The group that canoed the Red Lake River in Crookston on Wednesday with Commissioner Ehlinger (Picture submitted by Sarah Reese)

Dr. Edward Ehlinger, Minnesota Health Commissioner spent Wednesday in Crookston with Polk County Public Health staff and other members of the health organizations in the county.  Ehlinger started the day out by canoeing the Red Lake River.  “I’m going to communities around the state and mainly pitching horseshoes because you have to be physically active, like playing golf, canoeing down the river with city, health and county officials we were working as we traveled the Red Lake River,” said Ehlinger, who liked the energy at Castle Park. “The kids with the sparkle in their eyes as they climbing, jumping, pushing and pulling, doing imaginative things with branches, logs, stones, creating items with simple things and having a ball and the adults had a sparkle in their eyes when they remembered their childhood.”

Obesity is a concern throughout the state and the nation.  “We are still a heavy state, but we bent the curve and started to plateau on obesity and are maintaining our weight and not getting fatter and fatter like the neighboring states,” said Dr. Ehlinger.  “The State Health Improvement Program helps along with other programs.  We are working on policy, system and environmental changes because if you have a place to exercise, walk or bike you will do it if it is a safe neighborhood.  If you have access to community gardens or farmer’s market you are more likely to eat better food so we are changing so people can make healthy choices.”

With school about to start parents need to prepare their children.  “First, I hope they have been doing something for a long time by reading, talk, give them multiple experiences in the community,  get them immunized,  have a safe route to school to walk or bike, model the fact that education, nutrition and physical activity are all important,” said Dr. Ehlinger.

The community needs to take advantage of the University of Minnesota located in Crookston.   “Having the university in your town adds to the economic climate which improves the health as more financial resources make people more healthy, engage the faculty in the community as well as the students, “ said Dr. Ehlinger, who said he enjoyed his visit to Crookston. “I learned a lot about the good stuff going on in Crookston and Polk County.  They have really good staff working hard to collaborate with other groups and agencies and that makes everyone healthier.”

Dr. Ehlinger reminded the crowd at the downtown square that Wednesday was the anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment that gave the women the right to vote  which he said changed the country as women got involved in protecting the health of their families and the mortality rate dropped.

Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen and Ehlinger paddling down the Red Lake River (Picture submitted by Sarah Reese)



The Crookston InMotion River and Trails Active Living Group met on Tuesday and went over the action items.  The action items were the following:

1.  Identify a medium time length route for river paddling. “We currently use the drop in spot at Highway 2 and Highway 9 east of town which takes about an hour and 15 minutes,” said Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen. “The Gentilly Bridge east of Crookston has been identified as the best location. This route takes a little over three hours to paddle.  We are working with Polk County, Minnesota DNR and Oliver’s Canoe Outfitters on a proposal to improve the site for paddlers.”
2.  Improve river access in town. “We are working to develop a portage area around the rock rapids in town,” said Stassen. “We also are identifying other spots that would be good for fishing piers, and primitive drop in points.
3. Increase signage for trails, parking and rules for parks and natural areas. “DeAndra O’Connell has identified some key locations for signage and we will continue the work,” said Stassen.
4.  Have a paddle or hiking day to create awareness of opportunities in Crookston.  “A group of people hiked through Castle Park and into the Kreutzberg property near the Hwy 75 bypass. The loop is about 2.5 miles,” said Stassen.  “The Crookston Park Department has recently cleared the path to make it more passable. We have improvements to make that will enhance that route even more that will be done in the future.”

The group is working with the Department of Natural Resources and local groups and businesses to connect trails throughout the city and area.




Chances are you take your vehicle in for routine oil changes and maintenance every so often to keep everything running smoothly and to catch the start of any problems that could arise. Do you do the same maintenance for your health?
Health maintenance refers to activities that preserve an individual’s present state of health and that prevent disease or injury occurrence. Health maintenance focuses on known potential health risks and seeks to prevent them, or identify them early so that intervention can occur.
Routine health maintenance is an important component of primary care medicine. Studies show that building a relationship with a health care provider and having periodic screenings can improve your overall health. Studies also prove that early detection can save lives. But do you know what tests and immunizations you need at age 50, 60, 70 and beyond?
If you are 50 or older or love someone who is 50 or older you will want to take in RiverView Health’s August 31 Health Luncheon, “Health Maintenance and Immunizations after 50.’’ RiverView Family Nurse Practitioner Tia Gullickson will explain the recommendations for primary care and prevention at the Monday event. She will also share the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for immunizations for those over 50. Remember, immunizations are not just for kids.
The luncheon will be held in Meeting Room #1 beginning at noon. Meeting Room #1 is located near the RiverView Clinic entrance on the north side of the hospital and across from the elevators on first floor.
The luncheon series is in its 17 year of sponsorship by RiverView Health. All men and women interested in improving their health are invited to attend. Each luncheon starts a few minutes past noon and luncheons are kept under one hour so those needing to return to work can attend. The presentations are free and attendees can bring their own lunches or purchase a healthy, boxed lunch for $3.00. Pre-registration is required and boxed lunch orders must be placed at the time of pre-registration. Call Holly Anderson at 281-9745 or toll free 1-800-743-6551, extension 9745, for additional information and to pre-register.





