FRIDAY - OCTOBER 31,  2014


The highest honor awarded by the University of Minnesota Crookston, the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, and Extension is the Torch & Shield Award. On Wednesday evening, October 29, 2014, two individuals and an organization were recognized with the prestigious award including Susan A. Hagstrum, Ph.D.; Pete Wasberg; and the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council. Along with the Torch & Shield Awards, a special donor recognition will also take place. 
Hosting the recognition were University of Minnesota Crookston Chancellor Fred Wood and Albert Sims, director of operations at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center. Music was provided by the U of M Crookston choir and special guests included Kathy Schmidlkofer, president and CEO of the University of Minnesota Foundation, who brought greetings on behalf of the Foundation. Senior Jesse Jennings spoke on behalf of student scholarship recipients and Brian Dingmann, Ph.D., presented his research featuring three of his student research assistants: Julia Rinn, Serena Stoeck, and Brooke Vatthauer. 

Susan A. Hagstrum
Susan Hagstrum holds a B.S. in speech pathology from Northwestern University and an M. A. in speech pathology and a Ph. D. in education policy and administration, awarded by the University of Minnesota.  She enjoyed a 27-year career in preK-12 public education in Minnesota before establishing her own small business to provide leadership to non-profit organizations as they worked to improve results.
She placed her business on hold in 2003 to devote full-time attention to serving as one of University of Minnesota's ambassadors and major volunteers.  Her husband, Robert H. Bruininks, served as the fifteenth president of the University of Minnesota from 2002 through 2011.  She hosted University groups and guests at Eastcliff, the historic home of the University president, and served in a major role in publicly representing the University, and in fundraising with friends, community groups, alumni and staff of the University.
Susan enjoyed her visits to the University of Minnesota's statewide campuses during her husband's presidency and worked to raise funds on behalf of students and programs on the Crookston campus.  She served on several University museum boards, including the Weisman Art Museum, the Bell Museum of Natural History, and the Tweed Museum on the Duluth campus.  She was a founding member of the Women's Philanthropic Leadership Circle in the College of Education and Human Development.  Susan also served on several University boards of advisors for the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Design, and the Medical School on the Twin Cities campus.
Susan is currently a board member of the Minnesota Orchestra.  She is also a member of the Minnesota Women's Economic Roundtable and is a past board member of the Tyrone Guthrie Theater.  Her University of Minnesota volunteer activities include serving on the Advisory Council of the University Libraries and the Neuroscience Advisory Council of the Academic Health Center.

Peter Wasberg
Pete is the director of Human Resources & Safety, and has been a member of the executive team at Otter Tail Power Company since 2008.  Pete was the human resources manager for three years prior to being named to his current position.  Before moving to the Human Resources Department in 2004, Pete spent the first fourteen years of his career in various positions with Otter Tail Power Company in their Milbank, S.D., Bemidji, Hallock, and Crookston Customer Service Centers, and was promoted to division manager in 1997 and area manager in 2002.  Pete also spent a legislative session in the company's Legislative Affairs Department.  
Along with his work at Otter Tail Power Company, Pete has been active in community and area activities.  Currently, Pete is a member of the board of directors for Crookston National Bank, a member of the Fergus Falls Noon Day Rotary Club, and serves on the College Advisory and Advancement Board for the University of Minnesota Crookston.  
Pete has served on the executed committee of UMC Teambackers; the Enactus Advisory Board, an organization for students in business; chancellor search committees, and the Valley Technology Park Board of Directors. He is a past chairman of the Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Crookston Rotary Club, served on the Riverview Healthcare Board of Trustees and the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce Board.  Pete also completed two terms on the Lake Region Halfway House Board of Directors.
Pete has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, where he majored in business administration and psychology. 

Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council
Established in 1978, the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council is a non-profit organization that invests wheat check-off dollars for the benefit of wheat producers. The Council is directed by a nine member board made up of wheat producers, elected by their peers. The Council's activities are funded from a 2-cent assessment on all wheat bushels sold and stored in Minnesota. About 50 percent of the check-off funds are allocated to research, 25 percent to promotion and 25 percent to communication of information to growers. The Minnesota Wheat Council offices are located in Red Lake Falls, a central location to 90% of the wheat grown in Minnesota. 
Throughout Minnesota Wheat Council's history they have worked closely with University of Minnesota, NWROC, and U of M Extension to advance wheat production efficiency and profitability in Minnesota through research and education. The Council worked with U of M Extension and NWROC staff to start the Small Grains Institute which continues today as the International Crops Expo. 
The Council was a supporter and promoter of the NWROC plan to create a center of excellence in small grains at the Crookston location. The Council helped advocate for and fund four key research and extension positions at the NWROC. These positions continue to contribute to the economic viability of the region and state. Some of these positions help educate students at UMC.  The Council worked with local and regional extension educators to start an annual educational workshop called "Getting it Right"; it continues today as "Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research".
Over its history, the Minnesota Wheat Council has contributed over $6.5 million to research. Of that, over $4.8 million went to U of M and U of M Extension. The Northwest Research and Outreach Center and NW MN Extension received approximately $1.5 million.  
Common goals and a desire to help wheat growers succeed have led to many long lasting connections and relationships between the MN Wheat Council, NWROC, and U of M Extension. 

The Torch and Shield Recognition was initiated by UMC Founding Provost Stanley Sahlstrom and recognizes individuals who have provided leadership and who have aided in the development of UMC, the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) and University of Minnesota Extension. To see all past Torch and Shield Recipients, visit

Peter Wasberg, Susan A. Hagstrum and Pete Kappes of the MN Wheat Research and Promotion Council




Over 30 Crookston High School art students, art teacher Gary Stegman and four chaperones will leave on Monday evening by train from Fargo for Chicago to learn about art and drama for four days before returning home on Saturday. “I’m looking forward to seeing the musical The Million Dollar Cortex and I have seen other musicals and was in one in high school,” said Brita Fagerlund. “It gives you ideas for your art and lets you think of new things you can create.”
Each student has raised over $600 a piece for the trip.



Tim Dufault has served on the Crookston School Board for one term and is seeking another term. Dufault said it is a learning process on the school board. “It takes a few years to understand what you are doing so I wouldn’t feel good about just serving one term. Things are getting better, so I want to continue to work on it. I am treasurer of the board and my daughter Claire is a junior, Emma and Ben graduated. Emma is at UMD and Ben graduated from UMD and is an admissions counselor there, so Crookston has served us well,” said Dufault. “Finances is the number priority for the board and I would like to shore them up in case there is another hiccup along the way, like state financing or enrollment which is a big key. We have to protect what we have and sing our praises more about the classes we offer.”
Tim is married to Marlene, and as stated above they have three children.
Three slots on the school board are open and those running beside Dufault are Incumbent Adrianne Winger and newcomer Patti Dillabough.




