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FRIDAY - AUGUST 22,  2014

CROOKSTON DEVELOPMENT POLICY AND REVIEW COMMITTEE LOOKS AT BORROWING MORE MONEY FROM THE USDA

The City of Crookston Development Policy and Review Committee met on Thursday and reviewed the intermediary relending program (IRP). Over 85 businesses in Crookston have benefited from the IRP loan program since it was started in 1982. The committee discussed borrowing another $800,000 from the USDA, which has to be matched by the city with $150,000. “The council requested that the committee meet and come up with a recommendation on borrowing money from the USDA for the IRP loan fund,” said Angel Hoeffner, Crookston Finance Director. “It has been used in the community for local businesses and more money is needed to continue the program. The city has to match the request of $800,000 with $150,000 and if they are not comfortable with that request, the council has to decide what they are comfortable with.”
There are 11 active loans at the present time which are all current in their payments. The committee elected Brian Frisk as their chairman and Brad Brekken as the vice chairman. The committees recommendation will now go to the city council for final approval.

 

 

PRINCETON REVIEW NAMES UMC ONE OF 159 COLLEGES AS BEST IN THE MIDWEST

The Princeton Review, an education services company widely known for its test prep programs and college and graduate school guides, named the University of Minnesota Crookston as one of 159 colleges in their "Best in the Midwest” for 2015.  This recognition marks the eighth consecutive year the campus has been included as a Best in the Midwest. Results are posted in the website feature, "2015 Best Colleges: Region by Region" at www.princetonreview.com/best-regional-colleges.aspx.

Selection Process
The Princeton Review editors narrowed their choices based on institutional data the Company collected directly from several hundred colleges in each region, staff visits to schools over the years, and the opinions college counselors and advisors whose recommendations the Company invites.
For this project, The Princeton Review asks students attending the schools to rate their own schools on several issues -- from the accessibility of their professors to the quality of their science lab facilities -- and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students, and their campus life.
The Princeton Review also rates the schools on its "2015 Best Colleges: Region by Region" list in six categories. The rating scores (on a scale of 60 to 99) appear on the school profiles, and are tallied from institutional data the Company obtained from the colleges in 2013-14 and/or its student survey data.

About The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is a leading test preparation and college admission services company. Every year it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through its test preparation, tutoring, and admissions services, its online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Random House LLC. The Princeton Review is headquartered in Natick, MA.  For more information, visit www.princetonreview.com.

 

 

POLK COUNTY CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS RANKS 13TH IN THE STATE

August is child support awareness month proclaimed by Governor Mark Dayton. Governor Dayton wants all Minnesotans to look to the future of the state and children and work together to ensure their success.
Sylvia Nelson, supervisor of the Polk County Child Support Enforcement Unit explained the program to collect child support payments for children from parents. “We make collections in the county at the rate of 79 percent which ranks us at 13th in the state of Minnesota,” said Nelson. Polk County collected $4,001,238.00 in 2013 with 1,942 open cases of which 1,812 were court ordered.
$4,993,562.00 in collections were disbursed in 2013 with an average of $2,756 disbursed per case. Suspending drivers licenses is used to help get payments collected. “The workers work very hard to get the payments collected and we have 209 cases are in the drivers licenses suspension program,” said Nelson.
66 percent of the program is funded by the federal government.

 

 

 

THURSDAY - AUGUST 21,  2014

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT TEST SCORES HAVE A LOT OF ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

Test scores have been the topic of discussion after the Grand Forks Herald did a story on area school district test scores and the scores weren’t good for Crookston. “We did not place where we wanted and we need to pick up the gauntlet and for whatever reasons,” said Crookston Schools Superintendent Chris Bates. “We are still working to improve ourselves and make ourselves better than the last year.”
Teaching to the tests or not is a question being asked. “I think sometimes the phrase testing to the test gives a bad rap providing we are testing what kids really need to know we should teach to the test,” said Bates. “We have to ask if we are testing the kids skills that they need. The state is trying to do better and we are also as we collect more data all the time. It can become overwhelming and it can show one thing or another thing with another set of data, but we want our kids to do better and the new principals have it as a top priority.” Bates said they have placed common prep at Highland School and the High School where teachers can work together in small groups and will improve the test scores from where they have been.”

Graduation rates were lower than most would expect and like, but part of the reason for low graduation rates in the area is because they are calculated in a unique manner by the state according. “Typically when we talk about graduation rates you take the number of seniors who started the year and then at the end you may have one or two that don’t graduate, it would be about 98 percent,” said Crookston High School Principal Eric Bubna. “But the state looks at the number of freshmen who came to school and then the number of those that graduates, so if a student starts in ninth grade and then moves to another state or district they could disappear off the radar because they moved. The district looks at students who start the year and those who there at the end of the year while the state looks at ninth graders and the number who walk across the stage.” The counting is complicated by the state and the district has no control if a student leaves so the system the state uses is hard to understand.

