October 22 October 26, 2018 is Fall Clean-Up Week in Crookston.  Clean-up items will be picked up only on your regular garbage pickup day and must be placed on the street boulevard.  Please note: Compost material - grass clippings, lawn or garden waste - WILL NOT have to be in City compost bags for this week only.  Cleanup items should be separated into the following piles:  Garbage, clothing, cardboard, etc.; Appliances; Branches and yard waste; Furniture, metal items, demolition, etc. and Tires.  Placing these items out in separate piles will help speed the clean-up process.  In awareness of clean up week in Crookston, Polk County Public Health advises to not bring furniture, mattresses, box springs, or bed frames found on the street into your home in order to prevent the spread of bed bugs.
As required by State Law, all video display devices (TVs, computer monitors, etc.) cannot be land filled.  Therefore, these items will not be collected during clean-up.  These devices may be disposed of at Polk County Environmental Services (Transfer Station).
Concrete, batteries, partially full paint cans, other chemicals, or large amounts of demolition debris will not be accepted.  Branches must be cut in four foot lengths and bundled.
Items should be placed on boulevards no more than 72 hours prior to your collection day. Remember, Fall Clean-Up Week is October 22 October 26 in Crookston.



FRIDAY - OCTOBER 19,  2018


Tri-Valley Opportunity Council hosted a social for the project partners who helped make Agassiz Townhomes a reality on Wednesday morning. The day started with refreshments and a short presentation in Bede Ballroom at the University of Minnesota Crookston and culminated with project partners walking through a finished three-bedroom unit.  “We’re very proud of how the buildings have turned out and very happy we could have a small group take a look at them today,” said Tri-Valley CEO Jason Carlson. “They don’t look or feel like affordable housing, so I think that families that are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to live in those units will be very happy.”
Carlson said that while they had to postpone the public open house because they weren’t sure when the paving contractor could be on sight. Two families have already moved into completed units in the north building, while construction for three remaining buildings and paving work continues to progress.  Currently, two of the three remaining buildings are on pace to be open by November 1st with the final building opening near the end of November.
Many of the units are two-story townhomes, but there are several one-story ADA complaint units. “We have three ADA units available that have generated a lot of interest,” said Carlson. “Interest has come from not only from the community needing wheelchair access, but the older community as well.” Carlson added that all the units are wheelchair visit-able, meaning they all have ground level entry without any steps.
Carlson was appreciative of the many partners in the project, “I appreciate getting to say thanks and congratulations to the partners and the community support we’ve through the whole process
,said Carlson. “This has been four years in the making and it wouldn’t have happened without the strong local community support and the support of our funding sources.”

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council had a number of partners in the project including Bremer Bank Crookston, City of Crookston, Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority, Wells Fargo, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, UMOS, Inc., Otto Bremer Trust and Ottertail Power. Tri-Valley also received significant support from local employers including Ottertail Power, Best Used Trucks, Dee Inc., American Crystal Sugar, Eickhof Columbaria, Valley Plains Equipment, RiverView Health, Napa-Crookston Welding, Hugo’s, Grove Mechanical, Valley Electric, Northwestern Mental Health, Great Plains Natural Gas and several employers who did not wish to be recognized.

The Agassiz Townhomes partner group picture take during the meeting




Altru Clinic in Crookston is offering school athletic sports physicals for a reduced cost of $35.00 on Thursday, October 25 starting at 4:00 p.m. In addition to the regular exam, the physical therapy department will be performing a comprehensive musculoskeletal screening for each student. Students should bring their completed Minnesota High School League Health History Form and the $35.00 at the time of the exam. The $35.00 fee will get donated back to your Athletic Department. 
Also, as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Altru Clinic in Crookston will offer free clinical breast exams Monday, October 29 through Friday, November 2. No appointment is necessary, walk-ins from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. are welcome. Breast exams will be done by Jackie Roberts, FNP, Carrie Clauson, PA or Valerie Tuseth, FNP. One in eight will develop breast cancer, and a clinical breast exam is part of your overall breast health. Breast exams are encouraged for anyone over the age of 25.
*Note: While important for prevention, clinical breast exams do not include imaging and are not meant to replace regular mammograms.




The two-day International Crop Expo event held each February at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota is a farm equipment show and is focused on educational programs featuring leading edge topics. Since its inception in 1990, the Small Grain Institute’s mission has been to help educate and provide information to the small grain growers in our region. The continued growth and success of the International Crop Expo has allowed the Small Grain Institute to establish a fund that will provide financial support for programs and/or meetings that coincide with that mission.
A grant committee has been formed to help this process along. Serving on the grant committee for this current year are: Fred Parnow, Crookston; Joel Ransom; Fargo, Don Yutrzenka; Argyle, Greg Radke; Maple Lake and Lorri Ann Hartel; Red Lake Falls.
The Small Grains Institute Committee is comprised of members from the farm community, industry and extension and are proud to announce that they distributed grants to the following recipients in 2018:
North Dakota Grain Growers Association $500.00
North Dakota Barley Council $500.00
Organic Crop Improvement Association Minnesota #1 $500.00
Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers $1000.00 
Minnesota Barley Growers Association $1000.00
Minnesota and North Dakota, Agri-Women $1000.00
The committee is also proud that scholarships have been awarded to an Ag student with the University of Minnesota – Crookston and North Dakota State University for $1,000.00 each.

This program was established with the two universities in 2014. The 2019 grant application deadline will be Friday, December 3, 2018. If you know of any group who would be eligible & would like to apply – please contact Lorri Ann Hartel
at 218-253-4391 or 218-686-6144 or email




During the first weekend of the month, juniors and seniors, from various high schools, interested in majoring in animal science, came to the University of Minnesota Crookston for Animal Science Exploration Days. The UMN Crookston admissions department hosted a two day camp for the students in order for them to experience, first-hand, what it would be like to be an animal science student. They participated in hands-on activities with animals such as grooming, anatomy dissections, and handling live animals. Furthermore, they had a chance to explore the campus and stay overnight to get the full student experience. It was a rewarding experience for everyone involved.




The Minnesota State Patrol reported a two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 75, just south of Warren , at 10:09 p.m. Thursday, October 18. A northbound Volvo farm semi tractor, driven by Joann Fay Sorenson, age 67, of Warren, was slowing to turn right onto 170th St., when rear-ended by a Chevy Silverado driven by Eric Thomas Lavanger, age 29, also of Warren, MN. Both vehicles’ airbags deployed, both drivers were wearing their seatbelts, Sorenson was transported to North Valley Health Center in Warren, Lavanger was transported to Altru Hospital Grand Forks, both with non-life threatening injuries. Marshall County Sheriff and Warren Fire Departments assisted in the incident.






The Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaborative's, a coalition of public and private agencies in Kittson, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk and Red Lake counties, held their bi-annual meeting on Wednesday, October 17 at the University of Minnesota Crookston.  The council is made up of more than 50 members including school districts, special education districts, social services, public health, mental health, primary care, law enforcement, corrections, community action and county government, works together to improve the lives of families and children in northwest Minnesota.  They accomplish this by coordination human and financial resources to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of services offered by its members.  The council also works with state and local legislators to meet the growing needs of more than 75,000 people in northwest Minnesota. The council pursues grant opportunities, analyzes date and trends to plan and enact their initiatives, which currently include county resource websites aimed at bringing various resources together in one convenient digital tool, rewriting the rural narrative, creating a pilot project to proactively connect children and families with resources and services that will help avoid more serious interventions in the future.  The pilot project focuses on family with youth in the Pre-K through 12th grade regardless of socioeconomic status, diagnosis or other eligibility criteria normally associated with these resources and programs.  

Since the council was first formed in 2000, they have successfully administrated 12 grants in the region, and are currently working with three additional grants that together total an allocation exceeding $21.7 million.  These grants include $6.7 million for safe schools and healthy students, addressing school safety, chemical health, violence prevention, early childhood development and school-based mental health practices.  The program Our Children Succeed addressed mental health needs of children ages 0-18 through school-based social work, crisis intervention, consultation and summer programming through a grant totaling $7.5 million.  Other initiatives that have been funded through grants include:

PHYSICAL EDUCATION ($3.3 million) through the Carol M. White Physical Education Grant that addressed the physical and nutritional health of students in 21 school districts and the juvenile detention center.  The council is currently waiting on approval for a third grant from the Carol M. White Physical Education Grant that would total another $1.735 million.

EARLY CHILDHOOD MENTAL HEALTH ($640,000) addressing the youth population ages 0 to 4, early childhood development and mental health.

CHILDREN’S CRISIS SERVICES ($400,000) focused on crisis response services for children and families with mental health needs.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE/CRISIS MANAGEMENT ($400,000) addressing school safety, physical assessments, law enforcement training, environment assessments and school crisis plans in 20 school districts.

RESPITE CARE ($192,752) focused on respite care services for families in need.

E-HEALTH RECORD SYSTEM ($749,323) following the Minnesota Accountable Health Model, the grant implemented an electronic health record system to promote health and improve care coordination in Mahnomen, Norman and Polk counties and was subsequently expanded to include Kittson, Marshall, Pennington and Red Lake counties.

COORDINATED CARE ($249,000) for the planning and implementation to coordinate service efforts, shared information and data management systems.  Provides a more robust array of services for individuals in the juvenile justice or adult corrections systems.  The focus of the initiative was to assure a more seamless transition from detention back into the community.

Wednesday’s bi-annual meeting covered a variety of topics, which included “Membership Dollars at Work,” an update on two grants the council is currently working with. “Working with LBGTQ+ Youth and Families in Rural Communities,” an interactive session for participants to gain a greater understanding of what children in this group think and feel, the lack of access to role models and safe spaces where youth can interact and develop relationships with other people who are like them and to gain insight into better policies and training. “Results of NW Minnesota Community Health Assessment” with Director of Polk County Public Health Sarah Reese. “Youth Homelessness Demonstration Grant,” that supports a wide range of housing interventions including rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing and host homes to help end youth homelessness.

The first topic, “Membership Dollars at Work,” detailed the efforts of two grants, “21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant” and the “Minnesota System of Care ‘Family Navigator’ Grant." The learning centers grant, which is being used in four school districts, enhances regular instruction in the school with out-of-school-time programming.  The grant is currently serving Waubun-Ogema-White Earth, Win-E-Mac, Fosston and Stephen-Argyle Central.  The Family Navigator grant through the Minnesota System of Care will happen primarily in Ada and Win-E-Mac and will help families navigate existing resources and services.  “We’ll have family partners in places as sort act as on ombudsman, cheerleader or coach,” explained Tri-Valley Opportunity Council CEO Jason Carlson. “We’re going to see how that improves outcomes for children with severe emotional disturbance or emotional health diagnosis.”

The biggest discussion of the day, centered on LBGTQ+ youth and families in rural communities, was led by Joe Rand, a University of Minnesota Extension Coordinator. “Joe Rand has done research on this youth community in a rural setting and his message of understanding and a common-sense approach to understand what a child who identifies as a member of that community is feeling really resonated,” said Carlson.  “We talked a lot about pronouns and how if you use the wrong ones it can sort of be a ‘gut punch’ to a child who doesn’t identify in that way.  It’s important to approach kids and their families with an open-mind, take each situation case-by-case and being mindful things may not be as they always have been.” Support networks are different then they may be in an urban setting and some of the area school districts expressed interest in following up with Rand on how to bring this message to their staffs.

Sarah Reese from Polk County public health provided results of community health assessments in the member counties.  Carlson said there was a lot of data that will take a while to digest but found it interesting the effects something like graduating on time can have on a variety of health concerns.  “It’s amazing how graduating on time correlates with diabetes,” commented Carlson.  “A lot of information got put out there and the slides were shared with the group and will take a little time to go through.”

The “Youth Homelessness Demonstration Grant” will bring $1.41 million to the area explained Carlson. “Most people think hear homeless youth would say ‘are you kidding, is that a real thing in this area’ and I’m telling you it is,” said Carlson.  “It’s not just youth living on the street, it’s living in unstable situations, doubling up and the grant define youth up to age 24.” The program is funded by HUD and supports a wide range of housing interventions including rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing and host homes. 




Students from Our Savior’s Lutheran School joined members of the community at the Crookston Public Library on Tuesday, October 16 for their Legacy Event Music




The East Grand Forks Police Department’s K9 Program has been nominated for a grant from Aftermath, a Trauma Cleaning and Bio-Hazard Removal company.  Aftermath is a strong supporter of law enforcement nationwide and will be giving out eight grants of up to $5,000 during this process.  Law enforcement agencies who have existing K9 programs or who are looking to start a new program compete for the grant funds through an online voting process.  The eight agencies that receive the most votes will receive the grants to put toward their K9 programs.
The East Grand Forks Police Department started its K9 program this year, with most of the start-up costs being raised through private and corporate donations.  Officer Tyler Hajicek and his K9 partner Leroy completed their initial training early this summer and have already been involve in a number of narcotics arrests.
Voting will take place between October 18 and November 2 with the winning agencies announced on November 6.  You can vote every 12 hours on the Aftermath website at and if you have an Instagram account you can vote once a day on Aftermath’s K9 posts (@AftermathK9Grant).





Hospice of the Red River Valley is offering a free Grief During the Holidays educational grief program for adults who are managing grief during the holidays.

Grief During the Holidays
Managing grief in times of celebration can be overwhelming. Suffering the loss of a loved one is difficult any time of the year, but the holiday season can intensify feelings of loss. This presentation will enable attendees to identify and learn how to manage the mixed and painful emotions that can surface when grieving during the holidays. Participants will also learn important self-care strategies. This class is free and open to the public; no registration required for this class.
The program will be offered on Tuesday, October 23 in Ada from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at Grace Lutheran Church at 110 3rd Avenue East.
For questions, call (800) 237-4629 and ask for the bereavement department, or email

About Hospice of the Red River Valley
Hospice of the Red River Valley is an independent, not-for-profit hospice serving more than 30 counties in North Dakota and Minnesota. Hospice care is intensive comfort care that alleviates pain and suffering, enhancing the quality of life for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones by addressing their medical, emotional, spiritual and grief needs. For more information, call toll free 800-237-4629, email or visit





The Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday in the board chambers at the Polk County Government Center.  The commissioners approved the creation of a joint airport zoning board for the Fertile Airport, the hiring of a full-time extension coordinator for the 4-H program and a workforce center contract with social services in the amount of $12,195. 
The board also approved advertisement of a maintenance position with the Highway Department, to replace Richard Kuzel, who is retiring after 12 years with the county.   Additionally, the board received notification of an emergency management grant from the state in the amount of $26,502, which the board accepted.  

Polk County Attorney Greg Widseth updated the board on a settlement agreement with Wal-Mart on the property tax valuation suit they had filed.  The agreement covers two years of property tax valuation and will have the county repaying Wal-Mart $35,000.  “We have reached a settlement we can all agree with that puts [Wal-Mart’s] valuation in line with other counties, cities, and Wal-Marts our size,” explained Widseth. “It’s not perfect but avoids further litigation on a pretty complex case that may have required us to hire outside counsel, so it saves the taxpayer’s money.”

Michelle Cote, Director of Property Records, updated the commissioners on early voting in the county.  “We have had many ballots either filled out in person or mailed in, yesterday we set a record for early voting in the county processing 442 ballots,” said Cote, who offered a reminder that they are open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day at the Taxpayer Service Center.

Darin Carlstrom, the Polk County Construction Engineer, informed the board that a recent inspection with MnDOT found an issue with the Climax Bridge. “There may be some movement with the piers or abutment with some bearings or rockers locked up,” said Carlstrom. “MnDOT will contract with a firm in Pennsylvania to design a girder for the west approach to provide additional support.” The county hopes to have the construction complete by December 1 and will need to do further investigation next year. 

The commissioners were also introduced to Peter Sedgeman, who succeeded Kent Johnson as Director of Polk County Social Services on October 8 following Johnson’s retirement.  Sedgeman grew up in Warren, where his father was the music director for Warren/Alvarado/Oslo High School and his mom was a social worker with Good Samaritan Nursing Home.  Sedgeman comes to Social Services from Sanford Health in Thief River Falls, where he was employed as a financial analyst.  Sedgeman has been busy in his first week on the job, “I met over 100 people the first week and have been working to sort of get my feet wet in a variety of programs.”
The next Polk County Commissioners meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 23 at 8:00 a.m. in the Board Chamber at the Polk County Government Center.





The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) board met on Tuesday morning at Valley Technology Park. A busy meeting included the sale of two properties on Hoven Lane and the approval of two loans, one for housing rehab and the other a revolving fund loan for a new owner of Cofe`.

Much of Tuesday morning’s discussion focused on the future of Cofe`, which closed in September after first being listed for sale in 2017. The prospective lender and future owner of Cofe` is Jerry Snow, who owns Chickadee Coffee Roasters and is an operational partner of the Roasted Pub and Eatery in Detroit Lakes. “Obviously we've had a bit of a void with [Cofe`] being closed,” said CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth. “Arby’s closed operations, we had a fire at [El Jariepo] and with Cofe` we have had limited choices the last few months. Jerry is looking at reestablishing Cofe` with a different culture of coffee as communication and a business model with an exciting product.”

Snow brings a diverse background to the coffee industry with degrees in geology, astronomy, and education. He has taught science in high school and at Bemidji State University. A self-declared “coffee snob,” Snow believe that coffee “can be the vehicle to a discussion on many social and economic issues such as equitable pay for women, environmental change and sustainable organic farming. He said Crookston could serve as the staging ground for his business’ expansion into northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota, saying he believes Crookston “is on the cusp of opening up to the third wave culture.” The third wave is a term often used in coffee circles that refers to “a current movement to produce high-quality coffee and consider coffee as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine, rather than a commodity.”

The loan that was approved by a unanimous vote from the board will provide Snow with $85,000 payable over 10 years, with a fixed interest rate of 4.5 percent. The loan would put CHEDA in line as the primary lender, a position they normally avoid, as no local lender has currently agreed to take on the primary debt from the original business. “I don’t want us to be the bank, but if the banks don’t want to work with us, we have to keep businesses,” commented board member Steve Erickson. The funds for the new loan would be used to retire existing debt to CHEDA and the primary lender previously associated with the business and for start-up operations of bringing the business back online. “CHEDA’s role is preferably a gap lender, but if no primary lender steps forward wanting to finance an operation we’ll definitely consider that,” said Hoiseth. “The board did have a discussion about being the primary position, [which] is definitely not something we want to do but in a needful situation in order to get business up and going the board is willing to consider those hard decisions.”

Snow said he really wants to do well in the morning with amazing coffees, organic foods like eggs and potatoes for breakfast burritos and sandwiches as grab-and-go style options. During lunch, they would like to have artisanal wines, craft beers, soups and sandwiches as a specialty bistro also including cheese boards and wine pairings. Snow plans to source many of the foods and drinks, coffee excluded, from producers in the local area. When asked by board member when he’d like to open, Snow joked “I’ll open Monday.” There a still a few procedural items that will need to be included, but Hoiseth said Cofe` may be able to reopen by the end of the month.

The meeting opened with the approval of the minutes from the September meeting minutes, followed by an update from Nancy Vyskocil on the Northwest Minnesota Foundation explained Hoiseth, “The foundation has done some strategic visioning and realigning.” He added, “The foundation has been such a great partner for the City of Crookston in the past and we wanted to hear how we can be a good partner with them.” Vyskocil is the president of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.

The board then approved the sale of two properties on Hoven Lane (1603/1615) to the Northwest Minnesota Housing Cooperative. The board also approved the final CHEDA budget for the upcoming year. “Last month at the board meeting we had the draft budget and we’ve been working all those numbers over the past month with various board members and stakeholders,” said Hoiseth. “We’ve incorporated all the changes and edits and today the board approved the budget for 2019.”

The final two topics on the agenda also dealt with loans, one discussing an increase in interest rate for delinquent loans through CHEDA and two loan approvals. Although most loans have been repaid to CHEDA within the timeframe set in the loan contract, there have been occasional instances where a loan recipient hasn’t paid off the loan in time. Board member Tom Vedbraaten said he believed that once the original term is up, the interest rate on the loan should go from the percentage set in the loan terms by CHEDA (which is often two percent), up to prime (the current rate being charged by banks) or even a little higher. Although the rest of the board seemed to agree with Vedbraaten, they decided to table the decision until their next meeting to allow time to review the change to the board’s lending policy.
The second loan approved during the meeting was a rehab housing loan to David and Melanie Lessard for the property at 1128 N. Broadway. Lessard purchased the home in 2015 and have been rehabbing the house over the past several years including a previous rehab loan in April 2017 for an addition and rehabbing the exterior of the house. The previous loan was paid off, with interest in the year time frame required by CHEDA for rehab loans. The new loan will be used to work on completing rehab work to the interior of the home with sheetrocking, wiring and trim. The appraised value of the house has increased by $53,900 since work began in 2017.
 “David and Melanie are going to finish their house and they’ve done a fantastic job there,” said Hoiseth. “Those loans are easy to initiate and have a 2% interest for one year.” The loan was approved and will be done one year from the date of the loan and will be grandfathered into the current program, as will other loans already approved, without the risk of the interest rate jumping to prime should the final payment date be missed.



Lee Groeschl took this picture of the sunrise Tuesday morning from the Meadows Apartments.
 If you have a picture or video of anything interesting, send it to us at kroxnews@gmail  




RiverView Prior Authorization Representative Lisa Roudybush is not in Kansas anymore, and for that her coworkers and RiverView patients are thankful. As a matter of fact, Roudybush has made such an impression since joining RiverView in January 2017, that she was recently named RiverView’s Employee of the Month (EOM) for September.
Roudybush grew up on a farm outside of Sabetha, Kansas. Because her husband of almost 23 years, Matt, is in the food manufacturing industry, the family has lived in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and now Minnesota.
A member of RiverView’s Patient Financial Services Team, Roudybush has Associate’s Degrees in Applied Science and Medical Billing and Coding, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Services Administration from Colorado Technical University Online.
The Roudybush family resides outside of Nielsville. Lisa and Matt have six children: Derek, 22, who will soon move back to Minnesota to work; Hunter, 20, a crew chief in the United States Air Force, stationed in Arizona where he resides with his wife of one-year, Yareli; Hannah, 18, who will be attending Northland Community College in the spring for phlebotomy; Payton, 8th grade; Braden, 6th grade; and Zander, 4th grade. The three youngest children attend Climax Shelly Public Schools.
Roudybush lists her three passions in life as, “God, my family and the Denver Broncos. I love watching NFL Football with my family, especially when we all like different NFL teams. As time allows, I also enjoy crafting and working on our house.’’
Of her EOM honor, Roudybush said: “I am so thankful for being recognized as a valued employee of RiverView Health. When I went back to school to get my bachelor’s degree, my main goal was to make a difference in the lives that I touch. The patients that I speak to daily are so thankful that we take the time to check their insurance benefits prior to surgical procedures.’’





The winner of the KROX Crookston Pirate You Pick the Score contest was Janelle Vatthauer. She picked the Pelican Rapids Vikings to beat the Crookston Pirates by 34 to 12. The final score was Pelican Rapids 51 and Crookston 14. 
Janelle received $10 gift certificates from local businesses including Advanced Tire and Auto, All Seasons Lube Center and Car Wash, B & E Meats, Bridge Street Candle Company, Crookston Eagles #873, Erickson Embroidery and Design, Minakwa Golf Course and Ness Café. Plus a $20 gift certificates from Crookston Hardware Hank, Crookston Inn and Convention Center, Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy, Hugo’s Family Marketplace, Irishman’s Shanty, Purdys Shoe Store and R.B.J.’s Restaurant, plus a pair of jeans from Fleet Supply, a large one item pizza from Mugoo’s Pizza, and KROX added $70 as a bonus, a dollar for each year KROX has been in business.

Steve Krueger hands the prize package to Janelle Vatthauer






On Friday, October 12 at 2:48 p.m., the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a train and semi-truck accident at the intersection of Highway 2 and 400th Street SE west of Fosston.  The semi-truck driven by David Landsverk of Fosston was traveling north on 400th Street SE and was crossing the railroad tracks when his trailer was hit by the train.  There were no injuries reported at the scene.  The Minnesota State Patrol is handling the accident.  No further information will be released.
Responding Agencies included:  Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Fosston Fire Department, Essentia Ambulance.




