FRIDAY - JULY 29,  2016


Crookston City Council will have four spots with expired terms this election cycle.  Ward 1 currently held by Tom Jorgens, Ward 3 currently held by Clayton Briggs, Ward 5 currently held by Dale Stainbrook, and council member at large currently held by Wayne Melbye, will all be voted on this election cycle. 
With four spots up for election that means there are several opportunities for the public to throw their hat in the ring to run for city council.  The filing date opens on August 2 and runs through August 15 at 5:00 p.m.  “You just come down to the Clerk’s Office at City Hall and it is a two dollar filing fee,” said Crookston City Clerk Angie Menge. “You do have to be an eligible voter in Minnesota and you have to be 21 years of age or more.  You also have to have lived in the district for 30 days before the general election.”

Polling for Wards 3 and 4 will be moved this November. “Wards 3 and 4 had been voting at the Mount in the past, but this year it is going to be at the First Presbyterian Church downtown at 510 North Broadway,” said Menge. “Wards 1 and 5 will still poll at the MNDOT building at 1320 Sunflower Street, and Wards 2 and 6 still vote at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 1214 University Ave.”

The Primary Election will be held Tuesday, August 9 and the general election will be held Tuesday, November 8.  The polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.




The new Wellness Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) was recently completed in June.  The 36,000 square foot state of the art facility features a two-court gymnasium, a suspended running/walking track, weights/fitness/cardio areas, general locker rooms, a group exercise room, and a classroom that can also be used as a laboratory.   The facility was designed by JLG Architects and built by J.E. Dunn Construction with a total cost of $15 million, with $10 million approved in the 2014 Minnesota Legislative Bonding Bill and $5 million raised through philanthropic efforts.
Students will pay a fee of $80 each semester to utilize the wellness center, which will be used to cover operational costs.
The cutting edge cardio and weight machines feature scanning codes that allow smart phones to utilize apps for fitness tracking and circuit training.  Students can also download and track their cardiovascular workouts via the internet.  10 laps on the walking/running track equals one mile, and it is made from a versatile, self-healing, and durable flooring.

The gymnasium includes markings and equipment from activities including basketball, volleyball, tennis, indoor soccer, team handball, badminton, ping pong, boxing and MMA training, and indoor archery (with the aid of ballistic curtains). 

   The view of half of the gym area with the basketball hoops down

The group exercise room (pictured below) features a Fitness-on-Demand video kiosk with an initial database of over 125 prerecorded exercise workouts.  The room is ideal for group activities such as yoga, aerobics, dance, Zumba, and other group fitness activities.

        The group exercise room at the UMC Wellness Center

The wellness center also features a solar panel array on the roof that will produce up to 40% of the power used in the building.  The purchase and installation of the solar array was made possible by a 50 percent matching grant from Otter Tail Power Company.  It is estimated that the array will pay for itself via cost savings in electricity in roughly eight years.  Also, the windows in the Wellness Center have a special fritted coating made by silk screening ceramic dots onto the glass.  This helps in preventing bird injuries as well as minimizes solar gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter months.

                           The solar panel array on the roof of the UMC Wellness Center

Patrick Troumbley, the director of the UMC Wellness Center, is excited for the upcoming semester and the opportunities the new facility will provide.  “The opportunities it is going to give students to interact with each other and gain a foundation of wellness and health is great,” said Troumbley. “They can also gain an amazing level of undergrad experience that they would normally have to be part of a Master’s or PhD level program to receive.  There is going to be great opportunities for programming additional activities and trying to get the whole student population involved, with our main focus on finding out what the students want and having those activities.”   
Troumbley expressed that ‘accessibility’ is a big focus for the wellness center.  There are ADA accessible entrances, restrooms and showers, as well as an elevator to get to the second floor equipment.  Some of the equipment even features adjustable and removable seating so they can be accessed by individuals who use a wheelchair.  The staff will be knowledgeable and quick to help anyone who may need assistance with getting to know the equipment.
Troumbley also went over some of the top features of the new facility. “We have a great exercise physiology lab here, top end cardiovascular equipment as well as weight training equipment with some very knowledgeable people to help guide things through,” said Troumbley.  “It’s going to be fun to help guide students through activities they may or may not be familiar with and help with facilitating the learning process as they get to know themselves and other students as well.”

