FRIDAY - JULY 31,  2015


The Ox Cart Days Festival in Crookston from Wednesday, August 12 through Sunday, August 16 just got a little bigger and better after event organizer and Crookston Chamber of Commerce CEO, Amanda Lien, told KROX that they just secured a carnival/midway for this year’s festival.   The family owned Merriam's Midway Shows will arrive in Crookston on Monday, August 10 to set up and will run Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16 in Central Park.  Advanced tickets will go on sale soon.  "We are completely appreciative of the community support and added activities that have made up a great festival schedule for 2015. Thank you to all who help continue to bring this event to life, sponsors, supporters, event organizations, and the committee," said Lien.  "Bringing in a family-owned and well praised carnival to our festival is an opportunity (and a chance one with 5 weekends in August this year) to provide new events to our community and also to continue with the growth of the festival into the future to align with our mission and goals. We truly are On the Trail to the Future."




Students will have two new majors to choose from at the University of Minnesota Crookston in the Department of Math, Science, and Technology. A Bachelor of Science in exercise science and wellness and one in medical laboratory science are the two latest additions to the more than 30 majors offered on the Crookston campus.
Joseph Shostell, head of the Math, Science, and Technology Department, says these two majors will give students great options for a future career. “Majoring in exercise science and wellness will provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the new wellness center under construction on campus,” Shostell says. “And, students interested in medical laboratory science will graduate with problem-solving skills so critical to the medical field. Both of these majors will prepare students for careers in the fields of health, wellness, and medicine and we are excited to offer them both.”

Exercise Science and Wellness
The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Wellness combines the study of exercise physiology within the holistic context of health and wellness.  This major integrates hands-on, experiential learning with laboratory work that focuses on a variety of demographic populations.
Through a dynamic collaboration between the U of M Crookston and local hospital rehabilitation services, students are exposed to scenarios to apply theory to patient rehabilitation.  Students learn techniques in coaching, counseling, and effective motivational techniques during both internal and external internship experiences. 
The program is unique in the region in the way it combines exercise science curriculum within a context of wellness and community health. 
Potential employers may include community organizations, corporate health centers, country clubs, health clubs and fitness centers, hospitals, and more. The website for Exercise Science and Wellness is

Medical Laboratory Science
Modern medicine would be impossible without the problem solving skills of medical lab scientists making a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science vital to the study of medicine.  Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) technicians run tests that encompass areas of clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematology, clinical urology, immunology, immunohematology, and molecular diagnostics. With a high demand for medical lab scientists, MLS graduates will have excellent job opportunities and students in the program will have unique opportunities to be involved in research projects.
Through a consortium agreement and partnership with the University of North Dakota (UND), a graduate of the program would receive a certificate of completion from UND.  Dual enrollment at both UMC and UND in the proposed program of study would begin in the third year.  In the spring of the junior year the student would take either courses located at UND (25 miles away) or online. 
A bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science could provide a great background for individuals interested in entering fields of forensic science, pharmaceutical sciences, and medicine. The website for Medical Laboratory Science is




THURSDAY - JULY 30,  2015


Jody Beauchane, Polk County Emergency manager, is spreading the word about code red and weather reports that are available to residents in the county during this season of severe weather concerns.  There are two different types of Code Red, the standard type that everyone in Polk County with a landline is registered and it is automatic.  The second one is a Code Red Weather Alert.  “The public has to sign up and they will get weather notification by landline, cell phone, text and e-mail if they choose,” said Beauchane. “You will get a weather alert message from the National Weather Service and it will not tie up dispatch.”  You can go to following website to sign up     
Dispatch often gets many calls when there are weather alerts and they cannot always handle the number of calls at one time.




Two ordinances were acted upon by the Crookston City Council this week dealing with signage and billboards in the city.  An ordinance was introduced to amend the code on the size of billboards and off premise signs.   “They did have the final passage of an ordinance amending the billboard ordinance to be able to put them in certain commercial districts,” said Crookston City Building Inspector Matt Johnson. “They have to be 600 feet from residential areas and 500 feet from intersections.  This opens it up for a few more in town and advertising a business.”




The Crookston Noon Day Lions accepted a check of $910.00 from TRIAD at their meeting on Monday. Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier, chairman of the Taste of Italy dinner and fundraiser, presents the check to Ken Gray of the Lions.  The $910 will be used for the Lions Mobile Event stage to be used throughout activities in Crookston.





The chemical computations of last summer have taken two students at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) to a lab at Villanova University. Seniors Emmett LaCoursiere of Red Lake Falls, and Michael Laurich of Lansing, Illinois, along with Assistant Professor Tim Dudley, are creating the compounds they previously had only investigated using computer modeling. Through the modeling, the duo used math and physics to predict chemical behaviors in the study of benzimidazoles and what happens when these molecules are altered.
Of particular interest to LaCoursiere, an animal science, pre-vet major, is the fact that the research has implications in the field of animal science as it relates to pharmaceutical use in the medical treatment of animals. “There is a similarity to compounds used in the treatment of internal parasites,” LaCoursiere says. “Through our research, I have gained a much greater understanding of chemistry and how it could affect the field of vet medicine.” The work could also lead to the development of synthetic molecules in the future, and there is potential for the project to move into a biological study as well.   “We wanted to limit the variables down to a very small system,” Laurich says. “And, working with smaller molecules makes them easier to control.”

