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THURSDAY - APRIL 24,  2014

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT ACTIVITY DIRECTOR JOB DOWN TO FOUR FINALISTS

The Crookston School District has narrowed down the 19 Activities Director applicants to the final four.  The four finalists are:
Greg Garmen,
the current Head Pirate Boys Basketball coach, and assistant boys tennis.  His full time job is the high school science teacher.
Scott Butt, the current Head Pirate Football coach.  His full time job is the Crookston Park and Rec Supervisor.
Dave Cresap, the current head boys basketball coach and teacher at Perham.
Josh Hardy,
the current Pirate Boys Hockey assistant coach, and Climax-Fisher track coach.  His full time job is a physical education teacher at Fisher School.

“We had 19 applicants, which was a very healthy number.  We were hoping for 12 to 15 and had more so that was good,” said Crookston School District Superintendent Chris Bates. Since all four are currently coaching, KROX asked if the new Activities Director will be allowed to coach. “We asked that of the internal candidates and there have been people that have been very successful doing both.  Les Drechsel is one of those people that did both and was very successful,” said Bates.  “I’m not sure making a hard and fast rule is the right way to go and I think for some people it might be too much and for others they can manage it very well and we will probably let them make that decision themselves.”

 

 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL PROM TO BE HELD THIS SATURDAY WITH 66 COUPLES REGISTERED

The Crookston High School prom is set for Saturday evening at the high school. Dawn Skjei is the prom coordinator and is starting to decorate the Crookston High School Gymnasium today (Thursday). The grand march is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. in the gym with 66 couples and music will be a variety of fun music. The meal is catered by Ray Ecklund with an Italian buffet. “The public can come for $3 for the grand march with the doors opening at 4:30, pictures will be taken by We Clik with the meal at 6:30 and dance starting at 9:00 p.m.,” said Skjei. More chaperones would be helpful, so anyone interested can contact Skjei at work at Rejuv Salon and Spa. Blast to Bede follows the prom at Bede Ballroom at UMC and the students need to be there by midnight.

 

 

 

ANNUAL AG SAFETY DAY TO BE HELD IN CROOKSTON ON FRIDAY AT THE CROOKSTON SPORTS CENTER

The annual Ag Safety Day will be held at the Crookston Sports Center on Friday for sixth graders from area schools. Mark Fisketjon is safety coordinator for the event and said the sixth graders will come from all the schools in Crookston, Win-E-Mac, and Fertile-Beltrami. “They go through demonstrations on electrical safety, sun safety, fire arm safety, ATV, Grain safety, First Aid, Lawn mower safety, animal and fire safety,” said Fisketjon. “There will be a rollover simulator and PTO demonstration.” The Crookston Leo Club will help set up the demonstrations. The opening ceremony is at 9:00 a.m. and each session is about 15 to 20 minutes long with the kids moving from session to session. The PTO demonstration is scheduled to be held at noon and everyone is welcome to come and observe. The public is welcome to come out to the Ag Safety Day and watch the safety demonstrations anytime from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

 

 

 

CROOKSTON PARK AND REC TO HOST A GOLF CLINIC ON SATURDAY

The Crookston Park and Recreation Department will host a golf clinic on Saturday at the Crookston Sports Center. The clinic will start at noon with a professional golf instructor and they will be using turf and golf simulator. The cost is $10. “People can get pointers and tips, there will be smaller nets for chipping, a Nike Driver will be given away and we will introduce people to the simulator,” said Scott Butt, Park and Recreation Supervisor.
The clinic is open to all ages from Noon to 4:00 p.m. You can register now at city hall for $10.

 

 

 

AREA'S OF CROOKSTON AND RURAL RESIDENTS ALL THE WAY TO GENTILLY REPORT POWER OUTAGE

KROX has received several reports of the power going out throughout Crookston.  Power was reported out on the Southeast part of Crookston by Happy Joe's Pizza and Ice Cream Parlor.  Power was also reported out at Draft's Sports Bar and Grill on the Northeast corner of town.  Rural resident's between Crookston and Gentilly also reported the power outage.  Shortly after 11:00 p.m. the power was back on on the Southeast part of Crookston, but the northeast part of town was still without power.

 

 

CROOKSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES REPORTS OF A PHISHING SCAM

The Crookston Police Department is once again receiving reports of a “Phishing Scam” by phone.  Crookston residents are receiving automated phone calls informing them their MasterCard has been “locked”.  The automated system instructs the resident to press “1” to be forwarded to the security department.  Once “1” is pressed, another person asks for secure information about the cardholder’s accounts and debit cards.
In December of 2013 several incidents identical to this were reported.  The automated calls stopped after the CPD put out a press release. It appears the scammers are trying yet again to find unsuspecting victims.  The CPD has verified this is still a scam. 
The Crookston Police Department is advising residents to hang up if they receive a call similar to this and to call your bank if you feel it’s necessary.  A person should never give out personal information over the phone.  If you have given your information out after receiving this phone call, please contact the financial institution your card belongs to and cancel the card.  You should also contact the CPD only if you have given out personal information or believe you are a victim in a similar way. 


 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH EMPLOYEES HOLD A SUPERHERO SOUP AND CHILI COOK-OFF

RiverView Health employees held a Superhero Soup and Chili Cook-off recently as a fundraiser for the North Country Food Bank. The event brought in $839 for the Food Bank - $10 more than last year’s fundraiser. Eleven departments participated in the event. First place went to Home Care with its “Optimus Prime Chili Time’’ entry. Environmental Services took second place with “Everybody’s Hero: Mom’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, and third place went to Patient Financial Services with the entry “SOUPer DILLicious’’. RiverView Rehab won the Best Theme award with “Popeye’s Secret Weapon’’. The event was planned by RiverView’s Rewards and Recognition Team.


Best Theme award winners: RiverView Rehab Department with “Popeye’s Secret Weapon’’


First place winner: Home Care with “Optimus Prime Chili Time’’


Tracy Volker, food shelf coordinator at North Country Food Bank, receives a donation from members of RiverView's Rewards & Recognition Team including Carmen Mendez, Ryan Hager and MaryLou Wittmann.

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY - APRIL 23,  2014

CROOKSTON COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY TO BE REAPPRAISED

All commercial and industrial property in the city of Crookston will be reappraised for the 2015 Assessment beginning this spring.  Letters have been sent to all affected property owners. Preliminary work for the reappraisal program, which includes door to door inspections of all commercial properties in the City of Crookston, will begin approximately May 12, 2014.  Representatives of Vanguard Appraisals, Inc will be reappraising all commercial real estate for property tax assessments purposes.  Each Vanguard representative will have a photo ID, identifying them as such.
The purpose of the reappraisal is to equalize property assessments.  Each taxpayer is responsible for paying only his/her fair share of the property tax burden.  Vanguard Appraisals, Inc was hired because of their considerable reappraisal experience.  They have conducted numerous reappraisal projects in the upper Midwest, including Minnesota and Polk County.
Data collectors will make interior and exterior inspections of all commercial properties.  They will be compiling information to be used to estimate fair market value of each property.  Information to be collected includes: type of construction, type of interior finish, physical condition of the property, age of structures and exterior measurements.  A complete sales analysis, local construction costs and economic conditions are also considered.  No estimate of value will be given at the time of inspection.
We ask that property owners cooperate by allowing a complete inspection of your property and provide accurate information in order to determine a fair and equitable assessment of your property.  Incomplete or inaccurate information may result in an assessment that may not be a fair reflection of the property’s actual value.  For this reason, our office requests your assistance to ensure that the appraisal project is completed successfully.
Notice of final value estimates will be mailed to each property owner after the completion of the project, tentatively around January 1st.  Property owners will have an opportunity to meet informally to discuss their revaluation with representatives of Vanguard Appraisals Inc.
The Crookston Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office & Polk County Assessor’s Office will have a listing of all names and license plate numbers of appraisers involved in the project.
If you have any questions regarding the reappraisal project, please contact me via email at Robert.wagner@co.polk.mn.us or phone at 218-281-4186.

