At approximately 10:56 p.m. on September 19, the Grand Forks Fire Department responded to a report of a fire alarm at 3630 Gateway Drive. When fire personnel arrived they encountered smoke and fire within the structure. All Simplot workers had been evacuated. The fire was quickly brought under control and extinguished. Damage is estimated at $150,000 to the structure and contents. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Altru Ambulance and the Grand Forks Police Department assisted the Grand Forks Fire Department with this call.





Register now for the 36th Annual Minnesota Viking Voyage Contest on KROX! Everyone twenty-one or older can register now through September 21 at the following participating sponsors listed below. Then listen to KROX now through noon Friday, September 28. If you hear your name, you’ll have twelve minutes and sixty seconds to call 281-1140 to qualify. You’ll win a seven-inch Deli Max pizza from Ampride Convenience Mart just for qualifying. Then on Friday, September 28, following the noon time news, KROX will draw one winner from all of the qualifiers. That person will win the grand prize, a trip for two on the Viking Voyage! The winner receives round trip air fare to Minneapolis, two nights stay at Embassy Suites in Bloomington, private car service in Minneapolis, $100 cash and two tickets to the Minnesota Vikings/Detroit Lions game on Sunday, November 4. Register now for the 36th Annual Minnesota Viking Voyage on KROX.

To qualify - Must be 21 years of age or older.

Anytime Fitness
All Seasons Lube Center and Car Wash
B & E Meats
Christian Brothers Ford
Crookston Inn and Convention Center
Christian Motors-Fertile
Crookston Building and Rent-It Center
Crookston Eagles
Crookston Hardware Hank
Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy
Erickson Smokehouse Grill and Bar/Fertile
Hugo’s Family Marketplace
Ness Café –Erskine
Northern Sky Bank
Opticare (Crookston)
Side Street Bar and Grill/Fertile
Taco John’s
Theibert’s Chevrolet-Buick/Red Lake Falls





Fourth and fifth graders at Highland Elementary spent part of Tuesday in Central Park learning about the Red Lake River watershed in the River of Dreams program.   The days program, titled River of Dreams, was led by Any Ulven, a monitoring and education specialist with The International Water Institute.
“In River of Dreams we try to introduce what a watershed is, and what watershed do you live in,” said Ulven.  “The program culminates with each student having a 14 inch canoe that has a tracking number and we have a database so if anyone finds it down stream they can report if they found the canoe.  We’ve had some found up by Lake Winnipeg.”
The students also participated in a watershed activity, passing ping bong balls or chips to demonstrate the flow of the water during different environmental situations.  “The students build a watershed and we show how water starts from the headwaters and flows down to the mouth while incorporating tributaries,” explained Ulven.  “We demonstrate what happens at a base flow like now when the river is so slow and only a few balls comes down stream, but after a big rainfall it gets a little chaotic and flooding happens. 
The fifth graders launched are in their second year of the program, while the fourth graders got introduced to River of Dreams in the afternoon and will be launching their canoes in the spring. Wilderness Inquiry from Minneapolis also brought 10-person canoes, and all the students had an opportunity to get out on the water.






The Crookston Planning Commission met Tuesday, September 18 at City Hall. The main agenda consisted of a request for rezoning, the Downtown Master Plan and the Gateway Overlay Ordinance. The commission approved a request that 820 Eickhof Blvd be rezoned from an R3, multi-family residence such as townhome or apartment, to an R2, one- or two-family housing.
The Downtown Master Plan was discussed including the council’s initial reluctance to adopt the plan last year. It was discussed that the council would probably be more willing to adopt the plan with an official endorsement from the planning commission. It was also noted, that while the plan is a working document that can and, likely, will see changes over time, not adopting a plan will create a significant challenge in securing grant funding for future city projects.
“I think for us to move forward with grant funding we need to see this approved. We’re already seeing good things downtown with the interest spearheaded by the downtown group,” said Councilman Dale Stainbrook. “It just gives us a blueprint like the housing study and nothing is really etched in stone.”
The commission was also satisfied with the Gateway Overlay Ordinance they had created over the last couple meetings and decided to take it to City Attorney’s to verify the language in the document met legal standards. Once approved by the attorney, the next step will be to present the Ordinance in public forum.





Members of the Crookston Pirate Football team helped clean up Greg (Fuji) Lerum's yard on Tuesday afternoon.  Lerum is the owner of True Value Hardware store in downtown Crookston and is battling cancer.  The players were a great help and enjoyed helping a community member.





Do you know your risk factors for ovarian cancer? Are you doing everything you can to lower those risks? Attend RiverView Health’s Wednesday, September 26 health luncheon “Ovarian Cancer 101’’ to find out how to help prevent this women’s disease.  September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Join RiverView Health Gynecologist Dr. Kari Wessman for this free presentation.
Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest of women's cancers, ranking fifth in cancer deaths among women. The World Health Organization estimates that there are over 238,000 new cases diagnosed annually and 152,000 deaths worldwide.
This cancer typically occurs in women in their fifties and sixties with the median age being 63. Many women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a genetic history of ovarian cancer. Unfortunately many women don't seek help until the disease has begun to spread, but if detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is more than 93%. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often subtle and easily confused with other ailments. 
Symptoms may include:
• Bloating      • Pelvic or abdominal pain     • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly  
• Urinary urgency or frequency    • Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation or diarrhea 
• Extreme fatigue   • Shortness of breath     • Backaches     • Weight gain

Luncheon Details
The luncheon will be held in Meeting Room #1 of RiverView Health, 323 South Minnesota Street, beginning at noon. Meeting Room #1 is located near the RiverView Clinic entrance on the north side of the building and across from the elevators on first floor.
The luncheon series is in its 20th year of sponsorship by RiverView Health. All men and women interested in improving their health are invited to attend. Each luncheon starts a few minutes past noon and luncheons are kept under one hour so those needing to return to work can attend. Pre-registration is required. A boxed lunch can be purchased for $3, but must be ordered while pre-registering for the event. Call Holly Anderson at 218-281-9745 for additional information and to pre-register.





