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WEDNESDAY - OCTOBER 1,  2014

CROOKSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATING SEVERAL BREAK INS, THEFTS AND STOLEN VEHICLES

Over the past two weeks the Crookston Police Department (CPD) has responded to several reports of burglary, thefts and two stolen vehicles.

SEPTEMBER 29 REPORTS-
1. At 7:28 a.m. the received a report of a garage break in at 229 1st Ave North. Several personal items were removed from a vehicle inside the garage.
2. At 7:45 a.m. the CPD was notified of a break in that occurred in the garage at 321 North Central. Unsure if anything is missing at this time.
3. At 9:05 a.m. the CPD received a report of a possible stolen vehicle from Crookston Welding. Their red Ford Pickup was located in the Bertil’s gravel lot next door. A Crookston Welding employee moved it back but noted an electronic component was missing from inside. The keys were left in the vehicle.

SEPTEMBER 30 REPORTS-
4. At 6:51 a.m. Todd’s Tire reported a burglary. A glass door on the west side had been smashed. Several cartons of cigarettes and a small amount of change was missing.
5. At 8:00 a.m. the CPD received a report of a stolen pickup from 218 North Main. The keys were left in the vehicle which was unlocked. The vehicle was located on 6th Ave North near North Broadway at 1015. The vehicle had passenger side damage consistent with the damage reported below in #8. Located in the vehicle were items stolen from Todd’s Tire. Several other items were missing from the vehicle according to the owner.
6. At 8:00 a.m. the CPD received a report of a theft from a vehicle at 105 South Main. Doors were probably unlocked, electronic devices were missing.
7. At 8:56 a.m. the CPD received a report of a theft from a vehicle at 210 North Nelson. Two vehicles were entered and gone through.
8. 9:30 a.m. the CPD received a report of a hit and run at 324 Stuart Ave. A 2008 black Dodge Avenger had passenger side damage including paint transfer of a light metallic colored paint consistent with #5 above.

 "We are working on it, trying to figure out who and when," said Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier.  "The big thing is to have the public remove their keys, remove the electronics and all of the important things and secure the property and that would go a long way." The CPD also encourages everyone take the proper steps to safeguard the homes, businesses, vehicles and property by making sure all doors are locked and areas are well lit; anything that can help all of us keep our community safe. "So far, except for the Todd's Tire burglary, it appears they are only going through vehicles and doors that are unlocked."  The Crookston Police Department has increased patrol in the areas and is asking for the public’s help. If anyone has knowledge of these incidents or sees or hears any suspicious activity, especially at night, please call the CPD immediately at 281-3111.  "We want to hear from anybody that knows anything about these thefts," said Chief Biermaier. "We want to hear from people as soon as they see or hear something.  We have had a couple reports that people thought they heard something or the dog was barking and didn't want to bother us.  That is what we are here for.  Call us and that will help us identify a suspect or find somebody in the area, we need the public to call."
There are no suspects at this time and these cases are active and ongoing.

 

 

VANCE THORESON WINS THE KROX VIKING VOYAGE

The winner of the KROX Viking Voyage was Vance Thoreson of Climax who registered at Crookston Building and Rent-It Center in Crookston . Vance won a grand prize package of a trip for two the weekend of October 10 through the 12. The trip includes two round trip airfares from to Minneapolis, private car service in Minneapolis, two nights stay at Embassy Suites in Bloomington, $100 cash, and two tickets for Vikings/Lions game on October 12. Businesses participating were All Season’s Lube Center and Car Wash, B & E Meats, Beggs Insurance, Crookston Building and Rent-It Center, Christian Brothers Ford, Crookston Eagles 873, Crookston National Bank, Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy, Erickson Embroidery and Design, Four Season’s Clothing, Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream Parlor, Holiday Station Store, Hugo’s, Opticare, Subway, SuperPumper and Taco John’s all of Crookston, Ness Café in Erskine, Christian Motors and Erickson Smokehouse Grill and Bar in Fertile, Cenex C-Store in Warren and Lynn’s Auto of Winger.


Steve Krueger of KROX, Vance Thoreson and Wes Cameron, owner of Crookston Building Center

 

 

UMC TO CELEBRATE MAHATMA GANDHI'S BIRTHDAY OCTOBER 2

In celebration of Mahatma Gandhi's birthday on Thursday, October 2,  there will be a program that honors his life at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The program, which takes place in the Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center, begins at 3:30 p.m. and is free and open to all. 
From 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. Associate Professor Venu Mukku will present on the life of Gandhi followed by refreshments. A panel discussion will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the topic: “Gandhian values and their relevance to modern society” moderated by Lora Hollowell, director, Diversity and Multicultural Programs. The program will conclude with the showing of the movie Gandhi from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The movie is rated PG and pizza will be served.