 

 

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVE A CHANGE IN SECURITY AT THE JUSTICE CENTER

Polk County Commissioners approved a change in security at the county justice center in Crookston. After many months of discussion they approved the transition plan for front security staffing at the center which was recommended by Sheriff Barb Erdman. “The board approval will make the move toward a combined unit of transport, court security and building security to one unit. We will move forward after several months to have the Sheriff’s department take over the security,” said Erdman. “We will be looking at recruiting, hiring and training to fill the positions and the goal is to have everything ready to go on January 1, 2015. It will take a lot of work as hiring peace officers is no small tasks as there are a lot of openings throughout the state, but I am confident we will get there.”
The change will streamline the security operations with a stand alone unit of staff that will cover the needs of the court, increase communications with the county attorney, public defenders, community corrections and law enforcement.
 

 

 

POLK COUNTY RENEWS SOLID WASTE CONTRACTS WITH FIVE COUNTIES, ADDS A SIXTH COUNTY TO THE NEW CONTRACT

Polk County Commissioners got good news at their meeting on Tuesday from Jon Steiner, Polk County Environmental Services director on the solid waste contracts with the county for the incinerator in Fosston. “We’ve been working with the five county group, Beltrami, Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman and Polk to come up with a five year contract as they expire this year,” said Steiner. “We have reached an agreement and it has been reviewed and now the counties will sign them and we will be adding Hubbard in 2016 so this is good as waste runs on volume and when it is capped you have to get revenue from more tonnage, recycling and composting.”
Steiner has been working with the state legislature on getting funding for renovations at the incinerator. “Like everything with the legislature it can be frustrating and it is in St. Paul and we are hoping it gets included in the bonding. We are working with our legislators as there are a lot of projects looking for money and ours is a small project.”

Commissioners approved a payment of $15,975.00 to Building Systems of Grand Forks for asbestos abatement for demolition in Crookston and Tabor.

An easement for the Industrial Park in Fertile was approved for utilities and right of way by the commissioners. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife payment in lieu of taxes was accepted for $11,500 for 2014.

Northwest Asphalt and Maintenance of Goodridge received the bid for crack filling in the county with a bid of $82,800. Knife River Materials of Bemidji was the low bidder for road projects on county state aid highway 41 between Highway 102 and Highway2 in McIntosh and county state aid highway 34 to Highway 59 and Highway 59 to the west limits of McIntosh. The bid was $1,698,309.50.

The commissioners approved the application for a federal boating safety grant for a new boat as required by federal regulations. The grant application will be for $29,000 and includes boat, motor and trailer. A grant of $5,000 was received for the operations of boat and water safety on area lakes from the state commission of natural resources.

 

 

ACUPUNCTURE TO BE THE TOPIC OF RIVERVIEW HEALTH'S HEALTH LUNCHEON ON APRIL 29

RiverView Health would like to introduce you to an effective, affordable, safe, drug-free alternative for pain and ailments that might be keeping you from living your life to your greatest potential – Community Acupuncture.
Community Acupuncture is RiverView’s newest line of defense against a variety of issues from the common cold to musculoskeletal pain. Learn more about the popular practice at the Tuesday, April 29 RiverView Health Luncheon, “Introducing…Community Acupuncture; Effective, Affordable Acupuncture in a Group Setting’’. RiverView’s Licensed Acupuncturist Megan Scott will share the benefits of acupuncture and give a tour of the newly renovated Community Acupuncture space at the Second Floor, North Clinic in Crookston.
RiverView’s Community Acupuncture program is designed to treat up to four patients at a time in a calm, relaxing environment. Scott quietly assesses each patient’s needs from questionnaires filled out prior to the initial appointment and discusses her plan with each individual while the patient rests comfortably in a zero gravity recliner. In the community setting, needles are most often placed in the arms, legs, head, and ears. There is no need to undress, just move your pant legs or sleeves up. Scott then inserts thin needles along the body’s meridians, or channels, to promote energy flow and balance. Once the needles are in place, the patient rests for as long as needed – typically 30-45 minutes before the needles are removed and the session is complete.
According to Scott, those experiencing acupuncture for the first time often feel comfort in having others around them that are going through the same experience. And, ultimately, patients are able to receive the treatment they need at an affordable cost.

Commonly Treated Conditions
The ancient practice of acupuncture, which dates back more than 2,000 years, is used to help a variety of issues, including:
·         Anxiety & Depression
·         Arthritis, Tendonitis, & Joint Pain (knee, elbow, ankle, etc)
·         Asthma & Allergies
·         Sinus Congestion
·         Common Cold & Influenza
·         Neck & Back Pain
·         Fibromyalgia
·         Headaches & Migraines
·         Indigestion, Gas, Bloating, Constipation & Diarrhea
·         Insomnia
·         Menopause
·         PMS & Menstrual Irregularity
·         Stress Management/Relaxation
·         Fertility
·         Side Effects of Chemotherapy
·         No complaints? Lucky You! Use acupuncture to stay well and feel your best!

Health Luncheon Details
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 an 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 or toll free 1-800-743-6551, extension 9745, for additional information and to pre-register.

 

 

 

UMC TO HOST 3D PRINTING SEMINAR ON APRIL 28

The public is invited to attend “Taking Shape: 3D Printing,” April 28, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at University of Minnesota Crookston, in Heritage Hall. The event is hosted by 360-degrees Manufacturing and Applied Engineering ATE Regional Center of Excellence, together with University of Minnesota Crookston. Attendees will have the opportunity to see 3D printers in action and learn about the potential of this emerging technology to print a multitude of 3D objects, including such things as art, jewelry, personalized dolls and action figures, mechanical parts, medical devices, implants and even food.
Attendees will learn about recent developments in 3D printing technology which are taking the world by storm and impacting many segments of society, including the arts, education, medicine and business. At the same time, the cost of personal use 3D printers has dropped to around $1,000 to $3,000 per unit, placing the purchase of these units within reach for small- to mid-sized businesses, individuals and other organizations.
In its simplest definition, 3D printers (using a process which is sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing) place material precisely, layer-by-layer, slowly building up a 3-dimensional object. Materials which are being used currently include plastic, concrete, metal, wood, food and human cells.
The potential impact for Crookston and surrounding communities is significant. Individuals interested in learning more about these emerging technologies and seeing them in action are encouraged to attend. There is no cost, but pre-registration is highly encouraged as space is limited.
Parking for the event is available in lots E and G. No parking permits will be required. Go to the event website to register at www.3DPrintingCrookston.eventbrite.com.

 

 

 

UMC CHOIR AND UMC COMMUNITY BAND TO PERFORM ON APRIL 27 IN KIEHLE AUDITORIUM

The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) Choir under the direction of Associate Professor George French will be joined by the UMC Community Band under the direction of TJ Chapman for a spring concert. Along with the band a number of special soloists will also perform on Sunday, April 27 at 3:00 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. The concert is free and all are welcome. Refreshments will follow the concert.
The UMC Community Band is a new addition to the annual spring concert. Chapman is a teaching specialist in the Math, Science, and Technology Department and took on directing the band in September 2013. A wide variety of vocal and band music will be performed in this end of the year concert.