Hector Santenalles is looking for a full term as councilman in Ward 4 as he was appointed to full the slot when Wayne Melbye became a council member at large. Santenalles wants to continue to help move Crookston forward. “I want to keep building on things I have worked on for the past two years, working with my constituents and the city employees. We have a good momentum on economic development, so I want to keep pushing hard,” said Santenalles. “One of my passions is downtown. I want it to be vibrant like in the past with a grocery store, apartments, more store fronts filled in and the downtown square is moving forward so I want to work more on housing and apartment developments which increase the tax base.”
Santenalles has been married for 25 years with three sons. He has worked for Simplot for the past seven years as a production manager, partner on Sandbridge Apartments in Crookston and plans to stay in Crookston for a long time.
Santenalles is opposed by Will Enlow, Dennis Regan and Adam Herberg.
Polls in Crookston open at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday and close at 8:00 p.m.





On an autumn day with a hint of winter, the thought of Christmas was in the air.  The Chippewa National Forest, in partnership with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and Choose Outdoors, hosted a public cutting ceremony for the 2014 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, a 88-foot tall white spruce.  Approximately 500 attendees, including 170 local school children, gathered to witness the once in a generation event.
The event began at noon with a welcome from the Chippewa National Forest Supervisor Darla Lenz and a traditional blessing ceremony by Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Spiritual Advisor Larry Aitken. The program also included remarks by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Representative Rick Nolan, staff from U.S. Senator Al Franken’s office, and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Chairwoman Carri Jones.
“It is a proud day for Minnesota as the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree starts its long journey from the Chippewa National Forest all the way to the U.S. Capitol,” Klobuchar said. “This beautiful white spruce tree is a shining example of the extraordinary natural beauty our state has to offer, and I’m excited that it will be on full display at our nation’s Capital this holiday season for the entire country to see.”
Minnesota Logger of the Year Jim Scheff had the honor of cutting the tree. Instead of letting the tree fall, two massive cranes carefully lowered it onto a specially designed flatbed trailer with one of kind cribbing to support the trunk and not crush the branches. The total truck and trailer length is over 100-feet long!
“Christmas trees are symbolic of a tradition that focuses on connections to children, family, friends and community. The Chippewa National Forest is proud to be part of this tradition and proud to be able to highlight Minnesota’s natural resources by providing the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree”, said Forest Supervisor Darla Lenz.
“The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is honored to be a part of the celebrations for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree 2014 events. We are proud to send the chosen white spruce to represent the heritage of our people and communities from northern Minnesota. Leech Lake has been working hard to fundraise so area students may travel and witness the lighting ceremony first-hand,” said Chairwoman Carri Jones.
After the Tree was secured on the trailer, the team from Chippewa National Forest and students from Itasca Community College began the arduous process of preparing the tree for the initial leg of its journey to Bemidji State University where it will be wrapped for travel to Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will make more than 30 stops as it travels through local communities, Minnesota and the Midwest on its way to Washington, D.C. The tree lighting ceremony will be held on Dec. 2.

Two big cranes had to assist in the cutting down of the National Christmas tree       The two cranes lowering the tree onto the flatbed trailer that will bring it to Washington D.C.
                                                                                        (Pictures by John Wallin of Have Cameras....Will Travel)

The tree was blessed by Larry Aitken, a spiritual leader from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.          The tree right after it was cut down
 (Pictures by John Wallin of Have Cameras....Will Travel)

Many of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe kids dressed in their traditional wear    U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar with Jim Scheff, 2014 Minnesota Logger of the Year. He was honored to cut the Christmas Tree.
 (Pictures by John Wallin of Have Cameras....Will Travel)




The Disabled American Veterans and Auxiliary celebrated Oktoberfest at the VFW  with supper and the program on Monday, Octobers 27.  Special guests were Miss Crookston 2014 Madison Crane and Veterans Council Representative Jim Buckmiller who  presented the programs. Phyllis and Jim Sheridan were honored for their long term leadership in the organizations.

Auxiliary President Nancy Lanctot, Phyllis Sheridan, Jim Sheridan, Commander Marv Mattson of the DAV






KROX received a call about 7:40 Thursday morning from Crookston School District Superintendent Chris Bates about a possible gas smell at Highland School which was being investigated and that no students were in danger. Highland Principal Chris Trostad described the incident. “Some staff walked into the building this morning and thought they smelled a natural gas odor, so we called Great Plains and the Crookston Fire Department,” said Trostad. “They came right away so we kept the students outside for 30 to 45 minutes while the building was checked and everything turned out okay so the students are back in class and everything is going fine.”




The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and the City of Crookston sponsored a candidates forum on Wednesday evening at the Crookston High School with Representative Deb Kiel of District 1B and her opponent Eric Bergeson. Crookston Mayor Dave Genereux asked the questions prepared by the Coalition. Representative Deb Kiel said transportation needs should be a top priority at the legislature next year. “It is important for are area as it is important to get the commodities to market and it is important for public transportation for those who don’t have vehicles to get to work,” said Kiel. “A balance is needed at the legislature and we have priorities on economic values and work to make our taxes simpler as they are very complicated, so how we should tax is very important.”

Eric Bergeson of Fertile said local government aide is needed for basic services. “It is a good program which started in 1971 and it equalized basic services throughout the state so it is a good for the cities,” said Bergeson who added residents need to speak up and make some noise at the legislature. “We are being forgotten so in order to keep the funding levels for transportation and nursing homes we need to make some noise and protect our way of life.”

Elizabeth Wefel, representing the coalition said they held the forum to inform the citizens. “We do it as a service to the citizens as the issues are important to all the citizens like property taxes, and economic development,” said Wefel. “So it is good for the legislators to know what is going on and they get educated on the issues for their district.”

About 40 people attended the forum and visited with the candidates at the end of the forum.  KROX taped the Crookston Chamber of Commerce and UMC Meet the candidates forum from Wednesday, October 22 and will be playing that back on Monday, November 3 at 6:30 p.m.

      This picture is from the Crookston Chamber of Commerce and UMC Meet the candidates forum last week




Gary Willhite is a Crookston city council member and has decided to run for Mayor of Crookston to replace present Mayor Dave Genereux who has served the city for 27 years. “I had no plans to run until Dave decided he was not going to run so I thought someone from the council with experience should look at it and I felt I had the experience and qualities to run,” said Willhite. “I want to keep working on what we have. There are challenges and fiscal responsibility to help the city grow. Involve the citizens in decisions which is important.”




The Crookston Pirate Fine Arts Boosters announced today (Thursday, October 30) that they are distributing almost $14,000 to the Crookston School District Fine Arts programs. "The Pirate Fine Arts Board is very appreciative of the community support given to the arts programs in the Crookston public schools," said the PFAB's Jim Kent. "Since its conception in 2001 PFAB just over $150,000 has been given to support arts programs!"  The distributions are below.   

