court Judge Tamara Yon stated, “The self-help clinic will provide guidance to ensure unrepresented individuals have access to the court system.  This joint venture between the Polk County Law Library Board and Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota is intended to increase the accessibility and efficiency of the legal system.” 
The clinic is located in the Polk County Justice Center, Courthouse Law Library, 2nd Floor, 816 Marin Ave., Crookston, MN.  An attorney will be available to provide personalized help, free of charge. The clinic is open the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month from 2:00-4:00 p.m. If necessary, an appointment can be made in advance to meet individualized needs by calling Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota at 1-800-450-8585 or 218-233-8585.

 

 


CROOKSTON DISABLED VETERAN AUXILIARY MEETING NEWS

The Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, Crookston Unit 14, met on Tuesday, November 29, at 12:30 p.m. at the Irishman’s Shanty for a luncheon meeting. Commander Jean LaJesse presided. The secretary’s and treasurer’s report were given by Adjutant Margee Keller. Eight members were in attendance.
Members participated in the American Legion, VFW, and Highland School Veteran’s Day Services. 23 veterans at the RiverView Special Care Unit, The Summit, and the Villa were presented poinsettias by DAVA members Mercy Peterson and Nancy Lanctot for the Christmas holidays. A monetary donation was made to Villa St. Vincent.
Business items included: The annual gathering for the DAV and DAVA will be held on January 15, with more details to follow. Members are reminded to save items for Care Packages for the veteran hospitals. Items can be toothpaste, brushes, hygiene items, socks, and so forth. Members are also reminded to turn in their volunteer hours by February 28th to Commander Jean LaJesse. The next local DAV/DAVA state convention is set for April 27-29, 2017 in Duluth.
The next DAVA meeting is set for March 21, 2017.

 

 

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR FROM ALLAN DRAGSETH

Some background information on me is probably in order. I’m a lifelong resident of the Crookston area having been born in Crookston 77 years ago and now reside in the city. I served on the Riverview Board in the 70’s and moved into Crookston last fall partly to be closer to the medical facilities.

I’m quite concerned about the path healthcare in Crookston is taking. For a number of years now Crookston has had only one Hospital, RiverView, which belongs to the citizens of the area. We have also had only one Clinic, Altru, which belongs to Altru Health of Grand Forks. 12 years ago the residents of the Crookston area conducted a very successful fund drive to upgrade the healthcare facilities at RiverView Health. Minnesota Street was blocked off and the Hospital building was extended across the street to connect to the Altru Clinic building. The Altru Clinic discontinued having their own laboratory and x-ray departments and instead utilized the new state of the art facilities at RiverView. New operating rooms, MRI, cat, etc. This seemed to make good sense, as the duplication of expensive equipment is costly when one set will do. At the same time RiverView brought in some much needed specialties, which Altru was not providing in Crookston, namely orthopedics and gynecology. RiverView has also brought in some more family care Doctors to try and shorten the long wait time to see a doctor.

This is where my concern starts to arise. First, after a disagreement over billing costs, the Altru Clinic decided to reopen their laboratory. Then they put in their own physical therapy department in direct competition with the new and enlarged department at RiverView. Next they added a pharmacy in direct competition with the several pharmacies in town. They have put in their own x-ray department, again in direct competition with the new and state of the art department at RiverView.

Now they are spending $11 million to expand their clinic much of which is a duplication and in direct competition with Riverview. Most people in the area have an Altru doctor because there are more of them. My suggestion to you is that the next time your Altru Doctor orders a procedure you ask to have it done at Riverview (x-ray, MRI, elective surgery, physical therapy, etc.) When this is all in place it could cause the death of our hospital and then we’ll have their new clinic we’ll have to drive to Grand Forks if we need a hospital.
My question is this, “When is enough, enough???” Duplicating departments already in place in a community owned facility such as RiverView Health can only serve to increase the healthcare costs to the residents of the area and increase the profits of Altru which by the way is a Grand Forks business.