 

 

WASHINGTON SCHOOL STUDENTS ENJOYING A WEEK WITH CHARLIE MAGUIRE


First grade students from Stacy Flikka's class gather around teaching artist Charlie Maguire, Artist in Residence at Washington Elementary School this week.   Charlie, known as Minnesota's troubadour, will be helping each grade one class compose their own song.   The songs will be performed at a public program Thursday, October 2 at 1:30 p.m. in the Washington School gym.   The Artist in the Schools residency is sponsored and funded by the Pirate Fine Arts Boosters, COMPASS and the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund.  

 

 

HIGHLAND SCHOOL THIRD GRADERS HAVE FUN WITH THE BALLOON SUSPENSION CHALLENGE


Highland School
third graders enjoyed the engineering and design process during the balloon suspension challenge last week. "The third graders did a great job of working cooperatively to refine their design to keep a balloon suspended in the air for one minute," said teacher Erica Uttermark. "
We would like send a special THANK YOU to Crookston Floral for donating over 40 helium balloons so that this project could be a fun academic success."

 

 

CROOKSTON TAE KWON DO PARTICIPANTS DO WELL IN MOORHEAD COMPETITION

Crookston Championship Tae Kwon Do had five kids participate in the Marquarts Tae Kown Do tournament in Moorhead this past weekend and each of our kids placed in the top three in their respective group.
Sophia Rezac (age 11, Red Belt) placed 1st in her division for Sparring.  She placed 2nd in her division for Pattern/Technique.
Gabe Montieth (age 11, Brown Belt) placed 2nd in his division in Sparring, and placed 2nd in his division for Pattern/Technique.
Samantha Rezac (age 9, Purple Belt) placed 1st in her division for Pattern/Technique.
Gavin Winger (age 9, Purple Belt) placed 1st in his division for Sparring, and 2nd place in his division for Pattern/Technique.
Brannon Tangquist (age 9, Purple Belt) placed 2nd in his division for Sparring and 3rd place in his division for Pattern/Technique.


   The five Crookston Tae Kwon Do tournament participants

 

 

TUESDAY - SEPTEMBER 30,  2014

CLEAN UP WEEK IN CROOKSTON TO BE HELD THE FINAL WEEK OF OCTOBER

October 27 – October 31 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.
As required by State Law, all video display devices (TV’s, 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 27 – October 31 in Crookston.

 

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH TO OFFER FREEDOM FROM SMOKING CLASSES IN OCTOBER

With the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking course, you do not have to quit smoking cold turkey. But you can quit by turkey day – Thanksgiving. Studies show that after just one week of quitting smoking, better sense of smell and taste return. Wouldn’t it be great to really enjoy the aroma and taste of Thanksgiving this year? Wouldn’t it be great to have a healthier lifestyle in which to be thankful?
According to the American Lung Association, seven out of ten smokers want to quit because they feel they owe it to themselves and those they love.
Of course wanting to quit and actually quitting are two different things. It’s no secret that quitting is hard. But you don’t have to go it alone. RiverView Health can help. RiverView will be offering the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking group program October 6 through November 17 to help equip you with the support and skills you need to quit smoking for good.
Freedom From Smoking is a program specifically designed for adults who want to quit smoking. It’s the American Lung Association’s gold standard, group clinic that has helped thousands of smokers quit for good. Joan Morlan, RN and Pulmonary Rehab coordinator at RiverView Health, will support you through weekly lessons, simple assignments to reinforce an understanding of nicotine addiction, the process of quitting and changing behavior associated with quitting. Morlan is a certified facilitator of the Freedom From Smoking program.
The course consists of eight sessions in seven weeks, starting Monday October 6 from 5:00 pm-6:00 pm in RiverView’s Meeting Room 2, located on the Crookston campus. The cost for the course is $65, which includes a workbook and CD.
The following are the course topics:
Ø  Session 1 - Thinking about Quitting
Ø  Session 2 – On the Road to Freedom
Ø  Session 3 – Wanting to Quit
Ø  Session 4 – Quit Day
Ø  Session 5 – Winning Strategies
Ø  Session 6 – The New You
Ø  Session 7 – Staying Off
Ø  Session 8: Celebration

Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, causing over 392,000 deaths per year. Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard for people of all ages, and is estimated to cause close to 50,000 deaths each year, according to the American Lung Association. Don’t let smoking add you or your loved ones to those statistics.
For more information or to register for the Freedom From Smoking program, call RiverView Health’s Pulmonary Rehab Department at 218-281-9411 or register via email at
cardpulm@riverviewhealth.org

 

 

CROOKSTON VFW AND AUXILIARY LOOKING FOR VOICE OF DEMOCRACY AUDIO ESSAY CONTESTANTS

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 Veterans are Important to our Nation's History and Future.” 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 31.  
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 218-281-2047 or Pam DeLage at 218-281-5546 for more information.