The Crookston Park Board held their monthly meeting on Monday afternoon at the Crookston Community Pool. The Park Board meeting was also attended by representatives from the City Council, City Staff, and Crookston Public Schools. Mayor Wayne Melbye, City Administrator Shannon Stassen, Crookston School Superintendent Jeremy Olson, and Crookston School District Transportation, Grounds and Facilities Director Rick Niemela were all in attendance.

The meeting focused primarily on the Community Pool and whether the Park Board agreed with previous discussions by school and city officials that a transition of ownership to the city may in the best interest of the community. The Park Board voted unanimously to move forward and bring the discussion to the Crookston Ways & Means Committee. The discussion would be on the ownership, including the financial burden that would fall to the city. That vote brings the transfer of the pool from the school district to the city one step closer to becoming a reality.
During the meeting, the park board learned of the upgrades the pool has undergone in recent years, with most major upgrades being made since 2014. Rick Niemela discussed the various cosmetic and equipment changes that have taken place including a new air handling system and dehumidifier, new filter system and surge tank and the nearly completed update to the exterior façade. The façade still has work to be completed on both the north and west sides, which would be covered under the levy the school district has for the operation of the pool. “They went over the improvements that had been made in the past 5-10 years, with a lot of the mechanical systems being replaced,” said Parks and Recreation Director Scott Riopelle. “They have made a number of big upgrades to help us in the future and hopefully will go to the council and see about taking over the facility.”
Niemela highlighted the following upgrades the Crookston School District has made to the pool.
2002 - Fixed the exterior walls. There are two layers of walls with insulation in the middle.
2006 - New fire alarm system
2013 - Tiled the pool bottom and new LED lighting
2014 and 2015 - New surge tank and filters, new air handler, new dehumidification system and new electrical
2015 - New roof, new boiler (low pressure)
2016 - Repaved the circle driveway and new bleachers.

Park Board member Becky Kofoed made the observation during the meeting that normally when organizations are discussing the transfer of ownership in a facility, you may be dealing with a facility that needs a significant amount of repair and that isn’t the case with the community pool. Kofoed noted a change in ownership is more about providing more consistent services to the community and improving programs. “We feel that with Park and Rec we have more opportunity to expand the programming portion, because that’s what our jobs are and the school is looking at education for their people and that’s where they should be [focused],” said Riopelle. “This just helps ensure the community that we can have more programs at this facility and have it open for them.”
After receiving the recommendation from the Park Board, the Ways and Means Committee will likely discuss taking over ownership of the pool at their next meeting on Monday, October 22.

Also, during the meeting, Park Board Chair Don Cavalier asked Riopelle to address the rumor that the Sports Center was in poor condition after a member of the audience submitted a question to candidates at the Candidate Forum on October 1. “We do upgrades at the sports center constantly, there is painting that was just recently was finished and we’ll be turning over to ice pretty quick, so it’ll be mostly touchups through the winter,” commented Riopelle. “The facility is used heavily and depending on the time of day there may be something that doesn’t look quite right on a particular day, but we do try to on top of those things and keep it looking good.” Riopelle also welcomed people to come and check out the facility including this weekend during the Big One art and craft fair which is expecting more than 200 vendors.

The Sports Center will primarily be in a state of transition over the next few weeks as the staff has already removed most of the turf from the gold rink in preparation for this weekend’s event. Following that event, the staff will put the sports floor down in the red rink for the Halloween 3 on 3 basketball tournament that will be held on Sunday, October 28. The staff will also be laying the ice in the main arena for that start of the high school hockey season, with practice starting on Monday, October 29 and will host the first high school game for the season will be girl’s hockey vs. East Grand Forks on Tuesday, November 13.
The park board also discussed the possibility of increasing the length of sand and turf volleyball seasons in the future with Riopelle and his staff. They plan to explore it but will need to look over the logistics of a longer season, including other users, before making any changes. The next park board meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 19.

The group listens to Crookston School Superintendent Jeremy Olson




The cafeteria at Crookston High School looked as busy Monday night as it normally does during lunch hour during the school day as hundreds of attendees tried a large variety of soup, chili and chocolate in support of the United Way of Crookston.  Lori Wagner, the executive director for the United Way of Crookston, said it was perhaps the biggest turnout she’d ever seen for the event.   “It was a really fun evening, the line was out the door a few times and the tables full all night long,” said Wagner. “I’d like to thank the community really coming for the United Way tonight and would say it was one of the best soup, chili and chocolate extravaganza’s ever.”
Each of the entries into five categories (professional soup, amateur soup, professional chili, amateur chili and chocolate) were judged by a small panel. Each category was also voted on by all the attendees. The
winners and entrants into the categories were:

Judge's Choice Professional Soup: Creamy Chicken Florentine Soup (Crookston Inn)
People's Choice Professional Soup: Creamy Chicken Florentine Soup (Crookston Inn)
Other Professional Soup Entrants: Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup (Irishman’s Shanty), Frat Chicken Noodle Soup (Kappa Sigma/Caputo’s Catering), Dill Pickle Soup (Drafts Sports Bar & Grill), Wonderful Wild Rice Soup (Wonderful Life Foods)

Judge's Choice Amateur Soup: Uncle Otto's Gump Gumbo Soup (Bremer Bank
People's Choice Amateur Soup: Sporty Soup Sauce (Altru Clinic)
Other Amateur Soup: Transit’s Traveling Soup (Tri-Valley Transportation), Chicken Knoephia Soup (Polk County D.A.C.), ABC Vegetable Beef Soup (Washington Elementary School)

Judge's Choice Professional Chili: Texas Red Chili (Drafts Sports Bar & Grill)
People's Choice Professional Chili: Texas Red Chili (Drafts Sports Bar & Grill)
Professional Chili: Caputo’s Chili (Kappa Sigma/Caputo’s Catering), Sue’s Chili (Crookston Inn), “Where’s the Bean?” Chicken Chili (RBJ’s Restaurant)

Judge's Choice Amateur Chili: Chicken Queso Chili (Crookston Noon Day Lions)
People's Choice Amateur Chili: AFB Carnita Chili (American Federal Bank)
Other Amateur Chili entries: Darco’s Beeracha Chili (Northern Lumber), Crazy Pineapple Chili (Crookston Home Delivered Meals)

Judge's Choice Chocolate: Fudge Maple Bacon Nuggets (RiverView Adult Day Services)
Other Chocolate etnries: Chocolate Covered Caramels (Tri-Valley Foster Grandparent Program), Chocolate Cheesecake Bites (Polk County Salvation Army), Chocolate Raspberry Cream Puffs (Crookston Inn), Bat Bites (RBJ’s Restaurant)





The Polk County Soybean/Corn Growers recently donated $ 1,920.00 toward the purchase of biofuels and registration for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) in Polk County to attend the national convention being held in Indianapolis, IN.
Minnesota is a national leader in the production and use of biofuels, made primarily from soybean and corn oil. Minnesota requires a 20 percent blend (B20) of biodiesel with diesel during the summer months (April 1 – September 30) and B5 blend in the winter months.
Consumers will now have year-round access to E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline), providing Minnesotans and beyond another option at the pump and helping grow demand for the nation’s corn farmers. E15 has lower evaporative emissions than E10 and, therefore, less impact on ground-level ozone, as well as lower tailpipe emissions. E15 is a higher-octane fuel available in 28 states at retail fueling stations.
The goal of the endeavor is to show the value of agriculture. “These students have been working extremely hard, and I am honored to be their advisor,” said Whitney Rupprecht, Agricultural Education Instructor and FFA Advisor at Fertile-Beltrami School.  She noted she is always amazed at how much students grow from this experience. The empowerment and self-confidence are shown and passes through our entire FFA Chapter. 
Britton Fuglseth, Chapter Reporter said. “"FFA is my favorite. I have been able to learn and develop so much.  Next year, my plan is to attend UMC for Agricultural Education and be an Ag Ed Teacher in our area.”   “I am so excited to attend and see all of the career opportunities in agriculture,” noted Solveig Sirjord, Chapter Student Advisor.
“We’re committed to helping support the next generation of leaders as well as promoting the use of our own products,” said Kevin Kruger, chair of the Polk County Soybean and Corn Growers Association. “What better way to tie the two together than to help provide some of the fuel these young leaders need to get to the FFA State Convention.”
Brought to you by the Polk County Soybean - Corn Growers and the soybean checkoff.  To learn more about biodiesel and Minnesota’s soybean farmers, visit  To learn more about ethanol and Minnesota’s corn farmers, visit

Pictured - Polk County Soybean/Corn Growers President Kevin Kruger from East Grand Forks and John Swanson, Polk County Soybean/Corn Growers Director from Fertile. 
FFA Students: Front Row (left to right): Emma Erickson, Catie Erickson, Tatianna Enget  Back Row (left to right): Carter Olson, Caidyn Johnson, Britton Fuglseth





The parking committee of the University of Minnesota Crookston has instated 30 free parking spaces next to Kiehle building. These spaces are open to everyone, including Crookston community members. The goal is to facilitate the attendance of day time, on-campus events such as Fall Convocation which will be on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 12:30 p.m.  “The parking committee has provided additional ‘no permit required’ parking spaces for visitors in the lot west of Kiehle Hall. We hope that this will encourage people from Crookston to come visit campus for events that they may be interested in attending, shop at the UMC bookstore, take advantage of the Eagle’s Nest dining opportunities or meet with faculty and staff on site, or just to simply walk the grounds, without having to go through the process of getting a temporary parking pass or risking a $25 parking ticket,” says Dave Danforth, director of Facilities and Operations.
Plan on attending the myriad of university sponsored daytime programs without the concern of extra costs.




Agri-Women from Minnesota and North Dakota have been busy finalizing this year’s Harvest of Knowledge Agri-Women’s Conference which will be held Friday, October 26 at the Ramada Inn; Grand Forks, ND. It is a fun day consisting of many interesting and educational topics along with social networking.
This year our Keynote Speaker is Stephanie Goetz, an award-winning news anchor, executive speaker coach, accomplished speaker, and a professional trainer.  She is an Emmy-nominated broadcaster who reported more than 5000 newscasts at NBC, CBS, and ABC affiliates over 10 years, including our local channels of WDAY/WDAZ and KVLY.  Stephanie is now founder and CEO of the media and communications consulting firm, Goetz Communications.  She will be presenting - Women Empowerment.
Don Loeslie, a local farmer/historian, will be educating us on the humanity of the area farmers after World War II in his presentation of “Mercy Wheat”.  This was our part in helping farmers in war torn Europe recover and help feed themselves and the world.
We will receive instruction on Tai Chi Chih from Sona Lesmeister of the Happiness Project.  Sona is a life coach and works with a variety of people.  She will be teaching us how to relax with the moves of Tai Chi Chih.
There are many statements being made that are either not true or misleading and we will have Rachel Gray, a beef farmer and Ag in the Classroom Educator/board member, and Bridgett Readel, a representative from Dow Chemical Co., covering animal agriculture and crop production respectively.  Together they will be myth bustin’ these false claims.
Taking this information, Stephanie Goetz will be back to help us communicate the truth in a positive way.  We have long been reactive and its time to be proactive and tell our stories. Stephanie will give us tips on how we can achieve this.
As in the past we will be having drawings throughout the day and at the end of conference we have a drawing for $200.00 cash from the conference committee and a Spa Package donated by Butler Machinery Co, Grand Forks, ND.  We also will be drawing an early bird registration prize for a free night stay at the Ramada Inn, which they have donated to our conference.
This Conference is made possible by grants and donations from Small Grains Institute, Minnesota Corn Growers, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, Lake Region Chapter of Agri-Women, Ag Country Farm Services and many other area businesses.
For more information or a registration form contact Karen Landman at 701-326-4523 or Donna Ulseth at 218-280-1335.  
Early registration is encouraged, the cost includes lunch, entertainment, silent auction, prizes, and area vendors ag fair. Early registration deadline is Friday, October 19.




MONDAY - OCTOBER 15,  2018


The Crookston Fire Department has announced the hiring of Justin Johnson as a full-time firefighter.  Johnson will fill the full-time position that opened with Brian Halos' retirement last month.  Johnson has been an on-call firefighter with the department since January 2012 and currently works for the Crookston Water Department.
“I’d like to welcome Justin Johnson to our department,” said Fire Chief Tim Froeber. “He’ll be a good asset to our team and will be teamed with Captain Kent Ellingson.”
The hiring process for a full-time firefighter includes written and agility tests.  “We had six candidates go through the tests," said Froeber. "Whomever made it through those also had to do a few interviews.”   The interview panels included Crookston City Councilmen, Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen and a couple of full-time firefighters.  
Johnson’s first day as a full-time firefighter will be November 3 and his first shift will be November 7.

          Justin Johnson






With an employee satisfaction rate of 98 percent, RiverView Health was recently selected by Modern Healthcare as a recipient of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Healthcare award.

This is the second year RiverView has made the national list. But the accolade was even sweeter this year as RiverView moved up in the rankings from number 71 to 35. The survey measures eight domains: leadership, corporate culture, role satisfaction, work environment, relationship with supervisors, training and development, pay and benefits and overall engagement. RiverView improved in all eight areas in the past year, and is the only Minnesota entity recognized for the Best Places to Work in Healthcare honor this year.
“Participating in the Best Places Survey has been transformational in RiverView’s journey to not just be a Best Places to Work in Northwestern Minnesota, but one of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare nationally,’’ stated RiverView President and CEO Carrie Michalski. “Our governing board and leadership team is deeply committed to fostering a learning organization. We strive to continuously evaluate using input and feedback from our entire team. Then we adjust, test and improve. That cycle is never ending.’’
The nationwide recognition program, now in its 11th year, honors workplaces throughout the healthcare industry that empower employees to provide patients and customers with the best possible care, products and services. Modern Healthcare - a leader in healthcare business news, research and data - partners with the Best Companies Group on the assessment process, which includes an extensive, voluntary, anonymous employee survey to benchmark standings against other health care facilities across the country.
“RiverView has a strong culture of family and it is something you just feel when you come in the door. Many of our compliments from patients and visitors have a theme that demonstrates a friendly, caring environment. These are things that go beyond pay and benefits. This culture is why RiverView is different and why employees are satisfied in their work and also why we strive and have attained great results for our family and community.’’
“RiverView has a unique way of treating its employees with a personal touch, as fellow human beings rather than just bodies who occupy the building…Before RiverView, I had never encountered an organization that makes its employees feel like one big family. It truly makes me want to go the extra mile in hopes I can repay the respect I have received from this organization.’’ Currently, RiverView is the largest employer in Crookston with 416 employees.
 “For the second year in a row 98% of our team answered yes to ‘I am willing to give extra effort to help this organization succeed’. What more could our community ask for from its local community hospital?’’ Michalski shared. “Technically we moved from the 71st Best Place to Work in Healthcare to the 35th this year, but I feel I work with the BEST team here. None of our achievements would be possible without the ongoing honest and candid feedback from our patients and team. We ask, listen and improve.’’





Crews working on the construction of the Polk County Transfer Station have experienced a wide range of weather delays from lightning and high winds to snow and ice this past week.  But progress is still being made, the new front parking lot and drop-off area was recently opened and will be painted next week.   “It’s not going as fast as the county or the contractors wanted,” said Polk County Environmental Services Administrator Jon Steiner. “It seems like the weather is doing everything it can to try to impede us, but we’re making progress and we’ll get there.” 
The contractors were able to open the front lot this week and plans are for that to get painted next week.  The ceiling panels, insulation, and roof should see a good amount of progress by the end of next week.  “The building crew will start to split here to finish the roof and get the walls up,” said Steiner. “The goal is to get out of the elements by opening the tip floor portion of the facility in the next few weeks.”
Steiner also said that while the tip floor will have roughly the same footprint, the fact the entire facility’s ceiling will be over 30 feet high provides a lot more space for creating piles.  The new facility also has a scale that Polk County trucks can be backed onto and loaded below the tip floor level.  The staff will be able to know the exact weight of a load in real time and it will eliminate trucks leaving the facility underweight.  Steiner estimated that they will save one of every seven loads that the county took out from the transfer station to their other facilities without a scale inside the station, such as the incinerator or landfill.
The office area meanwhile is going to need some additional time to open.  Steiner says the staff will be expecting to spend part of the winter operating out the trailer but would hope to move into the new office portion of the facility shortly in late December or early January.  

An aerial view of the new Polk County Transfer Station





Crookston School District Superintendent Jeremy Olson writes a "letter to the editor" once a month to update the public on what is going on in the district.  October's article is below-

What happened to fall? As I write this we have for two days been dealing with snow which isn’t supposed to happen for another month or so. It is hard to believe that we are already mid way through October, fall sports are starting to wind down as we prepare for the upcoming months. So far this has been a very good start to the school year, I have really enjoyed getting into our schools and watching the great things that our staff are doing on a daily basis. As we move into mid October, here are a couple of things that I would like to communicate with you as community members.

Standards and MCA’s: As an educator, I am so intrigued to see solid instructional practices and the work that our teachers are putting into their standards and assessments. Often when we are doing this important work we get questions such as: “should you be teaching to the MCA (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment) test” or “these tests shouldn’t matter because they are one test given one day a year”. While both of these points have some truth to them, they are often just excuses or misrepresentations. We do not ever teach to the MCA test, we teach to the standards that the MCA’s assess. In every area of study, our profession sets standards for what kids should know and be able to do. These are the skills and benchmarks that we as professionals have set statewide because we believe that these skills are vital for the success of our kids. We align our curriculum to our standards because we need to ensure that our instruction leads to the attainment and mastery of these standards which the MCA’s assess. MCA’s give us the data for how well our students are mastering these standards.
To the second point about a test given one time a year, there is some truth that it would be better to give multiple assessment periods to combat against some of the soft challenges to education such as a student not being ready to take a test on a particular day, test anxiety, or something adverse that affected the student during the test window. The state did allow multiple attempts at the test a few years back, however, moved away from this model for reasons that I am unaware of. The simple fact is that this is the test protocol that we currently have as a state and we do not have the ability to change this practice at this time. For this reason, we stress the importance to our students and parents of getting a full night’s sleep, eating a good breakfast, and doing your very best.
Crookston Schools is focused on ensuring that we are teaching to mastery of our standards across the board and why we take the MCA seriously. Of course there is more to education that a test, however, this test does measure how well our students are mastering the standards that we as educators believe students should know and be able to do. The majority of this vital work is done by our educators on 2W days, our educators are hard at work going through individual student data, working on standards alignment in their curriculum, and communicating about educational best practices. I am very proud of the important work that our excellent educators are doing to ensure that our students are mastering these standards.

Long Range Plans: We have been very focused on the long range direction and planning for the district. We continue to work with our partners at the City to determine next steps for the ownership of our community pool which is currently owned by Crookston Schools. We are trying to determine which entity would be best positioned long term to own the pool. We are very proud of the partnership that we have with the City of Crookston. We are also in the beginning stages of planning for a bus garage. We are in the process of forming a community committee as we start to ask the question of what type/configuration of a bus garage does our community need. The school board has continually stressed to me the need for community engagement in this process and that is what we hope to do.

ober 18 and 19 - No School  (MEA Education Minnesota)
ober 24 - Parent Teacher Conferences 4pm to 7:30pm
ober 25 - Parent Teacher Conferences 8am to 7:30pm-No School
ober 26 - No School

World’s Best Workforce: I wanted to give our World’s Best Workforce Committee a big thank you for your dedication and efforts to improve our school. This committee works to set benchmarks and promote growth in the following strategic areas: All students are Kindergarten Ready, Students are reading well by third grade, Achievement Gap Reduction, Graduation, and ensuring students are College and Career Ready.

Ramp up to Readiness: I also wanted to thank Principal Bubna and the High School Staff for implementing Ramp up to Readiness this year. Ramp up to Readiness is an advisory program that is being delivered on Fridays during Primetime.  The data tells us that over 70 percent of jobs in Minnesota will soon require at least some type of schooling beyond high school.  While college in the traditional sense may not be the route that all kids need to take, our students will need additional schooling in order to be competitive in the workforce.  Ramp Up to Readiness addresses issues of academics, career readiness, financial readiness and social-emotional readiness. Our aim is to graduate students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful at the next level.

Hall of Fame: Lon Boike was inducted into the Clarke University Athletics Hall of Fame. Congratulation to Mr. Boike! This is our second staff member inducted into a Hall of Fame this year, with Mike Geffre being inducted into the Tennis Coach Hall of fame earlier this year.

Thank you to the community for your continued support of Crookston Public Schools. You along with our staff and students is what make our schools strong. Pirate Pride!





 Seven students from Our Savior’s Lutheran School participated in the Minnesota North District Lutheran Schools Spelling Bee on Saturday, October 13 in Perham.  The students were all in the third through sixth grade. 
 Three students won the spelling bee for their grade level placed, including Naomi Johnson, who won the sixth-grade spelling bee.  Ethan Lanctot earned third place in the fourth grade and Ella Lanctot earned third place in the sixth grade.

Pictured are: Andrew Johnson, Ivan Luckow, Braxton Miller, Naomi Johnson, Ethan Lanctot, Ella Lanctot, and Ava Edwards




The Kiwanis’ “Builders Club” (CHS Helping Hands) will hold a dog-athon on Saturday, October 20 at the Humane Society.   This club is sponsored by the Kiwanis organization and is designed to build skills for the youth in seventh and eighth grade.  It is a “pet” project that the kids are excited to be part of because they feel they are making a difference.
The dog-athon will take place on the 3.5-mile Veterans Memorial Loop, with a smaller 3/4-mile loop for small dogs and those who don’t want to walk or fun that far. If you’re even more of short distance sprinter, there is a 100-yard dash as well.  There is a $5 suggested donation to participate, with stops along the route to ensure your dog feels motivated to move on to the next station.
Maps, doggy bags, treats and a number will be provided for all participants. There will be hot dogs, chips and a beverage available for $5, and a snack station for the dogs.  Young walkers will be available who would love to take your dog for a long walk or can assist in lending a helping hand if you have more than one dog. 
Registration will open at 12:30 p.m., with the dog-athon beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the Humane Society. Event organizers reserve the right to turn dogs and people away if the dog appears dangerous.   




FRIDAY - OCTOBER 12,  2018


The Crookston H
igh School Homecoming royalty visited Washington, Highland and Cathedral schools Friday morning.  They answered questions from the younger students about their favorite subject in school, favorite books, their future plans and more. 






Amy Sue Clausen, 43, was sentenced to 180 days at the Northwest Regional Corrections Center for first-degree felony burglary on Thursday, October 11 in Polk County District Court.  Clausen received 696 days of credit as time served and will be placed on probation for four years.
Four other charges against Clausen were dismissed including an additional charge of first-degree burglary and felony theft.
In mid-November of 2016, Clausen forcibly entered the Crookston home, threatened that man living there and demanded medication from the resident.  Clausen, who was homeless at the time, had previously been allowed to stay at the residence for several months, according to court documents





The Crookston Young Professionals held a Lunch and Learn Thursday, October 11 at Wonderful Life Foods in Crookston.  Attorney, Corky Reynolds shared his message on “Investing in Your Community,” the focus which was on the community and individual benefits from involvement and investment in community members and organizations. 
Reynolds discussed his own history, which includes being born and raised in Crookston, getting offered a position with the MLB Commissioner’s office and returning to Crookston.  His talk also included the importance of being active in the community and creating connections with a variety of people throughout the community, something Reynolds has done throughout his life as member of various organizations including the Crookston School Board, Crookston Baseball Association, Polk County Historical Society and several others. 
When asked by one attendee how do you find the balance with investing time and energy to community organizations, family and work Reynolds said “I believe the investment in your community is the way to balance your life.  Burn out happens to many people who focus to much on work.  Investing in the community is a way to balance your efforts.” Reynolds also said he believes being active in the community allows someone to sharpen and develop skills they possess that they don’t necessarily use in their work environment.  It also create
s an opportunity to know people outside of the work environment, whether that’s other members of the community or seeing a different side, away from work, of a co-worker who is involved in the same organizations.
The Young Professionals lunch and learn is coordinated by the Crookston Area Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau’s Growth and Development Committee.  Lunch and learn sessions are offered on various topics to help young professionals grow and develop as leaders in the Crookston community.  Co-Chair Crystal Maruska says young professionals is not defined by age but rather a philosophy of what is a young professional. “Young is not a number, and professional is not a status,“ said Maruska.  “We believe young professionals are generally in the first half of their career, community members who are good at what they want do and want to better.”  Young professionals include laborers, parents, educators, small business owners, entrepreneurs, service leaders and so much more.
The Young Professional group allow the opportunity to meet other young professionals in the community, build relationships with community leaders, make your voice and ideas heard and keep creative jobs in northwest Minnesota.  The Growth and Development Committee also provides Leadership Crookston, which has had almost 500 attendees since 1987.  Membership in young professionals is available for $50 a year. 