 

 

CROOKSTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BEAUTIFICATION AWARDS HANDED OUT

The Crookston Chamber of Commerce Beautification committee handed out the 2014 beautification awards to the four winners of this year contest.  They are pictured below.


Presentation of a Public Institution or Church - Evangelical Covenant Church- Youth Director Alex Melin and Pastor Tim Bhajjan - special thanks to Jerry and Becky Rude and Theresa Helgeson


Lifetime Achievement Award- Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception- Emmagail Frantz and Trishia Ramstad- special thanks to Michelle Beeghly


Presentation of a Landscaped Business- Polk County DAC - Michael Tate (Ron's Lawncare) Deb Dubuque, Jo Bittner and Logan Prudhomme (Ron's Lawn Care) 


Presentation of a Storefront Business- Shear Sisters- Kari Trudeau, T Durbin, Deb Altepeter and Tiffany Fee (Scored 100% in all the rounds of judging and as a reward they get 100 candy bars)

 

 

 

 

UMC STUDENTS TO GET NEW LAPTOPS THIS YEAR, 59 NEW INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WITH 35 FROM BRAZIL

Fall semester classes at the University of Minnesota Crookston begin Tuesday, August 26, 2014, and faculty and staff are on campus this week participating in a number of workshops and activities in anticipation of the arrival of students and the beginning of the semester.

New Laptops
The new laptops arrived earlier in August and are ready for students. Staff in the HelpDesk have loaded the 1,150 HP EliteBook 840 G1 Notebook PCs, which boast an Intel i5-4200U (1.6GHz w/turbo, 3MB cache) processor as well as a touch screen. Over the past several years, the campus has experimented with convertible tablet computers (2-in-1 devices) through pilot programs where many of the faculty and some staff members have participated. Technology Support Services continues to expand its pilot testing of various convertible and detachable tablet designs.

Pathway to Nursing
Recently, Chancellor Fred Wood and Vice Chancellor Barbara Keinath met with Connie Delaney, Ph.D., R.N., professor and dean of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing in Minneapolis. The meeting ended with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the U of M Crookston and the U of M School of Nursing (UMSN) on the Twin Cities campus. The purpose of the MOU is to develop a framework of cooperation or a “pathway to nursing” which would allow qualified UM Crookston graduates to enroll in the Master of Nursing program at the UMSN.U of M Crookston students would complete a series of required coursework that would prepare them for the Master of Nursing program.  The two institutions would work collaboratively in the recruitment and advising of students preparing for the UMSN program. UMC faculty and staff would coordinate with the Office of Student and Career Advancement Services there. Ideally, students going on to study in the Master of Nursing program would return to rural Minnesota to complete clinical training.  The program is an innovative response to an impending shortage of nurses. It also addresses the increased level of educational preparedness expected from nurses now entering this career field.
Faculty and staff from the U of M School of Nursing are planning to visit the Crookston campus to further discuss the program on October 23, and both institutions will continue to work on the process throughout the academic year.

International Students
Of the 59 new international students on campus this fall, 35 of them are from Brazil. For one academic year, these students, funded through the Brazilian government, are studying mainly in the animal science pre-vet program area, but all of them are studying within the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, known as STEM. They will be joining two students from Brazil who have been on campus this summer.

Campus Garden
The Allan and Freda Pedersen Garden has been providing fresh produce to the campus since mid-August and student-athletes have already enjoyed some of the harvest. The garden is a cooperative project between the University and community with a host of collaborators including the Office of Student Affairs, Office of Academic Affairs, Sodexo Dining Services, Center for Sustainability, and Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. U of M Extension provided guidance though Terry Nennich, a fruit and vegetable specialist, and Todd Cymbaluk, a local gardener and agriculturalist, provided technical expertise. 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY - AUGUST 20,  2014

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT TO HOLD REGISTRATION DAY ON THURSDAY, WASHINGTON SCHOOL WORK CLOSE TO COMPLETION

Back to School Registration day for the Crookston School District is Thursday at the Crookston High School commons from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Denice Oliver, the Washington School Principal said they are ready to get started and asks parents to get their children registered on Thursday. “Registration is for all students on Thursday,” said Oliver. “It gives parents the opportunity to get all the paperwork done before the first day of school, get transportation done, get immunizations for kindergarten, early childhood or early readiness children. It is just a great time to get it all done.”
All the necessary paperwork will be at the tables for the parents for each school. Registration can be done online at the Crookston School district website at www.crookston.k12.mn.us.

Renovations at Washington School are getting close to completion. “We are in good shape, the roofing is still taking place, windows are installed, the security system is ready, and we got the certificate that teachers could get in their classroom on Monday so they are getting ready for the year,” said Oliver. “We have a full staff with no changes for the first time in many years so we are ready to get started.”

Early childhood programs, school readiness and the pathway programs are at Washington and will get started on September15. Parents of those programs can register on Thursday. “We have adopted a new reading curriculum that provides material for the teachers and gives them the tools for kindergarten through sixth grade, called Benchmark Literacy for reading, writing and phonics, with all the materials available online also,” said Oliver. ”We have new technology in each classroom with a projector to use white boards for the whole class can enjoy the book. We also have document cameras which will allow teachers to project documents on the board and screen for the children to see for study instruction.”