 

 

 

MONDAY - SEPTEMBER 29,  2014

MICHAEL PERRY TO APPEAR IN DISTRICT COURT ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON

Michael Jon Perry, 23 of Crookston will appear in district court in Crookston on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. Perry is being charged with four counts of Attempt to Commit murder in the first degree against a peace officer. The incident occurred on Thursday, September 18 with a 911 call reporting firing of guns at 28409 300th Street S.W., just south of Crookston off of highway 75. Gunfire could be heard by the 911 operator when the emergency call was made. Polk County Deputies Brian Lundeen and Tony Alston drove the scene in a marked patrol vehicle with the emergency lights on and the deputies in uniform. Polk County Sheriff Deputies Nathan Rasch and Justin Swang went to the location in unmarked vehicles and in plain clothes. The 911 caller, Dustin Perry, stated that Michael Perry would shoot any law enforcement officers who came to the residence.
The deputies parked near a shop at 12:55 p.m. Gunfire was coming from the second floor of the two story home with bullets hitting the ground and one striking a vehicle. Deputies saw someone break a window and screen on the second floor, where the shots were coming from and into the garage window and directly at the deputies. One bullet struck Deputy Lundeen in the back which was stopped or deflected by his protective vest and Deputy Rash’s protective vest was grazed by a bullet. The shooting stopped for a short time and then began again. Deputies observed a gold Ford pickup drive away from the garage attached to the house and Deputy Lundeen fired several rounds toward the pickup as it accelerated towards and past him proceeding down the driveway where the truck then turned eastbound. The pickup drove a short distance and the stopped and Michael Perry exited the pickup and laid on the ground and surrendered to the deputies.
Perry was taken to RiverView Health and treated for non life threatening injuries and released and the taken to the Tri County Community Corrections Center in Crookston. The pickup contained a 22 caliber rifle with a scope and had been struck by a number of bullets. A protective sweep was done of all the buildings on the property. The deputies observed blood droplets on the floor of the kitchen on the second floor and a shotgun lying on a couch, empty 22 shell casings and boxes of shotgun shells on a table. Perry remains in custody at the Tri County Corrections Center. Each count of Attempt to Commit Murder in the first degree against a peace officer carries a 20 year prison sentence.

 

 

CROOKSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT GETS THE PUMPER AERIAL TRUCK CERTIFIED FOR ANOTHER YEAR, PREPARES FOR OPEN HOUSE

The Crookston Fire Department recently had the pumper aerial truck certified for another year. “They performed the annual certification of the ladder which is done each year as it is required. It is a safety check so that all the component are structurally sound, all the proper maintenance has been done. All the bolts and cylinders are holding the oil properly, hydraulic lines need to be checked periodically, there is a lot of mechanics involved in with the aerial truck like this,” said Firefighter Chris Klawitter. “This check is required annually as it is a safety issue for the firefighters required by OSHA and National Fire Protection Association.”
The fire department is getting ready for Fire Prevention week starting with an open house on Saturday, October 4 from 10:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the fire hall.


The aerial pumper truck during testing recently at the Crookston Fire Department

 

 

SATURDAY - SEPTEMBER 27, 2014 

RURAL EAST GRAND FORKS MAN INJURED AFTER BEING PINNED UNDER A TRACTOR IN POLK COUNTY

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a male pinned under a tractor in section 4 of Columbia Township on Saturday afternoon. The driver of the tractor, was identified as 69 year old Ronald Sherette of rural East Grand Forks.  Sherette was flown by North Memorial Helicopter to Altru in Grand Forks. Injuries are unknown at this time.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Essentia Ambulance of Fosston, and the Fosston Fire Department. 