Pirate Fine Arts Boosters
Program Disbursements
October 30, 2014

Junior High Art (Clay, glazes, clay tools)  $700
High School Art (Printer ink, art supplies)   $900
Theater (Consultant fees, accompanist, builder, choreographer)   $1500
Band (Guest clinician, method books, headset microphone)   $2000
Orchestra (Instrument repair, new violin/viola, music, string and accessories) $2500
Choir  (Concert clothing for men and women)    $2840  
Washington Elementary Music (CD/tape player)  $250
HES Elementary Music (Unpitched percussion instruments, Itunes card Glockenspiel table) $1000
Auditorium (Wireless microphones, light bulb replacement) $1450
Speech (Judging costs)     $800
Total money distributed                    $13,940




Ethan Hulst brought in the giant pumpkins he grew this year to Cathedral
School for the kids to see.  The pumpkins, that he started from seed, grew to a whopping 2,420 pounds total for all three. 







Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and discussed the budget for 2015 to review all the different funds that are controlled by the department heads.  County Administrator Chuck Whiting said they get closer every meeting to a final budget. “We are looking at a proposed budget of over $60 million budget which is about $2 million more than 2014,” said Whiting.  “We set a preliminary levy of 2 percent over 2014 in November and we will have more discussion and make modifications until the final hearing in December, we discuss the budget at every meeting.”

The commissioners approved a conditional use permit for Kristen and Rebbecca Svaleson to attach a septic system to an accessory structure on Maple Lake.

The Government Center will be open on Saturday, November 1 for anyone wishing to vote absentee from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Monday November 3 until 5:00 p.m. for last minute voters.




Representative Deb Kiel, Councilman Gary Willhite, Judge Ann Rasmussen, Mayor Dave Genereux, Sheriff Barb Erdman and Bernie Lieder

Third graders at Highland School are learning about government and the political process and they had an opportunity to ask questions of people involved in government on Tuesday afternoon.  A panel made up of Representative Deb Kiel, city councilman Gary Willhite, Judge Anne Rasmussen, Mayor Dave Genereux, Sheriff Barb Erdman and former representative Bernie Lieder.

Quotes that were highlighted by the teachers were -
"Education is important" Deb Keil
"We can't help everybody, but everybody can help somebody." Gary Willhite
"Be a good citizen" Mayor Genereux
"Treat others how you want to treat you!" Sheriff Erdman
"Be kind to each other." Judge Rasmusson
"The Golden Rule and Respect others!" Bernie L

Third graders Issac Thomforde and Brandon Wandrie enjoyed the interaction. “I think it was great,” said Thomforde. “I love learning what other people think and did,  I might be able to put it into practice.”
Brandon Wandrie said, “I think today was very good, I learned a lot and I might be able to read some of the books they suggested so it was worth my time.”

Judge Anne Rasmussen and Bernie Lieder were pleased with the questions. Judge Rasmussen has a son in the third grade so they had been discussing the event. “This was a wonderful experience, great questions and wondering how the city works,” said Rasmussen. “They did a great job with the questions and I am sure we will be discussing it more at home.” 
“Third graders are smarter than I thought maybe as smart as I was in eighth grade,” said former Representative Bernie Lieder.  “A young man asked for my hat so I gave it to him as his father was a veteran.”
The learning session is part of the social studies unit for the month.




The Crookston School board has three slots open in the November 4 election.  Two of the incumbents are running Adrianne Winger and Tim Dufault.  Keith Bakken is not running for his position so Patti Dillabough filed and is hoping to get elected to the school board.  “All my kids have grown up and my grandkids are in school now so it felt right and this is the opportunity to give back to the community to help the students grow and make some changes in the district,” said Dillabough. “I give the bus supervisor credit for doing a good job, but I would like to see that the students could be taken to where they need to go after school like the swimming pool or day care. I know money is an issue but it is something I would like see done.”
Dillabough is the manager at the Golden Link Senior Center and a graduate of Crookston Central High School.

Adrianne Winger wants to serve another term on the Crookston School Board in order to serve the children of the district: “I’m doing this for my children and the other children in the district.  My sons are the reason I originally ran and in the past couple of years I have learned several things and this is how I can do my part,” said Winger.  “Kids need to have good experiences and be engulfed with love and they have different ways to learn and it is different for each child and as they are the future they need to get a good start.”
Winger is the music teacher at the Climax School and the advisor for the dance line at the Crookston High School, and is a Crookston Central High School graduate. Winger, Tim Dufault and Patti Dillabough are running for the three open spots on the Crookston School Board.




The annual Highland School Bingo fundraiser was held Tuesday evening at the Highland School cafeteria and auditorium with a packed house.  Children, parents, grandparents and everybody in attendance enjoyed a night of bingo, fun, food and of course prizes.  Students that didn't get a bingo received a book as a consolation prize.  There was an estimated 300 people filling the cafeteria and auditorium.





Brian Lemay, a freshman at the University of Minnesota Crookston from Roseville, Minn., double major in natural resources law enforcement and law enforcement aviation recently completed his first student solo flight. His flight instructor is Ali Jaffari, and the milestone flight was completed at the Crookston Municipal Airport.

Justin Kobberdahl, a freshman at the University of Minnesota Crookston from Maple Grove, Minn., majoring in natural resources aviation recently completed his first student solo flight. His flight instructor is Nic Huber, and the milestone flight was completed at the Crookston Municipal Airport.

The first solo flight is a significant accomplishment in a pilot's career and creates a memory that will stay with the student forever. During this flight, a new pilot completes three takeoffs and landings in a row while his or her eager flight instructor watches from the ground and stays in communication via radio. Much preparation has gone into the first solo flight, with the student and instructor putting in hours and hours of flight and ground training on a wide range of subjects including FAA regulations, weather, and aerodynamics. Eventually, after passing a written test and satisfying the instructor that he or she can consistently make safe landings, the instructor gets out of the airplane and endorses the student's logbook for solo flight. Landing an aircraft is one of the most difficult skills to master for any pilot and involves difficult and complex eye-hand coordination as well as good judgment.
Following American aviation tradition, removing a new pilot's shirt tail is a sign of confidence by the instructor in the student following the completion of the first solo flight. This tradition stems from the days when a student sat in the front seat of the aircraft with the instructor behind. Radios and intercom systems were not a part of early aviation, making it necessary for the instructor to tug on the student pilot's shirt tail to get his/her attention. A successful first solo flight is significant in that it means the student can fly without the instructor, and consequently, no longer needs a shirt tail. In observance of this tradition, aviation students at U of M Crookston have their shirt tails cut off by the proud instructor, and they are displayed at the Crookston Municipal Airport.
The aviation program at UMC is a partnership between UMC and the University of North Dakota Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF). All academic classes and ground schools are conducted at UMC campus while hands-on flight training is conducted by UNDAF and UUMC staff just three miles north of campus at the Crookston Municipal Airport. Unlike most university aviation degree programs which focus solely on aviation, UMC's "dual function" degree programs offer students both strong fundamentals in aviation, as well as significant coursework specific to their "other" field of study whether it be agriculture, law enforcement or natural resources. This integrated approach prepares graduates for a career in aviation and much more. To learn more, visit

                                 UMC Student Brian Lemay by the plane he flew on his first solo flight

            UMC student Justin Kobberdahl (right) with instructor Nic Huber 







The Crookston City Council met on Monday evening and held five public hearings on street projects for 2015 and a vacation request of 5th Avenue North from Broadway Street to Albert Street.  Dave Goosen commented on the reconstruction project for Euclid Avenue from South Main Street to Vance Street as he wondered if they were getting double dipped after a project last year. Kelly explained the difference and Goosen said they were pleased with the street work.
The new project will cost $451,000 with assessments to the residents $63,999.99. The project was approved by the council.
The council approved the 3rd Avenue project at a cost of $75,804.00 with the assessment at $19,398.00 for the bituminous mill and overlay.
The Lowell Street project will have a bituminous mill and overlay project at a cost of $62,700.59 with the assessment at $25,555.32.