Plan ahead! If a fire breaks out in your home, you may have only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds.  Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire. “We’d really like to stress emergency escape planning at home and making sure you’ve always go two ways to escape,”. said firefighter Bob Magsam.   “If anyone ever needs help escape planning and coming up with two ways out for their family, feel free to call us at the fire department, we’re always ready to help.”
Practice of an escape plan is also important, 71 percent of American have an escape plan, but only 47 percent say they have practiced it. 

Safety Tips
·         Make a home escape plan. Draw a map your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home.
·         Know at least two possible ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
·         Have an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.
·         Practice your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year.
·         Practice using different ways out.
·         Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
·         Close doors behind you as you leave.  A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. 

If the Alarm Sounds
·         If the smoke alarm sounds, GET OUT AND STAY OUT. Never go back inside for people or pets.
·         If you have to escape through smoke, GET LOW AND GO under the smoke on your way out.
·         Call the fire department from outside your home.




With cold weather creeping in and flu season just around the corner, RiverView’s North Clinic, Crookston, will be holding public flu shot clinics from 5 to 7 pm on the following days:
· Tuesday, Oct
ober 16
· Wednesday, October 24
· Thursday, November 1

RiverView Clinics in East Grand Forks, Fertile and Red Lake Falls will all offer flu shots during regular business hours. Those who wish to have their insurance billed will be asked to present their insurance card. The cost of the flu vaccine is covered by Medicare and Medicaid, so individuals with those insurances are asked to present their insurance cards at the time of the shot as well.
If you have a child or are an adult with an aversion to shots, please ask your nurse to use “Buzzy’’ in administering the shot. Buzzy is an FDA approved device used to help block the pain of injections, IVs, burning from medications and even muscle soreness. Buzzy is available for use at all RiverView Clinics and has been given the thumbs up by users of all ages.
Appointments for the flu shot clinics are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling the following numbers: Crookston’s North Clinic, 218-281-9595; East Grand Forks, 218-773-1390; Fertile, 218-945-6695; and Red Lake Falls, 218-253-4606.




The public is invited to an open house for Agassiz Townhomes on Thursday, October 18 at 11:00 am (weather permitting). The townhomes are located at the junction of North Broadway and Fisher Avenue (across the street from Casey’s General Store).
Agassiz Townhomes features 30 rental units consisting of two and three bedrooms. Property features include professional management, central air, washer and dryer in each unit, attached garage and a playground area. Income restrictions apply.
For more information on Agassiz Townhomes and to apply to see if you qualify, please visit
 or call 218-547-3307.







The Crookston High School held the annual Powder Puff football tournament Wednesday night on the turf at the Crookston Sports Center.  In the first round, the seniors beat the freshman 18-12 and the juniors beat the sophomores 24-18 in overtime.  In the championship, the seniors beat the juniors 18-12 in overtime on a Thea Oman pass to Kylie Solheim.

The Crookston High School Powder Puff Football Champion Senior class

For the video highlights from the Powder Puff Football games, click on the video above





Hugo’s of Crookston and Crystal Farms donated 104 cases of shredded cheese to the North Country Food Bank on Wednesday.  Hugo’s store director Bob O’Halloran said, “Hugo’s is always a company that wants to do [good] for the community and sometimes our hands our tied for what we can do but with our wonderful relationship with great vendors like Crystal Farms we are able to work together to do more for the communities.”
Crystal Farms representative Greg Seelhammer said Crystal Farms appreciates being able to partner with locally to help people in the community. “We’re thankful we can be part of the community and work with people like Bob to give to people who are very much in need.”
North Country Food Bank serves 21 counties, distributing 8.3 million meals a year to nearly 40,000 residents of Northwest Minnesota who struggle with hunger

Bob O'Halloran (Hugo's), Susie Novak (North Country), Greg Seelhammer (Crystal Farms) with the pallet containing 104 cases of cheese donated to North Country.




Heating Safety is the topic of today’s Fire Prevention Week tip from the Crookston Fire Department.  “We’re coming into the heating months, so we want to keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment like the furnace, fire place and portable water heaters,” said firefighter Brian Hanson.  “It’s also always a good idea to have your furnace and fireplace checked and cleaned by a professional.”  Half of home heating fires are reported between December and February.

Be Warm and Safe This Winter
There is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the fireplace. But did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? With a few simple safety tips and precautions, you can prevent most heating fires from happening.

Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
·         Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
·         Never use your oven to heat your home.
·         Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
·         Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
·         Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
·         Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
·         Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
·         Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Heating Equipment Smart Plans
·         Install wood burning stoves following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
·         Install and maintain CO alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.




The Tri-County Regional Corrections Board held their monthly meeting this week at the Northwest Regional Corrections Center (NWRCC) to review the proposed contract for beds with Mahnomen County. 
Executive Director Andrew Larson told the board he attended the Mahnomen County Board meeting last month and believes they would like to expand their contract with the NWRCC.  “If I had been able to provide them with a contract at that meeting, I believe they would’ve moved forward with the process,” said Larson.  However, the contract must wait to be finalized until the Clay County contract expires, which will happen when the new Clay County Justice Center opens.  The Clay County Facility is expected to open on October 22.
Larson went over language in the contract with board members, which includes a January 2019 start to the new contract.  The contract will be presented to Mahnomen County and hopefully be signed soon.  Typical procedure for an inter-county contract of services will have the contract go through the Mahnomen County Attorney’s Office before being presented to the County Board for approval. 
Polk County also recently received a Recidivism Reduction Grant from the Department of Justice.  The grant will provide Polk County with $299,000 over two years for programs. “Recidivism deals with better equipping offenders being reintegrated back into the community whether after serving a period of incarceration at a county jail or prison,” explained Andrew Larson, Executive Director for the NWRCC.  “What our grant effort has focused on is expanded program offering for chemical dependency, mental health and cognitive behavioral interventions”  
The board voted to sign the agreement with the Department of Justice and a memorandum of understanding with the Northwest Mental Health Center which will be crucial for the release planning efforts for the grant.  It will provide a care coordinator that work out of the jail working with the offenders to get treatment set up, establishing housing and identifying needs that could be a roadblock for the offender’s reintegration back into the community.
The final focus of the grant will have a significant impact on the probation department dealing specifically with female offenders.  While female offenders are considered a minority offender group, Polk County routinely has one of the highest rates of female incarceration at the state prison in Shakopee. 
“The pathway into the criminal justice system is very different for many female offenders and the response to managing them needs to them needs to be different as well,” said Larson. “This will give us a good opportunity to try some different things, evaluate some different risk assessments, some different supervision methodologies and hopefully we’ll be able to make a significant impact with that population.”




Homecoming was held September 28-30, 2018, with several alumni gatherings including the Class of 1968 and 1969 who celebrated their 50th anniversary reunion. The theme for the week was “There’s No Place like Homecoming.”
One of the highlights of the weekend is the annual Alumni Awards Celebration. The 2018 honorees include this year’s Outstanding Alumni Award recipients: Nancy Capistran ’71, ’92, ’01; Wayne Freimund ’81 and Peggy Lee Hilton ’68. Inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame were Ken Bond ’96, football and Chancellor Emeritus Charles H. Casey.

Outstanding Alumni

Nancy Capistran 1971, 1992, 2001
She holds three degrees from the University of Minnesota Crookston and could be identified as a Trojan or a Golden Eagle. Nancy Capistran graduated with associate degrees in laboratory technology and accounting and completed her bachelor’s degree in 2001 in foot processing management in 2001.
From 1990 to 2007, she served as a lab technician on campus responsible for lab preparation and set-up along with supply ordering and budgeting. Following her time at the U of M Crookston, she worked in the Cathedral Parish office until 2010.
Her career also includes her partnership in the Capistran Seed Company and countless hours of volunteer work. She has devoted time to serving on a number of boards, including the Care and Share Board of Directors. Capistran was recognized with the U of M Crookston Faculty/Staff Volunteer of the Year in 1999; Villa St. Vincent Champion Award for Outstanding Advocacy in the Elder Care Industry in 2015; and the Rotary Distinguished Professional Community Service Four-Way Test Award in 2016.

Wayne Freimund 1981
Earning his degree in natural resources in 1981 from the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical College, Wayne Freimund headed to the University of Minnesota College of Forestry to finish his bachelor’s degree in recreation, park and leisure studies. He accepted an assistantship that took him to West Virginia to complete a master’s degree in wildland management, and following, he returned to the U of M to earn his doctorate in forestry.
Ongoing research work with the National Park Service that started when he was pursuing his doctorate remains a passion to this day. In 1993, he joined the faculty at the University of Montana in Missoula and continued working with the National Parks.
Published and recognized many times during his career, Freimund received the prestigious Benton H. Box Award from the Clemson University Institute for Parks. The award recognizes individuals for a lifelong body of work helping to manage and preserve local, state, and national parks. As an award recipient, Freimund attended ceremonies in South Carolina, which in turn, opened the path to his current position as dean of the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management Department for Clemson.

Peggy Hilton 1968
Graduating with the first class from the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical College, Peggy Hilton recently returned to address the Class of 2018 as the keynote speaker at commencement last May.
Graduating with high distinction, Hilton earned her associate degree in business, specializing in legal secretarial.  She started her 30-year career in Crookston working as a legal secretary and paralegal and went on to work for noteworthy law firms in the Twin Cities and in Seattle. 
In 1998, she retired early in order to thru-hike the 2,660-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada with her husband, Jim, on his 7-month sabbatical. Hilton has been a competitive runner and has engaged in extensive mountain climbing and hiking adventures.  She works at staying physically active and continues to  challenge herself mentally with a Norwegian language class and as much reading as time permits.
She, and several of her classmates, have been successful in bringing their friends and fellow classmates back for homecoming reunions in 2008, 2013, and to celebrate their 50th anniversary year in 2018.

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

Charles H. Casey, D.V.M.
Chancellor Emeritus Charles H. Casey began his appointment at the University of Minnesota, Crookston on September 12, 2005. Prior to his appointment he served as dean and director of the University of Minnesota Extension Service. From 1979 to 1991, he was a member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and from 1989-1991 served as chair.
He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota. Early in his career, Casey served as a captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. Following his military service, he worked for 27 years as a practitioner in rural veterinary medicine and was a partner in the Dodge Veterinary Clinic in West Concord and Dodge Center, Minnesota.
In 2007 while serving as chancellor, Casey reaffirmed the U of M Crookston commitment to Division II and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). The decision, made by Casey, took place after careful review of a report presented by the 18-member Crookston Campus Athletic Review Committee following five months of data collection and analysis. This pivotal reaffirmation decision was designed to support both academics and athletics in order to provide a complementary relationship that serves all students.

Ken Bond 1996
As a sophomore, Kenny Bond was named to the 1992 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American Football Second Team. He was the tenth Fighting Trojan to earn all-American honors since the program began in 1966.
Bond served as team captain of the first 4-year football team at the U of M Crookston along with teammates Jesse Maruska and Derrick Sanders. He led in all-time sacks in a game with four in an October 1992 match-up with Mount Senario.
He earned Most Valuable Player in 1992. He was known for his athleticism as a player but also for his ability to lead by example and elevate his teammates.
Bond currently works to provide real estate services to residential sellers and buyers in Miami and the South Florida market




Crookston Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1902 and Auxiliary are promoting the Patriot's Pen Essay Contest in this area. The annual contest gives sixth, seventh and eighth graders the opportunity to express their opinion on a patriotic theme and improve their writing skills, while they compete for awards.
Students must write a 300-400-word essay on the theme “Why I Honor the American Flag.” All essays should be typed with no color, graphics or poetry. Quotations may be used sparingly if plainly identified wherever used.
Contestants cannot identify themselves, their school, city or state in their essay. Entries should be judged based on their essay alone and contestants are not required to present their essay orally.
Deadline for entries is October 31. The winning essay will be sent to district competition. Local winners will receive cash awards. Essays can be turned in at the Crookston VFW Club or contact Twylla Altepeter, Voice of Democracy Chairman, at The Fertile Journal, 945-6120, or evenings at 281-6582. Call Jamie Cassavant at 218-28
9-0865 for more information.





All of Northwest Minnesota is in a Winter Weather Advisory until 1:00 a.m. Thursday, October 11.
w accumulation of 3 to 6 inches with a narrow corridor of over 6 inches is possible in north central, northwest and west central Minnesota and Northeast and southeast North Dakota.
Plan on slippery road conditions at times, reduced visibilities in heavier snow bands. The heavy, wet snow on trees that still have leaves could bring branches down in some areas.
A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.
Listen to KROX Radio for updates throughout the day.




The Crookston Ways and Means Committee met on Monday following the City Council meeting. The meeting consisted of approving the September 24 meeting report and the granting of two extensions for the building of two homes in the Barrette Street Estates dealing with the timeline for the completion of construction. The program used for these projects waives special assessments during construction and the city has had 16 homes built under the project, including several previous homes that had been granted extensions. Councilman Jake Fee said, “It seems fair with progress being made to approve these, it would be different if there wasn’t any progress.” The committee unanimously voted to grant extensions on both homes.

The second half of the meeting consisted up an update on the 2018 Strategic Planning Priorities that were established by the Ways and Means Committee at their January 27 meeting. The strategic planning priorities list included housings, business incentives, Crookston Sports Center entrance repair, Highway 75 bypass lighting, downtown Crookston sidewalks, portable patios, Pirate Drive curb and gutter, the Crookston Pool, daycare, recruitment of a junior hockey team, downtown traffic calming project and community assessment.

During the public discussion of the strategic planning priorities, mayoral candidate Dana Johnson questioned why an update of the priorities was happening at this meeting. She noted it seemed coincidental that these topics were brought up in the candidate forum last week and were now being discussed in the meeting.
Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen provided a description, in response to Johnson, of some of the specific discussions and decisions that happened in various committee, Ways and Means, and council meetings. “Hoven Lane, there was at least three meetings to discuss that [with the] public, some were closed, we have discussed working with residential lot owners, that moved 5th Ave South ahead of Pirate Drive.” Stassen added, “We just passed business incentives today, but that’s been worked on for several months, CSC was talked about in this group.” Stassen also referenced the bypass lighting application, indoor pool, childcare center, alternative long-term plan for Pirate Drive and downtown sidewalk discussions the Ways and Means committee has had. And provided the example that the portable patio/parklet project was discussed on another committee, “I don’t know that we discussed the project here, but the DCDP has addressed those and the city has been in a strong supportive role to make those happen.”
Johnson also said, “for the public, the transparency of city government to bring up strategic plan discussion, maybe you’re having those discussions but not everyone knows they are part of the strategic plan.” Mayor Wayne Melbye responded, “I would dare say that anything we talk about here [is related to our priorities], many of these are in other committee work right now and all the meetings [including, CHEDA
(Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority), planning commission, etc.] are announced and open to the public.” He also referenced the meeting minutes being available to the public, the meetings are reported in the local paper and on radio. “The opportunities are out there for getting information, but how are people doing it,” said Melbye. “All the meetings are open, but [people] need to make an effort too.”

The priorities were split into three groups; urgent, important and as time allows. The update says progress has been made in nearly every priority. Housing was listed as in progress and it was noted that the City and CHEDA have met but no new enhanced incentive program has been determined. Two individual projects under the housing initiative were completed, include reducing the lot price for three lots on Hoven Lane to $12,000. All three lots were sold to CHEDA for $1,000 each. The city also said they’ve completed meetings of all residential lot owners, and that input has been used to bring forward priority projects. They used the Carmen View Estates meeting as an example that led to the paving of 5th Ave S. The elevation of the 5th Ave S. project moved it ahead of the Private Drive curb and gutter project, which is listed as in progress. Widseth Smith Nolting has begun the process of determining water management need at Pirate Drive and the entire CSC addition. The city hopes that the additional planning process will lead to better decisions in the future of the project.

Business incentives were marked as complete with CHEDA to adopt the Building Better Business program, water/wastewater incentives put in place and they are considering amendments to the Electric and Natural Gas Franchise Fee ordinances. Also completed was the concrete replacement at the east entrance for the Sports Center.
The parklet also has progressed with the parklet being used on various city streets throughout the summer. MnDOT also assisted the DCDP with creating Language for Limited Use Permit (LUP) that has been submitted to the Federal Transportation Administration. The submission is a request for placement of the Parklets along HWY 2 in downtown Crookston.
All but one of the remaining priorities were marked as in progress, including lighting for HWY 75 bypass and a downtown sidewalk replacement plan. An application for the lighting on the bypass has been submitted to MnDOT for consideration of funding, and the city is awaiting a response.

The city plans to continue to work with the DCDP and Widseth Smith Nolting on alternate solutions to the downtown sidewalk plan after a deeper look into the plan brought up concerns over cost and feasibility regarding ADA compliance.
The city has met with the school district regarding the future of the community pool and will be discussing the pool with the Park Board on October 15. Daycare or childcare continues to be an important topic and results have been mixed. The city has partnered with Tri-Valley Opportunity Council to secure funding from DEED as an incentive for new providers. The goal was 10 new home/family childcare providers and one new childcare cent. To date, Crookston has five new family child care providers with up to 10 spots per provider. Unfortunately noted Mayor Wayne Melbye, “we have also had a few childcare providers close during this time. I think we have a net gain at this point, but it’s not 50 new childcare spots.” Childcare concerns were brought before the council at their last meeting on September 24 by Marty Seifert, from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and it was also noted, that lack of childcare was repeatedly mentioned as a concern by employers during manufacturing week tours last week.
The final group of priorities included recruitment of a junior hockey franchise, a downtown traffic calming demonstration project and community assessment. There have been several different groups interested in starting a junior hockey franchise in Crookston. “We’ve had discussions with four different groups or individuals that are interested in Crookston as a possible destination for a junior hockey franchise, said Stassen. “There are a lot of pieces that have to make sense, availability in the arena, cost device, sales of alcohol, fitting into the right league in terms of travel and lots of other little things,” Stassen added the city continues to listen to possible franchises and share information about the arena.
MnDOT will be in Crookston at the end of October to discuss several potential projects related to the downtown traffic calming demonstration. The final priority was community assessment was the only priority marked with no progress, due to the indication that a comprehensive assessment would be quite expensive. The city still feels like it’s a good idea, could be implemented when funding options are found.





Fire Prevention Week continues with today’s tip from the Crookston Fire Department.  Learn two ways out of every room.  In a fire, you may have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds.  Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.
According to firefighter Chris Klawitter, “New homes are built stronger, however in a fire the materials used will fail faster.” Nation-wide there is a home fire every 90 seconds and home fires account for approximately 80% of fire deaths.  The good news is the number of home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades.  However, the risk of dying in a home fire has increased by 10% since 1980.   While people are getting better at preventing fires, there is still work to be done in educating people on how to safely escape a home fire.

Today’s homes burn faster than ever because of several factors:
Newer homes are predominantly built with unprotected lightweight wood construction, which fails faster when it’s exposed to high temperatures causing it to weaken and collapse faster than homes built with dimensional lumber.
·         Newer homes tend to be designed with lots of open spaces and high ceilings, creating an ideal environment for fire to grow and spread quickly.
·         Most modern home furnishings includes synthetic materials that burn very quickly and at higher temperatures, generating black, toxic smoke and gases that make it extremely difficult to see and breathe in a matter of moments.

When you’re out and about, situational awareness is key! Remember to be aware of your surroundings and plan for how you would escape a building in the event of a fire or other emergency.
·         When you’re preparing to enter an occupancy, ask yourself if it looks safe and well-maintained.
·         Check to see that doors aren’t locked or blocked from the inside.
·         Look for the two closest exits and identify the path you would take to reach them.
·         If you hear the fire alarm system sound, take it seriously and exit the building calmly but quickly. This is particularly important in larger occupancies like malls and movie theaters, where it may be too late to escape if you wait to see evidence of fire.




On Tuesday, October 9 at approximately 10:03 a.m. Grand Forks Police officers were called to 720 N. Washington St. in regards to a deceased person found.  Upon arrival officers discovered an adult male in front of that location who was deceased.  At this time identification is being withheld pending notification to relatives. Anybody with information on this case is asked to call the Grand Forks Police Dept. at (701)787-8000.    


The deceased person in this case has been identified as Tyler Rodriquez, 25 of Grand Forks.
Investigation into this incident is active and ongoing and the cause of death has not yet been determined. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Grand Forks.

Police Department by one of the following methods:
Call: 701-787-8000
Online: Submit a tip via the GFPD’s Facebook or website
App: Submit a tip via the Tip411 app




The work of the United Way and North Country Food Bank in Crookston is making a huge impact on the lives of people struggling, and in the success of the community.  Even though you may not fully understand the work going on behind the scenes at the United Way and North Country, you would definitely notice if they were not here doing their work.  “Thank you so much,” was the whispered response from a young, struggling mother when she received apples, watermelons, corn, carrots, meat and bread from a recent North Country food distribution.  Her family was in a tough financial situation.  She was in tears as volunteers kept helping her fill bags full of food to take home to her children.  She kept thanking the volunteers and apologizing for needing help.  She explained that she didn’t know where else to turn and had no other options to put food on the table for her children.

It’s a story shared a hundred times.  It’s a story of a young, struggling mother living on a very tight, fixed budget.  One small change – in the costs of prescriptions and health care, gas, clothes, heating, electricity, fuel and/or housing – can put her in a situation where she doesn’t have enough money for all the necessities for her family.  She has to make tough choices, and, when forced to choose, she often has to forgo food.  North Country is working hard to make sure nobody has to face these impossible choices.
“The impact of providing struggling families with food is huge,” said Susie Novak, North Country’s Executive Director.  “It gives our families some stability and security knowing they are going to have access to the food they need each month,” said Novak.    There is no benefit to letting someone struggle with hunger.  Hunger has a huge negative impact on health, on children’s behavior and growth, and on the productivity of employees to name a few.  The United Way and North Country believe by working together as a community to address hunger issues, we are helping to give a child the chance to succeed at school, an employee the chance to do well at work, and a senior citizen the chance to remain healthy and independent. 
Each year, the United Way provides funding that allows North Country to distribute more food in the community.  United Way funds help North Country with its operations and programs, including the food shelf, the backpack program, and produce distribution to name a few.   It is through the support of many individuals and strong partners like the United Way that North Country is able to accomplish the daunting task of making sure nobody in the Crookston community has to wonder where their next meal will come from. 

Take a look around.  Someone you know, someone you work with, someone your kids go to school with, someone from your neighborhood, depends on help from North Country and the United Way on a regular basis.  Hunger isn’t somewhere else.  Hunger isn’t happening only in other communities or big cities.  Hunger is right here – hurting our community, our families, our friends, our children, and our senior citizens.  By joining together to address hunger head-on and deciding to make a difference, we bring out the very best in all of us.  At the same time, we give the best gift…HOPE!  We give hope for a better future. 

North Country works every single day to make sure our family, friends, neighbors, children, veterans and senior citizens have enough to eat.  Please join the United Way and North Country in their fight against hunger by volunteering, donating and advocating against hunger in your community.  It is through your generous support that we are able to bring out the best in all of us!  Every dollar counts.  Every person who helps makes a difference.  And, every person we help matters!





Crookston Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1902 and Auxiliary are promoting the Voice of Democracy audio essay contest in this area. The annual contest is designed to foster patriotism by giving students in grades nine through 12 and home schooled the opportunity to voice their opinion about their personal obligations as an American and address their responsibility to our country.
Contestants write and record an essay on the theme “Why My Vote Matters.” Recorded scripts must be at least three minutes but no longer than five minutes. Scripts must be recorded on audio cassette tape or CD only. A typed, double spaced copy of the speech must accompany the essay.
The essays will be judged and the winning tape sent to district competition. Local winners will receive cash awards. Deadline for entries is October 30. Every student who competes in the VOD, whether they place or not, is eligible to apply for a scholarship from the Crookston VFW Post.
Tapes can be turned in at the Crookston VFW Club or contact Twylla Altepeter, Voice of Democracy Chairman, at The Fertile Journal, 945-6120, or evenings at 281-6582. Call Jamie Cassavant at 218-28
9-0865 for more information.





Crookston High School held the 2018 Homecoming coronation ceremony Tuesday morning where Gina Visness was crowned the queen and Nick Garmen was crowned the king. 
The queens court - Hannah Emanuel, Elise Erdman, Hailey Spivey, Thea Oman, and Gina Visness.
The kings court -  Johnny Abeld, Eric Delorme, Jake Anderson, and Brock Heppner.