Villa St. Vincent/The SUMMIT Foundation hosted its seventh annual Glow Golf Tournament on Saturday, September 8 at Minakwa Golf Course.  16 teams participated in what has gotten to be a community favorite event.  Cindy Hulst, Villa St. Vincent’s Foundation Development Director said, “It was a great night of golfing; full of fun, friendships, and fund raising.”  
The first-place team was sponsored by CENTROL (Mike Kasowski).  Members of that team were Mike Kasowski, Tom Johnson, Paul Metzger and Doug Lenz.  The second-place team was sponsored by United Crookston Insurance.   Members of that team were Mark Menard, Julio Dahl, Vance Harren and Travis Nicholas.   And the team taking third place was sponsored by Dr. Erik & Judie Kanten.  Members of that team included Alex Ranz, Justin Burke, Chris Osen and Ryan Skaug. 
Hulst noted that this year’s proceeds will once again be used to make life quality enhancements for Villa St. Vincent resident guests and SUMMIT tenant guests.   New furniture will be purchased for the communal areas, such as the lounges, libraries and lobbies of the Villa and SUMMIT.  “The Villa and SUMMIT is home for many and it is important for their quality of life to have a sense of hominess, safety and comfort for themselves and their guests.”  
Hulst also said, “The support, generosity, sponsorship and participation of those involved in the Glow Golf Tournament is so valued and appreciated in continuing the mission of serving elders of our community and region. ”

Tournament Sponsors: Benedictine Health System, CENTROL Mike Kasowski, CENTROL Robbie Hulst
Team Sponsors: Bremer Bank, Bruce & Marlys Mjoen, Gold Star Steam Cleaning - Mick Butenhoff, Jim & Robin Reitmeier, Ozark National Life & N.I.S. Financial Services - Dede Butenhoff, Christian Brothers Ford, Inc., Crookston United Insurance, Dr. Erik & Judie Kanten, Dragseth Farms, Inc., Eldred Elevator, KROX Radio, RiverView Health, Ye Ole Print Shoppe
Meal Sponsor: Longtin Agency
Hole Sponsors: Altru, American Crystal Sugar Company, Bremer Bank, Brent Johnson, Christian Transport, Inc., Crookston Daily Times/GateHouse Media, DEE Inc., Edward Jones (Dave Aamoth), Fischer, Rust & Stock, PLLC, Fitzgerald, Reynolds, Harbott, Knutson & Larson, P.L.L.P., Grand Forks BClean, Napa/Crookston Welding & Machine, Inc., Northern Sky Bank, OPTICARE – Forks Vision Clinic, Pamela Paradis, Penny Johnson, Schulz Carpeting, Sisters of St. Benedict, TDS Fertilizer, Inc., TDS Trucking, Inc., Tom Johnson, Valley Plains Equipment, Wendell Johnson
Donations of Support: All Season’s Car Wash & Lube Center, Crookston & Prairie Pet Clinics, Crookston Firefighters, Herzog Roofing, Mike’s Muffler Stop, Phil Thompson and Associates LLP, Stenshoel Funeral & Cremation Services, Thrifty White Pharmacy, Win-E-Mac Travel Center
In Kind Donors: American Crystal Sugar Company, Best Buy Liquor, Blue Moose, Bremer Bank, Captain Crooks, China Moon, Crookston Eye Clinic, Elliott Hulst, Fargo Force, Gaye Wick, Grand Forks Golf Center, Hardware Hank, Irishman’s Shanty, Joe Lessard, KROX, Minakwa Golf Course, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club, Minnesota Vikings, Seven Clans Casino, Shooting Star Casino, Sky Vu Drive In,  University of Minnesota Crookston.

Mike Kasowski, Tom Johnson, Paul Metzger and Doug Lenz







On Monday, October 22, 2018, the Minnesota State High School Tennis Coaches Association (MSHSTCA) will have the pleasure of inducting two new members to its Hall of Fame. Michael Cartwright of Mounds View and Mike Geffre of Crookston will become members of this exclusive club with a ceremony held at the Earl Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center during the State Girls Tennis Banquet. Michael Cartwright will speak at the Girls’ Banquet and Mike Geffre will speak at the Boys’ Banquet.