 

 

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ARE TOLD THE COUNTY HAS A SHORTAGE OF RENTAL HOUSING

Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and approved the advertisement and replacement of two registered nurses for Polk County Public Health.
Lee Meier and Mark Finstad brought the commissioners up to date on activities of the Northwest Minnesota Multi County Housing and Redevelopment Authority in Mentor. The HRA gets funding from the county through a levy. Mark Finstad is vice chairman of the HRA board and said rental housing is the biggest need in the county. “I am the chairman of the Economic Development Authority in Fosston and there is a shortage of rental housing in are area and HRA has built a spec home in Fosston so we are helping in that way, but the lack of rental housing is the biggest problem,” said Finstad. “The HRA housing is completely full right now so that is an area we have to address in the future by constructing rental properties. There are a lot of jobs which is good but housing is needed to go with the jobs.”
Finstad said rental housing will continue to be a top priority for the HRA. “We will face the challenge of filling housing throughout the county with entry level housing for the workforce that is not ready to buy a house yet,” said Finstad. “There are houses for sale but rental housing is full which means the economy is doing well.”
Polk County received Housing Assistance payments of $778,447.00 in the past year.

 

 

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HEAR FROM STATE FAIR BOUND 4H'ERS

The Minnesota State Fair starts on Thursday and that means 35 Polk County 4-H’ers are preparing to exhibit their animals and demonstrations. Two Polk County 4-H’ers spoke to the Polk County Commissioners on Tuesday about their projects and a recent citizenship trip to Washington D. C.

Hannah Rolf, of McIntosh will be a senior at Win-E-Mac High School this fall and has returned from the Washington D.C. trip with a lot of memories. “It was a lot of fun and a learning experience at all the memorials, saw all the people that died at World War II and those that died from 9-11 at the pentagon,” said Rolf. “The favorite was Arlington Cemetery and the least favorite was the Holocaust museum.” I’m getting ready for the state fair I am taking a Junior two year old registered Holstein milking cow and I show Saturday, this will be my third year at the state fair.”

Mary Welin, of Fosston will be a senior at Fosston High School and said the Washington D.C. trip was very educational. “Mount Vernon and Arlington Cemetery were my favorites, I am bringing back lots of ideas and I am going to volunteer at the nursing home which is part of the action plan,” said Welin. “I learned more about the government and met kids from many other states.” Welin heads for the state fair where she will show a registered red angus breeding junior year heifer for the third year.
Nick Donarski of Fisher and Jean Balstad of Fosston also went to Washington D.C. The trip cost was $1,400 with the County 4-H federation paying half and the 4-H’ers paying the other half.

Kristie Johnson is the 4-H program coordinator for the county and will be attending the state fair with the students. “We have two different groups heading for the fair, the livestock are on their way and will stay until Sunday and the other 27 kids will go on the 28th and stay till the end,” said Johnson. Projects include demonstrations, vet science, photography, crafts and a wide range of projects. “A lot of first time 4-H’ers will get their first experience, as they get to stay in the 4-H Hilton and meeting all the people,” said Johnson, who has missed the state fair only twice in her life, once for college orientation and when she was one year old. The commissioners are pleased with how the 4-H program has grown across the county and wished them all good luck at the fair.

 

 

 

CROOKSTON PIRATE FINE ARTS BOOSTERS KICKING OFF THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR FUND DRIVE

The Crookston Pirate Fine Arts Boosters (PFAB) is kicking off the fund drive for the 2014-2015 school year. Community support of the fine arts programs in our schools has been outstanding, with  over $14,000 distributed to the fine arts programs in the Crookston public schools this past year.   The amount gifted to these programs has steadily grown over the past years.  As a part of supporting fine arts programs they are currently looking at the needs of the auditorium, i.e. lighting, etc.  You can see where over $14,000 was used to help the fine arts in the Crookston School District.  If you are interested in donating to the Crookston Pirate Fine Arts you can click here for the form. 

The following programs were funded in the Fall of 2013.
Junior High Art  - $500
(Paint and brushes, glazes and printing ink)
High School Art - $1,662
(Lockerbie pottery wheel, painting supplies)
Theater - $1,500
(Musical scripts and royalties, accompanist, light technician) 
Band - $2,500
(Guest clinician, curriculum development resources, headset microphone, set of 4 Pbone – model of trombone used in pep and marching band.)
Choir/Orchestra - $2,500
(16 channel mixing console with case, microphones and cables)
Choir - $750
(Smart music (accompaniments for contest literature that includes an assessment tool),  awards, music)
Washington Elementary Music - $400
(Portable microphone system)
Highland Elementary Music - $2,500
(Rhythmically Moving and Gameplan music curriculums. (Gameplan follows the training of Carl Orff, a method of teaching elementary music), Bass xylophone
Auditorium - $1,250
(Stage monitor, wireless microphone, light bulb replacements)
Total awarded             $13,562