Unpaid water and sewer charges will be assessed to the homeowners for the present year.

The council approved a proposed joint peace officers agreement that will help the Crookston Police Department to go to Grand Forks or other participating North Dakota counties for various reasons. “The agreement includes several counties in North Dakota including the City of Grand Forks. Mostly the agreement is to allow us to go to North Dakota and have law enforcement or peace officer powers so we can do things,” said Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier. “They (North Dakota law enforcement) can call us over their without any questions asked in an emergency, but if it is something preplanned, like a warrant or something else where we need a special operations team this gives us the ability for us to go over there or North Dakota officers to come over to Minnesota on a preplanned operation, especially. It gives us authority to conduct law enforcement.”

The Crookston Housing Incentive program was extended for 2015 and 2016.




The Crookston Ways and Means Committee met after the council meeting and agreed to move forward on the Barrette Estates properties to make them available for residents.  “We are going to be advertising three lots that weren’t built on to get three additional lots available for purchase. There were some that were never executed as far as a purchase agreement so hopefully we can advertise those and get them ready to build for the next construction season,” said Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen. “There are three lots for sale so we will have six lots available for housing.”

The committee also agreed to have a five percent levy for economic development for 2015 which will go to the council for final approval.

Gary Anderson, a resident of Oak Court, asked the Ways and Means committee if they could help the residents of Oak Court get a bathroom unlocked more than four hours a day which is near the community room. Mayor Genereux said members of the council and CHEDA board would meet with the advisory board of Oak Court to work on the matter.




The Crookston School Board met on Monday and High School Principal Eric Bubna reported on the new security system at the high school. “All the doors lock based on a time set for them to close. Staff has a key card to buzz in and anyone else has to buzz in and speak to a secretary to get in the building,” said Bubna. We are still working out the kinks and Robin and Liz at the front desk and we are working to make it happen so it will be a good secure system for the students.”

Superintendent Chris Bates informed the board that teachers will be visiting four schools to get ideas on how they improve test scores. “We have four teachers and one administrator going to four schools around us (Fertile, Pequot Lakes, Park Rapids and Fosston),” said Bates. “They are going to engage with various grades and focus on math, science, English and social. Our goal is to learn what these schools are doing to get higher test scores so we are like the football coaches that watch film to see what the good teams are doing.”

The board approved the employment of Bobbie Jo Hebert as an Early Childhood Family Education Aide at Washington School. They also approved the grant application for student participation to the high school league.

48 percent of students in the Crookston School district are on free and reduced lunch. 56.9 percent of students at Highland are on the free and reduced lunch program.




Dale Stainbrook is a Crookston City Council member, representing Ward 5 and now has decided to seek the position of mayor in Crookston. He is running against council member Gary Willhite and Jerry Perrson.
Stainbrook feels the council has some good ideas on the table. “I would like to continue that momentum as mayor in the area of economic development, quality of life, trails, housing is a big issue, what do we start with,” said Stainbrook. “Maybe senior housing as they might want to downsize, which would free up homes for young families and continue the development on Barrette with Bob Herkenhoff.”
Stainbrook has been a council member for six years. “I enjoy it and like listening to the views of the residents of Ward 5 and try to find the answers on their issues or complaints,” said Stainbrook. “I am a self employed painting contractor forever and I enjoy what I do with freedom to take time off when I want, I have worked at a variety facilities in town.” Stainbrook and his wife have two sons and two grandchildren .




Adam Herberg is running for the Crookston City Council position in Ward 4. One of the reasons Herberg is running is that he did not like the way the recreational vehicle park was handled. “I didn’t like that people were not informed and the sale of public land should not have been an option,” said Herberg. “It should have been a private deal. It is a good deal for Willie Nephew which should have happened sooner. There was nothing wrong with the Jennings, but they should have gone to a private land owner.” Herberg does not agree with the way city owned land is awarded to the farmers. “I believe it should be an open bid situation and not just to those who have been renting it for years,” said Herberg. “It should be opened up to maximize the profits as much as possible.”
Herberg is 35 years old and grew up in Crookston, works at American Crystal Sugar, is married to Samantha. They have three children and they currently live in the Woods Addition.
Herberg is running against incumbent Hector Santenalles, Dennis Regan and Will Enlow.




The Polk County Emergency Preparedness Meeting was held on Monday and part of the discussion was on preparation for Ebola. Nancy Schafer, Polk County 911 Supervisor, said they will be asking different questions of people calling 911. “The CDC said we should ask more questions about their illness or have they been traveling to an affected area just to see if it might be Ebola instead of the flu,” said Schafer. “If it is possible the protocol changes as we would only dispatch first responders and no others like the firefighters, we are preparing in case we get the calls, but we’re hoping we don’t get any calls.”





Crookston High School students will be participating in a national campaign this week called Mix It Up Day. Maria Argueta, Crookston High School Home to School Liason, and Leah Kent, Crookston High School Counselor, organized the event to get students out of their comfort zones. “We are starting Mix It Up week this last week of October and today is Mix It Up Day,” said Argueta. “It is a day when students sit at a different place at lunch we will have different colored balloons at each table and students will get different colored sticker to correspond the a balloon so they will meet some new friends.”
The idea cam from the Southern Poverty Law Center teaching tolerance project. “Over 1 million students will be participating on Tuesday to break down barriers to get to know other students in their building,” said Kent. “We have conversation cards on the table to get them started talking.”




The Crookston Swimming pool will open Tuesday morning to the public and will be ready for swimmers of all ages. “We have lap swim and water walking starting at 6:00 a.m. until 8:30 Monday thru Friday  and then aqua exercises and lap swim from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and open swimming from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday,” said Crookston Pool manager Marley Melbye. “There is free admission through October 31 for everyone to come and see the pool and dip their toes in the water.”   
The Crookston Pirate girls swim team has a meet against Moorhead on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and everyone is welcome to come and watch.  
Baby and  Me will be coming soon on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.  Crocs Wellness youth swimming is Monday thru Friday from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. starting November 4, with a one week free trial.
Weekend open/ and lap swimming is from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.



