After deliberating for almost four hours, jurors found Brock Dale Strommen, age 29, of Crookston not guilty of felony manslaughter for the death of John Henry Torres, of East Grand Forks. Strommen and Torres had been involved in an altercation on December 25, 2015 outside of Crooks Club. The jurors also found him not guilty of 5th degree assault, but found him guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor.

Torres was fatally injured after striking his head outside of Crooks Club. He died six days later at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks. The medical examiner ruled his death a  homicide due to blunt force brain trauma.

Strommen was the only witness for the defense. He testified that he did not know Torres or his companions prior to the events of that evening,  but that Torres and his companions made negative comments about him while inside the bar that night.
A review of over three hours of footage from inside Crooks Club did not show Strommen interacting with Torres or his party, but does show Strommen walking past the group.

Strommen testified that he left the bar to have a cigarette at about 11:30 p.m., and that Torres came outside a short while later, and began to yell at him. After several attempts to get Torres to leave him alone, Strommen said he “pushed him out of my way.” Footage from the bar shows Strommen, his brother Zachary Strommen, Nicholas Erdmann, Torres and Michael Ramirez were all outside during the incident.

Strommen testified that he was next assaulted by Torres’ friends outside the bar. He said he was punched in the nose and bled, and that he was kicked while on the ground.

Assistant Polk County attorney Andrew Johnson questioned discrepancies between Strommen’s testimony at trial, his testimony to the grand jury, and his statements to police investigators. He also asked why Strommen testified that Torres started issues with him when the video surveillance from the bar did not show interaction between the two men. Strommen asserted that the harassment took place.    




The Crookston Park Board met briefly last night, with just a quorum of members present to accomplish the necessary business. Park and Rec Director Scott Riopelle explained, “The Park Board meeting today was to introduce the new Park Board members, Garrett Borowicz and Becky Kofoed. The idea was just to introduce them to what the Park and Rec does, just give them a quick overview about our programs, the parks we care for, the budgets, how we arrive at things, and it was very quick today. We will have a planning session, a little more in-depth orientation, in the coming week or so, when we have all of the Park Board together. Then we can introduce them to the Strategic Plan that the Park Board worked hard on this past year. It’s kind of a guide for them: a “what to do” as a Park Board, and where we want to go with our programming and our parks in the future.”

First order of business was to elect a chairman. Don Cavalier was elected to another term as Chair of the Board.
Riopelle gave a brief overview of the Fun Finder that Park and Rec creates every spring and fall to publicize Crookston’s various recreational activities. He indicated that registration for the programs will be online from now on.

Riopelle detailed some of the things that Park and Rec oversees or funds here in Crookston, including activities at the Golden Link and the pool, and the maintenance of over 300 acres. “Within the community we do have a lot of parks and parcels that we care for, because they aren’t all parks,” he said. “There are a lot of dikes or levees that we handle, and then there are some facilities that we care for: helping out at the library, helping out at the Valley Tech Park with snow, coming down to City Hall helping with snow, our people are well-versed on what to do to help with the community and all of the sidewalks in the winter. This winter has been an interesting one with all of the continued snow, so as soon as they finish, they start right over. And that’s just that end; we also have all of the activities we care for. We have a lot of activities compared to a lot of Park and Recs in the surrounding area, which is good for the kids and good for the adults – and that’s the key.”

The Park Board holds their regular meetings on the third Monday of the month at the City Hall.




It’s time to register in the KROX and Bergan Travel’s 21st Annual “Take a Trip on Us” contest for your chance to win a two thousand dollar Bergan Travel Gift Certificate to be used on their vacation packages or bus tours. Register at participating businesses now through February 10. The winner will be announced on KROX after the noon time news on Friday, February 17. The grand prize winner will receive a $2,000 gift certificate from Bergan Travel in Thief River Falls and KROX. So what are you waiting for? Register now for the 20th Annual “Take a Trip on Us” to win a $2,000 Bergan Travel gift certificate. Brought to you by KROX and Bergan Travel of Thief River Falls.