 

 

FRIDAY - SEPTEMBER 26,  2014

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES PRELIMINARY LEVY LIMITATION

The Crookston School Board held a special meeting this morning to approve the preliminary levy limitation and certification report 2014 payable in 2015. The State Department of Education has been slow in releasing the necessary information needed by the district so the levy wasn’t passed earlier. “The Department of Education is having a few kinds in the levy limitation system. I have been on the phone with them once or twice daily for about two weeks, I’m not sure if they are having program issues or what. Normally we can go in and get the limitations by September 1, but that system is still not open, this is statewide,” said Lyszewski. “The levy went down 10 percent because of our local optional revenue, which is $424,685 that the state has chosen to fund through aid instead of a local levy. The aid went up as the steps are set up for tax paying entities throughout the state. It used to be that districts that were a certain size last year got additional revenue, and we were considered in a donut hole, bigger than a 1,000 and smaller than 2,000 so we fell in the donut hole and got nothing so now they want to make everyone equal in the entire state.”
The Department of Education and the Commissioner of Revenue said no to abatement at the Crookston Pool, which is roughly $650,000 to $700,000 for a boiler and roof. They said yes to the parking lot repairs, which is about $1.4 million. “That will actually be abatement bonds for this year as we wanted to do all the repairs as we needed the parking lots to get the construction work done,” said Lysczewski. “This means that next year we will get abatement for the parking lots at the high school and try and widen the turn lane for parents who drop children off which will help. We will still be waiting for the pool and don’t know where we will get funding for that work.”

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH TO HOST THEIR MONTHLY HEALTH LUNCHEON ON SEPTEMBER 30

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 3,000 people on average commit suicide daily. That’s over one million people who die each year by suicide. In addition, for every person who commits suicide, 20 or more others attempt to end their lives.
Join RiverView Health at the Tuesday, September 30th Health Luncheon “Mental Health Outreach and Suicide Prevention’’ to learn the signs of someone who is suicidal and what to do if you or someone you know needs help.
Trevis Knutson, with the Northwestern Mental Health Center, will address mental health, talk about suicide prevention and answer questions. Knutson is the Northwest Minnesota TXT4LIFE Regional Coordinator.TXT4LIFE is a suicide prevention program funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Ser­vices Administration (SAMHSA). The program began in 2011, and covers Northern Minnesota.
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 sixteenth 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 bag lunch for $3.00. Pre-registration is required. Call Holly Anderson at 218-281-9745 to reserve a seat.

 

 

 

MNDOT REMINDS MOTORISTS TO BE AWARE OF LARGE FARM EQUIPMENT ON THE ROADWAYS DURING HARVEST

Motorists traveling on Minnesota highways this fall need to be aware of large farm equipment transporting crops to markets, grain elevators and processing plants, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. “Harvest season is in full swing and farmers in every corner of the state are out using the highways,” said Sue Groth, state traffic engineer. “Motorists need to be prepared to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roads.”
Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The machines also make wide turns and sometimes cross over the center line. In addition, farm vehicles can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. All of these factors can cause serious crashes. 
During 2011-2013, 392 traffic crashes took place on Minnesota roads involving at least one farm vehicle, resulting in 14 fatalities and 210 injuries. Of the 14 fatalities, nine were farm vehicle riders; of the 210 injuries, 54 were farm vehicle riders. “The biggest factors contributing to farm equipment/vehicle crashes are inattention, speeding and unsafe passing,” Groth said. “When approaching farm equipment, motorists should always slow down and use extreme caution.”

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

Farm equipment operators should:
-Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible.
-Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph.
-Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.

 

 

 

UMC TO HOST AN EVENING OF CHINESE DANCE AND MUSIC ON SEPTEMBER 30

The Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota Crookston will present an Evening of Chinese Dance and Music on Tuesday, September 30, at 7:00 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. The event is free and everyone is welcome.
This special performance, by the award-winning Capital Normal University (CNU) Troupe, will feature characteristic aspects Chinese culture such as folk songs, folk dance, Beijing Opera, Chinese red drums, Ba-wu, Zheng, Pipa, Erhu, dulcimer, diabolo, unicycle, Tai Chi, paper-cuttings. The goal is to entertain while teaching about Chinese culture.
For more information, contact Chunhui Wang, assistant director, Confucius Institute, international programs, 218-281-8551.

 