Geffre has been the head coach of the Crookston Pirates Boys’ team since 1986 (31 years) and coach of the Girls’ team since 1989 (28 years). As a graduate of Bemidji State University, graduating with honors, Mike has led the Pirates to the Minnesota State High School League State Tournament nine times with the girls and 13 times with the boys. Crookston has been a tennis dynasty in the northern part of the state during Mike’s tenure as coach. Coaches around the area always know that Crookston comes to play and play well.
Mike has also coached two State Doubles Champions for the boys and one State Doubles Champion for the girls. Other than all of the State Tournament appearances, one of Mike’s greatest highlights was having the opportunity to coach his daughter Amanda throughout her high school career.
Mike has a wife, Lori Schlenker, a daughter Amanda, and twin sons Isaac and Simon.
Tennis Accolades:
Head Boys Tennis 1986-2017 - 31 years
Head Girls Tennis 1989 - 2018 - 29 years
13 Team Appearances at the Minnesota State High School League State Boys Tennis Tournament
9 Team Appearances at the Minnesota State High School League State Girls Tennis Tournament
2 - State Boys Doubles Championships
1 - State Girls Doubles Championship

Coaching Honors: Crookston E Award for Coaching Excellence, Minnesota State Boys’ Tennis Coach of the Year, Minnesota State Girls’ Tennis Coach of the Year 1
Organizations and Honors other than coaching: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, USTA member, Crookston Tennis Association Net Generation, Crookston Youth Basketball, FAB Foundation, ITEEA Coaches Association Involvement.




The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) met on Tuesday morning at the Valley Technology Park.  The board approved minutes from their July meeting and from a special board meeting in August.  The board also approved the consent agenda, including updates EDA financials, loan status and financials, housing financials and occupancy and financial information for Valley Technology Park.  Also included on the consent agenda was bills in the amount of $481,562.51.   Executive Director Craig Hoiseth went over details from the preliminary budget with the board.  “It’s a preliminary budget so it’s a work in progress, so over the course of the next two to three weeks board members will be inquisitive on specific line items,” said Hoiseth. “Our hope is by the October meeting we’re able to get an approved budget for next year.”

The board also discussed the Building Better Business (B3) grant program.  The grant is available to business owners within the Crookston city limits that are in a tax paying property which is or becomes occupied.  Businesses can be granted up to $3000 and must provide matching funds. An additional $1000 in funds is available for a business owner that graduated from Crookston High School.  Graduates of the University of Minnesota Crookston or Northland Community & Technical College may be offered an additional $1000.  And an existing business wishing to relocate to Crookston may also be offered $1000 in extra funds.  The maximum award is $5000.
“We’ve been letting this incubate for five or six months and we’ve consulted with the city attorney on state statues,” said Hoiseth. “Essentially today the board was giving a thumbs up, made a motion to approve the B3 budget with a couple of edits, one being looking at high school and college graduates and making sure we have ducks in row on the administration of it.” The board also approved allowing non-profit organizations to apply for the program, a change from the original proposal. 

The final topic of discussion was on the future of Cofe`.  The business’ current owners closed the doors on September 15, but potential buyers are actively being recruited. A significant portion of the discussion focused around outstanding loans.  “Unfortunately, Cofe` has ceased to do business but we have been working with them trying to find new owners for the business,” commented Hoiseth.
Currently, CHEDA is the secondary loan holder and if new owners aren’t found would likely be out most of their outstanding loan of $68,000.  It was discussed that if an evaluation of the future business plan and financial modeling on a potential new owner is satisfactory, CHEDA would consider increasing the funding amount of Cofe`.  The desire would be that primary lenders (banks) take the lead role and CHEDA provide the necessary gap financing, but the board will evaluate the actions of the primary lenders and respond accordingly.  Considerable discussion went into whether if primary lenders were not willing to take on the debt, would CHEDA be willing to assume additional debt to the business which would likely bring into first position on the available inventory and assets of the business. 
While several board members expressed concern over the possibility of additional debt, the added security level from inventory and assets, would likely be a reasonable threshold at which to cap an increased investment.  If satisfactory owners are found, it would provide CHEDA an opportunity to recoup the $68,000 that it would currently stand to lose on the current loan.





The Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday about proposed 2019 budgets, early voting and received an update on the new Minnesota IDs.   The West Polk Soil and Water Conservation District requested the largest budget increase at 20 percent, followed by the East Polk Soil and Water Conservation District’s request of a 10 percent increase.  The Northwest Regional Corrections Center requested a 1.6 percent increase to their budget for 2019.
The West Polk Conservation District request for a 20 percent increase from their current allocation of $39,200 results mainly from an increased workload and a deficit in the budget program explains District Manager Nicole Bernd. “The main reason for the increase is to help with our capacity and operations workload increase.  We also have a deficit of more than $30,000 for the buffer program that we are using district and reserve funds to cover expenses for, as the state grant money was gone in May.”
The Northwest Regional Corrections Center was requesting a 1.6 percent increase in their budget.  “We are losing a contract with Clay County to house prisoners in our facility, but we are offering an increase to Mahnomen County to 25 or 30 prisoners a day to place the lost contract,” said Commissioner Warren Strandell. “We also received notification today that we got a grant from the Office of Justice Programs from recidivism reduction for $300,000.”  Recidivism is the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend, so the grant will be used on programs aimed to decrease that tendency. 
Absentee voting opens on Friday, September 21 at 8:00 a.m. at the Government Center’s Taxpayer Service Center.  For those who live in a mail ballot district, ballots will be mailed out in two weeks.  Director of Property Records Michelle Cote also provided an update on the Read ID program, “There has been a lot of chatter about the Real ID that becomes available on October 1, it will not be a requirement until October of 2020, so people can still use their current ID to get through security at the airport.”
Additionally, Steve Vesledahl was given approval on a preliminary plan for the creation of Paradise Point Estates utilizing seven lots on Union Lake. 