Scholarships Awarded Summer 2014
1.  International Music Camp                           Voice                  $100
2.  International Music Camp                           Strings                  100
3.  Dance Etc. Studio                                         Dance                   100
4.  Just for Kix                                                   Dance                   100      

Artist in the Schools Fall 2013
Charlie Maguire, singer/song writer  Washington Elementary first grade - $300

 

 

 

 

UMC AND DUKE STAFF COLLABORATE ON RESEARCH PROJECTS

A long-term collaboration between researchers at the University of Minnesota Crookston and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has produced a number of major publications in the past months as well as a fourth publication at the end of 2013. U of M Crookston co-authors and contributors are Alvin Killough, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in the Liberal Arts & Education Department, and Eryn Killough, teaching specialist in UMC's English as a Second Language program. Eryn is also a graduate student completing her Masters' degree in education at University of Minnesota Duluth.  

One publication was a review, summary, and exploration of educational literature focused on processes particularly in the United States that produce disparities in educational outcomes. Based on a historical context of inequity and social and cultural preferences, the authors present education as a microcosm of the larger American system. The paper is distinguished from many previous papers in its identification of problems in the current educational system, but then follows with a series of concrete recommendations for those problems. Lead by Alvin Killough and flanked by a second Minnesota researcher, Eryn Killough, the paper can be found at: Killough, A., Killough, E., Edwards, C.L., Burnett, J. (2014). Beyond America's White Hegemony:  In Response to a Rapidly Emerging Global Multi-Cultural Learning Community.  International Journal of Science, Commerce, and Humanities, 2(5), 93-110

A second project focused on the important role of perception in the risk for the development of depression among chronically ill Black adults. The idea was to derive a deeper understanding of the ways that subpopulations cope with chronic disease-related pain and thereby inform the development of models that better target individual and clinic resource utilizations.  That paper can be found at: Edwards, C.L., Killough, A., Wood, M., Doyle, T., Feliu, M., Barker, C.S., Uppal, P., DeCastro, L., Wellington, C., Whitfield, K.E., O'Garo, K.N., Morgan, K., Alesii, L.Y.E., Byrd, G.S., McCabe, M., Goli, V., Keys, A., Hill, L., Collins-McNeil, J., Trambadia, J., Guinyard, D., Muhammad, M., McDonald, P., Schmechel, D., Robinson. E. (2014). Emotional Reactions to Pain Predict Psychological Distress in Adult Patients with Sickle Cell Disease.  International Journal of Psychiatry and Medicine, 47(1), 1-16

A third project, represented by a published paper focused on treating pain and psychopathology in an African woman afflicted with HIV, also united the expertise of University of Minnesota researchers. In a manner not done previously, the lead researcher suggested that the paper identified "culture" as a primary influence on patient's presentation for care, diagnosis, treatment, and expectations for clinical outcomes." Using a case presentation format, researchers from Duke and Crookston conceptualized cultural influences on psychological and medical outcomes, and based on their previous work with health in an African population and ongoing collaborations, reportedly were committed to a continuation of this line of research. The full article can be found at: Edwards, C.L., Bryson, W.J., McCabe, M., Trambadia, J., Scott, D., Muhammad, M., Killough, A., Sudhakar, S., Keys, A., Feliu, M., McNeil, J., Barker, C.S., Wood, M., Reif, R., Hill, L., O'Garo, K.G.N., Bulthuis, C., Peasant, C., Kidd, A.C., Robinson, E.,Treatment of PTSD in an HIV-Positive Rwandan Woman with a Recent Stroke: A Case Report on The Role of Culture, Norms, and Expectations for Psychotherapy.Research, 1, 980.

A fourth project, published in late 2013, critically reviews research from a systematic examination of articles published in PubMed between 1995 and 2013 concerning smoking patterns specific to immigrants of African descent in the U.S. given expected migration patterns to the U.S. and Minnesota.  The paper is distinguished from many previous papers in two ways.  First, it is one of the few attempts to bridge the gaps in scientific literature given the comparatively lack of research directed specifically to immigrants of African descent in the U.S. Second it promotes an acknowledgment of the inadequacy of the contemporary research given the complication of the too often use of the term ―"Black" in research to subsume culturally diverse groups of Africans recently living in the U.S. and emigrating to Minnesota. Lead by Alvin Killough and again flanked by a second Minnesota researcher, Eryn Killough, the full paper can be found at: Killough, A., Killough, E., Hill, L.K., Edwards, C.L. (2013). Exploring the cultural context of tobacco use for prevention among ethnic groups of African descent. International Journal of Science, Commerce, and Humanities, 1(8), 121-147.