The wellness center is currently open under a soft opening and will have everything operational and ready to go for the fall semester students.




Brock Altringer, 41 of East Grand Forks, appeared in district court on Thursday.  A pre-trial date has been set for August 23 at 9:00 a.m. with a jury trial scheduled for October 10.  Altringer has been charged with two counts of controlled substance in the first degree.  Maximum sentence for those two counts are not less than 4 years or more than 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine or both.  Altringer is also charged with failure to affix a tax stamp which carries a sentence of 7 years in prison or a $14,000 fine or both. 
The incident occurred in January 2016 when Altringer sold meth to a cooperating individual. Altringer was on supervised release for a controlled substance crime in the second degree conviction with an expiration date of December 6, 2019 when the incident occurred.



THURSDAY - JULY 28,  2016


The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) Office of Development and Alumni Relations is sponsoring an Alumni Brew Bash Tour.  The tour will be for UMC and Northwest School of Agriculture alumni and families.
The tour kicks off on August 9 in Nisswa.  “We have had events across the state before to try and gather our alumni to have a good time.  We had one event at TCF Stadium on the Twin Cities Campus and we had one at the Arboretum,” said UMC Assistant Director of Communications, Elizabeth Tollefson.  “One of our alumni suggested we should jazz the events up to make them a bit more fun.  We have a broad spectrum of alumni, so we wanted to go with something with broad appeal.  The brewery idea came up, and we thought it had appeal that would go across all of those alumni and give them a way to mingle together and learn about each other.”
The UMC Department of Development and Alumni Relations urges all alumni to attend events like the tour.  “We highly value the relationships we have with our alum.  It’s always a good idea to connect to those who came before, and to stay connected and engaged,” said Senior Development Officer Brandy Chaffee.  “This is an opportunity to talk about what our institution is doing now and to share our story and connect the dots between our institution and our alum, as well as connect the dots from alum to alum.”

The Alumni Brew Bash Tour has stops in the following -  
Nisswa (Gull Dam Brewing - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.) on August 9
Minneapolis (Day Block Brewing - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.) on September 20
Fargo (Drekker Brewing Company - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.) on April 11, 2017 
Hallock (Revelation Ale Works - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.) on May 16, 2017. 
UMC and NWSA alumni are encouraged to RSVP by calling 281-8401 or check the Facebook page for more information on the first stop in Nisswa by clicking here.




The Crookston School District is looking at possibly having a referendum in 2017 for facility upgrades.  The school district is looking at the prospects of building a new bus garage, a new football field and track along with a gymnasium/locker room/concession stand addition.  If the election was in November (if there is a vote it would likely be in 2017), how would you vote?

How would you vote? free polls




It’s time for the American people to stop blaming law enforcement for all of the Country’s ills.

It’s time to restore respect for the rule of law and support law enforcement staff as they work to enforce the rule of law.

It’s time to cover the backs of our law enforcement personnel and call out those that attempt to defame and marginalize these dedicated people.

It’s time to defend our Constitution and support our law enforcement personnel; both the Crookston Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

We are fortunate to have strong leadership and dedicated staff in both offices.

We want to let them know that we appreciate and support their efforts and wholeheartedly thank them for their service.

Friends of Law Enforcement




WEDNESDAY - JULY 27,  2016


Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and approved the application of a grant for the Polk County Sheriff’s Department emergency management performance. “The grant is for just about $26,000 which the county receives for emergency management programs,” said Polk County Sheriff Barb Erdman.  “The grant was increased a little this year and it is the base funding for the program for Jody Beachene as the manager, it supplements the county dollars and allows it to function in an active role in the county.”