                                 The University of Minnesota Crookston Choir performing earlier this year

 

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 22,  2014

SEVERAL CROOKSTON RESIDENTS OPPOSE THE PROPOSED RV PARK BY CASTLE PARK AT INFORMATION MEETING

About a dozen Crookston residents attended the informational meeting on the proposed recreational vehicle campground being planned for Castle Park. Jeremy Jennen of Hillsboro has an RV campground in Hillsboro and wants to develop one at Castle Park in partnership with the city and American Crystal Sugar.
“There is a need from American Crystal Sugar, which approached us through Express Employment so we would be contracted with Express through the fall. They want the park from September 1 through the beet campaign and it would be big enough so that it could entertain other guests during the rest of the year along with other workers needed in the area as the oil fields have drawn workers away,” said Jennen. “They want to bring in workers from around the nation.”
There are a group of people who have sold their homes and live in RV parks and travel the nation working. There is another group of migrant workers who also move from job to job. There is no lease for them to sign as American Crystal Sugar and Express Employment cover those costs.
The campground would be in part of Castle Park next to the Natural Play Area and acreage from John Sampson next to the park to accommodate the 50 to 70 camping sites. Jennen needs to get started now to be ready for the fall. “We need to get started so we are ready to go by September 1,” said Jennen. “We wanted to get started sooner but with all the technicalities we want to do it the right way and establish grass so hopefully it will be ready by September 1.”
Kristin Fagerlund representing the Natural Play area group wants to be a good partner, but has concerns about parking and keeping the area as it is. Loren Johnson was skeptical about the partnership between the city, American Crystal and developer Jennen and did not want the park changed. Marsha Meine lives across the street from Castle Park and said the park is used all the time by the neighborhood children and feels the campground would not fit in. “I was always told that Castle Park was going to remain a family oriented park, a place where families could go and fly kits, ride 4-wheelers and I don’t see this with an RV campground coming in,” said Meine. “There are better places in Crookston for this facility, they want everything at the sports center so put it out there.”
Meine said the neighborhood keeps the park clean now and would not want damage done. The Crookston City Council will have further discussion before making a final decision so the developer Jennen can get started.

 

 

CROOKSTON SWIMMING POOL TO BE CLOSED FOR AT LEAST TWO MONTHS

The Crookston Swimming pool will be closed for at least two months according to Crookston School District Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Rich Niemela. Several companies were contacted about the filter leaking problem and they will be giving the district quotes on the necessary work to make the repairs. There is no time line in place according to Niemela.

 

 

 

CROOKSTON PARK BOARD ASKS FOR A QUOTE TO HAVE WIFI AT THE CROOKSTON SPORTS CENTER

The Crookston Park Board met on Monday and approved a matching grant of $1,000 for Villa St. Vincent to add a bench to the park in front of their facility.
A quote has been requested for Wifi to be installed at the Crookston Sports Center. A list of items to improve the Crookston Sports Center is being compiled so a grant can be applied for from the Legacy Fund. Dehumidification at the Crookston Sports Center is at the top of the list.  The Park Board is looking for partners to work on projects to be held at the Sports Center over the summer.
 

 

CROOKSTON SUMMER REGISTRATION DAY IS SET FOR WEDNESDAY EVENING AT THE CSC

Crookston Summer Registration Day is set for Wednesday (April 23) from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Crookston Sports Center. Park and Recreation Director Scott Riopelle said parents can register for many summer programs at one time. “Park and Recreation is participating along with Washington School summer care, youth soccer, British Soccer Camp, the Gun Club, Safety Town, Boy Scouts, Girl scouts, the Blue Line Club, UMC Robotic Camp and many more to make up 17 different groups under one roof,” said Riopelle. There are many different programs for all ages of children. People can also register at city hall for the Park and Recreation programs anytime as they do not start until June.
 

 

 

POLK COUNTY SOYBEAN-CORN GROWERS ASSOCIATION DONATES $2,400 TO AREA FIRE DEPARTMENTS

The Polk County Soybean-Corn Growers Association is supporting the county’s volunteer fire departments and promoting the use of biodiesel at the same time. The growers have donated $2,400 to the following county fire departments: Fisher, East Grand Forks, Beltrami, Fertile, Fosston, McIntosh, Erskine, Winger, Crookston, Mentor, Climax and Nielsville. “This is one way to both support our local fire departments who protect our farms, and promote the use of clean, renewable and homegrown ethanol,” said Greg LeBlanc, president of the Polk County Soybean-Corn Growers.
The donation is intended to offset the cost of fuel in the fire trucks.
Farmers harvested over 81 million bushels of corn in Northwest Minnesota in 2013, up from 45 million in 2011. A single 56-pound bushel of corn produces 2.8 gallons of ethanol fuel and 18 pounds of high-protein livestock feed.
Since Minnesota has no fossil fuel sources of its own, most of the gasoline used in our state comes from oil drilled for in environmentally sensitive areas like the Alberta Tar Sands. Ethanol comes from Minnesota corn fields, a homegrown, local and sustainable source.
To learn more about ethanol and Minnesota’s corn farmers, visit www.mncorn.org.


Chris Cournia, Crookston Fire Fighter, (left) receives a $200 check from Russ Severson, Polk County Soybean-Corn Growers Association associate director.

 

 

 

UMC TO HOST A BONE MARROW REGISTRY DRIVE APRIL 29 AND 30 AND INFORMATIONAL PANEL APRIL 24

For the first time, the University of Minnesota Crookston will be hosting a bone marrow registry drive on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 29 and 30, in Bede Ballroom from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. For those looking for more information prior to the drive, an informational panel session will be held Thursday, April 24 in the Evergreen Classroom at 4:00 p.m. This event is open to all of the Crookston community.
The April 24 information session and panel discussion will feature Ashleigh, Justin, and Michelle Erdmann; Ashley Rohr; and Lori Lucken-Bak. Come and listen to the stories of the panel members while also learning more about what it takes to be a donor.
The goal of this registry drive event is to get 75 people on the Be The Match Registry®, the largest and most diverse bone marrow registry in the world. Those who are between the ages of 18-44, and especially those who come from a diverse background, are all prime candidates for the registry. With a person getting diagnosed every 4 minutes with a blood cancer, such as leukemia or sickle cell anemia, perhaps you can be the match for someone in need.
Can’t donate? Anyone can make a financial donation which helps get people placed on the registry list to help find a match, provides care and support services for patients, and supports medical research funding. To donate directly to our event, go to www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/Nash.

 

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH'S MARY ANN BOUSHEE BECOMES REGISTERED PULMONARY FUNCTION TECHNOLOGIST

RiverView Health’s Respiratory Care Coordinator Mary Ann Boushee recently passed her pulmonary function registry and is now a registered pulmonary function technologist (RPFT) in RiverView’s Respiratory Therapy Department.
A RPFT is a respiratory therapist who has successfully attained the Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist credentials and has chosen to attain the advanced level RPFT credentials from the National Board of Respiratory Care by taking the national boards.
RPFTs primarily perform the technical function of pulmonary function testing, which is a complete evaluation of the respiratory system including patient history, physical examinations, arterial blood gas analysis, and tests of pulmonary function. The primary purpose of pulmonary function testing is to identify the severity of pulmonary impairment. Pulmonary function testing has diagnostic and therapeutic roles and helps clinicians answer some general questions about patients with lung disease
There are currently 12,909 individuals in the US that hold the certified pulmonary function technologist credential and 4,335 that hold the RPFT credential, according to the National Board of Respiratory Care.
Boushee’s new credentials now allow her to do more advanced testing at RiverView. “Having more knowledge in the lab helps me take even better care of our patients,’’ said Boushee. “In the past we were unable to perform indirect calorimetry and pulmonary stress testing, now we have the option of  adding advanced testing in the future."
For more information on RiverView’s Respiratory Therapy Department, call 218-281-9576.  

 

 

CECILIA PLANTE AND FAMILY TAKE A FIVE GENERATION PICTURE


Cecilia Plante (great great grandmother), Renee Kjelaas (great grandmother), Erica Brown (grandmother), Kayla Brown (mother), Mollie Jayne (daughter).  If you have a five generation picture taken over the Easter weekend or recently send it to us at krox@rrv.net and we will get it on our webpage.

 

 

MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION UPDATES 511MN.ORG WEBSITE

Minnesota’s 511 traveler information system that gives up-to-date information on weather-related road conditions and maintenance and construction projects now has an improved high bandwidth site, giving users more continuity and usability with the service, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The 511 system, available online at 511mn.org or by phone at 511, helps motorists make better travel decisions. It offers both voice response and touch-tone options to request road-specific information.
“The enhanced 511 site will make it easier for motorists to find out information about events that may affect their travel—whether it's road construction, weather or traffic incidents. Motorists can also sign up for text alerts and emails for their customized routes,” said Brian Kary, MnDOT freeway operations engineer.
The new 511 features include viewing traffic camera images in an album, allowing users to scroll from one camera to the next along their route. Also, when users click on an incident, it will be brought up in an album view with a description and map. The background images fade out. In addition, pages are now auto-refreshed when new information arrives that affect the current map view. “The new site was rolled out in Minnesota and two other states last week and all went very well,” said Kelly Braunig, MnDOT 511 coordinator.
Minnesota was one of the first states in the country to introduce 511 in 2002. The high bandwidth was added in 2009. The free mobile app was launched in July 2013; since then, there have been more than 98,000 downloads of the app.