Jake Anderson, Elise Erdman, Brock Heppner, Thea Oman, Nick Garmen, Gina Visness, John Abeld, Hannah Emanuel, Eric Delorme, Hailey Spivey

For video of the homecoming coronation click above




The Crookston Fire Department responded to a house fire at 4:20 a.m. Monday morning on the corner of 4th Avenue South and Erskine street.  The house was Chris and Bobbi Jo Hebert's. The Hebert's have nine children, many of them foster children.  Crookston Firefighter Chris Klawitter said, “everyone including kids and pets made it out safely.”
The fire was ruled accidental and the main level and part of the roof suffered extensive damage.  An addition on the north side of the house didn’t receive any damage, but the basement, where the bedrooms were located, did have some water damage.  The incident has been turned over to the homeowner’s insurance company.

Several efforts to help the Hebert family through these tough times have been initiated.  There will be a spaghetti dinner with a freewill donation at St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Thursday, October 11 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. with all proceeds going to the family.  And a GO FUND ME account has been set up for the Hebert family, you can donate by clicking here.

    A view of the fire damage from the back yard




The Crookston School Board met on Monday evening at the Crookston High School and Choir/Orchestra room and the meeting started with a presentation by Crookston High School Principal Eric Bubna on the Ramp Up To Ready program they have implemented during Prime Time on Fridays. “It is really an advisory curriculum developed by the University of Minnesota that is designed to get kids ready for post-secondary education,” said Bubna. “They really need to think about going to college even if it is a one-year, two-year program.  Maybe college in the traditional four-year sense isn’t for everyone and our economy is starting to demand higher education from people.” Bubna added 70 percent of jobs in Minnesota need some kind of education after high school.  The program is delivered to all kids (7-12 grades) and is more than academic. “It is looking at the financial implications of going to college and helping with the social and emotional piece,” said Bubna. “The seniors, last Friday, were talking about good debt and bad debt.  Credit card debt and student loans are very different, and juniors are talking about delayed gratification all the way down to how to take good notes.”  Bubna said he hopes that parents follow up with their kids and ask about what was discussed during primetime every Friday.  Crookston Schools Superintendent Jeremy Olson said the program aligns with the districts Worlds Best Workforce.

After the presentation, the board approved bills and moved to the personnel items.  The board unanimously accepted the letter of resignation from Kimberly Cole as the Language Facilitator.  The board approved the letter of resignation from sixth-grade teacher Linda Grenier.  School board members Frank Fee voted no, and Dave Davidson didn’t vote.  Fee said it puts the district in a tough spot and Grenier didn’t share why she was resigning with the district.  Fee added that Grenier put in her two weeks’ notice, so the district posted the job opening and Grenier got mad and didn’t show up and quit.  Fee asked, “What good is a contract if you can quit and not carry out a contract?”  Davidson said he didn’t vote for some of the reasons Fee expressed, but he added that they have three great sixth grade teachers that are willing to do what is necessary.   “We distributed a letter to all sixth-grade parents and we are having a meeting on Tuesday (October 9) at 6:30 p.m. to answer any questions, to give us their feedback,” said Olson. “The teachers are more than capable, they are great teachers with tons of tons of experience.  Research continues to tell us that the quality of teacher impacts the student learning and that is what we are after.”
The board approved the winter coaches list with board member Adrianne Winger abstaining because she was on the list.

The board moved to the main agenda and the approved the use of Ehlers Consulting firm as the District Financial Advisor.  “We are looking at financial planning and so forth, for future referendums and so forth, we want to really trust the people we are working with to make sure the numbers that are given out to the public are absolutely accurate,” said Superintendent Olson. “I have worked on a couple of referendums with Ehlers and I have always found them to be open and good to work with.  In the past and with the history I have with them, I have a high degree of confidence, so that is why we went with them.”

The board also approved the Assurance of Compliance to the Minnesota Department of Education. “That is assuring the state of Minnesota that we will follow all the state and federal regulations,” said Olson. “It is a promise to MDE that we will fulfill all our obligations.”
The board accepted a donation of $1,000 from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation for the Early Childhood Initiative.
Olson gave a report to wrap up the meeting and said they are in the process of putting a bus garage committee together.  They have four options, traditional (architect and lowest bid), lease to buy, design and pre-bid, and identify a current space in town that can be used.  Olson said he feels the best option is the traditional option.  
Olson said that enrollment is at 1,106, lower than the 1,124 on the first day of school and most of that can be attributed to Post-Secondary Education Option (Juniors or senior students taking college classes at UMC, etc.) because they don’t count on the Crookston school district enrollment. 
The next school board meeting will be Monday, November 22 at 5:00 p.m.





The Crookston City Council met Monday evening in the council chambers at City Hall.  On the consent agenda for the night was the approval of the minutes from the September 24 meeting, a resolution to approve bills and disbursements in the amount of $332,107.95, and the final item is the approval of the transfer of funds to Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority for Building Better Business, all of which were passed.

A public hearing was held for an update on the progress and performance of the DEED Small Cities Grant.  Ken Buchanan, rehab specialist with the Northwest Minnesota Multi-County Housing and Redevelopment Authority provided the update.  There were funds for seven total projects on the commercial side of the grant, and to date six of those projects have been awarded totaling $205,183.  The application for the final project is, and there is $4,817 remaining in the DEED balance for that project.   Total estimated balance available for that final project, including a loan from the cities revolving fund would be $23,960. 
On the rental side of the grant, which has two categories multi-family and duplex rentals, things have been slower said Buchanan.  One of the reasons for is that only projects without an existing City Deferred Grant or City Loan from previous grant programs are eligible.  Currently, only one project has been initiated totalling $33,451.  There are applications pending for eight multi-family units at $12,500 each, totaling $100,000 of the $179,049 dollars allotted in the grant.  “This is the second time we’ve done a grant like this downtown and last time it was the total opposite with the rental dollars disappearing quickly and a sluggish start to the commercial dollars being spent,” said City Administrator Shannon Stassen, who added the market can sometimes change. “When we initially applied for this grant we had less than two percent vacancy, and since then we’ve added a lot of units to the city and that has softened the market a little bit.”
There is also $100,000 available in the rental duplex category.  So far no one has applied for the rental duplex grant, but a letter has been sent to every residential rental landlord to apply if they do not have an active or deferred loan with the city or DEED funding from previous grants.  Buchanan said he is optimistic the rental grants will be applied for, “things can change soon, there are a few buildings being sold and new owners are interested in these funds.”  The DEED Small Cities grant runs through September 30, 2019.
The Council had the second reading and final passage of the amendment of City Code Chapter 11, entitled “Land Use Regulation” changing the zoning map. 

We will have news on the Ways and Means Committee meeting on Wednesday.





A steady stream of people filed into the Crookston Area Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau Monday afternoon for the open house celebration of their new location.  “We are now on the ground floor of the Eagles building at 103 South Broadway and we are very centrally located,” said executive director Terri Heggie. “We have a conference room that is available and has doors to close it off.  Anyone in the community that doesn’t have access (to a conference room) is always welcome to contact us and can use our conference room.”
The chamber and visitor’s bureau have been operating in the building since mid-September and is very different then the old facility.  “As you come into the building it’s absolutely beautiful, colorful, lively, fresh and very welcoming,” said board member Lorna Hollowell.
The Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Crookston Area Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau can be reached at 281-4320.

A busy Crookston Chamber of Commerce office during the open house





In preparation for Fire Prevention Week, the kindergarten class from Our Savior’s Lutheran School visited the Crookston Fire Department on Friday, October 5. Their visit involved many great learning opportunities, among them were looking at the fire trucks and practicing evacuation drills.





The Crookston Kiwanis recently installed new officers. President Rae French, Immediate Past President Shirley Iverson, Treasurer Cindy Braseth, Secretary Susan Sylvester and Board of Directors: Rodney Beiswenger, Odine Smulan and Dan Morlan.








On Saturday, October 6 at approximately 9:45 p.m. the Crookston Police Department received a report of a bear near Tuttle Ave. between South Minnesota and Carroll Streets. Upon arrival the officer observed a black bear in a tree. The bear was left alone and was gone when a return check was done around 11:45 p.m.
The Crookston Police Department is reminding citizens to keep garbage, pet food, bird food, etc. indoors. Bears are obviously wild animals, possibly in search of food this time of year before hibernation. The Crookston Police Department requests citizens to not go looking for the bear and not approach any wild animal if observed as they can be unpredictable and dangerous. Most wild animals in town will likely wander away and back out of town if they’re left alone.




The Crookston School Board will meet on Monday at 5:00 p.m. at the Crookston High School choir/orchestra room.
The feature program is "Ramp up to Readiness" presented by Crookston High School Principal, Eric Bubna.
Personnel items on the agenda are the acceptance of resignation letters from Kimberly Cole (Language Facilitator) and Linda Grenier (Sixth-grade teacher at Highland School).  The board will be asked to approve to the 2018-19 Pirate Winter Activity coaches.  
The main agenda includes the use of Ehlers Consulting firm as the district financial advisor and the approval of the assurance of compliance report to the Minnesota Department of Education.
The board will be asked to accept a donation in the amount of $1,000 from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation for the Early Childhood Initiative.
The meeting will wrap up with a report from Crookston School District Superintendent Jeremy Olson. 
The next meeting will be Monday, October 22 at 5:00 p.m. at the Crookston High School choir/orchestra room.





The Crookston City Council will meet on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Crookston City Hall Council Chambers.
The consent agenda includes the approval of the minutes from the September 24 meeting, a resolution to approve bills and disbursements in the amount of $332,107.95, and the final item is the approval of the transfer of funds to Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority for Building Better Business.
A public hearing will be held for the DEED Small Cities Grant progress and performance.
The regular agenda has one item with the second reading and final passage and amendment of the City Code Chapter 11, entitled "Land Use Regulation" by changing the zoning map.

The Crookston Ways and Means Committee (City Council, Department Heads and staff) will meet after the City Council meeting.
The open agenda includes the approval/amendment of the September 24 meeting report, extension requests for the building of two homes in the Barrette Street Estates and an update on the 2018 Strategic Planning Priorities.
Items on the strategic planning priorities list include the following -
Housing, business incentives, Highway 75 bypass lighting, downtown Crookston sidewalks, portable patios, Pirate Drive curb and gutter, the Crooskton Pool, daycare, junior hockey team recruitment, downtown traffic calming project, and community assessment.
The final topic on the agenda is a closed meeting with the Crookston Law Enforcement union for labor negotiations.





Crookston High School homecoming week is here and filled with daily themes and activities for the students at the High School.   
Coronation will take place on Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m.  Dependent on the weather. Powder Puff football is scheduled for Wednesday 7:00 p.m. at UMC.  “It’s been a tradition to have the girls play Powder Puff Football," said
Student Council Advisor Linda Morgan. "Hopefully the weather stays good and we can do that.”
Younger students will get a taste of homecoming as well on Friday when the homecoming court is going to visit Cathedral, Highland and Washington schools.  “It’s always lots of fun for both, it kind of brings back memories for these seniors to go back to these schools,” said Morgan, who added that Friday’s pep fest will be action packed. “We’ll have the lip-sync competition between the football and volleyball teams.  Football has won the last few years so we’ll have to see what happens and A.D. Greg Garmen will also introduce all the seniors involved in the sports.”
The homecoming game Friday night will include a half-time show with the Crookston High School marching band performing and the introduction of the queen candidates and their fathers.  After the game, students in the 9th through 12th grade will be able to attend the homecoming dance after the game. 

CHS Homecoming Schedule: (Day, theme, scheduled activities)
PJ Day
Country vs. Country Club – 10:00 a.m. Coronation
Hawaiian Day – 7:00 p.m. Powder Puff Football at UMC
Color War (Each grade has been assigned a color: 12th grade – black, 11th grade – white, 10th grade – blue, 9th grade – red, 8th grade – yellow, 7th grade – green, staff – orange) – 10:00 a.m. Volleyball – 9/10th Grade Boys vs. Staff
Pirate Pride Day – 10:00 a.m. Volleyball 11/12th Grade Boys vs. Staff – 6:00 p.m. Homecoming Game vs. Pelican Rapids – approx. 7:00 p.m.  Half-time Show with Marching Band – 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Homecoming Dance Grades 9-12





The Crookston Fire Department held their annual open house to kick off fire prevention week on Saturday, October 6 at the main station.  Temperatures may have been near freezing, but that didn’t keep kids and their families from enjoying festivities.  More than 500 people were estimated to have partaken in the day’s activities including riding the ladder truck, using the fire hose, trying on gear, lunch, door prizes, coloring contest and more. 
It was a nice kick off to Fire Prevention Week, which marks the anniversary of the 1871 Chicago Fire and the four other major fires that consumed all or parts of different Midwest towns and cities from October 8-10.  Throughout the week, Crookston Firefighters will provide us with a different fire prevention tip each day. 

Today’s Fire Prevention Tip comes from firefighter Shane Heldstab
“This year’s theme is Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere. Look for places fire could start.  Take a good look around your home.  Identify potential fire hazards and address them.  If necessary, have a qualified professional correct these hazards.”
Cooking is leading cause of home fires, causing nearly half of all homes fires each year.  Leaving cooking unattended is the leading cause of home fires.
Here are some simple ways to minimize the risk of having a home co
oking fire:
·         Remove clutter from the cooking area, keep anything that can burn (i.e., towels, oven mitts, wooden utensils, loose papers/mail, food packaging) away from the stovetop.
·         Keep a close eye on what you’re cooking.  Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.  Check on baking or roasting food regularly and set a timer to remind you that you’re cooking if you need to leave the kitchen.
·         Be alert! Avoid cooking if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol or other substances.

Electrical distribution or lighting equipment is involved in 34,000 fires each year.  These fires involve equipment such as wiring, lighting, cords and plugs.
Follow these guidelines for safety using electrical equipment and appliances in your home:
·         Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.
·         Only use one heat-producing appliance (such as coffee maker, toaster, space heater, etc.) plugged into an outlet at a time.
·         Major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall outlet.  Extension cords and plug strips should not be used.
·         Extension cords are intended for temporary use.  If needed, have a qualified electrician add more outlets so you don’t have to use them.
·         Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets.

Candle fires are reported on average 24 times a day.  More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.
Use these tips and recommendations for using candles safely:
·         Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.  Avoid using candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
·         Keep candles at least one foot away from anything that can burn.
·         Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily; put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
·         Don’t burn a candle all the way down – put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
·         Consider using battery-operated candles, which are widely available in stores, and look and smell like real candles.

Children of all ages had a chance to use the fire hose and they also had a chance to take a ride on the snorkel truck





Rydell National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will be closed to the general public during two special deer hunts that will be held on the Refuge in October of 2018. The Accessible Deer Hunt is conducted in cooperation with the Options Resource Center for Independent Living and will take place Thursday, October 11 through Saturday, October 13. The Mentored Youth Deer Hunt is a cooperative effort with the Minnesota DNR for youth between the ages of 12 and 15. It will take place Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28. Both of these hunts have a limited number of participants that were selected through a drawing, earlier in the year. Signs will be posted at Refuge entry points during both of these closures.

Additionally, despite misinformation printed in the 2018 Minnesota DNR Hunting and Trapping Regulation Handbook, there will not be any deer hunting allowed on Rydell NWR during the general gun deer season and the Refuge trails will be open for other public use.

For more information on the meeting or if you have questions, contact Gregg Knutsen, Refuge Manager, at 218-687-2229 x16 or








On Sunday, October 7 at 1:30 a.m., officers from the Grand Forks Police Department were dispatched to the 1500 blk of Dyke Ave. for a medical assist regarding a male who was found outside a residence with severe injuries to his limbs, requesting help.
A subsequent investigation revealed that the male got onto a moving train near downtown Grand Forks.  Near the 1500 blk of Dyke Ave. the male attempted to jump off of the moving train.  He was subsequently run over by the train, which caused severe injuries to his limbs.  Altru paramedics and the Grand Forks Fire Department responded to the scene along with officers from the Grand Forks Police Department.  The male was subsequently transported to the Altru ER.   The victim’s name is not being released at this time. The victim is a 21-year-old Grand Forks resident. The victim sustained serious injuries, however his current condition or prognosis is not known.
The Grand Forks Police Department requests that anyone that may have information regarding this investigation to contact us. More information will be released as the investigation progresses.

UPDATE: 10-8 3:30 p.m.

The name of the victim in this case is Jacob Huber, 21 years old, of Grand Forks. His injuries were non-life threatening; however, due to medical privacy regulations the Grand Forks Police Department is unable to release his current condition.






On Sunday, October 7 at approximately 11:21 a.m. officers of the Grand Forks Police Dept. were dispatched to an injury accident in the 2600 blk. Demers Ave.  Upon arrival officers discovered the vehicle was on fire. The vehicle, a 2000 Dodge Stratus had struck the rear of a 2010 GMC Yukon.  The driver of the Stratus was Justine Middleton-Boucher, age 25 of Emerado, ND.  Justine was transported to Altru Hospital by ambulance.  The Yukon which had been stopped at the westbound red light on Demers Ave. was driven by Callie Schneider of Grand Forks.  There were three children in the Yukon.  Two children in the Yukon were checked for minor injuries but not transported.  Middleton-Boucher was cited for Care Required. The Stratus was totaled.  The fire was put out by the Fire Department.            







On Saturday, October 6 at 11:47 a.m. officers of the Grand Forks Police Department were dispatched to Lincoln Park by the Red River in regards to an unattended death. 
Upon arrival, Officers found a deceased female near the Red River to the East of the boat landing in a group of trees. The victim was initially found by an individual who was attending the cross-country track meet. 
At this time there is no evidence of foul play and next of kin has been notified. 
There is no danger to the public and the female was transported to the UND Forensic Pathology Center.          
The Police Department was assisted by Grand Forks Fire Department and Altru ambulance. 




On Friday, October 5, at approximately 9:10 a.m., the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a couch on fire inside a residence in the City of Winger. The fire was reported to be caused by a down power line next to the residence. The down power line caused a power surge and a heated blanket ignited, causing a couch inside the residence to catch fire. A Polk County Deputy, Winger Fire Department, and Essentia Ambulance responded. The homeowner, Daniel Richard Kindall, 51, extinguished the fire prior to First Responders arriving. There were no reported injuries from the fire and this case will be closed.






The Crookston School District/Highland Elementary School is sending home a letter to parents today (Friday) outlying their tentative plans for the sixth-grade students after receiving the resignation of a teacher. The reason the teacher, Mrs. Grenier, resigned was not given by the school district. Superintendent Jeremy Olson laid out the tentative plans and his confidence in the staff. “Research continues to say the teacher in the classroom is the single biggest determinate of student achievement.” said Olson. “We have high confidence and believe in our sixth-grade teachers, so at this point consolidating from four to three sections in the sixth grade is, we feel, the best option currently for our students.”
Highland School has 86 sixth graders so that would give the three classes around 28 to 29 students, which isn't terrible, but it isn't ideal either. Olson has met with Highland School Principal Chris Trostad and the sixth grade teachers and they will continue to decided on what is best for the students, but a long-term sub is out of the question. Given the unusual nature of having an opening mid-year, the school will continue to advertise for a sixth-grade teacher position until they find a teacher who fits what the school district is seeking.




Although election night is still over a month away (Tuesday, November 6), early voting is already underway in Polk County and around the state.  According to a press release from Secretary of State Steve Simon’s office more than 42,552 ballots around the state had been accepted as of Thursday, October 4 through the no-excuse absentee voting option. 

In Polk County, 55 of the 82 precincts don’t have a physical polling place and residents of those precincts should be receiving their ballots next week.  “Our mail ballots for residents in mail ballot precincts will be dropped in the mail on Friday, October 5 and those residents should receive those early next week, said Director of Property Records Michelle Cote.   The ballot comes with postage, so voters only need to fill out the ballot, seal it and drop it back in the mail. Ballots returned by mail must be delivered by mail or courier by 3:00 p.m. on election day according to state statute.

Since 2014 Minnesota voters who do have a polling place, have had the option to vote from home or “no-excuse absentee voting.” Anyone can stop by the taxpayer service center and request either a mail ballot, or vote there the same day, commonly referred to as “early voting.”

Polk County staff is also preparing all the equipment for the 22 precincts with polling places. “We are currently certifying and testing all the equipment that gets shipped out to the polling places around the country, said Cote who said the county has strict regulations to follow for testing, including step by step guidelines for each piece of equipment.  “Electronic poll pads are currently in their certification process, in addition to tabulation and assistive devices.

Crookston voters who live Wards 3, 4, 5 will go to the Presbyterian Church to vote on election day.  Wards 1, 2 and 6 will be a St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.  Voters, who need to vote absentee, can visit the taxpayer service center Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. up until Monday, November 5.  The service center will also be open on Saturday, November 3 for early voting from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.




The winner of the 36th Annual KROX Viking Voyage was Jean Kollin of Fertile, who registered at Side Street Bar and Grill in Fertile.  Jean won a grand prize package of a trip for two the weekend of November 2 through the 4. The trip includes two round trip airfares to Minneapolis, private car service in Minneapolis, two nights stay at Embassy Suites in Bloomington, $100 cash, and two tickets for Vikings/Detroit Lions game on November 4.  Jean isn’t able to make the Viking Voyage, but her husband and son were happy to make good use of the prize!! 
KROX would like to thank the participating businesses;  All Season’s Lube Center and Car Wash, Anytime Fitness,  B & E Meats, Crookston Building and Rent-It Center, Christian Brothers Ford, Crookston Eagles 873,  Crookston Hardware Hank, Crookston Inn and Convention Center, Northern Sky Bank, Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy, Hugo’s Family Marketplace, Opticare and Taco John’s  all of Crookston, Ness Café in Erskine,  Christian Motors,  Erickson Smokehouse Grill and Bar and Side Street Bar and Grill  in Fertile and Thiebert’s Chevrolet-Buick in Red Lake Falls.

     KROX's Steve Krueger with Craig Kollin




Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, issued the following statement regarding recent news that Fertile-Beltrami Elementary School in Fertile is receiving $439,400 and J.A. Hughes Elementary in Red Lake Falls is receiving $40,000 in school safety grant funding. Last session, the Legislature approved, and Governor Dayton signed into law $25 million in capital investment funds that schools could apply for to make physical safety improvements. The Minnesota Department of Education also formally announced the grant allocations in a news release.  “Student safety was a top priority at the Capitol this year, and I was proud to support a comprehensive school safety package that focused on keeping kids safe and addressing student mental health. Most importantly, with all of our legislation, we put the needs of Minnesota kids first, giving flexibility to our local districts to make decisions that work best for their students, schools and community,” said Rep. Kiel. “I am pleased that Fertile-Beltrami Elementary and J.A. Hughes Elementary were awarded school safety grant funding, and I will continue to champion measures that support our Northwest Minnesota students and schools.”
The Legislature approved an additional $25 million in school safety grants as part of the supplemental budget bill, but those funds were vetoed by Governor Dayton.




The Crookston Eagles Club will be hosting an event on October 12th to raise money for cancer patients doctoring at the Crookston facilities of Riverview Healthcare and Altru Healthcare.  All proceeds from the Community Soars to Defeat Cancer event will be donated to Riverview and Altru for cancer patients to use to help with items needed but not covered by insurance.  The funds will be kept here to benefit the local population specifically.  Funds raised will be available to any cancer patient in the area even though this year’s focus will be throat cancer.
Tickets are $10 each with children
five years old and younger getting in for free - this includes playing treat bingo.  Other activities that night will require an additional contribution on your part.  You can purchase tickets at the Eagles Club or at the Chamber of Commerce.

If you would like to decorate a cake for the Community Soars to Defeat Cancer event competition, stop at the Eagles office or the newly relocated Chamber Office downstairs for a form - or contact Sheila at 218-289-3212 to have a form sent to you.  After a cake is chosen as the winner, all the cakes will be auctioned off to raise funds.  If baking is not your forte, we are looking for LOTS of bodies to fill the hall and raise money for those in need.
The night will start at 5:00 p.m. with a free-will meal of chili and cornbread provided by the Eagles Auxiliary.  There will be live and silent auctions throughout the night - some of the early donations received for this include:  a Casino hotel room & buffet package or an Oil change, tire rotation and 20 point inspection.  More donations are coming in as we speak.  There will be a return of the “Pie Toss” - you will have your chance to throw a pie in the face of one of our fantabulous volunteers that night.  We will finish off the night with entertainment at 9:00pm by the M & D Band, a local favorite.  Every ticket sold is entered into a prize drawing, so purchase your ticket soon.  We need your help to make this another successful fundraiser - come join us for a fun-filled night that will raise funds for our community health needs.





