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MONDAY - AUGUST 29,  2016

FUNNEL CLOUDS SPOTTED SOUTH AND EAST OF CROOKSTON ON SUNDAY NIGHT

The Crookston area, mainly to the south and east had a lot of tornado activity on Sunday night.  The storms popped up on the radar around 7:00 p.m. and tornadic activity was reported for the next three-plus hours around Crookston and Fertile area. 
Several people called and emailed KROX asking why the sirens didn't sound and Crookston Fire Fighter Shane Heldstab said they only sound the sirens if a tornado is in Crookston or coming towards Crookston and since the funnel clouds were south and east of Crookston and moving to the east away from Crookston the sirens were not turned on.
KROX received several funnel cloud pictures and we have posted all of them below.  If you would like to send us one send it to chrisjfee@yahoo.com


Hammomd Township 8 miles south if Crookston     Funnel cloud hits the ground by Eldred
                       (By Dave Meyer)                    (Picture by KROX News Director Tyler Brekken)


Storm clouds and rain five miles east of the airport or six miles northeast of Crookston (Picture by Dave Emanuel)


3 miles south of the old Glenmore building     Taken off of Highway 2 between Crookston and Mentor
    (Picture by Tiffani and Don Boone)                                    (Picture by Lacia Hanson)


        Funnel Cloud East of Crookston          Tornado west of Beltrami
                (Picture by Nicki Roed)              (Picture by Donovan Hanson)


Another picture of the clouds 5 miles east of the airport or 6 miles NE of Crookston (Picture by Dave Emanuel of Wildfire Photography)

 

 

FRIDAY - AUGUST 26,  2016

CROOKSTON MUSIC TRIP STUDENTS NEED TO HAVE $1,500 IN ACCOUNT BY SEPTEMBER 15 TO GO ON TRIP

The Crookston Music Trip/Parent Organization sent out letters this week and should be mailboxes this week to remind the students planning on going on the trip to Orlando (March 31 - April 5, 2017) that they need $1,500 in their account by September 15 or they will be dropped from the trip.  All payments can be sent to CMT/PO at P.O. Box 722, Crookston, MN  56716.  The cutoff date is necessary so the travel agent can find a charter flight to Orlando.  If you have any questions about your account total and payment plans, contact CMT/PO Treasurer Brian Frisk at 289-1738.
On September 19 at 7:00 p.m., the group will have a brief informational meeting in the Crookston High School Auditorium.  At the meeting students can also pick up fall frozen food sale forms, which is the last sale before the trip.

 

 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND MARCHES AT STATE FAIR


        The Crookston High School Marching Band (Picture submitted by Chris Gough)

The Crookston High School Marching Band marched and performed at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights today representing Crookston while wearing their new uniforms.  Then band drove down this morning and will get back home around 1:00 a.m. Friday morning.  The band was seen by thousands of people as they marched through the state fairgrounds.  If you have pictures of the marching band at the Minnesota State Fair, send them to chrisjfee@yahoo.com and we will add them.


The Crookston High School Marching Band at the state fair - Video by Chris Gough


The shields spelling out Crookston at the Minnesota State Fair (Picture by Mark Ecklund)


The Crookston High School Marching Band at the Minnesota State Fair (Picture by Mark Ecklund)


The band making their way through the state fair grounds with big crowds looking on (Picture by Joelle Boucher)


The band looking good in the new uniforms (Picture by Joelle Boucher)


Dani Boyle and Allie Love are all smiles before marching

 

 

CITY OF CROOKSTON WASTE WATER OPERATORS TO START ANNUAL SEWER CLEANING AUGUST 29

Starting Monday, August 29, the City of Crookston Waste Water Operators will be starting their annual cleaning starting at the Northwest corner from Main Street West to 6th Street North and will run through October.  There is a potential for drains and traps to be sucked dry and the smell of sewer gas to appear in homes, which is a normal thing that happens during cleaning. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Mitch Weasner at 218-280-4382 or 218-280-4551.

 

 

PRECIOUS ADAMS RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIP FROM CARRIER

Carrier and Adams Heating and Cooling are proud to announce that Precious Adams has been selected to be one of this year’s recipients of the $1,500 Carrier Distributors’ Education Foundation Scholarship.
Precious completed the scholarship in November and was notified in July that she was selected. The scholarships are available to dependents of Carrier HVAC Dealers and Contractors and their employees. Because her father’s company, Adams Heating and Cooling, has had a tenured business partnership with Carrier, Precious was eligible to apply. Finalists are selected based on their demonstrated performance in school; leadership, motivation, and involvement in activities are taken into consideration.
Precious will begin her undergraduate St. Cloud State University where she will study International Business. After completion of her degree, Precious is hoping to land her dream job somewhere warm; a place where furnaces are not required eight out of 12 months.


Precious Adams and Lindsey Botnen (Carrier Residential Territory Manager)

 

 

THURSDAY - AUGUST 25,  2016

MINNESOTA BOARD OF WATER AND SOIL RESOURCES BOARD TOUR VISITS THE AREA

On Wednesday, August 24 local and state staff came together to highlight conservation successes in northwest Minnesota as part of the 2016 Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Board Tour.  The annual tour highlights our state’s local conservation delivery system in action.  This year’s tour focused on projects in the Red River of the North – Grand Marais Creek watershed, located in northwestern Minnesota, and highlighted work done by the Red Lake Watershed District and Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), West Polk SWCD, and Pennington SWCD.
“These watershed and soil and water conservation districts drive the work of local conservation,” BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke said. “The board tour gives attendees a chance to see the projects they approve on paper in real-time, a chance to see how targeted implementation, conservation practices, and partnerships are having a direct, positive impact on Minnesota’s waterways.”
Over the course of the day, the Board toured a number of projects focused on clean water and resource enhancement for flood reduction.  The board toured the Grand Marais Creek Restoration Project, a multi-million dollar effort providing multiple benefits to the watershed including clean water, flood reduction, and habitat protection. Other stops include drainage ditches, impoundments, and a wetland bank. Along the way, Board members heard from a number of local and state presenters about how these projects have positively impacted the landscape.
Earlier this month, Governor Dayton kicked off a “Year of Water Action.” The featured projects on this tour are examples of work already being done in Minnesota to preserve and protect our waters.
The 20-member BWSR Board includes representatives of state agencies, local governments and citizens. The projects featured during their annual tour illustrate how successful partnerships between federal, state, and local governments and private landowners are making a difference for Minnesota’s soil and water.


Governor Dayton (left) joined the group at the Grand Marais Creek Outlet Restoration site visit to learn about this outstanding project that provides multiple benefits for water quality and wildlife habitat.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE DEB KIEL RECEIVES PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD FROM MINNESOTA MUNICIPAL UTILITIES ASSOCIATION

On August 16, State Rep. Deb Kiel (R-Crookston) was presented with the Public Service Award from Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA).  This annual award recognizes federal, state, or local government officials who have demonstrated a commitment to the values and principles supported by MMUA and its member utilities.
During the 2016 Legislative Session, Rep. Kiel served as chief House author of legislation to provide a standard, one-time fee for utility lines crossing railroad right-of-way and 35-day timeframe for railroads to approve or deny a utility’s proposed crossing.  MMUA partnered with the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) and Minnesota Telecom Alliance (MTA) on this priority bill.
“MMUA is grateful for Rep. Kiel’s efforts in passing the new railroad crossing fee law, which will have tremendous positive impact on utilities across the state,” explained Jack Kegel, MMUA Executive Director.  “Avoiding the prolonged fee negotiations with railroads will help keep costs down for municipal utilities’ customer owners and allow necessary projects to move forward in a timely manner.” 
MMUA represents the interests of the municipally-owned electric, gas, and water utilities across the state.  Awards were presented as part of the organization’s Summer Conference at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd.
Rep. Kiel’s district includes the municipal utilities of East Grand Forks, Fosston, and Nielsville.


