FRIDAY - MAY 25,  2018


The Crookston High School class of 2018 received their diplomas with 87 students walking across the stage on Friday evening in the Crookston High School gymnasium.  KROX took pictures of all 87 students getting their diplomas and the link to all the pictures and a video are below.





The Crookston High School will hold commencement exercised for the Class of 2018 tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Crookston High School gymnasium.  There will be 87 students that walk across the stage.  The student address will come from Zachary Sanders, Aleece Durbin, and Merran Dingmann.  The Crookston High School Choir will perform two songs and Crookston High School teacher, Jen Solie, is the student selected speaker this year.  Schoolboard members Patty Dillabough and Frank Fee will hand out diplomas and Principal Eric Bubna will have the presentation of the class of 2018.
The CHS Class of 2018 has the class motto of “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.”  The class flower is the sunflower and the class colors were selected as navy and gold.   “The year seems to go by faster every year I am here.  It is a fun night and nice to have the ceremony on campus like we have done the past couple of years and we have 87 seniors walking across the stage this evening and it is fun to sit with them and celebrate the accomplishment,” said Principal Bubna. “We start the morning off with a senior breakfast in which the faculty and the seniors are treated to breakfast at the high school.  The seniors put on their caps and gowns and they do what is called the senior walk.  They go to Washington, Highland and Cathedral Schools and they walk the halls through the elementary schools and the little kids love that and the seniors enjoy that too.”
The students had rehearsal at 9:00 a.m. and they watch the senior video and they are free for the rest of the day to get ready for graduation at 7:00 p.m.   The public is invited to the graduation ceremony this evening.  If you can’t make the ceremony and want to see pictures of all 87 students getting their diplomas, we will have pictures on our website later Friday evening on the news page.

A painted mural on a wall in the hallway at Crookston High School





The Crookston School Board had a meeting this morning and decided to buy two school busses, put $150,000 into technology and several other upgrades.  It sounds like the 2018-19 school year enrollment is expected to be similar to this year. “We are projecting revenue for next year and we are at 1,125 as our number.  We are going to be buying two new school busses, we will have $150,000 to infuse into technology and that is always a positive thing because we like to keep things up and running and new,” said Crookston School District Business Manager Laura Lyczewski. “We will have $100,000 for curriculum, we plan on fixing the front sidewalk (of the high school) because it is 21 years old and it is being eroded by salt and everything else so it is a good time to get a bid for when we can do that in July.  We are also going to go out for bids for the PA and intercom system at the high school because we are having some issues that some parts of the building aren’t getting as much as they should and update because it is 21 years old.
The school is in a waiting period with the state period and the district finances will be affected by what the state gives the schools.

School Board Chairman Frank Fee commented on the budget assumptions and gave a little information on ho-w the School Board made those assumptions and prioritized projects. He said the 2018-2019 budget is based on 1125 students in Crookston Public Schools. "We’ve been caught by surprise in the past during the year when we’ve lost students, and then had to rearrange the budget, or we’re losing money, and we can’t have that. That number assumes that some of the parochial school kids will be coming over to the high school, too," he said. "We also have a smaller group of second graders coming up – which is a reflection of our demographics and a need for housing to attract younger families."
Fee said the transportation budget includes the purchase of two new buses. "We will be purchasing two school buses at $110,000 apiece," he stated. "A few years back, we didn’t buy buses because we didn’t have the money to do so, and so now we are trying to catch up. Rick Niemela, our Transportation Director, brought up the point that there is a 77-passenger and an 83-passenger bus, and the cost difference between the two is just $250.00. It seems like a no-brainer to purchase the bigger bus, but our garage space is a consideration. We’ll have to spend a little more money for suspension to lower the buses to get them into the bus garage, too. So the bus garage is still a problem, and it’s costing us money."
He said the technology budget will remain the same, as the Board feels strongly that technology is a key focus. "Kevin Weber, our Technology Director requested the same $150,000 budget he had last year," said Fee. "The Board strongly supports technology, so that was approved. Weber will replace some servers, replace some Chromebooks, add a computer cart at Highland School, and have smartboards at all three schools. We want to try to stay on top of the technology.
Fee said that the curriculum budget, at $100,000, remains the same as last year, and "Our new insurance contracts with the teachers and bargaining units will save us some money. It is real hard to tell how much that might be at this time, but capping the insurance will save us money in the upcoming year."
Many have noted that the sidewalk in front of the high school is in very bad shape. "We have tried leveling the cement, filling the cracks, but that doesn’t look very good, nor does it last very long," said Fee. "In our Safety Committee meetings throughout this year, that has been a big topic.
Board member Dave Davidson said, ‘That’s your first impression of the high school.’ We have a bid to fill the cracks with rubber for $2,600, a bid to overlay the sidewalks with blacktop for $18,000, and Niemela estimates that replacing the concrete could run around $60,000. The Board was in agreement to replace the cement, and it could be paid for out of a couple of accounts, rather than out of the General Fund. Davidson also suggested some low-maintenance landscaping options to make the entryway more attractive, without making additional work for our staff.
Fee said that the final item in the budget addresses the safety problem that in some areas of the high school, the public address system can’t be heard. "If there was some type of emergency in the school, several areas in the high school would not know about it. If Governor Dayton’s school safety money becomes available, this might qualify for that. To replace the intercom in the entire high school could be upwards of $150,000," he said.






Thunderstorms with hail and high winds moved through the area on Thursday night and caused damage throughout the Crookston area.  Minakwa Golf Course had damage to trees, a metal hut and they received some hail.   The north UMC Research Farm along Highway 75 was hit by high winds and damage to the roof of a building on their property.  Jessica Ross at Minakwa said they had some trees down on the fourth hole, the hut was destroyed and there was debris everywhere.  Hail fell at the course, but there wasn't any hail damage.  Pictures are below.