Signed, Allan Dragseth

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY - DECEMBER 1, 2016

SNOWMOBILE TRAILS OPEN IN MINNESOTA TODAY - REMINDER OF THE RULES FROM CPD AND DNR

With December upon us in northwest Minnesota, many snowmobilers are gearing up to fire up the sleds and hit the trails. Minnesota’s snowmobile trails officially open on December 1 and there are some conditions that must be met before those trails are ready to be traveled on. Andrew Korsberg is the State Trails Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division and explains. “The December 1 date is pending the right conditions for each individual trail to be open. What really helps is if the ground gets a good freeze because then when the snow does come it doesn’t get too messy with the grooming equipment,” Korsberg said. “There needs to be about 12 inches of snow to get a good groomed surface and all the other aspects of the trail have to be set up before it can be open.”

Caution is urged for any snowmobile rider, whether they are riding on a trail or in a ditch. “We always want people to drive safely, cautiously and defensively,” Korsberg said. “Snowmobile trails are probably the safest to ride and if you drive on side roads and ditches be aware of obstacles. If you drive on lakes or rivers, use exercise extreme caution. There should be at least five inches of ice before you even think about driving on any body of water.”

The Crookston Police Department reminds local snowmobile riders about the rules of the road. Crookston police officer Justin Roue gives some information. “When you drive a snowmobile in Crookston, all of the regular state statutes and DNR laws apply,” Roue said. “In town, you can drive directly to and from city limits. You can also drive to and from a gas station to your home or where you stow your snowmobile. If you’re between the ages of 14-18 you can drive on the streets if you have your safety certificate in your possession. Finally, equipment wise, have a visible headlight that is visible from 100 feet so people can see you.”

According to the DNR, Minnesota has more than 22,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. The DNR reminds people to call in advance or research online to get local conditions for the area they plan to ride. “We want to encourage everyone to be ready for the snowmobile season,” Korsberg said. “Get your sleds registered so when the snow does fly you can get out and enjoy the trails.”

 

 

 

LEAH HENDRICKS IS NAMED THE RIVERVIEW HEALTH EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH FOR NOVEMBER

Leah Hendricks is a busy woman raising a family in Ada with husband Derek that includes son, Braxton, and daughters, Brogan and Brittyn. But she’s also known for taking great care of patients as a Registered Respiratory Therapist in RiverView’s Cardiopulmonary Rehab/Respiratory Therapy Department. That exceptional care is the reason she was recently named RiverView’s Employee of the Month for November.
Hendricks has worked at RiverView for the past eight and a half years in Respiratory Therapy, Cardiopulmonary Rehab and the Stress Lab. She has an AAS in Respiratory Therapy from Northland Community and Technical College.
In her free time, the Beardsley, MN, native enjoys spending time with family, being at the lake, traveling, cooking and reading.
 “Being named Employee of the Month is a humbling honor, as there are so many deserving employees throughout RiverView,’’ she shared. “ I am fortunate to work with so many wonderful people who make me want to be a better therapist.  Each day, I strive to give our patients the best possible care, after all, they are the reason we are here.  In my current position in Cardiopulmonary Rehab, we have a unique environment because we see many of the same patients week after week.  These individuals are more than patients to us, they become more like family.  Knowing we can make a difference in someone’s life, where their health is concerned, is very rewarding.’’ 


            Leah Hendricks

 

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH REHAB SERVICES TO OFFER FREE DEVELOPMENTAL SCREENINGS IN EGF ON DECEMBER 5

Is your child developing like most other children the same age? Find out by having your child screened. RiverView Rehab Services will offer free developmental screenings for children birth through age six on Monday, December 5 from 4:00-6:00 pm, at RiverView Clinic East Grand Forks, 1428 Central Ave. NE.

Developmental screenings are simple and easy checkups. Physical, occupational, and speech therapists will screen all areas of development, including:
-Gross Motor Skills
- Speech/Language
- Self Help Skills
- Fine Motor Skills
- Social Skills

Flu shots will also be available at the screening, and a Sensory Santa will be on hand for children who prefer a quieter visit with Old Saint Nick. To schedule an appointment for a free screening, call 218-773-1390.