Missionaries Todd and Andria Ellingson and their family will be visiting in the Crookston area from August 28-September 21. Todd is the son of Bud and Judy Ellingson and a 1983 Crookston Central graduate. Todd and Andria moved to Rwanda Africa in 2010 and, shortly thereafter, started City of Joy Rwanda, an official non-governmental organization. City of Joy Rwanda's mission is "to educate the community to be followers of Jesus" - from the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. Andria, a Phoenix native, taught kindergarten for six years in the Madison School District, Phoenix, and has her Masters in Early Childhood Education. Todd was in full-time pastoral ministry for 20 years with a major in Bible Studies and a minor in Youth Work. The Ellingsons have two children, Ellaand Zebadiah, both born in Rwanda and are expecting their 3rd child in December. City of Joy lives out its mission of loving God and others as followers of Jesus Christ primarily via two avenues: Joy Christian School and Joy Christian Church. Joy Christian School is a private institution with 163 elementary students, plus a sewing school for young adults. The elementary school is committed to its original 163 students and their families to walk beside these children through their entire educational journey for the next 10-15 years, whether they seek a university degree or a vocational training track. It will be exciting to see what God will do in the lives of these students who will have received a quality, Christ-centered education like none other in Rwanda. Andria uses her background in education to set up the curriculum for the school and serves as an advisor to the teachers. The vocational training school focuses on sewing and helping its students develop skills to start their own sewing business. Over 70 students have graduated from the one-year program with more and more success stories. Developing a neighborhood church finally became a reality in August, 2015, when Joy Christian Church officially opened its doors. Discipleship is the cornerstone of this worshiping community as it aims to develop fully-devoted followers of Jesus through weekly worship, small group so and deliberate spiritual growth. A full- time, local pastor is on staff and serves as pastor of Joy Christian Church and as the chaplain for the school. City of Joy is in the middle of a $150,000 capital campaign called *Growing with Joy' 'to build structures and purchase land to set the stage for future growth. They have a 9-member Board of Directors in the USA who manage the City of Joy's finances and help set up goals for the organization. Please visit http://www.cifvofjoyrwanda.ore/ to find out more information about City of Joy Rwanda. Todd and Andria will be available to speak at your church or organization while they are in Crookston and can be reached at28l-5440 to set up a date.




Don Desroiser, 75, stands next to his homemade trailer that he uses to mow grass and haul his Walker mower in. Don just recently replaced the engine in the 1996 mower – “2,200 hours on it and it finally blew,” said Don smiling. “The tag on the old engine said, rebuild at 350 hours – I just kept going”. And go he did: the mower is 19 years old and he has replaced gears, belts, tires, normal wear and tear things. But getting six times the use out of the motor is something he didn’t expect. “I am religious in changing the oil” he said. He has 15 places to mow, although he used to mow 25, but he had to cut back because of the five Crookston Times paper routes. Five paper routes!  He is also on the board of the Chautauqua French Festival in Red Lake Falls. He blows snow in the winter for people. Don has retained his boiler’s license so he can fill-in when he is needed at the Mount and other businesses in Crookston. “I keep it (boiler’s license) up to date”.  Give Don a friendly wave next time you see him, but don’t talk to long… he’s busy!  (Picture and story by Rand Hughes)





King of Trails Market Day, will be Saturday, September 12.  Crookston’s Marketplace will be one of many held that day along Highway 75’s 411 mile route, promoted as “400 miles of great bargains”. Highway 75 was designated as the Historic King of Trails by the Minnesota legislature in 2002, and designated as a Minnesota Scenic Byway in 2004. The King of Trails Scenic Byway is the newest Byway in the state.
The Chamber is looking for vendors who may be interested in setting up a booth and selling their wares.  Anything goes; flea market vendors, antique dealers, people selling rummage sale items, church groups as well as arts and crafts people are wanted.
We are also hoping local residents will participate in the annual city-wide garage sale. Maps will be provided to the public with the addresses of the garage sales along with hours of operation. They will be distributed at the marketplace as well local gas stations. We will be promoting the market in the surrounding communities as well as the Fargo-Moorhead and Grand Forks areas, so take advantage of this opportunity.
There is no charge to list your garage sale. Just call or e-mail the Chamber Office with your information.
The Marketplace will be held at the Central Downtown Square, but in case of forecasted rain or high winds it will move to the Main Arena at the Crookston Sports Center. 
Pre-registration is required for the Marketplace. The Cost is $25.00 for a 10’ x 10’ space if you register before September 5. Registering after that date the rate will be $30.00 per space. To reserve your space, contact the Crookston Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau at or call (218) 281-4320. 
For more information, contact Sandy Kegler at the Crookston Chamber Office at 218-281-4320 or email




The Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and heard from Sheriff Barb Erdman about the traffic expected during the sugar beet harvest, which has started with the pre-pile harvest going for the next month.  Sheriff Erdman is asking drivers to be aware of the activities going on around them as they work through the harvest.  “We want to remind the driving public and the farm drivers that there will be bigger equipment and trucks moving as the sugar beet pre-pile is underway,” said Sheriff Erdman. “Observe the speed limit and stop at the signs for a complete stop.  We want everyone to get through harvest safely, slow down, and we want all the driving public to be observant and expect the unexpected.”    
Farmers should be aware not to overload their trucks as commercial enforcement is working the area during the harvest.
The commissioners approved an emergency management grant contract with $23,799.00 and agreed to extend a temporary part time dispatch position through December. 
Polk County Public Health will receive $1,449.75 each quarter for the follow along program in Norman, Mahnomen and Polk County.  An emergency preparedness grant will bring in $67,369.00.
Polk County took in $254,811.19 from the 2014 gravel tax which will have $102,900 put in the bridge and road fund and $102,900.00 in the township road and bridge fund and $36,317.00 to be used for pit restoration.