The students began the study with computer modeling but when it came to characterizing the new molecules they created in the lab, they required specialized equipment that was unavailable on campus. Since Dudley started working on this benzimidazole research as a faculty member at Villanova, his continuing research with LaCoursiere and Laurich took him back to the laboratory at his former institution with the help of a University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid.
The goal was to find alternative molecules that mimic important biological processes involving proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET). These reactions play an important role in both chemical and biological processes including such processes as photosynthesis. PCET reactions involve the synchronized transfer of an electron and a proton. The most rewarding part of the work by Dudley and his students was the compounds they created were determined to be very pure, which impressed those at Villanova who are involved in the project.
Dudley also points out the valuable assistance of UMC Associate Professor Venuopgal Mukku who played a significant role with the characterization of the molecules through his expertise in organic chemistry.  “The real advantage of the Crookston campus is our size,” Dudley says. “Students have direct access to faculty, and they have research opportunities that involve not only looking at something on a computer but taking it to the lab. And, these two student demonstrate this fact by the way they took advantage of the opportunity and created about a half dozen compounds that are now a part of a broader study.” LaCoursiere and Laurich presented their work in November 2014 at a meeting of the Midwest American Chemical Society in Columbia, Missouri. LaCoursier will be attending veterinary medical school at the University of Missouri starting this coming fall. Laurich will present the latest research this fall, and he is planning to attend graduate school to study in the area of marine biology. The two agree that research with faculty members has benefited them both significantly and they hope to continue conducting research in their respective fields as they move forward.

Laurich and LaCoursiere look at results from the vacuum filtration. (Picture by UMC)



WEDNESDAY - JULY 29,  2015


April Grunhovd is the new chief nursing officer at RiverView Health after the recent retirement of Sandy Boice who retired from RiverView after 30 years of service. Grunhovd has 15 years of experience in healthcare; 11 of those as a registered nurse. She is a familiar face at RiverView having worked there since August 2009. She started her RiverView career as the infection control coordinator and has added additional hats and responsibilities over the years, including employee health, employee wellness, emergency preparedness coordination, director of outpatient nursing, director of Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab, and most recently director of the Emergency Department and trauma program management.
A native of Beltrami, Grunhovd holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Nursing Administration from the University of Mary, Bismarck; a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Minnesota State University, Moorhead; and several certifications including: board certification in Infection Prevention and Control, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Trauma Nursing Core Course, Operations Level First Receiver (Hazmat), FEMA Incident Command and LEAN leadership.
As for her new role, Grunhovd is ready.  “I am excited to continue my nursing and leadership journey at RiverView Health, the hospital in which I was born, where I experienced my first registered nursing clinical rotation, and where I returned to after the birth of my first child and have now had the pleasure of working in for almost six years,’’ she stated. “I am passionate about people; both those providing care and those receiving care.  RiverView Health has many exceptional people and I am excited to be able to support those people in ways that positively impact the patients we care for.  I also look forward to innovation in nursing practice and looking at performance improvement; ways of working differently, utilization of technology, systems, theories, and collaboration with partners and stakeholders to enhance our current practice.” 
Grunhovd and husband Brian, who is a central office equipment technician at Garden Valley Telephone in Erskine, have two children ages six and three. The family lives in Fertile.




The National Weather Service in Grand Forks, North Dakota issued a wind advisory on Tuesday and extended it to 1:00 a.m. this morning (Wednesday).  There is also a wind advisory until 7:00 p.m. today. The wind blew several trees down in Crookston and blew a lot of branches and leaves around town.  One of the trees blew down on a one week old fence at UMC Softball Coach Don Stopa's property in town.  You can see pictures below.

                      The damaged tree in the Stopa's yard





University of Minnesota Crookston Senior Lydia Hegge, Mentor, Minn., quietly handles the inoculating loop, a simple tool used mainly by microbiologists to retrieve a small amount of cells from a culture of microorganisms. She meticulously introduces common pathogens such as E. coli onto a petri dish previously prepared with nutrient agar.
Under the guidance of Teaching Specialist Karl Anderson, Hegge is looking for rare bacterial species from the order Actinomycetales in soil and water samples collected locally.  They are noteworthy for their potential to produce antibiotics.  Isolating, characterizing, and testing a new species that possesses antibiotic properties could help in the fight against deadly pathogens that are resistant to current antibiotics.
Soil and water samples were collected from several areas in and around Crookston. So far, well over 200 hundred strains of bacteria have been cultured, and they are currently in the process of testing those strains for antibiotic properties. This testing keeps Hegge diligently at work in the lab.
The petri dishes she handles were prepared earlier with a strain of unknown bacteria, to be used for a biological assay or bioassay. The bioassay is used to determine biological activity of a substance and will show Anderson and Hegge how these soil isolates produce antibiotics against several known pathogens. “We're excited to see if any of our sampled organisms have the potential to be a source of antibacterial substances,” says Anderson. Hegge and Anderson are working on the microbiology portion of the ongoing antibiotic research of Associate Professor Venuopgal Mukku, who teaches organic chemistry on the Crookston campus.
During spring semester, Mukku asked students in his organic chemistry class if any of them were interested in summer research. Hegge stepped forward and began her work in mid-May. For the next month, she sub-cultured soil samples to purify each sample down to a single microorganism for study.