This week is Manufacturers Week in Minnesota and the Crookston Chamber of Commerce has been celebrating by highlighting the Crookston manufacturers with news stories and tours.  Today we find out more about SunOpta.

Sunflowers and sunflower processing have long been an integral part of the agriculture and manufacturing industries in Crookston. Dahlgren & Company was founded in 1955, and acquired by SunOpta in 2010. SunOpta is a leading global company that sources organic ingredients, develops innovative products for brand owners, and packages healthy and organic food. Their Crookston SunOpta plant manufactures bird food, and processes (roasts) sunflowers, soybeans and chickpeas.

SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified ("non-GMO") and specialty foods. They specialize in the sourcing, processing and packaging of organic and non-GMO food products, integrated from seed through packaged products, with a focus on strategic vertically integrated business models. SunOpta's raw materials are sourced from over 60 countries and they have relationships with over 5,000 growers. They add value to the raw materials they source, turning them into a variety of food ingredients for food manufacturers. SunOpta's field-to-table approach includes using raw materials and ingredients to produce consumer packaged products for retail and foodservice use. Their consumer packaged products include aseptic and packaged beverages, healthy snacks, roasted grains, flexible pouches and more, with a consistent eye on end products that are of the highest quality and value.
SunOpta’s Global Ingredients segment combines its North American and international raw material sourcing and supply operating segments focused on the purchase, processing and sale of specialty and organic grains, seeds, fruits, grain- and cocoa-based ingredients, and other commodities used in the natural and organic food industry. Its products include organic fruit- and vegetable-based raw materials and ingredients, sweeteners, cocoa, coffees, ancient grains, nuts, seeds and pulses and other organic food products; identity preserved (IP), non-GMO and organic seeds and grains, including soy, corn and sunflower for food applications.
The Consumer Products segment provides healthy and organic food products that are consumer-packaged to retailers, foodservice distributors and food manufacturers with a range of branded and private label products. Consumer Products' packaged food products are categorized into three commercial platforms: Healthy Beverages, Healthy Fruit and Healthy Snacks. It offers aseptic beverages, including soy, almond, rice, coconut, sunflower and other non-dairy and alternative beverages, such as organic dairy and nutritional beverages, including milk, broths and teas.
A key manufacturer in Crookston, and long-time contributor to the local economy, SunOpta in Crookston currently employs approximately 100 personnel, with full-time, part-time and temporary workers. Applications can be found online at, or applicants can stop out at their office at 1220 Sunflower Street Monday-Friday from 8am-4:30pm to pick up an application. Multiple openings are currently available, including Class B Boiler Operator, Master or Journeyman Electrician, Roasters, Packagers and Hand Packagers.  Along with competitive wages, SunOpta offers an enticing benefit package including health benefits, 401k with Company match, and tuition reimbursement.





On Thursday, October 4 at approximately 11:02 p.m., Grand Forks Police Department officers were dispatched to the 1100 block of 5th Ave N. for a report of a disturbance.  Several 911 calls were received with the report of possible gunfire associated with the disturbance.  Officers arrived on scene and located one male subject in the area.  That male subject, the victim, stated that he been confronted by three males in a silver Nissan. 
During the verbal confrontation, the male victim stated that one of the passengers in the vehicle pointed a firearm out the window of the silver car and fired a round in his direction.  The victim then began running from the scene to get away from the suspects, who he believed began chasing after him on foot.  The suspects fled the area prior to officers arriving on scene.
This is
an on-going and active investigation.  We are asking the assistance of the general public and request that anyone with information concerning this incident contact the Grand Forks Police Department by one of the following methods:




On Friday, October 5 at 10:40 am, The Grand Forks Police responded to a two-vehicle crash in the 1300 block of 32nd Avenue South.  Preliminary investigation shows a vehicle operated by a 74-year-old Grand Forks resident was turning Westbound onto 32nd Ave. South from a parking lot when it was struck by a vehicle travelling Eastbound on 32nd Ave. operated by a 27-year-old Grand Forks resident. 
It was discovered the 74-year-old driver was not breathing at the scene where first aid was administrated by witnesses and on scene by the Grand Forks Fire Department and the Altru paramedics.
The victim of the crash was transported to Altru Hospital and where she passed away. Names are being withheld until next of kin notification.
The Grand Forks Police were assisted by members of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), Grand Forks Police CART members, Grand Forks Fire Department, and Altru paramedics.
If anyone has any additional information about the crash, please call the Police Department at (701) 787-8000





The Crookston High School will be celebrating Homecoming next week and they announced the homecoming court at school on Wednesday. 

The 2018 Crookston High School homecoming queen candidates are Hannah Emanuel, Elise Erdman, Hailey Spivey, Thea Oman, Gina Visness.
The 2018 Crookston High School homecoming king candidates are Nick Garmen, Johnny Abeld, Eric Delorme, Jake Anderson, Brock Heppner.
Coronation will be held on Tuesday and the dance will be Friday, October 12 from 9 to Midnight at the Crookston High School.
KROX will have more on all the homecoming week festivities on Monday, which will be PJ day for the students and staff.





The Crookston Fire Department will hold their annual open house on Saturday, October 6. The open house will be from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the public is encouraged to take in the activities.  “We’ll be providing ladder truck bucket rides, thermal imaging demonstrations, station and equipment tours, kids get to try on gear, spray water,” said Crookston Firefighter Brian Hanson.  “We’ll have some guessing games on the weight of a pumpkin and door prizes.  We’ll also have a kids ID program provided by the Minnesota Masons, which takes the kids fingerprints in case a child is ever lost or taken.”
They will have safety brochures and you can sign-up for a free in-home fire safety inspection. “You can sign up for the free inspection where a firefighter will come to your house and look at smoke and CO detectors to make sure we’re prepared for winter time,” explained Hanson. “We’ll also look at how to use a fire extinguisher during the open house.”
Fire prevention week will officially kick off on Sunday, October 7. The theme for 2018 is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” The basis is to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire and how to escape safely in the event of one.

- LOOK for places a fire could start. Takes a good look around your home, identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
- LISTEN for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
- LEARN two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871 and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.
Tune into KROX news next week for daily fire prevention tips from the Crookston Fire Department.





The Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, now in its 55th year, is the oldest and most prestigious recognition program in Minnesota to honor excellence in education. The program chooses one teacher to represent Minnesota's thousands of excellent educators.
“Each year the State of Minnesota has a nomination where members of the community get to nominate a candidate for teacher of the year,” said Highland Elementary Principal Chris Trostad. “I would highly encourage parents if your child’s teacher is doing an outstanding job to nominate them, it’s very rewarding and appreciated by teachers to know that the parents value what they are doing.”


To be eligible nominees must meet the following criteria:

- Teach in a public or nonpublic Pre-K through 12th-grade school or ECFE or Adult Basic Education program, working at least 50 percent of the time directly with students.
- Hold a bachelor’s degree and a Minnesota teaching license.
- Have completed five years of teaching by the nomination deadline.
- Intend to teach during the 2019-20 school year.

Crookston High School Principal Eric Bubna said it’s an honor for teachers to be nominated and encouraged people in the community to nominate someone. “We really encourage anyone in the community to pick a teacher who has really been impactful to your child and nominate them.”  Once nominated, teachers will receive a packet in the mail containing instructions for moving from the nomination stage to the candidate stage, including creating a portfolio containing nomination and candidate forms, two essays, a resume outlining professional and communication involvement and recommendation letters.
The Minnesota Teacher of the Year represents the profession as an advocate for education and spokesperson for teachers. The Minnesota Teacher of the Year makes presentations, meets with policymakers and attends frequent meetings.  “I encourage people to nominate someone for teacher of the year, I believe that teaching is a gift and I know each of us can think back about one teacher that influenced our lives,” said Washington Elementary Principal Denice Oliver. “There is a saying that goes – I’m a teacher if you think my hands are full you should see my heart.”

Peers, school personnel, parents and students may nominate teachers. Nominations are open and can be submitted online through November 15. The 2019 Teacher of the Year will be named at a ceremony on May 5 at Saint Paul RiverCentre. The Minnesota Teacher of the Year also becomes Minnesota’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.
If you submit a nomination, please email and we will possibly follow up with a story on that teacher. Teachers are an important part of the community and while only one person can win Minnesota Teacher of the Year, we’d like to highlight the teachers making an impact on our students and community.





On Wednesday, October 3 at 2:57 p.m. the Polk County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Fisher High School in response to a report of an adult female allegedly headed to the Fisher High School with a weapon to pick up her children. The Fisher school went on lock down policy during the early stages of this investigation. During the investigation Deputies located and interviewed both the reporting party and the suspect in the city of Crookston. The suspect did not possess any weapons when she was located and denied ever making any threats towards the Fisher school, its staff or any children. At this time there is no credible threat to the Fisher High School students or staff. This investigation remains active and ongoing. The Crookston Police Department assisted in this investigation. No further information is being released at this time.

UPDATE - 10-4 10:00AM
It has been determined there was never any direct threats made towards the Fisher High School, its staff or any of the students on Wednesday, October 3.  The Fisher High School staff followed proper procedure for any suspicion of danger towards any of its students by locking down the school yesterday afternoon.  All mentioned persons of interest in this incident were contacted and interviewed.  As a result of this investigation no criminal charges will be filed. 





The Polk County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Beltrami Fire Department with a fire inside an industrial dryer used to dry crop produce at 606 Atlantic Ave at West Central Ag Service in Beltrami at 1:30 Thursday morning.  There was extensive property damage however no injuries were sustained.  The cause of the fire has not been determined.  No foul play is suspected and the State Fire Marshal has been notified.  Assisting agencies were the Fertile Fire Department, Ada Fire Department, Crookston Fire Department, Climax Fire Department and County EMS.  No further information is being released at this time. 

At 1:21 Thursday morning the Polk County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Erskine and Mentor Fire Departments with a structure Fire at 37772 210th Avenue SE in Erskine.  One small out building sustained extensive damage.  No injuries were sustained from the fire.  No suspected foul play. 





Today we highlight another key manufacturer in Crookston; Eickhof Columbaria. A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of urns holding a deceased's cremated remains, and Eickhof Columbaria is on the forefront of innovation with their latest cremation solutions. Nationwide the cremation rate is over 50% and the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) predicts that by 2020 over 54% of all Americans will choose cremation as the preferred choice of burial options. Eickhof is addressing that challenge by serving their clients with the highest quality cremation memorial solutions through progressive engineering, superior materials, and people-focused customer service. 

Established in 1983, Eickhof Columbaria has spent over 25 years developing a better way to engineer, design, and fabricate columbaria. Their product has been tested for years by being exposed to all different types of climates and weather all across the country, and has allowed them to make product improvements based on what has been learned from direct experience, and subsequently providing their customers with a columbarium that is more beautiful, requires less future maintenance, and operates simply during inurnment ceremonies. A company culture of constant improvement, paired with extensive experience, is the reason Eickhof’s now have columbaria across all 50 states, as well as numerous countries around the world.

Eickhof Columbaria’s first columbarium was an interior wall installation in the First Presbyterian Church in Crookston. The interior space was chosen because of its convenience to congregation members, especially in the cold Minnesota winters. The columbarium filled an important need to congregation members who have lost family, provided an opportunity for congregation members to discuss and plan for their own funerals and burial wishes, and provides an alternative for families who wish to memorialize loved ones outside the traditional cemetery.

Eickhof Columbaria also designs, fabricates, and installs a variety of exterior custom-built columbaria. Some of these designs have been installed in more traditional locations, others in less traditional spaces. Cemeteries were the first major market that Eickhof Columbaria approached with its concealed hardware system and columbarium product. At one time burial was the exclusive domain of cemeteries. Now, with cremation as a growing burial option, Eickhof Columbaria has had requests for custom-built columbaria at United States military academies, retirement communities, churches, cemeteries, college and universities, retirement communities, homesteads, temples, and various other spaces.

The beauty and utility of all Eickhof columbaria is based on one simple design innovation: the patented Eickhof concealed locking hardware. This simple, yet secure fastening system allows for a smooth, clean, flush surface which is free from any exterior hardware or rosettes and gives the flexibility for endless design possibilities. Their concealed locking system is fabricated in their Crookston manufacturing facility, and is constructed of 3/8″ thick cement fiber building board with aluminum shelves. The hardware is concealed by attaching all material behind the stone, allowing for a smooth, flush surface, and serving as a security feature because the fronts do not appear to be removable, and require a specialized tool.

A custom built columbarium can be designed so that it blends with, and is appropriate for, the existing architecture of a space. In addition to granite as a finish material for your columbarium, Eickhof Columbaria can provide wood, bronze, slate, limestone, marble, aluminum, or just about any other appropriate finish material. The columbaria can be mounted to existing walls, as well as free standing. Free standing columbaria can be single sided or double sided. Eickhof’s free standing columbaria can be straight, curved, circular, or semi-circular walls. They also fabricate double sided columbaria having niches that are placed back to back. The back to back niches share the same foundation and the same cap stone. Because the columbaria are designed in a back to back configuration, they are space efficient, and by sharing the same foundation and capstone, they are very cost effective.

Eickhof Columbaria also manufactures pre-assembled columbaria for exterior garden locations. These columbaria are completely assembled in one piece, shipped to a location on an Eickhof truck with two installers, and then set on a foundation with a crane. The Eickhof delivery and installation crew is there to make sure everything goes smoothly. The pre-assembled columbaria are convenient, require less planning and design work than custom columbaria, and if required, can also be easily moved in the future.

A tour of Eickhof Columbaria is scheduled for Thursday, October 4 from 9-10:00 am. The general public, as well as interested job applicants are invited to 1200 Bruce Street to learn more about this key manufacturer in Crookston.







The Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday in the chambers at the Government Center during which they approved two conditional use permits, a couple of change orders for the transfer station and received an update on the buffer zoning project.
Jacob Snyder, Director for Planning and Zoning, reminded the board that all public waters and ditches need to have the buffer in place by the November 1 deadline. “Farmers should contact the Water and Soil Conservation District for information on where they are needed,” said Snyder. “As long as landowners have stopped in and we begin working towards creating the buffer prior to November 1 we can work with them for up to a year to ensure all the land is compliant.”
The commissioners also approved two conditional use permits for county citizens. Marlow Johnson was approved to connect a septic system to an accessory structure on Maple Lake. Dan and DeAnn Donarksi received approved to build an accessory structure of more than 800 square feet on an unnamed lake.
The commissioners also approved change orders to the transfer station in Crookston for the wiring of canopy lights, tipping floor slop and additional framing supports for the mezzanine.





Longtime Crookston manufacturer DEE, Inc. is not your typical foundry and machine shop. Since 1971, DEE has been serving a variety of industries, including automotive, agriculture, off-road, industrial and recreational. Their experienced staff and unique facility enables them to accurately manufacture products, help to improve customers’ margins, serve as a single source, contact and set of standards for products, and provide a skilled designers to work with company engineers to satisfactory production.
Jim Ellinger started DEE in 1971 in his garage, and it’s been a longtime presence in Crookston’s Industrial Park, with two separate buildings home to the foundry and machine shop (96,000 square-feet.) The current workforce is around 120 and the company’s primary markets are automotive/engine (56 %), industrial (21%), off road/engine (16%) and recreational (7%). DEE is currently owned and run by three longtime employees: Nick Nicholas, Paul Cwikla and Charles Henre.
DEE uses the latest technology to create small to large aluminum castings with a wide variety of complexity. Utilizing a shell core process, they are able to create internal passages and openings in the castings which can reduce machining and weight. They also offer CNC machining, robotic finishing and onsite heat treatment to eliminate the need to ship materials to another facility. They build their own hydraulic fixtures, special gauges and pressure testing fixtures in house, and also design and manufacture around 25% of their sand casting tools.
DEE recognizes the potential for a great idea in every employee, encouraging input from their team when it comes to problem solving, and rewarding those that find solutions that can benefit their customers. A tour of DEE is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3rd at 9:00 a.m. DEE currently utilizes Doherty Staffing Solutions as a partner in hiring, so interested applicants should contact Doherty for job opportunities and applications. However, a Doherty Staffing Solutions company representative will be also present to speak to potential applicants about current job openings on Wednesday morning.  DEE Inc. is located at 1302 Foskett Street in Crookston’s industrial park.




On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Commerce released final rates for the 2019 individual insurance market. For the second consecutive year, Republican-led reforms have proven to help reduce or hold flat individual market health insurance rates after years of double-digit increases following the implementation of Obamacare in Minnesota.
All five of the carriers on the individual market are lowering premiums for 2019, with average rates dropping between 7.4 percent and 27.7 percent. For example, in Northwest Minnesota a family of four could save $3,372 and a 60-year-old could save $2,868 next year as a result of Republican reforms compared to two years ago. The individual market serves Minnesotans who buy health insurance on their own, not through an employer or the government.
“This was about pushing back against the harmful effects of Obamacare and advancing real reforms to lower health care costs for folks across the state,” said Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau. “Republicans have looked at what will really work to help Minnesotans who purchase their own insurance, and we are seeing another year of significantly lower costs that will help save folks money and make health care more accessible and affordable.”
“Improving and protecting access to care, lowering costs and putting an end to annual double-digit premium increases—that’s what our meaningful health care reforms did for Minnesotans,” said Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston. “When folks go to purchase health insurance coverage for themselves and their family on the individual market, they will see on average significantly lower costs, and that’s a real win for folks in our area who have been hurt by our state’s MNsure mess.”
From 2014-2017, average rates increased by double digits every year, including up to 67 percent for 2017. Thanks to Republican reforms enacted in 2017, individual market rates for 2018 remained flat or were reduced for most Minnesotans on the individual market. The Minnesota Department of Commerce confirmed last year and this year that without Republican reforms, rates would have risen by 20 percent or more.
The nationally recognized, Republican-led reforms were supported by just one Democrat in the Minnesota House. Governor Dayton refused to sign the measure, opting to let it become law without his signature.
Republicans also pushed for and successfully passed other key reforms to increase the number of health care options for Minnesotans by expanding agriculture co-op plans, and allowing more insurers into the market, a move that is already paying dividends for seniors on Medicare and employees. Democrats pushed unsuccessfully during the 2018 session to eliminate these health plan options.





Award winning author, journalist and public affairs officer, Daniel L. Coberly will speak at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) on Tuesday, October 9. The presentation, in Kiehle Auditorium, entitled “How the West was Spun,” will take place at noon. All are welcome and parking is free on the south side of Lot G.
How the West was Spun, a presentation exclusive to UMC, is based on a book in the works by the same name and begins with the way human beings have been shaped by people in power since the earliest times.  
It is important for us to understand ourselves, our own behaviors, and how others seek to manipulate us to support their personal or political agendas.  Today's world is made increasingly complex by social media, the blogosphere, and even oddities such as placebo buttons at crosswalks. Facebook likes, for example, are a form of herd response. What's real and what is merely an illusion? How much of what we are told can be believed?  Is this really any different from earlier times in history? 
Award winning author, editor, video producer, and historian Daniel L. Coberly is a leading expert on strategic communications with a unique international background. He grew up in Europe, South America, and the United States, living, working, and studying in 15 countries. A disabled veteran retired as an Army Captain, his experience includes military intelligence, public affairs, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 
Coberly is an expert at helping others filter through the noise and discover the underlying truth for themselves so they can be the judge in a world made increasingly complex by social media, the blogosphere, and even oddities such as placebo buttons at crosswalks. 






The Crookston Chamber of Commerce/CVB, University of Minnesota Crookston and KROX Radio hosted a meet the candidates forum on Monday evening at Kiehle Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Crookston.  If you missed the forum on Monday, KROX Radio will broadcast the forum on Monday, November 5 at 5:30 p.m.  KROX will also have interviews with each of the candidates starting Monday, October 15 on our website and news programs on the radio.

candidates are vying for the seats on the School Board with Patty Dillabough, Tim Dufault, Marcia Meine,  Adrianne Winger and Katya Zepeda in attendance.  The sixth candidate, Jim McBride, wasn't at the forum.

There are 10 candidates running for a City Council position.
Ward 2 - Steve Erickson, the incumbent, is running unopposed
Ward 4 - Don Cavalier and Sharon Lewis
Ward 6 -  Cindy Gjerswold is running unopposed.
City Council At-Large - Trent Brekken, Dylane Klatt, and Tom Vedbraaten were at the forum. Joe Kresl wasn't able to make it because he was helping with the sugarbeet harvest, but had a written opening statement.  Kelly Shea didn't attend.

Five candidates are running for Crookston Mayor. Dean Adams, Clayton Briggs, Dana Johnson, Guy Martin, and Dale Stainbrook.

Two candidates are running for Polk County Sheriff. Randy Sondrol and Jim Tadman.

There are two candidates running for
Minnesota 1B District - Deb Kiel (incumbent), and Brent Lindstrom.




Randy Beggs won the KROX U-Pick the Score Contest last week by picking Augustana University to beat the University of Minnesota Crookston 48 to 6.  The actual score was Augustana beating UMC 48-3.
Beggs received $10 gift certificates from Advanced Tire and Auto, All Seasons Lube Center and Car Wash, B & E Meats, Bridge Street Candle Company, Crookston Eagles #873, Erickson Embroidery and Design, Minakwa Golf Course and Ness Café.
He also received $20 gift certificates from Crookston Hardware Hank, Crookston Inn and Convention Center, Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy, Hugo’s, Irishman’s Shanty, Purdys Shoe Store and R.B.J.’s Restaurant. Plus a pair of jeans from Fleet Supply, a large one item pizza from Mugoo’s Pizza, and KROX added $70 as a bonus, a dollar for each year KROX has been in business.

Randy Beggs receives his prize package from KROX's Mark Anderson




The City of Crookston’s Public Works Department is hard at work with several projects around town.  They have been working on lighting and completing some work at the Mayor’s Courtyard.   “We own a number of the lighting systems in town, so part of the crew is repairing some of the large overhead lights by the Fire Hall,” said Crookston Public Works Director Pat Kelly. “The Mayor’s Courtyard is undergoing a change with a new fountain and bike repair station.  We had a leak in the water line this spring, so we needed to replace the sidewalk we tore up and we’re adding a six-foot curb cut to make it easier for bikes to come off the road and access the repair station." 

Kelly says he believes Davidson Construction should be starting to wrap up projects this week.  “South Ash and 5th Avenue South should both be getting done this week we hope.  Both the new construction on Ash and 5th need another layer as well as the area we replaced the water main in last year on 5th," said Kelly.  "We wanted to let that compact a bit before finishing and it’s a pretty big dip there so that will need to be done.”  Kelly added that Riverside and Summit Avenues will both have sections milled and overlaid yet this fall. 

The water department will be doing a meter replacement for another section of city and will be contacting residents soon for their new meters, according to Kelly, “We’re a little bit quicker through the process than we had planned, so that’s good and next year we’ll begin integrating some software to go along with the meter replacement."





The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS). The WEA portion of the test commences on Wednesday October 3 at 1:18 p.m. Central Daylight Time, and the EAS portion follows at 1:20 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

Polk County Emergency Manager Jody Beauchane explains that local tests will proceed the federal testing, “we’ll have two major tests tomorrow, first will have the local test of all the sirens in Polk County and the City of Crookston will sound their sirens on their own as well.” The second test will come across cell phones, radio and other forms of communication he added.  “FEMA will activate the second test, broadcast to cell phones, landlines, email, television to radio.  The messages that would come on that system may deal with missing children, dangerous weather, and other critical situations.”

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA.
Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once. The WEA test message will have a header that reads "Presidential Alert" and text that says: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test.
The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”





American Crystal is a cooperative where the growers who grow and harvest the sugarbeets also own American Crystal and the factories that make their products. It’s a unique and tightly integrated business model where everyone not only pulls together to unlock the potential of their organization, they also share in the results.

The agricultural cooperative corporation owned by approximately 2,600 sugarbeet growers in the Minnesota and North Dakota areas of the Red River Valley. Organized in 1973 by sugarbeet growers to acquire the business and assets of the American Crystal Sugar Company, then a publicly held New Jersey corporation in operation since 1899, American Crystal now owns and operates five sugarbeet processing facilities in the Red River Valley, and provides its shareholders (members) with the ability to process their sugarbeets into sugar and agri-products such as molasses; sugarbeet pulp; and by-products of the molasses desugarization process, betaine and concentrated separated by-product (CSB). American Crystal’s Board of Directors establishes sugarbeet acreage planting requirements in the Red River Valley each year based on factory processing capacity, expected crop quality, government regulations and other factors, and American Crystal then processes the sugarbeets from approximately 500,000 acres for the Red River Valley crop. The total authorized acres to be planted are then allocated to each preferred share held by the members.