MONDAY - OCTOBER 27,  2014


The Crookston Fire fighters (far left), Crookston Police and Fire Department staff talk with wreckage scattered all around  (The accident was to the left of the picture)

On Sunday evening (about 5:50 p.m.), the Crookston Police Department was called to do a welfare check on Dominic A. Herkenhoff, 27 of Crookston.  A Crookston Police officer located Herkenhoff in his pickup and made the traffic stop. "The police officer was talking with Herkenhoff, trying to judge his state of mind," said Minnesota State Highway Patrol Captain Mike Hanson. "One thing led to another and Dominic fled from the initial traffic stop in his pickup into the Crookston High School parking lot and at that point the Crookston officer was pursuing him trying to deescalate things, while waiting for backup.  While they were in the parking lot the suspect became more and more agitated and rammed the squad car with his pickup and fled from that area to Highway 2."  Herkenhoff sped out of the parking lot, then went west on Fisher Avenue and turned left at the stoplights by the Dairy Queen down Highway 2 past Hugo's and then proceeded down the hill and the chase ended when the truck hit the cement pillar of the railroad underpass by Taco Johns in Crookston.  The truck started on fire while Herkenhoff was in the truck and he died on the scene, according to law enforcement.  "The officer pursued the suspect through Crookston and as they approached the underpass, the suspect collided with the bridge abutment and immediately became involved in a fire," said Captain Mike Hanson. "Once the police car was rammed and the pursuit was initiated there was no further contact between the squad car and the suspects vehicle at all.  The suspects vehicle simply collided with the bridge abutment as a result of the driver actions and nothing to do with the squad car."     The mother and father arrived on the scene while the fire was still being put out by the firefighters and had to be restrained by a Crookston Police officer and were obviously devastated. The Minnesota State Patrol is working closely with the Crookston Police Department and Polk County Sheriff's Department during the investigation.  "We are working the Crookston Police Department to try to put the pieces of the puzzle together and at the request of Police Chief Paul Biermaier we are investigating the two crashes that occurred," said Captain Mike Hanson. "We are also working with the sheriff's office to try to look at the circumstances that led up to the whole thing."
As per KROX policy, we will NOT post a picture of the car when there is a fatal accident out of respect to friends and family of the victim, but we have included pictures from the scene.

Police Chief Paul Biermaier, Lt. Darin Selzer, Fire Chief Tim Froeber             Cop cars blocking off the underpass after the accident

                     Crookston firefighters talk with the fire chief after putting out the fire




The Crookston School Board meets at 5:00 this evening in the Crookston High School choir/orchestra room. The meeting is open to the public who can ask questions at the beginning and the end of the meeting.
The agenda has a resolution to approve Bobbie Jo Hebert as an early childhood family education aide at Washington School.
The main agenda has a resolution and grant application for the Minnesota State High School League for student participation. The administrators will report on the activities in their building.




The Crookston City Council will meet tonight in the Crookston City Hall Council chambers.
The consent agenda has a resolution to enter into a joint exercise of peace officer duties agreement for the purpose of granting the authority and set forth the conditions under which the participating criminal justice agencies may exchange or provide peace officers for the purpose of conducting or assisting in law enforcement and emergency response operations.
The council will consider a resolution to extend the housing incentive program for 2015 and 2016. An 18 month extension will be granted to Jujhar Singh for Barrette Street Estates Construction and assessment policy.
Five public hearings will be held on street projects for next summer and a vacation of 5th Avenue north from Broadway to Albert Street. Resolutions to pass the street projects after the public hearings are on the agenda.
The Crookston Ways and Means committee will meet following the council meeting and end the evening with a closed session for negotiations. The meetings are open to the public.





This week is Fall Clean-Up Week in Crookston.  Clean-up items will be picked up only on your regular garbage pickup day and must be placed on the street boulevard.  Please note: Compost material - grass clippings, lawn or garden waste - WILL NOT have to be in City compost bags for this week only.  Cleanup items should be separated into the following piles:  garbage, clothing, cardboard, etc.; appliances; branches and yard waste; furniture, metal items, demolition, etc. and tires.  Placing these items out in separate piles will help speed the clean-up process. In awareness of clean up week in Crookston, Polk County Public Health advises to not bring furniture, mattresses, box springs, or bed frames found on the street into your home in order to prevent the spread of bed bugs.
As required by State Law, all video display devices (TV’s, computer monitors, etc.) cannot be land filled.  Therefore, these items will not be collected during clean-up.  These devices may be disposed of at Polk County Environmental Services (Transfer Station).
Concrete, batteries, partially full paint cans, other chemicals, or large amounts of demolition debris will not be accepted.  Branches must be cut in four foot lengths and bundled.
Items should be placed on boulevards no more than 72 hours prior to your collection day. Remember, Fall Clean-Up Week is October 27 – October 31 in Crookston.





Friday October 24, was a busy day for the Fire Departments in Red Lake County.  At approximately 3:01 p.m., Red Lake County Dispatch received a report that the old Catholic Church building in Dorothy was on fire.  The Red Lake Falls Fire Department was dispatched to the scene and they arrived to find the building was already engulfed in flames.  The church was not able to be saved and it was a total loss, but a house adjacent to the church was saved by the fire crews, and no injuries resulted from this fire.  It was determined that the property owner was burning some leaves near the church building and the strong winds blew embers toward the structure which started the blaze.   The Red Lake Falls Fire Department was assisted at the fire scene by the Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Red Lake Falls Ambulance Service, St. Hilaire Fire Department and the Crookston Fire Department. 

At approximately 6:35 p.m., Red Lake County Dispatch received a report of a one vehicle rollover crash in Emardville Township, south of Plummer.  A vehicle driven by Laverne Eugene Kappedal (69) of Plummer, left the roadway and rolled.  The crash occurred on CR. #21, approximately 2 miles west of Hwy. #59.  The Plummer Fire Department extracted Mr. Kappedal from his vehicle and he was then transported to Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls by the Oklee Ambulance Service.  It was reported that Mr. Kappedal’s injuries were non-life threatening.  The crash is still under investigation by the Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office, but alcohol does not appear to be a factor. 

At 9:52 p.m., the Oklee Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire in Lambert Township, south of Oklee.  It was reported that a barn at the Michael Paquin residence had started on fire.  Fire crews were able to extinguish the blaze and only minor property damage was reported and no injuries occurred.  It appeared that the fire was caused when some burning leaves and yard waste blew against structure.  The Oklee Ambulance, McIntosh Fire Department and the Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office also assisted at the scene. 
Red Lake County Burning ordinance prohibits anyone from starting an open burn if wind speeds are over 10 mph.  The Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office and local fire departments within Red Lake County would like to remind citizens to call the Sheriff’s Office prior to burning, to get a burning permit.  The permit is free of charge, and if you have any questions or concerns about your prospective burn, please contact your local fire chief. 






The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) and the City of Crookston will co-host a candidate forum to discuss issues relevant to the upcoming election in House Districts 1B with Representative Deb Kiel and Eric Bergeson.  The forum will be held on Wednesday, October 29 in the Crookston High School Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.