Damage to a tree on the fourth hole, by the clubhouse   The hut next to the clubhouse was destroyed in the win on Thursday night

Hail covers the tee box on the first hole at Minakwa Golf Course on Thursday evening  (All pictures courtesy of Minakwa Golf Course)






Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
Bill and Jamie Cassavant have long been involved in veterans activities, including the Memorial Day activities of the Crookston Veterans Council, which includes all members of the American Legion Post 20, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1902, and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 14.  “The holiday changed a lot for us when our son deployed. Memorial Day is the day to honor those who passed, unlike Veteran’s Day, which is when we honor all veterans. We all should take a moment or two to say thank you for everything they and their families have done, they reminisced. “My dad fought in WW2," said Bill, "and it never “clicked” for me for all those years, until my son was deployed, and, of course, now I beat myself up for all those years I never really understood the sacrifice he made, but I guess it hits everybody at a different time in their life.”
Jamie said the upcoming Memorial Day Services on Monday, May 28 include, "shortened ceremony at three cemeteries, and a full-length ceremony at Oakdale. The flag-raising is done after the ceremony. It’s done by the color guard, it’s always pretty touching. You glace to the left and right, and don’t see many dry eyes.”
One of Crookston’s most compelling sights is the numerous American Flags that flank the two main entryways to the City. Bill recalled the role that Dick Seddon, a WW2 veteran, played in getting the project underway. “Dick knew we were involved in putting the flags along the walkway on the north end of town. His bucket list included flags placed from the Dairy Queen all the way north to UMC. We didn’t go quite that far, but we put 39 flags in. He put the first flag in the ground with us. There were lots of people, kids, UMC students… and that old guy gave a heart-warming speech. I’m glad that before he passed, he got to see his flags put in place,” he said. A total of 139 flags decorate the two Memorial Walkways, and Bill said it is gratifying to see the result of a lot of hard work.
The Cassavants said it is important to involve as many groups as possible in various activities honoring veterans, so the importance of the veterans’ sacrifices and the meaning behind the ceremonies is preserved for generations. “We try to get kids involved as best we can. We go to the schools and teach flag etiquette. Sometimes soldiers or Boy Scouts come in and demonstrate flag folding, and the reason behind every fold. We’ve worked with UMC students, the American Legion, the VFW, the DAV, the junior girls unit from the American Legion Auxiliary, soldiers and their families. Whoever wants to come and help is welcome," said Jamie. "You know you’re doing something right when the traffic passing by honks at you thats always pretty cool, Bill added.




Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the supplemental budget bill (SF3656) and the tax conformity/school funding bill (HF947) Wednesday, blocking the first income tax cut in nearly two decades, funding to help deputy registrars hurt by the MNLARS mess, funding to help avert a 7 percent cut for disability services, school safety funding, reforms to address vulnerable adult maltreatment and abuse, and more. In the final week of the legislative session, lawmakers addressed nearly 70 percent of the specific concerns outlined by the governor, and provided up to $84 million in new funding for schools ($225 million in total when flexibility measures are added), meeting the governor more than halfway on his key priorities and concerns. “Politics before people. That’s what Governor Dayton did by vetoing these bills,” said Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau. “These bills delivered on critical needs for Minnesotans like school safety, additional funding for our schools, critical tax relief for hardworking taxpayers, Section 179 conformity for farmers and agribusiness, help for our deputy registrars, preventing a cut to folks who take care for people with disabilities, and more. With a stroke of the veto pen, Minnesotans across our state were negatively impacted.”

“The significant reforms to address senior and vulnerable adult abuse I worked on all session are gone with this veto. Meaningful investments in education including more funding and measures to keep students safe are gone with this veto. Low-income working families who rely on federal child care subsidies are hurt by this veto. The first income tax rate cut in nearly twenty years and critical tax conformity are gone with this veto,” said Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston. “It seems our governor has chosen to play a political game and the people of Minnesota lost.” 

Reps. Kiel and Fabian also shared their disappointment of the veto because of the average $96 per pupil increase it would have provided to schools when all of the bills passed in the final days of session were taken into consideration.





For the first time in 17 years, youth tobacco use has increased as reported by the 2017 Youth Tobacco Survey data. Why is this when traditional cigarette smoking is on the decline? Youth reported significantly higher access and use of e-cigarettes. As of 2017, over 26% of Minnesota high school students use tobacco products – up 7% from 2014. According to the Minnesota Student Survey (2016), nearly 10% of Polk County students in grade 9 and 23% in grade 11 reported e-cigarette use.