American Crystal is engaged primarily in the production of sugar from sugarbeets. Total sugar sales account for approximately 90 percent of American Crystal's consolidated total revenues. United, American Crystal's sugar marketing agent, sells sugar primarily to industrial users such as confectioners, breakfast cereal manufacturers and bakeries which make up approximately 90 percent (by weight) of the sugar sold. The remaining portion is marketed by United to wholesalers and retailers under the "Crystal Sugar" trademark and various private labels for household consumption.

American Crystal owns all of its factories and the land on which they are located in Crookston, East Grand Forks and Moorhead, Minnesota and Drayton and Hillsboro, North Dakota. Each of the processing factories includes the physical facilities and equipment necessary to store and process sugarbeets into sugar. Their molasses desugarization plants at its East Grand Forks and Hillsboro facilities process molasses to extract additional sugar, and their Moorhead, Hillsboro, Crookston and East Grand Forks facilities package sugar.

Agri-products such as molasses; sugarbeet pulp; betaine and concentrated separated by-product, by-products of the molasses desugarization process and sugarbeet seed are also produced by American Crystal, and are marketed throughout the Midwest. Sugarbeet pulp is marketed to livestock feed mixers and livestock feeders in the United States and foreign markets. A large proportion of American Crystal's pulp production is exported to Japan and Europe. The market for sugarbeet pulp is affected by the availability and quality of competitive feedstuffs and foreign exchange rates. Sugarbeet molasses is marketed primarily to yeast manufacturers, livestock feed mixers and livestock feeders. Total agri-product sales account for approximately 10 percent of American Crystal's consolidated total revenues. American Crystal operates a sugarbeet seed division, which produces and processes sugarbeet seed for sale to American Crystal's members.

American Crystal's total annual sugar and agri-product production is influenced by the amount and the quality of sugarbeets grown by its members and non-members, the processing capacity of American Crystal's plants, by its ability to store harvested sugarbeets and by government programs and regulations.
The period during which American Crystal's plants are in operation to process sugarbeets into sugar and agri-products is referred to as the "campaign." During the campaign, American Crystal's factories operate twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. In the Red River Valley, the campaign typically begins in August and continues until the available supply of sugarbeets has been depleted, which generally occurs in May of the following year. Based on current processing capacity, an average campaign lasts approximately 275 days, assuming normal crop yields.

American Crystal generally employs approximately 1,400 full-time employees, of which 1,100 are hourly and 300 are salaried. In addition, they employ 900 hourly seasonal workers, 400 during the sugarbeet harvest and 500 during the remainder of the sugarbeet processing campaign. During the sugarbeet harvest, American Crystal also contracts with third party agencies for approximately another 1,300 additional workers. Human Resources personnel will be available to answer employment questions and provide information on current job openings on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 from 9-10:00 a.m. at American Crystal Sugar. Please check in at the security building prior access to the factory. A short guided tour will be available for interested guests.





The rifle range at the Crookston Gun Club will be open to the public to sight in firearms on the following dates and times:  Saturdays, October 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sundays, October 7, 14, 21, and 28 from Noon to 4:00 pm.  Targets will be furnished.  The range will not be open if it is raining or snowing. Any gun club members available to assist are requested to report to the range on the scheduled dates.  If you have questions, call Wayne Swanson at 281-4343 or 280-2013. Crookston Gun Club is located west of Highway 75, one mile north of UMC.  For more information, contact Wayne Swanson 281-4343 or 280-2013.





East Polk County farmers are working land once consumed by gullies in the Upper Sand Hill River Watershed, where word spread fast about erosion fixes that kept topsoil in the fields and out of the Sand Hill River.  The East Polk Soil & Water Conservation District program was so popular it required a waiting list. The 133 water and sediment control basins installed since 2011 keep 5,540 tons of sediment — the equivalent of 426 dump truck loads — and 4,120 pounds of algae-causing phosphorus out of the river each year.  Stretches of the Upper Sand Hill are impaired for turbidity, E.coli and low oxygen levels — which affect fish and recreation. But those reaches are close to meeting state water-quality standards.

The $1.58 million in East Polk SWCD projects drew from four Clean Water Fund grants totaling nearly $1.2 million, plus about $430,000 in matching funds from the Sand Hill Watershed District and landowners.  Jim Hest, Red River Valley Conservation Service engineer, called the Upper Sand Hill Watershed projects the most successful work of his career. “Not only is it a win for the environment because we’ve done the sediment reduction — which also can be nutrient-loading to the receiving waters — but also the farmers really like these because it allows them to farm the land effectively,” Hest said. “They can farm it as a whole field now.”

Hest explained how the structures work during an August field visit off Polk County Road 8 south of McIntosh with East Polk SWCD Manager Lisa Erickson and SWCD technician Rachael Klein.  A nearly imperceptible seam in the wind-rippled rows indicated the draw that directs water to a 200-square-foot triangle of grass surrounding an orange filtration pipe. Hest designed the water and sediment control basin to retain runoff for up to 36 hours. Instead of carving new gullies, water is released slowly through an outlet. Sediment has time to settle.  Crops grow where a gully once split the field.  “The farmers in the past just dealt with them on a year-to-year basis and fixed them to where they could farm it from year to year,” Hest said. “(Now) it’s a once-in-every-10-year type of thing they’ve got to deal with.”
Eleven farmers are on the waiting list.  “We didn’t have to sell the program. The program sold itself,” Hest said.

Bruce Grundyson was among the first to sign up. He took over the family farm in 1973, and now runs about 1,600 acres of soybeans and wheat.  On 160 acres of rented land in King Township, for years he maneuvered around a washout deep enough to swallow farm machinery.  “I couldn’t even work it anymore, it was so eroded,” Grundyson said. “I was having trouble getting to the other side to farm. It cut the field in two.”  Hest designed the string of a half-dozen water and sediment control basins; Grundyson and the neighbor installed them. Grundyson said it was worth the cost and effort, even on rented land. “We don’t have the washouts anymore. I actually can cross the ditch,” Grundyson said. “It’s really improved the land, and we don’t have all that sediment running into the Sand Hill River.” From the field he rents south of McIntosh, water enters a county ditch that drains into the Sand Hill River. The river flows more than 100 miles from Sand Hill Lake south of Fosston to the Red River near Climax.

As an East Polk SWCD board supervisor, Grundyson has helped put even more erosion-control structures in the watershed.  “We have people always inquiring, because it is a cost-share program,” Grundyson said.  Landowners pay 25 percent. Clean Water Funds cover 80 percent of the remaining balance; the Sand Hill Watershed District pays 20 percent. The projects align with the watershed district’s stewardship and its mission to manage water resources “in a manner which sustains and enhances the social, economic and natural resources.”

“It’s been working like crazy,” said Daniel Wilkens, watershed district administrator. “A little money goes a long ways, and we’re actually getting something done on the ground that makes the world a better place.”  East Polk SWCD staff expects 60 more water and sediment control basins to be installed using the 2016 infusion of Clean Water Funds it received from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources: A $790,240 targeted watershed grant.  Since 2011, the Sand Hill Watershed District has contributed nearly $197,000 toward East Polk SWCD water and sediment control basin projects.  “We’ve been able to work with landowners and fix the erosion problem,” Erickson said. “(Those fixes) not only benefit them — they benefit our water quality, which benefits the public and it benefits habitat.”  Decreasing the sediment load should decrease turbidity, Erickson said, which should boost efforts to reintroduce fish and increase recreational use of the Sand Hill River.

Recreational use grows as crews clear snags-
Wayne Goeken has been paddling the Sand Hill River near his home in Fertile for years, both recreationally and as a River Explorers kayak trip leader.  He’s continued to lead River Explorers’ student water-monitoring paddles since he retired two years ago as the International Water Institute’s special projects coordinator. Goeken started IRI’s River Watch, a citizen water-quality monitoring effort, in 1995 with four high schools in the Red River Basin. Data collected monthly from April through October includes turbidity, dissolved oxygen, pH, water and air temperature.

Goeken led efforts to clear snags, which opened more river reaches to paddlers-
In early September, a Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa crew contracted through the Sand Hill River Watershed District started a 20-day snag-clearing job in Fertile. Moving west, they’ll clear downed trees, garbage and other debris that cause roiling water to erode the banks.
The project was funded for its water quality benefits, but the crew’s work also will make paddling easier.
In the three years since volunteers started to remove downed trees, Goeken has noticed more kayaks atop vehicles in town, more vehicles parked at unofficial launch sites at road crossings.
He created a Sand Hill River paddling brochure mapping four segments totaling eight miles near Fertile. Nearly 200 people follow the Sand Hill River Kayaking page on Facebook. “It’s in the Glacial Lake Agassiz beach area, so it’s (got) steeper slopes. You do get a faster current,” Goeken said. “There’s a lot of waterfowl and deer through that area. It’s spring-fed through there, so usually there’s some base minimum flow that keeps it going.”
Goeken said he’d like to see the community view the Sand Hill River as an asset and become better stewards.

MAP LINK: Find an interactive paddling map on the Sand Hill River Watershed District’s website:

Jim Hest, conservation engineer with the Red River Valley Conservation Service, designed water and sediment control basins installed in East Polk County fields. In this soybean field south of McIntosh, only about 200 square feet of cropland is lost to the basin. The producer gained the ability to farm across a field once divided by a gully. Photo Credit: Ann Wessel, BWSR




At approximately 8:11pm on Monday, October 1 the Grand Forks Fire Department responded to an apartment fire located at 812 4th Ave. South.
Firefighters arrived on scene and found smoke coming from an apartment on the third floor.  A fire located in the kitchen area was quickly extinguished by firefighters.  The apartment sustained an estimated $30,000 in smoke and fire damage.  The fire investigation determined that the fire was caused by an unattended candle. 
There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.  Nineteen firefighters from Grand Forks responded to the call and received assistance from the Grand Forks Police Department, Altru Ambulance and the American Red Cross.






On September 23, at approximately 10:58 a.m. the Grand Forks Police Department was notified of a robbery that had occurred several minutes prior at 2002 South Washington Street.  The location is the Orton’s Cenex Gas Station.
The suspect was described as a black male wearing a black t-shirt, light gray sweater, black jeans, black tennis shoes and a black mask over the bottom half of his face.  The male was estimated as being 5’6” tall and having a slim build. The employee stated that the suspect was in possession of a handgun.  The suspect was able to steal the till and fled the scene on foot.  No employees were injured in the incident.
Upon arrival officers established a perimeter and used a K-9 to track the suspect.  The subject was not located but the till was recovered.
This is an active investigation.  Anyone who may have information on the matter is asked to contact Detective Buzzo or Detective Freeman at 701-787-8000. 

After an extensive investigation officers of the Grand Forks Police Department arrested Terrance Gourdine, a 27 year old Grand Forks resident and charged him with Armed Robbery of the Orton’s Cennex.
This is an on-going and active investigation. We are asking the assistance of the general public and request that anyone with information concerning this robbery contact the Grand Forks Police Department by one of the following methods:
-Call (701) 787-8000
-Submit a tip via our homepage or Facebook page
-Use the Tip411 app on your smartphone





The Crookston Firefighters Association has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust toward the purchase of Engine 9, the first new engine to join the fleet since 2002.  The Crookston Firefighters Association is a non-profit corporation that provides fire and rescue services to 13 townships and the City of Crookston.
Vice-President of the Firefighters Association Tom Fiero said, “We just found out recently that the Otto Bremer Trust supports local firefighters’ associations with grants, we filled out a pretty extensive application and were just notified that our grant application was accepted.”
Otto Bremer Trust had previously supported the Crookston Firefighters Association with a program improvement loan in 2000 for the purchase of a new tanker truck. 
Engine 9 was ordered in 2018 to replace Engine 8 which was purchased in 1994.  Engine 8 was
purchased for $188,500, in comparison, Engine 9 will cost $450,000 when completed in early 2019.  The new engine will be customized from the ground up said Jake Leas, president of the Association. “This thing rolls in as just a cab and chassis, we’ve a custom cab it’s fabricated piece by piece.”  Fiero added this is the first custom truck the Crookston Fire Department has purchased, “this will fit what we need with location of compartments, size, where the hoses and ladders go, hand tools and safety. It’s all designed to fit our needs.
The new engine will be able to hold an additional 250 gallons of water giving the department a few more minutes to fight a fire.  The custom cab will also allow for seven firefighters to ride in the engine, while the engine being replaced only had room for five.
The association has also received an additional $14,000 in grants from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Walmart, Enbridge Pipeline and Ottertail Power Company and will continue to apply for grants.  The Firefighters Association sets aside money every year to fund a future engine and they are grateful the City of Crookston has provided them with an interest free loan for the remaining cost. 
The Crookston Fire Department has a 20 to 25 replacement plan on their engines and trucks. Present trucks in the fleet include: Main Hall – Engine 8 (1994), Tanker (200), Heavy Rescue Truck (1995), Grass Fire Truck with two Polaris Rangers (2009); North Station – Engine 7 (2001), Wildland Engine 4 (2002).   





The University of Minnesota Crookston Athletic Department held a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new press box and clubhouse at the UMC Baseball Field on Saturday before their annual alumni baseball game. 
The new press box sits along the third base side of the backstop and has ample room for the public address announcer, scoreboard, statistician, and radio.  The club house is located on the lower level with couches, chairs and lockers. 
Clarke Peterson, a junior catcher from East Grand Forks majoring in sports and rec management, said the club house is a great asset for the team.  “There is nothing better than having a clubhouse, we can hang out, build c
amaraderie, and having it right on the field is awesome.”
The annual alumni game was a part of the homecoming festivities this year and brought the alumni back
not only for baseball, but a celebration of all UMC athletics.  Peterson said the foundation the alumni have laid is important the team.  “There is nothing more important to this program than our alumni.  They laid all the pavers, the brick stones, they showed us how to do it the Golden Eagle way and now it’s our time to take that and seize the day.”
The baseball alumni, who always support the current team, are donating a plaque this year that will list the programs past and future trips to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference baseball tournament at the field.  Baseball has previously qualified for the NSIC tournament in 2001, 2016 and 2017. Along with baseball alumni from volleyball and softball also had gatherings during homecoming.  For a recap of the homecoming football game, click on Sports.

The ribbon cutting for the new UMC Pressbox/clubhouse on Saturday morning

The UMC Baseball team and alumni in front of the pressbox/clubhouse





This week is Manufacturers Week in Crookston and the Crookston Chamber of Commerce has a story each day this week that will highlight a Crookston manufacturer.  Today's story is on New Flyer.

Did you know that Crookston is home to one of North America’s leading manufacturers? New Flyer is now the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, with fabrication, manufacturing, distribution and service centers in the United States and Canada, and employs approximately 6,000 people at more than 31 facilities.

New Flyer was founded in 1930, and expanded their initial operations from their plant in Winnipeg to a final assembly plant in Crookston in 1996. In 1999, the company again expanded, and a third plant was opened in St. Cloud, MN. The extra capacity was needed to take on major contracts signed in the late 1990s with Seattle and Los Angeles. Today, New Flyer operates as New Flyer of America Inc. and New Flyer Industries Canada ULC, subsidiaries of NFI Group Inc. (“NFI Group”). Together, NFI Group has over 50 years of experience in manufacturing zero-emission buses (ZEBs). New Flyer is North America’s heavy-duty transit bus leader, offering the most advanced clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, trolley-electric, battery-electric and fuel cell-electric drive systems.

Bus passengers around the country are seeking modern transportation options they can feel good about as traffic congestion, costs and air quality continue to saddle today’s growing cities. That is why New Flyer is engineering progressive transit technology that serves communities and makes cities smarter, while safeguarding our precious resources. New Flyer manufactures buses for some of the largest transit agencies and cities in the United States and Canada and is a leader in the production of hybrid and low-emission vehicles. In doing so, they are creating jobs, fortifying North America’s infrastructure and modernizing the industry and the world around us.

Our highly-competitive world today demands that manufacturers apply modern technology to their production. New Flyer’s next-generation, battery-electric bus, the Xcelsior CHARGE™ boasts zero emissions, lower operating costs, and multiple charging systems. With no engine, transmission, intake or exhaust, customers can save up to $400,000 in maintenance costs over the 12-year life of the bus. The electrically-driven HVAC systems are proven to require much less maintenance than systems with conventional engine-driven compressors, and also mean fewer belts, fewer filters and less fluids, all of which are routine maintenance items on conventional buses. An added bonus is that with the absence of a traditional internal combustion engine and its related mechanical and exhaust noises, passengers can enjoy the significantly quieter ride provided by the nearly silent electric traction motor.

Due to their third quarter ending and an extra busy order volume, New Flyer will not be able to have tours available at their facility during Manufacturing Week, but it is important that we recognize them as a very valuable company, supporting hundreds of jobs and related economic opportunities in Crookston.

As a world-class manufacturer, New Flyer is always looking for talented individuals to join their team and help make a positive impact on communities by improving the safety and efficiency of public transportation. Current job openings range from maintenance to accounting, quality managers, buyers and welders and more. See for more information.





On September 29, the Grand Forks Police Department, Grand Forks Fire Department and Altru Paramedics were dispatched to the Red River Behavioral Health System at 1451 44th Avenue South, regarding a medical assist involving an unresponsive subject.
Prior to officers arriving on-scene, Altru Paramedics arrived and determined that the unresponsive subject was deceased. Preliminary investigation by officers indicated that the injuries were the result of an altercation that occurred between the deceased patient and another patient within the facility. Members of the Criminal Investigations Bureau were then summoned to more fully investigate the incident.
At this time, the investigation remains active and on-going, as such; few details are available to be released. The names of the subjects involved are being withheld, as they are both patients at the facility. There is no threat to the public.




The Minnesota Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) presented its 2018 Trial Judge of the Year Award to Ninth Judicial District Judge Lois J. Lang.  Judge Lang was honored at the Chapter’s Annual Meeting in July in St. Paul.
Minnesota ABOTA recognized Judge Lang for her excellence in the conduct of jury trials, her enduring professionalism, and her commitment to civility.  Judge Lang was appointed to the bench in 1994 by Governor Arne Carlson.  She was the first woman appointed to the bench in the Ninth Judicial District, which includes 17 counties in the northwest corner of the state and encompasses approximately 30 percent of the state.  There, she served as Assistant Chief Judge and then Chief Judge during her 24 years on the bench.  Judge Lang retired on July 6, 2018.
ABOTA is an organization of experienced and ethical trial lawyers whose mission is to preserve the right to a civil jury trial guaranteed by the 7th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, ethics, civility, and courtesy in the legal profession.
Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District serves the counties of AitkinBeltramiCassClearwaterCrow WingHubbardItascaKittsonKoochichingLake of the WoodsMahnomenMarshallNormanPenningtonPolkRed Lake, and RoseauThe District is served by 28 judges. In 2017, more than 62,000 cases were filed in Ninth Judicial District courts.






Early this morning officers of the Grand Forks Police Department were involved in a pursuit of a motorcycle that refused to halt when officers attempted to make a traffic stop.  Holden Myers, 20, of Dunseth ND. refused to halt when officers signaled him to do so in the 2000 block of Demers Avenue Myers continued west of Demers Avenue leaving the city limits.  Holden continued to flee until he lost control of the motorcycle in the 2300 block of Airport Drive  Holden then fled on foot for a short distance but was apprehended by officers.  Holden received minor injuries in the crash but was cleared for incarceration at the Grand Forks County Correctional Center.  Holden was charged with Fleeing, Possession of a stolen motor vehicle (2007 Yamaha Motorcycle), Driving under suspension and Reckless endangerment.  Officers from the Grand Forks PD and Grand Forks SO were involved in the incident.  Holden was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.  No officers were injured in this incident. 





In 2012 the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), the Federal Highway Administration and County Engineers developed a state-wide County Road Safety Plan (CRSP) aimed at improving safety on roadways outside the seven-county metro area. More than 90 percent of roadways in the state are managed by local, county and city agencies while prior to the program many of the funds to improve safety were directed to the state-managed roadways. The goal of the safety plan was to shift focus from reacting to severe crashes to being proactive in identifying common infrastructure in severe and fatal crashes and working to mitigate those factors on roadways throughout the state.
The CRSP is one of several programs that have been put in place by Minnesota since the early 2000s aimed at reducing fatalities on Minnesota Roads. Other programs have included Towards Zero Deaths (TZD) and the Minnesota Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan (SCIP).
Since the initial launch of the program, more than $12 million have been spent in northwest Minnesota on better striping, increased rumble strips, sign installation including chevrons around curves, lighting, dynamic warning systems and geometric changes to intersections. Geometric changes include moving intersections that were skewed into the center of a curve to allow for better sight lines for a driver to see oncoming traffic. Polk County Engineer Rich Sanders described some of the projects that have taken place in Polk County. “In Polk County, we have six-inch edge lines to enhance run off the road safety making people drive more towards the center of the lane," said Sanders. “We do rumble strips and strips, intersection lighting which increase driver safety through visual through intersections.”
While the county has made many of the upgrades presented in the original plan, the workshop dealt with updating those plans for Polk County and discussing safety in different locations. “We had some of the residents of Polk County join us to get a broader view of safety on our county roads,” said Sanders. “Now we are updating that plan with further steps we can take.”
The workshop included several different ideas for enhancing road safety in Polk County. Two specific projects were discussed, installing Restricted Crossing U-Turns (RCUT) or reduced conflict intersections at points along Highway 2 and the urbanization of County Road 11/Fisher Avenue into Crookston. RCUTs are a new type of interchange that MnDOT has been installing on some of the most dangerous or potentially dangerous four lane intersections in the state as Sanders explains. “RCUTS are basically an intersection where you close off the center median,” said Sanders. “You take a right-hand turn, merge over to the left lane, get in a turn lane, make a U-Turn, merge over to the right lane, make the right turn and continue on.” The U-Turns happen about a quarter-mile up from the intersection and is not only safer but generally will take less time. Sanders added that RCUTs are put at intersections with a high risk of broadside crashes and federal data shows that these reduced conflict intersections significantly decrease the both injury and fatal crashes at those intersections. The proposed intersections for RCUTs in Polk County include U.S. Highway 2/Business 2 in East Grand Forks, U.S. Highway 2/U.S. Hwy 75 North by the University of Minnesota Crookston and U.S. Highway 2/U.S. Highway 32 between Fertile and Red Lake Falls (or16 miles east of Crookston).
The other major proposal for Polk County is on Fisher Avenue/County Road 11 coming into Crookston. Discussion during the workshop indicated that roads that appear rural lead to higher speeds, while County Road 11 still looks rural while vehicle and pedestrian traffic to the increased housing, the Crookston Sports Center, Drafts Sports Bar and Grill and Crookston High School have taken on a more urban feel. The proposed changes would make Fisher Avenue feel more like a residential street than a county road. “The road from the railroad tracks to east of Sports Center would be reconstructed in 2020 with curb and gutter, three lanes of traffic one each direction and a center turn lane.” Sanders added they would have sidewalks on both sides of the road and described new safer pedestrian crossings utilizing rapid flash beacons. “We are going to add rapid flash beacons at North Broadway and Barrette Street. Because of the strobe, they are more effective at getting people to slow down and stop.”
The additional benefit according to Sanders is that once the update is complete he will have a packet of all the proposed projects for Polk County that have been approved as part of the plan. He will be able to pull a proposed project from his packet and use it as the submission for state or federal funds. In the old system, the county would’ve had to compile the data at the time they started considering a project adding to their use of time and resources. Under the CRSP, all the county needs to do is submit a pre-approved strategy from their packet for review.






