The National Weather Service in Grand Forks, ND has issued a Flood Warning for the following locations in Minnesota and North Dakota.  "Our snow cover has certainly changed in the last couple of days and with all the snow melt and frozen ground things aren't able to soak in," said Amanda Lee, of the National Weather Service.  "We're not talking huge impacts, but there could definitely be some minor impact and recreational impact.  As the water moves north and that could push the flood stage in East Grand Forks up to Oslo.  The warm temperatures today and tomorrow will melt more snow, but the weather should get colder later this week and that should help with the flooding, hopefully."

New flooding is forecast to occur at...
* Fargo on the Red River in Clay and Cass counties.
* East Grand Forks on the Red River in Polk and Grand Forks counties.
* Oslo on the Red River in Marshall, Walsh, Polk and Grand Forks counties.
At 10:15 AM Monday the stage was 10.9 feet.  Minor Flood Stage is 26.0 feet. For the next 7 days...Minor flooding is forecast.   The forecast calls for a rise above Flood Stage by Saturday mid-morning and continue to rise to near 29.2 feet by Monday morning. Additional rises are possible thereafter.
* Hawley on the Buffalo River in Clay County.
* Dilworth on the Buffalo River in Clay County.
* Mapleton (N.D) on the Maple River in Cass County.

The recent string of above average temperatures has resulted in most of the snow cover disappearing over much of the southern half of the Red River Valley. Due to this decrease in snow cover and precipitation expected today, Monday, some locations across the Red River Valley are beginning to depict a response in river levels.
Several forecast points along the southern half of the Red River Valley, in addition to its North Dakota and Minnesota tributaries, are expected to reach or exceed flood stage in the coming days.
However, note that there continues to be some level of uncertainty regarding the precipitation forecast and how much of this water will flow into the river system as temperatures remain mild through midweek.

The National Weather Service and Law enforcement pass along the following safety messages.
- Turn around, don't drown.
- Don`t travel through flooded areas!
- Persons in the warned area need to take steps to protect life and property. If necessary move to a higher and safer location.
- Persons living in the Red River Basin should monitor river levels while the river is in, or near, flood.




In their February 13 meeting, the Crookston City Council gave the green light on seven street projects for this summer. According to Public Works Director, Pat Kelly, that amounts to a busy construction season for street work this year in Crookston. “Every four years the City of Crookston gets somewhere in the neighborhood of $800,000 to use on some of our designated federal and state aid streets. And then we have our regular non-federal and non-state-aid projects that we are going to do, also," said Kelly. “The main project we are going to be doing is completely milling and overlaying South Main, from the Main and Broadway bridges all the way down to 3rd Avenue South. We’ll repair curb and gutters and replace the sidewalk with a 10’ wide walkway, to tie in with our other multi-purpose paths.”

Another federally-funded project will provide a multi-purpose walkway on the south end of town.  “One of our projects, beside just the streets, is to install a multi-purpose path along Fairfax Avenue, from Main Street all the way over to Highway 2; the Military Memorial Walkway," said Kelly.  "It’ll tie all that in, and will be a really nice loop for people to walk, and get some of the pedestrian traffic off Fairfax, because the county highway with 40 mph speed limit isn’t really where we want people to be. So that’s another nice project; the majority of it will be on the old railroad right-of-way on the south end of town. That’ll be for both walking and biking.”

A continuation of work begun on South Front Street will also be completed this season, according to Kelly: “Also a federal job is south Front Street. We did watermain replacement there from 3rd Avenue to Newton last year. We put the first layer of asphalt down last fall, and anytime we dig water main or sewer, we like to try to let it sit for a winter to really consolidate better on a freeze/thaw. We get a better job for the final work. So for this project, we’ll be milling that whole street off, too, and do curb and gutter repairs, and overlaying that street, also.  The final one is we’re going to be milling and overlaying Broadway, along with some minor curb and gutter repairs, in front of the courthouse, from 6th to 7th Street. So that’ll kind of encompass our federal projects.”

Kelly said the main city project will be the combination of Campbell Road and Twin Drive.  “We’ll be milling and overlaying those two streets. On all our milling and overlaying projects we try to do some minor curb and gutter repairs, if they are sunk in or something," said Kelly.  "We’ll also do a block of Johnson Place on the northwest corner, from North Front Street to Radisson Road, so it’ll kind of tie in to the street work we did on Radisson Road last year. That block is in need of an overlay, so it seems like a good time to catch that now that the construction is completed there. The final street project is another overlay on Broadway, from 4th Avenue North to 6th Avenue North. It’ll be from the 5-way stop going north up to just before the Broadway apartments, right near that new lift station we put in last year.”