The Northwestern Mental Health Center Inc., is pleased to announce that Dr. Amy Underwood, a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, is joining our staff as a consulting Psychiatric Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, effective November 1, 2014.  
Dr. Underwood received her M.D., from the University of Louisville, School of Medicine in 2006 and relocated to Fargo, North Dakota in 2011 to explore cross-cultural psychiatry practices for three years.  She will be providing evaluations and medication management for children and adolescents in Northwest Minnesota and incorporate family therapy into her treatment practices through tele-medicine at our Crookston office.
Dr. Underwood’s special clinical interests include Attachment Disorders, OCD, Neuropsychiatric Problems, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Tourette’s, Personality Disorders and Structural Family Therapy.



The Crookston Noon Day Lions Club will be hosting a Halloween Teen Dance on Friday, October 31 from 9:00 pm to midnight at the Crookston Sports Center. Teens in grades 7 -12 are invited to the event. DJ provided by Giorgios Entertainment. Admission will be $10 at the door.
Costumes are encouraged but not required. There will be a $100 cash prize given to the “Best Costume” during the evening. A special thank you to Lion, Curt Hamre, for donating the cash prize!
Proceeds will go to the Noon Day Lions signature project of a portable stage, to be used at Crookston community events.




Alex Viger, a freshman at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) from Campbell, Minn., majoring in agricultural aviation recently completed his first student solo flight. His flight instructor is Ali Jaffari, and the milestone flight was completed at the Crookston Municipal Airport.
The first solo flight is a significant accomplishment in a pilot's career and creates a memory that will stay with the student forever. During this flight, a new pilot completes three takeoffs and landings in a row while his or her eager flight instructor watches from the ground and stays in communication via radio. Much preparation has gone into the first solo flight, with the student and instructor putting in hours and hours of flight and ground training on a wide range of subjects including FAA regulations, weather, and aerodynamics. Eventually, after passing a written test and satisfying the instructor that he or she can consistently make safe landings, the instructor gets out of the airplane and endorses the student's logbook for solo flight. Landing an aircraft is one of the most difficult skills to master for any pilot and involves difficult and complex eye-hand coordination as well as good judgment.
Following American aviation tradition, removing a new pilot's shirt tail is a sign of confidence by the instructor in the student following the completion of the first solo flight. This tradition stems from the days when a student sat in the front seat of the aircraft with the instructor behind. Radios and intercom systems were not a part of early aviation, making it necessary for the instructor to tug on the student pilot's shirt tail to get his/her attention. A successful first solo flight is significant in that it means the student can fly without the instructor, and consequently, no longer needs a shirt tail. In observance of this tradition, aviation students at
UMC have their shirt tails cut off by the proud instructor, and they are displayed at the Crookston Municipal Airport.
The aviation program at
UMC is a partnership between UMC and the University of North Dakota Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF). All academic classes and ground schools are conducted at the UMC campus while hands-on flight training is conducted by UNDAF and UMC staff just three miles north of campus at the Crookston Municipal Airport. Unlike most university aviation degree programs which focus solely on aviation, UMC's "dual function" degree programs offer students both strong fundamentals in aviation, as well as significant coursework specific to their "other" field of study whether it be agriculture, law enforcement or natural resources. This integrated approach prepares graduates for a career in aviation and much more. To learn more, visit

                                Alex Viger in front of the plane he used for his first solo flight



FRIDAY - OCTOBER 24,  2014


By making small adjustments to costume and decoration choices on Halloween, danger and risk to public safety is easily decreased.  “It is important for people to take basic precautions to make sure they have nothing other than a fun-filled Halloween,” says Shane Heldstab of the Crookston Fire Department.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the United States sees an overall increase in fires on Halloween caused by open flames, and the arson fire rate is 10 percent higher than on any other day with 15,500 fires and $92 million in property loss per year.

To ensure a safe and happy Halloween, the Crookston Fire Dept. offers the following tips:
-Cross streets at the intersection and look both ways before crossing.
-Use battery operated lights, not candles, to decorate walkways. Always keep candles, matches and lighters in a place that children cannot reach. This will make it much safer for trick-or-treaters and decrease the chance of an open flame fire.
-Keep children, costumes and decorations away from open flames and heat sources. Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable.
-Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Make sure they are certified by a recognized organization like the Underwriters’ Laboratory, Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or the Underwriters’ Laboratory of Canada (ULC). Do not overload extension cords. Indoor and outdoor decorative lights can be fire hazards.
-Choose costumes that are flame resistant, comfortable, and easy to walk in and see.
-Pick brightly colored costumes that can be clearly seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to the costume to increase visibility.

Please call 9-1-1 for the help of your local fire fighters in the case of a fire or emergency. The Crookston Fire Department wishes you a happy and safe Halloween.





Two Outstanding Alumni were chosen by the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) to be recognized during the annual Alumni Awards Celebration during homecoming on Friday October 17, 2014. The two Outstanding Alumni were Theresa Helgeson ’96, of Crookston; and Wayne Schertler ’83, of Savage.
The evening also included the induction of the '97 Football Team; Bill Tyrrell, who was athletic trainer for the Golden Eagles for 18 years and led athletic fundraising for 8 ½ years; Scott Strohmeier '99 (football); and Karla (Thormodson) Isley '98 (basketball) into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
Of the nearly 200 in attendance, close to 30 members of the 1997 football team were joined by many family and friends of the honorees. 
Corby Kemmer, director of Development & Alumni Relations, along with Stephanie Helgeson, athletic director, served as emcees for the evening and special greetings from the campus came from Chancellor Fred Wood.
The Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed on U of M Crookston alumni by the alumni association. The award recognizes alumni who have displayed exemplary commitment and service to community, church, education, family, or in their occupational field. More than 120 alumni have been honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award since its inception in 1980.
The accomplishments of this year's Outstanding Alumni include:
Theresa Helgeson is a lab services coordinator in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, and has worked at UMC for more than 10 years. She coaches the Mid-American Horticultural Society (MACHS) Team and serves as advisor to the Horticulture Club. She is a member of the Minnesota Horticulture Society, the National Hosta Society, and a certified professional of the Minnesota Nursery Landscape Association.
Wayne Schertler is a partner with entero, LLC, and provides leadership and advisory services to the company operations. He has more than 20 years of experience in financial and executive management within the legal services, public accounting and professional consulting industries and an accumulated 20 years of executive-level experience in the legal industry with national law firms.