Why do we care?
Nicotine is especially harmful to the adolescent brain. According to the National Cancer Institute: “In adolescence, your brain is still ‘under construction’—as a result, it responds differently to the effects of nicotine than the adult brain. Nicotine is the drug in cigarettes (and other forms of tobacco) that leads to addiction. Like heroin and cocaine, nicotine acts on the brain’s ‘reward pathways’ to create feelings of satisfaction and pleasure. The developing brain is highly sensitive to nicotine. Many teens show signs of addiction even at low levels of tobacco use. Exposure to nicotine during adolescence may alter brain development, rewiring the brain for addiction.” This information may sound discouraging but there are effective ways to prevent youth tobacco exposure and addiction. Polk County Public Health, Polk County Wellness Coalition and partners are working towards efforts to reduce youth tobacco initiation and use. Examples of evidence-based, best practice policy recommendations include: Increasing the price of tobacco products. In 2013, Minnesota increased the price of cigarettes by $1.60 per pack. Increasing the price of tobacco has proven to be effective in reducing youth tobacco use. Pricing strategies for tobacco products can also reduce youth initiation and use. Non-tax price-related policy changes, such as limiting pricing discounts (“sales”) or “buy one get one free” offers on tobacco products also discourage youth tobacco use as they have less funds available. Restricting the use of all tobacco products in public spaces. Implementing smoke-free indoor air polices are effective in reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and lead to less smoking. Although the Clean Indoor Air Act has banned traditional cigarette use in indoor spaces since 2007, many indoor spaces, such as restaurants, allow the use of e-cigarettes. Tobacco-free grounds polices can be strengthened to include smoke-free outdoor grounds or setbacks that limit tobacco use 25 feet or more from entrances. Limiting youth access to tobacco products. Tobacco 21, a policy change raising the legal purchase age from 18 to 21, prevents more of today’s kids from becoming tomorrow’s tobacco statistics. Research shows tobacco addition occurs by the time they turn 21. Tobacco 21 prevents first use of tobacco by teens. According to the Minnesota Student Survey, in 2010, 16% of Polk County students in grades 6, 9 and 12 reported smoking a cigarette by age 13. Youth ages 14-17 report getting their tobacco products, such as chew and e-cigarettes, from older friends or siblings. Nearly all tobacco users start before age 21. Together we can play a role in preventing our youth from using tobacco and exposure to tobacco products. In doing so, we are protecting their brains, which are still ‘under construction’. Polk County Wellness Coalition’s mission is to create a culture of wellness in Polk County. Do you want to get involved in prevention efforts with the Polk County Wellness Coalition? Contact Polk County Public Health at 218-281-3385.




Ground was recently broken to increase the square footage at RiverView Clinic Fertile.  The addition, done in partnership with Hanson Chiropractic, will allow for two additional exam rooms, a larger procedure room, a more spacious nursing alcove, bathroom and an additional provider office.  “RiverView is very excited to be working with the Hanson family in expanding their footprint in downtown Fertile,’’ shared Carrie Michalski, president and CEO of RiverView Health. “As a tenant, we were in need of additional space.  This expansion will allow greater flexibility for RiverView to have multiple providers working together in the clinic.  As our team expands, we are eager to bring additional providers closer to our patients in the Fertile region and having additional exam rooms and provider work space makes it possible.’’ The project is expected to be completed in August. Watch for information on an open house once the work is complete.

      RiverView Health staff break ground for the expansion




AMERICAN PICKERS to Film in North Dakota

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to North Dakota! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout your area.
AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections or accumulations and learn the interesting stories behind them.
As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.
Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: or call 855-OLD-RUST.    Facebook: @GotAPick

           Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe from American Pickers



THURSDAY - MAY 24,  2018


Crookston Public Schools, along with the USDA, United Way of Crookston, and Tri-Valley Opportunity Council is providing free summer lunches to all youth in the community on a first come, first serve basis. 
This program will be open at two locations: Wildwood Park located on Myrtle Street in the Wood's Edition and Highland Park Complex under the Lion's Shelter. If you cannot access the sites, there is a free bus offered by Tri-Valley Opportunity Council. 
Meals will be served Mondays-Thursdays from approximately 11:30am - 12:30pm starting June 11. The sites will be closed the week of the 4th of July and the last day of the program is August 9. 
There is no registration, sign-up, or paperwork to receive a free meal - EVERYONE is welcome! Free meals are offered to all kids ages 0-18; anyone 19 years and older can purchase a meal for $4.00.

Crookston Public Schools, along with the USDA, United Way of Crookston, and Tri-Valley Opportunity Council is providing free summer lunches to all youth in the community on a first come, first serve basis. 
This program will be open at two locations: Wildwood Park located on Myrtle Street in the Wood's Edition and Highland Park Complex under the Lion's Shelter. If you cannot access the sites, there is a free bus offered by Tri-Valley Opportunity Council. 
Meals will be served Mondays-Thursdays from approximately 11:30am - 12:30pm starting June 11. The sites will be closed the week of the 4th of July and the last day of the program is August 9. 
There is no registration, sign-up, or paperwork to receive a free meal - EVERYONE is welcome! Free meals are offered to all kids ages 0-18; anyone 19 years and older can purchase a meal for $4.00.

Eat United Summer Food Service Program Neighborhood Bus Schedule (Click here for the Bus Schedule PDF)
Aunt Em’s Daycare 10:55
Marshall St & 5th Ave S 11:00
Twin Drive Apartments (146 Twin Drive) 11:04
Washington Ave & State St 11:08
Cromb St. & Hunter St. 11:12
 Drop-off at Wildwood Park 11:15
Library (110 N Ash St) 11:17
Wicken Ave & Stuart Ave 11:20
Schuster Park (Memorial Dr & Locken Blvd) 11:24
North Front St & 8th St 11:28
Widman Lane & Johnson Place 11:32
5 Way Stop (N Broadway & Sterns St) 11:36
Eickoff Blvd & Walsh St 11:40
 Drop-off at Highland Park Complex 11:45
Pick-up at Wildwood Park 12:30
Pick-up at Highland Park Complex 12:45

For more information on the bus route, contact T.H.E. Bus at 218-281-0700. Free transportation will be available to the summer meals site every Monday-Thursday from June 11 – August 9. This program and transportation will be closed July 2-5. Questions about free summer meals? Contact Anna Brekken, Food Service Director at 218-281-5313 x 7 or

Eleven of Tri-Valley’s centers throughout Minnesota and one in North Dakota will offer Summer Food Service Programs. Locations include, Breckenridge, Brooten, Crookston, Danube, East Grand Forks, Elysian, Glencoe, Grafton (ND), Owatonna, Sleepy Eye, and St. Cloud. Center locations and times of service can be found Other questions can be directed toward Jami or Deb at 218-281-5832 or 1-800-584-7020.
Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) are a federal child nutrition program funded by the USDA. SFSP is designed to provide healthy meals during the months of June, July, August, and September when school is out to kids and teens ages 18 and under and available to persons with disabilities, over 18, and who participate in school programs for people who are mentally or physically disabled.