        Alvin and Eryn Killough with Chancellor Fred Wood
 

 

 

 

TUESDAY - AUGUST 19, 2014

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL HOLDS STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSION TO SET PRIORITIES FOR 2015, HOUSING , MARKETING AND PARTNERSHIPS TOP THE LIST

The Crookston City Council held a strategic planning session on Monday evening to set priorities as they plan the budget for 2015. City Administrator Shannon Stassen presented a list of priorities for the council to study and partnerships with businesses, UMC and the school district are at the top of the list. “It is very important that we partner with the community businesses and one of the main things that the council members and staff agree makes Crookston unique is the University of Minnesota Crookston so partnering with them and the school district is vitally important in going forward so that is a strategy we need to employ,” said Stassen.
Internships with area companies will benefit everyone and it was suggested that city staff get involved with the school district.
Marketing the city is a priority so a plan needs to be developed. “After being at the chamber and having a marketing campaign there are things we can do externally to Grand Forks and Thief River Falls and area communities to let them know what we have going for us,” said Stassen. “We have the advantage of a small town and advantages of a large community as well, so we have a unique combination we have going for us.” Stassen also said the city has to do internal marketing to spread the word to residents to help spread the word.
Promoting wellness is a core value for the community so the city works with Polk County Public Health to get programs in place. Housing for the city workforce is another top priority. “Housing is a key to keeping a labor force, we need to continue on. Getting apartments in spaces that are available downtown so we need to get them on line and retail will be helped at the same time,” said Stassen.
The council will continue working on the budget for 2015 as they want to keep the levy that same as 2014.

 

 

UMC STARTS CLASSES ON TUESDAY AUGUST 26, FALL SPORTS TEAMS HAVE ALREADY STARTED PRACTICE

University of Minnesota Crookston students are arriving this week for practices, orientation and meetings as the campus gets ready for the first day of classes on Tuesday, August 26. “Overall (online and on campus) enrollment looks like it may be a hair higher than last year considering the huge graduation class last spring, which was the largest in the campus history,” said UMC Chancellor Dr. Fred Wood. “The faculty, staff and community all have a role in recruitment and retention with the Golden Eagles and M’s in the windows and the community does a good job of welcome the students.”  Many students are already on campus with the football, soccer and volleyball teams already holding their first practices over the past week.
Renovations on facilities and underground infrastructure are close to completion. “We have a lot of facility changes, roof work, survey for electrical infrastructure on campus where the legislature provided $2.5 million specifically for the Crookston campus,” said Chancellor Wood. “Fiber cable has been laid out for broadband so everything is wired, interior painting, the grounds are incredibly beautiful and the garden in honor of Freda and Alan Pedersen producing vegetables.”
Boring samples have been done for the wellness center and a ceremonial ground breaking will be held on September 22 with President Kaler, and other dignitaries. Real construction will begin in the spring with the opening in the fall of 2016.”

 

 

 

LOCATION FOR THE CROOKSTON SPLASH PARK STILL UP IN THE AIR AFTER THE PARK BOARD MEETING

Construction of a 500 square foot splash park was discussed at the Crookston Park Board meeting on Monday, with the main concern being the location of the park.  “We came up with a couple of options and then today the swimming pool was brought up as changes have occurred at the pool along with renovations,” said Scott Riopelle, Crookston Park and Recreation director. “We need to have conversations with the school district and the splash park committee.”
Castle Park and Highland Complex were the main locations until council member Wayne Melbye asked to look at locating the splash park by the swimming pool which the board agreed to do as they will talk to the school board. The splash park committee has raised over $48,000 needed to get to their goal of $50,000.
The plan with the splash park is to have the committee raise the money for three years of operation so the city has no cost. “The committee has enough raised for the 500 foot splash park versus a larger one,” said Riopelle. “The operating costs have not been raised and the city does not want those costs.”
The park board also reviewed the budget for 2015, which is close to $1.3 million and 1.13 percent less than 2014. “We are trying to come in lower and save money and still maintain and offer the same services, capital improvements were deferred for a year so we can still maintain the parks so the community has usage of them,” added Riopelle.
Riopelle also said the ice will be back in the Crookston Sports Center on September 5.


 


FARMERS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONTRIBUTE $2,500 TO THEIR FAVORITE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION

Farmers now have the opportunity to contribute $3.3 million to organizations in their communities.  To honor and support the tradition of service organizations in rural America, the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program is partnering with farmers to direct $2,500 donations to individual nonprofit organizations. The program, which kicks off its fifth year on August 1, benefits 1,324 counties across 40 states.
Organizations that received funding in the past include fire departments, food pantries, community groups, and youth service programs like FFA and 4-H. In the smaller, rural communities where this program operates, a donation like this can make the difference in dozens of lives. The results include better-equipped volunteer fire departments, food pantries stocked with more fresh produce, improved meeting halls and fair grounds, and opportunities for youth leadership development.
Since its inception in 2010, Grow Communities has invested more than $16 million in 6,000 nonprofit organizations across rural America. In Minnesota alone, Grow Communities has provided $827,500 to nonprofit organizations over the past five years.
America’s Farmers Grow Communities is part of the America’s Farmers initiative. These programs, supported by the Monsanto Fund, have awarded over $22 million to rural communities since 2010. Connect with America’s Farmers on Facebook or @AmericasFarmers on Twitter. Join the #GrowCommunities conversation today. To enroll or learn more, visit 
www.AmericasFarmers.com, or call toll-free 877-267-3332.