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY - NOVEMBER 30,  2016

PHYLLIS HAGEN RETIRING AFTER 27 YEARS OF WORKING FOR THE CITY OF CROOKSTON

Today marks the last day of a 27 year career Phyllis Hagen has spent working for the City of Crookston. Only Diane Mackowick and Scott Riopelle remain as fellow employees who started their careers with the City of Crookston alongside her. Phyllis has been the initial voice of the Park and Recreation department for a couple generations of Crookston residents. During her tenure, the Park and Rec department has gone from hand entry of all registrations to one that is completely computerized today.
She and her husband, Jim Fischer, raised five children in Crookston. She plans to stay busy with their 11 grandchildren. “Crookston is a great place to bring up kids,” she commented, “All of our kids flourished here.”
Her retirement today provides a little more time to devote to several of her favorite activities, including coaching the speech team at CHS, working with Crookston Community Theater and with CHS Theater. A history buff herself, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Polk County Historical Society, and says she sees a vital role for the PCHS with the ongoing work of the Downtown Revitalization Committee.
There is a reception for Hagen from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. today at City Hall.


Phyllis Hagen in front of her desk and big flower arrangement at city hall

 

 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL PUT IN A SOFT LOCK DOWN FOR 20 TO 25 MINUTES - EVERYBODY WAS SAFE AND NOBODY WAS INJURED

The Crookston High School was put on a soft lock down this afternoon because of an incident involving one student.  The student became unruly and caused a big commotion and the school was put on a lockdown.  “There was an incident in the school, it was quickly localized and contained.  Law enforcement was contacted and at absolutely no time was the kids safety compromised for the student involved or any of the other students and about five to 10 minutes ago (2:35 to 2:40 p.m.) the soft lock down was lifted and we sent out an instant alert message to let school patrons know." 
There was NOT a weapon involved. “No there was not, the situation was with a student and their personal safety was the issue, not the other students safety,” said Bates.
KROX asked Bates what a soft lock down is. “A soft lock down is when there is a situation in the building where people moving around in the building might make the situation worse so basically kids remain in their classroom and aren’t let out to go to the bathroom,” said Bates. “It is internal rather than external and the situation happened near the front door and took about 25 minutes and everything is back to normal.”
Bates said the school was appreciative of the quick response by the Crookston Police Department and the staff. “We thank the law enforcement that came just in case we needed them,” said Bates. "The situation is over and I am very proud of how Robin Reitmeier, Chelsie Johnson, Mr. (Eric) Bubna and Mr. (Josh) Hardy handled it all.”
The students were able to finish the day in seventh hour and finished the rest of the day like any other day.

 

 

 

NORTH COUNTRY FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS PROVIDE MORE THAN 150 HOURS OF SERVICE

The fight against hunger in northwest and west central Minnesota received strong support today from the Crookston community. Last week, volunteers rolled up their sleeves, pitched in, and provided more than 150 hours of service, setting a food bank record.
The holidays are one of the busiest times of year at the food bank, and a time when volunteer help is really needed. The volunteers spent their time packing more than 2,350 food boxes for low-income  senior citizens,  2,960  backpack  bags for children who struggle with hunger, and repacking several  totes of fruit for distribution through emergency feeding programs across North Country's 21 county service area in northwest and west  central Minnesota.  Some of the groups that spent time helping at  the food bank last week include: Crookston Fire Department; UMC Football;  UMC Trap  Club; UMC LYM; UMC CFFA;  Riverview,  UMC Staff; UMC GEMS; and  UMC Study  Abroad.
''There are thousands of hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet  and are faced with impossible choices during the holiday season," said Susie Novak, North Country's executive director. "We are very grateful for the support of the many volunteers who did not hesitate to jump in and help out at the food bank last week. We could not do the work we do without them," said Novak. For more information on how to get involved in the fight against hunger, please visit www.northcountryfoodbank.org.

About  North Country  Food Bank, Inc.
North Country Food Bank, Inc. distributes over 7.2 million pounds of food annually to more than 220 hunger-relief agencies in a dedicated partnership to end hunger in northwest and west central Minnesota. North Country Food Bank was established in 1983, and has served communities in northwest and west central Minnesota for more than 33 years. For more information about North Country  Food Bank, please visit www.northcountryfoodbank.org   or call  218-281-7356.

