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WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 28,  2016

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SET LEVY AT 5%, WILL TRY TO GET IT DOWN TO 3%

During the Polk County Commissioner meeting on Tuesday, Michelle Cote presented the resolution to re-appoint Robert Wagner as Director of Assessment Services.  The board approved the re-appointment, which carries a four year term.  Cote also discussed that absentee voting is currently underway. “Absentee voting started on Friday, September 23.  Ballots are available for people who want to come up and vote early,” said Cote.  “Come to the tax payer service center at the Polk County Government Center and you can vote.  It is relatively simple and we are not overly busy yet.  As we get closer to the election we will be busier so there may be a small wait time, but the process is painless.”

The board also set a preliminary 2017 tax levy cap at five percent, and it was noted that there will be intent to get the percentage down closer to three percent by the time the final levy is set by the end of 2016. 
There will be a public hearing on the 2017 budget on Tuesday, November 29 at 6:00 p.m. at the Polk County Government Center.

 


 

CORNSTALK JAMBOREE TO BE HELD SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8

The tomatoes are red, the pumpkins are picked, the leaves are turning, and fall is officially here. Come down to the Cornstalk Jamboree Saturday, October 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the “ Red Barn” on the Downtown Square to get all your fall needs; locally grown vegetables, jams, jellies, pickles, bread, donuts, pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, cornstalks and much more. This market is open to everyone. If you are interested in selling your crafts or other items, please contact the Farmers Market Treasurer, Sandy at 218-281-4320 or email skegler@visitcrookston.com. The setup fee is $25.00 for a 10’x10’ space.
The 2016 One Vegetable One Community (OVOC) has strived and strives to unite the community by encouraging gardeners to plant, grow, cook, and/or share a single vegetable. This season, the community’s vegetable was the TOMATO! The tomato has taken over the community and has been seen growing in kitchen gardens, community and school gardens, containers on front porches, in front of businesses, faith-based organizations, and government buildings. The Cornstalk Jamboree will be highlighting the tomato as the Farmers Market will be serving up your choice of homemade TOMATO or chicken wild rice soup and bread for lunch with a free will donation. There will also be tomato taste-testing and a largest tomato contest!
The children from the Crookston Grade Schools will have a unique scarecrow exhibit, with a story about their creations on display.
While you shop, enjoy live entertainment by a number of local musical groups. Bring the kids out to play games provided throughout the day.
So come on out and enjoy the day as we celebrate healthy eating and our successful OVOC season, support our local Farmer’s Market and have fun together as a community!


 

 

 

NEW REGULATIONS RESTRICTING DEER CARCASSES FROM ENTERING STATE IN EFFECT

With deer hunting season is underway in Minnesota, DNR Big Game Program Leader Adam Murkowski stopped by KROX to talk about a new regulation restricting deer carcasses from entering the state.  The regulation is in response to the growing threat of Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, and Murkowski explains that there was already a similar regulation.  “In the past, we have had regulations in place that affected hunters who went in places where we knew the disease was present.  It required them to take some steps with their harvest before bringing it back to Minnesota, specifically deboning or quartering the animal and only bringing back the hide,” said Murkowski.  “This is a neurological disease in deer and the infectious materials are really concentrated in the central nervous system, so the brain and spinal column.  Those are the parts that we really want to keep out of Minnesota.”

Murkowski explains why the regulation was altered to include all states. “We took the existing regulation and expanded it to all places out of Minnesota.  The reason is we have watched the disease continue to spread geographically and we have also watched it increase in prevalence in areas where we know it is occurring and to some degrees, reaching points to have some potential long term implications,” said Murkowski.  “On top of this, we have also seen states find new areas of infections in areas where they didn’t know it was present, so in our opinion, it is very prudent to be as cautionary as possible and expand these rules given how it is found in new places and increasing in prevalence.  We know it is a few extra steps for hunters, but Minnesota is very fortunate to have a healthy deer herd and it is in everyone’s best interest to maintain that healthy deer herd.”

While the new regulation does not allow whole deer to be transported into the state, there are still ways to bring in deer from other states.  “If you go out of state and harvest an animal, you can bring back your quarters or deboned meat,” said Murkowski.  “If you are interested in getting that animal back for taxidermy, you can bring back the hide, but you need to leave behind those potentially infection materials, which are the head (short of the hide) and the spinal column.”