Everyone is invited to come out to the Crookston's Marketplace this Thursday and support Crookston High School (2018) graduate Jackson Seibel and his family as he begins his fight with newly diagnosed cancer.  #JacksonStrong bracelets will be available for $5 with all proceeds going to the family to help with expenses.  Jackson's mom Jess Bengtson is a co-founder of the Crookston's Marketplace, the 2019 Chair of the Ox Cart Days Festival and also the Rotary Club President.  Seibel was a three sport athlete where he played football, basketball and baseball for the Pirates.  He recently started chemotherapy and started his fight to beat cancer.
Bracelets (pictured below) will be available starting this Friday at the Chamber of Commerce office.  




Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) engineers and inspectors say work on the US Highway 75 remains on schedule despite the extremely tight schedule.  Barring any delays due to equipment breakdown or serious weather problems they continue to anticipate a completion date of September 28.  However, there are no extra days built into the schedule so any setbacks could impact the final completion date.
MnDot engineer Shawn Groven described the details of the work being done to improve the bypass.  “A quick overview on the project itself, we’re rehabbing the main line concrete fixing any spots that had deterioration on the joints and we also replaced the asphalt shoulders with concrete shoulders,” said Groven, who added the bridge is also seeing a facelift. “The existing bridge is still there, but we took off the driving concrete, replaced the joints and then put new concrete over it.”
MnDOT would like to remind all travelers that the bypass remains closed to all non-residents until the project is completed as there have been several instances of cars or trucks driving around the signs in an attempt to use the bypass.





Members of RiverView Health’s free Prevent Type 2 (Prevent T2) Diabetes classes are not only receiving important information to arm themselves against diabetes, they are also receiving the means to prepare healthy meals through the Farmacy Program.  Through the Farmacy Program, RiverView Health - in conjunction with the Crookston Area Farmer’s Market and Polk County Public Health/SHIP - gives Prevent T2 participants vouchers for healthy foods available at the Farmer’s Market held at the Town Square in Crookston every Thursday from 4 to 7 pm.
“The Farmacy Program is a great way to make healthy choices easier,’’ said RiverView Registered Dietitian Darcey Larsen. Larsen leads the Prevent T2 classes along with RiverView Health Coach Kelsey Billing. “Half of your plate should be filled with vegetables in the colors of a rainbow - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The Farmer’s Market has a great variety of those vegetables.’’
Prevent T2 is designed for those who have been diagnosed with prediabetes -a condition that occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be full-blown diabetes - or those who have risk factors that could lead to type 2 diabetes. The lifestyle change program uses evidence-based information and best practices to promote healthy eating, weight loss, and physical activity.  “I always had such encouragement from Darcey and Kelsey and also from the other people in the class,’’ shared one former Prevent T2 participant who says that since taking the classes she’s been reading labels more often and looks for hidden sugars in foods. Her time in the classes also taught her to watch portion control, making sure she has mostly non-starchy vegetables and protein on her plate.
The thankful participant shared that the classes brought much more than just statistics and how to read labels, though. “Sharing the personal stories and laughter was the best,’’ she shared.
Eighty-four million Americans have prediabetes – that’s one out of three adults. Of those 84.1 million, nine out of 10 don’t even know they have it. People with prediabetes not only have a higher risk of developing diabetes, but also heart disease and stroke.
Without intervention, 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. With numbers like that, it’s important to learn about prediabetes and take action.
If you have concerns about prediabetes, call RiverView Health to make an appointment with Larsen at 218-281-9589.

Left to right: Kristen Fagerlund, Polk County Public Health; Jim Borkowski, Crookston Area Farmer’s Market; and Darcey Larsen, RiverView Health.








On September 18 officers from the Grand Forks Police Department were dispatched to a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of South Washington St. and 32nd Ave. South with one vehicle resting on its passenger side.  Initial investigation has revealed that a 2014 Kia Sorrento driven by Jessie Brosius of East Grand Forks, MN, was west bound on 32nd Ave. South travelling on the green light when a 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by Arthur Schuppert of Grand Forks ran the red light going south bound on South Washington St.  Brosius’s vehicle struck Schuppert’s vehicle causing it to tip onto its passenger side where it came to a rest. 
Both drivers were treated on scene by paramedics for minor non-life threatening injuries and were not transported to the hospital.  No other injuries or property damage was reported.  Schuppert was cited for disregarding a traffic signal.   
The Grand Forks Fire Department and Altru Health Systems Ambulance Service assisted on the incident.  The Grand Forks Police Department would like to take this time to remind everyone to drive in a safe and prudent manner regardless of the road conditions and to always wear your vehicle’s safety restraints. 
If anyone has any additional information about the crash, please call the police department at (701) 787-8000





The Crookston Police Department has received over thirty reports regarding scam phone calls.  The first type of scam call is from someone claiming to be from the IRS.  The caller states that you have a tax issue/fraud that needs to be taken care of and that local law enforcement will come to make an arrest if you do not call them back within 24 hours.  The second type of scam call states that there are four serious charges/warrants against you.  Again the caller states that you must call them back within 24 hours or you will be arrested by the local law enforcement.
A majority of the phone numbers that the calls came from was 207-387-8610.  If you receive these types of calls we urge you to not give out any personal information and to hang up immediately.  Do not try to call them back.   If you are not sure if it is a scam, feel free to contact your local law enforcement agency.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has received six reports regarding phone calls from someone claiming to be with the IRS. The caller requests a payment on a balance owed and threatens local law enforcement will come to make an arrest if payment is not made. This is a scam and we urge you to hang up immediately and do not give out any personal information.