Eleven of Tri-Valley’s centers throughout Minnesota and one in North Dakota will offer Summer Food Service Programs. Locations include, Breckenridge, Brooten, Crookston, Danube, East Grand Forks, Elysian, Glencoe, Grafton (ND), Owatonna, Sleepy Eye, and St. Cloud. Center locations and times of service can be found at Other questions can be directed toward Jami or Deb at 218-281-5832 or 1-800-584-7020.
Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) are a federal child nutrition program funded by the USDA. SFSP is designed to provide healthy meals during the months of June, July, August, and September when school is out to kids and teens ages 18 and under and available to persons with disabilities, over 18, and who participate in school programs for people who are mentally or physically disabled.




A check presentation was held on May 23, 2018.  Caden Boike and his mother Chris presented checks for over $220 each to The North Country Food Bank for the Backpack Program and to Ray and Terri Dusek for The Christmas Community Food Baskets.  Caden raised the money by selling “Be A Ray of Sunshine” buttons.  The buttons were designed by Caden to raise money to help people in need in the Crookston community. Pictured are Chris Boike, Suzie Novak, Caden Boike, Terri and Ray Dusek.




Members of the Campus Advisory and Advancement Board (CAAB) helped Chancellor Holz-Clause plant a very special tree outside her office on Monday. The Bur Oak was planted in commemoration of the Chancellor's inauguration in April 2018. Thank you to the members of CAAB and to the grounds crew for helping celebrate inauguration with the planting of this tree outside Selvig.

Left to right: Brandy Chaffee, Carl Wittenburg, Neal Vraa, Doug McArthur, Allan Dragseth, Roger Moe, Don Weber, Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause, Jerry Knutson, Kari Torkelson, Dave Hoff, Deb Zak, Judy Streifel-Reller, Judy Neppel, Sarah Reese and Dan Svedarsky.





Ariel Netland has been awarded the $500 Lance and DeNae Norman Family RiverView Employee Healthcare Scholarship for fall 2018.  Netland serves RiverView as an activity assistant in the Care Center.  She is enrolled in the LPN program at Northland Community and Technical College.
In recognition of Lance’s ongoing commitment to secondary education and the desire to continue the growth of exceptional services offered at RiverView Health, Norman and his wife DeNae have worked with the RiverView Foundation to set up a $500 per semester scholarship to be awarded to a RiverView employee that is pursuing post-secondary education in a healthcare field.  The first scholarship was awarded in 2015.

                            Ariel Netland with Lance Norman




WEDNESDAY - MAY 23,  2018


The Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and had an update on the Enbridge decision which came down last week.  Polk County Administrator Chuck Whiting said the 13 counties were hit hard. “We are in a holding pattern waiting to see if the Department of Revenue will appeal the tax court decision, we are assuming they will.  They have 30 days to decide if it will go to the supreme court, the values from the tax court for the Enbridge property were not all that we thought they would be but not that much different,” said Whiting.  “We know that state wide they are over $2 billion apart so it is a lot.  We still don’t know what it means for Polk County and the taxpayers, so we will stay the course until we get more news.  We hope to get better news from the Supreme Court and we will have an opportunity   to work with the state legislators next year to deal with the decision.  They have been receptive and until they know   what it is for each county we have to wait and see.”    

The commissioners approved the purchase of two ash boxes for the Resource Recovery Facility for $21,100 from H and S Manufacturing of Stephen along with a 1990 CAT Payloader for $229,000 From Ziegler CAT. 

Lon Aune, Marshall County Highway Engineer and State president of the Minnesota Counties Engineer Association came thank the commissioners for supporting Rich Sanders as National President.  “I wanted to congratulate Rich as the national president and to thank the commissioners for allowing him to have the time to do the job,” said Aune.  “Everyone needs to pitch in.”  Aune has been with Marshall County for 13 years.   

The board approved a state grant contract for $26,500 for the Agassiz Recreational Trail.




Filings for public offices opened on Tuesday at the Polk County Government Center.  Filing for Polk County Commissioner in District 2 was incumbent, Warren Strandell.  Filing in District 4 was incumbent Joan Lee of McIntosh who will be opposed by Dennis Boucher of McIntosh.  Polk County Deputy Sheriff Jim Tadman filed for the job of Sheriff.




Memorial Day is the day Americans set aside to honor those brave men and women who met tragic ends during times of war.  We must use this day to honor their sacrifices, to pray for their families, and to bow our heads in recognition of their service.  We must never forget.  You have seen their faces, heard their names, and maybe even heard their voices – those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during all wars.  This Memorial Day, the Crookston Veterans Council, which includes the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, DAV and DAV Auxiliary, VFW and VFW Auxiliary members would like to invite Crookston area residents to join us in remembrance of our nation’s fallen heroes.
KROX Radio and the Crookston Veterans Council invite you to pause on Monday, May 28 to remember those who have fought for our freedoms.  We participate rain or shine in honor of all our veterans, military and their families.  Our military serve rain or shine so we honor them by doing the same.