Pictured are Rep. Kiel and MMUA’s 2015-16 President Troy Adams (Elk River Municipal Utilities). 

 

 

KELLY STAUSS CARLSON TO SEE DERMATOLOGY PATIENTS AT ALTRU CLINIC IN CROOKSTON

Kelly Stauss Carlson, FNP-C, part of the dermatology team at Truyu Aesthetic Center will begin seeing dermatology patients at Altru Clinic in Crookston. Kelly began her education at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks where she received a bachelor of science degree in nursing. She returned to the University Of North Dakota where she earned a masters of science degree to become a family nurse practitioner. Kelly has extensive experience in aesthetics specialties; she worked as a registered nurse in laser and plastic surgery, and most recently as a nurse practitioner at Truyu Aesthetic Center. 
To schedule an appointment to see Kelly Stauss Carlson, FNP-C, at Altru Clinic in Crookston call 218-281-9100. 

Crookston Altru Clinic in Crookston is an integral part of Altru Health System, which is a community-owned, integrated system. Altru’s local staff provide a hometown touch to modern medicine. The team in Crookston offers ten different specialties, including family medicine, internal medicine, orthopedics, oncology, and physical and occupational therapy services. With the support of Altru Health System, Altru Clinic has convenient access to additional specialties, so that every patient receives the highest level of care and service. 

Truyu Aesthetic Center is the area’s only comprehensive aesthetic center, offering a wide range of surgical and non-surgical procedures, services and products to care for the entire body. All services are provided under the direction of Altru Health System medically trained providers, meaning our guests receive unparalleled care and expertise. Truyu Aesthetic Center boasts a private surgical suite, a spa like setting and expert care in dermatology, cosmetic surgery and an array of aesthetic services. Additionally, Truyu offers aesthetic and spa services at Truyu at Choice Health & Fitness, as well as at Altru Clinic locations in East Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Thief River Falls.  

 

 

 

GRAND FORKS POLICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES A SAFE TRADE ZONE

The Grand Forks Police Department is formally announcing a Safe Trade Zone in the parking lot of the police department. The essential function of the Zone is to give members of the community a safe location to exchange items bought or sold over the internet. These parking spaces are in the west parking lot of the police department, clearly signed and are under video surveillance. The video surveillance cameras record 24 hours a day.
The Grand Forks Police Department would like to thank the Public Works Department for assisting in making the Safe Trade Zone possible.



The posted sign indicating the safe trade zone

 

 

WEDNESDAY - AUGUST 24,  2016

POLK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS LEAN THAT LARL HAS RECEIVED A $110,000 GRANT FROM THE OTTO BREMER FOUNDATION

Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and learned that the Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) has received an Otto Bremer Foundation grant to help with their fiscal needs. “The biggest thing is LARL has been getting cuts from the state and the expenses keep going up so we actually went out and found other sources for funding,” said Polk County Commissioner Craig Buness.  “We want to thank the Bremer Foundation for the $110,000 for the last year and we are very appreciative. We had to get smarter on how we do business to maintain the library and do what is expected of us.  We just found out that our insurance rates did not go up and we had budgeted more so that is close to $20,000 we can use it for operations or turn it back to the signatories. We will decide within the next 60 days.”  
The Crookston Library is part of the LARL system along with libraries in Fertile and Fosston.  

Commissioner Nick Nicholas of Crookston serves on the Northwestern Mental Health Board and reported that the crisis center phone system has a change for emergency calls.  The Northwestern Mental Health Center used to handle seven counties in northwest Minnesota out of Crookston and now there is an informal agreement between the Northwestern Mental Health Center and Sanford Health in Thief River Falls.  Sanford Health will take the four north counties of Roseau, Kittson, Pennington and Marshall to handle crisis calls out of their facility.

The commissioners approved a new position for the sheriff’s office that will be called an office and support service manager.  A position for an administrative assistant will not be filled. 
Farmers in Hammond Townships requested a survey and a required cleaning of county ditch 93 and the commissioners approved the request. 

Scott Sosalla of Architectural Resources in Hibbing had information on the bid for the Government Center heating controls upgrade.  “We did a rebid for the project and got three bidders with Johnson Controls as the low bidder at $317,100.00,” said Sosalla.  “Work will start soon and they will be done in 150 days as to be ready for the heating season.  We are in pretty good shape with upgrades but there is always going to be projects.”

 

 

CROOKSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT HOLDS A PRACTICE BURN BY THE AIRPORT

If you were driving on Highway 75 north from Crookston and by the Crookston Airport on Tuesday evening , you probably noticed Crookston Firefighters battling a fire.  It was a training burn for the Crookston Fire Department.


                               Pictures from the training burn on Tuesday night by the Crookston Airport

 

 

UMC HOSTING "A PIECE OF MIND" EXHIBIT

What does peace mean to you? That’s the central question photographer and storyteller John Noltner has been asking people for his social commentary project and exhibit, A Peace of My Mind. The exhibit will be on display on the campus of the University of Minnesota Crookston today through Monday, August 29. Panels from the project will be located in four locations across campus: Kiehle Auditorium’s Rotunda, Sargeant Student Center, Brown Dining Room in Sahlstrom Conference Center, and the new Wellness Center. The exhibit will be open daily during regular campus hours for free campus and public viewing.
The exhibition will culminate with a keynote address by the photographer, John Noltner, along with a discussion on Monday, August 29, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The public is invited to attend this event. Parking will be free for the public during that time. “Crookston: A Community of Peace" Breakfast woyj community leaders will be held on campus on Monday, August 29 from 8 -9:30 a.m. Cost is $12 per person. Contact Lorna Hollowell for information on the breakfast at lhollowe@umn.edu.
Founded in 2009, A Peace of My Mind is a multimedia art project that fosters public dialogue about issues related to conflict resolution, civic responsibility, and peace. With engaging portraits and compelling personal stories, nearly 100 diverse subjects describe what peace means to them, how they work toward it in their lives, and some of the obstacles they encounter along the way.
Those profiled in A Peace of My Mind include Holocaust survivors and a homeless man, a Somali refugee and a military chaplain, a pottery instructor and an oil company executive. Artists, volunteers, politicians, and business leaders all share their thoughts and inspiring stories in a series that celebrates our common experience and sense of community.
A Peace of My Mind expanded into the public forum in 2010 with the production of the traveling exhibit, funded through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Since then, more than 80,000 people have viewed the exhibit at schools, private galleries, community centers, places of worship, libraries, and universities across the country.
Using this model, A Peace of My Mind has been presented at the Peace and Justice Studies Association National Conference, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and the Dayton International Peace Museum. The project has been honored in 2013 with EDIT’s Art for Change award, Jovial Concept’s Peace Initiative, and a Jefferson Award for Youth Service.
According to Lorna Hollowell, director of the UMC’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Programs, the exhibit, keynote address and discussion serve as a kick-off for a year of programming designed to foster a campus and local community of peace. Subsequent programs will share the common theme of peace among people. Hollowell says a student brought the exhibit to her attention, and it seemed the perfect way to set the stage for programming that helps bring people of diverse backgrounds together.
Sponsors for the event include the Office of Diversity & Multicultural Programs, Concerts & Lectures. Student Activities, Career & Counseling, Student & Family Experience, International Programs, Residential Life, Campus Ministries, Disability Resource Center, Athletics, Religious Diversity Committee, CSA, SPACE, PEACE Alliance, Rotary Club, and the Crookston Chamber.