On Saturday, September 15 at approximately 10:33 p.m., the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a house on fire in Section 17 of Woodside Township. Polk County Deputies, Fertile Fire Department, Mentor Fire Department, and County EMS responded. The structure was a total loss. It was discovered that 52 year old Peter Buchholz, owner, was not inside the residence at the time of the fire or any other persons.
The fire was extinguished and there were no reported injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Minnesota State Fire Marshal is assisting with the investigation.





The Crookston Park Board met on Monday afternoon at City Hall.  They quickly approved the minutes from their August meeting and the rest of the meeting was given over to Parks and Recreation Director Scott Riopelle.  He presented the board with the budget for 2019 and the big purchase items were a sweeper for the baseball and softball fields, a truck and a sweeper to clear sidewalks throughout town.  The largest part of the budget, salaries and benefits cannot be changed because they are part of contracts negotiated by the City Council and staff.
“We just went line by line and made changes,” said Riopelle. “If we saw something where history shows we’ve been spending more in an area then we’ve been budgeting we’ll move that, and same thing if we’re spending less in an area we’ll move that down.”
Park Board Member Chris Fee said he has had several people tell him of their concerns over the paid for parking spots at the Crookston Sports Arena.  Fee said several hockey people have voiced concerns about confrontations over people parking in the spots when the spot isn't theirs.  Crookston Park and Rec Director Scott Riopelle and Mayor Wayne Melbye said none of the confrontations have had official complaints and no cars have been towed and $1,200 is $1,200.   Fee questioned if the $1,200 was worth it and he knows the Park Board unanimously voted down the idea before he was on the board.   Riopelle said they could look at going to an auction to try to get more money, similar to what Moorhead does. 
The budget is still preliminary, and the final budget will wait on City Council’s approval of the levy. 





Highland Elementary students and staff participated in mandatory emergency training drills Monday morning.  “State law requires that we do training, so we do some in the classroom and then we actually do some practice,” said Highland Principal Chris Trostad. "Teachers all did some training in class and the students would come out and get the opportunity to evacuate the playground and use the emergency exit on the bus." 
Training continued into the afternoon, when Highland School staff performed a soft lockdown of the school that was to simulate another possible emergency.  The training, required by the state, will help prepare staff and students in the unfortunate event there would be an emergency at Highland or on a bus route. 

School Resource Office Don Rasicot explains drill to third graders     Don Rasicot and Chris Trostad help students evacuate a bus during training Monday





The Housing Action Network, part of the Impact 20/20 initiative met in Crookston recently to check on the construction progress at the Agassiz Townhomes on North Broadway.  The Northwest Minnesota Foundation and Tri-Valley Opportunity Council hosted representatives from Bemidji, Fosston, Thief River Falls, Warren, Red Lake Falls and Mahnomen. 
Three of the buildings will be ready for occupancy at the end of the month. “The group was able to see we are progressing nicely on constructions and we still say we’ll have three building ready for by October 1," said
Tri-Valley CEO Jason Carlson. "The lease sign up is slow because we’re being a bit picky about making sure the household size is right for the units. If it’s more than one bedroom, we want to make sure it’s a family moving in.”
The group is also working on a multi-community housing initiative to reduce barriers for entry on new construction.  Crookston, Red Lake Falls and Warren are looking at new projects right now.  The townhomes will have an open house coming up in a few weeks.  Details on the open house will be released soon. 





The University of Minnesota Crookston, Crookston School District, City of Crookston, Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA), Crookston Youth Foundation, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc., Crookston Chamber and Visitor's Bureau, Polk County Public Health, Polk County Wellness Coalition, Downtown Crookston Development Partnership, Bike Crookston invite area community members and organizations to a “Quality of Place” brainstorming session on Wednesday, September 19. The event will be held at the Tri-Valley Administrative Office at 102 North Broadway in Crookston at 4:00 pm. The session will focus on recruitment and retention of talent (people).

Urban Land Magazine describes “Quality of Place” as cutting across three key dimensions:
·  What’s there: the combination of the built environment and the natural environment; a stimulating, appealing setting for the pursuit of creative lives.
·  Who’s there: diverse people of all ethnicities, nationalities, religions, and sexual orientations, interacting and providing clear cues that this is a community where anyone can fit in and make a life.
·  What’s going on: the vibrancy of the street life, café culture, arts, and music; the visible presence of people engaging in outdoor activities—altogether a lot of active, exciting, creative goings-ons.

If you have any questions about the brainstorming session, or if your organization would like to be included as part of the invitation as a community partner, please contact Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen at





The next University of Minnesota Crookston Thursday Commons will feature "Refuse to Lose - Four Ways to Become a Guaranteed Student Success Story" by speaker Odell Bizzell on Thursday, September 20, from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.
The event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served. Odell Bizzell is a blogger, speaker, author, and entrepreneur. He discusses the intersection of leadership and diversity and how to become more effective leaders in a diverse world.
Co-sponsored by Diversity & Multicultural Programs; Student Activities; Business Department; Agriculture & Natural Resources Department; Math, Science & Technology Department; Liberal Arts & Education Department; Concerts & Lectures, and the Coca-Cola Beverage Grant.