Hegge will stay involved with this phase of the research until it is completed. “I work 20-30 hours a week in the lab,” Hegge says. “I have learned about lab procedure and equipment and gained valuable experience working with faculty.” One of the pieces of equipment she has learned to use is the high-pressure liquid chromotography (HPLC) instrument, a technique in analytical chemistry used to separate the components in a mixture and to identify and quantify each component.  The HPLC instrument, along with two carbon dioxide incubators and multi-channel pipettors, are valuable pieces of research equipment provided through funding from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for this work.   
Growing up on a farm, Hegge, a health sciences major, discovered a passion for tools. Combining that love with an interest in dentistry has Hegge taking a serious look at dental school applications for the fall after graduation. She dreams of a possible specialization in oral and maxillofacial surgery. For now though, she is focused on the important work at hand and is excited about its potential in the medical field.
As she looks back on her work in preparation for a future professional career, she recalls her deep interest in mathematics that began in high school, and a long with it, a new found love of physics calculations, and the always satisfying work in the laboratory. She also shares a few words of advice for incoming students gleaned from her own experience: “Try everything; do as much as you can; and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

 Hegge pictured with Anderson and Mukko in the lab on the UMC campus (Picture by UMC)




Chances are you’ve seen the back-to-school advertisements with the latest backpack styles and deals on pencils. Yes, it is time to start thinking about getting your family ready for fall and everything it brings with it. It’s time to get your athletes in for sports physicals. It’s also time for those athletes to get their ImPACT Baseline Concussion Testing done with RiverView Health.
RiverView will be offering FREE ImPACT testing at RiverView Health’s Red Lake Falls Clinic on Wednesday, August 5 and Wednesday, August 12. Appointments are being taken for 5, 6, and 7:00 PM by calling 218-253-4606.

Traumatic Brain Injury
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth.
Even with today’s advanced safety equipment, preventing a concussion is impossible. Fortunately, there have been advances in diagnosing and treating a concussion. One of the most popular concussion management programs is ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), used by RiverView Health. ImPACT is also used by many professional and amateur teams, including the National Football League and Major League Baseball.
Gone are the days of a coach holding fingers up in front of a player’s face and asking them how many they see, only to send the player back out into play if he or she guesses correctly. Today ImPACT provides invaluable information that can help take the guesswork out of concussion management and promote safe return-to-play decisions for athletes.

RiverView Health’s, Marie Johnstad, coordinator of the Speech-Language Department, and Physical Therapist Rhonda Salentiny, administer the ImPACT computerized assessment to document an athlete’s neurocognitive functioning before the sports seasons begin. If a possible concussion occurs, after the athlete has seen his or her primary caregiver, another ImPACT test is done to determine any damage since the baseline testing. The computerized program evaluates and documents multiple aspects of neurocognitive functioning, including verbal and visual memory, attention span, brain processing speed, reaction time, and post-concussive symptoms. The user-friendly injury documentation system enables medical providers and therapists to track the injury from the field and through the recovery process. An athlete is usually cleared to go back to play after favorable ImPACT results. ImPACT baseline testing is repeated every two years by all athletes to take into account cognitive development.

Free Baseline Testing
The baseline testing is free for area athletes thanks to funds from the United Way, RiverView Health Auxiliary and RiverView Health. “Without the United Way and the Auxiliary we wouldn’t be able to offer this very important program,’’ Johnstad shared. “The news is full of stories of athletes suffering concussions. The Centers for Disease Control mandates that states, schools, sports leagues and organizations have policies or action plans on concussions in youth and high school sports. While these policy efforts show some promise, more research is needed to help protect children and teens from concussion and other serious brain injuries.’’
While ImPACT is mostly used in our area for high school athletes, Johnstad said she has also used ImPACT on younger and older patients, including a seven-year-old who hit his head on the ice and a highway employee who needed the testing done to determine when he could safely go back to work.
For more information on RiverView’s ImPACT Concussion Management Program, contact Marie Johnstad at 218-281-9463.

Did you know?
Ø  A concussion is a brain injury that frequently involves physical as well as cognitive symptoms.
Ø  About 10 percent of all student athletes in contact sports suffer a concussion during their season.
Ø  Recovery may take days or weeks, with individuals often experiencing dizziness, headaches, double vision, memory problems, irritability and depression.
Ø  Premature return to play following a concussion can lead to potentially serious consequences.
Ø  Proper management of the injury is the first step in avoiding long-term complications.






TUESDAY - JULY 28,  2015


The Crookston City Council held a public hearing to consider a sanitary sewer line insurance policy at their meeting on Monday.  There were no residents to comment. The council approved the policy to add 50 cents a month to the water bill to pay for the insurance.  “It is similar to the water service line policy. When we get the starting date we will cover any failures of sanitary sewer lines within 10 feet of the structure,” said Public Works Director Pat Kelly. It will not cover the cleaning of roots or anything like that. It will cover a collapsed line or separation, but it will help out with the 50 cent service charge, I think it will be helpful and well received.”