 

 

JUNG AND ALTRINGER MAKE COURT APPEARANCES IN DISTRICT COURT

Derek Jung, 34, of Crookston appeared in court on Tuesday, August 23 before Judge Remick. The court determined Jung was to pay an additional $7,500 to be released due to concerns on continued drug and alcohol activity and he was taken into custody following his hearing.  Jung was charged in January with three first-degree felonies including possession and sales of meth. The charges stem from January when Jung and Ashley Herrin were both accused of selling meth in the Crookston Wal-Mart parking lot. If convicted, he could face 30 years in prison along with a fine of up to $1 million.  Jung will have a jury trial scheduled for September 28-30.

Brock Altringer, 41 of East Grand Forks appeared in district court on Tuesday and a jury trial was scheduled for October 10 at 9:00 a.m. with a pretrial scheduled for September 20 Altringer is being charged with two counts of first degree controlled substance crime, sale and possession of ten grams or more of cocaine, heroin or meth. The incident occurred in East Grand Forks on January 11, 2016 when he was on supervised release for a controlled substance crime in the second degree.

 

 

TUESDAY - AUGUST 23,  2016

LOUD NOISE SUNDAY NIGHT TRACED TO DOWNTOWN GARBAGE CAN

On Sunday, August 21 at about 9:14 p.m. there was a loud explosion in a garbage can at the corner of North Broadway and East Third Street in Crookston. A Crookston police officer discovered a large hole in the can and the lid was laying in the middle of North Broadway. The Crookston Fire Department was contacted and are investigating the cause of the explosion.

 

 

HIGHLAND SCHOOL A CELEBRATION ELIGIBLE SCHOOL AND SIXTH GRADE TO STAY AT FOUR CLASSES

The Crookston School Board met on Monday in the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra room and the meeting started with Crookston Mayor Gary Willhite who shared that he is excited for the upcoming Crookston High School Hall of Fame Induction Reception on September 9 as well as the open house at the bus garage on September 13.  Willhite asked the board to consider putting the demolition of the current bus garage into any plans to build a new facility.  Willhite was not representing the city in his recommendation, just himself.

Leah Winjum of Polk County Health, along with Brigette Burzette-Deleon and Anna Brekken, presented information about the School Health Index (SHI).  The SHI is based on CDC’s research-based guidelines for school health programs, which likely identify the policies and practices most likely to be effective in reducing youth health risk behaviors. “There is a lot of exciting movement happening in the Crookston Public Schools in regards to school and community health and wellness.  We have many passionate people who are excited to make some great changes in regards to wellness in the school,” said Winjum.  “We are looking at forming a new committee with representation from the general public and the school community and we are going to have that comprehensive perspective to address student wellness in Crookston.  There is obviously a positive correlation between health and learning and if we can all do our part to make that healthy choice the easy choice in school, we are all going to be able to do our part in making the learning experience for students more effective”.

Highland Principal Chris Trostad updated the school board on Highland Elementary School.  Highland had above the state average in almost every subgroup of learning in the latest state tests.  “The big thing in schools is we are looking for student growth.  I am thrilled that Highland is a Celebration Eligible School, which is the fourth out of fifth best rating you can get in the state.  We moved up to that rating two years ago and we stayed at it this year,” said Trostad.  “I think we did a great job getting our subgroups above the state average.  It’s not our goal to be at the state average, but to be above the state average.  At Highland, the teachers have done a great job at working their tails off and the kids have done a great job of improving attendance.  Overall, I think that Highland is in pretty great shape, but there are always areas to improve.  Most importantly, I want to make sure our students leave Highland School above the state averages as high as we can get it and headed to High School ready to go for seventh grade”.

During Trostad’s presentation, it was noted that the incoming sixth grade is currently scheduled for three classes of 28 students and one class of 27 students.  The board discussed that the class sizes seem large and noted that it was mentioned at a previous meeting the possibility of hiring another teacher for sixth grade.  Trostad did not recommend hiring another teacher primarily based on limited space for another classroom at Highland.  “The biggest problem at Highland School is that we don’t have another classroom space.  It would force us to put people into storage areas and I don’t think that is conducive to learning,” said Trostad.  “Last year we had four classes of 27 and as much as I would love to have another teacher, I don’t know that it would create a really good learning environment for those when we don’t have another room to put them in.  I think if we hit 29 or 30, we will really have to consider another teacher.”

The board approved the Educational Support Professionals (or Paraprofessionals) Master Agreement for 2016-17 and 2017-18, accepted a letter of resignation from ECFC teacher Mary Jo Halos and from CHS paraprofessional Amy Asman, approved a pay rate increase for all non-licensed substitute employees, approved the list of Fall Coaches, and they approved Salary Lane Advancement Requests.
The board also approved the employment of Amanda Johnson and Adam Jore as Paraprofessionals at Highland, Shelly Pahlen as Paraprofessional at Washington, Gina Gunderson as ECFE Parent Educator at Washington, Bobbie Jo Herbert as ECFE Aide at Washington, Heidi Nuebert as Long Term Substitute 1st Grade Teacher at Washington, Mary Gosse as Substitute Ed Asst/Title/Supervision at Washington, and Michelle Pfau as Paraprofessional at CHS. 
The board also approved a leave of absence request from Pool Director Cody Brekken from February 2017-April 2018.  It was mentioned that Brekken will be deployed to Washington D.C. with the National Guard during that timeframe, and a plan for a long term substitute is currently being worked on.

The board approved the Truth-in-Taxation Hearing date of Monday, December 12 at 6:00 p.m. to coincide with the scheduled school board meeting on that day.

A donation from the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority in the amount of $3,350.00 was accepted to reimburse costs in building the Construction Trades house, as well as a donation from the Crookston Education Foundation in the form of various Spring 2016 Grant Recipients.

During administrative reports, Superintendent Chris Bates shared information on the ACT testing.  “It used to be optional in Minnesota, but this last year it changed to every student had to take it and our scores took a nice little jump.  We were close to the state average, even with everyone having to take the test,” said Bates. “Although it is only one year and one set of scores, I think it’s a very positive thing that we had our best set of scores in the last 10 years, other than maybe 2009.  It was a small bit of good news, but we will take it and hopefully we can do as well next year”.
The next scheduled School Board meeting is Monday, September 12 at 5:00 p.m. at the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra Room.


Highland School Principal Chris Trostad talks to the school board

 

 

 

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING STARTS OFF WITH A VISIT FROM MISS CROOKSTON MORGAN KRESL

The Crookston City Council met on Monday evening in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  Mark Johnson introduced himself to the Council as the Republican endorsed candidate for Senate District 1.  Miss Crookston 2016 Morgan Kresl was also introduced and she shared that her platform is POWER, which is an acronym for Positive Opportunity is Within Everyone’s Reach. Kresl said she will be working with Riverview Health on various community activities in the upcoming months.

City Administrator Shannon Stassen reported that he and his family enjoyed Ox Cart Days.  “As a participant in Ox Cart Days this year, I ran around with my family and we were able to take in a lot of activities and we really enjoyed them.  There was everything from a Soapbox Derby to a Street Dance, which was neat to bring back right in the middle of downtown, there was just a number of things to do,” said Stassen.  “The parade was fantastic and I thought the fireworks were phenomenal during the movie in the square. There were many great things to be a part of as a family, and I am very grateful to everyone who contributed”.