Republican Dave Hughes, making his second attempt to unseat incumbent Collin Peterson – D, visited with local community members Friday at RBJ’s restaurant in Crookston.  Hughes said it was a good discussion and he always appreciates getting out with the voters, talking about the voters.  Throughout the event he talked about his platform and the ways he differs from his opponent.
“A couple of recent highlights, the tax reform from last fall, not a single democrat voted for it including Collin Peterson, I would’ve voted for it,” said Hughes.  “Agriculture in western Minnesota badly needs immigration reform because they need that labor and a couple of good provisions in bills that failed partly because Collin voted against them.”
Hughes also said that the farm bill is a big reason he will be better for District 7.  He said that for seven to eight weeks his opponent walked away, wouldn’t speak to the chairman of the committee, offered no amendments to the bill and ultimately voted against both farm bills over the SNAP benefit piece in the bill.
He also expressed several times throughout the day, that although he does not have an agriculture background, he would work for the agriculture in the district and expressed interest in meeting with locals to learn more about the sugar beet industry.

             Dave Hughes at his stop in Crookston on Friday





The Minnesota Supreme Court convened in Thief River Falls recently as part of a program that seeks to teach students about the court system.  Among the nearly 700 people in attendance, was a contingent of about 30 students from Crookston High School and American Government teacher Robbie Nessler.
The state’s highest court heard oral arguments of an actual case – State of Minnesota, Respondent, vs. Gerald Robinson, Appellant (Case No. A17-0525) – in front of students from all over northwest Minnesota.

“This was oral arguments for a case that had been appealed from our District Courts, to the Court of Appeals, all the way to the Supreme Court,” said Nessler.  “As the attorney’s made their arguments, the justices would interrupt them to clarify or ask questions and the attorney’s demonstrated they can think on their feet, they have to know the law like the bad of their hand and due their research.  It was a great opportunity to what happens at the highest level.”
Nessler said he hopes that the students gained a better understanding of how the system works and that they were aware of the amount of preparation and the hard work it took for the justices and the case to get to the state’s highest court.  
Kaleb Bakken, a senior, commented on witnessing the Supreme Court, “it was pretty cool because we’ve been studying this specific case in class.” He added,” it was kind of cool to see how they operated, not only with the prosecutor and attorney, but how the justices put their own thoughts even as the prosecutor and attorney were talking, its nothing like on tv.”
Following the oral arguments, members of the Court held a questions and answer session with the students.  The Minnesota Supreme Court opinions are generally released about three to five months following the oral arguments.  More information about the argument heard in Thief River Falls including the summary of issues and opinion from the Court of Appeals can be found at





The Crookston Park Board will meet at 4:15 p.m. Monday at City Hall.  The agenda includes approving the minutes from the August meeting and the only topic on the regular agenda is the budget. 





Carrier and Adams Heating and Cooling recently announced Precious Adams, of Crookston, is one of this year’s recipients of the $1,500 Carrier Distributor’s Education Foundation Scholarship.
This is the third year in a row that Precious has been awarded this scholarship. The scholarship is available to dependents of Carrier HVAC dealers and contractors and their employees. Precious was able to apply and receive this award because her father’s company, Adams Heating and Cooling, has had a tenured business partnership with Carrier. When selecting finalists, qualities such as academic performance, leadership, motivation, and extracurricular involvement are taken into consideration.
Since first receiving this award in 2016, Precious has continued to excel tremendously in her studies and involvement. In 2017, she spent her summer studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain, at Mester School of Spanish Language to contribute to her Spanish Language minor. In addition, she studied at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa during her spring 2018 semester. While in South Africa, she studied cultural diversity and volunteered at the SOS Children’s Village Orphanage where she spent time teaching English language fundamentals to the children.
Precious is now attending her junior year of college at St. Cloud State University, majoring in Global Business Management and minoring in Spanish Language. On campus, she is involved in the SCSU Run club, and Travel and Tourism club. Part time, she works as a desk assistant through work study. She is interviewing for internship opportunities for the summer of 2019, with hopes to work towards her goal of finding a career in management at a global corporation.

Precious Adams (right) receiving the award




At approximately 8:18 a.m. on Saturday, September 15, the East Grand Forks Police pursued a vehicle into Grand Forks on Demers Ave. The Grand Forks Police Department took over on the pursuit near 42nd St. & Demers Ave. The vehicle involved was a maroon Suburban with ND plates and a male driver. The pursuit went south on S. 42nd St. and then east to the Altru Hospital area with the vehicle not stopping. A decision to was made to discontinue the pursuit near the Columbia Road Overpass due to safety concerns. Later the vehicle was again pursued from East Grand Forks to Grand Forks by East Grand Forks Police but not pursued in Grand Forks. A citizen reported last seeing the vehicle west bound from S. Columbia Rd and 24th Ave. S. Investigation is continuing by Grand Forks and East Grand Forks Police. Anyone with information is asked to contact either agency.








On Friday, September 14 at approximately 3:24 a.m. the Polk County Sheriff's Office responded to a property damage motor vehicle accident at 104 Washington Avenue NW in Fertile.  When officer's arrived, they observed a red Chevrolet Suburban had hit the Opdahl Donuts store.  Occupants of the vehicle were located and refused medical services.  The case is under investigation by the Polk County Sheriff's Office and no further information is being released at this time.