Conditional use permits were approved for David Rock on Maple Lake to build an accessory structure in the shore land zoning district. Robert Klave was approved for a conditional use permit for a septic system to a new structure.  Alan Melvie was granted a permit for an accessory structure larger than 2500 square feet in Andover Township.  Mitch Johnson in Vineland Township was granted a permit for a home based business Riverwood Custom Cabinetry.  

Mike Schulz was appointed to the planning commission representing the Maple Lake Improvement district, replacing Daniel Yell who resigned.  

Polk-Norman-Mahnomen Public Health has a family home visiting nurse family partnership program and they presented information to the commissioners at the meeting on Tuesday. “Family home visiting with public health is very important as we work with families and early childhood,” said program coordinator, Kathy Girdler. We focus on the partnership which is with first time moms and we visit the home for education, partnering and we work with new born babies on development and we work with other agencies and partners in the community.”

Commissioner Craig Buness was asked to serve on the Minnesota Leadership committee. “We were in St. Cloud and talking about the national guard, police and the interesting item is Homeland Security who is already working in the Twin Cities coordinating for the Super Bowl which comes in two years,” said Buness.  “Everything they have to do is at a much higher level than the local security.”

The state wide radio system keeps moving forward and cost is a concern to the counties. “There is going to be a lot of cost associated with the new equipment which is being developed daily,” said Buness. “Polk County is sitting pretty good, but you can’t get 20 years out of equipment now.  There would be additions to the Armor system so we would be paying for updates which will be expensive.”

The county will work to fill the Veterans Service Position.  An assistant county attorney will be advertised to fill the slot being vacated by Andrew Johnson who is leaving for a position as an assistant in Hennepin County.




Derek Jung, 34 of Crookston, appeared in court on Tuesday for a pretrial hearing.  Jung was charged in January with three first-degree felonies including possession and sales of meth. The charges stem from an incident in January when Jung and Ashley Herrin were both accused of selling meth in the Crookston Wal-Mart parking lot. If convicted, he could face 30 years in prison along with a fine of up to $1 million.  Jung will have a jury trial on August 15 at 8:00 a.m.





The Crookston Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Membership Mixer at Andy Oman State Farm tonight at 5:00 p.m.  Putting a modern spin on Business After Hours, these new networking and member events are a great way to showcase our member businesses and get together mid-week for food, drinks, and an after work unwind.
This month's mixer will feature Red River Massages, IC Mugg's Beer & Wine Tasting featuring Rhombus Brewery's Illusion and Iconic Blonde Beer, Mentor Rhombus Pizza (new chamber members), Wonderful Life Foods desserts, and the perfect environment to meet up with other Chamber Members and community leaders during this fun networking event.
The event is from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. If you would like to be an upcoming host for these new events, please contact the Chamber at 281-4320.