 


POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONER WARREN STRANDELL RELEASES ANOTHER COUNTY LINE COLUMN

The County Line
By Warren Strandell
Polk County Commissioner, Dist. 2

Table talk in the coffee shops and at a lot of other places, too, often deals with the cost of government about taxes being too high and about how welfare spending is out of control.
On the welfare subject, commissioners can be challenged with claims that way too many underserving people are receiving benefits. It is impossible to say that there aren’t some who are beating the system, but that doesn’t happen with the regularity that might be suggested.
Although created by the state and federal governments, it is the counties that are responsible for administering these assistance programs. The process of determining eligibility begins when a situation or a request for assistance comes to the attention of the agency. In Polk County, that process is quite involved.

Not pushovers
By their nature, social service professionals want to help when help is appropriate. That’s their calling. They are caring people and a very important part of the American way of Christianity. But they aren’t pushovers when it comes to providing handouts.
Some of the key people in the approval process for receiving assistance are the eligibility workers in the county’s Social Services Department. It is their role to determine based upon a number of factors ranging from income limits, asset limits, household composition and more whether or not a person qualifies for benefits and at what level they may qualify.
When the possibility of fraud surfaces and the situation cannot be readily corrected, a fraud prevention investigator becomes involved.  Marc Cardinal is the Region 1 fraud prevention specialist for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Cardinal, who offices at the Marshall County Courthouse in Warren, works in the seven counties of Region 1 (Kittson, Roseau, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk and Norman) and also in Mahnomen County
According to his 2013 report, Polk County alone referred 142 possible welfare fraud cases to his office. Those cases involved questions about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), food support, federal medical benefits, state medical benefits, childcare, and other programs. Of the referrals from Polk County, 10 are pending criminal charges through the Polk County Attorney’s Office. Those people generally had multiple violations, most in the areas of food support and federal medical claims.

Overpayments prevented
Cardinal’s fraud prevention report notes that $407,742 in overpayments was avoided in Polk County for that one year alone.
Fraud prevention efforts are not new to Polk County. The late Arnie Roseland, who worked solely for Polk County before he died unexpectedly in 2009, was so renowned in this effort that the State of Minnesota was trying to put him in the regional position that exists now. Minnesota implemented regional fraud prevention when it hired Cardinal later in 2009.
While it is always possible that there are some who are receiving benefits when they don’t deserve them, it doesn’t happen readily. If you know of a situation of questionable eligibility, there are ways of bringing it to the attention of those who can check it out.

Anonymous reporting
Your information can be provided anonymously by calling the Polk County Sheriff’s Office 24/7 at 1-218-281-0431 and asking for Extension 2249.  You can also report fraud by calling the fraud hotline at 1-800-627-9977 or by filing a report online at https://fraudhotline.dhs.mn.gov
Information of interest that can be reported could deal with persons not reporting income, the incorrect reporting of the persons living in a home, misuse of food stamps or Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, falsifying of information on applications, unreported property or assets, or persons receiving dual benefits (from more than one state).
Social services are meant for those who need them. No one should dispute that because, but for the grace of God, it could become any one of us. Those who might try to fleece the system, however, should have to answer for their actions.

From Grandmas dictionary:
Criticism
 Attempting to get up by pushing others down.
Temptation The serpent that big people have all grappled with.
Disclaimer: Thoughts expressed in this column are those of the author and are not necessarily a reflection of the opinions of the other members of the Polk County Board of Commissioners



 

 

 

 

MONDAY - APRIL 21,  2014

THIS WEEK IS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK 

For more than 20 years, the state of Minnesota has conducted Severe Weather Awareness Week in partnership with the National Weather Service and local governments. A statewide tornado drill is part of that event.
Most local and statewide radio, TV and cable stations will be participating in the drill. Television viewers and radio station listeners and TV viewers should hear or see a simulated tornado warning message at 1:45 p.m. This tornado drill warning should last about one minute. When the test is completed, stations should return to normal programming.
In addition, alerts for both the simulated tornado watches and warnings will be issued over the NOAA Weather Radios in the area which will activate the radio alerts. The afternoon drill will also occur at the same time in Wisconsin and is expected to be broadcast on most radio and TV stations in the state.

THE DRILLS
Counties and cities own, operate and maintain all local sirens, and set their own policy on how and when to activate them. The  National Weather Service does not operate them. There are many different policies regarding siren activation that are used by the various cities and counties. Some will activate sirens across the entire county for tornado warnings only.
Others will activate sirens countywide for tornado warnings and all severe thunderstorm warnings. Some will activate sirens across the entire county for tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms that have winds of at least 70 or 75 mph. Others will activate sirens only for portions of counties. Local officials may also sound the sirens anytime they believe severe weather is a threat, even if there is no warning from the National Weather Service.
Sirens normal sound for about three minutes, and then go silent. It is very rare to keep the sirens sounding for the entire warning, since that would cause the backup battery to run out, which would be critical in the event that power goes out. Furthermore, the siren motor will fail much more quickly if the siren sounds continuously. Some jurisdictions may repeat siren activation every few minutes. Please check with your local public safety officials for details on when warning sirens are sounded in your community.

AFTERNOON TORNADO DRILL APRIL 24, 2014 - 1:45 P.M.
The drill traditionally occurs on Thursday afternoon at 1:45 p.m., when jurisdictions across Minnesota sound their outdoor warning sirens. Schools, businesses and other facilities are encouraged to conduct a tornado drill at this time to practice their tornado sheltering plans.

EVENING TORNADO DRILL APRIL 24, 2014 - 6:55 P.M.
The reason for a 6:55 p.m. drill is that severe weather including tornadoes occurs most often between 3 and 8 p.m. The statewide 1:45 p.m. drill gives institutions, first-shift and day workers a time to practice, but it does not allow second-shift workers the same opportunity. The 6:55 p.m. tornado drill also allows families to practice their sheltering plans.

FOR TIPS FOR SEVERE WEATHER SITUATIONS AT HOME AND WORK CLICK HERE

 

 

CROOKSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT TO HOLD TAKE BACK DRUG COLLECTION ON SATURDAY

The Crookston Police Department will have a drug collection event on Saturday, April 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Crookston Police Department office. “This is a coordinated national take back drug collection to provide a unified opportunity to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from the medicine cabinet,” said Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier. “This is for expired, unwanted, unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction.” If you have questions Call the police department at 281-3111.
Controlled, non controlled and over the counter substances will be collected, no sharps will be accepted.

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH TO HOLD A 5K WALK/RUN ON MAY 3

RiverView Health will hold a 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, May 3 at 10:00 a.m.  Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Rehab entrance on the south side of RiverView Health in Crookston, MN.  No pets, bikes or rollerblades will be allowed, but strollers are welcome.  Registration forms are available at www.riverviewhealth.org, click on view all under the news tab on the right and the link to the form is on the left.  There is a $15.00 entry fee for registrations postmarked April 24 or before and a $20.00 entry fee for registration forms postmarked after April 24.  All pre-registered will receive a t-shirt.  Race day registration will be accepted as well, but you might not get a t-shirt.  Families are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Children 10 and under do not have to register.  For more information call 218-281-9211.