A Crookston Central Park Improvement RV campground project was presented to the Crookston Ways and Means Committee on Monday by Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen.  The city has talked about improving Central Park for a long time with 48 full service hookups and now they have a concept plan with water and sewer.  “It would involve a new lift station, which would be expensive, a new bathhouse, and adding a playground area,” said Stassen.  “If we would move forward it would bring 48 sites to the downtown in the summer would be a big advantage for revitalization of the downtown. There are some grants which would be helpful so we will dig deeper to bring this to fruition.”
Costs for the improvements would be in the $1.5 million without any grants and would be expected to cash flow after several years.  Improvements would include a new safe bath house and staffing to provide the necessary services for a mixture of campers by the season, month and day.  Such campgrounds in the area are full each summer with waiting lists. 
The city would work with the Red Lake River Corridor Group when they apply for grants. 

The Ways and Means committee will work on the Crookston City budget for 2016 in August as department heads will present the  needs of their area.




The Crookston Ways and Means Committee had a discussion on a solar energy program that had six city buildings inspected by officials from Real Solar Company from Backus, Minnesota.  The inspection was done through the GreenSteps Cities program with Dea’Andre O’Connell.  “Dea’Andre did a great job in spearheading the job. She is leaving soon so we wanted to get this done,” said Stassen. “In June we brought in the company to evaluate the city buildings, we highlighted the city shop tonight as it is pretty efficient, and a solar project could provide 91 percent of the energy for the building. What is prohibiting is the cost, even with rebates and payback in 20 years.”  Stassen added that they are not planning to act on the project now, but they have the data so they can approach other companies and when the prices come down and rebates improve they could act.
The cost for the solar program at the city shop would be $123,304.33 at this time, which was considered too high for work to be done now.
The Crookston Fire Hall would be good for a solar energy project. “About two thirds of solar could produce the energy for the fire hall.  The Crookston Sports Center project would not produce what would be sufficient for the building as it uses a lot of electricity so they will continue to look at it with a new roof.  “It is good to have the information,” said Stassen. The information was collected and will be studied further for future consideration.
Otter Tail Power Company is being active as they would be part of the rebate program.




The Crookston Ways and Means Committee had a discussion was held on a problem with the street on Eickhof Boulevard on the northeast part of town.  Council member Wayne Melbye said they have been getting calls about the area that the so called street is not in any condition to drive on. “We were talking about the situation on Eickhof Boulevard where we have some new houses going in and the developer kind of let the road get under constructed and there was no hard surface and a family was trying to move in their new home and there were some problems,” said Melbye. “The weather didn’t help being wet and so there was some miss communication as the council passed a resolution to get the street settled temporally so they could move in and it did not happen.  So the question was, who dropped the ball?  We wanted some clarity and answers for the residents and I guess we got it taken care of.”
Work was supposed to have been done back in early spring but it was not done and now the road is not passable.  The contractor did arrive to start the job this week.




The Crookston City Council met on Monday and approved an agreement with the Crookston Fire Fighters Associations to expand and update the storage building next to the fire hall.  “The firefighters association is going to make some improvements to the pole shed where their equipment is stored and where city fire equipment is stored,” said City Administrator Shannon Stassen. “It is a great collaboration between the groups and they will be putting in insulation, new floor, adding water, sewer and all the work needed in the heated space to work for everyone.” 

The city will participate in the project by loaning the firefighters funds to match their contribution.   

An ordinance was passed to provide billboard signs in certain districts by a conditional use permit.





The Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a suspicious vehicle call in rural East Grand Forks on Sunday, July 26.  The caller was able to give Polk County Dispatch a license plate, and the vehicle had been reported stolen from Itasca County.  The caller said there was a male and female with the car.  When deputies arrived, both parties had fled the area on foot. During a search of the area, it was learned the female had been transported to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks by a private party.  The female stated she had been forced to get into the car at gunpoint by her boyfriend at a location in East Grand Forks.  She suffered non-life threatening injuries. 
A search of the East Grand Forks area resulted in the suspect being located, arrested, and transported to Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston.
The male was charged with kidnapping, 2nd degree assault, possession of stolen property, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  He will appear in court today. The case is still under investigation and no other information will be released at this time.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the East Grand Forks Police Department, and United States Border Patrol.




Rep. Deb Kiel was recognized by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) July 23 during the Coalition’s three-day summer conference in Duluth for her positive impact on economic development in Greater Minnesota.  Rep. Kiel, a Republican from Crookston, is serving her third term in the Minnesota House. The Legislator of Distinction Award is given to legislators who played key roles in advancing CGMC’s policy during the preceding session.
Rep. Kiel was the chief House author of legislation to create a new job training program designed to help train workers in the skills needed to fill the numerous job vacancies in Greater Minnesota. The program outlined under Kiel’s legislation became law this year and provides for a fast, flexible and employer-driven job training program in Greater Minnesota. The new program was funded at $900,000 for each of the next two years.  “The lack of skilled workers is one of the top economic development challenges currently facing Greater Minnesota communities,” said Heidi Omerza, president of the CGMC and a member of the Ely City Council. “Rep. Kiel’s efforts helped create a much-needed program that will help our businesses grow and provide good-paying jobs for our residents.”