The North Country Food Bank in Crookston has been in its current downtown facility since the early 80's and they raising money for a new facility after they received money from the state in the last bonding bill.
Both the Department of Agricultural and Feeding America have deemed North Country to be operating in non-compliance according to Development Director Anthony Hebert. “We have been deemed to be in non-compliance, we haven’t gotten a firm date to have a new building or be shut down, but we need to move in that direction because the building we’re in is inadequate to fulfill the contract we have.”
The food bank must meet the same codes as any business in the food market to repackage product, and the current facilities do not meet those codes leaving the food bank to have to turn down bulk donations or ship them out to be repackaged. A new facility will include a clean room for handling product, increased storage both in the warehouse and in freezers. They will also get a produce cooler to extend the life of produce, meaning they won’t have to turn down produce that can’t be delivered immediately and that many of the reasons why they need a new facility.
The new Food Bank warehouse and office would be located just south of the Agassiz Townhomes that are currently being built on North Broadway. The facility will cost $6 million, with staff hoping to break ground in Spring 2019. They have received a State Bond to match funding dollar for dollar up to $3 million for the cost of the facility.  So far including bond money, they have raised $3,679,538. They are holding town halls to reach out to prospective donors or people who might know of prospective donors who can help them accomplish their goal of funding the facility to help the hungry in Northwest and West Central Minnesota.
Hebert described the benefits the advance capacity would have for the region. “We’d jump well above 10 million meals almost overnight. There are times we have to turn down food because don’t have the space,” said Hebert. “Our mission is to feed all the hungry people in our service area, so to have to turn down food somebody wants to donate is really hard, but at this point it’s something we have to do.”
Most people wouldn’t think there is a hunger problem in Northwest and West Central Minnesota added Hebert. “But if you look at what we do every year, our numbers go up every year.  Ultimately our goal is to eliminate hunger and food insecurity in our service area and a new building will move us closer to that goal every day.”
The North Country Food Bank serves 21 counties, distributing nearly 10 million pounds of food or the equivalent of 8.33 million meals a year to the nearly 40,000 residents of Northwest Minnesota who are struggling with hunger.  Most of the 40,000 are children, the food bank hands out 10,000 bags of food to children who are struggling with hunger at schools every Friday, so the children will know they have something to eat over the weekend. The food bank also distributes 70-90 percent of all food in local food shelves in this part of the state.
To help contact Development Director Anthony Hebert at 218-280-7154 or visit




Homecoming royalty were crowned at the University of Minnesota Crookston on Thursday evening, September 27, 2018, in Kiehle Auditorium during this year's Homeoming Spirit Rally. The homecoming king and queen were chosen by a vote of the student body.
Logan Milligan, a senior majoring from New York Mills, was crowned king and Isieoma Odor, a senior women's basketball player from Bloomington, was crowned homecoming queen for 2018.
Other members of the royalty included Megan Bellefy, a junior from Bagley; Josh Lanasa, a senior football player from Eden Prairie; Taylor Harsha, a senior from Park Rapids; Zach Greenberg, a senior
football player from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Ben Koisti, a senior men's golfer from Lake Norden, S.D.; and Bethany Novak, a senior from Dahlen, N.D..
Theme for Homecoming 2018 is “There is No Place like Homecoming” and activities for the week include powderpuff football, coronation, the Alumni Awards Celebration, and the weekend’s football, soccer, and volleyball games.

In the photo, seated in the front are Queen Isieoma Odor and King Logan Milligan. Standing, left to right, are Megan Bellefy, Zach Greenberg, Bethany Novak, Josh Lanasa, Ben Koisti and Taylor Harsha.





Harvest is one of the busiest times of the year. Otter Tail Power Company reminds farmers to stay safe by paying as much attention to what’s above their heads and within reach of their machinery as they do to their harvesting and tillage work, says Greg Overland, the company’s Safety Services Manager. “When you’re working long hours or rushing to beat the weather, it’s easy to overlook power lines and related equipment,” says Overland. “But it’s important to plan ahead and caution employees and family members working with you about potential hazards. Know the size of your machinery. And always remember to look up.”
Overland offers these additional tips to help keep everyone safe and productive this harvest season.
·         Use a spotter when moving large equipment, such as combines, grain augers, beet lifters, and tillage, spraying, excavation, or irrigation equipment, near power lines.
·         Pay special attention when hoisting truck boxes or folding tillage equipment for transport so they don’t contact energized lines. Be careful when entering or leaving a field where
you may encounter power lines that cross the field approach.
·         Allow ample room around all utility equipment. Might your tractor’s or combine’s rear wheels snag a guy wire in a tight turn at the end of a field? When extended, might tillage equipment strike a nearby pole? If an electric line were to fall on your equipment, you could be at risk for serious injury or even death. And the cost of replacing one pole and repairing your damaged equipment would far outweigh any benefit of farming right next to that pole. If your machinery is equipped with GPS, you may want to take advantage of marking power poles as an additional reminder to steer clear.
·         Lower portable augers or elevators to the lowest possible level before moving or transporting and use care when raising them.
·         Maintain adequate clearance between an electrical line and the top of any equipment. Don’t guess; know the height of the lines and the height of your equipment, including antennas.
·         Steer clear of power lines, guy wires, junction boxes, and pad-mount transformers that may be along the edges of fields, in farmyards, and at grain-handling sites.
·         Never build storage bins near overhead electrical lines.
·         Note what might be in the ground. Before tilling an unfamiliar field or doing any excavating (to install drain tile, for instance), use One Call to locate buried utilities. The national number to call is 811.
If you’re in a vehicle or equipment that’s contacted an electrical source, remain there until help arrives. But if you’re in danger of fire or explosion, jump with both feet together and shuffle away. Do not allow contact with the vehicle or equipment and the ground at the same time.
  If you encounter an electrical accident, make sure the electrical source no longer poses a threat before assisting a victim. If in doubt, call 911 and wait until help arrives. And remember, even victims who don’t appear to be injured should seek medical advice because injury from an electrical shock may not be apparent immediately.
Overland adds that an electrical outage caused by mishandled farm machinery can impact several customers and poses a threat not only to you but also to others who rely on electricity for critical systems. “We want everyone to safely return home each night,” said Overland.





RiverView Health is excited to welcome Maneesh Kanal, MD, to its medical staff. Dr. Kanal specializes in Internal Medicine and is now practicing in Crookston and Fertile. Dr. Kanal was born and raised in Nashville, TN, where his parents and two younger sisters still reside; one sister is following in big brother’s footsteps as she pursues a career as a Physician Assistant. Dr. Kanal received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, and his medical degree from St. George’s University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom and Campus in Grenada, West Indies. He completed an Internal Medicine residency program at Danbury Hospital/Western CT Health Network affiliated with Yale University, Danbury, CT.
An active community service volunteer, Dr. Kanal has worked with Habitat for Humanity, served food to the homeless through a Loaves and Fishes volunteer program, and tutored inner-city kids. But it was volunteeringat his local community hospital that helped him develop a strong inclination to pursue medicine as a career. That desire heightened as he participated in medical mission trips to Xela, Guatemala and later rural Appalachia to directly provide care to underserved populations where resources were often in short supply. He credits that time with helping him realize the tremendous impact that the practice of medicine can have on people’s lives.
Internal Medicine was Dr. Kanal’s interest from early on in his residency training because it allows him to care for the whole person rather than one specific organ system, he shared, saying he enjoys the privilege of
working with each person to personalize their care according to his or her individual needs. “I’m lucky to be able to see people of nearly all ages from late teens and up with various health concerns,’’ he stated. “I’m particularly interested in preventative medicine and doing my absolute best to proactively keep people as healthy as possible.’’
Dr. Kanal joins fellow RiverView Health Internal Medicine providers, Dr. Bosun Fashoro and Dr. Sherine Talaat.

“I am very excited to be part of the RiverView Health team,’’ he shared. “This organization’s longstanding
commitment to both serving its communities and striving to provide world-class, evidence-based healthcare here at home is truly unparalleled and is what clearly sets it apart in the region. I was immediately impressed by the core value of community here and how providers go above and beyond to treat patients with the highest level of respect and utmost care as if they are truly like family.’’
In his free time, Dr. Kanal enjoys sailing, reading, traveling, tennis, swimming, hiking and biking.
To make an appointment with Dr. Kanal, please call 218-281-9595 in Crookston or 218-945-6695 in Fertile.





The University of Minnesota Crookston will celebrate Banned Books Week from Monday, October 1, through Friday, October 5. The public is invited to attend activities during Banned Books Week amd free parking is available in Lot G near the Kiehle Building.
On Monday, October 1, the book drive will begin. Marked book carts can be found around campus. Consider donating a paperback book to the Tri-County Correctional Center. The book drive will conclude on Friday.

On Tuesday, October 2, selections from works banned in prisons, works written from prison, or works written by people who have been imprisoned will be real aloud in the International Lounge, from 12:30-2 p.m.
On Thursday, October 4, there will be a panel discussion on book banning in prisons and jails. This event will feature speakers from law enforcement, libraries, and criminal justice faculty. The public is invited to join the discussion and bring questions. The panel discussion will be held in the Prairie Room, from 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Throughout the week there will be displays located near the bookstore and the library. Be sure to check out the contest being held in the bookstore display case.
Banned Books Week is an annual national event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Learn more at





Hosted by Governor Mark Dayton today at the Minnesota Governor’s Residence, Taiwanese trade officials and business leaders signed a letter of intent to purchase millions of metric tons of soybeans from farmers in Minnesota and Iowa over the next two years. The Taiwanese Agricultural Trade Goodwill delegation plans to purchase up to $1.56 billion of Midwestern soybeans in 2018 and 2019. Taiwan is Minnesota's sixth-largest export market, and a key trading partner for the state's agricultural products.  "Minnesota's trade relations with countries around the world, including Taiwan, are critical to helping our farmers sell their products in the global marketplace,” said Governor Dayton. “With the USDA predicting the largest U.S. soybean crop ever, these export opportunities are vitally important.”

The Taiwanese delegation, led by Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association (TVOA) Chairman Mr. Yau-Kuen Hung, plans to purchase between 3.2 million and 3.9 million metric tons of soybeans between 2018 and 2019, valued at an estimated pledged maximum of $1.56 billion. Taiwan is a growing consumer of vegetable oils. Soybean oil accounts for more than 50 percent of the overall vegetable oil market. "The U.S. remains one of Taiwan's largest trade partners for agricultural products,” said Chairman Hung. “The Goodwill Mission plays an important role in strengthening the trade relations between our countries and ensuring Taiwan is able to purchase high quality soybeans grown in Minnesota.”

“We have worked hard to establish relationships with the people of Taiwan,” said Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “Those relationships are paying off in the form of market opportunities for Minnesota’s farmers which are critically important given our current ag economy.”

Thursday afternoon’s visit is the result of a recent trade mission by Minnesota agriculture officials to Taiwan last month, and meetings with Chairman Mr. Yau-Kuen Hung. Taiwan and Minnesota have a strong history of agricultural trade agreements. In January 2013, Commissioner Frederickson led a mission to Taiwan to personally extend an invitation to the 2013 Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission to visit Minnesota and sign letters of intent to purchase soybeans. Goodwill Missions have been organized by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) since 1998.

Governor Dayton with the Taiwanese Agricultural Trade Goodwill delegation.





Members of the Crookston School District long-range planning committee met with Superintendent Jeremy Olson Wednesday morning to discuss needs for facilities within the district.  One of the top priorities is a new bus garage. (The picture to the right is of a tour held at the bus garage last year) 
The focus was on laying the groundwork to create a plan for a bus garage near Highland Elementary School. “We did a little planning today, I asked the board how to move procedurally forward,” said Olson.  “The board said they want to make sure we have the input of a community committee that is representative of the voters.” The committee strongly felt that it was important to get community involved in the early stages.  One specific demographic discussed was the agricultural community.  Both Olson and school board member Frank Fee noted the importance of getting people from the agricultural community in on discussions as they represent a significant amount of land area within the district limits.  But secondly, so that they are better able to explain to that demographic the costs associated with the facility. 
It was noted that while a garage or a facility may be able to be put up privately for a relatively small amount, the state requirements, such as an air handling system, lead to an additional cost in a facility such as a district bus garage.  These requirements, while adding to the initial cost of the facility, do benefit the district and voters in the long run as it eliminates some of the risk of liability against the district should something unfortunate occur in the future.
The limiting of liability is an important reason why the district will need to hire an architect.  If the district designs their own building, and the design is flawed, the district assumes additional liability should an injury or death result from those flaws.  By hiring an architect, the architect would assume liability in the design.  There was also a consensus to interview possible architects to ensure they are a good fit for the district. Olson added he’s unsure the state would approve a project without an architect.
That state approval will be important as the Crookston School District now has a 40% tax credit, meaning the state would be covering that portion of the cost.  

Another topic discussed was that if the process proceeds the district should negotiate a fixed-fee contract, so there is no financial incentive for the architect to raise the price.  The committee also felt if the planning got that far, there needs to be a model of the facility created so that voters can view it at events and ask questions.
Olson got the guidance on how to proceed, which what he was looking for, and all agree that they need to have community involvement in the process.  “Obviously we have some thoughts on what our needs are going to be, but we need the community’s input,” commented Olson. “When I saw that bus garage, I thought we can do better in Crookston.”
The committee’s first procedural step in the process will be identifying community members to serve on a steering committee.  If anyone is interested in joining the steering community, Olson asked that they contact him or the school board.  The best way to ensure you has a voice in the discussion is to join the discussion.





The Polk County Commissioners set the preliminary tax levy at 5.5% at their meeting this week at the Government Center.  If the tax levy does not drop from the preliminary number, the county would bring in more than $1.2 million in additional tax revenue in 2019, bringing the total to more than $24 million.  Budget requests currently exceed $24 million, but commissioner Joan Lee hopes they can make enough cuts to lower the tax levy.   “The preliminary level is the maximum amount we can levy at the end of the year,” said Lee.  “We will go back to department budgets and make cuts with the goal to decrease the levy below that 5.5% preliminary amount.”

Polk County Sheriff Barb Erdmann and Emergency Manager Jody Beauchane met with the commissioners about some possible legislation that might be on the table.  Lobbyists are currently working on legislation to secure emergency management funds for each county.  It will be tough to get through said Beauchane, but it would help and lobbyists will be sending information to each county commissioners.  Each county sets up their emergency management program in whatever way they can.  In the twin cities area, they may be stand alone entities, here in Polk County emergency management is tied in with the Sheriff’s Office.  Erdmann told the commissioners that the total emergency management budget is about $100,000 including salaries. Polk County currently gets a federal grant for roughly $24,000 a year, with the rest of the budget funded by the county.  The $30,000 would represent a significant portion of the county’s annual emergency management budget.

Beauchane also updated the board that of the two major incidents of storms in the county June 15 through July 11 and Polk County has been declared part of the Federal Disaster declaration.  There will be an applicant briefing meeting on Tuesday, October 2 at 2:00 p.m. at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The commissioners also approved Sheriff Erdmann to place a job announcement for a full-time deputy decision.  There will be at least one opening with Erdmann’s retirement heading into 2019, but this will allow the department to advertise and hopefully begin the candidate review process soon enough to limit the days the department operates short staffed.    

Jake Schneider also presented a proposal with Pitometry to the commissioners who voted to enter into an agreement.  Pitometry is a company that provides aerial photos and Commissioner Lee explained some of the different usage the county will get out of those. “It will be a user tool for buffer enforcement, assessors, the highway department,” she said. “They will be a before and after too see changes that have been made, where compliances issues might show up once the buffer deadline has come and gone.”

Polk County Engineer Rich Sanders, along with representatives from MnDOT and Jacobs Engineering presented an update on the County Road Safety Plan currently underway.  The commissioners then attended a workshop in the afternoon discussing the Polk County Road Safety Plan along with other city and county staff and citizens.  We will have more on the County Road Safety Plan during Friday's news.  





A poverty simulation was held on Thursday, September 13 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston. The event was sponsored by Polk-Norman-Mahnomen Community Health Services, including Polk County Public Health and Norman-Mahnomen Public Health, and Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. The simulation was facilitated by Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP).

The poverty simulation tool was utilized since decreasing persistent poverty is one of three Polk-Norman-Mahnomen Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) priorities. We know that poverty level is one of the most critical characteristics that contributes to the number of people experiencing preventable chronic diseases. The collaboration between agencies allows communities to solve problems that cannot be solved, or easily solved, by single organizations.

A poverty simulation is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family. The object is to sensitize audiences to the realities faced by low-income people. In the simulation, participants assume roles of up to 20+ different families facing poverty. The task of the families is to provide for necessities and shelter during the course of four 15-minute “weeks”. Throughout the event it is stressed that it is a simulation, not a game and those involved should take it very seriously.

The participants broke down into groups for instructions for the event





Crookston High School is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 Triple A Award. Letters informing the senior class of this award were mailed on September 19, 2018.
This program recognizes high school seniors who excel in the arts, athletics and the classroom. Seniors who have a “B” or higher grade point average and who participate in League-sponsored athletic and fine arts activities are eligible for nomination.
Triple “A” nomination forms are posted on the MSHSL website at under “Recognition.”
All the forms should be completed and turned in to Ms. Johnson in the Crookston High School Office by Wednesday, October 31, 2018.

Crookston High School is also accepting applications for the 2018-2019 ExCEL Award. Letters informing the junior class of this award were mailed on September 19, 2018.
This program recognizes high school juniors who are leaders in their schools and demonstrate a strong commitment to community volunteerism. Applicable candidates also participate in League-sponsored athletic or fine arts programs. The award winners will be selected by an independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota.
To apply for the award, please go to the website. Click on the Recognition tab where you will find the application form, a Student Essay form and a form for one letter of recommendation from a school staff member. All the forms should be completed and turned in to Ms. Johnson in the Crookston High School Office by Wednesday, October 31, 2018.







On Tuesday, September 25 at approximately 11:52 AM the Crookston Police Department responded to ad report of a deceased person at 2200 University Ave (Crookston Inn). Preliminary findings of the investigation indicate the 57 year old male died as a result of self-inflicted injuries. He was transported to the University of North Dakota Pathology Lab for an autopsy. The name is not being released pending family notifications. The incident remains an open and active investigation.





The Crookston Ways and Means Committee (Crookston City Council, Mayor and City staff) met on Monday and discussed the Building Better Business (B3) grant program proposed by the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority board. The B3 program aims to help initiate recruitment, revitalize and sustain success and grow small business in the city.

The City Council voted to send the Downtown Master Plan down to the ways and means committee on Monday evening and it was the master plan that dominated the night’s discussion. Several members expressed a concern that the master plan was suddenly back on the council agenda without time to review it, much like the initial discussion a year ago. The master plan was recently reviewed by the planning commission, who recommended the City adopt it.

City Administrator Shannon Stassen explained that the reason it was taken before the planning commission had to do with two factors, one that the council had previously wanted to hear from other city committees such as the planning commission about their feelings on the merits of the plan and two that they have been asked when discussing grants with representatives of the programs awarding the grants that they have asked whether the city has a master plan. The current response is we do, but it hasn’t been adopted.  Councilman Jake Fee expressed doubt that any granting agency has in their grant eligibility requirements, that a city must have a master plan to be eligible for the grant. Fee also expressed that the master plan should guide the city and if the council is uncomfortable with something it shouldn’t be included because once it’s adopted, no one will ever go back to change it.   Bob Quanrud thought similarly saying we can say we’ve received it, but he doesn’t think it should be adopted so the City isn’t tied into anything. Councilman Steve Erickson expressed similar concerns stating the master plan had been sat on for a year before going to the planning commission and be passed through in one night with no ideas, suggestions, edits. Nothing has changed in the past year and nobody has attempted to make changes to the areas of concern.
Mayor Wayne Melbye explained that the master plan was put back on the council agenda at the recommendation of the planning commission which is standard practice to have any recommendation from a commission go straight to the council instead of the Ways and Means Committee. In terms of the timeline, no explanation was given on why it had taken so long to go before the planning commission.
A major sticking point for council members is the road diet or traffic calming techniques described in the traffic plan. Fee said he doesn’t believe it would be good for businesses downtown, specifically noting deliveries. "A lot of deliveries come in on big trucks and because of the current set up they need to take up one of the three lanes of traffic during those deliveries," said Fee. "If we go down two lanes through the downtown, those deliveries still need to happen, are we going to have those trucks blocking one lane and have traffic reduced to a single lane from the current three during that time."
Through the discussion, it was determined the councilman wanted more time to review the plan and the ability to remove or change things they didn’t think was going to work. It was decided to take the next month to review and when the Ways and Means Committee meet at the end of October they will discuss all the concerns and possible changes to the master plan.  Melbye said although he hates to take anything off a wish list, he wants things to get discussed. “If there’s something they definitely feel is impossible or definitely disagree with it will be discussed and we’ll decide whether to keep them on the plan or not," said Melbye. “The master plan is a matter of looking into the future and seeing how you’d like to see things go."

For the B3 program the Ways and Means committee approved the transfer of $50,000 from reserves to the Crookston Housing and Economic Authority (CHEDA). Melbye asked the Craig Hoiseth, the executive director of CHEDA, about the language of the grant being presented to the Ways and Means Committee. He was specifically referring to the eligibility portion of the program, which was stating that non-profits were not eligible. Referencing the latest CHEDA board meeting he thought it had been changed to allow them to apply. Hoiseth confirmed that there were some edits on the language and that still needed to be updated but was hoping to get the financing process started while they worked on those changes to be able to roll the program out in a timely manner. The transfer from the general reserve fund will now go to City Council for final approval.

The committee also discussed giving CHEDA a discretionary fund for new programs so that they wouldn’t have to come to the committee and council both to request money be made available and to request the resolution to enact the final program. This would allow CHEDA to plan a program knowing they had the funds and only bring the completed program up to the committee and council.

It was determined that the Lagoons land lease is for agricultural purposes only, the tenant is not allowed to hunt and should be reporting any hunters on the property to law enforcement. Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier also responded to a concern raised by Bobby Baird about ATV side by sides. Biermaier said operators are to follow the same laws as snowmobiles. They are not allowed to be ridden around town unless it is the shortest distance to a gas station and back or the shortest distance to get out of town.

There was also a discussion on the hangar rental rates at the municipal airport, whether they were covering expenses. City Finance Director Angel Weasner said she didn’t have a complete analysis, but what she does have shows that utility costs are not reaching what the city is currently taking in. New hangers were also discussed, and Weasner explained the airport can’t build any new hangers until they have an approved airport master plan by FAA. That process will be started in 2019 and completed in 2020, so the city is at least two years away from having the ability to expand.





On Tuesday at approximately 6:06 p.m., the Polk County Sheriff’s office responded to a two car injury accident in Keystone Township (east of East Grand Forks). A 2016 Subaru Legacy and a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix were involved in head on crash on Polk County Road 20 and 110th Street Southwest. The driver of the Pontiac, Brady Skallet 21 years old from Thief River Falls, was checked out by ambulance for minor injuries. The driver of the Subaru, Jeremy Burwell 42 years old of Grand Forks ND, was arrested for suspicion of DWI and an outstanding warrant.
Assisting agencies were Crookston Area Ambulance and the Minnesota State Patrol.  This case is still under investigation and no further information will be released at this time.