Register at the following businesses-
Anytime Fitness, Cenex C Store in Warren, Christian Brothers Ford, Christian Motors of Fertile, Crookston Building and Rent-It Center, Crookston Eagles Club, Crookston Hardware Hank, Crookston Inn and Convention Center, Crookston Paint and Glass, Crookston Valley Cooperative, Drafts Sports Bar and Grill, Eagle Thrifty White Pharmacy, Grand Forks Subaru-Kia, Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream Parlor, HN Quality Plumbing, Hugo’s, Hunter’s Outlet in Thief River Falls, Mireault’s Home Furnishings in Fosston, Montagues Flower Shop, NAPA Crookston Welding and Machine, Ness Café in Erskine, Northern Lumber/Flooring Center, One-N-Only of Euclid, Opticare, PKM Electric in Warren, R.B.J.’s Restaurant, Rejuv/Simply Home,  R.V. Sports of Thief River Falls, Signature Jewelers of Grand Forks, SuperPumper, Taco John’s, This is Sew Broadway, and Wonderful Life Foods.






The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Board met this morning at the Valley Technology Park. Board President, Kurt Heldstab administered the Oath of Office to city councilman Steve Erickson (new Board member) and to Amanda Lien and Chris Bates (ex-officio board members).

The board approved a housing rehabilitation loan of $30,000 to Lucas and Kalie Normandin for electrical, plumbing and HVAC work on a home located at 702 North Front Street. CHEDA Executive Director, Craig Hoiseth, commented that the loan helps to play a valuable role in helping contractors to acquire blighted houses, rehabilitate them and bring them up to code, and sell them, or rent them out, adding to the city’s tax base. $25,000 remains in the fund to date.

Hoiseth addressed the Pedrick rehab loan, which is currently under a confession of judgment. He told the board that he is reasonably assured that the outstanding balance of about $20,000 will be repaid to CHEDA.

Hoiseth stated that Cycle of Threads is currently for sale. While Cofe’/Cycle of Threads is current on their revolving loans with CHEDA, lack of cash flow has been an issue for them. Paul Eickhof stated that it is a beautiful store, but that is a testament of how difficult it is to start a business in Crookston and make it successful. Chris Bates stated that the issue is volume – a small business simply can’t sell enough of a certain product to make it. After considerable discussion, Craig Morgan suggested freezing both the interest and principal on the two loans to Cofe’/Cycle of Threads until October 1. The Board voted to approve his motion.

Ryan Olson (pictured right), Chairman of the Downtown Crookston Development Advisory Group (DCDA) spoke to the Board about the goals of the group and addressed concerns of the City Council that the Group and the Director they are looking to hire would be overlapping the role of CHEDA. The group has been meeting for about 6 months, and has been operating on a $20,000 capacity building grant they received from the Northwest Foundation. Olson explained that the job opening for the Director will be posted today, with the plan to accept applications for two weeks and review them at the next DCDA meeting.
Olson assured the Board that the Director would lean heavily on, and need the support of CHEDA, the Chamber, and the City Administrator for advice and direction. The overall goal of the job will be to create opportunities for new businesses that will benefit the other businesses downtown.
Hoiseth reiterated that CHEDA is established as Crookston’s recognized authority for development, so the Director will have to come to the Board with projects and prospects, and they will undergo the normal vetting and procedural process. Helstab agreed that it is key that CHEDA be involved in reviewing the business and financing plans, as they do for other businesses, stating, “CHEDA’s very interested – a willing partner, not just downtown development, but other businesses downtown will benefit, too, to do something downtown. One of the main reasons for CHEDA is to assist businesses coming to town and work with them and help all businesses.”
Erickson asked if grant writing was a component of the job description. Olson replied that it definitely is. Shannon Stassen clarified the City’s role in funding this 3 year commitment. The goal is that by 2019 this Downtown Development Director position will be self-sustainable. The part-time position pays $36,000 a year. Vice Mayor Dale Stainbrook addressed the mixed feelings on the council regarding money being taken from Enterprise funds to use for downtown development. Their feeling is that this should be run through CHEDA. As a council, he stated, they still need answers to move forward.
Leon Kreimeier cautioned Olson that the prospective Director needs to keep communication in mind. Olson agreed, saying the person “needs to be a rabid communicator.”
Hoiseth told the Board that the group would like to see the Director in office space downtown. After discussion, the Board voted to offer $175.00/month to the DCDP to help offset the office costs, at least for the first year.