  Rep. Deb Kiel and Heidi Omerza of the CGMC




At 10:55 on Monday, July 27, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of an accident with injuries on Highway 2 in Fosston.  It was found that a car traveling east bound, driven by Holly Joann Thorson of Fosston, struck a pickup when it pulled it front of her out of the parking lot of the LePier’s Service Station on the west side of Fosston.  The pickup was driven by Michael Kenneth Ripley of St. Louis Park.  A juvenile female passenger in Thorson’s vehicle who was airlifted to Sanford Hospital in Fargo, ND.  Thorson sustained minor injuries and was released.  Ripley sustained no apparent injuries.  The accident is under investigation.
Minnesota State Patrol, Essentia Fosston Ambulance and Fosston Fire Department assisted with the accident. 




The Crookston Chamber of Commerce held the annual Water Wars competition on Thursday on Ash Street in downtown Crookston.  This event was sponsored by Otter Tail Power Company, Crookston Fire Department, Crookston Daily Times, and the Chamber office.  

The Professional Division winners were Jake Leas, Brian Hanson, and Ryan Tull. (Picture by Crookston Chamber of Commerce)

In the Amateur Division, Crookston Baseball players (Seth Desrosier, Cody Magsam, and Nicholi Broekmeier) won the title, beating teams from RiverView Health, KROX Radio, and the Crookston Chamber of Commerce.  (Picture by the Crookston Chamber of Commerce)

            Two teams facing off in one of the Amateur division rounds




MONDAY - JULY 27,  2015


The Pennington County Sheriff's Office is still seeking information about the incident, which was reported shortly after 9:00 p.m. Friday at the Kruse In convenience store in St. Hilaire.  The footage from the camera shows the suspect coming and going through the convenience store's main door.
The suspect is believed to be male was dressed in all black with a black face mask and black glasses.  The suspect entered the Kruse In with a rifle and forced the clerk down to the floor, then removed money from the safe and left in a gray van with a maroon rear hatch door, which was later found burned southwest of St. Hilaire.
The sheriff's office is seeking information from anyone who may have seen a suspicious vehicle shortly after 9:00 p.m. in the area of Center Avenue, known as County Road 3.
Anyone with information regarding the robber can call (218) 681-6161.




The Crookston City Council meets on Monday at 7:00 p.m. in the Crookston City Council chambers at city hall. 
The consent agenda has a resolution to approve the agreement with the Crookston Firefighters Association to expand and update the storage building.   A public hearing is scheduled to consider the sanitary sewer line insurance policy. 
The regular agenda includes a resolution to adopt the sanitary sewer line policy and have the second reading and passage of the ordinance providing for billboard signs in certain districts by conditional use.  An ordinance amending city code entitles zoning by defining off premise signs and amending the definition of a billboard sign will be introduced.
The meeting is open to the public.

The Crookston Ways and Means Committee will meet following the council meeting.




Crookston High School will be holding the Parent, Athlete and Coaches (PAC) meeting on August 3 at the HIGHLAND School Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.  “The PAC meeting is set for August 3 at the high school auditorium unless the parking lot is not ready so people should listen to see if there is a change,” said Greg Garmen, Crookston High School Activities Director. “It is important to show up and meet the coaches, learn about the online payment plan and anything new as to rules for the athletes. It is important to get the information at the meeting and we will be sending out a mailing, get all the paperwork done, learn about physicals and anyone with questions will be answered.”
Event schedules are on the school website and brought up to date daily.  “The school website has the schedules on activities,” said Garmen. “There is a notify me button that will send out any changes or cancellations or postponement if people sign up to get notified.”
Anyone with questions can contact Garmen at the high school or by calling 281-5313.





As the start of school nears, the University of Minnesota Crookston thinks the enrollment should be steady compared to last year. “The enrollment situation in college education is unpredictable this year, which is seen in the media,” said UMC Chancellor Fred Wood.  “Students are applying to more and more campuses.  We used to be able to predict by the applications we received, but it is hard to explain as more and more students are applying to other schools.  We think we will be fine with enrollment but we should be as good as last year.”
UMC is looking at hiring another Director of Admissions after Carola Thorson is leaving to go to her alma mater, Concordia in Moorhead. An interim director will be coming up from the Twin Cities to keep things under control.  UMC is also looking for a new foundation director. “We are also losing Corby Kemmer and his wife Sherry, who have been here for several years,” said Wood. “They are pleased to be going back to the Mandan/Bismarck area where Sherry is from, Corby will be at the University of Mary.  We have started a broad search nationwide, but we anticipate we will get regional candidates from which we will get a good candidate.”