The schedule for services (rain or shine) is as follows:
7:45 a.m. bus leaves from the VFW Post 1902
8:20 a.m. Hafslo Lutheran Church Cemetery
9:00 a.m. St. Peter’s Catholic Church Cemetery - Gentilly
10:00 a.m. Oakdale Cemetery – Crookston  (Live on KROX Radio)
Flag Raising at entrance to follow ceremony
11.00 a.m. Sampson Bridge – Naval Ceremony
11:50 a.m. Sand Hill Lutheran Church Cemetery, Climax, MN
12:30 p.m. Crookston Military Walkway
1:15 p.m. Participants lunch at VFW

Other Memorial Day activities in the area include:

Memorial exercises in Euclid will be held on Memorial Day, May 28th. Prairie View at 9:00 a.m.,  St. Paul’s Cemetery at 9:25 a.m. and at  St. Dorothy’s Cemetery in Dorothy at 10:30 a.m.  Memorial Day services will be presented by the Euclid American Legion and Auxiliary members.

The Sand Hill Memorial Day program will be held on Monday, May 28, at 10:30 at the Sand Hill Lutheran Church.  Guest speaker will be Bill Tweten from Fargo, ND. The Crookston Honor Guard ceremony will take place after program followed by lunch. Sand Hill is located on Hwy 220, 7 miles north of Climax, 34145 State Hwy 220 SW, Climax.

The Fisher Memorial Day Program will be held on Monday, May 28 at 10:00 a.m. at the Fisher Public School Auditorium. Approximate times for the cemetery visits are Greenwood Cemetery at 10:35 a.m., Fisher Lutheran Cemetery at 11:00 a.m. and Bygland Lutheran Cemetery at 11:25 a.m. Join them for a lunch at the Fisher American Legion Club from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. The lunch is sponsored by the Fisher American Legion Post 242 and the Legion Auxiliary. Fisher American Legion will be open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28 from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. The Auxiliary will serve a Memorial Day Luncheon from 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Rodnes Church, rural Erskine, will host their Annual Memorial Day Dinner on Monday, May 28 with serving 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Menu will include variety of hotdishes, salads, dessert, bread, pickles and coffee.  Free will offering.  All are welcome.




The annual spring Piano Recital was held on April 29 at 2:00 P.M. at Mount St. Benedict Monastery Chapel. Awards and certificates were given out at the end of the program.   At the Preliminary Piano Contest sponsored by the Minnesota Music Teachers Association on February 3 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota four students were declared winners:   Aspen Mendez, Caleb Mendez, Emma Sherman and Katherine Geist.  Each of them received a certificate. These four played in the State Final Contest on March 10 and 11 in Minneapolis.   Two of them, Caleb Mendez and Katherine Geist, were chosen as winners and were eligible to play in the 20 Piano Honors Concert which was held on May 19 at the Convention Center in Minneapolis (see story below for more).  Aspen Mendez was chosen as an alternate.

Four students took a Theory Test during the year and received a certificate:  Emma Boll, Ethan Boll, Caleb Mendez and Katherine Halos.

The ND Federation of Music Clubs was held on February 10 at the UND in Grand Forks, ND.  Twelve students played in this event:   Aspen Mendez, Chloe Boll, Adelyn Knudson, Ethan Boll, Ava Lopez, Janae Luckow, Caleb Mendez, Emma Sherman, Emma Boll, Cassidy Baatz, Katherine Geist and Kathryn Halos.  All of these students received a Superior or Excellent Rating along with a certificate.  Two students, Ava Lopez and Janae Luckow, received their Gold Cup for earning 30 Points in the Music Club event.  The piano instructor is Sister Dominica Gerszewski - Member of Minnesota Music Teachers Association and ND Federation of Music Clubs.

Crookston High School 10th grader, Katherine Geist, daughter of Sara and Dan Geist of Crookston and seventh grader, Caleb Mendez, son of Carmen and Shane Mendez also of Crookston performed in the 20 Piano Honors Concert at the Minneapolis Convention Center Auditorium in Minneapolis on Saturday, May 19.  The concert is sponsored by the MMTA (Minnesota Music Teachers Association).  The selection Katherine performed was “Viva Vivaldi” by Vandall.  “The Village Dance” also by Vandall was Caleb Mendez’s composition.  The concert was conducted by Dr. Mary Kay Geston.
Over 5,000 students throughout Minnesota enter this state contest annually.  Pianists with the highest scores in the state contest are selected to perform in ensembles at the Honors Concert.  This concert has grown into a gala event involving over 700 young performers on 20 grand pianos.  This is the first time both of these students performed in the Honors Concert.  Both are students of Sister Dominica Gerszewski at Mount St. Benedict Music Studio.

Thor Harbott, Caleb Mendez, Ethan Boll, Kathryn Halos, Emma Boll, Ava Lopez, Emma Sherman, Katherine Geist, Janae Luckow, Audrey Harbott, Cassidy Baatz, S. Dominica

Aspen Mendez, Madeline Harbott, Jay Reese, Caleb Mendez, Adelyn Knudson,  Jackson Reese,  Chloe Boll,  S. Dominica and Grace Boll 

            Katherine Geist                         Caleb Mendez sitting at the piano



Sen. Mark Johnson, Rep. Dan Fabian & Rep. Deb Kiel Invite Area Residents to Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

Senator Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, Representative Dan Fabian, R-Roseau, and Representative Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, have announced four upcoming town hall meetings next week. The lawmakers will review the successes of the 2018 legislative session and answer questions. The meetings are open to the public, and residents of Northwest Minnesota are encouraged to attend.