CWD has not been around for very long and Murkowski discusses what they have learned of the disease so far. “We have been learning a lot and it is a relatively new disease to science and it is a new disease to eastern deer herds, which are much more concentrated than deer out west,” said Murkowski.  “I think one thing that you find between hunters and wildlife managers is that this is really a long term issue of what do we leave our grandchildren.  A lot of hunters want to talk about this upcoming deer season so we have a dichotomy between that and thinking long term and it is something that we are trying to bridge and move forward.  Wisconsin is a perfect example of the spreading of CWD.  They had gone aggressively after it and even if the disease had spread, it would stay at a low prevalence of one to two percent.  Now we see that since they backed off those aggressive measures, it has continually increased in prevalence and about half their bucks are sick in the original area and about a quarter of their does are also sick.  This is something that is not improving anywhere and we really need to be thinking about the future when we decide what we do right now.”

Archery Season is currently underway across Minnesota and Firearm season starts up on Saturday, November 5.

 

 

TUESDAY - SEPTEMBER 27,  2016

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES MOVING FORWARD ON BUILDING PROJECTS LOOKING AT REFERENDUM IN FEBRUARY

The Crookston School Board met on Monday in the Crookston High School choir/orchestra room.  The board approved the September 2016 bill run as well as the preliminary property tax levy for 2016 payable 2017.  The board also approved an increase in short-call substitute teacher pay rates from $100 a day to $120 a day.  “Twice a semester, the superintendents get together and last Wednesday we were in Bemidji.  Many were asking about sub rates and I asked if people could tell me what they pay teacher subs,” said Superintendent Chris Bates.  “The average was about $112 and we were one of the lowest at $100.  We always want to be in the ballpark, not paying the most or the least, but somewhere in the middle range.” The board approved raising the sub rate to $120 a day, which would start in January.
Under the main agenda, the board approved a concession services agreement with Lauren Walter and Oak Pit Grill for the 2016-17 school year.  The board also accepted a donation from Washington PTO in the amount of $2,500 for Kindergarten and $1,012 for first grade supplies.

After the regular board meeting the Crookston School Board held a working session to discuss how to move forward with the three proposed facility projects. “It was a good meeting.  All board members but one were here. A number of them haven’t had a chance because of different reasons to be together so we showed all of the plans, estimated costs of what they would be right now and had conversation,” said School Board Chair Frank Fee.  “We also had our engineer here from Widseth Smith Nolting and they were able to ask him questions. Everyone was in favor of them but we did not take a vote as no action was taken at this working session.”  Fee added that the board members all agreed that we will be moving forward on all three projects and probably have a referendum vote in February sometime and that would ensure us to get in the bidding season, if any of these pass.” The board is expected to officially vote to move forward at their second meeting in October which would be October 24th.
Fee explained that the board feels a referendum would have a separate question for each facility.  “We also agreed to put each project, the bus garage, the athletic complex, and the additional gym space on different questions so people can vote for what they want,” said Fee.  “We do have one more board member to talk to, but it is unanimous with the five that were here so we will move forward.  I think everyone was happy to do that and I think it could be a great addition to the school district.”

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 10 at 5:00 pm at the Crookston High School choir/orchestra room.


Frank Fee shows the preliminary bus garage plans as Kari Miller looks on

 


 

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES MIDCO TO CONTINUE TO OFFER SERVICES IN CROOKSTON

Crookston City Council met on Monday evening in the Council Chambers of City Hall.  City Administrator Shannon Stassen reported that Pet Fixers Clinic was a success. “The Pet Fixers Clinic seemed to go really well so we thanked Shirley Iverson for her role in that and spearheading it,” said Stassen.  “All reports were very good so we’re thankful for Shirley pushing that locally.” 
Stassen said the League of Minnesota Cities, will have some training sessions coming up and some regional meetings.  Last year Crookston was fortunate enough to host one of the meetings and Stassen encouraged staff and council members to go over and take that and the League always does a great job with trainings.”

Items on the consent agenda were resolutions to approve City of Crookston bills and disbursements in the amount of $232,879.99.
The council authorized the Parks and Recreation Department to apply for the James Metzen Might Ducks Grant to help with the purchase of two ice resurfacing machines.  The city confirmed completion of Tax Credit Financing and approved termination of related lease arrangements and the acceptance of deed to the Civic Arena Property. The council approved the second payment to Osseo Construction Co. LLC for the North Water Tower Rehabilitation in the amount of $73,853.00. 