In other business, the Board voted to forgive promissory notes given by the Crookston Civic Arena, LLC for $8.091.400 and $2,833,600. Hoiseth explained that this is essentially a housekeeping (accounting) issue, which takes the loans off CHEDA’s books, as the mortgage has been satisfied, and the process of dissolving Crookston Investment has commenced.

Election of officers (1-year terms) was also held. The officers will remain the same for 2017, with Kurt Heldstab serving as President, Craig Morgan as Vice President, Paul Eickhof as Treasurer, and Leon Kremeier as Secretary.

Hoiseth thanked the Board for his recent performance review, and noted that the 2017 budget reflected no staff increases, as per the Board’s wishes. He reminded the Board that their commitment of $17,500 made to TriValley for Agassiz Townhomes is due. This contribution was combined with those from other area businesses for TriValley to receive a grant from Bremer.

Heldstab concluded the meeting with a discussion of ways to increase marketing local businesses at the Crookston Sports Center. “We have a facility that is a huge draw for events. The offshoot to that is that people come to town, stay in motels, go downtown to shop, and so on. That’s a huge impact for Crookston. As we get people to town, and to stay overnight, that’s huge for hotels, for restaurants, for retail. There’s a lot of fallout from other people staying in town, and we want to work to keep that viable.”




Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday morning and approved several purchases for the highway and technology departments.   Two pressure washers were purchased from Home of Economy of Grand Forks for $9,000, a Skid Steer rack drive was purchased from Ironhide Equipment in Grand Forks for $48,578.00.  A Townmaster Trailer was purchased for $9,590.00 from Titan Machinery in Crookston.   
A GIS Server and software upgrade was purchased for $64,000 and a safety compliance service contract was signed for $13,000 for a year.  Storage enclosures and hard drives were purchased for $26,589.00 from Morris Electronics for the technology department.  $5,264.00 was spent for the Microsoft software and $35,880.00 was spent to upgrade the exchange email to the present 2016 version. 

Commissioner Warren Strandell reported that the population at the Justice Center has been dropping,  “We learned last week that we have probably the lowest population which was only 89 from Polk County when we usually run about 120 clients,” said Strandell. “The difference was that a lot of the locals were shipped off to prison, eight went off in one day, so we can’t say that Polk County is a catch and release county.” The entire number was 159 clients when the county is usually at 190 so they were told that this is just a low number at the beginning of the year.”

The commissioners accepted a $500 donation from the Public Safety Motorcycle Club “Iron Pigs” to be used by the Sheriff’s department for the Lifesaver program used in searches.  
The board will advertise to hire a dispatcher for the sheriff’s office and a custodian for the county. 

The Area Transportation partnership met last week with eight counties represented.  “We deal with the federal gas tax collections, which is mostly referred to MnDot and some of it is for enhancement projects like parks and trails,” said Strandell who is on the committee.  “We will review the proposals from counties and cities next month.  Fosston and Crookston have projects and we have money in the pot so we will be rating them they have to have about a 20 percent local match.” 
The commissioners appointed Scott Balstad to the Extension committee to replace Paul Rosendahl who resigned. 




About 50 participants gathered at the Crookston Inn on Monday morning to take part in a Unity Walk to the Kiehle Auditorium on the UMC campus. Carrying flags and banners, and singing “We Shall Overcome,” and “He’s Got The Whole World (In His Hands)” the marchers joined an enthusiastic crowd at the auditorium to celebrate unity in a wide variety of musical selections, speeches and awards. The presentation was followed by a free lunch social in Brown Dining Hall.
Mistresses of Ceremonies and event organizers were Lorna Hollowell, Director of Diversity & Multicultural Programs at UMC, and Sandra Mitchell, Associate Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion at the University of North Dakota. The annual event is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, Crookston, Northland Community and Technical College, and the University of North Dakota.