Here are the details:

Thief River Falls Town Hall
Who: Rep. Fabian, Rep. Kiel and Sen. Johnson
When: Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Time: 10:30-11:30 am
Location: City Hall Council Chambers, 405 Third Street East, Thief River Falls, MN

Warren Town Hall
Who: Rep. Fabian, Rep. Kiel and Sen. Johnson
When: Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Time: 1:00-2:00 pm
Location: Community Center, 110 W. Johnson Avenue, Warren, MN

Roseau Town Hall
Who: Rep. Fabian and Sen. Johnson
When: Thursday, May 31, 2018
Time: 10:00-11:30 am
Location: Roseau City Center City Council Chambers, Suite 201, 121 Center St. E., Roseau, MN

Hallock Town Hall
Who: Rep. Fabian and Sen. Johnson
When: Thursday, May 31, 2018
Time: 1:00-2:00 pm
Location: Hallock Senior Center, Main Dining Room, 210 2nd St. SW., Hallock, MN

For more information, or if you have questions, you can contact their offices. Sen. Johnson can be reached at 651-296-5782. Rep. Fabian can be reached at 651-296-9635. Rep. Kiel can be reached at 651-296-5091.




The Crookston Youth Foundation (CYF) will be hosting their first educational and leadership development speaker event at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 at the Downtown Square. The featured speaker will be University of North Dakota Head Football Coach Bubba Schweigert, who will be speaking to Crookston youth about leadership, teamwork, and motivation. All Crookston youth and families are encouraged to attend to meet with Coach Schweigert. Enjoy free ice cream and a fun event in the community as the CYF continues to grow its services for our youth in Crookston. 
You can learn more about the Crookston Youth Foundation at or by contacting Tom Amiot or Don Rasicot at 218-210-2600 or by emailing to volunteer, donate, or get involved. 





Chris Roden has been awarded the seventh annual $1,000 Dr. Baig Family Healthcare Scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Chris serves as a LPN on RiverView’s Inpatient Unit. Chris is enrolled in the registered nursing program at Northland Community and Technical College.
In honor and memory of his father Mirza Abdur Rahim Baig, Dr. Mirza and Refugio Baig established through the RiverView Health Foundation, the Dr. Baig Family Healthcare Scholarship designated to support RiverView Health employees.  Dr. Mirza Baig is a gastroenterologist and has been a valued member of the medical staff at RiverView since 2004.   “Our sincere thanks to Dr. Mirza and Refugio Baig for designating their financial support for scholarship funding to help dedicated RiverView employees enhance their healthcare careers,’’ stated Foundation Director Kent Bruun. “RiverView Foundation is honored to manage the Dr. Baig Family Healthcare Scholarships on behalf of the Baig family.’’

Dr. Mirza Baig, Chris Roden and Refugio Baig





TUESDAY - MAY 22,  2018


On Tuesday, May 22 Polk County Chief Deputy James Tadman officially filed as a candidate for Sheriff of Polk County in the upcoming November election. Tadman announced his candidacy in January 2018 after Sheriff Barb Erdman reported she will be retiring at the end of her second term, which concludes in December 2018.
Tadman is a 
30-year veteran with the Polk County Sheriff's Office. He graduated from Hibbing Technical College with a degree in criminal justice in 1988. Tadman has completed numerous management and specialized law enforcement courses throughout his career. Promoted to Chief Deputy in 2013 by Sheriff Erdman, Tadman currently oversees all aspects of the Sheriff's Office and day to day operations. 
Throughout his career, Chief Deputy Tadman has performed many duties including Patrol Deputy, Criminal Investigator, Drug Task Force Investigator, K-9 Officer, Supervision, and currently Administration. Other specific responsibilities include development and maintenance of department policies, training supervision, and budget oversight. Chief Deputy Tadman is currently involved in the Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Board Advisory Committee, the Polk, Norman, Mahnomen Community Health Improvement Planning Group, and the Polk County Wellness Coalition.
Tadman’s goals are to continue providing effective and professional law enforcement while maximizing patrol and investigative coverage. In addition, he plans to maintain existing programs and increase collaboration with citizens in crime prevention. Tadman also plans to work with schools to expand current youth education programming.
Chief Deputy Tadman has lived in Polk County for 30 years. He and his wife Stacy have three children, Austin 21, Sydney 18, and Kianna 12.




The Crookston High School Envirothon finished fifth place out of 23 teams at the 2018 State Envirothon competition at Lake Shetek in southwestern Minnesota.

The top five scores were:
1. Hopkins - 137.83
2. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton - 129.17
3. Trek North - 129.0
4. Cook County - 125.53
5. Crookston - 125.50

“This year’s scenario we implemented the use of the conservation reserve program, which in turn benefits the greater prairie chicken,” said Coach Wes Hanson. “We featured the prairie chicken on our team shirts this year so thought it would be appropriate to stop for a group photo at the prairie chicken capitol of MN, located in Rothsay.” 

L to R: Maddie Everett, Elysa Christensen, Emily Gillette, Katherine Geist, Tai Baig, and Advisor Wes Hanson 




“Buddy Benches" are popping up all over Crookston these days with the help of Kathy Carlson and her son Brandon.  The project is to help promote kindness and being a good buddy when a friend is in need. Children can choose to sit on the bench if they are feeling bored, or lonely and need someone to play with. The concept, which has taken hold in other parts of the country, is viewed by teachers and parents as a way to instill in young children a concern for others and to curb bullying and other negative behavior, such as excluding kids from activities. Our students have been taught how to use the bench when you need a friend. The Cathedral School Buddy Bench, has been donated in memory of Walt Keller, by his family.
"I reached out to the lumber yards in town and Crookston Building Center agreed to donate supplies for three benches.  I then contacted Lowe’s in Grand Forks and asked them for their building plans and they were quick to offer them.  Chris Trostad and Paul Dwyer built the first four Benches. These benches were delivered to Washington and Highland Schools last fall," said Kathy Carlson.  "Over the next few months donations started coming in for more to be built so I asked the Rotary Club to be the fiduciary agent for the project. My hope was to built even more and start placing them in our parks around town.  My son Brandon built the next three benches.  Margee Keller donated one in memory of Walt that is at Cathedral School, the Stassen children donated one for Castle Park, and Sisters in Spirit donated one that is in Wildwood Park.  The last bench that was built by Chris and Paul is at a neighborhood park of off Crescent Street." With the help of Chris Trostad the teachers were taught how the bench works to encourage friendships.  "Each classroom teacher shared this with their students and I hear that they work!," added Carlson.