SLAM THE SCAM CAMPAIGN BY THE ELECTRIC CO-OP'S

Wild Rice Electric Cooperative has had reports from members of having received phone calls by people posing as Co-op employees trying to obtain payment for electric bills. Wild Rice Electric is not alone in this recent scam.
Minnesota utilities are joining forces to fight back against scams.  Reports of phone and email billing scams targeting Minnesota utility customers are increasing at an alarming rate, representing thousands of dollars lost by customer victims. In an effort to shut down scammers, the Minnesota utility coalition today launched “Slam the Scam,” an awareness campaign aimed at warning customers and preventing scams.  The coalition is encouraging customers who think they are being targeted by a scammer to simply end the conversation – “slam” down the phone.
Utility companies across the country are reporting an increase in scams aimed at customers.  Some Minnesota utilities are experiencing an increase of more than 300 percent in customer scam attempts over 2013. Scammers are targeting all classes of customers, but particularly small businesses such as restaurants. In most cases, a scammer calls during busy hours of operation and threatens to disconnect the customer’s utility service unless the customer makes a payment immediately.
Scammers are using various tactics to con customers into providing payment. Posing as utility employees, scammers have been known to:
· Tell intended victims their accounts are past due and threaten to disconnect their utility service if they do not make payments immediately.
· Require victims to pay using a pre-paid debit card, such as a Green Dot card.
· Manipulate caller ID to display a fake number, which may actually be your utility’s number. This is called “spoofing.”
· Email customers phony utility bills that appear to be from an energy provider with an account number, amount due, due date and a link to make the payment.

Protecting personal and financial customer data is a top priority for utilities, and they are working to provide solutions to protect the public from scams. Utilities want customers to know how to identify a scam. If they are behind on their bills, they will receive a written notice before service disconnection. Customers who have not received a disconnection notice in the mail should not engage anyone on the phone or by email demanding to take payment. Instead, customers should hang up and contact their respective utilities to verify account status and report the attempted scam. They are also encouraged to report the incident to local law enforcement.  Utilities offer the following tips to avoid being victimized: 
· Never give out personal information or credit card numbers or wire money as a result of an unexpected or unsolicited call or email if you cannot validate the authenticity.
· Be suspicious if the caller is insisting on the use of a pre-paid debit card or an immediate payment. Utilities provide many options for payment.
· Know that your utility will contact customers first by U.S. mail about past due bills. You will be sent a disconnection notice in writing before your service is turned off
· If it just doesn’t feel right, “slam the scam” and end the conversation.  
· Your utility will welcome the call to verify your account status. Contact your utility using a number provided on a recent bill or the company’s website. 

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota is closely tracking these types of scams and has provided an informative video to help protect the public.

 

 

 

THURSDAY - SEPTEMBER 25,  2014

LINDA COURNIA WAS THE WINNER OF THE CHS HOMECOMING YOU PICK THE SCORE CONTEST

The winner of the KROX CHS U-Pick the Score contest was Linda Cournia. She picked Breckenridge to beat Crookston by a score of 21-17. The final score was Breckenridge 21, the Pirates 20.
Linda received $10 gift certificates from local businesses including All Seasons Lube Center and Car Wash, B & E Meats, Crafty Granny, Crookston American Legion, Crookston Eagles, Crookston Dairy Queen, Erickson Embroidery and Design, Four Seasons Clothing, Happy Joe’s Pizza, Irishman’s Shanty, Minakwa Golf Course, Ness Café, Oak Pit Grill, Wish Upon a Star and the University of Minnesota Crookston Bookstore. Plus a $20 gift certificate from Crookston Hardware Hank, Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy and Hugo’s, a pair of jeans from Fleet Supply, a large one item pizza from Mugoo’s Pizza, a free breakfast skillet and homemade pie from R.B.J.’s Restaurant and KROX added $66 as a bonus, a dollar for each year KROX has been in business.


Linda Cournia receives her cash and prizes from KROX's Steve Krueger

 

 

CATHEDRAL SCHOOL IN CROOKSTON GETS RENEWED ACCREDITATION THROUGH 2021

The Minnesota Nonpublic School Accrediting Association (MNSAA) has renewed the accreditation of Cathedral Catholic School in Crookston for the eligibility period of 2014 to 2021. Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance with a goal to evaluate, validate, and improve each school's quality.
MNSAA is a federally- and state-sanctioned non-profit association for accrediting nonpublic schools in the State of Minnesota. The Association's mission is to be a catalyst for enhancing the quality of K-12 nonpublic education in Minnesota through a comprehensive process of accreditation. Our agency helps schools provide quality nonpublic education for the students of Minnesota for its member schools. MNSAA is governed by a member-elected Board of Directors that bases its accreditation on a school's evaluation through a self-study process.
Schools are accredited based on their compliance with a set of rigorous standards which identify essential personnel, instruction, facility, curriculum, governance, and marketing policies and practices that are considered necessary for an effective school. The accreditation process includes the creation of a visionary and focused strategic plan and an onsite visit by a team of educators from member schools. Accreditation with MNSAA relies heavily on how the individual school defines its mission and the way it seeks to accomplish that mission.
MNSAA is pleased to have Cathedral Catholic School join some of the more than 170 accredited schools that make up the Association. MNSAA salutes Cathedral School's commitment to providing outstanding education to the children of this community. MNSAA will continue to provide guidance to the Cathedral School through an annual review of its strategic plan.