Lisa Peterson and Nancy Vyskocil of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation came before the Polk County Commissioners on Tuesday with a request for support.  The request is to have an appropriation to support the work of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.  “This is the first time we have made such a request to all the counties in our region to support the work of the foundation,” said Vyskocil, president of the Northwest Foundation.  “Throughout the state the other foundations have gotten support from the counties and now as things change we feel it is important to initiate to get support from the counties.”
Many organizations and agencies have gotten support from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.  “We have an excess of 40 funds in Polk County,” said Vsykocil. “We support the regional development commission that works in the county along with the CAP agency and many smaller organizations throughout the county.”
741 grants and scholarships were awarded in Polk County totaling $4,883,659.00 and business loans totaling $5,550,274.00 since the Foundation was started. All gifts to the Foundation are matched dollar for dollar by the McKnight Foundation.  The commissioners took no action the request by will review and discuss the request for financial support.




Back-to-school season is here. It’s time for parents to gather school supplies and back packs. It’s also the perfect time to make sure your children are up to date on their vaccines. Getting all of the recommended vaccines is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health, especially when they are in a setting like a school or a child care center where disease outbreaks can occur. Whether it’s a baby starting at a new child care facility, a toddler heading to preschool, a student going back to elementary, middle or high school – or even a college freshman – parents should check their child’s vaccine records.
When parents are preparing to send their child off to day care, school or college, it’s the perfect time to check if he or she is up to date on recommended vaccines.
Child care facilities, preschool programs, schools and colleges are highly susceptible to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Children can easily transmit illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, uncovered coughs, dense populations and other factors. When children aren’t vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their classrooms and communities. This includes babies too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.
Different states may require children who are entering child care or school to be vaccinated against certain diseases. Colleges and universities may have their own requirements, especially for students living in a dormitory. Now is the time for parents to check with their child’s doctor, school or the local health department to learn about the state requirements.
“Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to ensure a healthy future for their child,” said Nan Widseth, RN, PHN, LSN from Polk County Public Health. “If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check with your doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs.”
Vaccines protect against a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for diseases and can also spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community –including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions. Talk to your child’s doctor to find out which vaccines are recommended for them before going back to school. Parents can find out more about the recommended vaccines at or call your local clinic or Polk County Public Health at 218-281-3385.




The first day of school for Cathedral School will be Wednesday, September 2, allowing for a jumpstart on the school year. In partnership with school families, children will be dropped off each morning by 8:00am and picked up Wednesday and Thursday at 2:50pm and Friday at 12:30pm, due to no bussing those days.




TUESDAY - AUGUST 25,  2015


The Crookston School Board met on Monday and board member Tim Dufault found that there is some money available through the Crookston Education Foundation.  The foundation has a balance over $207,000 and some of the money has to be spent yearly.  “The Crookston Education Foundation has been in limbo for a few years and the Northwest Minnesota Foundation is the fiscal agent for the fund and I found a balance of $207,000,” said Dufault. “By law money has to be disbursed yearly so this year we need to spend $27,000 so we will get a committee active and in a few months we could write some checks.”   Teachers and staff will be able to apply to the Foundation for funds for special projects.

The board approved the employment of Amy Asman as a paraprofessional at the high school to fulfill a one year leave of absence. Jessica Curry was hired as a paraprofessional for the high school and Lila Vaughn resigned as a paraprofessional at Washington School.    
The board approved the repair estimate for the UMC press box windows where the school district pays half of the estimate of $9,600, so they will pay $4,800. 
The board set the Truth in Taxation Hearing for December 14 at 6:00 p.m.



Students are still registering at the schools in Crookston and Chris Trostad, Highland School Principal said they are ready for the start of school and any new students. “We have all the registration work in the computer and we are ready to roll. The building looks like new, teachers are in their rooms and working on the math and reading curriculum,” said Trostad.  “The parking lot has been paved and some repairs have been made and the playground has new pavement and the four squares have been painted.”  New students are filtering in daily to register and Trostad said they are happy to take them all.




The Crookston City Council set a public hearing for September 14 to receive public comment on the progress and performance of the grant application received from Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development small cities development program for funds to rehabilitate the Nimens-Espegard Apartments.  “DEED requires an annual hearing at the end of the project to inform the public how the project went, Nimens-Espegard has been doing rehab for the past year,” said Finance Director Angel Weasner.  There is another public hearing for September 14 for the assessment for project 948 Sanitary Sewer Line Repair at 601 Locken Boulevard.  “The resident had petitioned the council about a month and a half ago for the work required on the sewer outside his home and now we need to do an assessment on the property,” said Weasner.   

The council authorized the sale of Lot 4, block 3 of Barrette Estates to the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) and waived the building permit fee. “We are selling a lot to
CHEDA for the construction trades home to be built by the school district,” said Weasner.  The city of Crookston still has five lots available for the public to purchase with a $500 deposit.  The closing costs are about $1,100 and the $500 goes toward the building permit.  Anyone interested can contact Weasner at city hall to see the lots and get the information.”

The Planning Commission survey on the comprehensive plan for the city is on the City of Crookston website for residents to reply and an input meeting will be held on September 15 in the downtown square at 5:30 to receive comments from the residents.



The Crookston Fire Department has a memorial garden on the front of their building with a new statue they recently had commissioned to complete the project.  “We have two Dalmatian dogs (statues) in the garden, one from a lady leaving town.  They are sealed so kids can crawl on them.  We have a fire hydrant and more,” said Firefighter Shane Heldstab.  “Linda Cournia had seen a statue and brought it up to the Firefighters Association who brought it to the floor and after approval we got a design to get the slab and sod in place. We got the statue from S.D.J. Industries in Kellogg, Minnesota and picked it up and put it in place.” Contributors to the statue and the garden were Strata Corporation with the concrete, Northern Lumber with supplies, Ricard’s sod, Eickhof Columbaria, Total Lawn Care, Hardware Hank, Crookston Public Works, street and water division along with the Crookston Firefighters Association and their families and the Crookston Firefighters Local 3394 which is the fulltime firemen and their families.