There was also a public hearing on the Midcontinent Communications Franchise and the city approved Midcontinent Communications to maintain a cable communications system in the City of Crookston; setting forth conditions providing for regulation and use of the system; and prescribing penalties for the violation of its provisions.


Dan Nelson, director of governmental affairs with Midco talks to the Crookston City Council
 

 

CROOKSTON WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE APPROVES WATER TO BE RESUPPLIED TO AN EXISTING DUMP STATION

The Crookston Ways and Means Committee met immediately following Crookston City council in the city hall conference room. 
Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen recommended that water be resupplied to an existing dump station where the old arena was on Robert Street.  “We have a dump station that’s located where the old arena was on Robert Street.  Fresh water service went away when the buildings came down,” said Stassen.  “Tonight, the council voted to bring that service back across from the other side of Robert and put it in place so it will help people with cleaning out their tanks when they dump their RVs. It is just a really positive thing and we have seen an uptick in the amount of people staying in Central Park and there will be improvements down the line with that, and this is kind of step one in that process.”
The next scheduled City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 10 at 7:00 pm.

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH TEAMS UP WITH PIRATE GIRLS SPORTS TEAMS TO PROMOTE OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS

If it seems you’ve been seeing a lot of the color teal lately, you’re right. Teal is the designated color for September’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness campaign. It’s also an acronym every woman should know:
·  Talk to your doctor about your family history and how to best care for your health;
·   Educate yourself on symptoms and learn how to care for yourself;
·  Act. You are your best advocate, so don't be afraid to reach out if something doesn't seem right;
·   Listen to your body and to your loved ones. Support each other and again, if something doesn't seem right, reach out.

RiverView Health and the RiverView Foundation are working to get the important T.E.A.L. message out to the community with the help of a memorial donation given by Randy Beggs, Crookston, in memory of Ellen Beggs, his wife of 29 years. Ellen passed away after a short, courageous battle with ovarian cancer on March 8, 2016. RiverView Foundation also recently received a grant from the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Art Ehrmann Cancer Fund to support this mission.

Teal Pirates
One of the ways the Foundation is working to educate the community on the T.E.A.L. campaign is through the Crookston Pirates girls soccer, tennis and volleyball teams. The athletes will wear special “Teal Angels’’ t-shirts for the September 24 soccer match against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, the September 26 volleyball match against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, and the September 27 Northwest Quad Tennis Tournament. All competitions will be in Crookston.
“I believe the student athletes wearing these special t-shirts will raise the awareness of the female student body and athletes and those that are in attendance,’’ shared Foundation Director Kent Bruun. “This partnership and these charitable dollars will impact the future health of females which is a powerful life changing gift. “The t-shirts share the message: “Hope for the fighters; Peace for the survivors; Rest for the fallen."
“RiverView Health and RiverView Foundation would like to sincerely thank Randy Beggs for his generous charitable contribution given in respect and loving memory of his beloved wife Ellen and for his stakeholder role in helping to secure a Fraternal Order of Eagles, Art Ehrmann Cancer Fund grant,’’ shared Bruun.  “I am deeply touched and personally inspired by Randy’s commitment and focus to help others by raising awareness and educating on the importance of family genetic history.  The critical issue is to recognize the signs and symptoms that may be warning signs of ovarian and other cancers when they occur.  With Randy’s support we will create a more meaningful message of ‘why’ we need to take positive action with our health; for ourselves and our families.’’

Statistics, Symptoms
Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly of women's cancers. It ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women. The World Health Organization estimates that there are over 238,000 new cases diagnosed annually and nearly 152,000 deaths worldwide.
This cancer typically occurs in women in their fifties and sixties with the median age being 63. Many women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a genetic history of ovarian cancer. Unfortunately many wo
men don't seek help until the disease has begun to spread, but if detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is more than 93%. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often subtle and easily confused with other ailments.

Symptoms may include:
• Bloating                                                                                                                                                                            

• Pelvic or abdominal pain                                                                                                                                                  
• Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly                                                                                                                        
• Urinary urgency or frequency                                                                                                                                      
• Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation or diarrhea                                                                                                 
• Extreme fatigue                                                                                                                                                                    
• Shortness of breath                                                                                                                                                                
• Backaches                                                                                                                                                                             
• Weight gain

For more information on the T.E.A.L. campaign, contact Bruun at 218-281-9249 or kbruun@riverviewhealth.org. For concerns regarding ovarian cancer, contact your provider or make an appointment with Dr. Kari Wessman, RiverView gynecologist, at 218-281-9595.