The construction season will be a relatively busy with an aggressive summer with a lot of overlays and the projects will begin when mother nature allows.  “As weather permits is a general rule: they kind of start after Memorial Day. Right now the council has authorized plans and specifications to be drawn up by Widseth Smith Nolting, so once those are set, we’ll put those out for bid, with anticipated bid opening in late March or early April. Load limits generally don’t go off in this neck of the woods until mid-May, so contractors usually mobilize the first week of June," said Kelly.  "Generally our completion date is mid- or the end of August; we try to have our projects wrapped up before school starts. You’ll notice a lot of things going on, but a good thing with these mill and overlay projects is that they’ll be relatively quick in each area, so it shouldn’t disrupt the traffic in most of these neighborhoods other than a few hours here and there when they’re milling and overlaying – it’s not going to be days on end with the streets torn up in front of you, so that’s always nice, too.”





Wojo’s Rodeo Circuit will be adding Crookston, MN to their current Minnesota circuit with a two day rodeo scheduled for September 15 & 16, 2017. Wojo’s Rodeo, based out of Greenbush, MN met with the Sports Tourism Collaboration last week and are pleased to announce this new event coming to Crookston’s Central Park this fall.
Wojo's Rodeo is a Northern, MN circuit which consists of local talent from many of our neighboring communities.  Their rodeos include riders from all ages and focuses on a family friendly rodeo experience. Owners Keith and Dana Wojciechowski, local rodeo circuit card holders Travis & Kristen Schwarz, Chris & Stacey Dufault and Casey & Laura Wangen, and representatives from the new Sports Tourism Initiative - the Crookston Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Crookston Parks and Recreation Department – are excited for this great opportunity to positively impact Crookston tourism and our business community. Look for more details on this event in the coming months.




The Crookston Competitive Speech Team hosted a Junior Varsity Speech Meet on Valentine's Day here at the Crookston High School. The team wants to thank the teachers and staff for their help and use of their classrooms which made this meet possible. Teams competing in the meet were Dillworth-Glyndon-Felton, East Grand Forks, Hawley, Fosston, Red Lake County, and Ada. 
DGF received the 1st place team trophy, and the Crookston JV team won the 2nd place team trophy, to accomplish this, the team met one of their season goals of all team members receiving a ribbon or a medal. 

Drama: Emily Gillette: 1st Place Medal, Anna Huck Red Ribbon
Extemporaneous Reading:  Katherine Geist: 1st Place Medal
Humorous Interpretation: Linnea French: 2nd Place Medal, George French:3rd Place Medal, Emily Balboa: Red Ribbon
Storytelling: Victoria Proulx: 2nd Place Medal, Linnea French: 3rd Place Medal
Prose: Emily Gillette: 1st Place Medal
Informative: Ben Brantner: 2nd Place Medal, Sophia Rezac: 3rd Place Medal, Emma Sherman: Blue Ribbon

The Crookston High School J.V. Speech team with their awards (Picture by Olivia Huck)



The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is currently accepting nominations for “Of the Year” Awards

Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our region who stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. Often people serve in both roles. The Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500.00 and often goes to a local leader who lives in the area where the artist reception will be held. But anyone in our region is eligible to be nominated. The Artist of the Year award can be given to any discipline artist including visual, performing, or creative writing who are emerging or at a mid-way point in their artistic endeavors. It is a cash award of $500.00 to use however they see fit. Artists can only receive the Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award. This award is for $5,000.00 and can be a wonderful gift to those who have chosen a hard career path related to artistic expression. The nomination form is available on our website at:
The deadline for nominations is always the last day of February each year. Please consider nominating someone who you view as a deserving candidate from our seven county service area in northwestern Minnesota. Persons who believe their nominee would qualify for this award and have questions should contact the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council office at (218) 745-9111 or email for more information. Again, the deadline for nominations is February 28, 2017.
Awards will be presented at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Exhibit Reception on Sunday, April 30 in Halstad at the Norman County West School.  
Funding for Northwest Star and Northwest Artist of the Year comes from The McKnight Foundation.  Funding for Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.







Girl Scouts from Troops 20065 and 20096 were busy spending a “no-school” day selling cookies at Shear Sisters salon this afternoon. The Girl Scout organization is celebrating 100 years of Girl ScoutS selling cookies by introducing two new cookie varieties: S’mores and Toffee-tastic. These tasty choices join the lineup of traditional delights: Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, Do-si-dos, Savannah Smiles, Caramel deLites, Shortbread, Lemonades, Trios and Thanks-a-Lots.
The Girl Scouts annual cookie sale is geared to help girls learn five skills that are essential to leadership, to success, and to life: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world. All of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program—100 percent of it— stays with the local council and troops, who may use the money earned to fund a project that will improve their community, or donate the money to a worthy cause. The girls selling cookies today at Shear Sisters are saving money to attend summer camps. The cookies will be available for purchase until March 2.