The council approved the consent agenda, which included a resolution to approve bills and disbursements in the amount of $223,037.22, resolution to reject all submitted quotes for the 2016 Fuel Expansion project, a resolution accepting bid and awarding contract for 2016 Crookston Airport Improvements to Knife River Materials, a resolution to enter into an agreement with Widseth Smith Nolting to finalize the grant application for funding of the 2016 Crookston Airport Improvements, and resolution to approve grant to the Federal Aviation Administration for funding of the 2016 Crookston Airport Improvements.

 

 

CROOKSTON WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE HEARS ON THE CITY PROGRESS AS A GREENSTEP CITY

The Crookston Ways and Means Committee met immediately following the Crookston City Council meeting on Monday.  Green Step Cities Intern Caitlin McClellan reported to the committee on Crookston’s progress as a GreenStep City.  Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. The program is based upon 29 best practices and each best practice can be implemented by completing one or more actions at a 1, 2 or 3-star level, from a list of four to eight actions. These actions are tailored to all Minnesota cities, focus on cost savings and energy use reduction, and encourage civic innovation.  The two best practices of Crookston that McClellan was most impressed with were ‘Local Foods’ and ‘Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience’.  Local Foods includes the Farmers Market, Farmer to Plate Program, and the Riverside Community Garden.  Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience includes the Severe Weather Emergency Management Plan, Evacuation Centers with backup generators, and Community Emergency Response Team.  “I report to City Council so they are aware of what is going on and what the progress is,” said McClellan.  “This is still something that people in the community still care about and these are positive things.  This is great work that is being done and I just wanted it to be recognized”.

City Administrator Shannon Stassen recommended the committee approve an allocation not to exceed $40,000 to serve as matching dollars for the Red River Corridor application.  Some of the projects that were mentioned to be targets for the money were the Gentilly Bridge, the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 9, a floating dock for Wildwood Park, and a floating dock at Maplewood Park.  There is a September deadline for the request, and money can be applied for annually, so more projects for river improvements will be sought after in years to come.  Improving the Central Park river access was discussed as well.

The fire department has budgeted to replace the Fire Chief’s vehicle.  Bids were attained from the state as well as Brost Chevrolet and Christian Brothers Ford.  The lowest bid was from the State at $29,089.83, and with all accessories installed, the total price is $35,945.85.  The current vehicle would replace the building official’s truck.  The motion to proceed with the state bid was carried by the committee.

 

 

CHATAUQUA AND FRENCH-CANADIAN/METIS FESTIVAL IS THIS WEEKEND

The Chautauqua and French-Canadian/Metis Festival will celebrate history, culture and camaraderie at Old Crossing and Treaty Park near Huot. Ca Claque, a high-energy music, song and dance group from Canada, performed in 2014 and will return to the Festival. Performances will be in the big tent Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27 and 28, at 1:00 and 3:15 p.m. The band will also provide music for a dance at T&J’s in Red Lake Falls Saturday night.
The 35th annual festival begins Friday, Aug. 26, at 9 p.m. with a bonfire, singing and storytelling.               
A newcomer to the Festival will be Thomas Barret, an Ojibwe hip-hop musician from the Red Lake Nation. 
Another addition to the Festival will be films shown by a group called the Sand Baggers from Grand Forks, N.D. 
On Saturday and Sunday, author Michael Meuers of the Red Lake Nation will talk about Red Lake culture.  
Throughout the weekend, artists and artisans will demonstrate wool spinning and carding, butter making, yarn dying and broom making. 
Food, including French Festival specialties such a Tourtiere (meat pie) and bread made in the earth oven, will be available. Silent auctions will be held Saturday and Sunday.
Admission is free and the public is welcome to all events in the park.
The themes that are dear to AFRAN (Association of the French of the North) and the ways they are expressed in the 2016 Festival and Chautauqua reflect many aspects of our history
and heritage,” said Virgil Benoit of Huot. He is the president of AFRAN, which presents the annual event. 
The Old Crossing and Treaty Park is on County Road 11 seven miles northeast of Gentilly or nine miles southwest of Red Lake Falls.
For more information on the Chautauqua and Festival at Huot, contact Virgil Benoit at 218-253-2270 or Jerry Amiot at 218-289-8889.

 

 

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

The purpose of a small town festival, typically, is to bring the community together in celebration, as well as attract visitors and showcase the community and its businesses. There is a tourism benefit to the community, but, and perhaps more importantly, there is a community recruitment and retention aspect to it as well. Having attended several small town festivals in several different communities, I can say that I always leave an event with a distinct first impression of the community. That first impression can leave a lasting impression. You may never consider moving to that community should there be an opportunity in the future, or even ever coming back to visit.

That brings us to this past week’s Ox Cart Days festival. I have been in Crookston for Ox Cart Days essentially every year since I was able to walk, even after moving away. What was striking about this Ox Cart Days’ were some of the noticeably absent events, and the decentralization away from the park or the square at the old Crookston High School site. Are these necessarily bad changes? Am I just resistant to changing something I have such fond memories of? While it’s true that I have fond memories of Ox Cart Days from my teenage years, with two nights of dances, lip sync contests, and Oof-Dah tacos, I think its more than just nostalgia that has me concerned about the future of Ox Cart.

The events seemed very sparsely attended relative to year’s past, so I do think there is probably some objective data that could be gathered from local businesses to conclude that this year’s Ox Cart Days were not successful relative to years past from an economic perspective. From the subjective conversations I had with fellow festival-goers, I don’t think it was successful as a community showcase relative to previous years either.

So how did this happen? Truth is, I have no idea. I don’t live here anymore. I’m not involved enough to know what changes have been made. My guess is there are economic and demographic changes within the community that people may point to, lack of volunteers, the particular levels of engagement from community business leaders may be an issue, or just the engagement of the community overall. There are several reasons that Ox Cart Days may be on the decline. They are probably legitimate reasons, but none are excuses for not trying to put on the best community festival possible.

If there was a lack of support or engagement from businesses in the community, the event needs to be re-designed to be more appealing to them, so they are engaged. You don’t simply throw up your hands and say, “Fine, just the businesses that want to do something can do it on their own.” If there is just poor attendance in general, indicating a lack of support or engagement from the general community, find out what people want, and organize around that. Don’t just give up.

Ox Cart Days was the highlight of my teenage years’ summer. If I were a 16 year old in Crookston this past week, I would have looked for the medallion. That’s it. Nothing else I participated in exists anymore. Why? No central leadership for the event results in large groups, like teenagers, being left out completely of the planning because there is no planning. It’s just everyone doing their own thing. No theme. No vision. No chance at improving.

As I said earlier, this is not a criticism of any individual person or group. I don’t know enough about it to even know who those people would be. I just want to point out the decline, and maybe spur someone invested in this community who does know more about who these leaders are, or who they should be, to initiate some change. I will always bring my kids back to Ox Cart Days. I just hope they can have the opportunity to participate in a lip sync contest one of these years. That’s how I remember Crookston at its best, and that’s what a town festival is supposed to represent.

All of that being said, I want to thank all of the businesses and folks that made the effort this year to put on this year’s Ox Cart Days. There are many, many people who still do their best to make the week worth while, and that should not go unappreciated. These folks should be proud of the job they did, and hopefully there are more community leaders willing to step up next year because of your example.

Sarah Johnson

 

 

 

MONDAY - AUGUST 22,  2016

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL PIRATE HALL OF FAME BANQUET TO BE HELD SEPTEMBER 9

The 2016 Crookston High School Pirate Hall of Fame Banquet will be held on Friday, September 9 in the Crookston High School Commons.  The program will start at 5:00 PM with a meal catered by RBJ's Restaurant of Crookston with the cost of a ticket at $10.00. Tickets can be purchased at the Crookston High School office and the committee would like tickets to be purchased by September 6 so they can have a handle on the number of diners.  All monies raised from the banquet go back into the Hall of Fame committee's account to prepare for next year.