Are you sneezing and sniffling your way through the summer? Are allergies to blame for your red, itchy eyes? If so, maybe it’s time to find relief through acupuncture. RiverView Health Licensed Acupuncturist Megan Scott will address allergy symptoms and how acupuncture can help you live a more comfortable life at the Tuesday, July 28 Health Luncheon “Acupuncture and Allergies’’. According to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, acupuncture may be an "excellent complement to routine care (for moderate allergic sinusitis), often minimizing or altogether eliminating the need for medications, releasing the patient from continuous exacerbation-remission cycles."
Listen to Scott as she explains the relief acupuncture can bring to allergy sufferers with private or community acupuncture – an effective, affordable, safe, drug-free alternative for pain and ailments that might be keeping you from living your life to your greatest potential. Scott offers private acupuncture sessions in Crookston and community acupuncture in both Crookston and East Grand Forks.
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 17th year of sponsorship by RiverView Health. All men and women interested in improving their health are invited to attend. Each luncheon starts a few minutes past noon and luncheons are kept under one hour so those needing to return to work can attend. The presentations are free and attendees can bring their own lunches or purchase a healthy, boxed lunch for $3.00. Pre-registration is required and boxed lunch orders must be placed at the time of pre-registration. Call Holly Anderson at 281-9745 or toll free 1-800-743-6551, extension 9745, for additional information and to pre-register.




Cliff Nelson put an antique typewriter in the bank exhibit at the Polk 
County Museum in Crookston. “This is one of the new or refurbished displays at the museum,” said Nelson, who is the buildings and grounds supervisor. The museum is open noon to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Polk County Historical Society members are there to greet visitors and answer questions. There is no admission charge and everyone is welcome.





Motorists on Highway 200 between Ada and Highway 32 should expect lane closures, slow traffic and delays when a resurfacing project begins Wednesday, July 29.
Flaggers and a pilot car will allow one-way, alternating traffic through the work zone. Motorists should slow down, obey flaggers and use caution as they follow the pilot car.
Crews from Minn-Dak Asphalt of Thief River Falls will complete the $2.1 million project, which also includes shouldering work on various highways in the area.
The work will ensure a smoother and safer roadway for motorists in the region.
This project helps ensure MnDOT’s transportation system will continue to serve the state for many years. Learn more about Minnesota’s investment in and maintenance of the state’s transportation system at MnDOT’s Get Connected site
MnDOT urges motorists to follow these recommendations in work zones: stay alert; watch for signs, equipment and workers; minimize distractions, such as using cell phones, eating or drinking; avoid tailgating; follow posted speed limits and directional signs; and stay in one lane while driving through a work zone.
For real-time traffic and travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit, call 5-1-1 or log on




FRIDAY - JULY 24,  2015


Michael Perry, age 24 of Crookston, appeared in district court Friday afternoon for sentencing before Judge Kurt Marben and was sentenced to 252 months (21 years) with two thirds being served in prison and one third on probation. Perry family members and Polk County Sheriff Barb Erdman and many deputies were in court for the sentencing.  A plea agreement was finalized by the assistant Polk County Attorney Scott Buhler and Perry’s attorney Jade Rosenfeldt.
Polk County Deputy Nathan Rasch made a victims impact statement stating four deputies risked their lives and affected the four wives and nine children of the deputies by the action Perry took on September 19, 2014 by raining bullets down on the officers who came at the request of his family.  Rasch said he forgave Perry for his actions and he was taught to love his enemies. He believed the plea agreement was just now, but not at first.   Assistant County Attorney Scott Buhler was not as forgiving as the four officers had done nothing wrong.  He talked about the dangers of meth and alcohol and felt Perry was not remorseful as he had attacked his father earlier and was shooting near his brother before the shooting of the officers.  Buhler said his actions at the hospital were threatening and he was angry at the world.  Buhler agreed to the plea agreement of 252 months.  
Cole Perry, a brother of Michael Perry, spoke for the family and said he was a quiet kid, positive and a hard worker who loved his family and friends and the actions last September were not the Michael they knew. He said the family will stand by him and love him.
Perry’s Attorney Jade Rosenfeldt said he had no record of violent aggressive behavior, but a record of drugs and alcohol along with mental health concerns which were addressed by treatment when he was a juvenile and his family continued to try and find treatment for his problems.  Rosenfeldt said he is remorseful and has deep sorrow, carrying guilt and shame for the officers and his family.  Michael Perry apologized to the officers, police and his family for all the pain he has caused and regrets his action, but accepts accountability for his actions.  He said Meth had a huge affect on his behavior. 

Judge Marben reviewed all the submissions and accepted the guilty pleas to possession of substance to manufacture meth, domestic assault, intentional discharge of fire arm, two counts of first degree assault on a peace officer, two counts of first degree attempted murder of a peace officer and third degree DWI.   The different charges had sentences from 90 days, 13 months, 23 months, 120 months, 124 months, 240 months, and 240 month to be served concurrently.  The DWI sentence was 12 months to be served consecutive.  The plea agreement was for 252 months, with two thirds to be served in prison and one third on probation.  Restitution is $5,283.90 and a fine of $135.00. DNA testing will be required. No firearms will be allowed for the rest of his life and no voting.  Judge Marben closed by saying the psychological and emotional toll on the officers and Perry’s family need to be understood.  
The Perry family requested a time to see Michael Perry before he left for Prison and Judge Marben granted the request to be arranged by Tri County Community Corrections staff.