 

 

 

CROOKSTON SPORTS CENTER OFFERING SIX RESERVED PARKING SPACES IN 2017

The Crookston Sports Center is offering six reserved premium parking spaces for the calendar year of 2017.  The spaces will be reserved for $200.00 apiece.  Anyone interested in one of these spaces should go to City Hall at 124 N. Broadway and give your name, number and address, along with a postdated check for $200.00. The cut off for taking names and checks will be Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.  A drawing from these names will be made on Wednesday, December 21, at 4:00 p.m. in the City Hall Conference Room.  Mayor Gary Willhite will be doing the drawing. The checks of those whose names are not drawn will be returned to the owners.

 

 

 

CONSTRUCTION ON NEW CROOKSTON APARTMENTS IS CRUISING RIGHT ALONG

“The Meadows”, the name of the new apartment complex being built behind Drafts Sports Bar and Grill and next to the Crookston Sports Center on the north end of town, is making fantastic progress as they are eyeing a spring 2017 completion date. The complex, run by Northridge Properties out of Grand Forks, began construction this past summer. According to Director of Property Management Kendal Schank, the construction crews are currently working on interior projects. “The exterior is pretty much complete,” Shank explained. “Crews are working on the interior now with electrical and mechanical. We’re cruising right along and it looks like March 1 will be our open date.”
Why did Northridge Properties pick Crookston to build this new complex? “Crookston needs some conventional apartment buildings in town,” Shank said. “We felt through market studies and housing studies provided to us that it was time for Crookston to have something new in town.”
The Meadows will feature 41 units. Six studio, 12 one bedroom units that feature two different layouts, 17 two bedroom units that feature two different layouts and six three bedroom units.
The amenities at the Meadows will be high quality as well. “These apartments are going to be simply beautiful,” Shank said. “There will be granite countertops throughout in the kitchen and bathroom, high quality vinyl plank flooring. The units have central air which is a big plus because it helps save money on electricity. We paint accents on the walls and each unit has a washer and dryer. The list truly goes on and on.”
The expected completion date is March 1st and Shank said that they are working on a website where the application process will take place. Those interested in learning more about The Meadows can contact Kendal Schank by calling 701-212-7007 or emailing him at Kendal.schank@northridgenet.com.

 

 

 



TUESDAY - NOVEMBER 29,  2016

DAROOS MAKES IT FACEBOOK OFFICIAL, THEY WILL BE COMING TO CROOKSTON IN THE OLD EAGLE DRUG BUILDING

DaRoos has made it Facebook official.  They will be expanding to Crookston.  DaRoos is a restaurant that serves pizza, Mexican and subs and will be moving into the former Eagle Drug building in downtown Crookston.  DaRoos currently has restaurants in Fosston and Bagley.  They offer eat-in, take out or delivery in their current locations and also serve beer and wine.
The following was taken from their Facebook page -
DaRoos is expanding to Crookston!!! It will be located downtown on 2nd St. The opening date is unknown, but we are hoping for some time this spring!

KROX will have more on the new business in downtown Crookston in the near future.


The old Eagle Drug building in downtown Crookston will be the new location
 


 

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL LOOKS TO APPROVE FUNDING A DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT POSITION FOR THREE YEARS

The Crookston City Council met on Monday evening and started the evening with the Crookston Ways and Means committee discussing the downtown development partnership that is looking to hire a person to work on downtown revitalization. “The council took the recommendation of the ways and means committee and agreed to hire a coordinator. We go to city council right now as the resolution passed for a three year funding for a position for a downtown partnership director so I think it will be good for the city,” said Shannon Stassen, Crookston City administrator.  “The council approved funding for the downtown partnership to bring on a director for the next three years, the goal is to have the amount given to decline each year and hopefully become self-sufficient.”   The director will bring a focus to the downtown and push initiatives. “We have been talking about this for a long time so this is the opportunity to get it done,” added Stassen.  The budget is $45,000 for the first year for the director and operations which will decline for the following years.