     A view of the memorial garden from the street. (Pictures by Shane Heldstab)




Altru Clinic in Crookston is set to host its monthly Community Wellness Connection on Tuesday, September 1 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in its conference room. This month’s 30 minute presentation followed by a question and answer session is focused on Low Back Pain. Presenters include Dr. Makarem, internal medicine.  Call 281-9100 to register (minimum of 6). There is no charge for this session.




Large portions of Kittson, Roseau, Marshall and other northwestern counties still lack adequate access to broadband internet. Some businesses have even reported struggling to find an internet provider to connect them. To help remedy this situation which affects parts of many counties across the state – the state legislature appropriated $10.588 million to the Border to Border Broadband Infrastructure Grant program. Sen. LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Plummer) is urging groups in his district to apply for the broadband grant program. “Broadband is so critical to our economy, job growth and the ability to innovate – and in our corner of the state finding a way to connect can be a real struggle. The legislature appropriated these dollars because we realize that connecting broadband across our state is going to be expensive – but it’s also so important to communities. I encourage any company of organization thinking about expanding broadband to consider applying for this money,” said Sen. Stumpf. 
The application can be found on the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s website, here: Applications are being accepted now through September, 15 at 4:00 p.m.




MONDAY - AUGUST 24,  2015


The Crookston School Board will meet at 5:00 p.m. on Monday in the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra room. 
The agenda includes a resignation letter from Lila Vaughn, paraprofessional at Washington School, employment of Amy Asman as paraprofessional to fulfill the one year leave of absence at the high school, and employment of Jessica Curry as a paraprofessional at the high school. 
The main agenda has the first reading of Policy 427 on special education workload limits, set the truth in taxation hearing date, and discuss the University of Minnesota Crookston football press box window repair estimate. 
Highland School Principal Chris Trostad, Washington School Principal Denice Oliver, and superintendent Chris Bates will give reports to the board.  School Board member Tim Dufault will give an update on the education foundation. 
Visitors may share concerns at the beginning of the meeting or at the end of the meeting.




The Crookston City Council will meet on Monday in the city hall council chambers in the lower level of Crookston City Hall at 7:00 p.m.
Consent Agenda items include a resolution to approve bills and disbursements in the amount of $147,870.76.  There will be a resolution to set a public hearing date of September 14, 2015 to receive public comment on the progress and performance of the grant application received from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Small Cities Development program for funds to rehabilitate the Nimens-Espegard Apartments.
They will also have a resolution to set a public hearing for September 13, 2015 on the proposed assessment for sanitary sewer repair at 601 Locken Boulevard.
The council will be asked to approve the sale of property and to waive the building permit fee on Lot 4, block 3 in the Barrette Street Estates to the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority.
The meeting is open to the public and citizens may address the council with any questions, concerns and other items at the beginning of the meeting.
The Crookston Ways and Means Committee will meet after the meeting.




Crookston High School inducted the latest class to the Pirate Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Crookston High School.  Three former teachers who were also involved in extra-curricular activities including coaching , Kathy Bakken-Dryden, Jim Gunnerson and Herb Hasz and a former student who is now an accomplished author Tim Madigan were the newest inductees.  This year's ceremony was held on its own for the first time and was well attended and made possible through the sponsorships of KROX RADIO, Pirate Fine Arts Boosters, Crookston Baseball Association, Pirate Boosters, and Fitzgerald, Reynolds, and Harbott  PLLP.

Herb Hasz, Jim Gunnerson, Scott Kleven accepted for Tim Madigan, and Susan Mills accepted on behalf of Kathy Bakken-Dryden

Tim Madigan
Tim Madigan wrote his first book in 1968 when he was eleven years old. Every week in the autumn of that year, he scribbled down his account of the latest University of Minnesota football game in a notebook. Sales were modest.
But a love of books, words and writing never left released him, leading from his small-town Minnesota upbringing to a career writing newspaper stories and eventually books that were more formally published and found slightly larger audiences.
After college at the University of North Dakota, Tim worked as a sportswriter at a small paper in that state. Then came the cop beat in Odessa, Texas, and feature writing at the Fort Worth StarTelegram. By the mid-1990s, Tim had become one of the most decorated newspaper reporters in recent Texas history (three times named the state’s top reporter), while writing about everything from sick children, to serial killers, cowboy poets, to his own experiences as a husband and father. His first book, See No Evil: Blind Devotion and Bloodshed in David Koresh’s Holy War was published in 1993, followed eight years later by The Burning: Massacre, Destruction and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. In its review, the New York Times called The Burning, published by St. Martins in New York, “A powerful book, a harrowing case study made all the more so by Madigan’s skillful, clear-eyed telling of it.”
Tim’s 2006 book, I’m Proud of You: My Friendship With Fred Rogers, (Gotham/Penguin) reveals his life-altering friendship with Fred Rogers, which began in 1995 when he profiled the children’s icon for the Star-Telegram. In 2012, Tim published a second edition of I’m Proud of You under his own imprint, Ubuntu Books. The book continues to sell steadily, and inspire readers around the world. Tim also tells the story of his friendship with Mister Rogers in lectures around the country. Fred Rogers was one of the first readers of Tim’s first novel, Every Common Sight, which was published by Ubuntu in February 2015. It is the story of Wendell Smith, a hero of the Battle of the Bulge who came home to Texas with horrible memories of the battlefield, debilitating emotional trauma, and a secret, the one thing about the war he could not confide to the love of his life. The beautiful young woman Claire had a secret of her own. After a chance meeting, the two developed an unusual friendship of haunted survivors. But would the bond heal them, or destroy them both? The book has resonated deeply with early readers.
When not writing books or newspaper stories, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, Catherine, being a dad, playing the guitar, coaching and playing ice hockey, and backpacking in the Canadian Rockies.