RiverView Health has once again been recognized as one of the nation's Most Wired hospitals and health care systems, according to the results of the 2015 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks Magazine. The nation's Most Wired hospitals are leveraging the adoption and use of health information technology (IT) to improve performance in a number of areas, according to Health Care's Most Wired 2015.
This is the third consecutive year that RiverView Health has been awarded with the honor going to hospitals and health care systems that have made headway in establishing the basic building blocks for creating robust clinical information systems aimed at improving patient care. This includes adopting technologies to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medication errors, and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage.
“This is, again, a great accomplishment for RiverView Health and it is truly the hard work of the entire organization that made it possible,’’ said Chris Bruggeman, vice president of Operations at RiverView. “Changes in technology have impacted almost every employee in the past few years and our team has risen to the challenges; we have made great strides in utilizing technology to provide safe, effective health care.’’  
Almost half of the Most Wired hospitals reported using social media for community outreach and crisis communication, compared to just one-third of total respondents.  RiverView Health is among the social media users with Facebook sites for RiverView Health at, and the RiverView Auxiliary at
The 2015 Most Wired Survey was conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corp., AT&T, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the American Hospital Association.




Facilities staff at the University of Minnesota Crookston recently landscaped an area outside the Library in memory of Librarian Jim Carlson. The area, a collaborative effort between the Library, Facilities, and the family of Carlson, includes a picnic table that looks out on the Campus Mall making it a beautiful spot to enjoy lunch, study, or take in the view.
Carlson, who passed away in August 2014, placed a high value on education, libraries, learning, and technology. He was service-oriented and everyone he came in contact with came away with a story. This picnic area is a special tribute to Carlson and his work on the Crookston campus. “Jim loved to sit outside and have his lunch while using the WiFi and his tablet,” says Owen Williams, director of Library Services. “Jim was student-focused and the idea of providing students with this spot to use outside of the Library would have pleased him.”

Back row, left to right, are LeMar Daniels; John Hughes; and Tyman Hyashi; all students who are working in facilities this summer.
Seated: Jeff Pryor, a 2015 graduate working in facilities who will be leaving soon for a new job in Colorado; and Owen Williams, director of Library Services






Beginning Monday, July 27, most customers will have their choice of the means by which their local telecommunications service provider delivers directory information. Under amendments adopted by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”) to existing Minnesota Rules, local service providers will be allowed to offer white pages directories electronically to satisfy the requirement to publish telephone directories. A customer of a local service provider which makes this information available electronically may choose to receive their directories in this manner. In any event, the new Rules provide that individual customers who prefer to receive printed directories can continue to do so. The Commission enacted these changes by amending Minnesota Rules Chapters 7810, 7811, and 7812. After multiple directory publishers asked the Commission to vary the existing Rules, the Commission initiated this rulemaking proceeding in 2013. Publication of directories has been a basic aspect of telephone service since the industry’s creation. To maintain a consistent basic level of service, the Commission has in the past required local service providers to annually deliver a printed white pages directory to each customer. After receiving public comments in 2013 and 2014 on proposed changes to the Rules, the Commission concluded that it was necessary and reasonable to update its Rules to recognize electronic directories. Making electronic directories optional, but not mandatory, best balances the interests of recognizing current means of obtaining information and also reducing waste with the interests of providers and customers who still value printed directories. The Commission’s Notice of Adoption was published in the July 20, 2015 edition of the State Register. Under Minnesota Statutes Section 14.27, the Rules are effective beginning on Monday, July 27—five working days after the date of publication. All documents related to this proposed rulemaking are available on the Commission’s website at  Select “Search eDockets” and search for Docket Number E-999/R-13-459.



THURSDAY - JULY 23,  2015


The Crookston School Board held a special meeting this morning and hired a chemistry teacher and orchestra instructor.  Jenna Reese, who works for Sanford in Bagley, was hired as the chemistry teacher. Reese has a B.S. degree in radiologic science from NDSU.  “We are able to hire her as a community expert in chemistry and she will work in a program to get her teaching license,” said Crookston High School principal Eric Bubna. “We are excited to have her and she lives in the community and will do a good job with the kids.”   
Haley Ellis is the new orchestra teacher and comes to Crookston from Michigan. She graduated from Central Michigan University and has been a long term substitute.

The board accepted the resignation of Patty Olson, payroll accountant for the district.  She has taken a job in Ada where she lives.  Applications are being taken for the position.

Crookston School District is hosting the annual registration day on Thursday, August 13 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Crookston High School Commons.  “You can pay your fees, get the schedule, put money in the lunch account, get activity cards, and the bus schedule,” said Bubna. “It is a one stop shop for getting the school year off and rolling.”





“On the Trail to the Future” is the theme for the Ox Cart Days Festival scheduled for August 12-16 in Crookston.   Chamber executive Director Amanda Lien said there will be some new activities this year. “We have some new events with groups coming forward. The United Way is putting on a free throw contest, there will be an outdoor movie at the downtown square on Thursday and we are discussing having a carnival at the festival and we could use many volunteers for any of the events,” said Lien. If you would like to help with the Ox Cart Days Festival by volunteering call the chamber at 281-4320 or stop by the chamber office.
Events start on Wednesday, August 12 with Gallery on the Go at the Carnegie Library and the Veterans Ceremony at Bede Ballroom at 3:00 p.m., followed by the ice cream social at UMC,  a medallion Hunt,  free throw contest and Dodge Ball tournament all at UMC.