The inductees to the Pirate Hall of Fame will be:

Dave Barnum -
35 years as a science teacher while coaching cross-country and girl's track. He also coached 7th and 8th grade football for 18 years and taught class room drivers education  for a number of years. Dave was named the National Drivers Education and Traffic Safety of the Year. He was named the State Class A Girls Track Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1999. During his career the Pirate girls won four state championships in track and won 114 first place finishes.

Paul Kuznik - 
Was a two-time Minnesota State Wrestling Champ, plus a top academia who went to West Point attending the U.S. Military Academy where he wrestled and was captain his senior year and qualified for the NCAA Championships twice.  After his service in the Army, Paul has been in the medical device industry for the past 23 years.

Brent Reichert -
A 1975 graduate where he was class valedictorian. Brent earned 12 varsity letters in football, basketball (where he was All-State) and tennis where he set a state record of 102 wins and won the Region singles four straight years. Brent participated in choir, band and orchestra where he was All-State choir, highest possible ratings plus he was a Region champ in Speech finishing second at state. Brent is now a law partner with Robins Kaplan in Minneapolis.

1995 Crookston Pirates Baseball Team - 
The Pirates won the Minnesota State Class A Baseball Championship defeating Brooklyn Center 4-3 in 10 innings for the title and finished 22-5 that season.
Crookston won the Section 8A Tournament and started out with a 9-7 win over Melrose, 9-3 semi-final win over Luverne.  In the championship game, Chris Bruggeman walked and Marty Aubol courtesy ran for him. Chris Peterson sacrifice bunted Aubol to second and Aubol ended up at third base on a wild pitch. The winning run scored on a Jerrod Hann single past the second baseman to end the longest title game at that time in 49 years!
Members of the 1995 Pirates:
Marty Aubol
Mitch Bakken
Chris Bruggeman   (State All-Tournament Team)
David Clausen
Shaun Corbin
Jerrod Hann
Brock Hanson
Alfredo 'Bambi' Lopez
Erik Monteen
Travis Nicholas
Ben Parkin  (State All-Tournament Team)
Justin Paul
Chris Peterson
Garrett Rock
Bob Shimpa  (State All-Tournament Team)
Coach:  Jim Simon
Assistant Coach:  Brian Follette
Student Manager : The late Travis Brekken


Also being recognized will be the inaugural Crookston High School 'Legends Hall of Fame'.
Recognizing individuals who would qualify for entry in the Pirate Hall of Fame but distinguished themselves long before the Hall of Fame was established. The three individuals named to the Legends Hall of Fame and having their names on that plaque are:

Andrew Geer -
Class of 1925. Participated in football, basketball, baseball, track, opera, class play and glee club.

Tosten 'Toddy' Johnson -
Class of 1945.
First Pirate basketball player to score 500 points in a career and also lettered in football and track.

Willis Eide -
Class of 1939.
Although not participating in sports, Willis actively promoted them and would be asked by the teams to travel along to the games. Willis was a bench official for local basketball games, serving as timer and scorer. Willis died at the age of 29 in an automobile accident and the school has been giving a "Willis Eide Memorial Award" each spring to a local student-athlete.
 


 

 

SUMMER LUNCH PROGRAM SERVES 2,707 FREE MEALS TO KIDS IN CROOKSTON

The Eat United free summer lunch program wrapped up on August 11 and they served 2,707 meals in eight weeks is just over 84 meals a day.   Meals were served to kids 18 and under from June 13 through August 11.  “We were happy with the numbers this summer. We were much higher in June and then they actually dropped off after the fourth of July,” said Crookston Food Director Anna Brekken.  “Our goal for next year will be to keep the numbers high through July and August.  Some weeks in June, we were doing 120 meals a day and we would like to keep that number up there.”
They also served 101 second meals this summer.  “If we have leftovers we offer second meals to students that need it,” said Brekken.  “We had 61 paying adults this year, at four dollars a meal which is an increase from last year.  Overall, we are really happy with the program and the eight weeks was a good time frame.  We also had some pretty good weather this year which is always nice.”

 

 

 

SUNDAY - AUGUST 21,  2016

OX CART DAYS PARADE HAS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WATCH OVER 100 ENTRIES

The Ox Cart Days Torchlight parade is always the highlight of the third weekend in August and this year was more of the same with a lot of great floats and entries passing by huge crowds of people on Central Avenue and Barrette Street.
One of the highlights of the parade was the Crookston High School Marching Band as they looked sharp and sounded great in their new uniforms that are also school colors.  The band was greeted by big applause along the entire route.  You can see the band below with two pictures and a video and we also have a lot of pictures from the parade on the link below.

 
Click above to see the Crookston High School Marching band performing in their new uniforms


                                Bremer Bank had another creative idea with street bowling in this years parade


CLICK HERE FOR A LOT OF PICTURES FROM THE PARADE

 

SATURDAY NIGHT ENDS WITH A BANG WITH FIREWORKS OVER DOWNTOWN CROOKSTON


A great shot of fireworks over downtown Crookston (by KROX News Director Tyler Brekken)


 

SATURDAY - AUGUST 20,  2016

MORGAN KRESL CROWNED MISS CROOKSTON 2016

  
Morgan Kresl is crowned Miss Crookston 2016   Shaylin Goodrich, Isabel Rodriguez, Morgan Kresl, Britta Fagerlund, Kayla Stahlecker, Heidi Swanson


The Miss Crookston Scholarship Pageant was held Friday night at the Crookston High School with the theme, “Live Strong".
2015 Miss Crookston, Marietta Geist, crowned the new 2016 Miss Crookston Morgan Kresl the winner of all four categories, personal interview, talent, evening gown and on stage presence competitions and the Kari Thompson Community Service essay award.  Morgan is the daughter of Bill and Janel Kresl.
The first runner-up was Isabel Rodriguez, daughter of Agustin Jesus Rodriguez Delgado and Maria del Carmen Hernandez and winner of Miss Congeniality.
The second runner-up was Britta Fagerlund, daughter of Dwain and Kirsten Fagerlund and winner of the American Legion Auxiliary Freedom Award.
The Moxie award went to Shaylin Goodrich, daughter of Chris Goodrich.      
Ann Graham is the Miss Crookston Pageant Director and committee members include Marilee Hanson, Dawn Johnston, Brenda Kaiser, Lindsey Erdman, Dawn Skjei, Kristi Morris Leas and Adrianne Winger.  Marie Sandman choreographed the production number. Steve and Joe Krueger were in charge of the lights and sounds and Bo Brorby of KJAD Productions was the videographer. The contestant interview host was the Crookston Inn. Over three thousand dollars in educational scholarships were awarded. And two-thousand-two-hundred and fifty dollars in U.M.C. scholarships were awarded. Other pageant contestants were: Kayla Stahlecker, daughter of Trent and Kathy Stahlecker; and Heidi Swanson, daughter of Steve and Tracy Swanson.