Herb Hasz
Herb Hasz is a native of Ada, Minnesota and graduated from Ada High School in 1963.  He was a five-sport athlete and his 1962 basketball team went to the State Tournament when it was still a single class event with only eight teams participating. After high school, he attended Mayville State College where he played basketball and baseball, graduating in 1967. Herb was hired to teach math in the Crookston Public Schools and did so for 33 plus years from September 1967 until retirement in October 2001.  He also coached seven sports for a total of 73 seasons. As the head coach for boys’ basketball, he compiled a record of 278 wins and 201 losses over a twenty-one year career.  The 278 wins surpassed the 169 wins of Coach Al Droen’s teams of the 1950’s and early 60s.  Coach Hasz’s teams played in eleven District 31 Championship Games, winning four.  His 1988 team was the Region 8 Champion and finished 3rd at the Minnesota State Tournament.  The 1988 Team ended a sixty-five year state tournament drought.  The previous teams to go to state were in 1922 and 1923 when the tournament was invitational. In 1969, Herb was Head Football Coach, compiling a 6 and 3 record and was Co-Champion of the Northwest Conference.  The season ended a string of five consecutive losing seasons.  For his efforts, he received the “Jantzen Golden Helmet Award”. Besides basketball and football, Herb was head coach of a number of other sports, including Boys’ Golf in 1975 and Boys’ Tennis in 1983 and 1984 where he compiled a 24 and 5 dual record.  Jay and Jeff Claassen were state participants in doubles in 1984.  He also coached Cross Country for 13 years; boys’ from 1988 to 1997 and combined boys and girls from 1998 to 2000.  The 1994 Boys’ Cross Country Team placed 2nd in Region 8 and qualified for the state meet.  He had two state participants, Marcus Stromberg in 1993 and JaNae Altepeter in 1999. He was also an assistant coach in football for nineteen seasons, basketball for three years and baseball for two years, including one at UMC and track for eleven springs. Lion’s E Awards for Coaching Excellence were given to Coach Hasz in 1986 and in 1988. Herb is married to Gail and they have three children:  Hilary and her husband Paul Bakker and their children Owen and Emma of Hastings, Minnesota, Ted and his wife Kari and children Ellie and Isaiah of Pine City, Minnesota and son Scott of Gainesville, Florida.

Kathy Bakken-Dryden
Kathy was born and raised in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Her first teachers were her loving parents Raymond “Jim” and Mary Dryden. Playing “school” with her older sisters Mary Lynn, Jean, and Debbie, as well as putting on neighborhood plays in her family’s garage, set Kathy on a path to becoming a teacher. She attended school at Saint Bernard’s Elementary, Franklin Middle School and Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls. Kathy earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Bemidji State University in 1974.
Kathy took great pride in her wide-ranging thirty-four year career that included teaching at Highland Middle School, the Northwest Regional Corrections Center, Cathedral Elementary School, the Adult Learning Center, Crookston High School, Crookston Junior High School, and the Red River Valley Juvenile Center (Northern Lights Academy). Interestingly, some of her teaching assignments occurred simultaneously. As a teacher in these varied settings Kathy developed the drama program at Highland, served as a Crookston Education Association negotiator, started the Adult Learning Center, worked as a training facilitator with the Minnesota Department of Education, established the experiential World Class program, and created an afterschool program for at-risk girls. Additionally, she served with her dear friend Susan Mills on a committee to establish services for battered women in northwest Minnesota. Kathy used her training as a Myers-Briggs consultant to bring this relationship tool to groups in Crookston and the surrounding area as well as to individualize her classroom instruction. In 1989 Kathy received the distinguished Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Foundation “Eddy” award for excellence in education.
During the last half of her teaching career Kathy chose to work with students who were at risk of dropping out of school. She intuitively knew that these at risk students needed her heartfelt attention, affection, appreciation and acceptance to be willing to stick with school even when the going was tough. Kathy’s heart won these students’ trust, and her creativity and sense of humor made the classrooms they shared fun laboratories for learning.
Kathy often enjoyed telling people that she met her soul mate Tom Bakken in jail. Indeed, Dawn Newton first introduced Kathy and Tom to each other when she hired Tom to join Kathy and her on the Northwest Regional Corrections Center’s teaching team on December 1, 1986. After a three and a half year courtship the two were married on July 1, 1990 in Crookston, Minnesota. Throughout their marriage Kathy insisted that she and Tom go beyond the classroom to acquaint at risk students with lectures, concerts, plays, museums, nature, and the joys of reading outside the school day. To this end she and Tom shared their time and resources to take students on field trips, prepare and eat special meals with students, and set of a library of teen fiction and nonfiction books at Northern Lights Academy.
Kathy retired from teaching in the summer of 2009 to take extended learning classes through the University of North Dakota, garden, walk, test recipes, meditate, read, work for the Democratic Party, spend time with friends and stay active in the lives of her nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly. In October of 2010 she was diagnosed with cancer. Her twenty-six month journey with cancer seemed to bring out the teacher inside of her for one last lesson: how to face the end of this life with courage, dignity, gratitude, and a heart full of love.