Each month Superintendent Jeremy Olson writes a letter to the editor of sorts. Below is this months article-

We are now well into our third week of school here at Crookston Public Schools. The beginning of the school year always brings a level of excitement and newness as students return to the buildings. In Principal Oliver’s words this time of year is “heartwarming” as our staff meet our students and we begin to move forward together on our educational journey.
Here are a couple of things that I would like to highlight as we begin this year:
Our enrollment is at 1,124 students this year at the beginning of the year with some very strong numbers in our Preschool Program, which is encouraging as we look to the future. There is no doubt that we are a smaller school than we were five or even ten years ago; however, being smaller allows us to be more nimble as we move forward together.
Crookston Public Schools has been in talks with the City of Crookston about the ownership of the pool which we both agree is a valuable community asset. We have been talking about which organization is best positioned to run the pool not only now but also in the future. I am very thankful to  Crookston’s representatives for the candid conversation and the ability to lay our cards on the table and talk about what is best for Crookston. Both the city and the school district want each other to succeed and want to be responsible stewards of our resources. Regardless of where this conversation goes, I am proud to live in a community with so many forward thinking individuals who truly want to make our community a better place for our families and residents.
The Crookston School Board’s Long Range Planning Committee has been busy working on our next steps towards the possibility of a new Bus Garage for Crookston Public School. Our current Bus Garage is, without spending too much ink on the subject, inadequate both to our current needs and for the future needs of the district. We are looking at our options and next steps from a planning perspective.
As I reported at a recent School Board Meeting, Crookston Public Schools is off to a strong start. I hope this trend continues as we progress into this academic year. We are continuously working as a staff to make Crookston Public Schools better for our kids and families. Here are a couple of things that I would like to highlight.
Highland School was identified as a school that is performing above expectations in both reading and math in a recent article by the Star Tribune entitled “Beating the Odds.” We are incredibly proud of our staff and students for their work to achieve beyond expectations. Highland continues to showcase what can happen when leadership, passion, instruction, and parent support come together.
Mike Geffre will be inducted into the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame in October. This is a great honor for Coach Geffre who has served our Crookston Public Schools as a Tennis Coach since 1986! We are incredibly proud of his accomplishment and wish him well as he receives this great honor. Congrats to Coach Geffre!
Learning how to serve others is crucial to the building of our students character. I would advocate that above all things, our students should possess strong character. I am incredibly proud of the Crookston Football players and the CHS Leo Club for giving back to their community by demonstrating the character pillar of service by serving one of our community members. This is a demonstration of what it means to be Pirate Proud!
As we look towards the horizon as a district, there are three major topics that I see before us this year: Pool Facility, Bus Garage Planning, and improving student achievement. The School Board has been proactively working on these items as we continue to map our next steps as a district. As many of you know, we are working with our partners at the city to determine our next steps with the pool as we all see this as a valuable resource to the community. We continue to look at our options for a bus garage and what our next steps will be as we begin this conversation. We are also working in conjunction with our administrators on how to better serve our kids and families. We know that academic achievement is paramount to why we exist as a school and therefore want to continue to improve our outcomes and support our students. In all of these topics, we want to be intentional and move with purpose so as to best serve our students.
To say that I am proud of this district would be an understatement. We have things to work on as is true with any district in the state; however, we have so many positive things taking place in our schools. When I walk the halls of our various schools, I have been happy with what I am seeing. I am proud of the staff at Crookston Public Schools for their commitment to supporting our students and families. As we move into this school year, my hope is that we will move forward together. If you ever need to contact me, please feel free to call my cell 218-770-8717, email me at, or follow me on twitter @CrookstonSupt for updates on Crookston School. Thank you to our community for your support of Crookston Public Schools. We have great students, working with great staff, doing great things everyday.

Pirate Pride!
Jeremy Olson




The Crookston Lions Club has been busy doing vision screening for children at area daycares. Screenings are in conjunction with MD5M Lions KidSight and the Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation. Vision screening produces images of a child’s eyes to determine the presence of eye disorders including far- and near-sightedness, in addition, astigmatism, anisometropia (unequal refractive power), strabismus, (misaligned eyes), and media opacities (e.g., cataracts) which may result in amblyopia (lazy eye).  No physical contact is made with a child and no eye drops are used during the vision screening.  This screening is approximately 85-90% effective in detecting problems that can cause reduced vision.
The screening itself can take anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds to get a good reading.  The screener gives a pass or referral for each child once it’s complete.  Approximately 10% of the children screened usually get a referral to take back to their eye care professional for a more thorough exam.  Participation is voluntary. The screening is designed for pre-school-aged children and children who are younger than 6-months old will not be screened and no child will be screened without a signed and completed consent form. Each individual child needs his/her own consent form. There are no foreseeable risks to participating in the Lions KidSight vision screening.

The locations where the Crookston Lions conducted the screenings were: Sunrise Center at Cathedral school, Little Villagers at the Summit, Auntie Em’s, and the Early Childhood Development Center at UMC.  “We do plan on contacting and setting up events at in-home daycares in the future, and upon request,” said Crookston Lions Club member Aaron Horak.  “We screened 46 kids ages 9 months to 7 years old with only one referral!  The feedback we got from all of the daycare providers was very positive and said they for sure would love to do another event next year.”
The Crookston Lions Club hasn’t put on an event like this before, but because of new screening devices purchased and loaned out to the group from the district MD5M Lions the Crookston Lions members are excited to start fulfilling their international cause of preventing blindness, restore eyesight, improve eye health and eye care for the Crookston community at large.

Aaron Horak and Crookston Lions President Angel Weasner and her son Deklyn doing a screening at Auntie Em’s on Wednesday.





We Are Water workshops will be held in a variety of locations throughout our region in September and October. In a similar spirit to our Equality and Respect for All workshops, participants will be provided a 12×12 canvas, supplies and instruction to create a piece of art around this theme of water. Participants are encouraged to bring snippets or photographs or anything else they might want to use as material, medium, or inspiration. There is no cost to attend, but RSVPs are required.
This is a fun interactive activity for a group of people who gather monthly for a meeting. Does your group or club have an October meeting that you would like to combine with an outing to explore the topic of We Are Water on canvas? You must RSVP so we have enough art supplies and canvas.
44 canvas pieces of completed artwork will be exhibited at our gallery in November and December and will move to the University of Minnesota Crookston in mid-January. The artwill also be included in a catalogue of the exhibit. A reception will be held on Friday, January 25 at UMC.

The workshop schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, October 2 in Thief River Falls from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Riverwalk Public House. (The TRF Community Theater group will be the primary participants at this workshop but others can attend, too.)
Thursday, October 4 in Fosston at the Fosston Civic Center
Tuesday, October 9 in Crookston at the Crookston Library
Wednesday, October 17 in Red Lake Falls at the Red Lake Falls Library
Tuesday, October 23 in Hallock at the Hallock Public Library
Monday, October 29 in East Grand Forks at the Campbell Library
Tuesday, October 30 in Greenbush at the Greenbush Public Library
All times 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Please call 218-745-9111 or email Stephanie ( or Mara ( to sign up or schedule additional workshops.





The Crookston School Board met in the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra room on Monday evening and approved the preliminary tax levy, student fundraising, and heard from Crookston High School Principal about a partnership with Polk County Public Health to inform students of the dangers of vaping.

The first topic of the meeting was the approval of the bills and the preliminary Property Tax Levy at 5.2%, which is the state max.  Last year the Crookston School District decreased their levy by 4% for the 2018 fiscal year and they set the preliminary levy for 2019 at the max to have a little wiggle room when making decisions.  Crookston Schools Superintendent Jeremy Olson said most of the schools, around 95% set the preliminary levy at the max to give maximum flexibility and Crookston is following suit. “The reason we do that is that serves as the cap for the December levy, which is traditional to what we have done every year,” said Olson. “Basically, that gives us the most flexibility moving forward as the levy is adjusted because from this position on, we will get about 100 renditions of the levy from the state of Minnesota.”  The actual levy could be changed to a lower number when they officially set the levy in December.
Olson said the main reason the levy was down 4% last year is due to integration funding the district was receiving for the first time.   Olson also added that 30% of the Crookston School District funding comes from the local tax levy while 70% comes from the state.

The second item of discussion was during the personnel items.  The board approved the hiring of Melanie Wahl as a Learning Readiness Instructor at Washington School.  The board also approved the contract with Crookston High School Guidance Counselor Ray Latovsky and Crookston Activities Director/Dean of Students Greg Garmen.  The board also approved a teacher contract with Josh Hardy as a Phy Ed instructor at Crookston High School. “Josh’s job has changed a bit from last year as he will no longer be the Dean of Students and transparency standpoint we wanted to showcase that to the school board,” said Olson. “The reason we do those two contracts separately is because they have additional days for the counselor and for Greg as the Dean of Students/Activities Director.”

The board approved the 2018-19 student fundraising requests.  The board approved the requests and some of the new requests were from the Junior Class prom, LEO Club and 50/50 raffles during sporting events.  Crookston School Board member Dave Davidson asked if this was the only time fundraising requests can be approved and Superintendent Olson said they can approve them anytime, but they try to have staff turn in all fundraising requests at once, so the board doesn’t have to approve requests at every meeting.

The last part of the meeting was reports from the school principals and superintendent.  Crookston High School Principal Eric Bubna said they are going to have Polk County Public Health come into the school to discuss vaping with the kids to inform and educate them on vaping and the dangers and unknowns of vaping.  “We want to make sure our students are informed as to what is it they are doing, what the risks are and there is a lot of misconceptions out there about vaping,” said Bubna. “I felt we need to address this with the students and a lot of times it is nice to have another adult that they’re not use to seeing and an expert in their area so the kids don’t feel like it is their teacher ragging on them so I gave Polk County Public Health a call and Sarah Reese was great to work with and she said she could get a couple staff and they have helped us come up with a curriculum to deliver to the kids in their classroom.”  Bubna added that a note will be going home to the parents to inform them of what they are doing and talking about and one big misconception about vaping is the kids think it is harmless. “A lot of kids think it is just water vapor and that’s just not accurate.  Almost 100 percent of them have nicotine in them and the amount of nicotine in them is really, really high and the flavors are popular, and all those flavors come from chemicals,” said Bubna. “One thing we know is the nicotine is extremely harmful to you and I can’t tell you the exact amount, but one of the vapes has a pack full of nicotine in it.  I am not naïve enough to think we do this, and it will all go away, but I think we do our due diligence so these kids know what they are doing, because they don’t.”

Olson said it has been a great start to the school year and they are looking to see if the Alternative Learning Center can be reimagined to make it more effective.

The School Board will have a long-term planning committee meeting on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m.  The board will also have a negotiations meeting with the paraprofessionals on Monday, October 1 and the next regular school board meeting will be Monday, October 8.





The Crookston City Council met Monday night in the council chambers at City Hall. The consent agenda, which passed unanimously, included approving the previous meetings minutes and the following resolutions; to approve City of Crookston bills and disbursements in the amount of $204,224.52, to call for a public hearing for the DEED Small Cities grant progress and performance, to approve partial payment estimates and to renew the Cash Farm Lease for the Lagoons area.  There was a quick question asked by Councilman Bobby Baird on whether the lease included the ability to hunt the land, and it was decided to discuss the uses of the land in the lease during the Ways and Means Committee meeting.

The regular agenda included two topics, a resolution to approve and adopt the Downtown Master Plan and introduction of an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 11, “Land Use Regulation” for a change to the zoning map.
The Downtown Master Plan was the topic and immediately saw a motion to remove it from the agenda and send it back to the Ways and Means Committee by Tom Vedbraaten.  He said it doesn’t make sense to have this plan in place when the city has been working on things in direct contrast to what’s proposed in the document.  He cited an example that the City has discussed purchasing the land the Downtown Square sits on, yet the master plan would have that moved to between the library and cathedral.
Councilman Jake Fee seconded the motion and Mayor Wayne Melbye said it would be discussed in the Ways and Means Committee following Council with the idea to bring it back to the next council meeting.  “The master plan is something that we’re going to be using for the next five or 10 years, so you do want to spend a little more time on it,” said Melbye.  “It’s a culmination of different committees, citizens and surveys that have been put together and this is the direction we want to see Crookston go.” KROX will have more about the discussion of the downtown master plan during the Ways and Means Committee during the Wednesday news. 

The council unanimously approved the progress of the ordinance amending the zoning map.  The amendment will have a second reading and be opened for discussion from the public at the next council meeting. 

The mayor also read a proclamation naming the week of October 1 to October 7 Minnesota Manufacturing Week in the City of Crookston.  During the week there will be four days of manufacturing tours in Crookston aimed at connecting the workforce with manufacturing employers.  The council also hear d from Marty Seifert, from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, about some of the issues facing child care in the state and were encouraged to add their voice to the efforts to move the legislative agenda at the state level to deregulate aspects of child care. Although statistics vary slightly, the number of in-home child care providers has dropped significantly in the past few years leading to what some are now calling a child care crisis in rural Minnesota.
Most department heads didn’t have any news of note to report to the council, although the council did hear that the next step in the process to complete the repaving of South Ash Street and the 5th Avenue work should progress next week.

Tim Froeber, Crookston Fire Chief, announced Brian Halos had turned in his two-week notice as a full-time firefighter.  Halos’ last day on shift is Wednesday and his last day on staff will be Friday.  Halos served 20 years as a full-time firefighter and spent seven years as an on-call firefighter.  There will be an open house for Halos on October 2 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Froeber also updated the council that Fire Prevention Week is October 7 to October 13 and the Crookston Fire Department will hold their annual open house on October 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Main Station.






Voters will have an opportunity to learn more about the candidates running for the District #593 School Board, Crookston City Council. Mayoral Candidates, Polk County Sheriff, and Minnesota House District 1B at Forum on Monday, October 1. The Meet the Candidates Forum, jointly sponsored by the Crookston Area Chamber and the University of Minnesota, Crookston will be held in Kiehle Auditorium on the UMC campus. If you can’t make it to the forum, KROX Radio will be taping the program and playing it at a date to be determined.  

The Forum, which begins at 5:30 pm, will include five moderated segments. The School Board candidates will lead off at 5:35 pm, followed by the City Council candidates, the Mayoral Candidates, followed by the Polk County Sheriff Candidates and concluding with Minnesota District 1B candidates. 

Six candidates vying for the seats on the School Board are Patty Dillabough, Tim Dufault, Marcia Meine, Jim McBride, Adrianne Winger and Katya Zepeda.

There are 10 candidates running for a City Council position. Steve Erickson Ward 2, Don Cavalier Ward 4, Sharon Lewis Ward 4, Cindy Gjerswold Ward 6. Four candidates are running for At-Large positions, they are Trent Brekken, Dylane Klatt, Joe, Kresl, Kelly Shea and Tom Vedbraaten.

Five candidates will be looking to fill the Mayoral position. They are Dean Adams, Clayton Briggs, Dana Johnson, Guy Martin, and Dale Stainbrook.

Two candidates are running for Polk County Sheriff. Randy Sondrol and Jim Tadman.

We will close the evening with Minnesota 1B District candidates, Deb Kiel, and Brent Lindstrom.

The Chamber and UMC are coordinating plans for the Meet the Candidates Forum, which is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Crookston Area Chamber at 281-4320.




The Crookston Marching Band marches in the homecoming parade for the 53rd Annual Potato Bowl in Grand Forks on Saturday. (Pictures by Colleen MacRae)





Story by University of Minnesota Crookston University Relations

Last fall Ethan Johnson started thinking about law school. This fall, he took the entrance exam and is applying for gap year employment. Johnson, a senior double major in business management and communication, always thinks ahead.
He started swinging golf clubs when he was 10 years old growing up in Roseau and played through high school. He was offered a scholarship to play for the Golden Eagles, and after visiting the University of Minnesota Crookston he knew it was the place for him.
As an early teen, Johnson started officiating basketball games, and once in college, took the training and continues to officiate on a full varsity schedule. He also manages the officials for intramurals on campus. In the summer, he runs his own painting business.
If all this activity wasn’t enough for the conscientious senior, Johnson serves as the representative to the Student Senate Consultative Committee (SSCC). He meets monthly with representatives from the system campuses to go over resolutions and determine which of them need to go to the Student Senate.
With a keen interest in politics, Johnson helped bring several legislators to campus last spring and hopes to do something similar next spring. “It was a great chance for us to talk about what matters to the students on our campus,” Johnson explains. “We are a big system and each of the campuses is different and our concerns are not always the same.”
It is no surprise that legal environment in business class has been one of his favorites. Taught by Judge Tamara Yon, Johnson enjoys her teaching style, her real life examples, and the way she allows students to absorb what she teaches and ask questions before moving on in a lecture.
He recognizes the value of being involved on campus and its importance in connecting students to one another and to faculty, staff, and the community. “One of the most valuable things about going to school here is that if you just try to be involved, there are an absurd number of opportunities here for students,” he says. “All you have to do is try and you will find something.”
The other aspect he enjoys about the Crookston campus is knowing someone in every single class.
Right now, he and his golf teammates are getting ready for their fall tournaments. With a split schedule, Johnson will have four or five tournaments this fall and four or five in the spring including the conference tournament.
“Golf has taught me to prioritize,” he reflects. “As an athlete, and especially a golfer, you have to invest, work hard, and then, not beat yourself up when it doesn’t go your way. Golf is a head game.”
Whether he is officiating, playing golf, or serving on SSCC, it is a sense of fairness that matters to Johnson. He places a high priority on working ethically and fairly in everything he does. Maybe that is what his high school teachers saw in him and recommended he consider law.
Whether he decides law school is for him or he chooses something completely different, Johnson will bring his best to everything he does in the game of life.





On September 23, at approximately 10:58 a.m. the Grand Forks Police Department was notified of a robbery that had occurred several minutes prior at 2002 South Washington Street.  The location is the Orton’s Cenex Gas Station.
The suspect was described as a black male wearing a black t-shirt, light gray sweater, black jeans, black tennis shoes and a black mask over the bottom half of his face.  The male was estimated as being 5’6” tall and having a slim build. The employee stated that the suspect was in possession of a handgun.  The suspect was able to steal the till and fled the scene on foot.  No employees were injured in the incident.
Upon arrival officers established a perimeter and used a K-9 to track the suspect.  The subject was not located but the till was recovered.
This is an active investigation.  Anyone who may have information on the matter is asked to contact Detective Buzzo or Detective Freeman at 701-787-8000. 






Homecoming festivities will be held at the University of Minnesota Crookston the weekend of September 28-30, and this year’s activities feature something for everyone. The theme for Homecoming 2018 is “There’s No Place Like Homecoming.”
Recognition of the Outstanding Alumni and the induction ceremony for the Athletic Hall of Fame will be held during the annual Alumni Awards Celebration on Friday, September 28. The social begins at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m., followed by the program in the Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. Contact Rose Ulseth at 218-281-8439 (
to make a reservation.
The 2018 honorees include this year’s Outstanding Alumni Award recipients: Nancy Capistran ’71, ’92, ’01; Wayne Freimund ’81 and Peggy Lee Hilton ’68. Inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame are Ken Bond ’96, football and Chancellor Emeritus Charles H. Casey.
Following the Alumni Awards Celebration, an alumni social will be held at 9 p.m
. at Draft’s Sports Bar & Grill, 925 Fisher Ave, Crookston.
At 9 a.m. on Saturday, the baseball pressbox will be dedicated on the Baseball Field followed at 10:30 a.m. by Teambacker Tailgating at the north end of the football field. Food will be catered by Erickson Smokehouse with music by Four Wheel Drive.
Golden Eagle Football kicks off against Augustana at 1 p.m. on Ed Widseth Field, and at 4 p.m., Golden Eagle Women’s Volleyball takes on Sioux Falls in Lysaker Gymnasium.
From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., alumni and friends are welcome to gather for a social at the Crookston Inn and the Class of 1968/69 will hold their 50th reunion party at the Irishman’s Shanty.
Sunday concludes the week of homecoming activities with an alumni softball game at 9 a.m. and a Golden Eagle Women’s Soccer game vs. Sioux Falls at 1 p.m. on the Soccer Field.
For all homecoming events and activities, visit





The Crookston School Board will meet at 5:00 p.m. Monday in the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra Room.  The agenda includes the approval of the preliminary property tax levy and student fundraising requests. The board will also vote to approve the following personal, Melanie Wahl as Learning Readiness Instructor at Washington Elementary School, teacher contract with Ray Lutovsky (Guidance Counselor at Crookston High School), teacher contract with Greg Garmen (Activities Director/Dean of Students), and a teacher contract with Joshua Hardy (Phy ED Instructor at Crookston High School).
The board will get reports from Crookston High School Principal Eric Bubna, Highland School Principal Chris Trostad, Washington School Principal Denice Oliver and Superintendent Jeremy Olson. 
The next regular board meeting will be Monday, October 8 at 5:00 p.m.





The Crookston City Council will meet Monday at 7:00 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall. 
The City Council meeting agenda includes the consent agenda includes approving the previous meetings minutes, resolution to approve City of Crookston bills and disbursements in the amount of $204,224.52, resolution to call for a public hearing for the DEED Small Cities grant progress and performance, a resolution approving partial payment estimates and a resolution to renew Cash Farm Lease for Lagoons area.
The regular agenda has two items. The first is a resolution to approve and adopt the Downtown Master Plan originally presented to City Council nearly a year ago.  And introduction of an ordinance amendment to City Code Chapter 11, “Land Use Regulation” for a change to the zoning map.

The Ways & Means Committee meeting will follow immediately after the City Council meeting in the council chambers.
The Ways & Means committee will meet in open session with two agenda items, the approval/amendment of the September 10 meeting reports and the Building Better Business (B3) grant program.  B3, was amended an approved to go to council by the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority board last week. 
After the open session, the Ways and Means Committee will go into a closed session for Law Enforcement union labor negotiations.    





Crookston has been nominated for the Minnesota Football Community of the year and the Pirate football and the community could benefit.  The Minnesota Vikings and their co-sponsors are in the fourth year teaming up to name the Minnesota Football Program of the Year.  Past winners include Caledonia and Marshal, while the Pirates are hoping to bring the honors north this year. 
The winning team will receive $10,000 for their program that will be presented at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 16 at the Vikings game vs. the Miami Dolphins.  The town also receives a two-day takeover by the Vikings that will include appearances by the mascot, Viktor, cheerleaders and players.  Other benefits include:
-InSports Youth Clinic
-Play 60 School Assembly
-Player Autograph Sessions
-Silent Auction – funds benefiting community Booster Club
-Award recognition at Minnesota Football Honors
-Business Luncheon

Alicia Berhow, who has two sons in the Crookston football program, nominated Crookston for the competition.  She hopes the community will help the Crookston receive the honor as Minnesota Football Community of the Year.  “We have a better chance of winning if we can get as many people in the community as possible to use the hashtag, #MNFootballCommunity,” she said.
The community can get involved by using social media to post about the Pirates.  Posts can cover a wide variety of areas, not just the Pirates activities on the field, but their success in the classroom, service and involvement in the community and many other topics as the winning team is not judged solely on playing the game, but on their community involvement, leadership and dedication as well.  The competition runs now through early November. 





The Airport Commission met Friday morning at the Crookston Municipal Airport.  The discussion focused on two main topics, the completion of the fuel project and master planning. 
The fuel system project is essentially complete, there are a few punch list items that will need to be addressed, such as an electric anti-siphon valve, to wrap work up.  The final cost is expected to come in just under budget.  “We had projected $327,000," said Crookston Finance Director Angel Weasner. "It looks like we’ll be around $324,000 for the entire project that allowed up to have on-site fuel available for purchase.”
The city recently received notification from the FAA that their master plan needed to be replaced.  The FAA requires airports to update their master plan every 20 years.  The master plan is a multi-year project and will need to contain an additional GIS survey, something that wasn’t required when the last master plan was created.  Expected cost for the master plan will be around $300,000 over two years.   

A big part of master planning is looking for future growth areas and the commission spent some time discussing possible changes they may want to investigate for the master planning process. “We’re always looking forward, we’ve had several discussions about replacing the arrival/departure building and moving it,” said Weasner.  “We talked about private hangers, replacing the runway, expanding for more airplanes and increasing weight for larger airplanes.” Another topic of discussion for the future was the possibility for expansion into drone flight.  Currently, unmanned aircraft require a chase plane, but with the possibility that could change in the future, drone flight may be something more current and future tenants would look to explore.

                           The Crookston Municipal Airport




The Crookston quickly began to rally around the family of Jackson Seibel as news of his diagnosis spread throughout the community.  Seibel, a 2018 graduate from Crookston High School and the son of Jess and Garrett Bengston, was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma earlier this month and quickly began to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
While at club baseball practice at Minnesota State University Moorhead, Jackson knew something was off because he wasn’t throwing as hard as he normally does, however, he thought he might have thrown out his shoulder.  The next morning, feeling worse, he went in to the doctor and they found masses in Jackson’s chest that would be diagnosed as cancer.
Immediately those connected to Jackson and his family began working on ways to support them.  The Crookston High School’s Leo Club quickly put together two 50/50 raffles the week after his diagnosis raising more the $1,100 to help with medical costs.  Linda Morgan, youth service’s director at Crookston High School said they will be holding a couple of fundraisers at the school, including a contest to raise the most money in among the different classes during prime time, the second for an event on October 2.  “We’re working on the contest within the school and then working with Melanie Lessard on a big fundraiser here at the school,” said Morgan. “We’ll have a baked potato and cookie for a free will offering, another 50/50 and a couple of other raffles.”
The fundraiser will be from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Crookston High School.  The Crookston Firefighter’s Association and Crookston Reds are both sponsoring raffles at the fundraiser.




The Golden Link Senior Center in Crookston recently wrapped up an 11 day bus trip to Boston. 84 people attended and Patty Dillabough said they had beautiful weather for their trip. "The group visited Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Gloucester, JFK Library and Museum, Coast of Massachusetts, “Cheers bar”, Cape Ann, Lexington, Salem, Revolution War, Concord, Freedom Trail and much more," said Dillabough. "It was a great trip and everyone enjoyed themselves."  Some pictures from the sights are below.

The Gold Link tour checking out the sights in Boston and the area, including a tour of the USS Constitution.





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