Grace Meiners, Duckessa Ramirez, Amelia Cordova,  and Dawn Cordova with their cookie display




The Kiwanis Pioneer 100's club recently welcomed new members Nikk Caputo and Margo Bowerman.

President Shirley Iverson, Nikk Caputo, Margo Bowerman, and Secretary Cindy Braseth



MnDOT extends mowing permit application time frame and will revise permit requirements

Due to public concern regarding last fall’s mowing and baling permit announcement, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has extended the time frame for permit applications by those who want to mow and bale on state highway right of way adjacent to their land and has modified permitting requirements.
The agency has worked closely with farmers, lawmakers and agriculture advocacy groups to modify requirements to better serve those who mow while still adhering to the law. Landowners who want to mow on state highway right of way adjacent to their property now need to apply for a permit before the end of February to be considered ahead of others. All others who wish to mow on state right of way not adjacent to their property may apply for the permit after March 1.
The agency will also revise requirements such as:
· The amounts and type of insurance necessary
· The use of safety equipment mounted on mowing vehicles and worn by individuals mowing
· The amount of the permit deposit fee
· Permit reassignment and procedures
· How many miles a permit will cover 

After March 1, MnDOT will review and approve permit applications on a first-come, first-serve basis, including those already submitted. Landowners who have already received permits for mowing will receive an updated permit in the near future, so they do not need to re-apply. Last fall, MnDOT announced that it had adopted a statewide standard for mowing and baling in state highway right of way and had revised the permit application form. State law requires that MnDOT manage right of way mowing, which includes cutting in advance of baling. The updated permit will be available by Feb. 4 and can be found at:  





Thanks to the caring people that make up the RiverView Health community, the RiverView Foundation was able to raise more than $165,000 during the 2017 Giving Hearts Day event held on Thursday, February 9.
Three-hundred and fifty seven donations came in during the 24-hour, on-line, give-a-thon for non-profits. This year’s success brings the Foundation’s ten-year total to $790,825 for the annual event.
Overall, this year’s Dakota Medical Foundation-sponsored fundraiser combined 360 charitable causes, and brought in a total of $10.6 million in donations.
This was a record breaking year for the RiverView Foundation and RiverView community. Not only did the generous donors break previous giving records, but 2017 is now the year to beat for the most contributions during the 24-hour marathon, a reflection of the growing desire of donors to give back to our hospital, said Kent Bruun, RiverView Foundation director.  “Our goal was to make a significant difference in our community and the lives of our patients in one day,” Bruun shared. “As a result of this strong donor support we can complete the priority projects that will provide increased benefits to our patients.  The Foundation would like to thank the generous donors for being a part of this important program, and for their continued support of the RiverView Foundation."
The RiverView Foundation works with the constant goal of obtaining financial security for projects and programs that assure RiverView Health has the equipment and expertise to follow its mission of delivering a healthcare experience that consistently exceeds patients’ expectations.
If you are interested in learning more about the RiverView Foundation and the programs it sponsors, please contact Bruun at 218-281-9249 or email him at




Zach Sanders, a Crookston High School Junior, will be performing with the 2016-2017 Minnesota All State Men's Choir at Orchestra Hall on Saturday, Feb. 18th, in Minneapolis, MN. Zach auditioned last year and was selected to be a part of the Men's choir. The All State Choir students participated in a week long choral camp last August at St. John's University. The All State Men's, Women's, & Mixed choirs, as well as the instrumental All State ensembles will perform for the Minnesota Music Educator's Convention held in Minneapolis this week. Zach is the son of Steven and Laurie Sanders.

            Zach Sanders




The Crookston High School Concert Band and Concert Choir each scored a superior rating from all three of the judges at the Region 8A Large Group Band Contest. The contest was held at Crookston High School on Wednesday, February 15 during the school day. Other schools participating were Warren-Alvarado-Oslo (Band), and Red Lake Falls (Band and Choir). Each band and choir performed two selections and got a chance to listen to the other ensembles. After each performance, the students had a chance to work with the judges and receive feedback about their playing.




Crookston Public School Students interested in taking Driver Education this spring need to complete a registration form and return it to the High School office no later than 3:30 on March 3, 2017. Driver Education is open to student enrolled in Crookston Public Schools. The cost is $325 and includes classroom and behind the wheel instruction. The first class session will be Friday, March 10 at 4:30 pm in the Library and Highland School. Should you have questions please contact Mr. Trostad at 281-5600. Registration forms are also available online at or by clicking the link below.




Our Savior's Lutheran School is celebrating the 100th day of school today! In the pictures, the first and second graders work on various stations including building a structure with 100 red cups, using toothpicks and 100 marshmallows to build something and other math, reading and science activities.