The ways and means committee also heard from Jason Carlson, Tri-Valley Executive Director about the plans for Agassiz Townhomes after they had a kickoff meeting with Minnesota Housing. “Everything is looking good, we got the project we were hoping for and it was the only Greater Minnesota Project funded and it has a unique partnership that brought the project together,” said Carlson. “Before, during and after the process the folks involved in the funding side expressed how impressed they were as to what Crookston did.”  The level of renters are 60 percent of the area median so for a family of four that makes $43,000 to $44,000 a year would be eligible. “Once you are qualified you can live there as long as you wish,” said Carlson.  The timeline to get started is to have buildable plans ready for March and then get bids and have all the paperwork done by spring.  Carlson said local interest in the project and the donations pledged by the city, CHEDA and local employers were key to the project.

Bill Humiston came before the city council on Monday evening with concerns about the refugees that are moving into the county and how they will affect the county and the programs that are available.  “I heard about the refugees coming through a KROX story on them coming through the Polk County Commissioners and I heard they are mainly in the East Grand Forks area,” said Humiston.  “My concerns are especially due to the recent events like in the Twin Cities where youth disappeared and were found in a training camp for Al Qaeda so that showed there were concerns in the Twin Cities with an active recruitment effort by terrorist groups, so are we vetting them in a failed state, what means do we have as to what their intentions are to are laws and the nation, and the disturbing rumor that the housing unit being built by the hockey area is for the refugees, so I want the council to  address these issues.”

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD HONORS KINDERGARTEN CLASS WITH GREAT ATTENDANCE AND APPROVES AUDIT

The Crookston School Board met on Monday evening and had a short meeting and took time to honor a Kindergarten class that has had exceptional attendance so far this year.
The board approved the audit for the 2015-2016 school year that was done by Brady Martz and Associates in Thief River Falls. The audit showed that the Crookston School District is sound financially.  “You always hope you come out a little better and we did this year,” said Crookston Schools Superintendent Chris Bates. “Looking ahead a little bit, we will have more to pay in salaries and that will eat up the difference, but we continue to be in good standing and with this years small kindergarten class we need to be careful to keep our staffing levels where they need to be and keep one eye down the road for the next two or three years.”
The warmer than usual November has been good for the school district budget. “Without question it has helped with our busses doing a lot of miles and you open the door and it is warmer outside than it is inside,” said Bates. “Those are good things that we don’t plan for, but when they happen they help offset some of the negative things you don’t see coming so it is welcome.”
To see the school district audit report
click here.

The school board honored Mrs. Bubna’s Kindergarten class for their outstanding attendance this school year.  They have had eight weeks of perfect attendance and they have only had absences in four of the 54 days of school with seven kids having perfect attendance. “We honored a classroom that had eight weeks of perfect attendance and have only had four absences in 54 days of school,” said Washington School Principal Denice Oliver. “We know what research shows how attendance really matters and affects their learning and we are very excited.”  The attendance numbers are common and that is why they wanted to reward the students and their parents. “It doesn’t happen very often where you have a class come through that has great attendance like that,” said Oliver. “We honored them tonight with a special certificate and a book that they can take home.  We wanted to honor the parents too, because it takes an effort to get the kids to school each day, but the effort is well worth it.” 
The students each received a certificate and a book from the school board members.

In other school board meeting news -
Superintendent Bates informed the board that they have made the change over from School Reach to School Messenger for the automatic calling system to alert school district families of school closures, delays, etc.

The board approved a leave of absence for Lacie Halstenson, a paraprofessional at Highland School.

After the board meeting the board conducted an evaluation of Superintendent Bates, the board will compile their evaluations and will release their report at the next meeting on December 12, 2016.


Mrs. Bubna's Kindergarten class families that were honored at the school board meeting

 
School board members Tim Dufault (left) and Adrianne Winger hand out books to the students

 

 


PEGGY HENRY WINS THE 52ND KROX HOLIDAY SHOPPING SPREE

KROX and participating businesses conducted the 52nd Annual Shopping Spree and the drawing was held on Tuesday, November 23. This year’s winners was Peggy Henry whose name was drawn from Wonderful Life Foods in Crookston. She received $970 worth of gift certificates from the twenty-four participating businesses.