 

 

 

SPLASH PARK COMMITTEE STILL RAISING MONEY TRYING TO MAKE THE PARK BIGGER

The Splash Park Committee accepted a $5,000 grant from the Crookston Area Community Fund on Wednesday. Ann Longtin, co chairman of the Splash Park Committee with Shirley Seddon Iverson said they have met their goal, but will continue to raise funds. “We have raised about $50,000 so far and will have to raise $10,000 to match the $5,000 grant,” said Longtin. “We want to use the winter season to raise more funds and make the park bigger because the bigger the park the safer it is for the children.” The committee has originally agreed to raise three years of maintenance money for the splash park.
Other community fund grants given out were $2,500 to the Aquatic Boosters and $1,250 for accessories at the Crookston Community Swimming Pool.

 

 

 

TRF HIGH SCHOOL HAS DRESS LIKE A PIRATE DAY, WITH THE HELP OF REID FROILAND SEVERAL STAFF LOOKED LIKE CROOKSTON PIRATES

The Thief River Falls Prowlers have their homecoming game this Friday and the theme this year is "Shipwrecked in Prowler Nation."  The theme for Wednesday was to dress like a Pirate and former Crookston High School Math teacher, dug into his closet and showed the old saying is true, "Once a Pirate, Always a Pirate!"  "Today's theme day was to dress like a Pirate.  They gave no other specifics," said Mr. Froiland.  "Mike Biermaier (a CHS graduate) and I raided our closets, and this is what resulted in the LHS faculty:


The Thief River Falls School District staff showing their good sense of humor wearing Crookston Pirate apparel
                                 (Picture from the Thief River Falls Schools Facebook page)

 

 

CROOKSTON CHAMBER AMBASSADORS VISIT THREE CROOKSTON BUSINESSES

The Crookston Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors recently welcomed two new employees to Crookston businesses and checked out a new showroom at HN Quality Plumbing.  For pictures of their visits see below.

Dan Erdman, Welcome New Manager to American Federal Bank

Kyle Page – American Federal Bank, Christine Erdman – American Federal Bank, Mackinzie Burke – Crookston Chamber, Carmen Knutson – Crookston Chamber, Dan Erdman – American Federal Bank, Sherry Coauette – LeBlanc Realty, Lori Keller – Phil Thompson & Associates, Kent Brunn – RiverView Foundation


Noah Insurance, Welcome New Agenda – Nick Noah

Christine Erdman – American Federal Bank, Mackinzie Burke – Crookston Chamber, Lori Keller – Phil Thompson & Associate, Carmen Knutson – Crookston Chamber, Nick Noah – Noah Insurance Service, Sherry Coauette – LeBlanc Realty, Kyle Page – American Federal Bank, Kent Brunn – RiverView Foundation


Dan Nystad & Doug Holtman – HN Quality Plumbing, Remolded Showroom

Kent Brunn – RiverView Foundation, Mackinzie Burke – Crookston Chamber, Carmen Knutson – Crookston Chamber, Dan Nystad – HN Quality Plumbing, Doug Hotlman – HN Quality Plumbing, Christine Erdman – American Federal Bank, Kyle Page – American Federal Bank, Sherry Coauette – LeBlanc Realty, Lori Keller – Phil Thompson & Associates

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 24,  2014

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS INCREASE PRELIMINARY LEVY BY THREE PERCENT FOR 2015

The Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and after hours of budget discussions the they approved the 2015 preliminary tax levy at three percent for the county at $20,654,891. “After some discussion at a couple of meetings we deferred the decision until today when we were all here so we set the preliminary levy at three percent,” said Polk County Commissioner Chairman Don Diedrich. “This means it cannot go higher, but we hope to lower it to two percent by the end of the year so we have some elbow room.”

The commissioners received a thank you letter from Crookston Township for help from Polk County Engineer Rich Sanders relating to resurfacing Highland road. “Crookston Township Chairman Dean Adams sent the letter thanking the board and especially engineer Rich Sanders and staff for helping them with the resurfacing project to save them substantial money,” said Deidrich. “It shows how the county and townships can cooperate together.” The township project was combined with county road bids thereby saving the township money.

The Commissioners accepted the loss report from the insurance company on wind damage done to four buildings during the July storm. “Actually the insurance paid out replacement costs with the $1,000 deductible and the recovery costs were $10,445.11. One thousand over so it came out even,” said Mark Dietz, County Facilities Management Director. “Four buildings were damaged, justice center, recycling center, transportation Building and Polk County Development Center with damage to one roof and overhead doors, they have all been fixed.”