Jim Gunnerson
Golden Valley, Minnesota is the hometown of Jim Gunnerson.  He attended Cooper High School and graduated in 1966 before enrolling at Gustavus Adolphus College. 
He began his teaching career in the Crookston Public Schools as a science teacher at Highland Middle School in 1972.  Over the next 34 years, Jim taught 6th Grade Science, 7th Grade Life Science, 8th Grade Earth Science, Biology, Environmental Science, Wildlife Biology, and Advanced Biology.
Coaching was also a thirty-four year endeavor covering a number of sports including middle school hockey, middle school intramurals, 8th Grade Football and Assistant Boys’ Hockey as well as Mite, Squirt, Peewee and Bantam Hockey at the Park Board level.
Jim was the Head Coach in Boys’ Tennis in 1974 where he compiled a 10-3 dual meet record and Coached Brent Reichert to the Region 8 Singles Championship. 
Girls’ Golf was a 15-year success under Head Coach Jim Gunnerson.  From 1992 to his retirement in 2006, he won 11 Sub-Section 31 Championships and the 1996 and 2004 Section 8A Championships.  His team was the 1995 Academic State Champion.  He also coached 25 State Participants including 1996 State Class A Champion, Jenny Bruun.
Among his awards were; Crookston Educator-of-the-Year for 1996, two Lions E Awards for hockey coaching, 1997 Lions E Award for Girls’ Golf, several Sub-Section Coach-of-the-Year Awards, Section 8 Coach-of-the-Year for Girls’ Golf in 1996, 2003, 2006 and the 2003 State Girls’ Golf Coach-of-the-Year.
He belonged to the Minnesota State Coaches Association and the Minnesota State Golf Association and served on the Class A Golf Advisory Committee in 1996 and 1997.
Jim is married to Gayle and has a daughter Andrea who lives in Plymouth, MN and son Scott, wife Aynsley and daughter Leenae of Fargo.






The Otto Bremer Foundation has approved a second grant of $50,000 for the Early Childhood Summit Committee.  “We received another $50,000 for two years to continue the work of the committee to sponsor two summit programs each year to talk about issues in dealing with Issues and their families,” said Denice Oliver, Crookston Early Childhood director.  “Everyone gets together to network on issues. We give out tool kits at pre-school screening and kindergarten roundup that have activities that parents can do with their children to help them prepare for the start of school, the volunteer committee does a lot of work and with the funding we can do a lot of great things for the little people in early childhood in Crookston.”   Day care directors, University of Minnesota Crookston staff, Headstart, and any agency that deals with young children are involved in planning for the Summit.





Trica De La Hunt, Nurse practitioner, joins the family medicine team at Altru Clinic in Crookston. “With a team approach in mind, I try to help patients and family members to be active participants when making important health care choices,” said De La Hunt, who graduated with a BSN in Nursing from University of North Dakota and later received her MSN in Nursing from University of North Dakota. Trica started her career at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks as a RN and today brings with her 19 years of RN experience in various health care related fields. “As a mother of three teenage girls, I have a very special interest in adolescent issues. My goal is to help provide adolescents with the tools and support to make healthy, informed choices.” Trica and her husband enjoy spending time at the lake, caring for their pets and watching their youngest daughter play hockey. About Altru’s Family Medicine Your health and that of your family’s is a priority. Altru’s family medicine is here for you. Altru’s family medicine takes care of acute and chronic illnesses and injuries for all patients from infant to geriatric. They build trusting relationships with their patients as they treat the whole person. About Altru Clinic Crookston Altru Clinic in Crookston is an integral part of Altru Health System, which is a community-owned, integrated system. Altru’s local staff provides a hometown touch to modern medicine. The team in Crookston offers multiple specialties, including family medicine, internal medicine, orthopedics, oncology, and physical and occupational therapy services. With the support of Altru Health System, Altru Clinic has convenient access to additional specialties, so that every patient receives the highest level of care and service.




Dear Editor;

On behalf of the TRIAD Board I would like to sincerely thank the residents of Crookston for attending the TRIAD Taste of Italy Fundraiser on July 15 at the American Legion.  Almost 100 people were served an excellent spaghetti meal prepared by Mercy Petersen.  The Board would like to thank Mercy, KROX, the Crookston Daily Times and the American Legion for their support and contributions to the event as well as everyone who baked and donated an item for the bake sale.  Between the Spaghetti Supper and Bake Sale TRIAD was able to donate $910.00 for the mobile event stage. 


Paul Biermaier
Board Member




FRIDAY - AUGUST 21,  2015


University of Minnesota President Dr. Eric Kaler traveled to the University of Minnesota Crookston campus on Thursday to meet with students, faculty, staff and alumni.  He held a press conference and spoke about the UMC students starting school this fall.  “This incoming group of students is the class of 2019, the last class of the decade and they are exceptional.  I am going to greet them and help them move into the residential halls, nothing like carrying in a box of clothes and toothpaste the help me understand what students are thinking about,”  said President Kaler. “Our students will be out in 14 different sites in the community on Saturday in the annual meet Crookston through service day.” 
UMC is a diverse place where first generation students are about 40 percent of the students.  UMC students come from 40 states and 20 nations and students of color make up 10 percent of the student body.  “I am looking forward to the opening of the Wellness Center in 2016 it will be a spectacular addition to the campus and community,” said Kaler.  “With the new major in exercise science and wellness it will be a place of great learning and exercise and socializing, we thank the support of the legislators and community in making the wellness center happen.”

Kaler was asked to comment on the recent developments with the University of Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague.  “It makes me furious and I am so angry that he put the University of Minnesota in this position,” said Kaler. “We vetted him and had a top search committee in the athletic business and he revealed no issues that would embarrass the University or affect his employment. We took him at his word and contacted many references and had no evidence of his past.”   They have brought in a couple of outside people to look at our processes to see if the University could have done better.