About America’s Farmers
The America’s Farmers campaign highlights the importance of modern US Agriculture through communications and community outreach programs that partner with farmers to impact rural America.  The outreach programs include:
-America’s Farmers Grow Communities supports rural America by offering farmers the chance to win $2,500 for their favorite local nonprofit organization.
-America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education supports rural education by offering farmers the chance to nominate local school districts, who can compete for a $10,000 or $25,000 merit-based grant to enhance math and science education.
-America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders gives students pursuing a career in agriculture the opportunity to earn a $1,500 scholarship towards their education. 
-America’s Farmers Mom of the Year celebrates women in agriculture by offering the chance to be recognized as “National Farm Mom of the Year”.
To learn more, visit America’s Farmers at 
www.AmericasFarmers.com.

About the Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at 
www.MonsantoFund.org.

 

 

 

MONDAY - AUGUST 18,  2014

ANNUAL CHAUTAUQUA AND FRENCH-CANADIAN/METIS FESTIVAL WILL BE AUGUST 22-24

The annual Chautauqua and French-Canadian/Metis Festival will be held August 22-24 near Red Lake Falls. There will be singing, dancing and storytelling at the Chautauqua and French-Canadian/Metis Festival at Old Crossing and Treaty Park with the festival beginning on Friday, August 22, at 9:00 p.m. with a bonfire, singing and storytelling.
Michael Audette, Manitoba Fiddle Champion, is returning to the festival. Audette and his band will play Saturday and Sunday in the park and at a dance on Saturday night at The Spot in Red Lake Falls. 
French-Canadian culture and folklore will be celebrated by Ca Claque.  The band and dancers from Manitoba will perform Saturday and Sunday, August 23 and 24.  Author, teacher and storyteller Ted Stone will share tales of the Red 
River Trail both afternoons.  
Saturday, Aug. 23 – 
11:00 a.m. French food specialties
12:30 p.m. – Welcome by AFRAN President Virgil Benoit
1 p.m. – Fiddler Michael Audette and Band
2 p.m. – Ca Claque singers, dancers, musicians
3:15 p.m. – Ted Stone, storyteller, author, speaker
4 p.m. –  Artists and artisan highlights
5 p.m. –  Mass at the Shrine of our Blessed Mother
6 p.m. –  AFRAN Supper ($10 donation suggested)
 9 p.m. – Dance at The Spot in Red Lake Falls, music by Michael Audette and band

Sunday, Aug. 24 –
11:00 a.m. –  French festival food specialties
12:30 p.m. – Welcome by AFRAN President Virgil Benoit 
1 p.m. – Michael Audette and  Band
2 p.m. – Ca Claque singers, dancers, musicians (pictured lower right)
3:15 p.m. – Ted Stone, storyteller, author, speaker
Silent auction bids close at 3:45 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

“This year’s Chautauqua will be better than ever. There will be the fine entertainment so many count on as well as additions in the areas of artists and artisans and education,” said Virgil Benoit of Huot, the president of AFRAN (Association of the French of the 
North), which presents the annual event. The name has been changed to French-Canadian/Metis Festival to emphasize the multi-cultural  
heritage of the Red River Valley.
Throughout the weekend, there will be programs, arts and crafts displays and a silent auctions Saturday and Sunday. Food, including 
French Festival specialties such a Tourtiere (meat pie) will be available. Admission is free and the public is welcome to all events in the park.
The Old Crossing and Treaty Park is on County Road 11 seven miles northeast of Gentilly or nine miles southwest of Red Lake Falls.  All programs and activities at the park are appropriate for families. 
Activities are free but donations are welcome to cover the costs of the festival.
This activity is funded, in part, by a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature from the vote on November 4, 2008.

 

POLK COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH TO HOLD IMMUNIZATION CLINIC ON AUGUST 21

Attention parents of school-age children. Has your child completed their necessary back-to-school immunizations? On August 21, during the Crookston School District registration day, Polk County Public Health staff will be available from 9:00 am to Noon, and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Polk County Public Health Office, located at 721 South Minnesota Street in Crookston, to immunize your child.
As a reminder and preparation for the immunization law changes taking effect on September 1, 2014, students entering seventh grade will be required to have documentation of Meningococcal and Tdap vaccination or a legal exemption. Polk County Public Health has a limited supply of free Meningococcal and Tdap vaccine.  Available vaccine is on a first come, first serve basis. Additionally, other vaccines are available thru the Minnesota Vaccine for Children (MnVFC) program for eligible children up through the age of 18. Please call 218-281-3385 with any questions.