Long time Ox Cart Committee member Mark Ecklund is working on bringing back the Lip Sync contest and an expo for businesses in town.  “We are trying to get groups of people like from service groups, sports teams or schools to have the lip sync contest after the bed races, so if you are interested contact the chamber,” said Ecklund.  “Crookston has so many things that people don’t know about so the Expo is an opportunity for groups, churches, schools or anything that needs promotion to have a small booth to hand out material about their group so people will get information on what is available  in town for them to be a part of.”

The Veterans Recognition Ceremony is set for Wednesday, August 12.  “This year we are at UMC Bede Hall with a program at 3:00 p.m. and reception after the ceremony at the UMC Ice Cream Social,” said Chairman Bill Cassavant.  “We are honoring Willard Brunelle, Richard Hoiland and Duane Spear as the veterans to be honored so ask people to attend.”  Anybody coming to the Veteran Recognition Ceremony can park in lot A on the north side of the building.   Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Crookston and UMC are sponsoring the Veterans Recognition Ceremony.





RiverView Health Chief Nursing Officer Sandy Boice has taken care of others most of her life. In the nursing field for the past 50 years – 30 of those with RiverView Health – Boice will soon find herself retired from a profession she has loved for so many years; but nursing will never be far from her heart.
“In my mind I will always be a nurse in spirit,’’ she stated, adding that the list of things she will miss about RiverView is long. “I have enjoyed working for an organization where I knew I had a purpose, always doing worthwhile work and knowing that I made a difference.’’
Following the motto “not to be served unto, but to serve’’, Boice will miss most the patients she’s cared for throughout her career. “Healthcare may have changed over the years, but the need to serve our most vulnerable population has not,’’ she stated. “My passion ‘to make a difference unto the least of these’ has fueled me for 50 years.’’

Education and Experience Equal a Career of Change
Boice was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, where her father served as a surgical scrub technician in World War II. She graduated from high school in Plummer, MN, and attended the LPN program in Thief River Falls graduating in 1964. Boice worked for 20 years as an LPN before returning to Northland Community Technical College where she graduated with her RN in 1983. She received a Credential of Management Studies in Health Services Administration from the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health in 1994.  The first job Boice had after receiving her LPN was as an industrial nurse at Detroiter Mobile Homes in Red Lake Falls. Following her marriage in 1966 to an active Air Force military man, she worked in nursing in Tucson, Arizona, and later Denver, Colorado. The couple relocated to Red Lake Falls in 1972 and Sandy began working at St. John’s Hospital and Hillcrest Nursing Home where she was named the director of nursing in 1984. RiverView Health purchased Hillcrest Nursing Home in 1989, giving all employees credit for time employed by the county. The remainder of her nursing career has been at RiverView where she has served as the director of nursing, staff nurse in the Care Center and for the past four years as the vice president/chief nursing officer.
Things are bound to change in 50 years of being dedicated to the same profession. Boice lists nursing education as the top change she has witnessed in 50 years. When she began pursuing her nursing career the choices were to become an LPN or RN. Today Boice reports that there are many more options for continuing education in nursing either as a full time student or a part time student.
Wages have also changed significantly over the years. Boice’s first job as an LPN paid $1.50 an hour and was considered a good wage. Employee benefits have also increased from health insurance as the only benefit to today’s long list of things employers either provide or give the employee the opportunity in which to participate.

Balancing a Family, Career
Boice’s family also changed significantly over the past 50 years. She is now the proud mother of eight children, 17 grandchildren and one great grandchild.  “My family has been a huge part of my work journey and will continue to support me in retirement,’’ she shared. “I’m sure each of them could tell you a story about a time that they made a sacrifice or were without a mother at an event because I needed to be at work.   With each advancement in my career I assured them ‘it would be better’.  They let me talk the talk and chuckled knowing that more responsibility meant more commitment.    I thank them for being the ‘Wind beneath My Wings’. 
“I move into retirement thanking my God for the opportunity to have been a part of so many patient and family lives,  the joy of working with and leading staff that make sacrifices on a daily basis to ‘make a difference’ to those who have entrusted their lives to us.  I do not have any specific plans as I make the next step in my journey through life.  One thing I know for sure is that God will be a part of that plan.’’ 

A retirement celebration will be held in Boice’s honor Friday, July 24 in the RiverView Health Cafeteria from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. The public is welcome. Boice’s children will also hold an open house at her home at 816 Hamilton Ave., Red Lake Falls, Sunday, July 26 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The family invites anyone who has been touched by their mother’s dedication to care over the years. They request guests bring their own lawn chairs and ask that no gifts be given.




The Crookston School District band program is putting on their annual beginning band information night at Highland School on Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 p.m.. This is for all new fifth grade students/families who would like to join band. Representatives from Poppler's music will be on hand to get you set up with a new instrument right away.  The fifth grade band sign-up is available on the Crookston Music Department's website  If you have a student going into fifth grade at Highland Elementary, Cathedral School, or Our Savior's Lutheran School you can sign him/her up for band online. Just go to and use the tabs on the left to navigate to the 'Elementary Band' page. Once there, all you need to do is fill out the short online form and you are all registered. If you have already registered, make sure you remind other families to do so! Then, be sure to come to beginning band info night at Highland Elementary School on Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 p.m.





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