          KROX's Steve Krueger with Peggy Henre

Consolation winners won $10 gift certificates from the place they registered and they are listed below-
Brandner Printing and Office Supplies—Sheldon Roningen
Christian Brothers Ford—Louis Beirmeier
Christian Motors/Fertile—Paul Nordby
Crooks Club and Bottle Shop—Jerrel Hamre
Crookston Eagles 873—Faye Olson
Crookston Hardware Hank and Rental—Scott Baatz
Crookston Inn and Convention Center—Cecile Baatz
Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy—Maureen Kostrzewski
Erickson Embroidery and Design—Garret Axtman
HN Quality Plumbing—Curt Anderson
Hugo’s—Anmari Conkins
Hunter’s Outlet—Lois Pahlen
Mireault’s Home Furnishings—Danielle Finseth
Napa Crookston Welding and Machine—Rodney Larson
Ness Café of Erskine—Birdean Kostrzewski
Northern Lumber/The Flooring Center—Lucille Torkelson
Opticare—Zelda Rocha
Proulx Refrigeration, Heating and Appliance—Harlan Stahlecker
Rhombus Guys/Grand Forks—Joyce Evans
Signature Jewelers/Grand Forks—Candy Vigen
Snow Sled Bar and Grill—Charity Brault
Taco John’s—Peggy Francis
Willow and Ivy—Ellen Strickler
Wonderful Life Foods—Peggy Henry

 

UMC HORTICULTURE CLUB AND NATURAL RESOURCES CLUB TO HOST A CRAFT AND VENDOR BAZAAR DECEMBER 3

Prepare for the holidays early at the Winterberry Craft & Vendor Bazaar to be held December 3, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The holiday bazaar begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The bazaar is free and open to the public and parking permits are not required.
Vendors and crafters from across the region will showcase a wide selection of unique gifts, clothing, plants, toys, food products, holiday items, and much more for all to enjoy. For more information on the Winterberry Craft and Vendor Bazaar, contact: Laura Bell, at 218-281-8131 or email her at lbell@umn.edu
The event is hosted by the UMC Horticulture Club and Natural Resources Club. 

 

 

MONDAY - NOVEMBER 28,  2016

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD TO APPROVE 2015-2016 AUDIT AT MEETING ON MONDAY

The Crookston School Board will meet at the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra room at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 27. 
The board has one personnel item on the agenda with the request for a leave of absence for Lacie Halstenson, a paraprofessional at Highland School. 
There is one item on the main agenda and that is the approval of the final audit for the 2015-2016 school year. 
The board will get reports from Highland School Principal, Chris Trostad and Washington School Principal/ECFE/Community Ed head, Denice Oliver.  Superintendent Chris Bates will also give a report. 
Following the school board meeting the school board will hold a closed meeting in the Administrative District office to conduct an evaluation of the superintendent.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 12 at 6:00 p.m.
 

 

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL TO MEET AT UMC ON MONDAY

The Crookston City Council will have their meeting at the University of Minnesota Crookston Campus on Monday.  Starting at 4:30 p.m. the council will meet at the new wellness center and tour the campus before being treated to a meal.  The Crookston Ways and Means committee will meet at 6:45 p.m. for a special meeting and the Crookston City Council will meet at 7:15 at Bede Ballroom. 
The council meeting agenda includes -  A resolution to approve City of Crookston bills and disbursements in the amount of $236,500.89.  To approve partial payment estimate No. 2 to Gladen Construction, Inc. for the North Broadway sanitary sewer extension and lift station.  The council will be asked to approve partial payment estimate No. 3 to Spruce Valley Corporation for 2016 Street Improvements.  A resolution to enter into a master subscriber agreement for Minnesota court data services for governmental agencies with the State of Minnesota - Office of State Court Administration. The council will be asked to approve a dance permit at the Crookston Eagles club on January 28, 2017 for the UMC Ag-Arama Club.
Right after the city council meeting, the ways and means committee will meet again to discuss the regular agenda and then they will close the meeting for contract negotiations.