 

 

WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH TO HOLD ANIMAL BLESSING AUGUST 25

An Animal Blessing for companion animals of any sort will be held outdoors at Wesley United Methodist on Sunday afternoon, August 25 at 3:00 p.m. All people and pets are welcome. If your pet cannot come, bring a collar or photo. Memorial table & prayers for pets who have died. Be sure animals are leashed or contained so they (and others) do not get hurt. Barrette Street and Eickhof Boulevard. For more information, leave a message for Pastor Michelle Miller at 281-3393.
"For many of us, our pets are an important part of our lives, and they provide us with love and companionship. They bless our lives, and forgive us when we don't necessarily even deserve it," said Pastor Miller. "To show our gratitude, and to celebrate their lives with us, we are planning a blessing for them. As we do this, we follow the example of St. Francis of Assisi, and we honor the depth and mystery of relationship among the different species of creation."

 

 

SATURDAY - AUGUST 16, 2014

MADISON CRANE CROWNED MISS CROOKSTON 2014

 
            Madison Crane is surprised being crowned Miss Crookston 2014

The Miss Crookston Scholarship Pageant was held Friday night at the Crookston High School with the theme, “Happy.” 2013 Miss Crookston, Carly Welter, crowned the new 2014 Miss Crookston, Madison Crane and winner of Miss Congeniality, Personal Interview, Evening Gown and On Stage Presence; and daughter of Dan and Brenda Crane. The first runner-up was Abby Parr, daughter of Larry and Kathy Parr and winner of the Talent competition. The second runner-up was Taylor Perry, daughter of Chuck and Julie Perry.
The winner of the Kari Thompson Community Service Essay Award was Abby Parr. The American Legion Auxiliary Freedom Award went to Hallie Cardinal, daughter of Marc and Alisa Cardinal. The Happy Award went to Allison Reinhart, daughter of Paul and RaeAnne Reinhart. 2007 Miss Crookston, Taylor (Davis) Brule was the Mistresses of Ceremonies. Ann Graham is the Miss Crookston Pageant Director and committee members include Marilee Hanson, Dawn Johnston, Brenda Kaiser, Kristy Morris Leas, Dawn Skjei and Adrianne Winger. Mikayla Hensrud choreographed the production number. Chuck Lariviere was in charge of the lights and sounds and Bo Brorby of KJAD Productions was the videographer. The contestant interview host was the Crookston Inn. Over three thousand dollars in educational scholarships were awarded. And two-thousand-two-hundred and fifty dollars in U.M.C. scholarships were awarded. Other pageant contestants were: Mercades Haglund, daughter of Steven and Marcia; and Gabriela Ostgaard, daughter of the late Kent and Natalie.

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


The Miss Crookston Pageant contestants - Mercedes Haglund, Hallie Cardinal, Abby Parr, Madison Crane, Taylor Perry, Allison Reinhart, Gabriella Ostgaard

FOR MORE PICTURES CLICK HERE

 

 

OX CART DAYS TORCHLIGHT PARADE DISTRIBUTES A LOT OF CANDY TO THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE

The 2014 Ox Cart Days Torchlight parade was another hit with the route lined with hundreds and likely thousands of people along Central Avenue and Barrette Street.  The winners of the parade were the following-
Best Theme:  Crookston United Insurance
Best Light:      American Federal Bank
Best Sports:   Pirates Football
Best Musical:  CHS Band
Most Creative:  Riverview Hospital
Best Commercial:  DigiKey
Most Entertaining:   Bremer Bank

For pictures of most of the entries click on the link below.

 

FOR MORE PICTURES FROM THE PARADE CLICK HERE

 

 

10 TEAMS COMPETE IN RIVERVIEW HEALTH DODGEBALL TOURNAMENT

There were 10 teams competing in the RiverView Health Dodgeball tournament at the hot and muggy Crookston Sports Center on Saturday morning.  The participants were working up a good sweat and everybody had fun from six year olds to over 30 year olds competing for the title. 

 
        The RiverView Health Dodgeball Adult Division Champions                          The Youth Division Champions
                                                                      (Team pictures submitted by RiverView Health)

 
Ryan Melsa fires the dodgeball in the adult division    Reggie Winjum with a throw in the kids division

FOR MORE DODGE BALL PICTURES CLICK HERE


 

OX CART DAYS VETERAN CEREMONY HONORS THREE

The fourth annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony was held Friday afternoon at UMC Kiehle Auditorium.   They honored three veterans, Jim Sheridan, Robert (Bob) Young, and David Chafee. 

 


 

FRIDAY - AUGUST 15,  2014

148 KIDS PARTICIPATE IN THE OX CART DAYS PEDAL PULL, KROX HAS A PICTURE OF EVERY PARTICIPANT

148 kids, ages four to 11, participated in the annual Ag Country Ox Cart Days Pedal Pull competition Thursday afternoon on Ash Street.  Dakota Pedal Pull, who puts on the event, said this was by far their biggest event of the summer and they have been doing competitions all over Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.  The previous top participant level was just over 130 people.  The winners are listed below and all of the 148 participants are pictured in the link below.