Randy Beggs, currently serving as an Inside Guard to the Minnesota State Fraternal Order of Eagles and regional chairman of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Art Erhmann Cancer program, presents RiverView Foundation Director Kent Bruun with a donation to be used for ovarian cancer awareness.

 

 

 

 

TODD AND ANDRIA ELLINGSON TO VISIT CROOKSTON AREA IN OCTOBER

Todd and Andria Ellingson, Christian missionaries in Rwanda, Africa, will be in the Crookston area October 1-24.  Todd graduated from Crookston Central in 1983 and is the son of Bud and Judy Ellingson.  They have been in Rwanda since May, 2010, and they have three children:  Ella (age 4), Zebadiah (age 3), and Esther (10 months).
Since they started this mission, much has been accomplished all because of God’s amazing grace, demonstrated by the many prayers and donations from generous people in the USA.  They call their mission “City of Joy”, and have built a school and a church.  Emmy, a Rwandan college graduate, serves as their interpreter and assists Todd in managing City of Joy.
Joy Christian School has 163 students, grades K-3rd, who attend all-day classes.  The children are taught English and are learning to read, write, and do math, but, most importantly, they are led to love Jesus and to follow Him.  This year they started a class for the children’s parents to learn English through reading Bible stories which will also help them to know Jesus and His love.  They presently have a principal, chaplain, and nine teachers.  Andria helps as an advisor to the teachers.
Joy Christian Church became a reality in August, 2015.  Pastor Lambert not only leads the church, but is also the chaplain at the school.  They offer Bible studies and also have a church band to lead the music, and children’s, youth, and adult choirs.  Earlier this year 45 were baptized, and more will be baptized in the near future.
City of Joy provides a year-long sewing class for adults so that they can have a way to support their families. 
This year they have purchased a banana orchard which provides food for the school.  They have also started a community garden that is cared for by their neighbors who in turn use the vegetables for meals.  Two cows were donated to City of Joy, so now they can serve milk to the school children.
Todd and Andria will be speaking at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston on October 2, Dahlen/Petersburg (ND) Lutheran on October 9, Roseau Community Church and Lake Bronson Covenant on October 16, and St. Paul’s Lutheran on October 23.  If you would like to have them share their story of God’s work in Rwanda at your church or organization, call 218-891-5440.


           Andria, Esther, Zebadiah, Ella and Todd Ellingson

 

 

MONDAY - SEPTEMBER 26,  2016

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET ON MONDAY

The Crookston School Board will meet Monday, September 26 at 5:00 pm in the CHS Choir/Orchestra room.  The Board will be asked to approve the September 2016 Bill Run as well as the preliminary property tax levy for 2016 payable 2017.  Under personnel items, the Board will be asked to approve an increase in Short-Call substitute teacher pay rates. 
The lone item under the Main Agenda is to approve a concession services agreement with Lauren Walter, Oak Pit Grill from 2016-17.  The board will also accept a donation from Washington PTO in the amount of $2,500 for Kindergarten and $1,012 for first grade supplies.
Washington Principal Denice Oliver will give a report on ECFC, Community Ed, and Washington Elementary School, and Superintendent Chris Bates will give his report. Visitors will then be asked to share any concerns with the School Board.
After the meeting, the School Board will hold a working session to discuss how to move forward with the 3 proposed facility projects. (Bus garage, athletic complex, and Crookston High School gym addition)

The next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 10 at 5:00 pm at the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra Room.


 

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL AND WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE TO MEET TONIGHT

Crookston City Council will meet on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.  Items on the Consent Agenda are resolutions to approve City of Crookston bills and disbursements in the amount of $232,879.99, to authorize the parks and recreation department to apply for the James Metzen Might Ducks Grant, to execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement, to confirm completion of Tax Credit Financing and approve termination of related lease arrangements and acceptance of deed to Civic Arena Property, and to approve partial payment estimate number two to Osseo Construction Co. LLC for North Water Tower Rehabilitation in the amount of $73,853.00.
There will be a public hearing on the Midcontinent Communications Franchise, and the Regular Agenda calls for a second reading and final passage of Ordinance No. 64 granting a franchise to Midcontinent Communications to maintain a cable communications system in the City of Crookston; setting forth conditions accompanying the grand of the franchise; providing for regulation and use of the system; and prescribing penalties for the violation of its provisions.
The Crookston Ways and Means Committee will meet immediately following city council meeting in the city hall conference room. 