Cathedral School Kindergarten and First Grade Classes





Highland School sixth graders made their annual trip to Itasca State Park last week to camp for one night and two days of hiking, learning and more.  Highland School Principal Chris Trostad shared the pictures below -

Porcupine kids nicknamed “Larry” living in our camp. 

Students learning about orienteering with Mr. Emanuel

Students learned about water quality with Mr. Halland





On Sunday, May 20, Our Savior’s celebrated the five 6th graders who are graduating this spring. 

Sixth graders pictured (front row): Madisyn Sanders, Isabella Gutierrez, Jade Luckow, Carter Gudvangen, and Ed Luckow.  School Staff pictured (back rows): Pastor Steven Bohler, Lisa Bohler, Mark Meyer, Sandra Trittin, Emily Luckow.

Our Savior’s also honored School Principal and third and fourth grade teacher, Sandra Trittin, for 25 years of service to our school. (Bruce Erdman presents Trittin with a plaque)





Amy Foss has been awarded the 10th annual $1,000 Bishop Afonya Healthcare Scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Amy is an LPN at RiverView working towards her registered nursing degree at Northland Community and Technical College.
In honor and memory of his father, Bishop Afonya, Dr. Idatonye I. Afonya established through the RiverView Health Foundation, the Bishop Afonya Healthcare Scholarship Program. Bishop Afonya Education Scholarships will be offered annually to qualified individuals within RiverView Health’s primary service area pursuing post secondary or higher education and career advancement in healthcare.

                       Amy Foss with Dr. Idatonye Afonya




Northland Community & Technical College is proud to announce the spring 2018 semester academic honors lists. Northland honors its students’ academic achievements each semester through the publication of the President's and Dean's list.
The President's List for students earning academic honors for the spring 2018 semester at Northland Community and Technical College - East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls has been released. Students must have at least 12 earned credits as of the last day of the semester and a semester grade-point average of 3.75 to 4.0 must be achieved to be eligible for the Northland Community and Technical College President's List.  For the list of the list of people from the KROX listening area, click here.




The Crookston School District Junior High Music Department held their spring concert on Monday evening at the Crookston High School Auditorium.  We have some pictures from the orchestra and band below-

     The Crookston Junior High Orchestra performs one of their numbers at the concert on Monday night

The Crookston Junior High Band under the direction of Crookston High School senior Courtney Dalrymple.  (Dalrymple led the band for one number.  She is planning on majoring in music education at NDSU next year.)



MONDAY - MAY 21,  2018


The Crookston Fire Department was called to a fire at El Jaripeo Mexican Restaurant around 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning.  Crookston Fire Department Captain, Bob Magsam, said the fire started in the kitchen.  “Upon arrival it really appeared that everything was in the kitchen area so that was our main target, or main focus of our fire attack,” said Captain Magsam. “It was confirmed, once we made entry that most of the fire was strictly in the kitchen area and it appears no extension to the dining room area itself.  However, in the dining room area we have very heavy heat and smoke damage in that area.”
The El Jaripeo workers in the building at the time of the fire were able to get out safely with minor injuries/burns. “Everybody was able to get out safely,” said Captain Magsam. “It is my understanding that there were at least two individuals in there prepping for the business day today.  As far as injuries, I’m not sure at this time.”
There was smoke coming from the rafters of the building and the fire fighters were busy taking the fascia off the building to help ventilate and see if there was any smoldering. “We did have some extension up into the roofline area, in the attic space,” said Captain Magsam. “Most of our efforts, at this time, are pulling the ceiling and dropping the insulation, checking for extensive hot spots because we don’t want to come back.”
All the firefighters made it through the fight injury free. “Other than being a little warm as the day warmed up, everybody is doing okay and there were no injuries that I know of,” added Captain Magsam.
Firefighters were rinsing off their gear and equipment after they came out of the building and that is normal practice. “That is very normal practice,” said Captain Magsam. “This day in age and the carcinogens and things we deal with on a normal basis as a fire fighter, we try to get guys hosed off and get the insulation and the burned debris off them as quickly as possible.”
The state Fire Marshall has been contacted and Crookston Fire Chief Tim Froeber and Captain Magsam will start the preliminary investigation.  Agencies that assisted at the scene of the fire were, Crookston Area Ambulance, Crookston Police Department, Polk County Sheriff's office and the Minnesota State Highway Patrol.

To see KROX's Live coverage of the fire we posted on Facebook, click on the video above

    The back door of El Jaripeo (close to the kitchen)      The firefighters and police talk to an interpreter about the damage





Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) and the University of Minnesota Crookston announced a new comprehensive Dual Admissions agreement between the two institutions on Tuesday afternoon this week at NCTC’s Thief River Falls campus. The agreement establishes a cooperative academic relationship under NCTC’s NorthernConnect Dual Admission Program. NCTC President Dennis Bona and U of M Crookston Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause signed the new memorandum of agreement that will provide access and opportunity for students from both institutions.