 

 

RYDELL AND GLACIAL RIDGE REFUGES ASSOCIATION TO HOST THEIR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE CUTTING DECEMBER 3

The Friends of Rydell and Glacial Ridge Refuges Association (FRGRRA) will host their annual Christmas Tree Cutting on Saturday, December 3 from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm, at the south-central portion of Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge (formerly the Lee Nursery) on Highway 32. Signs will be up along the highway, marking the location. Participants will need to stop at the Glacial Ridge Project Office, located 3 miles south of US Highway 2 on Highway 32, (5.5 miles west of Mentor) to register and get a map to the tree cutting site. The Friends group will have coffee, hot apple cider and cookies available for this fun, family event. Please ensure that children are dressed appropriately for the weather.
A variety of conifers, including long-needled pine and short-needled spruce trees will be available for hand cutting only.
Bring a hand saw (no chainsaws allowed) to cut your own tree. A few hand saws will be available, for those who do not have their own. Tree sizes range from small to tall – something for everyone! Volunteers will be available to assist with tree cutting and tie-down, if requested.
This activity is part of an ongoing effort to remove non-native trees from a portion of Glacial Ridge Refuge. The reduction of the planted conifer stands is an important Refuge management objective. These areas will eventually be restored to their historic tallgrass prairie habitat.
Donations received for trees go to the FRGRRA to further their mission of promoting a better understanding, appreciation, and accessibility of both Glacial Ridge and Rydell National Wildlife Refuges for people of all ages and abilities.
In case of a winter storm on December 2, the tree cutting will be held the following Saturday, December 10, with the same hours. Information will available by calling 218-687-2229 extension 10.

 


 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL'S CONSTRUCTION TRADES CLASS MAKING PROGRESS ON PROJECT HOUSE

The Construction Trades Class at Crookston High School has been working hard all school year on their house. The house, located on the corner of Barrette Street and Fisher Avenue, has been built by students in the program along with Construction Trades teacher, Travis Oliver. Oliver explains the how the process has gone so far. “The timeline for construction has gone well. With the nice weather, we’ve been fortunate to make good progress,” Oliver said. “Right now we’re putting shingling on and then we’ll move on to soffits and siding and the inside work.”
The class gives students hands-on experience in what it’s like to build a house from start to finish. Senior Easton Meyer has really enjoyed his experience so far. “I’ve learned a lot more this year than I ever thought I would,” Meyer said. “It’s actually helped because my dad and I have been building walls in the basement of our new house so I’ve taken things I’ve learned from class into that. I’ve really enjoyed putting up rafters; it’s a lot more fun when you’re tall. House building really isn’t as complicated as I thought, having a good teacher helps.”
Oliver is really happy with the group of students he has in his class. “The students have done great,” he noted. “I’ve got a good group and the guys show up and get stuff done. I want them to treat it like a job and real world experience so they know what to expect if they do something in this field in their future. I try to keep them on task and acting professional. We’re going to have to work in certain conditions but that’s the nature of the beast.”
The house will be finished by the end of the school year. As soon as they get heat in the house, the class will start sheet rocking and doing trim work. The class will take care of as much as possible but not do things like HVAC or plumbing.
There will be an open house on Tuesday, November 29 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the house with lights set up and coffee, hot chocolate and cookies being served. The public is welcome along with the parents of students.  

 

 

CROOKSTON NATIONAL BANK CHANGING THEIR NAME TO NORTHERN SKY BANK

Crookston National Bank is announcing that they will be changing their name to Northern Sky Bank, effective December 12, 2016.  The year 2016 marked 100 years of community banking for Crookston National Bank.  "We are proud of our past, and excited to continue our hometown service under a new name, Northern Sky Bank," said bank President, Jim Ingeman. "Although our name will change, our leadership, staff, services, location, FDIC Insurance, ownership, our business approach, and most importantly, our commitment to our customers and community will remain unchanged.  We will continue to enhance our products and services, and adapt new technologies for our customers.  Our new name will enable us to continue our hometown service that our customers have come to know."
In celebration of 100 years of community banking and a new name, they will be having an open house December 8, all of our customers are invited. 
For more information, please contact Crookston National Bank at 218-281-1976.

 

 
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