RiverView Health is pleased to welcome Lorant Divald, MD, and Brett Vibeto, MD, to its team.  Drs. Divald and Vibeto are both general surgeons who will practice on the main campus in Crookston.
I'm really excited to start seeing patients, build on the great RiverView brand and help the community,” said Divald. He received his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine, Portsmouth, Dominica and completed his residency in general surgery at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Dr. Divald also completed one year of plastic surgery training at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.  Prior to his employment with RiverView, Dr. Divald was a general and trauma surgeon in New Mexico.  He is board certified with the American Board of Surgery.
Dr. Vibeto received his medical degree from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, Grand Forks. He completed his residency in general surgery at Texas Tech University, El Paso. Prior to his employment with RiverView, Dr. Vibeto offered general surgery, laparoscopic surgery and endoscopy services in Williston, ND. He is board certified with the American Board of Surgery. "Since starting at RiverView I have been able to see, firsthand, the pride this community has in its hospital,” reported Vibeto.  “I look forward to being a part of that and to providing surgical care with Dr. Afonya and Dr. Divald.”
For general surgery appointments, call 218.281.9595.
The RiverView Clinic medical team now totals 18 physicians and 11 mid-level providers at seven clinics in the region. In addition to primary care services, RiverView Clinics also provide the following specialties: dermatology, gastroenterology, general surgery, gynecology, mental health, neurosurgery, obstetrics, oncology, orthopaedics, pain management, podiatry, spine surgery, urology, and acupuncture. For more information, visit

     Dr. Lorant Divald              Dr. Brett Vibeto




The Crookston School District Music Department presented the third annual "All Bands on Deck" at the jam packed Crookston High School Auditorium on Monday evening.  The concert featured the Crookston Elementary fifth and sixth grade, junior high and senior high bands with Chris Gough as the conductor.  The bands played several songs and the junior and senior high bands combined for the finale. 

                                            The Crookston senior high band playing one of their numbers under the direction of Chris Gough





The Kiwanis organization is known for serving children of the World. Recently the Crookston Kiwanis Club teamed up with the RiverView Foundation to serve the children in our community.  The local Kiwanis recently sponsored new lead poisoning testing equipment at RiverView Health through the Kiwanis Children’s Health Fund – a fund the group started on Giving Hearts Day in 2009. Childhood lead poisoning is one of the most common environmental illnesses in our country, impacting an estimated one out of 10 children. If a child is exposed to lead and it goes undiagnosed the negative effects can result in developmental disorders which can impact the child’s life forever. Some of the risk factors are: decreased cognitive performance and lower IQ, increased incidence of attention-related and problem behaviors, delayed puberty and postnatal growth, and decreased hearing.
While children were already being screened for lead poisoning at routine well-child exams at RiverView Health, the screening required a blood draw and test results were not immediate. The new equipment does away with the blood draw and now only requires a simple finger poke for collection. The new equipment also allows for results in only three minutes so the child’s provider can report the results at the checkup rather than at a later date.
“We (Kiwanis) recognize the importance of early screening for children,’’ shared Shirley Iverson, president of the local chapter. “Lead can harm a child's growth, behavior, and ability to learn, and with the new machine a simple finger prick and off the blood goes for quick onsite testing.  By contributing to the purchase of this machine our club set a positive testing standard for the children of the area to be healthier, to lessen the barriers for learning and development.’’ 
If you would like to donate to the Children’s Health Fund or any other programs through the Foundation to help with its mission of assisting with RiverView Health’s most critical needs, please make a personal donation on Giving Hearts Day and let others know the importance RiverView Health has had in your life by asking them to make a contribution, as well.
For more information about the Giving Hearts Day program, contact Foundation Director Kent Bruun at or by calling 218-281-9249.

Back row, left to right: Emily Nelson, RiverView’s Laboratory director; Rodney Beiswenger, Jim Jerde, Odine Smulan (Charter Member) and Kent Bruun, Foundation director.
Front: Kathy Hulst, George and Rae French and their children George and Linnea, Susan Sylvester, Cindy Braseth, Nikk Caputo and Shirley Iverson.





The Cathedral School 1st grade class celebrated the 100th Day of school on Valentine's Day. After a scavenger hunt around the school, they found all 100 One Hundreds.



Bemidji State University’s Stephen Carlson, Ph.D., to Perform in Concert at UMC ON Thursday, February 16

Professor Stephen Carlson, from the Music Department at Bemidji State University will perform a piano concert on Thursday, February 16, 1017, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on the grand piano in the Kiehle Auditorium.  All are welcome and no admission will be charged. The program will include the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Stravinsky and conclude with selections by Rachmaninoff. The concert is sponsored by UMC Concerts and Lectures, Liberal Arts and Education Department, and the Music/Theater Department.
Carlson, a member of Bemidji State University music faculty since 2006, is a versatile soloist and chamber musician. He has performed at a variety of colleges, universities and festivals throughout much of the United States and eastern Canada. He appeared at the Minnesota Valley Sommarfest in St. Peter, Minn., from 1995-2003, and in 2005 he made his New York debut as a solo recitalist at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. Carlson has appeared three times with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, played for the Bismarck-Mandan (N.D.) Symphony and also has played chamber music with the South Carolina Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony and Greenville (S.C.) Symphony. Carlson holds degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Illinois, and earned his doctorate in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of Iowa. Prior to joining the Bemidji State faculty, Carlson was a tenured faculty member at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., and also taught piano at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Gustavus Adolphus College, and St. Joseph's School of Music in St. Paul, Minn.