 
              Two of the competitors in the four year old division of the Ag Country Pedal Pull held on Thursday afternoon

Age Champion Runner-up
4 Jared Pigeon Grace Boll
5 Leo Romo Riley Olson Austrange
6 Makoti Weber Logan Brekken
7 Hunter Nicholls Teagen Lubinski
8 Anthony Reading Koda Donarski
9 Tucker Bolstad Ethan Boll
10 Karissa Wagner Zach Johnson
11 Amber Cymbaluk Emma Boll

FOR PICTURES OF ALL THE PARTICIPANTS CLICK HERE

 

 

RIVERVIEW BED RACES WON BY DEFENDING CHAMPS

The RiverView Health Bed Races were again the hit of the Ox Cart Days Festivities on Thursday with a huge crowd taking in the event on Ash Street.  The defending champs, Four Guys with a Suit and Tie (Paul Bittner, Ian Johnson, Doug Larson, and Parker Nicholls) easily won all three of their races and were champs for the second straight year.  Pictures of all five teams are below.


Parker Nicholls, Doug Larson, Ian Johnson, Paul Bittner and Carly Welter               The Splashers finished runner up


                                        RiverView Health had two teams participating in the bed races on Thursday night


       The Altru team having fun trying to keep the scrubs on                            Another team sporting Crookston Reds jersey's
 

 

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CONFIRMS 13 E.COLI CASES WITH ONE IN POLK COUNTY

The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed several cases of E.coli O157.H7 in the state coming from an association with the Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo. Polk County has one case after the petting zoo was at the Polk County Fair in Fertile. “13 cases have been confirmed to be e-coli and one of them is in Polk County, the others are in Nashwauk Festival, Rice County Fair and Olmsted County Fair, all in July,” said Sarah Reese, Polk County Public Health Director. “The e-coli bacteria is transferred through animals like goats, cattle or sheep, the DNA fingerprint went back to the petting zoo that was a vendor at various county fairs,” said Reese. “The 13 cases each ranged in age from 2 to 68 years and had similar symptoms with diarrhea, bloody stools, and not feeling well. Some were more severe affecting kidney function and being hospitalized. It takes about 2-5 days for exposure and they get the symptoms and runs its course in five to 10 days.”
Most animals and humans have different bacteria so it is important that when you are around a petting zoo or any animal you should wash your hands. “We are not saying don’t go to fairs or petting zoos,” said Reese. “Just wash your hands before eating or drinking something after petting an animal. Soap and water is the easiest way to stop bacteria.”
Children under five years, seniors, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions or a weak immune system are prone to serious complications of E-coli infections and should take care around animals.

 

 

THE CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL BAND HAS BEEN GETTING READY FOR THE PARADE ON SATURDAY

60 Crookston High School band members will march in the Ox Cart Festival Torchlight Parade on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Band Instructor Chris Gough said they have been preparing for the parade. “This fall our class schedule will be a little different, the ninth graders will be in their own band class, meeting for a half hour each day,” said Gough. “We will work with them by themselves with the 10th through 12th grades having their own class period same hour.”
Having Freshman in their separate class was done to accommodate a couple of changes in the overall schedule. “We have had lessons with all the seventh and eighth graders and beginning band students,” said Gough. “We had a week of marching band camp for the ninth through 12th graders working on marching and the music so we are excited to perform for the community.”

 

 

WEDNESDAY - JULY 23, 2014

WOODS ADDITION WITHOUT POWER FOR ONE MORE DAY

Crookston Fire Chief Tim Froeber and Otter Tail Power Company has informed KROX Radio that they will not be able to restore power in the Woods Addition Tuesday. Otter Tail Power plans to start working at 5 a.m. today (Wednesday). They apologize for any inconvenience and hope to have everything up and running today (Wednesday).

 

MORE STORM DAMAGE PICTURES SUBMITTED TO KROX RADIO

KROX Radio has received a lot of storm damage pictures and will be posting the ones we have received the past 24 hours below.  You can click on the link to see more of the latest pictures.


Eight Ottertail Power trucks at the the corner of Holly Ave. and Hurlbut Street in he Woods Addition getting ready to turn the lines back on after approximately 22 hours without power. (Picture by Brandon Boetcher)


Christian Brothers Ford in Crookston had the front of the building and several cars damaged

FOR MORE SUBMITTED STORM PICTURES CLICK HERE

 


 An R.V. trailer was picked up and rested against a storage facility!!!! 

 


             Proulx Refrigeration, Heating and Appliance's building was damaged by the storm and a view through the window of the building


17 railcars were blown over by the wind between Mid Valley Grain and American Crystal Land (Submitted picture)


   Ampride Convenience Mart's canopy was hit by the high winds Monday night


A sidewalk is pushed up by roots of a tree that was blown to a slant in the Woods Addition


                                                        A big tree uprooted in the Woods Addition on Monday night

FOR MORE STORM PICTURES CLICK HERE

 

FOR THE OBITUARY PAGE  CLICK HERE

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