 

 

UMC HUNT SEAT TEAM COMPETES IN ZONE CHAMPIONSHIPS

The University of Minnesota Crookston Hunt Seat Equestrian team recently competed at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Zone Championships in Madison, Wisconsin. Five riders from UMC competed as the UMC team had the opportunity to represent itself after capturing the Regional Championship. In addition, Emily Steeley (So., Portsmouth, R.I./Equine Science) competed individually in Open Equitation Over Fences that she had qualified for in Regionals and placed first advancing to IHSA Nationals.
In the team competition, five riders from the hunt seat team competed for the Golden Eagles. Steeley was the designated rider for UMC in Open Equitation over Fences, in which she placed fifth amongst a tough group of competitors. Steeley also rode for the team for Open Equitation on the Flat placing fifth.
Sable Bettencourt (So., Cloquet, Minn./Equine Science) rode in the Intermediate Equitation over Fences and finished fourth competing for the UMC team. Hannah Nedrud (Sr., St. Louis Park, Minn./Equine Science) rode in Novice Equitation over Fences and finished third and also rode in Novice Equitation on the Flat and finished fourth.
Maggie Blunck (Fr., Bloomington, Minn.) was the last rider to compete for the Golden Eagles as a team and came up with a strong ride in Walk Trot and finished first overall.
Steeley, competing as an individual this time in Open Equitation Over Fences, had a fantastic course and finished with a well-deserved first place out of nine other open riders to advance to the IHSA Nationals, where she will also compete for the Cacchione Cup, which she had qualified for earlier this season.
The hunt seat team ended the day with an overall fourth-place finish amongst the teams that had qualified from each region.  “Each rider on this team sets her goals high and puts everything she has into her riding,” said Assistant Coach Kayla Krueger. “I am very proud of how far this young team has come and I can’t wait to see what the 2014-15 season has in store.”

 

 

 

UMC TO PRESENT "WALDEN: THE BALLAD OF THOREAU"

A conversation between Thoreau and Emerson in Thoreau’s cabin before leaving Walden Pond is the focus of "Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau." A performance of the of the two-act, four-character play will take place on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in Kiehle Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The two performances at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. have no admission charge and everyone is welcome. Free will donations will go to a designated sustainability project.
Under the direction of Linnea Barton, Writing Center coordinator, the cast consists of Ian McCrae, associate professor at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, as Emerson; Chris Sthultz, assistant professor in the Math, Science, and Technology Department, as Thoreau; Michael Laurich, a junior majoring in biology from Lansing, Ill., as J.B.; and Megan Luxford, a senior applied studies major from Columbus, Neb., as Rachel.
The play, written by Michael Johnathon, takes place during the final two days Henry David Thoreau spent at his cabin before leaving Walden Pond. It is an exploration of the roles each person plays protecting the earth, while challenging the audience to live a simpler life and preserve the environment. To learn more about the play, visit www.waldenplay.com.
Sponsors of the performance are Liberal Arts and Education Department; Business Department; Math, Science, and Technology Department; Agriculture and Natural Resources Department; Concerts and Lectures; Crookston Students for Sustainable Development; and the UMC Music and Theater Department.
An Earth Day celebration, Having Fun Caring for the Earth, will take place from 9 to noon in the Sargeant Student Center. The celebration includes a poster contest for college and high school students with $500 scholarships awarded to the winning posters; a sustainability fair; a Native American tribute and hot topic Earth Day mini lectures. All are welcome. For more information, contact Dana Trickey, College in the High School coordinator, at 218-281-8677.


Linnea Barton, director; Kenneth Mendez, Megan Luxford; Chris Sthultz, Michael Laurich, and Ian McCrae.

 

 

U OF M EXTENSION SAYS TO BE PATIENT WITH LAWNCARE THIS SPRING

The snow is mostly gone and the lawns will soon be green. With spring like weather finally here, there is a strong temptation to grab the rake and start spring cleanup.  Likewise, the garden centers and discount stores are starting to feature fertilizers in their advertisements and homeowners get the urge to apply their spring fertilizer.  It is very important to withstand that temptation and leave those tools in the garage until the lawn is ready.
No matter how beautiful the weather, keep off the grass until the soil feels fairly firm underfoot and you no longer leave footprints when you walk across the lawn.  If it’s still soggy wet, you will compress the soil wherever you step which will add to compaction and promotes poor root growth and poor water drainage.  This is especially important if you are going to use your lawn tractor or other heavy equipment to clean your yard.  In addition, it is very easy to pull the grass out by the roots when the grass is wet.  The actual time to start raking the lawn is dependent on moisture levels in the soil, soil type, amount of rainfall and drainage of the lawn.  Don’t rush it!
When the lawn is ready to rake, use a lightweight lawn rake, not a heavy garden rake.  The lighter rake removes dead grass and weeds as well as allows air to reach the crowns of the grass plants without harming the roots.  Raking also removes rocks and other debris that could pose a problem when you mow later this spring.
Although lawns may be aerated and dethatched in late April and May, the best time is during the months of August and September.  If you do choose to aerate or dethatch in the spring, be sure the soil is dry enough so that compaction does not occur.
Despite what you read in fertilizer advertisements, it is much too early to make your spring fertilizer application.  If fertilizer is applied before the grass plants are growing rapidly enough to utilize the nutrients, particularly nitrogen, the nutrients will leach below the roots of the grass plants and become unavailable to the plants. 
If you fertilized last fall, there really is no need to fertilize in early spring.  If you missed the fall application or have determined your lawn needs spring fertilization, wait until the lawn is ready for its first mowing before applying the fertilizer.   At that time put down only a light application of fertilizer as heavy spring feeding encourages fast green-up and a flush of succulent growth that is more vulnerable to fungus diseases.  The heavier applications of fertilizer should be made in September and October, at which time it promotes good root development, which will, in turn, produce lush green grass in the spring. 
To remove the guesswork as to the amount of nutrients to apply, consider having the soil tested.  Call or stop in at the Extension Office to get an information sheet and a soil sample bag.
Of course, if you’re not fond of mowing, skip the fertilizer altogether. With the vast majority of lawns, there are ample soil nutrients to nurture grass. Additional fertilizer typically creates lush, dark green growth but increases the need for mowing. If lawn work is low on your priority list, forget the amendments and go fishing.
For more information, contact me at 800-450-2465 or stordahl@umn.edu.  Source: Carl Hoffman, former UM Extension Educator.

 

 

FRIDAY - APRIL 18,  2014

CROOKSTON POOL TO BE CLOSED INDEFINITELY AFTER PROBLEMS WITH A FILTER, REPAIR COSTS COULD BE OVER $200,000

The Crookston Community Swimming Pool is closed for an indefinite period of time after a filter leak occurred on Thursday. The filter tanks that filter the pool water got a leak in them so they had to shut it down. “The water cannot be circulated and cleaned at this time, so until we decide how we are going to patch it up we will be closed,” said Richard Niemela, Crookston Buildings and Grounds Supervisor for the school district. “We will do some research and decide on Monday if we can patch or replace it, so we will look at the options and the costs could be over $200,000 if we have to replace the filter. We would have to wait on the state review and comment so the timeline could be stretched out for a long time.” The pool is filled with water, but the water cannot be circulated at this time.

 

 

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES HATTON, NORTH DAKOTA NATIVE AS THE NEW COUNSELOR

The Crookston School district announced the hiring of Leah Kent, a Hatton, North Dakota native and NDSU and Colorado State graduate as the new counselor starting in the fall to replace Jackie Robertson who is retiring. Kent is a graduate of NDSU and Colorado State with a master’s degree in counseling. The supervisor at Colorado State said Kent was in the top percent of her class. The last name is a familiar one in the Crookston School District as she is the niece of Jim and Sandy Kent.

 

 

CHEDA LOANS $10,000 TO CROOKSTON ALL SCHOOL REUNION COMMITTEE TO HELP WITH THE EVENT

The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) met Thursday morning and approved a loan request from the Crookston All School reunion committee for $10,000 for the reunion to be held June 26-29. “The reunion starts on June 26 and we are at the point where we have commitments for the vendors and entertainment and they want deposits on the equipment needed like staging and generators and the bands. We want to lock them in and it amounts between $8,000 to $10,000 so we thought this was a vehicle we could use with CHEDA,” said Crookston All School Reunion committee chairman Wayne Melbye. “The CHEDA board agreed with us and they will start a policy for the future about requests like this, that people would like to get events in town and this would help with financing.”
Registrations are coming in for the all school reunion, mostly on the internet. “The hotels are full and UMC has agreed to help with the dormitories, the lounges and bars excited and are setting up entertainment,” said Melbye. “We believe it will be a big weekend for alumni to come and see how Crookston has grown.”
The CHEDA board agreed to develop a policy for such requests that may come in the future.