PAST MISS CROOKSTON'S
2015 Marietta Geist        2014 Madison Crane
2013 Carly Welter          2000 Andrea Martin           1967 Georgia Rude
2012 Mikayla Hensrud    1999 Therese Noel             1966 Constance Broden
2011 Kelsey Kaml          1998 Sara Brorson             1965 Leann Juve
2010 Michelle Stahlecker 1997 Ann Gregg                1964 Sue Bakke
2009 Kristen Remick       1996 Alyson Gilbert           1963 Lolly Dewar
2008 Danie Wavra           1995 Michelle Larson        1962 Ruby Mathies
2007 Taylor Davis           1994 Jessica Sayler            1954 Jacqueline Schipper
2006 Alex Thompson       1993 Paula Olson              19?? Kelsey Homvik
2005 Taushia Brooks       1992 Carmen Kriebech      1948 Rosita Ellingson
2004 Alex Dorman           1991 Myra Odom              1947 Frances Ristau
2003 Katie Bakken          1990 Heather Williams       1946 Audrey Neff
2002 Bethany Meier         1985 Kristi Nelson             1938 Loretta Burgess
2001 Katie Proulx            1984 Kristi Palmer              1936 Marie Olson

KROX has pictures from the talent and formal wear portions of the pageant.  You can see them by clicking below.

CLICK HERE FOR TALENT AND FORMAL WEAR PICTURES

 

 

FOUR CROOKSTON SCHOOLS TEAM UP FOR A GOOD TURNOUT FOR CLASS OF 1966 REUNION


The class of 1966 Crookston Central High School, Mount St. Benedict, Cathedral and St. Joseph's schools Class of 1966 (Picture by Rand Hughes)

 

 

CLASSIC CRUISERS CAR SHOW BRING A LOT OF CLASSIC CARS AND PEOPLE TO CENTRAL PARK


The Crookston Classic Cruisers car club held their annual "Race to the Park" car show at Central Park on Saturday.  There were a lot of cool cars and visitors checking out the cars all day long.


Some of the many classic cars on display at Central Park.   A menu from "The Kegs" from 1957 for a little stroll down memory lane


 

 

KIDS PARADE AND ACTIVITIES SPONSORED BY WISH UPON A STAR WERE A HIT

The Wish Upon a Star kids parade at the Villa St. Vincent and pine box derby and other activities at the store were a big hit on Saturday.  Some pictures are below-


                        Two police officers and a farmer were part of the Wish Upon A Star kids parade entries

 


               Kids were having fun racing down the hill by Wish Upon A Star while a big crowd watched the action

 

 

FRIDAY - AUGUST 19,  2016

CROOKSTON SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET ON MONDAY

The Crookston School Board will be meeting on Monday, August 22 at 5:00 p.m. in the Crookston High School choir/orchestra room.  Leah Winjum with Polk County Public Health will give a school wellness update and Highland School Principal Chris Trostad will give an update on Highland Elementary School.

The board will be asked to approve the July and August 2016 bills. 
The board will be asked to approve the Educational Support Professionals (or Paraprofessionals) master agreement for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years, accept a letter of resignation from ECFC teacher Mary Jo Halos, approve a leave of absence request from Crookston Community Pool Director Cody Brekken for February 2017 through April 2018, approve a pay rate increase for all non-licensed substitute employees, approve the list of fall coaches, approve salary lane advancement requests, and approve the employment of Amanda Johnson and Adam Jore as paraprofessionals at Highland School, Shelly Pahlen as paraprofessional at Washington School, Gina Gunderson as ECFE Parent Educator at Washington School, Bobbie Jo Herbert as ECFE Aide at Washington School, Heidi Nuebert as long term substitute first grade teacher at Washington, Mary Gosse as Substitute Ed Asst/Title/Supervision at Washington, and Michelle Pfau as paraprofessional at the high school.
The lone item on the main agenda is to approve the Truth-in-Taxation Hearing Date.
The board will also be accepting a donation from the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) in the amount of $3,350 to reimburse for costs in building the Construction Trades house as well as a donation from the Crookston Education Foundation-Spring 2016 Grant Recipients.
The next regular School Board Meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 12 at 5:00 p.m. at the Crookston High School Choir/Orchestra Room.

 

 

CROOKSTON CITY COUNCIL, WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE TO MEET ON MONDAY

The Crookston City Council will meet at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  There is a scheduled announcement from Minnesota Senate Candidate Mark Johnson.
Items on the consent agenda are a resolution to approve City of Crookston bills and disbursements in the amount of $223,037.22,  resolution to reject all submitted quotes for the 2016 fuel expansion project, resolution accepting the bid and awarding the contract for 2016 Crookston Airport Improvements to Knife River Materials, Resolution to enter into an agreement with WSN to finalize the grant application for funding of the 2016 Crookston Airport Improvements, and resolution to approve grant to the Federal Aviation Administration for funding of the 2016 Crookston Airport Improvements.
The regular agenda has the second reading and final passage of ordinance No. 63 an ordinance to opt-out of the requirements of Minnesota Statutes, Section 462.3593 which defines and regulates Temporary Family Health Care Dwellings.
The Crookston Ways and Means Committee will meet in the City Hall Conference Room immediately following the City Council Meeting.

 

 

CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND TO UNVEIL NEW UNIFORMS IN OX CART DAYS PARADE

The Crookston High School Marching Band will be wearing their new uniforms on Saturday evening during the Ox Cart Days Torchlight Parade.  “Last year around this time, we kicked off our fundraiser for the new uniforms and it went pretty well," said Crookston School District Band Director Chris Gough.  "We were able to raise a lot of money in the community and then the School Board saw what we were doing and they liked it so they stepped in and helped us finish off the fundraiser and we were able to get our uniforms ordered this Spring.  This Summer they came in and we had all of the kids get sized and everybody has a new uniform to wear and we are excited to unveil them this Saturday at the Ox Cart Days Parade”.
Gough said it was time for an upgrade.  “I’ve heard stories that the previous uniforms had been around for 30 plus years and it was time for an upgrade," said Gough.  "The company that we went through is the same company that did the previous uniforms and we appreciated the longevity of those uniforms and hopefully the new ones can get another 30 plus years of use”.
They have been busy repainting the shields blue so they will match for the parade.  "The band has been working hard to get ready for the parade and we are excited to unveil the new uniforms and for everyone to see and hear the marching band," added Gough.
You can see the new uniforms on Saturday evening during the Ox Cart Days parade and if you can't make the parade KROX will have pictures from the parade on our website.


The new Pirate Marching Band uniform

 

 

CAR RUNS INTO BEGGS INSURANCE BUILDING, CAUSES DAMAGE TO EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR OF THE BUILDING\

On Wednesday August 17 at about 4:38 p.m. the Crookston Police Department was dispatched to 323 North Main Street (Beggs Insurance Agency) on a report that a vehicle had collided with a building. Upon arrival Officers identified the driver as Isadore David Bianco, 83 years old of Bemidji. Bianco stated he was intending to pull up alongside of the building; he went to push on the brake and realized his foot had fallen asleep; he was unable to stop the 2009 Ford Escape from colliding with the building. There was extensive damage to the vehicle, building and contents inside the building. Neither Bianco nor his passenger were injured.


           Damage to the inside of the building and damage to the outside of the building (Pictures by Rod Beiswenger)

 

 

 

LUCAS MEIER AND SHAUN NELSON FIND THE OX CART DAYS MEDALLION FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

Around 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Crookston High School sophomores Lukas Meier and Shaun Nelson found the 2016 Ox Cart Days Medallion, which they said was on the ground near the Lions Picnic Shelter in Highland Park, sort of in the grass by some concrete.
If their names sound familiar, it's because Meier and Nelson found the 2015 Medallion, too.
The hunt this year is sponsored by the Crookston Daily Times and University of Minnesota Crookston Office of Admissions.
Meier and Nelson won a UMC prize basket, a free, three-month subscription to the Crookston Daily Times, and $200 cash.