Chancellor Holz-Clause explained that, “This allows students who are interested in going to NCTC and UMC to be dual enrolled. That means that every credit they take in the fields of agriculture education and animal science, will transfer seamlessly to either of the institutions. It allows students to take classes simultaneously and is focused on helping students find a seamless way to transfer credits between the Minnesota State system and the University of Minnesota.”
Additionally, faculty from both institutions will be provided opportunities to collaborate in sharing, jointly developing and aligning curriculum to advance the quality and efficiency of the programs. Programs offered as dual admission options will be pre-approved by program faculty and possess specific credit hour and course requirements.
Holz-Clause remarked that both she and President Bona were surprised how quickly the cooperative arrangement came together. "We spoke about this in September-October last year, when we met, and had the signing ceremony this week. We kind of laughed that we could do this so quickly, because it really requires the faculty and administration on both campuses to look at the curriculum, see what transfers, and then implement ways to make it work for the student,” she said.
Chancellor Holz-Clause said that initially the dual admission partnership will focus on agriculture. Working together the two schools hope to attract students to the field of agriculture, where employment opportunities are excellent and qualified individuals are in high demand. “There are probably about 150-160 colleges of agriculture in the United States, and they just simply can’t produce enough Bachelors of Science degrees to meet the demand in the industry," said Holz-Clause. "Perdue University does a study every couple of years to assess the types of jobs that are available, and the last study showed 57,600 job openings in agriculture, and only 35,000 graduates in agriculture. That deficit of jobs doesn’t necessarily go unfilled, but they are not filled by people who are trained in agriculture.”
She said that in addition, the jobs in the agriculture industry remain stable, and in demand. “This is really aimed at figuring out how to get more students into the agriculture field. We always tell people in agriculture, ‘It is still plows and cows, but it is also so much more than plows and cows.’ It’s being a scientist, a plant scientist, an animal scientist looking at vaccines and biologicals, being a banker or credit officer, a USDA worker, or an agriculture communicator – the opportunities are almost limitless, and agriculture is a very stable industry. Students will be able to enroll this fall in animal science and agriculture education programs. We need to be vigilant and focused on providing more workforce development and workforce training for that next generation.”
This is the second NorthernConnect agreement implemented by NCTC.  In 2016 NCTC and Bemidji State University executed a similar agreement. NCTC President Dr. Bona said, “The dual admission program takes all of the guesswork out of transferring and allows a student to simply begin work on their bachelor’s degree from day one by taking advantage of the opportunities that both campuses have to offer.”

Pictured left to right: Curtis Zoller, Associate Dean, Agriculture, NCTC; Dennis Bona, President, NCTC; Carey Castle, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, NCTC; ADawn Nelson, Agriculture Instructor, NCTC; Lyle Westrom, Ag-Ed, AnSc Professor, UMC; Barbara Keinath, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, UMC; and Mary Holz-Clause, Chancellor, UMC.




The RiverView Foundation is pleased to announce that the following 16 students have been awarded the June E. Shaver Healthcare Scholarship:
Sydney Boike, Alec Boike, Monica Hollcraft, Samantha Hulst, Brittany Mosher, Alyssa Schultz, Nicole Straus, Annie Waldal, Abby Wilder, and Natalie Wood all of Crookston.
Tracy Fried and Jami Mathews of Fisher, Amy Foss of East Grand Forks, Carter Mosher of Beltrami, Ariel Netland of Euclid and Michelle Pool of Red Lake Falls.  Shaver was a long-time Crookston community and healthcare champion who served as the administrator of the Northwestern Clinic in Crookston from 1953 until her retirement in 1983.  “RiverView Foundation is honored to provide this regional health care scholarship program established in memory, honor, and respect of June E. Shaver’s life values and commitment to serving others,’’ said Foundation Director Kent Bruun. “In her professional career, June was a woman of high integrity, impeccable work ethic, and dedication. She was a strong and passionate leader, actively engaged in community service. She was a well-rounded woman of many interests. She valued self-motivation, high achievement, and the betterment of self.’’
For more information on this scholarship, contact Bruun at 218-281-9249, email, or by going to the Foundation link on RiverView Health’s webpage at

Back row, left to right: Alyssa Schultz, Crookston; Alec Boike, Crookston; Sydney Boike, Crookston; Annie Waldal, Crookston; Carter Mosher, Beltrami; Michelle Poole, Red Lake Falls; Nicole Straus, Crookston; and Ariel Netland, Euclid.
Front row left to right: Monica Hollcraft, Crookston; Tracy Fried-Arneson, Fisher; Abby Wilder, Crookston; Annette Hegg, representing June Shaver Scholarship Committee; Brittany Mosher, Crookston; Amy Foss, East Grand Forks; and Jami Mathews, Fisher.  Recipients not pictured: Samantha Hulst, Crookston and Natalie Wood, Crookston.





Since Terri Hegge took over the Crookston Chamber of Commerce earlier this year, she wanted to make sure she is visiting businesses every week and talking to many business owners to learn more about the people, the businesses and how the Crookston Chamber of Commerce can help them and work with them.  Heggie started Terri on the Town, where she visits a business for a day and finds out everything she can about the business.  Below is a recap of one of her recent visits to Eickhof Columbaria.

“I had the opportunity to tour this amazing business recently. Paul Eickhof gave me an in depth tour of his company, Eickhof Columbaria Inc. where for more than 30 years has completed over 1,200 projects across the United States as well as out of the country. From the initial conversation with a new client to the end product being shipped out their doors and lastly, the installation is a fascinating process carried out by skilled, meticulous and talented staff. Paul has roughly 20 staff and also has a small office in the cities. If you have an opportunity to tour Eickhof Columbaria I strongly encourage it. Paul smiles with pride and shares his years of experience and knowledge. You will leave impressed with the story of how it came to be such a grand business. Thank you Paul for being a long-standing Chamber member, Crookston supporter and business owner.”

Paul Eickhof and his workers are all smiles   A shipment on a semi-trailer at Eickhof Columbaria






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