 

 

POLK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE AND AREA FIREFIGHTERS RESPOND TO A FIRE AT THE BELTRAMI MALL

Updated - April 18 at 6:00 PM
The
Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a structure fire in the City of Beltrami at 1:00 a.m. Friday morning.  The Beltrami Mall/West Central Ag was reported to be on fire.  The Beltrami Fire Department was dispatched and battled the blaze with mutual aid from area fire departments from Fertile, Ada, Borup and Crookston.  Fertile EMS and Norman County EMS were also on scene. 

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division have investigated the fire at the Beltrami Mall and determined that the fire was accidental. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that the building sustained very heavy damage and is not safe. The building is also private property. The public is reminded that no one is allowed in the building and legal action will be taken if necessary.

 

 

MATHEW RUST BECOMES SHAREHOLDER OF RUST, STOCK AND KNUTSON LAW OFFICE

Matthew J. Rust has become a shareholder in the Crookston, Minnesota law firm of Rust, Stock & Knutson, P.A. Other shareholders are Daniel L. Rust, Charles A. Stock and Tracey L. Knutson. The firm will soon be renamed Rust, Stock, Knutson & Rust, P.A.
Rust obtained his law degree from Hamline University School of Law in 2006. He was a law clerk at the firm in 2005 and served as a judicial law clerk in Austin, Minnesota before joining the firm as an associate in 2010. He is licensed to practice in Minnesota. Rust focuses his practice on real estate, estate planning and probate. Rust grew up in Crookston, Minnesota, and graduated from Crookston High School in 1999.
The law firm of Rust, Stock, Knutson & Rust was founded in 1932 by John Padden, a former President of the Minnesota State Bar Association. One of the oldest firms in Northwestern Minnesota, it serves a 24-county area in Northwestern Minnesota and Northeastern North Dakota. Firm attorneys practice in the areas of personal injury, product liability, insurance and wrongful death litigation; real estate and commercial transactions; farm and general business planning and tax planning; estate planning, probate, and trusts; agricultural law; employment law; criminal law; and family law.

 

 

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DEB KIEL WISHES EVERYONE A HAPPY EASTER AND UPDATES CONSTITUENTS ON LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Dear Neighbors,
I hope you and your loved ones share a blessed and peaceful Easter season. May you find joy in the new life that springs forth from the earth, signaling the end of a long, harsh winter.
The Minnesota Legislature is reaching the end of a very hectic legislative session. The holiday provides an opportune time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going, what we did well and what should have been done better.
Locally, I am working to bring much-needed workforce housing to the region—at no cost to taxpayers. I have also joined forces with local law enforcement, social services, and hospitals to expand critical mental health care access in northwest Minnesota.
Our long-term and disability caregivers are some of our region’s most important assets. I have continued my efforts to secure raises for these providers, ensuring our region’s health care system is strong and stable well into the future.
I have voted to secure additional dollars for our K-12 schools, and I am working closely with administrators at the University of Minnesota Crookston and Northland Community and Technical College to fund critical infrastructure projects on their campuses.
I am thankful that many of our efforts in St. Paul have centered on fixing mistakes made last year, when taxes and fees were increased by over $2 billion on hardworking Minnesotans. Though I wish we would have eliminated more than just a fraction of the increases, our efforts so far are steps in the right direction.
For instance, many hardworking families will receive bigger tax refunds this year. Homeowners, renters, and farmers will also see long-awaited property tax relief.
Rural families will no longer have to worry about losing their land and assets due to the onerous gift tax. Other tax repeals mean main street businesses competing along the border will be less likely to consider raising prices, cutting jobs, or moving their operations.
Tax repeals were made possible thanks to Minnesotans’ hard work and ingenuity that produced a $1 billion surplus. Unfortunately, much of that surplus has been committed to nearly $1 billion more in auto-pilot spending.
What’s more, hundreds of millions of tax dollars are being used to bail out Obamacare subsidies that didn’t come to the state as expected. Instead of fixing the problem, leaders committed to this bailout for the foreseeable future.
On top of all that, $90 million of hard-earned tax dollars will go toward an unneeded and lavish office building for senators.
Government should be accountable to hardworking taxpayers. Minnesotans deserve to have their money handled wisely on needs and priorities, not wants. On your behalf, I will continue to oppose all measures to wastefully spend precious tax dollars.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns related to state government. I can be reached at 651-296-5091 or 
rep.deb.kiel@house.mn. I am here to serve you!

Sincerely,
Deb Kiel
District 1B
Crookston, MN

 

 

THURSDAY - APRIL 17,  2014

RIVERVIEW HEALTH NOT UNSCATHED BY CHALLENGING HEALTH CARE ATMOSPHERE

Forty-two of the 148 hospitals in Minnesota are unaffiliated with a larger health network and remain independent. RiverView Health is proud to be one of the minority independent hospitals. But independent or not, health care systems are struggling.
One of the most important issues facing U.S. health systems is the projected need for dramatic cost reduction in response to health reform. By many estimates, the reduction must reach 20-30 percent of total cost structure by 2015 to be able to confront a lean, health-reformed environment. “We have a perfect storm of declining volume, patients seeking less care as deductibles and copayments continue to rise and at the same time our largest payers, including the federal government through Medicare, are balancing budgets through cuts in Medicare payments,’’ stated RiverView Health President and CEO Carrie Michalski. “As a Critical Access Hospital, two years ago we were supported by a one percent profit margin on care to Medicare patients.  Today, we continue to be limited by federal sequestration to recovering just 99 cents on every dollar we spend caring for a Medicare patient.  That equates to a guaranteed loss of one percent for every patient who is Medicare eligible.  For RiverView Health that is over one third of our business.”
Hospitals and health systems of varying sizes across the nation have cut jobs from their workforces through layoffs, reduced employee hours, attrition, and elimination of vacant positions. In September of 2013, health care providers announced more layoffs than any other industry.

Support Staff Reduction
This week RiverView Health reduced its workforce through layoffs of eight employees from five different departments. Each employee was given a severance package. Additionally, eight employees received notice of a reduction in status. “RiverView’s largest annual expense is its workforce,’’ Michalski reported “Salaries and benefits account for 55 percent of our budget. Since the beginning of the fiscal year (October 1), we have been able to lower expenses by nearly 8 percent, and reduce our workforce by 53 full time employees through attrition and reduced overtime. Unfortunately, those reductions have not been enough to bring our labor expenses in line with where we need to be.’’
The recent layoffs will account for an estimated $344,000 in annual savings. According to Michalski, RiverView is on pace to have an 8.4 percent reduction in its expense structure by year end, that is equal to $4.5 million in expense reductions. Michalski and the RiverView Board of Directors are very transparent regarding RiverView’s financial status, reporting year-to-date losses of $1 million as of Feb. 28. RiverView suffered a $3 million loss in fiscal year 2013. “It is with heavy hearts that we reduce our workforce,’’ Michalski shared. “But RiverView Health cannot sustain multiple years of million dollar losses and remain in business serving our community.’’
There are many Minnesota hospitals that have fallen victim to hard times. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, 34 hospitals have closed in Minnesota since 1987, 28 of them occurring in Greater Minnesota. “We must move forward with organizational goals heavily weighted in finance, quality and service to our patients to survive this climate,’’ stated Michalski. “The closing of Crookston’s only hospital and the primary Critical Access Hospital for a number of surrounding communities, along with the loss of 400 jobs, would be devastating.’’