 

 

HIGHWAY 9 BETWEEN ADA AND BORUP CONSTRUCTION IS COMPLETE

Motorists can once again travel on Highway 9 between Ada and Borup as the detour has been lifted and the project is complete.
The detour, which began May 23, allowed crews to replace the bridge over the Wild Rice River.
Redstone Construction completed the $2.6 million project, which created a higher clearance over the Wild Rice River. It will reduce flooding potential and ensure a safer roadway for motorists in the region.
For real-time traffic and travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org, call 5-1-1 or log on to www.mndot.gov.


 

 

UMC AND WHITE EARTH TRIBAL AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE SIGN AGREEMENT

The University of Minnesota Crookston and White Earth Tribal and Community College will offer an undergraduate cohort in early childhood education and elementary education at White Earth Tribal and Community College in Mahnomen. A formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding took place on Thursday, September 22 at White Earth Tribal and Community College.
Classes will run weekly in the evenings for six weeks for a total of six credits in the fall and again in the spring. There are 15 students in the cohort with 11 starting instruction on October 1.
The opportunity for an undergraduate cohort is designed to further educate and train adults who are interested in furthering their education without leaving their home or place of work and fits the land grant mission of the University of Minnesota. This collaborative effort between the University of Minnesota Crookston Office of Admissions and Liberal Arts and Education Department and White Earth Tribal and Community College will provide a learning environment that meets the needs of the students and encourages the pursuit of baccalaureate degrees in early childhood education and elementary education. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions at 218-281-8569.


WETCC Interim President Tracy Clark and Chancellor Fred Wood sign a Memorandum of Understanding during Thursday's ceremony at WETCC. 

 

 

 

FRIDAY - SEPTEMBER 23,  2016

NELL DEBOER TO TAKE OVER AS CHAIR OF THE OX CART DAYS COMMITTEE

Nell DeBoer has agreed to Chair Crookston’s Ox Cart Days Committee.  “Andy Oman and Amanda Lien both approached me about taking the Chair of the Ox Cart Days Committee and I agreed to do that,” said DeBoer.  “The first thing that I will need to do is pull together with the other committee members to find out who is actually interested.  I have several other people that I would like to add to the committee, some of them I have already approached and they have agreed to be on the committee.  So I am getting some key contacts with those people and making sure that they are on board.”
DeBoer also mentioned that she is already getting support from the community. “I am a little nervous because I have already had people tell me that they think I will do a very good job and I have to live up to that,” said DeBoer.  “We are counting on my 30 plus years of leadership experience and the committee that I have is phenomenal and I think we will pull it together well with working with the City and reporting to Amanda on how things go. I will be working to strengthen the committee and get on the path to being self-sufficient in the future.”
There were some complaints on how Ox Cart Days has been handled in the past and DeBoer talked about early plans on addressing those. “One of the biggest things, I think, that has been lacking in the past few years is communication with the public.  I am excited we have time to get it rolling for next year,” said DeBoer.  “We will be getting a website with all of our information and links for people to volunteer or donate.  This event will be as big or small as Crookston wants it to be depending on that.  We are also reaching out to some of the reunion folks as well and letting them know when we will be having those.”

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT HOLDS AN INFORMATIONAL MEETING ON FACILITY UPGRADES

The Crookston School Board hosted a public forum on Thursday evening in the Crookston High School commons to discuss the three proposed facility projects, a bus garage, addition of a gym on the north end of high school, and an athletic complex that would include an artificial turf field surrounded by a track. 
School Board Chair Frank Fee shared the estimated costs for all three projects and it is currently about 9.8 million dollars, with the bus garage and athletic complex both being close to 3 million and the gym addition close to 4 million.  Superintendent Chris Bates explained the impact of a referendum to the average tax payer.  “This will be the fifth referendum that I will be involved in.  Most of the ideas have come from other people, and I’ve learned that you have got to be able to tell people in terms they understand,” said Bates.  “As I look at the numbers, and if all three questions are passed, it will virtually be if your house is worth $150,000, it will be 150 pennies (or $1.50) a week.  If someone has a $200,000 home, it will be 200 pennies, or 2 dollars a week.  People have to internalize what is two dollars a week.  It’s four cans of pop or the price that gas used to be.”  Our brochure will be designed to be very easy to follow and people will have to decide if they are a yes voter or a no voter.”