The Crookston School Board opened their meeting Monday evening with an update from Chris Fee, President of the Crookston Music Trip/Parent Organization (CMT/PO), on the music trip planned for March 31-April 5 to Orlando, Florida. Fee reported that the group of 160 students plus 18 chaperones will be staying on the Disney World grounds all six days. Each student was required to raise $1,850 to cover the cost of his/her trip, and all students are currently paid up.  “We have 160 students going on the music trip this year. That’s seven more than four years ago. We fly out of Grand Forks March 31st and come back home April 5. The first day we are going to go to Sea World, the second day we’ll spend all day at Magic Kingdom, and the band will march in the Main Street Parade in front of thousands of people. Sunday, we’ll be at the Epcot Center all day, and while we’re at Epcot the students will be training with a Disney musician for two and a half hours. They’ll be training and learning at a workshop – that’s something new on this trip," said Fee.  "On Monday we’ll go to Animal Kingdom in the morning, and then Hollywood Studios at night. In between that time, the orchestra performs at Disney Springs at 2:00 p.m., and the choir performs at 5:15 p.m., but that schedule is subject to change, as we are trying to get the performances closer together. On Tuesday, April 4th we’ll go to Universal Studios, and the last day we’re there, Wednesday, we go to the Kennedy Space Center in the morning, and we’ll visit Cocoa Beach for a couple of hours in the afternoon before we catch the plane back home. The Kennedy Space Center and Cocoa Beach are something new on this trip as well, so we’re really excited about it.”

The Board also addressed a number of personnel items, including approving salary lane advancement requests, accepting letters of resignation from Katherine Berg, high school Spanish instructor, and from Bill Gillette, Assistant Boys’ Soccer coach. They also approved Employment Agreements with Anna Ogaard-Brekken, Food Service Director, and with Marilyn Wahouske, District Office Coordinator/Certified Election Official.
One of the main agenda items was approving a resolution directing the administration to make recommendations for reductions in programs and positions. While stressing that his comments were in no way meant to disparage either Ogaard-Brekken or Wahouske, Board member Dave Davidson commented that it seemed ironic to approve substantial raises for some personnel, while talking about cutting programs and positions in some areas. “Every school district in Minnesota has to do this every year. It doesn’t mean direct cuts will be made,” explained Chairman Frank Fee. “It is more a matter of unfortunate timing,” added Board member Tim Dufault. “Because we work with so many groups, some of these contracts just finished negotiations.”
Superintendent Bates explained why the Board is advised to approve the resolution: “This is something that by statute, we’re advised to do. When we do end up letting people go, we have to do it by certain dates. So our school board association advises all school boards to, in February, say the administration needs to take a look at efficiencies or cuts, and for the most part, eight years out of ten, that never happens. But clearly, it’s a better process than the school board saying in May, ‘Oh, my gosh, we didn’t realize…what are we going to do?’ So it’s work that you do that probably will never get used, but that’s ok, too," said Bates.  "You’re prepared, and most years, especially in a year like this where the Governor will give the money for the schools; if they give what we’re being led to believe that we’ll receive, we will be able to adjust our budgets and live within our means. I would be very surprised if our annual look at our efficiencies does much more than just tweak a few things. But it is a very good, proactive move on the part of the Board to be ready in the event that this needs to happen. We plan for the worst, and hope for the best.”
Bates also thanked the policy committee for all the work they put in to assure that the second semester is progressing smoothly, and Board member Kari Miller thanked the CMT/PO for all the hard work that went into planning the upcoming music trip.
The School Board meets again on Monday, February 27 at 5:00 p.m. at the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra room.




The Crookston City Council met last night to address a full agenda of items. Two citizens addressed the council during the Crookston Forum portion of the meeting. Dillon Fenno, who interviewed with Selection Committee for the Mayor position took the opportunity to thank the Council for their consideration, and offered his congratulations to Wayne Melbye on his selection by the Committee. Dave Regimbal’s questions were directed to Public Works Director, Pat Kelly, when he asked, “Is the City ever going to clean the streets? The weather has been nice lately, and the city crews are cutting trees, instead of clearing the snow and ice off the streets.” He also questioned the sand/salt mix that the City is putting on the streets.