Story by UMC student and Communications Assistant, Emily Gruber

University of Minnesota Crookston Senior Kary Sheppard, of Grand Rapids, has always been interested in the medical field.  For the exercise science and wellness major, the concept of being physically and emotionally well is something worth learning.  This summer, Sheppard was able to learn far outside the classroom, 3,710 miles away to be exact.  She spent eight weeks in Dublin, Ireland, interning with a physical therapy outpatient clinic.
Sheppard worked with the owner of the clinic, observing his appointments with patients, and witnessing the different elements of therapy, psychology, and techniques she had already learned.  “I also did the odd jobs around the clinic, because what internship would be complete without taking out the trash and getting large Americano coffees for the people in charge,” she jokes.
Sheppard worked with a company called World Endeavors to find her internship.  Her trek to Ireland started in October 2015 when she applied to the program.  She knew she wanted to study abroad back when school started and after talking with her advisor and the study abroad office, she knew that a summer internship was the best option for her.
Sheppard knew what she learned in the classroom was important, but during her internship she absorbed the most through her hands-on involvement with the patients.  “I learned that I still have a lot to learn, but it’s definitely the path I want to take,” she says.
Her favorite part of the internship was the experiences she had when she was interacting with patients.  She was gaining knowledge not only about therapy but about the Irish culture as well.
When Kary wasn’t working, she was exploring.  She managed to travel to eleven different places within Dublin along with traveling to many cities along the coasts of Ireland.  “While I enjoyed the 24/7 buzz that seemed to accompany Dublin, my favorite places in Ireland were the secluded, moss-covered, surrounded-by-sheep ruins of centuries old castles and forts,” Sheppard mentions.
Although her experience in Ireland was nothing short of incredible, Sheppard is excited for her senior year to start this fall.  “It’s true what they say about the days dragging on, but the weeks flying by.”  She is eager to reunite with her friends and the community she has called home the last three years.  She is motivated and she can’t wait to be taking classes she is passionate about.
Sheppard recommends for students to look into studying abroad.  She’s very happy with her decision to go to Ireland and believes that her encounters in Dublin will help her in the future.  “I’d say take the plunge and go for it, the memories and knowledge I gained were definitely worth any feelings of doubt or worry I had in the beginning.”
Her favorite part about UMC is the number of opportunities she has had in the classroom and abroad.  “I’ve been lucky enough to pursue many of my interests and goals throughout my time on campus,” Kary says.  Her future plans include attending graduate school for physical therapy and earning a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.  She thinks this is when she’ll begin to save the world, one ACL repair at a time.

Kary Sheppard enjoyed her internship as well as the beautiful countryside.





The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Grant Herfindahl, wants to remind farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they have until August 1, 2016, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees.  "The August 1 deadline to submit nominations is quickly approaching,” said Herfindahl.
"If you’ve been considering nominating a candidate or nominating yourself to serve on your local county committee, I encourage you to go to your county office right now to submit that nomination form. I especially encourage the nomination of beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as women and minorities. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.”
FSA county committees help local farmers through their decisions on commodity price support loans, conservation programs and disaster programs, and by working closely with county executive directors.
To be eligible to hold office as a county committee member, individuals must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and live in the local administrative area where they are running. A complete list of eligibility requirements, more information and nomination forms are available at
All nominees must sign the nomination form FSA-669A. All nomination forms for the 2016 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2016. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov. 7 and are due back to the local USDA Service Centers on Dec. 5. The newly elected county committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2017.
Since 2009, USDA has worked to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. USDA has also provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit




TUESDAY - JULY 26,  2016


The Crookston School Board held a working session meeting Tuesday morning to discuss a five to 10 year facilities plan for the school district. 
The main facilities that were discussed were the bus garage as well as the football field, track, and additional gym space.  “We discussed facilities and the future and beyond.  We got the whole board together and went over some ideas that we presented Monday at the school board meeting about the bus garage, a new football field, and an addition for gym space at our current high school,” said Crookston School Board Chairman Frank Fee.  “It went pretty well this morning.”

The board discussed the referendum that would be needed to go forward with these plans.  It was mentioned that there is an August 26 deadline to notify the Polk County Auditor of putting a referendum on the November ballot, so the board is aiming for sometime in 2017 for a referendum.  “We don’t have enough time to do the referendum in November, so bringing forth a referendum will be sometime in 2017,” said Fee. “In the next few months, we will be discussing how to bring it forward.”  The Board is still undecided on having two or three questions on the referendum.  “The bus garage looks like it is going to be on a question itself, and then whether we combine the football field and the additional gym space is still to be determined.”  As far as input from the public, Fee said, “We plan in September, once school starts, to have a tour of the bus garage for anyone who wants to take a look at it.  Then we will have a public forum to discuss all of this and get some facts and figures together and look for a date for a referendum, possibly early 2017.”

Fee was impressed by the discussion from the board. “It was a good discussion with the school board,” said Fee.  “I knew everyone was on board with the bus garage, but there was interest in the other board members to feel out about having our own football field right outside our high school.” 
Fee also discussed the need for more gym space. “The City of Crookston and the school district needs a little more gym space for gym class, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, etc,” said Fee.  “We wouldn’t replace our current gym, as it would still be used for all of our varsity events.  The additional gym space could be used for Junior High, C squad, practice, and things like that.”
It was the consensus of the school board to continue moving forward with fact finding and aiming for a possible referendum in 2017.  The board is also planning on holding an open house and public forum about the bus garage in September.  The next scheduled Crookston School Board meeting will be held on August 8.