Crookston activities director Greg Garmen shared the impact of additional gym space and more space for the music department. “With a new facility, we would not have to rely on Highland as much as we do now,” said Garmen.  “You could, for instance, have all of your girls basketball, all levels 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th, all practice at the same time.  Then after they are done, the boys could come in, we would have many more options.”  Garmen said the school struggles to host tournaments with the junior high and the C teams and they tend to go on the road a lot for weekend three game tournaments with 8 to 12 teams at these tournaments.  “With more space, wrestling could put on a larger tournament,” added Garmen. “We do a great job with what we have, but you could add more mats and more teams and have more people around.  We like to bring people to town because they spend money in Crookston, not only at the game, but places like stores downtown and gas stations.”
Garmen also mentioned there would be many uses for the artificial turf. “The possibilities are endless, and a lot of people think it will only be used as a football field,” said Garmen. “I like to think of it as an athletic complex.  For instance, our soccer team could play a game at 4:30 and then we would roll the goals off and play a football game at 7:00.

Dale Knotek was one of roughly 30 people in attendance and had concerns with the addition involving the Fine Arts programs.  “I think it is great that we need to consider improvement of our school facilities,” said Knotek. “Certainly we have a relationship with UMC, but there is a great need for a football field that has artificial turf and the track is not in good shape.  I am also concerned about the Fine Arts programs.  There is a need for additional facilities for rehearsals and there is limited storage space for things like sound shells and choir risers.  I do think the timing is right and we should be considering some additions to our facilities for the community.”

The school board will hold a working session after their regular meeting on Monday, September 26 to discuss if and how to proceed with a referendum in 2017.


School Board Chair Frank Fee talks about the bus garage     Superintendent Chris Bates explains what it will cost each citizen

 

 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORES WIN TUG OF WAR, SEVENTH GRADERS WIN STUFF THE CAR

Students at Crookston High School continued celebrating homecoming during their primetime hour on Thursday by spending some time outside of the classroom and competing in tug of war and a stuff the car competition.  Each grade had representatives compete in the tug of war and the sophomore grade class ended up winning the competition. 
The stuff the car game gave each grade five minutes to fit as many classmates into a Mercury Sable and still be able to shut the doors.  The seventh grade class won with an amazing 24 students tightly fitting into the car; while the eighth grade fit 19 students; the freshman, juniors and seniors all fit 18 students, and the sophomores fit 17 students. 


                         Two classes compete in the tug of war during the Thursday homecoming activities


         Some of the tug of war participants fall to the ground during one of the tug of war competitions on Thursday


           The kids get ready to stuff themselves into one of the Mercury Sables for the stuff the car competition


The kids are jam packed into the car during the stuff the car competition on Thursday

 

 

THURSDAY - SEPTEMBER 22,  2016

REPORT OF ASSAULT AND ROBBERY TURNS OUT TO BE A FALSE REPORT AFTER INVESTIGATION

At 2:31 p.m. Wednesday September 21, the Crookston Police Department received a report that an 11 year old female had been assaulted and robbed of $20.00 near the intersection of Sahlstrom Drive and Fisher Avenue by an adult male and female who were on foot.  Responding officers first checked the immediate area for anyone matching the limited description given. 
An officer met with the 11 year old and her guardian.  The juvenile described what happened.  During this discussion and after a few questions the juvenile described the incident a second time.  This second version was significantly different than the first, including the location of the incident. 
After the initial investigation of this incident, the Crookston Police Department does not believe there is any danger to the public at this time.  Although the investigation is no longer active, if anyone has information about this incident please call the Crookston Police Department at 281-3111.


 

 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS WIN POWDER PUFF FOOTBALL GAME

The Crookston High School is celebrating Homecoming week with the festivities going through Friday with the football game vs Pelican Rapids and the homecoming dance to follow the game.  The girls had a chance to compete in the Powder Puff Football game under the lights at the UMC/CHS football field Wednesday night.  There were three teams with the Seniors, Juniors and Sophomores competing.  The freshmen didn't field a team.
The first round of play had the Juniors beat the Sophomores 42-21.  In the championship game it was the Juniors beating the Seniors 28-14.