                        Wayne Schertler and Theresa Helgeson





Did you know that you could be walking around with diabetes and not know it? It’s true. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report put out earlier this year, in 2012 29.1 million people (9.3% of the US population) had diabetes; 21 million people were diagnosed with diabetes and 8.1 million people were undiagnosed. That same report stated that 86 million Americans over the age of 20 had pre-diabetes.
While the statistics are staggering, there is good news. Diabetes can be managed and treated with healthy eating, regular physical activity and on occasion, medications. And pre-diabetes can be an opportunity to improve your health with improved lifestyle changes.
Attend RiverView’s October 30 Health Luncheon “Nutrition and Diabetes’’ to learn more about what you can do to eat your way to better health. RiverView Dietitian Darcey Larsen, RD LD, will educate us on how the food that we eat affects our blood glucose levels and how nutritional changes can better our health whether you are a person with diabetes or someone interested in learning about healthy eating habits.
The luncheon will be held in Meeting Room # 1 beginning at noon. Meeting Room # 1 is located near the RiverView Clinic entrance on the north side of the hospital and across from the elevators on first floor.
The luncheon series is in its sixteenth year of sponsorship by RiverView Health. All men and women interested in improving their health are invited to attend. Each luncheon starts a few minutes past noon and luncheons are kept under one hour so those needing to return to work can attend. The presentations are free and attendees can bring their own lunches or purchase a bag lunch for $3.00. Pre-registration is required. Call Holly Anderson at 218-281-9745 to reserve a seat.





Will Enlow is a candidate for Ward 4 alderman in Crookston running against incumbent Hector Santenalles, Dennis Regan and Adam Herberg.
Enlow wants to work to get more people to move to Crookston. “I just feel that it’s been to much wasteful spending and it has raised a lot of eyebrows in town so it is time for someone new and I would be an asset on the council,” said Enlow. “I am looking at ways to beautify the city to have people want to move here and raise their families and stay in the city.” Enlow is married with three children, one in Fargo and two at home. “I have owned a computer business in town for five years and it does pretty well and good to have a local business so citizens can have an option to stay in town,” added Enlow.




The Crookston City Council at Large seat has two residents running for the slot. Incumbent Bob Quanrud is being opposed by newcomer Travis Oliver.

Quanrud wants to continue working on projects a term on the council. “After four years you are just beginning to understand how city government works, learning the state mandates, you have to be interested in what is going on and help out,” said Quanrud.
Quanrud has some specific project to work on. “Economic development is tough to work on with the tax system in Minnesota and compete with North Dakota,” said Quanrud. “Obviously housing is short in some areas, we could use another apartment complex with 36 to 40 units, some seniors want a smaller place with less work.”
Quanrud is a retired Crookston police officer and is married to Terry and they have two sons that are graduates of Crookston High School.

Travis Oliver filed for the at large position because he thinks younger residents should be represented on the council. “I want to represent the younger population in Crookston as I am 32 years old. I want to see a little more progressive thinking, not that the council is doing a bad job or anything,” said Oliver. “I want to see what is going on and develop relationships with UMC and the school district and get other ideas from residents in town. I have always been interested in government and thought now was the time to get started.” Oliver has a degree in construction management from NDSU and a bachelors degree from UMC in Manufacturing. He is working for Liberty Business systems as a sale representative from the Canadian border to Bemidji and down to Climax.

         Bob Quanrud                     Travis Oliver





The Meet the Candidates Forum sponsored by the Crookston Chamber of Commerce and the University of Minnesota Crookston was held Wednesday night at Kiehle Auditorium, with candidates for Crookston school board, Crookston city council, mayor of Crookston, Polk County commissioners and House District 1B candidates.


School Board candidates Patti Dillabough and Tim Dufault answered questions about enrollment, priorities for the school district and the mentoring program for new teachers. School board candidate Adrianne Winger was not in attendance due to parent teacher conferences for her children.

                  Patty Dillabough and Tim Dufault at the forum held at UMC Wednesday evening



Nine candidates for the Crookston City Council were in agreement for more economic development and housing programs as a way to grow the tax base. Will Enlow candidate for Ward 4 wants more beautification of the city, while at large incumbent Bob Quanrud said the city needs to maintain what we have and work with all the codes and mandates. Travis Oliver, candidate for the at large slot said the council needs a younger voice.  Ward 4 incumbent Hector Santellanes was not at the forum because he was traveling for work, but did have a video of his opening and closing statements.

The nine Crookston City Council candidates, Dana Johnson, Steve Erickson, Will Enlow, Adam Herberg, Dennis Regan, Tom Vedbraaten, Travis Oliver, Bob Quanrud and Hector Santellanes on video.



Mayor Candidates, Dale Stainbrook, Jerry Perrson and Gary Wilhite were asked about the splash park and letting residents have chickens in their back yard. Perrson said they need to be a team and be more professional while growing the city population. Stainbrook wants a quality of life to attract people to live in Crookston like trails for walking and biking, events on the river and take advantage of UMC. Willhite said building relationships are important to get such projects as the splash park and the downtown square developed. Willhite praised and thanked Mayor Dave Genereux, who was in attendance, for his 27 years of service to the city on the council and as Mayor.

                                                 The Crookston Mayor Candidates during the meet the candidates forum at UMC


House District 1B candidates Representative Deb Kiel and Eric Bergeson of Fertile were part of the candidates forum and talked about what they are hearing in the district as they campaign.
Bergeson said there are a lot of concerns. “One thing I am hearing is about financial stress of the younger middle class people which surprised me, and a lot of people are taking care of elderly relatives as they can find a place for them or can’t afford it,” said Bergeson who wants to work on the labor shortage for elder care. “There is a wage disparity between Minnesota and North Dakota and the lack of legislation to help nursing homes so I want to work on that right away.”
Representative Kiel said taxes and jobs are a big topic of discussion. “We want to be viable in the district and taxes don’t go to high, take care of the schools, a lot of people don’t mind taking care of a neighbor, but we have gone overboard and need to help them to a job so they can be self sufficient rather than helping everyone on a level that doesn’t get them anywhere,” said Kiel. “I really want to work on career and tech education connecting them with the colleges to get students to see a job at an early age also connect with the businesses to get students pointed in the right direction.” Kiel said there has to be renovations in the way nursing homes are managed and take care of the road and bridge needs in the district.
Representative Kiel and Eric Bergeson will debate at a forum on Wednesday, October 29 at 7:00 at the Crookston High School sponsored by the Coalition of Minnesota Cities.

                            The House District 1B candidates at the meet the candidates forum at UMC




The site of the Sixth Street slide along the Red Lake River and below Highway 2 is humming with activity as semi trucks are hauling in machine parts for a huge crane to make the necessary repairs. Paul Konickson, project engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation said work will pick up next week. “Part of the tracks are here and more will be coming in the next few days from California,” said Konickson. “They will put the machine together and get it operational, and a spot for the slurry and the weather needs to hold for about the next four weeks so things don’t freeze up.”
The dirt taken out is in a temporary area at the former Elk River property and Red Lake Builders will be disposing of the dirt.
“It is a wait and see next week to see what place they are digging and will go back on the site to be a flatter one to four slope,” said Konickson. The project should wrap up for the winter by the end of November. The project will not be finished until next spring.

                            The crews working on the landslide area along Sixth Street in Crookston




The executive board of the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority held a special meeting on Wednesday to meet the deadline on a certificate of compliance for HUD. A five year plan for the Oak Court Federal Housing program for 2015 was approved by the executive board to be submitted to the Federal Housing Agency. The plan runs through 2019.