The Crookston Police Department took the public meeting opportunity to swear in three new officers: Taylor Znajda, from Stephen, MN; Travis Magdzas, from Duluth; and Lance Kallinen from Grand Forks. Police Chief Paul Biermaier also accepted a check for $5,000 from RiverView Health, to go toward officer training and safety equipment. Carrie Michalski, RiverView Health’s President/Chief Executive Officer was on hand to make the check presentation.  “We’re really proud of our new officers, and our whole police department. We are at full complement for the first time in a couple of years, which is really nice for the rest of the guys who have been pulling extra duty. The extra hours wear on people," said Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen. "We received a nice check from RiverView Health which will go toward safety equipment, which is much needed and appreciated."

Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier, Lance Kallinen, Travis Magdzas, and Taylor Znajda

Under the consent agenda, the council approved resolutions authorizing the sale of Lot 3, Block 1, Barrette Street Estates to Executive Builders, Inc.; the sale of Lots 48 and 49, Block 1 of Jerome’s Addition to Roman Adams; the waiver of the unpaid water/sewer and reassess delinquent assessments on tax forfeited parcel 82.02321.00; and an agreement with Springsted Inc. for Municipal Advisor Services for the Agassiz Townhome Tax Increment Financing District.

Public hearings were held for seven 2017 Street Improvement projects. Robert Goosen addressed the council for Project Number 953 on South Front Street, saying that previous bituminous work was not done correctly. Vice Mayor Dale Stainbrook assured Goosen that the work would be corrected before the final lift is applied. Dave Regimbal addressed the council regarding Project Number 954 (North Broadway from 6th Street to 7th Street), looking for clarification on the assessment, and exactly who will be assessed for the project. Pat Kelly assured him that exact assessments and project costs will be available at the next public meeting. For Project Number 956 – Campbell Road and Twin Drive, Todd Johnston and Harold Unke (by proxy of Bobby Baird) indicated that they have issues with the curb and gutter, and with numerous potholes in front of their homes that they would like addressed before the overlay goes on. City Engineer Rich Clausen, said he would look at them before work on the project begins.  "It’s always good to hear feedback on the proposed street work. We have a great street system – we get compliments on how we are able to stay on top of that with limited dollars," said Stassen. "We have a pretty good plan in place to repair things before they get so bad that it’s a total reconstruct and huge money – so hats off to Pat Kelly for that foresight.”

Under the Regular Agenda items, the Council introduced an ordinance granting a franchise to Red Lake Electric Cooperative, Inc. assigning permission to construct, operate, maintain and repair an electrical distribution system and transmission lines in the City of Crookston, and approved a resolution ordering improvement and preparation of plans and specifications for 2017 Street Improvements.

In the final order of business for the evening, the council unanimously approved a resolution appointing Wayne Melbye to fill the unexpired term of Mayor. Angie Menge administered the Oath of Office to Melbye, who thanked the council for their confidence, and thanked the Selection Committee members for their part in the process. “It was a process, and like we have said, it is an awareness to what goes on. Maybe we didn’t have the wheels set to exactly transition into that smoothly, but it did work," said Melbye.  "We got a lot of folks to talk about the position, we got a lot of folks to really take a look at what’s involved, so now it’s a matter of getting going.”
Melbye continued, saying that the selection process presents an opportunity to reach out to younger citizens and involve them in city government.  “Good stuff comes out of everything,” Melbye added. “There’re a lot of people that took note of what was going on. I had a lot of comments, a lot of people asking, ‘Just what does go on down there at City Hall?’ That showed tonight – we had quite a few people who were here, and you try to get the word out. I’m on the older side, so I’m not into Facebook, and all that, but I found out that I’m probably going to have to be. So we’ll move into that social media type of things, and get the younger folks involved who want to see changes and see amenities and whatnot. They find out that there’s a process for everything – it takes a little time, but if you’re willing to hang in there, you can do just about anything.”
At Councilman Dennis Regan’s request, City Attorney Chuck Fitzgerald gave a brief explanation of why the Council did not (could not) hold an election for someone to fill the Mayor vacancy. Fitzgerald said that, according to the City Charter, “the Council is not authorized to delegate that power to the electorate.” The Charter can be changed down the line, but “As it (the Charter) stands, the Council is the sole authority to fill unexpired terms, and as such, was charged with appointing a person to fill that unexpired term,” Fitzgerald said.

Wayne Melbye takes the oath of office during the Crookston City Council meeting on Monday night

Fire Chief Tim Froeber updated the Council on several items. He stated that the new north end fire hall is now operational, and stated that 2017 is the 125th anniversary of the Crookston Fire Department. They are currently planning a celebration to be held during OxCart Days in August. Froeber also stated that several firefighters are currently in Philadelphia looking over the ladder truck they are hoping to purchase. “Everything looks good so far,” he said.