The start of the Unity Walk at the entrance of the Crookston Inn and Convention Center

The Unity Walk arrives on the UMC Campus Monday morning an a pleasant morning with above zero temps




Area women attend the Ninth District American Legion Auxiliary Mid-Winter Conference in Detroit Lakes on January 13 and 14.  Sharon Lanctot, Unit 20 ALA President, of Crookston; Jean Walker, MN Department ALA 2nd Vice President, Warren and Margee Keller, MN Department ALA Children and Youth Chairman, Crookston attended. The meeting was conducted by Joanie Krantz, Karlstad, the Ninth District ALA President. Special guest was the 2016-2017 MN Department American Legion Auxiliary President Carol Kottom from Buffalo. The Guest speaker was former Crookstonite, Julia Williamson Dangerfield, Detroit Lakes, who represented the American Heart Association and is a member of Unit 20, Crookston.

Carol Kottom, MN American Legion Auxiliary President, Buffalo, Jean Walker, MN American Legion 2nd Vice President, Warren and Joanie Krantz, 9th ALA District President, Karlstad



MONDAY - JANUARY 16,  2017

Justin Knebel Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament to be held February 4 

Win prizes and support scholarships during the seventh Annual Justin Knebel Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament to be held Saturday, February 4, 2017. The tournament, which supports scholarships at the University of Minnesota Crookston, will be held at Zippel Bay Resort on Lake of the Woods, Williams, Minn. Tickets are available for $20 by contacting Alysa Tulibaski at 701-215-4300. Tickets are also available at Zippel Bay Resort, 6080 39th St. NW, Williams, MN, 800-222-2537
On Friday, February 3 prior to the fishing tournament, all alumni in the area are invited to an alumni social at Izzy’s Bar & Grill at 801 State Ave in Warroad from 5 to 8:30 p.m. There will be food and door prizes.
Registration for Saturday’s fishing tournament, limited to the first 225 tickets, begins at 9:00 a.m. on the ice at the tournament site with fishing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the first person to catch a fish, along with prizes for the largest walleye, northern, sauger, perch and other species caught during the tournament. The registration fee also includes a raffle ticket and road access fee.
All proceeds from the tournament support the Justin Knebel Memorial Scholarship Fund at UMC. Following the tournament, there will be a social at the igloo on the ice. The Justin Knebel Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament corporate sponsors are Streiff Sporting Goods and Zippel Bay Resort.
Prizes sponsored by Streiff Sporting Goods, Cabela's, Fishing House, and Grayden Outdoors LLC. A number of other businesses in Northwest Minnesota support the tournament through the donations of prizes and monetary support. For more information on the tournament, visit
Justin Knebel, who played basketball for the UMC Golden Eagles, grew up in Warroad, graduating from Warroad High School in 2001. A talented athlete, he lettered in basketball, cross country, and track. After graduation, he attended the University of Minnesota, Crookston where he played basketball as a point guard for the Golden Eagles. He was the ultimate team player working hard on the court and in the classroom.
Besides his passion for playing basketball, Knebel loved the Warroad area and outdoor sports in Minnesota, making the ice fishing tournament an apt tribute to the memory of this outstanding student athlete. For more information on the tournament, visit
Members of the planning committee for the event include Derek Martin, Stephanie Helgeson, Amber Bailey, Rose Ulseth, and Alysa Tulibaski.





Hugo’s Family Market Place store Manager, Bob O’Halloran presented a check today on behalf of the Hugo’s employees for $5,824 to Crookston United Way, and a check for $876 from customer donations to the Care and Share. “Hugo’s wants to do what they can for the community, because without “community,” what do you have," said Hugo's Manager Bob O'Halloran. "All of our associates live in the community, so we try to do what we can, a little payback or thank you, for the community itself.”
Hugo’s in Crookston has donated over to $10,000 to the United Way in the past year, and their annual golf tournament, which involved 10 business teams, raised $1200, which Hugo’s donated back to the community.