 

 

 

TUESDAY - SEPTEMBER 23,  2014

UMC GETS A ONE MILLION DOLLAR GIFT FOR THE NEW WELLNESS CENTER FROM LES AND JUNE NIELSEN

The University of Minnesota Crookston announced a $1 million gift to name the entrance/lobby of the new campus wellness facility, which will begin construction next year. The gift, from Les and June Nielsen, (pictured lower right) will name the area in memory of their son, Mitch Lien Nielsen. The announcement was made on Monday, September 22, 2014, at a press conference followed by a ceremonial groundbreaking for the wellness center.
Les Nielsen graduated in 1958 from the Northwest School of Agriculture, a residential high school located on what is now the University of Minnesota Crookston. He went on to earn a degree in business from the University of Minnesota. In 1968, the Nielsens along with long time friend, Gene Ellingson, started Herc-U-Lift Incorporated, a forklift truck and material handling equipment distributorship. Les served as the company’s president for thirty-six years, and June worked alongside her husband in the business. Les remains as the company’s chief executive officer.
“The Nielsen family has always placed a high priority on education,” says Fred Wood, chancellor of the U of M Crookston. “They are incredibly grateful for what the University of Minnesota has done for them, and in turn, have established scholarships to benefit students at the University of Minnesota Crookston.
“This most recent gift demonstrates once again the Nielsens’ appreciation for the University and their wish to support the Crookston campus,” Wood continues. “They are making a difference in the lives of our students today and tomorrow.”
Les and June Nielsen are originally from Euclid and Gonvick. “We are blessed that we could help the University Of Minnesota, which has been a great help to are family,” said Les Nielsen. “We started here and finished high school at the Ag school in 1958, went on to the Twin Cities and studied business and started our business with the tools we learned.” The Nielsen’s own Herc-U-Lift, a forklift distributor with about 180 employees located in the west side of Minneapolis. They have locations in Maple Plain, St. Cloud, Grand Rapids and Willmar, Minnesota; Fargo, Williston, and Minot, North Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Des Moines, Iowa.
Les had four brothers from Euclid that went to high school in Crookston and three went on to college. June Nielsen is from Gonvick and met Les more than 50 years ago so coming back is always a treat.

Background
Les Nielsen was raised near Euclid in a home where reading and studying were encouraged. The Northwest School of Agriculture, established as part of the land grant mission of the University of Minnesota, offered rural Minnesota students a residential, agricultural high school designed to meet the needs of the region.
Along with Les, three of his brothers attended the Northwest School of Agriculture, and three of them went on to the University of Minnesota: Andrew graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School, and Richard earned a degree in business and worked for the Internal Revenue Service spending years in management. Les also earned a degree in business from the U of M.
The Nielsens have established two scholarships in memory of their son, Mitch Lien Nielsen, who was taken from them in 1989 in a motorcycle accident.


 CLICK ABOVE TO VIEW THE GIFT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT CEREMONY

 

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA CROOKSTON WELLNESS CENTER GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY HELD

A ceremonial ground breaking for a new wellness center at the University of Minnesota Crookston took place on Monday, September 22. The day began with an announcement of a $1 million gift for the wellness center project by Les and June Nielsen and names the lobby of the building in memory of their son, Mitch Lien Nielsen.  (Les and June Nielsen with UMC Chancellor Wood and U of M President Eric Kaler pictured right)
Guests for the ceremony included University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, members of the U of M Board of Regents Clyde Allen and Thomas Devine, and several members of the Minnesota Legislature. Construction of the facility will begin next year with anticipated completion in 2016. “This project is a testament to the ‘can do’ collaborative partnerships that are a hallmark of this remarkable region, community, and campus,” said Fred Wood, chancellor of the U of M Crookston. “The Wellness Center will assist with student success by helping us recruit, retain, and graduate our students. It will strengthen our academic mission and teach our students to be well-rounded individuals.”
The wellness facility will be transformational for the campus as well as an asset for the community. When completed, the new wellness center will be approximately 36,000 square feet featuring a two-court recreational gymnasium space, workout and fitness spaces, locker rooms, public spaces, a classroom, and a multipurpose room. 
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the 2014 Legislative Bonding Bill last May. The bill included state funding for several projects for the University of Min
nesota system, one of which was a $10 million allocation for a Wellness Center at the Crookston campus.  An additional $5 million will be raised for the project through philanthropic efforts.