Patients First
In this trying time, RiverView Health remains focused on its reason for being…the patient. No services have been reduced, and no direct patient caregivers were affected in Tuesday’s workforce reduction. “The providers and support team at RiverView Health are highly skilled professionals dedicated to exceeding the expectations of every patient we serve. While RiverView employees refine the way we deliver high quality care to our patients, the community that RiverView calls home can also help assure its future," said Michalski.  "It’s simple.  If the community values the hospital, our emergency care and convenient access to   highly skilled physicians, patients should choose RiverView Health for their care needs, and encourage others to do the same.  Every dollar generated at RiverView Health is reinvested right here to sustain services and improve the health of our community. If you have any concerns or questions about services, please call us or stop by to visit. We are here to serve you, and we want to be here for you and your family for many years to come.’’

 

 

 

CITY OF CROOKSTON CHANGES ZONING FOR NATURES VIEW ESTATES AND CLEAN UP WEEK IS NEXT WEEK

An ordinance was changed by the Crookston City Council at their meeting this week dealing with zoning of district boundaries. Crookston Building Inspector Matt Johnson said the change was necessary for Nature’s Estates plat three. “Bob Herkenhoff added a couple of lots and needed to extend the zoning to R 2 single and two family zoning, taking it out of the farm zoning.”

Spring Clean Up Week is April 21 through 25 in Crookston. Public Works Director Pat Kelly asks residents to put their items on the boulevard. “There will be a compost amnesty and we ask the residents put items out on their regular garbage pickup day,” said Kelly. “Put items in separate piles, garbage, clothing, cardboard, tires, branches, yard waste, furniture, metal items, and demolition to help speed up the clean up process.”
Items that cannot be collected include batteries, chemicals, paint cans that have paint in, and concrete items. They ask residents to cut branches into four foot lengths and bundle them.

 

 

SECOND SPRING INTO ACTION EVENT TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY AT THE CROOKSTON LIBRARY

Spring into action and celebrate the young child at the Crookston Public Library on Tuesday, April 22 at 6:00 p.m. Francine Olson is the coordinator for the celebration and invites the children to come and meet the rescue heroes. “We are going to bring rescue heroes to the library, policeman, fireman, ambulance driver, doctor, and mounted posse with a horse,” said Olson. “All the vehicles will be in the parking lot for the children to explore, inside there will be springy crafts, an obstacle course, balloon action and imagination action along with a springy treat at the end of the event. Families and young children are encouraged to participate.”

 

 

CROOKSTON DAWN TO DUSK LIONS TEAM UP WITH UMC CSA TO RAISE AWARENESS OF NF2

The Crookston Dawn to Dusk Lions are working with the UMC Crookston Student Association (CSA) to promote awareness of a rare disorder called Neurofibromatosis type 2, or NF2, and to raise funds to support research to help those who suffer from NF2.
The CSA will be selling NF2 ribbons around the UMC campus from April 21 through April 25 and at the free will donation Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser sponsored by the Dawn to Dusk Lions at the Crookston Eagles Hall on Tuesday, April 22 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Natalie Tym, a UMC student and member of the Crookston Student Association will be presenting a short program during the Spaghetti Dinner at 5:30 and again at 6:30 to share her mother, Lisa’s, experiences as a nine- year victim of NF2. There will also be a repeating slide program and information about Neurofibromatosis Type 2 available.

The tax deductible funds raised by the dinner and the sale of ribbons will go to the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) which is a not-for profit organization dedicated to finding effective treatments for the millions of people worldwide living with NF2. In addition to benefiting those who live with NF2, this research is shedding new light on several forms of cancer, brain tumors, bone abnormalities, and learning disabilities, ultimately benefiting the broader community.
NF2 is a disorder characterized by the growth of noncancerous tumors in the nervous system. The most common tumors associated with NF2 develop along the nerve that carries information from the inner ear to the brain (the auditory nerve). Tumors that occur on other nerves are also commonly found with this condition. The symptoms are based on where the tumors are located, but may include hearing loss, ringing in the ears, problems with balance, changes in vision, numbness or weakness in the arms or legs, and/or fluid buildup in the brain. Signs and symptoms of NF2 usually appear during adolescence or in a person’s early twenties, although they can begin at any age.


Lion Joanne Swanson and UMC student Natalie Tym working on ribbons to foster Neurofibromatosis awareness and to help find a cure.


 

 

VILLA ST. VINCENT CELEBRATED NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK LAST WEEK

Villa St. Vincent/The SUMMIT honored and saluted its volunteers as part of National Volunteer Week last week. On Thursday April 10, Villa St. Vincent celebrated Volunteer Recognition Day to honor the many individuals who dedicate themselves to the residents, assisted living tenants and short term care clients on campus. The volunteers give countless hours of time and their talents making others happy.
In 2013, 37 youth and 146 adults donated over 5,633 hours volunteering which is almost 16 hours every day! We are so grateful. We are especially proud of the 7 volunteers who donated over 100 hours of service in 2013, including: Mary Anderson, Allean Boschee, Jean Hanson, Sister Agatha Hermann, Sister Joanne Johnson, Judy Kuzel and Marilyn Leblanc.
Volunteering is a win-win for all, check out these facts:
· Volunteering helps you make new friends and contacts
· Volunteering combats depression
· Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy (Studies reveal those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants)
· Volunteering kindles happiness
· Volunteering can advance your career and provide valuable career experience
· Volunteering increases your social and relationship skills
· Volunteering as a family activity teaches children valuable lessons
· Volunteering increases self-confidence
· Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life
Volunteers are priceless and crucial to our organization. We hope everyone will Thank a community volunteer this week and consider making a difference by becoming a volunteer themselves. For more information about volunteering at the Villa St. Vincent/The SUMMIT, contact Tamara, Enrichment Coordinator at 218-281-9723 or tamara.parkin@bhshealth.org.


 

 

CROOKSTON COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM CONDUCTS REFRESHER TRAINING

The Crookston CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) recently conducted annual refresher training at the Crookston Fire Department.  Members trained on medical assessment, fire extinguisher training, shelter set-up, and Hazmat awareness overview.  Members of the CERT consists of citizens from the Crookston community that would be used in the event of a community disaster.

 
Pictures from the Crookston Community Emergency Response team training.  The group using fire extinguishers and in the second picture the shelter set up

 

 

RSVP READERS THEATER VISITS CATHEDRAL SCHOOL


RSVP Readers Theater, accompanied by their Director, Heidi Whiting, visited
Cathedral School students to share stories they love with the children.  The group read I Like Myself, Rainbow Fish and If You Give a Dog a Donut to the Kindergarten and 1st grade students.

 

 

WEDNESDAY - APRIL 16,  2014

CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT TEACHERS HEALTH INSURANCE TO COST $55,000 MORE THAN BUDGETED

The Crookston School District learned the teachers health insurance cost will increase at a meeting on Tuesday attended by Crookston School District Business Manager Laura Lyczewski and teacher Chris Trostad. Superintendent Chris Bates said the increase, in the pool to which they belong, was 14.5 percent for the district, which was the second highest out of 30 schools in the group. The district had budgeted for a nine percent increase so the larger increase will mean it will cost $55,000 more than they budgeted, which is the main reason the Crookston School Board wants to put a cap on the teachers insurance. If the Crookston School District wasn’t part of the insurance pool, costs would have risen 38 percent. "It was good news, bad news.  Thank goodness for the pool.  We made a decision some months back on which pool to be in with a maximum and minimum and clearly our Business Manager Laura Lyczewski and Chris Trostad picked the right pool," said Bates.  "Actually for this year we were one of the higher districts in our group of 30.  We aren't sure why we were one of the highest because we seemed to have a normal year health-wise." The district belongs to the Northwest Educational Coop based in Thief River Falls.

 

 

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVE DWI COURT PROGRAM\

Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and approved a DWI Court program for the county with County Attorney Greg Widseth. The program is operating in Marshall and Pennington counties at the present time. Widseth wants to start the specialty court after a state grant has been approved. “It allows DWI offenders to lessen some of the punishments up front in return for higher intensity supervision on the back side as it works to prevent recidivism as it addresses chemical problems in their lives,” said Widseth. It deals with repeat offenders and offers more resources in the court that would meet the offenders needs. “The program is grant funded through the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and would cover a half time attorney and a probation officer,” said Widseth. “The county would pay for the other half time of the attorney.” The commissioners approved the request. The DWI court program has the support of the county prosecuting offices, judicial branches, law enforcement agencies and correctional facilities.