School board members Tim Dufault, Frank Fee and Adrianne Winger are pictured discussing the facilities.




Just before 11:00 a.m. today (Tuesday), Otter Tail Power Company had a conductor burn between Advanced Tire and Auto and the Golden Link Senior Center in downtown Crookston.  It was determined that an overhead splice fail was the cause for the conductor to burn.  A live line had fallen to the ground and Otter Tail was forced to de-energize some power lines in the downtown area, resulting in a power outage.  It took the crew about 20 minutes to get the line back in order and power restored.  Crookston Police assisted in keeping traffic away from the incident.

Otter Tail Power Company workers fixing the lines that caused the power outage




The Crookston City Council met on Monday evening and adopted the Polk County All-Hazard Mitigation Plan, approved the purchase of a 2016 one-ton pickup from Christian Brothers, reappointed Nichole Jacobson and appointed Eric Bubna to the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and adopted the Small Cities Development Program’s Residential Anti-displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan, Income/Generated Income plan, Excessive Force Policy, Fair Housing Plan of Action, and Certification for a Drug-Free Workplace.

The Council also approved the purchase of a 1999 Caterpillar Motor Grader from Ziegler. “It’s a used 1999 motor grader. It only has a little over 4,000 hours on it and will be replacing a 1974 model motor grader,” said Public Works Director Pat Kelly.  “Although it is still older, we are gaining 25 years of life.  We are trying to keep our equipment fleet as up to date as we can while still being responsible with the amount we are paying. This was for $81,500 and a new Motor Grader is upwards of $350,000 to $400,000.  We will get a lot of use out of this and it felt like a prudent thing to do.”

City Administrator Shannon Stassen also shared his thanks for all involved with the upcoming Night to Unite event as well as the Movies on the Square from last week.  “I just thought it was important to say thank you to all of those who make night to unite possible, and there are too many to mention at one time,” said Stassen.  “Night to Unite is one of the great things about living in Crookston and we always have a great turnout.”
The Crookston Night to Unite is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2 in Central Park. “Another thank you to the chamber office and as well to our summer intern Austin Strukel,” said Stassen. “We had a Movies on the Square last Thursday and it went great.  We have another one coming up during Ox Cart Days and possibly more after that.  It has been a great addition to our downtown and I wanted to say thank you to those folks.”

The next Crookston City Council meeting will be Monday, August 8 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.




The Crookston Ways and Means Committee met after City Council was adjourned.  Christine Davis of Enbridge, Inc. presented to the committee the Sandpiper Pipeline Project.  The project would run a total of 616 miles and connect Beaver Lodge, ND to Superior, WI.  The pipeline would run through Crookston Township and be constructed very closely to the existing Enbridge pipeline.  The purpose of the Sandpiper Pipeline Project is to expand capacity of the pipeline.  Construction would be planned for Minnesota in 2018.  There will be public meetings to discuss the Sandpiper Pipeline Project in the future.

Stassen also mentioned a development agreement with the upcoming construction of Casey’s General Store in Crookston.  “We entered into a development agreement that gives us more assurance of our timeline that the completion of our sewer line and lift station will be in place and ready to go when they open up,” said Stassen.  “September 30 right now is our operational date for that and we have no concerns about meeting that date but I just wanted to put those concerns aside for Casey’s as they begin construction.”
The committee agreed to move the agreement to the City Council.