Michelle Christopherson (UMC Admissions), Lucas Meier and Shaun Nelson (Picture and story by Mike Christopherson of the Crookston Daily Times)

 

 

95 KIDS COMPETE IN THE AG COUNTRY PEDAL PULL

The Ag Country Pedal Pull the only event held Thursday afternoon and it had 95 kids competing in the event on Ash Street.  KROX was there and tallied all the winners and we have posted pictures of all 95 participants ages 2 through 11.  One more trophy was added this year with first, second and third place finishers all receiving trophies, which was enjoyed by all the third place finishers.  All the first, second and third place finishers were from Crookston.


Contestants were having fun in the Ag Country Pedal Pull on Thursday evening

4 year olds 5 year olds 6 year olds 7 year olds
1. Atley Goodman 1. Brady Samuelson 1. Adley Vigness 1. Colton Osborn
2. Kelby Fee 2. Morgan Boll 2. Nickolas Heller 2. Skyler Berg
3. Nolan Kuchan 3. Keaton Goodyke 3. Grace Boll 3. Evan Wagner
       
8 year olds 9 year olds 10 year olds 11 year olds
1. Makoti Weber 1. Hunter Nicholas 1. Anthony Reading 1. Ethan Boll
2. Hallie Nicholas 2. Teagan Lubinski 2. Koda Donarski 2. Joseph Correa
3. Reggie Winjum 3. Kaylie Clauson 3. Blake Melsa 3. Macy Fee


For 2, 3, 4 and 5 year old pictures click here

Click here for 6 and 7 year old pictures

For the 8 and 9 year old pictures click here

Click here for the 10 and 11 year old pictures


 

 

RIBFEST AND CORN AND BRAT FEED BRING IN A BIG CROWD

The Crookston Lions Club Ribfest and Crookston Kiwanis and Rotary corn and brat feed brought out a large crowd as hundreds of people enjoyed some tasty food on Friday evening at the Crookston downtown square.


           A big crowd enjoying the ribs, brats and corn on the cob at the Crookston downtown square


Draft's Sports Bar and Grill (right) and the Irishman's Shanty (Left) serve up ribs at the ribfest

 

THURSDAY - AUGUST 18,  2016

SEVERAL CHANGES, CANCELLATIONS AND POSTPONEMENTS MADE FOR MANY OX CART DAYS ACTIVITIES

The Art Display will continue all day at the Carnegie Library until 6:00 p.m.

The Ag Country Tractor Pedal Pull IS STILL ON at Ash Street at 5:00 p.m. Berry Burst and Bella’s Treats will be on site for treats, as well as the Old Cathedral for Face Painting and also other groups and organizations including the Masons Kid’s ID Program, Bike Crookston group, and more.  

For the first time in the 18 year history of the RiverView Health Bed Races, the event will not be held due to the inclement weather and rescheduling conflicts.  RiverView Health said in a news release, "With more participation and some sunshine, the bed races will return in 2017."

The Water Wars, a standalone event that has struggled with inclement weather since its initiation, will also be canceled for this year.   

The Corn & Brat feed will moved to tomorrow evening at the same time in conjunction with the Rib Fest which had a decline in vendors for 2016.

The Outdoor Movie will be moved to Saturday night and will be in conjunction with the Downtown Fireworks Display.

Please note: The Community Paddle event on Saturday has been postponed due to unavailability of the partners on that day. Canoe & Kayak goers are still invited to come and race the Red Lake River on Saturday and enjoy the other festivities.

 

 

FIVE VETERANS HONORED AT THE CROOKSTON VETERANS CEREMONY AT UMC

Five veterans were honored during the sixth annual Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Crookston Veterans Ceremony that took place on Wednesday in the University of Minnesota Crookston’s (UMC) Bede Ballroom.  Kevin Boyle, Ralph Hagen, Valerie O’Connell, Dwane Palmer, and Douglas Weaver were this year’s honorees.


        Doug Weaver, Dwane Palmer, Kevin Boyle, Valerie O'Connell, and Ralph Hagen were honored

Kevin Boyle enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1955.  During his 12 years of Marine Corps Service, Boyle was stationed in such places as California, Washington D.C, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Japan, and Vietnam.  Boyle stated, “My years in the Marine Corps were during peace time, but when stationed in Vietnam there was a big buildup of troops and plans in 1965”.  Boyle also joked, “I learned in Vietnam you did not take a shower when rounds were coming in, as you needed to get out and into a fox hole”.  Boyle retired at the rank of Sergeant and over his service, he received two Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.

Ralph Hagen was inducted into the Navy in 1944 when he turned 18 and received a letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Uncle Sam wanted him by the draft board.  Hagen boarded the USS President Jackson in San Francisco, then was sent to Pearl Harbor for training.  From there his ship went to many islands delivering Marine units.  Hagen helped deliver troops to Iwo Jima and was there when the American flag was raised the second time on Mt. Suribachi.  Hagen said, “We traveled to Japan after the atomic bomb was let off and the Japanese surrendered.  We were transporting occupation forces back and forth from the United States to the South Pacific”.  Hagen was discharged from the Navy in 1946 with the rank of Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class.  Hagen earned the American Campaign Medal, Victory World War II, Asiatic Pacific Area & 1 Star, and the Philippine Liberation & 1 Star.  When being honored at Wednesday’s ceremony, Hagen joked, “Now you all understand it was not the Civil War that I was a part of”.

Valerie O’Connell was inducted into the Army in 1981 and is the daughter of fellow honoree Kevin Boyle.  Valerie stated, “A recruiter came to the school and I talked with him.  I was adventurous and so I told my Dad (who was a retired Marine).  At first he laughed, but I told him he had to sign papers because I was only 17”.  Kevin signed the paperwork the next day.  After being stationed in Germany, O’Connell went to the Korean Language School in Monterey, California to prepare for her tour in Korea.  She also studied electronic voice interceptor in San Angelo, Texas to prepare for North Korean Transmissions.  O’Connell served in the Lebanon Hostage Crisis in 1981 and Panama Grenada 1989, and was discharged in 1989 with the rank of Sergeant E-5.  O’Connell received the following medals/ribbons:  Expert, M-16 Rifle, Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, and Army Achievement Medal.  When her father was asked about O’Connell being recognized during the ceremony, Boyle said, “I’m so proud of her, I’ve always been proud of her”.

Dwane Palmer volunteered and entered the service of the US Army, 156th General Hospital in 1946 at Camp Crowder, Missouri.  Palmer started as a medic and then trained to be a surgical technician.  The majority of patients he served were wounded soldiers from the war who were in long term recovery requiring multiple surgeries.  Palmer said, “I took care of my boys, but also had to put some of them away, especially at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital”.  At one point, Palmer indicated that he was administering “37 shots every three hours,” mostly pain-relieving medication for those coming out of surgery.  Palmer separated from service in 1948 and has been a member of the American Legion for 70 years, as well as the “40 and 8” organization, where he rose to the position of Station Master.

Doug Weaver was inducted into the Navy in 1944 and was stationed in San Diego on the USS Saidor.  They were sent to Pearl Harbor and tied up next to the USS Utah which was lying on its side.  The USS Saidor served as a photographic laboratory for the atomic bomb testing program.  Weaver served as a hydraulic aircraft mechanic working on the F6F Hellcat, an American carrier-based fighter plane.  Weaver shared the lessons he learned while serving, saying “The discipline was necessary, I’m glad not to have been in the Guard House, and I’m very glad for the experience of serving my country”.  Weaver was discharged from the Navy in 1946 at the rank of Seaman 1st Class and received the Victory Medal WWII, the Asiatic Pacific Area and the American Area Campaign Medals.

Each honoree was presented with a Plaque to recognize their service.  Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Crookston honors veterans every year to kick-off Ox Cart Days.  After the ceremony, all of the attendees were invited to join the Ice Cream Social in the UMC Mall.