The Northwest Regional Corrections Board met earlier this week at the Polk County Justice Center.  Much of the boards discussion was over per diem rates at the Red River Juvenile Detention Center (RRJDC) and a proposal to offer a new expanded and possibly extended contract to Mahnomen County at the Northwest Regional Correction Center (NWRCC).
According to Tri-County Community Corrections Executive Director Andrew Larson, the RRJDC has one of the lowest per diem rates in the state at $175 for non-secure and $190 for secure juveniles.  Throughout the state these rates very greatly, ranging up to $300 or more charged to agencies contracting to hold juveniles in some facilities.  “Over the last couple of years, we’ve made a concerted effort to slowly increase our rates so we’re more in-line with other facilities throughout the state,” said Larson.  “At today’s meeting the board decided to make an increase of $10 a day on both sides of the facilities for non-member counties, the rate for member counties will not change.”

The board also discussed at length the expiring contract with Clay County for beds, or the number of guaranteed spaces for inmates, at the NWRCC.  There is no current expiration date on that contract, however it will conclude shortly after the completion of the new Joint Law Enforcement Center in Moorhead, which could be as early as September.  Once complete the Joint Law Enforcement Center will have space for 188 inmates, up from the 90 inmates their current facilities hold.  The current contract with Clay County is for 20 beds and generates almost $370,000 in revenue for Tri-County Corrections. 
Mahnomen County, which doesn’t have a jail to house inmates, contracts out all their inmates to other facilities including a current contract for 12 beds at the NWRCC on a yearly contract. Today the board discussed a proposal from Larson to negotiate a new contract with Mahnomen County to possibly expand their contract in terms of beds and to enter a three-year contract rather than yearly.  “I provided the board with a couple of different contract options, pretty similar to the model we use with Clay County,” Larson said.  Larson will be presenting to the Mahnomen County board on Tuesday, September 18 to see if there is interest on their end in extending the current contract to 25 or 30 beds.  Larson added, “One of the advantages for us, is that Mahnomen is part of the 9th Judicial District with Polk, Norman and Red Lake Counties so the same judges cover this larger area."

The NWRCC, has in the past, also housed inmates from Pennington County.  It is expected that Pennington County won’t have the same needs to get beds at the NWRCC soon, as they just completed their own new facility, the Pennington County Regional Justice Center, which tripled their number of beds to 94.




The first ever Kickback to Crookston Kickball Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, September 22 at the Highland Park Complex. The event is being organized by Garrett Kollin of Thrivent Financial and Dr. Craig Theede of Aspen Chiropatic.
"Craig and I thought this would be a great idea to get people together in the fall and have some fun in the community," said Kollin. "Looking to have some good fun and also looking for teams to get a little creative and have some costumes or uniforms and will give out an award or maybe some prizes to the best dressed team."
Teams should be of 10-15 players, with a mix of males and females. Registration is $100 and the top teams will get to direct the proceeds to the non-profit of their choice. First place will direct 60% and second place will direct the remaining 40%.
To register your team, contact Garrett at Thrivent Financial by phone at 218-280-6407, by email at or Craig at Aspen Chiropractic by phone at 218-281-3811.




Altru Clinics in Crookston, Erskine, Fertile, and Red Lake Falls are offering flu shot clinics to make getting vaccinated convenient and to reduce the spread of influenza. Altru recommends influenza vaccinations for all persons six months and older per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Altru walk-in flu shot clinics include the following dates and times:

Altru Clinic | Crookston
September 19 | 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m.
October 2 | 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m.
October 19 | 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m.
Walk-ins are welcome. Children 9 and under will need to call ahead.

Altru Clinic | Fertile
September 24 | 9 a.m. 4 p.m.

Altru Clinic | Erskine
Flu shots are available on a walk-in basis each week Monday through Friday from 8:30 11:30 a.m. and 1 4 p.m.

Altru Clinic | Red Lake Falls
October 8 | 1 p.m. 4 p.m.
For more information on Altrus influenza vaccination or for influenza vaccinations at regional locations, please visit 




The Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council is seeking candidates for three positions on its board of directors. Members of the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council are elected to direct Minnesota wheat checkoff dollars to benefit wheat producers.
Board members must be wheat producers willing to serve as leaders and advocates for the Minnesota wheat industry and to work to improve industry profitability and viability. To be considered, a person must have shared in the profits and risk of loss from producing wheat during the current or preceding marketing year.
Directors are elected to serve three-year terms, and the board meets approximately six times throughout the year. The following positions are open:

Area 1 Representatives - Two Positions open:
Area 1 includes the counties of Beltrami, Clearwater, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Polk, Pennington, Red Lake and Roseau.

Area 2 Representative - One Position open:
Area 2 includes the counties of Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Traverse, Wilkin, Aitkin, Becker, Carlton, Cass, Clay, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kanabec, Lake, Mahnomen, Morrison, Norman, Pine, St. Louis, Todd and Wadena.

To become a candidate, you need to fill out a short candidate form. Call Minnesota Wheat Council Office 1-800-242-6118 extension 3, for candidate form.
Council elections will be held at multiple polling locations throughout Minnesota. These locations will be in conjunction with the Small Grains Update meetings the week of January 15-18 and January 28, 2019. Alternatively, eligible producers can request an absentee ballot by December 11, 2018. Request a ballot by calling the MWRPC office or emailing Ruth White, Minnesota, Department of Agriculture, at
Absentee ballots need to be returned with a postmark of December 26, 2018.