Background
The UMC Sports Center was originally built in 1930 when the campus was a residential high school. It was significantly updated only once--in 1980 when Lysaker Gymnasium was added along with some additional office space and training rooms. The central core of the facility, Knutson Gymnasium, is more than 80 years old and houses the current fitness and exercise area. 
The Sports Center is shared by varsity athletics, intramural sports, and the student body. Because of the need for student-athletes to use the facility for conditioning, practice and training, it is overcrowded and virtually inaccessible to most other students. In addition to overcrowding and age, the inadequate size of the UMC Sports Center has meant limited space for equipment--there are only 15 cardio machines and a small weight room for a campus population of roughly 1000.
Winters, especially those like this past year's severely cold and long winter, make it difficult if not impossible for students to exercise outdoors for much of the academic year, and the need is great for students to have access to healthy recreation year-round. 

Many dignitaries turned out at the University of Minnesota Crookston for the festivities on Monday. University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler was pleased with the gift and the chance to break ground for the Wellness Center. “It is a big day for UMC, University of Minnesota system and the area. It will help us recruit the best and brightest that come to Crookston and hopefully stay,” said President Kaler, who added the gift was great. “It is a wonderful donation that the Nielsens have seen the need and come to be our partner.” There is always an improvement list to work from, including the football field. “Turf for the football field is on the list and we talk about it along with other needs,” added Dr. Kaler.

Corby Kemmer from the Office of Development and Alumni Relations worked to bring the generous gift to campus. “It is a team effort with a lot of people involved,” said Kemmer. “It has been great working with Les and June Nielsen who gave a million dollars for the wellness center lobby, which will be called the Mitch Lee Nielsen in honor of their late son.”


       UMC staff, student government leaders, dignitaries, UMC Chancellor Wood and U of M President Eric Kaler


UMC representatives from campus and teambackers, former UMC Chancellors Chuck Casey and wife Barbara Muesing, former UMC Chancellor Don Sargeant and wife Mary Beth Sargeant and Chancellor Wood and President Kaler)

FOR THE ARCHITECT DRAWING OF THE WELLNESS CENTER CLICK HERE
 

 

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES HIRING A TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANT

The Crookston School Board met on Monday and approved the hiring of a technology assistant for the district. “We have made a substantial investment in technology for years through the levy we bought computers and materials and they do not always work all the time so you need technology support to keep everything operating,” said Superintendent Chris Bates. “We will advertise for a nine month position technology assistant for Kevin Weber so they can float between the buildings and keep everything running each day.”

The resignation letter was accepted from Anna Ogaard as the eighth grade girls basketball coach and Sara Minion was hired as a long term substitute teacher at Highland.

Crookston High School principal Eric Bubna had information on the state mandate for juniors to take the ACT test. “The state department has changed the graduation requirements so the mandated test will be the ACT,” said Bubna. “Most of the juniors will take the ACT which is a big change for the district and the state. We are looking at ways to prepare students for the content of the tests and study strategies. The ACT has been around for a long time and there are many ways to help the students like prep courses, on line work, and seminars as we want students to be successful in the test.”

Laura Lyczewski, district business manager informed the board that they are still waiting for figures from the state before they can approve the preliminary property tax levy for 2014 payable in 2015. The board will hold a special meeting on Friday at 7:00 a.m. to approve the tax levy.
The board accepted a grant of $1,250 from the Crookston Area Community Fund to be used to purchase swimming pool accessories.
The Truth in Taxation hearing was set for December 15 at 6:00 p.m.

 

 

 

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL SELLS A LOT TO CHEDA, CROOKSTON WAYS AND MEANS DISCUSSES SIX PERCENT LEVY TO REPLENISH FUND

The Crookston City Council met on Monday evening and sold lot six, block two in the Barrette Street Estates to the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority to build another house. “CHEDA has worked in conjunction with the school district to build a construction trades house, but that program has been suspended for a year so we will move forward and put another home on Barrette that should get started this fall,” said City Administrator Shannon Stassen.
The council waived the building permit fee to CHEDA for the house to be built.

The Crookston Ways and Means Committee met after the council meeting to review more of the city budget. Administrator Stassen said they finally got the data needed from the county to complete the preliminary budget. “We are getting closer now that we have the tax capacity. It was a key component to get the valuation so we will be working on the levy increase and what any increase would impact residents,” said Stassen. “We will get it to the council in the next few weeks, we are proposing a zero levy for operations which we can fund with LGA.” The city is proposing a six percent levy for economic development to help replenish a fund they used that had $400,000.”
The committee approved a request to vacate 5th Avenue North in the area of Hubbard.
The request will go on to the city council for approval.

 

FOR THE OBITUARY PAGE  CLICK HERE

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