Crookston Mayor Gary Willhite wlecomes everyone to the Veterans ceremony and Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier was master of ceremonies.

 

 

CARLEY KNUTSON IS CROWNED LITTLE MISS AND AVA LOPEZ IS CROWNED JUNIOR MISS CROOKSTON


Carley Knutson is crowned Little Miss and Ava Lopez is crowned Junior Miss Crookston


The 2016 Little Miss Crookston and Junior Miss Crookston pageant was held at the Crookston National Guard Armory on Wednesday evening with 15 girls competing for the two titles.

LITTLE MISS CROOKSTON -

Eight year old Carley Knutson was crowned Little Miss Crookston 2016 while Gracelyn Kvasager was first runner up and Emma LaPlante was the second runner up.
People's choice award went to Emma LaPlante.
On stage question winner was Gracelyn Kvasager.
Talent winner was Emma LaPlante.
Formal wear winner was Carley Knutson.
Other contestants were Addisyn Schiller, Teagan Fanfulik, Ava Martin, Makenna Kopecky, Avery Trudeau, Rylee Anderson, and Mercedez Carlson.

 
Little Miss 1st runner up Gracelyn Kvasager, LMC Carley Knutson and 2nd runner up Emma LaPlante


JUNIOR MISS CROOKSTON-

11 year old Ava Lopez was crowned Junior Miss Crookston, while Jenna Coauette was first runner up and Isabella Gutierrez was the second runner up.
People's choice award went to Ava Lopez.
On stage question winner was Ava Lopez.
Talent winner was Ava Lopez.
Formal wear winner was Jenna Coauette.
Other contestants were Calleigh Fanfulik and Macy Fee.


Junior Miss 1st runner up Jenna Coauette, JMC Ava Lopez, 2nd runner up Isabella Gutierrez
 

FOR PICTURES OF ALL THE PARTICIPANTS CLICK HERE

 

 

 

RIVERVIEW HEALTH DODGEBALL TOURNAMENT CHAMPS CROWNED AT THE NEW UMC WELLNESS CENTER

The annual RiverView Health Dodgeball tournament was held for the first time in the new University of Minnesota Crookston Wellness Center on Wednesday evening.  There were 10 teams in two divisions split into 10U and 13U.
The Wild Warriors won the 10U division and the Average Joes won the 13U Division.

10 DIVISION
First Place: Wild Warriors – Ryan Clauson, Rylan Lubarski, Jakob Stassen, Carter Fee, Reggie Winjum, Jaxon Stassen
Second Place: Dodgeball Dudes – Carter Trudeau, Ashton Shockman, Isaiah Donarski, Evan Shockman, Ty Larson, Ethan Boll
Third Place: Dodgezillas – Jayden Steinbrink, Koda Donarski, Brady Chandler, Brandon Colborn, Jay Reese, Connor Maruska


                                   The Wild Warriors were the 10U champions


13U DIVISION
First Place: Average Joe’s – Carter Bruggeman, Easton Tangquist, Jacob Miller, Brooks Butt, Cade DeLeon, Ashton Larson
Second Place: Drafts Bad News Bears – Blake Melsa, Jackson Demarais, Jackson Reese, Alex Longoria, Kaleb Thinglstad, Jack Doda
Third Place: Dodge Fathers – Jaxon Wang, Max Staehnke, Nolan Dans, Zach Brown, Cameron Weiland, Matthew Murphy


The Average Joes won the 13U division and are pictured with their championship t-shirts (Picture by RiverView Health)

 

 

SIX GIRLS TO COMPETE FOR THE TITLE OF MISS CROOKSTON ON FRIDAY NIGHT

Six girls will be competing for the title of Miss Crookston in the 26th Annual Miss Crookston Scholarship Pageant starting at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 19 at the Crookston High School Auditorium with the theme of Live Strong.  “We are trying to positively promote and enhance the wonderful positive qualities of young women,” said Miss Crookston Pageant Committee member Ann Graham.  “There are so many qualities, such as wisdom and intelligence, not just the strength part as far as working out.” 
We Clik Photography has put together another preshow with pictures of the girls around town.  This year they were out at the new UMC Wellness Center and the slide show has the girls having fun and displaying strength in the pictures.
Tickets are $10 and they are available at Crookston Floral and Montague’s Flower Shop and extra tickets will be available at the door.  All of the ticket money goes to the educational scholarships.
The Miss Crookston Pageant has had hundreds of young women compete for the title of Miss Crookston and thousands of dollars of scholarships. “This is our 26th year and we have had over 200 young women in the pageant and given over $63,000 worth of educational scholarships,” said Graham.  “It is a very rewarding experience to be in Miss Crookston, definitely more than you get to see on Friday night.”
This year’s Miss Crookston contestants are Kayla Stahlecker, Brita Fagerlund, Shaylin Goodrich, Heidi Swanson, Isabel Rodriguez, and Morgan Kresl.  The pageant will be hosted by 2011 Miss Crookston Kelsey Kaml.

Brita Fagerlund, daughter of Dwain and Kirsten Fagerlund, with a vocal talent.  Brita’s sponsor is the Biermaier Chiropractic Clinic.
Shaylin Goodrich, daughter of Chris Goodrich, with a dance talent.  Shaylin’s sponsor is Goodrich Rentals.
Morgan Kresl, daughter of Bill and Janel Kresl, with a talent of piano.  Morgan’s sponsor is RiverView Health.
Isabel Rodriguez, daughter of Agustin Jesus Rodriguez Delgado and Maria del Carman Hernandez, with a vocal talent. Isabel’s sponsor is the Villa St. Vincent.
Kayla Stahlecker, daughter of Trent and Kathy Stahlecker, with a jazz dance talent.  Kayla’s sponsor is the Irishman’s Shanty.
Heidi Swanson, daughter of Steve and Tracy Swanson, with a vocal talent.  Heidi’s sponsor is Bella Ortiz Photography.



The 2016 Miss Crookston contestants and Miss Crookston 2015 Marietta Geist stopped by KROX this week

 

 

NEW CROOKSTON BLUE LINE CLUB EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SETTLING IN TO HIS NEW JOB

The Crookston Blue Line Club recently hired Elliot Bates as its new Executive Director and he officially started the job on Monday, August 15.  Bates has lived in Fargo for the last 10 years and grew up in Drayton, North Dakota and played hockey for Grafton in his youth before he graduated from Fargo Shanley and played his high school hockey for Fargo South. “Crookston is a good town and I’m happy to be here,” said Bates.  “For the last couple of years I’ve been involved in Junior Hockey.  Two years ago I was assistant coach for the Yellowstone Quake of the NA3HL and this last year I was in St. Cloud with the Granite City Lumberjacks of the NA3HL where we won a division championship and were able to move many guys on to the next level.  I also was a scout for the Austin Bruins in the North American League and we have a couple alumni in the NHL from that team.  I was very excited to be a part of that organization.”
Bates has a reason for leaving the Junior Hockey world. “I want to get back to my roots and be able to stay in one place.  Junior Hockey does take its toll,” said Bates.  “It is a blast, but being on the road for three hours a day just to watch a kid skate does begin to wear on you.  I wanted to settle down a little bit and start building Crookston hockey back up.”
Bates has not been in Crookston long, but so far he is impressed with the Crookston Sports Center facility. “I am excited to see the hockey community of Crookston,” said Bates.  “We have an unbelievable facility here and I want to utilize it the right way. I know the numbers here aren’t where they used to be or where we want them, but I have some ideas that can improve that over the years.”
The Crookston Blue Line Club mission statement is "To Support the Opportunity for all Youth to Participate and Play the Game of Hockey."


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