Sue Shirek, Care & Share Director, and Bob O’Halloran, Hugo’s store Manager

Mitch Bakken (United Way Board), Tracy Kuchan (United Way Board), Bob O’Halloran, (Hugo’s store Manager), and Katya Zepeda, (United Way Executive Director)




The Crookston United way recently received a donation from Crooks Club and Bottle Shop for $215 from a fundraiser they conducted. 
Crookston United Way has raised $132,316 and are trying to reach a goal of $160,000.  If you would like to donate to the United Way of Crookston you can mail it to P.O. Box 218, Crookston, MN 56716, or go to their website, and do a direct bill by downloading the pledge card.

Crooks Club manager Samantha Szczech, Katya Zepeda of the United Way and Crooks Club Owner Dave Thompson.





The Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a snowmobile accident in Knute Township just east of the City of Erskine just before 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 15.  A passerby called the Sheriff’s Office and stated they observed a snowmobile that appeared to have crashed.  Deputies responded and did not locate anyone in the area that was called in, but a 1999 Arctic Cat ZR600 EFI was still at the scene.  The operator of the snowmobile was later located and had sustained minor injuries from the crash.  The snowmobile sustained moderate damage. 
The operator was identified as Sofrony Kutsev, 33 years old of McIntosh.  He was cited for operating a snowmobile on a state trail without having a snow safety certificate. 
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office was the only agency that responded to the accident.






State Representative Deb Kiel, of Crookston gave a legislative update. 

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This week in the House, many committees began meeting to debate legislation and hear overviews from various state agencies. House File 1, The 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill, is making its way through the legislative process so we can provide meaningful premium relief to folks as soon as possible. Local leaders, citizens and folks across the state are also beginning to contact legislators to share their priorities for the 2017 session.
Here is an update from Saint Paul.

Real ID
For Minnesotans concerned about Real ID and what it will mean for folks flying starting next year, I wanted to share that House File 3 has begun making its way through the legislative process.
Without complying with this federal law, passed in 2005 by Congress to make it more difficult for terrorists to obtain fake identification, Minnesotans will not be able to fly domestically with a state-issued driver’s license starting in January 2018. The bill passed the House last year 87-42, but was hung up by a handful of Senate Democrats wanting to expand driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. House File 3 this session, of which I am a co-author, will ensure that unelected bureaucrats within the Department of Public Safety are not able to use rulemaking to expand this legislation to include providing licenses to people illegally in our country.
Furthermore, the bill will provide two tracks, allowing people who do not want to get a Real ID-compliant driver’s license to opt out. And for folks who need to upgrade to a new driver’s license before their previous one expires, they will be able to receive their second one free of charge
Passing Real ID legislation will put us with a majority of states that are either compliant or on the path to compliance with federal law, and will ensure Minnesotans can continue to travel without any additional headaches or hassle.
I will keep you updated on this legislation’s progress and hope it will be signed into law soon.

Broadband Grants for NW MN
Earlier this week, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced 42 different broadband grants for communities across the state. Northwest Minnesota communities were granted six different projects totaling nearly $5 million.
Thanks to Republican-led efforts last year, a vast majority of the funding went directly to unserved parts of the state, targeting the folks that need it most. These grants will help families, schools, farmers and businesses throughout our area connect, and when combined with federal dollars, will put more than $100 million toward broadband expansion this year.
What’s more, the Department of Education also provided grants to twelve school districts to expand wireless internet access for students. Two school districts in our area were awarded grants. The Thief River Falls School District received more than $30,000 and the Fertile-Beltrami School District received nearly $42,000.
I am pleased we were able to make significant investments in broadband this year and that funding went to key projects throughout rural Minnesota.

If I can ever assist you or your family on a matter of state government, please don’t hesitate to contact my office. I am here to serve you!
Deb Kiel
District 1B
Crookston, MN



FRIDAY - JANUARY 13,  2017


Ella Weber with her medal and certificate with Geography teacher Tim Moe

10 eighth grade students took part in the Crookston High School Geography Bee Final Round competition on Thursday afternoon at the Crookston High School Auditorium. Anke Wiersma, Emma Borowicz, Gabe Montieth, Dominick Brouse, Nekeisha Watkins, Ella Weber, Carter Bruggeman, Victoria Proulx, Emily Funk and Emma Boll lined up on stage and exhibited their impressive geographical knowledge.
“It’s good for kids to get out of their comfort zone a little bit, get put into situations they’re not used to being in,” said Crookston High School Social Studies teacher Tim Moe. “It’s cool to see all these kids for the last couple of weeks have been freaking out a little bit, and to put them up on the stage, make them the center of attention – none of them wanted to do it, but they all did it, it’s so nice to see.”