The Crookston School District enrollments have been tabulated and released and the numbers are one student off the district’s projection from this summer.
Crookston Public Schools have 1,124 students enrolled on the first day of classes with 541 at Crookston High School (7-12), 416 at Highland School (2-6) and 261 at Washington School (School Readiness – 1st).  The projected enrollment was 1,125.  Crookston Schools Superintendent Jeremy Olson talked about the enrollment said they are hoping to add a few more students.  “Obviously we would liked to have seen a few more students show up on day one, but we were pretty close to our conservative projection of 1,125 and we ended up with 1,124 and my hope is we will increase a little bit,” said Olson. “It is well within what we budgeted, so we will be stable (financially) as a district.”

Breakdown by grades are as follows -
School Readiness - 94

K -    80
1st -  87
2nd – 62 (smallest)
3rd -  93
4th -   81
5th -   94
6th -   86
7th -   93
8th -  107 (largest grade)
9th -   91
10th - 79
11th - 92
12th - 79





The new 12 x 18 foot flag was raised over Landslide Park in Crookston on Wednesday night.  Crookston Parks and Recreation Director Scott Riopelle commented on the occasion, "We thank the Luckow family, Kirk was instrumental in helping put this together. A lot of people here tonight to see the raising and they get to see it in dark which is pretty nice with the lights."
Kirk Lukow who was a major contributor to the flag becoming a reality.  "I've always wanted to see another beautiful flag as you enter the city of the Crookston," said Lukow. "Mostly as a thank you to the community, to all hardworking Americans, all our hardworking towns-folks, the farmers around the area. And last but not least in honor of our fallen, veterans and all those presently serving our country."
The large flag will be flown at 60 feet high, so people entering town on Highway 2 from the west won't miss the new Crookston landmark.

             Scott Riopelle gets some assistance raising the flag                                       The new flag flying high above Landslide Park




Motorists on Highway 2 near Erskine will encounter temporary lane closures in both directions starting Monday, September 17, weather permitting. Crews will begin preparation work for a construction project that will take place next spring. 
The project, which is scheduled to begin in spring 2019, will include replacing the entire pavement surface from the west side of Erskine up to the Erskine Weigh Station on Highway 2.
The upcoming alternating lane closures and temporary crossover lanes will last into early October and will allow crews to begin prepping the road surface for construction, so they can begin immediately next year.
MnDOT urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution, slowdown in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones. For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.




The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) has been named one of Money’s Best Colleges for 2018-19. The campus is ranked at number 190 among the list of the 727 best colleges in America. View Money’s full list of best colleges at Money analyzed more than 25 data points including graduation rates, tuition costs, family borrowing, and alumni earnings to rank its list of the country’s top values in higher education. The methodology is available at
UMC has been ranked among the top 100 Baccalaureate Colleges in the U.S. by Washington Monthly in its 2018 College Guide. Washington Monthly touts its college rankings as an alternative to those done by other organizations in that the focus is on outcomes, and it uses three evaluative data pillars in its methodology: social mobility, research, and public service. The publication includes higher education institutions in four distinctive categories: National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Master’s Universities, and Baccalaureate Colleges. Each category includes both public and private institutions. UMC came in at #85 (its highest ranking to date) in its category, Baccalaureate Colleges, and it is the only Minnesota college in the top 100 on that list. View Washington Monthly’s full “2018 Rankings -- Baccalaureate Colleges” list at 
The Crookston campus was recently announced as having not only one of the lowest average student debt figures in the entire state of Minnesota for the graduating Class of 2017, but also one of the lowest average student debt figures for all public institutions in the U.S. Specifically, UMC ranked #5 among public and private institutions of higher education in Minnesota in terms of having one of the lowest average student debt figures (refer to UMC also ranked #184 among the “Public Top 200 Lowest Debt” public colleges and universities in the nation. These rankings were released as part of LendEDU’s third annual Student Loan Debt by School by State Report. Learn more at




The East Grand Forks Police Department is currently holding their annual police auction.  This year's auction features 34 vehicles and dozens of bicycles.  The vehicles and bicycles can be seen at the East Grand Forks Police Department.  In order to make a bid, please visit the website: Further details about the vehicles can also be found on that website.  The online auction closes at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 16.





On September 12 officers from the Grand Forks Police Department were dispatched to the intersection of 32nd Ave. South and South 20th Street for a report of a vehicle which had struck a pedestrian.
Initial investigation revealed that a 2018 Chevy Suburban driven by 26 year old Tiffany Noreikis of Warren Minnesota was Westbound 32nd Avenue South approaching the crosswalk east of the intersection of 20th St. and 32nd Avenue South when she struck a juvenile male riding his bike who was Northbound in the crosswalk. Investigation shows Noreikis had the right of way (green light) at the time of the crash and the bicycle crossed against the do not walk signal.
The juvenile was transported to Altru hospital for non-life threatening injuries. No other injuries or property damage was reported. The accident is currently under investigation.
Grand Forks Fire Department and Altru Ambulance assisted during this incident.
Anyone with further information in regards to this incident is asked to contact the police department at (701) 787-8000.





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