The Crookston Police Department received a $5,000 grant from American Crystal Sugar to purchase National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health approved full-face masks. Theses masks, which will be fitted for each individual officer, will assist in the protection of some hazardous substances and pathogenic microorganisms which put law enforcement officers at risk for exposure to potentially serious illnesses or infectious diseases. These incidents may occur when rendering aid to the injured at a vehicle crash, fighting to control an intoxicated subject, processing a crime scene or making entry into a potentially dangerous area. There are a multitude of situations where officers may be exposed to harmful substances or the diseases carried by those with whom they interact. Exposure to an infectious disease is an extremely stressful incident for an officer. Even when told by medical professionals that the potential of developing a disease is slim, an exposure event can bring significant anxiety for the officer—not just for their own well-being, but for the possibility of bringing a disease home to their families.
“Crystal Sugar is really big on safety and we were told that if it’s a good safety item, we were encouraged to apply.  So we did and were awarded the $5,000, which covers 15 of the full face masks," said Police Chief Paul Biermaier. "We are excited and we are going to be getting masks soon to fit our officers with them and they will become part of standard issue equipment for them to have on hand whenever they are out working.”  Biermaier added the Crookston Police Department is extremely grateful and sincerely thanks American Crystal Sugar for making these masks a reality for CPD Officers.

Reserve Officer Brad Lind, Luann Beiswenger (HR Generalist), Officer Justin Roue, Chief Paul Biermaier, Tammy Moe (Factory Cost Accountant) Lt. Darin Selzler, Officer Lance Kallinen, Officer Ryan Bergquist and Chris Patullo (Factory Manager).




MONDAY - JULY 25,  2016


The Crookston City Council will meet on Monday, July 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the Crookston City Hall Council chambers. 
Items on the agenda include a Resolution to adopt the Polk County All-Hazard Mitigation Plan, to approve the purchase of a 1999 Caterpillar 140H Motor Grader from Ziegler, and to approve the purchase of a 2016 1 Ton Pickup from Christian Brothers Ford.
The council will be asked to reappoint Nichole Jacobson (of the Crookston Inn and Convention Center), and Eric Bubna (Crookston High School Principal) to the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The council will be asked to adopt Small Cities Development Program’s Residential Anti-displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan, Income/Generated Income Plan, Excessive Force Policy, Fair Housing Plan of Action, and Certification for a Drug-Free Workplace.  
The meeting is open to the public and individuals may address the Council about any item not contained on the regular agenda. Maximum of 15 minutes is allotted for the Forum. If the full 15 minutes are not needed for the forum, the City Council will continue with the agenda.
The Crookston Ways and Means will meet after the city council meeting.




The 12th Annual Take a Kid Fishing Day is Friday, July 29.  Boys and Girls ages 9 - 15 years old will be going to the Polk County Park on Maple Lake.  The bus leaves the Crookston Sports Center at 11:00 a.m. and returns to the CSC at about 7:00 p.m.  Along with a day of  fishing, each participant gets lunch and a door-prize.  No fishing equipment is necessary, but if you have your own, please bring it.   The event is free, but registration with P&R is required along with a signed permission slip. Register at P&R in City Hall or on-line at  Call 218-281-1242 for more information. Take a Kid Fishing is co-sponsored by MN Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #8, Crookston Local Law Enforcement, Crookston Fire Department, Harlan's Boats R-US, and B & E Meats.