The final round questions reduced the number of contestants from the original 10 down to two, Ella Weber and Emma Boll. Weber was able to outlast Boll and was awarded the geography bee champion. Moe observed that winning the competition is great for the students in a lot of ways. “Ella had the best score in the preliminary competition and she’s shaking afterward – it’s good to get those competitive juices flowing a little bit, and I’m proud of her and all the kids for stepping up and doing a really nice job. This is the first girl who has ever won the competition in the four years that we have been doing it. To have the first girl win it – that’s good,” said Moe. “There are kids who don’t think of themselves as overly smart who make it up there, and for them to see some success is a really nice thing. I can’t be more proud of all those kids – getting up there and doing things they weren’t comfortable doing, but stepping up and doing it, and doing the best job they could.”

The kids had been preparing since late December. “They’ve known they were in it since right before Christmas, so they have had since Christmas to prepare. I gave them some study materials. We haven’t really done a whole lot of this in class yet, which is the really interesting thing,” said Moe. “We haven’t looked at the world yet, that’s mostly second semester, so to not really have a base from class, but to have them have this base of knowledge that they’ve had coming into this competition – that’s a really nice thing.”
Moe gives the students a few hints to do better in the contest. “One of the hints that I give them beforehand is that you have to listen for the question inside the question. They give you an area, so you can really narrow it down to a specific area and so if they are able to do that, they are able to process that and come up with it,” said Moe. “It might not have been the right answer all the time, but for the most part it was the right area. And I thought that was a nice thing.”

Weber has the opportunity to advance and will take the online State Qualifying Test, and with a high enough score, she could advance to the state level and possibly the national Bee. “Ella will do some studying for the next month or so, and then there is an online test for her to take. We’ve sent a kid to the state Geography Bee the last two years, so hopefully she’ll be able to be one of those top 100 kids and go to St. Cloud State University and compete, and once again, get to a place that might be out of her comfort zone a little bit,” said Moe. “She’ll step up to that challenge, if she’s lucky enough to make it, and it becomes a better thing for her and her future. This is geography, but it’s more than geography; it’s public speaking, it’s becoming comfortable up on stage, it’s just a great thing that we’re able to do for our kids.”

     The 10 Crookston High School Geography Bee contestants
Back row - Dominick Brouse, Carter Bruggeman, Emma Borowicz, Victoria Proulx, and Emily Funk
Middle row- Emma Boll, Ella Weber, and Gabe Montieth
Front row -
Anke Wiersma and Nekeisha Watkins




Do you fear you are on the path to type 2 diabetes? If so, let RiverView Health lead you down a different path – a path to better health. As part of that journey, RiverView will offer the health luncheon, “Prevent Type 2 Diabetes’’ on Thursday, January 19 for anyone interested in leading a healthier lifestyle.
The luncheon will be led by RiverView’s Darcey Larsen, RD LD, and Kelsey Billing, RN BSN. Larsen and Billing are currently gearing up to offer a free, year-long lifestyle change program on this topic in the communities of Crookston, Fertile and Red Lake Falls. Attend the health luncheon to learn more about the lifestyle change classes.
You don’t have to accept the fate of becoming diabetic. You can fight to reverse your path and become a champion of your health.

Luncheon Details
The luncheon will be held in Meeting Room #1 of RiverView Health, 323 S. Minnesota Street, beginning at noon. Meeting Room #1 is located near the RiverView Clinic entrance on the north side of the building and across from the elevators on first floor.
The luncheon series is in its 19th 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. Pre-registration is required. A boxed lunch can be purchased for $3, but must be ordered while pre-registering for the event. Call Holly Anderson at 218-281-9745 for additional information and to pre-register.