The commissioners approved a bid from Morgan Terpestra for mowing of county properties in the city of Crookston at $395 for each mowing. They approved a bid from Knife Materials for three federal safety road projects for $912,252.20 which was 7.86 percent below the estimated cost. County State aid highways 6, 3 and 34 will have safety solutions like rumble stripes, ground in edge line stripes, two foot shoulders and an overlay on Highway 6.

 

 

POLK COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES IS OFFERING A SEPTIC SYSTEM LOAN PROGRAM FOR RESIDENTS

Polk County Environmental Services is offering a septic system loan program through Clean Water Act state funding. Josh Holte, Polk County Planning and Zoning Administrator said the program could help fix failing systems. “It is a loan interest program to help residents upgrade their systems,” said Holte. “The loan will be paid back to the county over a ten year term with an interest rate at .01 percent. People who wish to get information can contact the Environmental Services in Crookston at 281-5700, there are restrictions so people need to qualify.” There is a limited amount of funding available and preference for funding will be determined based on income status, condition of existing system, and proximity to priority surface waters. If you are interested in learning more about this great low interest loan program please call Polk County Planning and Zoning at (218) 281-5700 or you can reach us by email at environmental.svs@co.polk.mn.us.  The deadline to apply for the Septic System Fix-Up Loan Program is July 1, 2014.

Polk County Planning and Zoning requires building/land use permits for all construction projects throughout the County. If you are planning any building/land use projects please contact planning and zoning prior to construction to see what setbacks and ordinance requirements may apply. More information on building/land use regulations can be found on the Polk County Website at www.co.polk.mn.us under the Environmental Services and Planning and Zoning Department pages.

Rob Wagner, director of Polk County Assessment services reported on the gravel tax collected for 2013 which amounted to $132,307.22. Of the money collected, $53,419.04 will be distributed to the county road and bridge fund and the same amount to the township bridge and road fund. The reserve fund for Pit Restoration will receive $18,583.78 and $6,615.36 will go to the county treasurer for administration.

The commissioners approved the hiring of a Wellness Coordinator for Polk County Public Health to replace Marley Melbye who has taken the job as manager of the Crookston Swimming Pool. Advertising for the position will begin this week.

 

 

MATT ENTENZA SAYS CROOKSTON IS IN GOOD SHAPE WITH PROPERTY TAX REDUCTION AND INCREASED LGA

Matt Entenza, former state legislator and current director of Minnesota 20/20, a non partisan think tank, traveled the Red River Valley on Tuesday talking about property taxes and the homestead credit refund. Entenza said the refund will benefit Crookston residents. “The good news at tax time is that for homeowners and renters there is a rebate program that could mean a fifteen percent reduction if they file for it so they can get a check from the state in August. You can file with your taxes and if you didn’t , you can get the form and file late,” said Entenza. “The other good news for Crookston is an increase in Local Government Aide. This is helpful as Crookston has seen substantial decreases over the last 10 years, so the city and mayor have done a good job in trying to cope with the reductions but this is being turned around by Governor Dayton and the Legislature.”

 

 

 

REGISTER IN THE KROX/MONTAGUE’S FLOWER SHOP  ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONAL DRAWING

Administrative Professionals Week is April 21-25, and your administrative professional will have a chance to win flowers for a year. Montague’s Flower Shop and KROX know how important your administrative professional is to your business, so give them the recognition they deserve. Nominate them as Montague’s Administrative Professional of the Week.  Just drop off, mail, or fax your entries to KROX, then be listening on Wednesday, April 23 at noon. The winner will receive flowers from Montague’s Flower Shop once a month for a year with best wishes from Montague’s Flower Shop and KROX Radio.  Drop off or mail your entry to KROX, 208 South Main, Crookston, MN. 56716, fax to (218)281-5036, or email it to krox@rrv.net

 

 

 

EURASIAN TREE SPARROW SPOTTED IN POLK COUNTY FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THE UMC CAMPUS

A Eurasian Tree Sparrow made a stop on the University of Minnesota Crookston campus this week. Known for its chocolate-colored crown and black throat and cheeks, the sparrow is commonly found around St. Louis, Mo. The sighting of the bird in the Nature Nook near Owen Hall is the first Polk County record and only the ninth in Minnesota. Vanessa Lane, a lecturer in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department noted that it is “unusual for this non-native species to be spotted so far from its home in Missouri.” For more on the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, visit http://birds.audubon.org/birds/eurasian-tree-sparrow


                  Photo by John Zak, University Relations.  

 

 

COMPUTER VIRUS CAUSING PROBLEMS AGAIN, ENLOW COMPUTING OFFERS TIPS

Another computer virus has popped up and could cause problems for many computer users.  KROX has received the following information from Will Enlow at Enlow Computing Services in Crookston.  if you have any virus issues contact Enlow Computing Services at 281-9964.

What is Hearth Bleed and how can it affect my website?

Hearth Bleed is a vulnerability in SSL (Secure Socket Layer) a way to transmit encrypted data securely over the internet and is used to send personal information to servers (like your username and password etc.). The vulnerability allows hackers to steal this protected information.

What are some mayor website that have been affected?
If your website has been affected, there is no reason for panic as even the biggest websites in the world have been among them are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Gmail, Yahoo, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Minecraft and many many more (most of these companies have since then fixed the security vulnerability)

What should I do if I have a registered account on an affected website?
Once the security vulnerability has been fixed (you can use the tool mentioned above) it is crucial that you create a new password and change it, make sure to create a completely new password and not one used previously as there is a big chance that it got exposed on other websites you have used it.

The catastrophic Heartbleed security bug that has already bitten Yahoo Mail, the Canada Revenue Agency, and other public websites also poses a formidable threat to end-user applications and devices, including millions of Android handsets, security researchers warn. Handsets running version 4.1.1 of Google's mobile operating system are vulnerable to attacks that might pluck passwords, the contents of personal messages, and other private information out of device memory. Some versions of Android 4.2.2 that have been customized by the carriers or hardware manufacturers have also been found to be susceptible.

It now appears that the “Heartbleed” security problem affects not just websites, but also the networking equipment that connects homes and businesses to the Internet.  A defect in the security technology used by many websites and equipment makers have put millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other personal information at risk. The extent of the damage caused by Heartbleed isn’t known. The threat went undetected for more than two years, and it’s difficult to tell if any attacks resulted from it because they don’t leave behind distinct footprints.

Here’s a look at what consumers and businesses should know about Heartbleed and its effects on networking devices.

How is networking equipment affected?
Just like websites, the software used to run some networking equipment — such as routers, switches and firewalls — also uses the variant of SSL/TLS known as OpenSSL. OpenSSL is the set of tools that has the Heartbleed vulnerability.
As with a website, hackers could potentially use the bug as a way to breach a system and gather and steal passwords and other sensitive information.

What can you do?
Security experts continue to advise people and businesses to change their passwords, but that won’t be enough unless the company that created the software in question has put the needed fixes in place. When it comes to devices, this could take a while. Although websites can be fixed relatively quickly by installing a software update, device makers will have to check each product to see if it needs to be fixed.

Both Cisco Systems Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc. continue to advise customers through their websites on which product is still vulnerable, fixed and unaffected. Owners may need to install software updates for products that are “fixed.”  As a result, businesses and consumers need to check the websites for devices that they think could have problems. They must be diligent about installing any software updates they receive.  The bug could potentially affect any home device that’s connected to the Internet, including something as simple as a Wi-Fi-enabled Blu-ray player and recent advances in home automation, such as smart thermostats, security and lighting systems. “We simply don’t know the extent of this and it could affect those kinds of devices in the home,”

To test to see if the website you are going to has been fixed click here.

 

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