The University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) along with the Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR) at the University of Minnesota College of Design will partner with Bemidji Community Food Shelf to test a prototype Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG) that is designed to help farmers grow fresh produce throughout the winter months.  
DWGs are passive solar, low-cost, low-carbon winter food production systems. Producers using DWG technology are able to grow winter-hardy crops such as lettuces, cole crops (e.g., cabbages, broccoli, Asian greens), and various sprouts with little or no added heat. The structure is built with a south-facing, angled glazing wall that captures heat from the sun. Heat is stored in an underground rock bed and dissipates into the above-ground planting area at night. The University’s prototype builds on earlier designs to increase insulation capacity and reduce electric use in the greenhouse.  
According to RSDP Associate Director for Local Foods and Sustainable Agriculture Greg Schweser, “Existing common season extension techniques such as high tunnels and row covers extend the season, but are unable to provide capacity to produce product in the winter. Passive solar Deep Winter Greenhouses optimize production in the winter months, giving farmers the ability to produce from October through March and bridge from the beginning to the end of the traditional production season.”  
Bemidji Community Food Shelf is one of five partners working with RSDP statewide to build the prototype DWG. In exchange for support for building the DWG, partners agreed to provide access to their DWG for University research projects, public workshops, and demonstrations for a period of three years. RSDP received more than 40 applications in response to the statewide DWG campaign, and an advisory committee selected one partner from each of RSDP’s five regions in Greater Minnesota.  
Other partners include Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Organic Consumers Association in Finland, Alternative Roots Farm in Madelia, and Lake City Catholic Worker Farm. The campaign is made possible by support from the University’s Institute on the Environment and a consortium of farm lending banks, including AgCountry Farm Credit Services, AgriBank, AgStar Financial Services, and United FCS. 
RSDP and Bemidji Community Food Shelf will host periodic public workshops and open houses to allow the public access to view this technology in person over the coming years. For more information on Deep Winter Greenhouses, visit:

Winter Greenhouses and the different designs (Picture from U of M Extension)



FRIDAY - JULY 22,  2016


This Grand Forks Police Department officers were called to the banks of the Red River in Grand Forks at approximately 1:13 Friday morning.  The officers were called to the banks of the Red River, north of the Sorlie Bridge for a person who was in the water and struggling to stay above water. On scene, officers learned from witnesses who were in the area fishing, that a male subject had voluntarily entered the water just north of the Sorlie Bridge. The witnesses made verbal contact with the subject as he passed by them and they then observed him struggling with the current. The witnesses called 911 and requested assistance for the subject. The witnesses lost sight of the subject as he was being swept north in the river by the current.
A search for the subject was immediately started and members of the Grand Forks Regional Water Rescue team, Grand Forks Regional UAS team, Grand Forks Sheriff’s Office, East Grand Forks Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Forks Fire Department, and East Grand Forks Fire Department are assisting with the search for the subject. At this time the search is still on–going.
The subject was described by witnesses as a white male with blonde hair. No other description is available.

UPDATE - JULY 22 - 2:52 PM
Search efforts were conducted on and near the river again today. These efforts did not result in any discoveries or new information. Searches were conducted by the Grand Forks Police Department, Grand Forks Fire Department, East Grand Forks Fire Department, and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Searches will continue through the weekend.
Once again, the Grand Forks Police Department requests that anyone who may have information regarding this investigation contact us.
Phone: 701-787-8000
Text:    Text the word “GFPD” and the tip to 847411 (“TIP411”)




You have probably noticed Crookston City workers busy seal coating various streets throughout Crookston this week. KROX was wondering what is seal coating and what does it do for the streets so we talked to Crookston Public Works Director Pat Kelly who said the type of coating they are using is called chip sealing. “We sweep the street off clean, then put down an oil called an MC-800.  We get the oil from Calumet right here in town, so it works out pretty good.  After a layer of that, we come in with our chip spreader and spread the rock on it and roll it and let it sit about a week before we sweep up the excess rock,” said Kelly.
Seal coating is a surface treatment and keeps the road from oxidizing. “The effects from the sun can become apparent over time with visible rocks and an older look,” said Kelly.  “Seal coating will extend the life of the pavement.”
Kelly told us that they have been seal coating the streets every summer from before he was here.  He told us that they usually coat about a mile and a quarter of city street a year.



Corey Lee Reitmeier, of Crookston, appeared in court on Thursday for sentencing of the Criminal Vehicular Homicide charge that resulted from a motorcycle accident on September 26, 2015 when he and his wife Wendy were on a motorcycle and had an accident with a deer and Wendy died from the injuries sustained in the accident.  Corey had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit which is why the county decided to press charges.  District Judge Kurt Marben sentenced Reitmeier to 10 years of supervised probation and 240 days of jail time, with the option of serving half of the jail time under electronic home monitoring at his own expense.  Execution of 48 months of imprisonment will be stayed for 10 years. 
Under probation, Reitmeier will not be allowed to possess or consume any alcohol or controlled substance, will not be able to enter establishments that serve alcohol, and will have to pay a fine of $1,500 or serve community service. Reitmeier is to report to serve his jail time by September 1.