The Junior girls with their "coaches" after they won the championship


Macy Strem eludes flag grabbers on a run   The Junior coaches celebrate the win

FOR MORE POWDER PUFF FOOTBALL PICTURES CLICK HERE

 

 

UMC CELEBRATES 50 YEARS AS AN INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING

The University of Minnesota Crookston celebrated Founders Day and the 50th anniversary of being an institution of higher learning on Wednesday afternoon in Bede Ballroom.  Chancellor Fred Wood welcomed everyone in attendance and shared his excitement for the milestone at UMC. “It’s a wonderful day here on campus, 50 years ago today was the first group of students coming to the college.  You know, it was a wonderful time to transition from the Aggies,” said Wood.  “The Northwest School of Agriculture laid a fabulous foundation for this place.  It was the next step to become a two year college 50 years ago and we are so proud of that.” 
20 years ago UMC started their online programs. “Which has really added a lot of courses to the campus and has supported the economics of the region because it supports the campus and the campus supports the region,” said Wood.  “This place has been special to this region and we are so proud to be here in Crookston and we are so happy that the Crookston community has a University of Minnesota campus, which only six cities or towns in the state of Minnesota have.  It’s really great and we are happy to see so many members of the community out here today.”
UMC treated everyone in attendance to cake and refreshments along with many yearbooks from over the history of UMC available to look through.


UMC Chancellor Fred Wood welcomes everyone in attendance to the Founders Day celebration.

 

MOTORISTS TRAVELING IN MINNESOTA SHOULD BE AWARE OF LARGE FARM EQUIPMENT

Motorists traveling on Minnesota highways this fall need to be aware of large farm equipment transporting crops to markets, grain elevators and processing plants, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. 
“Harvest season is in full swing and farmers in every corner of the state are out using the highways,” said Jay Hietpas, state traffic engineer. “Motorists need to be prepared to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roads now through November.”
Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The machines also make wide turns and sometimes cross over the center line. In addition, farm vehicles can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. All of these factors can cause serious crashes. 
During 2013-15, 422 traffic crashes took place on Minnesota roads involving at least one farm vehicle, resulting in 12 fatalities and 204 injuries. Of the 12 fatalities, eight were farm vehicle riders; of the 204 injuries, 57 were farm vehicle riders.  “The biggest factors contributing to farm equipment/vehicle crashes are inattention, unsafe passing and speed,” Hietpas said. “Motorists should always slow down and use caution when approaching farm equipment.”

Motorists should:
- Watch for debris dropped by trucks hauling sugar beets and other crops. It is safer to brake or drive through debris than to veer into oncoming cars or off the road.
- Wait for a safe place to pass.
- Wear seatbelts.
- Drive with headlights on at all times.

Farm equipment operators should:
-Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible.
- Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph.

Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.

 

 

WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 21,  2016

CHEDA APPROVES LOANS FOR SYNERGY AND ERICKSON EMBROIDERY

The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) held its monthly meeting on Tuesday morning at the Valley Technology Park.  Synergy, a business in Crookston, requested a $20,000 loan to help with acquiring a new location.  “Dillon Fenno, the owner and proprietor of Synergy, is looking to relocate and he has made a deal to acquire a building in downtown Crookston,” said Craig Hoiseth of CHEDA.  Fenno will be moving his business to the old Eickof Columbaria offices and recently the Care and Share thrift store. “Dillon is wanting to move his business in there and create exposure,” said Hoiseth.  “He has asked CHEDA to finance some gap financing in the amount of $20,000 to assist in the acquisition of that building.  The CHEDA Board agreed today to finance $20,000 over the next seven years for Synergy.”

Erickson Embroidery had a $10,000 loan request to help with their expansion. “Erickson Embroidery has done a really fantastic job downtown and there has been a lot of expansion and they have already installed a lady’s boutique,” said Hoiseth.  “They want to really magnify and enlarge the inventory for women to go in and shop.  So this is kind of a bridge loan with a maximum of one year for $10,000 that will allow Erickson Embroidery to bring in more clothing inventory.” Both loans were approved by the CHEDA Board.

Hoiseth also reported that there were some weather related delays on the pouring of the concrete slab for the construction trades house, but it was recently completed.
UMC Chancellor Fred Wood was present and reported that enrollment at UMC is down about three percent from last year.  He did note that he believes there have been 11 admissions directors in the last 15 years, which makes it difficult to boost enrollment, but he is pleased to have Michelle Christopherson now in the role.

The next scheduled CHEDA meeting is October 18 at 7:00 am at Valley Technology Park.