There have been more than 30 crashes this season involving vehicles and snowplows, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging motorists to use extra caution during plowing and snowing operations. 
“Crashes typically happen because of inattentive drivers, motorists driving too close to the plow or motorists driving too fast for conditions,” said Steve Lund, state maintenance engineer. “Our snowplow drivers are well trained to drive their plows, but motorists should be patient and stay back from the plow. Snowplows travel much slower than the posted speeds because it is most effective for clearing roads.”
Lund said that operators’ ability to see behind them is restricted behind the truck so they must rely on mirrors to see to the rear and side of the truck.  “Their vision is also hampered by the snow clouds they create while plowing. So the safest place you can be is well behind the snowplow and away from the snow cloud it creates,” he said.
Last year in Minnesota, there were 48 crashes involving vehicles and snowplows. Minnesota law requires motorists to turn on their headlights when it’s snowing or at any other time when weather conditions impair visibility.
Here are some other recommendations for safer driving around snowplows:
·  Stay back and stay alive. Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud. Don’t drive into a snow cloud.
·  Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They also may travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
·  Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.
· Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
·  Turn off the cruise control.
·  Be patient, and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
·  Don’t drive distracted.

Motorists should check road conditions at





Thanks to RiverView Health’s Jr. Auxiliary, an ill child will receive a brand new, handmade blanket through the non-profit organization, Project Linus. The Jr. Auxiliary met on Wednesday, January 11 to make the soft blanket for donation. The group was efficient and quick in its work, allowing time for a RiverView Laboratory tour where the group learned about blood donation and supply, along with a variety of other tests done in the Lab. The Jr. Auxiliary meets the second Wednesday of the month January through May.

The RiverView Health Junior Auxiliary and their completed blanket




Representatives Dan Fabian (R-Roseau) and Deb Kiel (R-Crookston) issued the following joint statement regarding today's announcement from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) that six projects in Northwest Minnesota are among 42 to receive a state grant to expand broadband access.  “These DEED grants will expand our area’s broadband capacity and are directed at previously unserved communities in Greater Minnesota. This critical funding helps families stay connected, reaches farmers in rural areas and allows local businesses to expand, grow and connect with their customers. Most notably, this money is directed at the folks who need it most, and we are pleased that Minnesota will see more than $100 million in broadband investments this year.”
According to a press release from DEED, the projects funded for Northwest Minnesota total near $5 million and will serve unserved households and businesses. The list of projects from DEED are:

-CenturyLink, Thief River Middle Mile – $1.32 million. The project will serve 491 unserved households and 118 unserved businesses in an area from Thief River to Roseau. CenturyLink will provide improved services that will encourage business development and increase access to education and health care in the region. The total eligible project cost is $2.65 million, with $1.3 million local match.

-Garden Valley Telephone Co., Rural Thief River Falls East – $2.03 million. The project will serve 330 unserved households, 23 unserved businesses and 2 community anchor institutions in rural Thief River Falls. Garden Valley Telephone will upgrade broadband services that will improve economic and community vitality in the region. The total eligible project cost is $4.2 million, with a $2.2 million local match.

-Halstad Telephone Co., Kertsonville Area – $296,665. The project will serve 51 unserved households in Kertsonville and Onstad townships in Polk County. Halstad Telephone Co. will improve service levels that benefit farmers, home businesses and residents. The total eligible project cost is $593,330, with a $296,665 local match.

-Sjoberg’s Inc., Roseau and Lake of the Woods Counties – $354,740. The project will serve 126 unserved households, 30 unserved businesses and one community anchor institution in several areas of Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties. The project will improve community well-being and encourage job growth and business expansion. The total eligible project cost is $709,481, with a $354,740 local match.

-Wikstrom Telephone Co. (with Beamco Inc.), Rural Alvarado – $43,481. The project will serve 11 unserved households and 1 unserved business in the Alvarado area, in a remote part of Marshall County. The telephone company and Beamco Inc., a local engineering and manufacturing company, are partnering to improve services in the area. The project will enable Beamco to reach its suppliers and customers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and China. The total eligible project cost is $86,963, with a $43,482 local match.