Voters will have an opportunity to learn more about the candidates running for the District 593 School Board, Crookston City Council, Mayoral Candidates, Polk County Candidates, and Minnesota House District 1B at a Forum on Wednesday, October 22.  The Meet the Candidates Forum, jointly sponsored by Crookston Area Chamber and University of Minnesota, Crookston, (UMC) will be held in Kiehle Auditorium on UMC’s campus and will also be aired live on KROX Radio (1260 AM) and online at
The forum, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will include five moderated segments.   Candidates within each group will make an opening statement before answering written questions submitted by the audience.  Each candidate will also have an opportunity to address prospective voters with a closing statement. The School Board Candidates will lead off at 6:35 p.m., followed by the City Council candidates at 7:10 p.m., the Mayoral candidates at 7:45 p.m., County Commissioner candidates at 8:20 p.m., and ending with the Legislative candidates. The forum will conclude by 9:30 p.m.

Three candidates vying for the three open seats on the School Board will take the stage first. School Board candidates are Tim Dufault, Patty Dillabough, and Adrianne Winger. 

The second part of the forum will include the candidates on the Crookston City Council. Ward 2: Dana Johnson and Steve Erickson, Ward 4: Hector Santellanes, Dennis Regan, Adam Herberg, and Will Enlow, Ward 6: Tom Vedbratten. Each ward consists of one position. Two individuals have filed for one “At Large” position on the council—Bob Quanrud and Travis Oliver.

The third part of the forum will include Mayoral candidates Gary Willhite, Dale Stainbrook, and Jerry Joseph Perrson.

The fourth category of the forum will include the county candidates. Commissioner candidates are Warren Strandell, District 2, running unopposed and Joan K. Lee and Kerry Winkelmann, running for the seat in District 4.

House District 1B candidates Representative Deb Kiel and Eric Bergeson will be featured in the final phase of the Forum.

The Chamber and UMC are coordinating plans for the Meet the Candidates Forum, which is free and open to the public.  




The Crookston Park Board had a visual presentation at their meeting on Monday about making the downtown square more attractive and useful. “Eric Castle has been so gracious in helping us look at the future layout of the town square. The council had the vision of putting a building on the site that is used by the Farmer’s Market and other special events with a goal to continue to enhance the site with other groups,” said Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen. “The Rotary stepped up with the Peace Pole, so we are looking at other things. Eric Castle and his class at UMC has come with research on with a computer animated picture on what it could look like with trees, shrubbery, signage and potentially a gazebo.” The park board appreciated the ideas offered and will discuss any plans for the site.




The Crookston Sports Center task force has worked on ideas to make the center more cost effective and get more events to support the facility. Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen said they are making changes to enhance the center. “The task force has been around for a long time and we met again in June to look at ideas on increasing revenue at the sports center and reducing costs which is a big challenge,” said Stassen. “We put some ideas in place to control the costs and then plan for events. One idea is to fund an events coordinator to work with the Blue Line Club, figure skaters, curling group and others to bring in more events to help the bottom line for the CSC and fill the motels, hotels and restaurants in town to add to the quality of life, so we are looking at ways to fund that position.”




With the cold weather creeping closer and flu season just around the corner, RiverView Health’s North Clinic in Crookston will hold influenza immunization clinics on October 29 and November 12 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.  No appointments will be taken and patients will be seen on a first come, first serve basis. The patient's insurance will be billed for the vaccination, so please be prepared to share your insurance information. For more information or questions on the RiverView influenza immunization clinics, please call RiverView Clinic at218-281-9595.




The November election is less than three weeks away and the candidates are working hard to get elected. Steve Erickson is running in Ward 2 against incumbent Dana Johnson, who is seeking another term.
Erickson said it has been something I have always wanted to do. “I worked on the railroad for about 20 years and was on the road so wasn’t home to serve, now is a good time, my kids are out of high school and in college so it is a fit time to give a whirl,” said Erickson. “I have my own business Erickson Embroidery, (which I have owned for over seven years) and feel I would have time to contribute to the city. I want to help with UMC as it is a huge asset for Crookston and we need to utilize it more,” said Erickson. “We need to get more businesses in Crookston and work on keeping UMC students here after graduation.”
Erickson is married to Laurie, a teacher at Cathedral School and they have two children, Nate and Riley.




Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and heard from Al Bauer of McIntosh about poor construction on a project on County State Aid Highway 41. He said the completion of the ditch work was unsatisfactory as the slopes were to steep.
Polk County Highway Engineer Rich Sanders reported that the project was built to specifications and is complete. The commissioners agreed to take a look at the project and get back to Bauer.
The commissioners approved several agreements including the Clay County Electronic Data Hosting agreement for the server for 2015 at a one time cost of $5,000 and $7,500 yearly. An agreement with Next Chapter for the CaseWorks computer program, licensure, services and travel or $180,013 and a hardware and Sharepoint licenses cost at $20,805.
The 2015 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) employment and training agreement was signed with the counties of Marshall, Kittson, Pennington, Roseau and Red Lake for $28,400.
The Polk County Sheriff has applied for a federal boating safety supplemental equipment grant for $22,000.
Polk County renewed the contract with Halstad Telephone Company to provide the Ethernet service to the county networks for five years. The contract has six agreements totaling $9,680.00 a month of $116,160.00 annually. County operations are dependent upon these services.
Commissioners approved replacing a custodial position which will be vacated on October 31, 2014.




There are four candidates running for the fourth ward in Crookston, Incumbent Hector Santellanes, Dennis Regan, Adam Herberg, and Will Enlow. Regan said it was time to get involved. “My son is in college and I have a little spare time and would like to get involved in the changes Crookston is going through,” said Regan. “We have a good administrator and good people on board, they have good ideas. There are good businesses and the Crookston Sports Center brings a lot of people to the city.” Regan said he has spent a lot of time at the arena and heard good comments from people from North Dakota, Canada, and all over Minnesota. “They like the facility and have a good time in Crookston,” added Regan, who is a native of Crookston. “I lived here all my life, my mom is a half a block away,” said Regan. “My wife is Debbie and we have been married 33 years and she works at Noah Insurance. My son Curtis is at UND.” Regan has worked on the railroad for 28 years and then at the hospital for 10 years and now full time at UMC for six and a half years and also part time in the print shop at the hospital.




The KROX Turkey Shoot Starts Monday, November 3. Now’s the time to send in your entry with your name, address and a phone number on it where you can be reached at during the day for your chance to become a Turkey Shoot contestant when KROX comes a calling throughout the day.  Mail the postcard to KROX Turkey Shoot, P.O. Box 620, Crookston, Minnesota, 56716. Email it to us at , fax it to us at 281-5036, or drop it by the KROX offices at 208 South Main in Crookston. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number where you can be reached at the easiest. You could win a twenty dollar Hugo’s gift card to be used toward a purchase of an Our Family frozen turkey from Hugo’s in Crookston or a consolation prize of a Happy Joe’s Little Joe’s pizza. Send in your entry today for the KROX Turkey Shoot that starts Monday, November 3 on KROX radio.




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