 

 

CONSTRUCTION ACROSS THE STREET FROM CASEY'S IS A SEWER LINE AND LIFT STATION

Construction is underway for Casey’s General Store on the north side of town on the east side of North Broadway, but there is also construction on the west side of the road.  “On the west side of the road we are installing a lift station and a sanitary sewer line,” said Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen.  “Things seem to be going very well there, so within a week we should be wrapping up with that project.” 
The lift station is being put in place to service Casey’s, but also, if Crookston is fortunate enough to receive the tax credits for the Agassiz Townhomes, it will serve that development.  “That could be happening in 2017 if things go well,” said Stassen.  “It’s exciting and the north end of Broadway could be filling up quickly if things go correctly.”

 

 

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WORKING ON THE 2017 BUDGET, TALK WITH TRAIL COUNTY

The Polk County Commissioners are meeting with department heads this week to review the 2017 budget and get a levy in place.  County Administrator Chuck Whiting said each department budget will be reviewed as they prepare budgets.  “Right now we are going to spend time with each department head so the board can set the preliminary levy which is the initial budget to be completed in October or November,” said Whiting.  “The property tax levy will be in the five or six percent with a target closer to three percent and I think we can meet that.” 
The budget for Polk County runs roughly around $60 million with the levy at 21 to 22 million dollars.  “We try to get a handle on the revenues coming from the state and federal government in social service, highways, solid waste, sheriff’s department, public health and many more,” said Whiting. “We try to keep the levy manageable for the residents.”  

The commissioner hosted the Trail County, North Dakota commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday.  They talked about replacing the Neilsville Bridge which connects Minnesota and North Dakota. The bridge has been unusable for traffic the past year and the two counties are working to raise funds to construct a new bridge.   Polk County Highway Engineer Rich Sanders said a meeting with the North Dakota DOT is set for October.   “Through the Minnesota process I was able to garner $1.4 million in federal gas tax dollars. We are looking at bridge bonding dollars through the state bridge bonding account, and the remainder would come from local state CASA highway dollars,” said Sanders. “North Dakota’s side is not funding.  We applied for a tiger grant, but did not get one from the federal government.” 
North Dakota wants to visit with Trail County in October about the project. “I was invited to attend so we can come up with a plan and look at the Minnesota process and we can come up with a plan,” said Sanders.  “We will apply for the Tiger grant again which benefit both sides and then we could start the process and get a contract lent and do the construction.”

The cost of a replacement bridge is between five and six million dollars with more funds needed for the connections in each state.   The new bridge would be in the same space as the present bridge.  Work on the archeological concerns is being done on both sides of the river. 

 

 

MARGEE KELLER TO BE HONORED AS THE EXPERIENCED AMERICAN OF THE MONTH ON SEPTEMBER 23

Margee Keller will be honored as the Golden Link Experienced American on Friday, September 23 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. at the Golden Link in Crookston.  Keller talked about how she found out about the honor, saying, “I was contacted by the Golden Link about the honor.  I am truly honored, but in the same effect, there are many people in the community that should be honored as well.”

Many know Keller from her 40 years as Vice President at Crookston National Bank where she retired full time on December 31, 2015.  “I still come in and work six to eight hours a week doing auditing and some special projects,” said Keller.  “I enjoy the work and I do miss the customers, but I am still involved in the community as far as volunteering.”

Keller has donated her time to many organizations over the years.  Some of them include the Minnesota Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Riverview Auxiliary Gift Shop, the Salvation Army, Crookston Rotary, United Way, Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce, ISD 593 Community Education Committee, American Legion Auxiliary, Girl Scouts, 4-H, Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, and Pirate Boosters to name a few.

Reflecting on her early years in Crookston, she would like to recognize two organizations that have had a great impact on her life. Namely, they would be Mrs. Jaycees (now known as Women of Today) and BPW (Business and Professional Women). Since she was a very quiet, shy and private person, it was just a challenge to say her name at meetings.

Keller feels that while others deserve the honor, she is still excited for the ceremony.  “It is always fun to see old acquaintances and some of the people I have not had the chance to see in recent months due to the fact that I did retire,” said Keller, who added “Be the best you can be and nobody is guaranteed a tomorrow.”  She feels that is what life is all about.

The reception for Experienced American Margee Keller starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Golden Link and a short program for Keller will start at 2:00 p.m.

 


 FOR THE OBITUARY PAGE  CLICK HERE

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