-Wikstrom Telephone Co., Wiktel NW MN – $950,823. This project will serve 236 unserved households and 26 unserved businesses in sparsely populated areas of Kittson, Marshall, Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties. The project will provide improved service that encourages job growth and business expansion in the region. The total eligible project cost is $2.11 million, with a $1.16 million local match.

Thanks to GOP-led efforts, $32 million of the $35 million in grants were targeted toward unserved areas of the state—ensuring that broadband grants are going to the communities that need it most. Additionally, because of policy reforms to the program, the Minnesota State Broadband fund leveraged Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) federal broadband funding to amplify connectivity into rural areas of the state. In total, Minnesota is expected to see half a billion dollars in combined state and federal broadband funding between 2015 and 2021.
The legislature approved a total of $45 million in broadband grants during the 2015 and 2016 legislative session. When combined with federal CAF II funds, Minnesota will see more than $100 million in broadband expansion this year alone.




Were you a Trojan or Golden Eagle Women’s or Men’s basketball player? Were you a coach? No matter the year or the team, the University of Minnesota Crookston wants all alumni and coaches back to celebrate basketball history during Alumni Basketball Weekend on Friday and Saturday, January 27 and 28.
Warm up for the weekend on Friday evening watching a double header against Minnesota State University- Mankato. The women’s game begins at 6 p.m. and men’s at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, January 28 attend a special pre-game social, sponsored by UMC Teambackers, at the Evergreen Grill, located on the north end of Evergreen Hall, to enjoy food and refreshments and welcome our returning alumni. 
Following the social is a double header against Concordia St. Paul with the women playing at 4 p.m. and the men at 6 p.m. Basketball alumni will be recognized during half time of each of the games.  
To conclude the weekend, a post-game social will be held at I.C Muggs, 1500 University Ave., Crookston.
Save the date and plan to fill the weekend with memories and cheer on Golden Eagle Basketball. There will be a bookstore discount during the weekend and a commemorative gift for all returning alumni basketball players and coaches.
For more information, contact Derek Martin in the alumni office at 218-281-8436.






Life is busy. Most of us wish there were more hours in the day to get everything done. At RiverView Clinic Fertile we realize it’s hard to fit everything into a “regular’’ business day, so we’re offering you more hours in OUR day.
The Clinic is now offering extended hours Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 6 pm. Friday hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm.
The Clinic is staffed by Physician Assistant Paul Reese, Dr. Erik Kanten and Certified Nurse Practitioner Erika Beckett.
To make an appointment at RiverView Clinic Fertile, call 218-945-6695.





The application deadline for Individual Artist Grants for $1,500 from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) is January 15, 2017. Applications are being accepted in our seven county service area including Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau counties in Minnesota. Individual artist grants are awarded to individuals in our region in performing, visual, media and creative writing arts. To be eligible you must be out of high school and at least 18 years of age. College tuition is not an eligible expense.
What is a typical project?  Often, grant proposals are to buy items that directly relate to your art like upgrading an instrument or replacing worn out visual art equipment.  Sometimes proposals are to attend a workshop that is important for your artistic growth then create a new body of work as a result of that learning.  Some grants are to allow artists to create a new body of work, then promote and showcase the result. 
What is hard to get funded?  It is difficult to receive funding for items that are part of daily life like computers, printers, cameras, cell phones, etc.  It is also difficult to receive funding to travel to destinations for art training that have the appearance of a vacation.  It is difficult to receive funds to start a new arts medium since your current work sample is important to the application process and must show work within the medium you are applying.  
Can I pay myself while I work on my project?  Yes, the McKnight Foundation encourages established artists to be able to use grant funds to pay themselves to work on the project.  If awarded a grant, however, careful tracking needs to occur on the form provided. If awarded, all receipts for expenses need to accompany the final report or full or partial funding will be returned including the completed time tracking form.        
Support for our Individual Artist Grant program comes from the McKnight Foundation.

The McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis awards the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council $70,000 annually to provide grants and services to artists. Please see the McKnight page on our website under About Us that provides a summary and links to this programming. To see if you quality for this grant visit the grants link at or call 218-745-9111 or email





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