The Council meeting adjourned and shortly thereafter Mayor Melbye called the Ways & Means Committee meeting to order to address a short agenda of items. The Committee approved the purchase of a new Ford Explorer, to replace a Ford Taurus they are taking out of rotation. The Explorer will be purchased from Christian Brothers Ford for $28,743.

City Administrator Shannon Stassen presented the committee with a recommendation to waive the $100 flood fee and $20 sidewalk fee for a city parcel that actually falls into different additions.

Councilman Steve Erickson asked Chief Biermaier if the City has an ordinance in place that covers ATVs, side-by-side vehicles, Razors and the like. He predicted that officers will encounter more issues with the use of these vehicles, and suggested that everyone needs to be on the same page. Biermaier assured him that he would look into it.

The Committee then adjourned to a closed session for negotiations with all three labor unions. Stassen explained, “We closed to just tidy up labor negotiations. We have come to an agreement with all three labor unions, and we worked through it – just double-checking all the numbers. At our next council meeting those contracts should go through and be finalized, so we’re really happy about that.”

The City Council meets again at 7:00 p.m. on February 27.





Back in the 1960’s our family purchased the Fournet Building in beautiful downtown Crookston. We owned and operated our family drugstore successfully until retiring from business in 1982. Since that time, our family maintained ownership of the building and leased out the commercial space to several businesses and we always had good relationships with these various tenants.
Late in 2015, one of those long term tenants decided to retire. Our best wishes go out to Jim and Lois Chandler, and we are so thankful to have had the privilege to know them. We knew that their departure would leave a large portion of the building in downtown Crookston unoccupied. At that time we were in contact with Craig Hoiseth of the Crookston EDA (CHEDA) asking him to assist us in finding a new occupant. Almost immediately he suggested it might be an opportune time for us to consider divesting of this family treasure. As a family, we set an asking price, and over the next year or so we interfaced regularly with options for tenants and with Craig always trying to help us understand the true value of the property.
Finally, and after many potential suitors, last Friday we completed the sale to Jeff Evers, a developer with numerous other properties in and around Crookston. It is our hope that this historic building, which our family purchased from the original owners, the Fournet’s, will continue to be part of the success of Crookston for many decades to come.
Thank you Crookston for supporting us these many years, shopping, renting and creating the vibrancy needed for any successful downtown. Thanks to Mr. Evers for his willingness to take the risk of investment and for the work of CHEDA in assisting us throughout these past couple of years.
Crookston is a special place, with people full of a “can do” attitude. Minnesota “nice” is the norm here! On behalf our our family, Lutie and the late Bill Johnson, Steve, Scott and our late sister Sandra, we want to wish everyone in Crookston nothing but the very best.

Steve and Scott Johnson
Lucille (Lutie) Johnson




On Friday, February 10 just before 1:00 a.m., The Polk County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the City of Winger for a property damage accident involving a passenger car and the Ultima Bank. The report said a vehicle drove into the Ultima Bank and that the driver left on foot from the accident. A Deputy arrived on scene and noticed a 2006 Chevy Impala had driven into the east side of the Ultima Bank.
The driver 20-year-old Trent Vesledahl of Fertile was located a short time later in the City of Winger. Vesledahl was arrest for DWI, Property Damage and was held at the Northwest Correction Center. The Ultima bank sustained heavy damage to the wall. The accident is under investigation.




11 students from Our Savior’s Lutheran School participated in the MN North Lutheran Schools Bible Bowl Competition at Immanuel, Walker on Saturday, February 11. At the event, the school was presented with a prize check for winning a Youth Service award from Lutheran Church Extension Fund for their annual Community Clean Up Day.

Ed Luckow, Ivan Luckow, Gage Nelson, Brenna Hoefler, Liam Hoefler, Aislinn Hoefler, Karissa Wagner, Sophia Hoefler, Grant Nelson, Alexis Gudvangen, Isabella Gutierrez, Principal Sandra Trittin.  Attending but not pictured: Ella Lanctot





The Crookston School Board will meet tonight (Monday, February 13) at 5:00 p.m. in the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra room.
The meeting feature program will be an update on the Music Trip by Crookston Music Trip Parents Organization President, Chris Fee. 
There are five personnel items on the agenda, approval of salary lane advancement requests, resignation of Katherine Berg, Crookston High School Spanish instructor, the resignation of Bill Gillette as Assistant Boys Soccer Coach, the approval of an employment agreement of Food Service Director Anna Ogaard-Brekken and District Office coordinator/Certified Election official Marilyn Wahouske.
Items on the main agenda include the approval of a resolution directing administration to make recommendations for reductions in programs and positions and reasons as required each year, and the approval of the Minnesota School Board's recommended changes in several of the district policies.
Superintendent Chris Bates will give a report and visitors can address the board at the beginning or the end of the meeting.
The next Crookston School Board meeting will be Monday, February 27.