The Crookston Public Schools band program is putting on their annual beginning band info night at Highland Elementary School at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday July, 26. The info night 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.




Back-to-school season is here. It’s time for parents to gather school supplies and back packs. It’s also the perfect time to make sure your children are up to date on their vaccines.  To celebrate the importance of immunizations for people of all ages – and make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need as they go back to school – Polk County Public Health, is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.
“Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children from serious diseases,” said Nan Widseth, RN, PHN “ If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check with your child’s doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs.”
Diseases can quickly spread among groups of children who aren’t vaccinated. Whether it’s a baby starting at a new child care facility, a toddler heading to preschool, a student going back to elementary, middle or high school – or even a college freshman – parents should check their child’s vaccination records.
Child care facilities, preschool programs, schools and colleges are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs, and other factors such as interacting in crowded environments.
Vaccines protect against a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.
When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for diseases and can also spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.
Ready for school?  Check your child’s vaccine records!  Talk to your child’s doctor to find out which vaccines are recommended for them before going back to school.
Parents can find out more about the recommended vaccines at  or call Polk County Public Health at 281-3385 or your provider.




THURSDAY - JULY 21,  2016


The annual TRIAD fundraiser held their annual food and bake sale on Thursday evening at the Crookston American Legion.  “The fundraiser has helped us over the years.  It helped pay for AEDs in the squad cars,” said Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier.  “This year we have it earmarked for some of our own projects, including sending a couple people to the state conference in the fall.” Biermaier has been involved with the TRIAD program the last three years.

Two of TRIAD’s longtime members, Allen Pedersen and Jim Buckmiller greeted guests as they walked into the American Legion.  Pedersen recalled how long he has been involved with TRIAD.  “We started out back in 1992 and I was the founding chair for three years.  Once we got the officers settled in, we got around to having the fund raiser, which turned out to be very good,” said Biermaier.  “We served a very good meal, and we had a food sale with a lot of lively auctioneer biding.  In those days, the proceeds were used for difribulators to check the heart, and we put them in churches and some of the municipal places.”
Buckmiller emphasized the importance of a positive relationship between law enforcement and senior citizens. “When seniors have a great relationship with law enforcement and they need to call in, they will make that call every time,” said Buckmiller.  “But if they don’t have that relationship, chances are they will just say forget it.” Buckmiller got started with TRIAD in 1992 and have been a part of it ever since, even president a few times.”
TRIAD is a partnership of law enforcement, senior citizens, and community groups.  The sole purpose of TRIAD is to promote senior safety and to reduce the fear of crime that seniors often experience.

Officers Darin Selzler and Dan Rasicot were all smiles while serving the guests



Movies on the Square is taking place Thursday night, July 21, after Crazy Days at the Downtown Square.  Thursday will be the second movie of the summer with the showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens around 9:15 p.m.  “We are very excited, with many partners and sponsors to bring this to the community,” said Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Lien.  “We did this last year during the community festival during Ox Cart Days and it was a great success with many businesses that were willing to make it happen.”
People attending the movie are asked to wear star wars apparel. “We are encouraging people to dress up as their favorite characters.  The movie will start at dark, so roughly in the 9:15 to 9:30 timeframe,” said Lien.  “It is all at the Downtown Square.  It is an initiative that is brought to you by our new Downtown Crookston Development Authority, and we are really trying to get people out and about downtown.”
Lien encourages everyone to stop by the Grand Theater beforehand to grab a snack and drink for the movie and make sure to bring a chair or blanket to sit on while you enjoy the movie. 
Lien wants to thank the sponsor ReitRock Paving as well as contributions from Brander Printing, kJad Productions, Grand Theater, The Lions, Outdoor Solutions (Ryan and Katie Lariviere), and the City of Crookston.



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