Kaler said five new majors are in the pipeline for UMC.  “I think that is all for now, but we think about what students need and want and how we see the workforce needs in the community and what we can provide,” said Kaler.  “Crookston is special in a couple of ways, it is a welcoming environment for students who are not comfortable with the big campus, but want a University education and UMC is a value to the region with agriculture and culture.” Kaler added that they want to work with companies to provide skilled workers for the jobs available.

Kaler was asked about the football facility with a track around the outside that is not in a condition to be used for district and regional track meets in Northwestern Minnesota. “It is always possible to get it in shape, we always have plans with priorities, but I do not know where it is at on this campus,” said Kaler who added, “Athletic facilities are always a valuable recruiting tool.”




Minnesota Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger will visit Crookston on the morning of Wednesday, August 26, for the latest in his series of popular “Pitch the Commissioner” events, where he talks about public health with community members over a friendly game of horseshoes.
Polk County Public Health and Norman-Mahnomen Public Health are hosting the event which will start with a tour of the Castle Park Natural Play Space, which is located off Castle Street in Crookston, and a tour of the Community Gardens on Riverside. Following the tours the Commissioner will be pitching horseshoes at the Highland Complex, which is located off of Barrette Street. Participants will be able to pitch their ideas to Commissioner Ehlinger about improving the public health in their community and how the state can help them accomplish their goals, while pitching horseshoes. The games of horseshoes will be followed by a presentation at the Town Square Pavilion by Commissioner Ehlinger, who will engage local officials and community members in a discussion on “What Does Minnesota Need to be Healthy?” The pavilion is located on the corner of East Third Street and North Ash Street.
A focus of this year’s “Pitch the Commissioner” series will be what the state can do to strengthen communities’ capacity to create their own healthy future. Commissioner Ehlinger says the goal of “Pitch the Commissioner” is to create a conversation between local officials, community members and state government officials, about how to advance public health around the state by starting in communities.
“Pitching horseshoes is a fun and easy way for people to be physically active and engage in conversation at the same time.” Commissioner Ehlinger said, “I want to hear what Minnesotans have to say about what their communities need to be healthy and I want to highlight the achievements of local public health.” 
All “Pitch the Commissioner” events have a similar format but are tailored to highlight the area’s public health initiatives.  This is the fourth year of the Pitch the Commissioner series. Previous summers have featured visits across the state, from Winona to Marshall to Grand Portage. This year, in addition to Crookston, Commissioner Ehlinger is visiting Hennepin County, Washington County, Dawson, and International Falls.




Crookston InMotion, Trails, River, and Active Living Group will meet on Tuesday, August 25. The meeting will take place at noon at RBJ's in the back room. Everyone is invited to attend and hear about what is happening in Crookston on the trails and river.
Discussion topics include ways the group can encourage the community to enjoy the trails and all the river has to offer. For information, contact DeAndra O'Connell in the Center for Sustainability at the University of Minnesota Crookston at 218-281-8128.
On Thursday August 6, the group held a "Get Outdoors" day to explore Castle Park and Kreutzberg trails. The goal was to actively look at how to make the trails more accessible to the public and easier to walk through.




Crookston Pirate Falls sports student-athletes will be handing out fall sports schedules at seven Crookston businesses today (Friday).   The Pirates will be greeting citizens and handing out schedules at each location and the public is invited to stop by and wish them good luck on their upcoming seasons.  The effort is a part of getting more Pirate Pride in the community and trying to get more people out to the games.  As part of trying to spread Pirate Pride businesses and residents of Crookston are asked to spread Pirate Pride by putting up blue and gold, Go Pirates banners, pennants, etc in the windows of businesses or homes, or inside businesses.   If you are a business that would like to host Pirate athletes you can email Gary Stegman at or Chris Fee at to set up a day and time.  The schedule of the Pirates appearances today are below.

  Group 1                  Group 2
10:00           Hugo's                    Four Season's Clothing
11:00           Hugo's                    Irishman's Shanty
12:00           RBJ's                     Happy Joe's
1:00             Draft's                    Hardware Hank




Crookston Pirate fans are asked to wear yellow or gold shirts to help GOLD OUT the Pirate football game on Saturday, August 22 when they host the East Grand Forks Green Wave at 7:00 p.m. in the season and home opener. Erickson Embroidery is selling Gold Crookston Pirate t-shirts for $10 with the profits being donated by Erickson's back to the Crookston School District Activities Fund. Purchase the shirt and Gold Out the football game on Saturday evening. The shirts can be used to Gold Out other Pirate sporting events throughout the season.





Seventh graders at Crookston High School start the year on September 8 and 9 with teacher meetings, visiting classes and touring the building. “On Tuesday, September 8th and Wednesday the 9th they do not have a regular school day. They come and meet with the prime teacher and a few other teachers to get acquainted with them and the schedule,” said Crookston High School Principal Eric Bubna. “They signed up for a spot at registration day and if they did not, they can call the school and set up a time.”  The seventh grade students will not have a class until Thursday, September 10, while the 8th through 12th grades start classes on Tuesday, September 8.  
The staff is in place at the high school, the construction crew is putting the finishing touches on the high school parking lots and they are putting the finishing touches on the building and schedules.  Anyone who has not registered and/or are new to the district, you can call the Crookston High School Office from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday’s at 281-2144.




Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade students attending Washington School will have parent teacher conferences September 8 and 9 and will start classes on September 10.  “It is a great way to transition our students into school, on September 8 and 9 the parents and students have a set aside time to meet with the teachers and talk about concerns and goals as the student enters into a new grade level and it gives the teacher a time to meet the families they are going to work with,” said Washington School Principal Denice Oliver.   Classes on September 10 and the building is ready.  “Our custodian Randy Hviding has the floors shining and the building is in good shape and we continue to register people who did not register on registration day so now is the time to come and fill out the paperwork and get the students placed in a classroom and be ready for the start of school,” said Oliver. The staff is in place with a new kindergarten teacher Mrs. Bubna, and a couple of teachers got married this summer with Ms. Flicka now Mrs. Olson and Ms. Meyer now having the name Mrs. Brue.  Physical Education teacher Marla Wolfe has retired and Jeremy Lubinski will take over as the new phy ed teacher.
A new math curriculum will be started this fall. “It will not change a lot, but a new item is an online math skills aligned with the state standards for kindergarten through ninth grade,” said Oliver. “It will have activities geared to their grade level and it will track their proficiency and student progress.  The teachers will continue to implement the new reading program from last year as well.”




August has been declared Child Support Awareness month by Governor Mark Dayton. Sylvia Nelson is a child support supervisor in Polk County and will retire after 36 years of work at Polk County. “Child support services have a direct impact on helping families meet children’s needs,” said Nelson.  “We want people to look to the future of our state and children to work together for success.  We want to be responsible adults to promote and nurture the wellbeing of the children in the state. The children need the emotional and financial support of both parents to reach the full potential so we assist the parents in that role.”
Melissa Hesby, who will be the child support supervisor when Nelson retires, said they are busy.  “We serve 1,974 children in the county and 200,062 thousand children in the state and 16 million in the nation. 1 in 4 children are served by the child support program,” said Hesby.  “We establish court orders to be sure the children are getting the support from an absent parent. They need to be fair orders so parents can pay to the best of their ability and we modify the orders when jobs change and circumstances change for the parents,  we just look at the financial side of the parents position.”




Letter to the Editor

Congratulations Polk County for not just Talkin’ the Talk, but Walkin’ the Walk!

On behalf of Polk County Public Health and the Polk County Wellness Coalition, we want to thank all the participants who moved their way around the Polk County map with the Walk Polk County Challenge.  We appreciate your positive response and engagement in our mission of creating a culture of wellness. 
Walk Polk County is an 8 week movement challenge that encourages participants to track their activity to assist them in making long-term lifestyle changes.  Weekly motivational emails, along with revealing featured trails across the county, also encouraged participants to explore Polk County.  Sixteen (16) prize incentives were given out along the way from June 1 to July 31.  375 completed maps were submitted throughout the challenge, for a total of 1875 hours of activity.  Four final cash drawings followed at the end.  Gifts and cash prizes were donated from community sponsors.
Regular exercise positively impacts our body and mind. Just 30 minutes of daily activity can help reduce stress, increase energy levels, improve sleep, maintain a healthy body weight and build healthy muscles. In addition, regular exercise reduces the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.  When our communities offer us an environment that supports healthy behavior such as trails to walk on and nutritious foods, including access to Farmer’s Markets, it helps make the healthy choice the easy choice.
For more information on active living, please contact Polk County Public Health 218-281-3385.

Submitted by:
Tammy Conn
Polk County Public Health




Congressman Collin Peterson toured RiverView Health Saturday, prior to his appearance in the Ox Cart Days Parade. The tour was led by President/CEO Carrie Michalski and CFO Betty Arvidson and included a stop at RiverView’s Pharmacy to share with Congressman Peterson firsthand how 340B funding impacts rural hospitals and the patients they serve. The 340B Drug Discount Program is a U.S. federal government program created in 1992, and available to Critical Access Hospitals like RiverView in 2010, that requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations/covered entities at significantly reduced prices. The intent of the program is to allow covered entities to stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.
Michalski and Arvidson also discussed with Congressman Peterson the importance of grants received by RiverView from the Minnesota Department of Health (Rural Hospital Capital Grants) and the projects those grants have helped fund. The most recently funded projects include the purchase of infusion/PCA pumps and a vital monitoring system in 2014.
The new pumps replace existing pumps that exceeded their expected useful lives with a standardized platform and smart pump technology. Both projects enable RiverView to most effectively and efficiently meet the needs of its patients to improve care. 

Leslie Rasmussen, LPN (left), and Nicole Johnson, RN, visit with Congressman Peterson.






The Minnesota Department of Revenue Property Tax Division is traveling across the state for a series of information and listening sessions with local government officials. Last Wednesday, the department met with area county assessors, auditors, and treasurers in Crookston. Representatives from Revenue heard from county officials about how the department can build upon the strong relationship that already exists with local government partners. The county assessors, treasurers, and auditors provided feedback about the department's outreach, communication, and education efforts. During the information session, the department shared region specific trends with assessors, auditors, and treasurers. “We appreciate local leaders taking time to meet with us and value our relationships with partners and customers across the state. These listening sessions are a way for us to hear directly from local partners and incorporate their ideas for a better experience with the department,” said Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. Earlier this summer, the department held information and listening sessions in St. Paul, Willmar, Marshall, St. Cloud, Grand Rapids, Rochester, Mankato, and Fergus Falls. The valuable user feedback from these sessions will help shape the future of Property Tax at the department.
"The listening sessions have generated valuable feedback from our partners in county government.  Each session has provided a unique perspective of the experiences auditors, treasurers, and assessors have administering property tax throughout Minnesota. We'll use this feedback to enhance our already strong partnership with the counties," said Revenue Property Tax Division Director Cynthia Rowley.

The Department of Revenue Tax division visiting Crookston during their listening session




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