The Crookston City Council will meet tonight (Monday, February 13) at 7:00 p.m. in the Crookston City Council Chambers in the basement of Crookston City Hall. 
The meeting will start with presentations and public information announcements with the swearing in of new officers, and a $5,000 donation to the Crookston Police Department from RiverView Health.
The consent agenda includes the approval of bills and disbursements in the amount of $658,396.60, the authorization of the sale of a lot in the Barrette Street Estates to Executive Builders, the sale of lots 48 and 49 in Jerome’s Addition to Roman Adams, to waive unpaid water/sewer and reassess delinquent assessments on a tax forfeited parcel, and resolution to enter into an agreement with Springsted Inc. for Municipal Advisor Services for the Agassiz Townhome TIF District.
The agenda will be followed by a public hearing for 2017 Street Improvements.
7.01 Project No. 952 - South Main Street
7.02 Project No. 953 - South Front Street
7.03 Project No. 954 - North Broadway (6th Street to 7th Street)
7.04 Project No. 955 - North Broadway (4th Avenue North to 50’ north of 6th Avenue North)
7.05 Project No. 956 - Campbell Road and Twin Drive
7.06 Project No. 957 - Johnson Place
7.07 Project No. 958 - Multi-Use Trail along Fairfax Avenue  (paving of the old railroad bed along Fairfax Avenue)

The regular agenda includes the granting a franchise to Red Lake Electric Cooperative., Inc., its successors and assigns permission to construct, operate, repair, and maintain in the City of Crookston an electric distribution system and transmission lines, including necessary poles, lines, fixtures and appurtenances, for the furnishing of electric energy to the City, its inhabitants, and others, and to use public ways and public grounds of the City for such purposes; a Resolution ordering improvement and preparation of plans and specifications for 2017 Street Improvements and the final item on the agenda is a resolution appointing Wayne Melbye to fill the unexpired term of Mayor. 

The meeting will wrap up with reports and recommendations from the City of Crookston staff.

The Crookston Ways and Means Committee will meet after the meeting in the City Hall Conference room.
The open agenda includes a 2017 squad car purchase, waiver request for a flood and sidewalk fee and other items that come before the group.
The meeting will be closed at the end for Labor Negotiations.




The Minnesota State High School League Section 8A Triple A award banquet was held last week in Mahnomen with Elizabeth Birkemeyer of Ada-Borup High School and Isaac Mills of Stephen-Argyle Central High School were named the winners and will advance to the state competition with a banquet on March 25 at the boys state basketball championships. The award honors students that are outstanding in Academics, Arts and Athletics. The Crookston representatives were Matt Garmen and Megan Frisk (pictured below)
The sub-section winners in Section 8A are listed below-

Sub-Section 29
Girl  -  Hannah Anderson - Nevis
Boy  -  Samuel Eystad  -  Park Rapids

Sub-Section 30
Girl  -  Elizabeth Birkemeyer  -  Ada-Borup
Boy  -  Carter Mosher  -  Fertile-Beltrami

Girl  -  Kayla Nelson  -  East Grand Forks
Boy  -  Benjamin Regorrah  -  East Grand Forks

Girl  -  Emma Jo Brunelle  -  Warroad
Boy  -  Isaac Mills  -  Stephen-Argyle

Section 8A Over-all Winners
Girl  -  Elizabeth Birkemeyer  -  Ada-Borup
Boys  -  Isaac Mills -  Stephen-Argyle Central

Crookston High School's Megan Frisk and Matt Garmen with their AAA Awards





The Crookston Pirate JV Speech Team traveled to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on Thursday, February 9, and returned with the second place team trophy.  Other teams involved in the meet were Moorhead, Hawley, DGF, Ada-Borup, Park Christian School, and Pillager. Those receiving awards were:

Extemporaneous Reading:  Katherine Geist (2nd place)
Drama: Anna Huck (3rd place) 
Humor: Linnea French (3rd place), George French (5th place), and Emily Balboa participated in her first meet.
Storytelling: Linnea French: (3rd place) and Victoria Proulx: (4th place)
Inform: Sophia Rezac: (4th place), Emma Sherman: (5th place) and Ben Brantner (Red Ribbon)

The Crookston Pirate J.V. Speech team with all their awards (Submitted by Coach Olivia Huck)





Our Savior’s Lutheran School recently celebrated Lutheran Schools Week. The theme for their week was “Upon This Rock” based on the Bible verse: “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” Isaiah 26:4. Throughout the week students studied a variety of rocks, made their own crystals and opened geodes as well as worked on mission projects and toured several places around our community.

A small group of students presents the play “Caps For Sale” for the rest of the student body.





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