SATURDAY - JUNE 18,  2016


At approximately 8:15 Friday evening the Crookston Police Department responded to a bomb threat at Walmart in Crookston. The authorities evacuated the customers and employees and the building was searched, and reopened a few hours later. Assisting in the incident were the employees of Walmart, Polk County Dispatchers, Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies, Minnesota St. Patrol, University of Minnesota Crookston Security Services and the Crookston Fire Department. No other details are available at this time as the case remains active.



FRIDAY - JUNE 17,  2016


The Crookston Splash Park grand opening attendance was a tremendous success with hundreds of children and their families attending the ceremony on Thursday evening at the Highland Park Complex.  The 350 nachos from Taco Johns and the 450 hotdogs were all gone and the kids enjoyed playing in the brand new splash park. 

Hannah Hanshaw was enjoying the park. “It is pretty cool and awesome to have something like this in Crookston for the kids to have fun,” said Hanshaw. “It works well with the playground and skate park, so they are having tons of fun.”

Nicole Volker loved the park. “I think it will be an amazing addition for the kids in Crookston and give them a lot of activities and enjoyment for years to come,” said Volker. “Everyone did a great job in making it and putting in it a good spot,” said Volker.

Don Cavalier, Crookston Park Board chairman and Rotarian said the event demonstrated what partnerships can do for the community with the city, Lions, Rotary and community donations. “It is really looking good with the work done by the committee,” said Cavalier. “Scott Riopelle did a good job getting the final touches like grass in place for tonight. The skate park, playground and the splash park put it all together for the kids.  The Lions shelter gives some shade, the Rotary donated money for the benches which are nice, so we are happy about how it all turned out.”

Mayor Gary Willhite presented the Splash Park fundraiser coordinators Ann Longtin and Shirley Iverson certificates of appreciation.

Click above to see the video of the kids enjoying the new splash park at the Highland Complex

Hundreds of children enjoyed the grand opening of the Crookston Splash Park Thursday evening

Crookston Mayor Gary Willhite gives a certificate of appreciation to Splash Park fundraisers, Ann Longtin and Shirley Iverson

The Crookston Splash park is a great addition to the Highland Complex park.  Kids enjoyed the grand opening





Hugo’s Family Marketplace is pleased to announce that Kristi Magnuson Nelson, President of Hugo’s, has been selected as one of Progressive Grocer Magazine’s Top Women in Grocery for 2016. Progressive Grocer Magazine recognizes women in the grocery industry each year, this being their 10th year of selecting recipients of the Top Women in Grocery award. They define the top women in grocery as dedicated professionals who routinely transcend the limits of what’s expected, both at work and in the wider world of their industry peers and community. Top Women are also creative, resourceful, assertive and inspirational in their leadership, generous with their time and expertise, and unequivocally passionate about what they do. Progressive Grocer Magazine cites Kristi’s leadership through the remodel of 5 of their 10 stores in the last year. Specifically noting the expansion of the Natural Foods sections and expanded deli departments. They also recognized Hugo’s successful partnership with Altru Health System in launching the Healthy Living program. “I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition”, said MagnusonNelson. “I am fortunate to be surrounded by amazingly talented, caring and ambitious women and men working in our stores every day, who all contribute to our success.” In 2014, Magnuson Nelson was awarded the National Grocer’s Association Spirit of America Award, and in 2015, she received the North Dakota Grocer of the Year Award. Magnuson Nelson was selected as one of Prairie Business Magazine’s Top Women in Business recently. She is active with the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce, currently serving as past chair of the Board of Directors. Kristi also serves on the board of directors for the local Prairie Harvest Foundation, the North Dakota Grocers Association, Minnesota Grocers Association and the National Grocers Association. She also supports the local United Way, UND, North Dakota Museum of Art and several other organizations in the communities they serve. Magnuson Nelson and her husband, Bob, live in Grand Forks





The Ninth District American Legion Auxiliary held their 2016 Convention in Mahnomen, Minnesota on June10-11 2016.
Auxiliary members from Crookston, representing the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #20 were Margee Keller and Sharon Lanctot. Linda Gibson of Moorhead, Minnesota, District President of the American Legion Auxiliary presided.  The Department of Minnesota Commander James Kellogg brought his greetings.
Special highlights of this convention were the performance of the Ninth District Band.  The presentation of President Gibson’s project proceeds to Lance Akers of the Honor Flight program.  President Gibson was able to raise $10,246, enough for 13 veterans to go on the next Honor Flight.  Awards received by Crookston Unit#20 were the Rapacz Traveling Trophy for our Membership program, Margee Keller Chairman, the Christensen Hoie Award for our Poppy Program, Jamie Cassavant, Chairman and a Certificate of Participation for our Public Relations Program.
The newly elected officers for 2016 American Legion Auxiliary, District 9 are:  Joanie Krantz, District President from Karlstad; Doreen Norgaard, District 9 First Vice President, from Bagley; Lynn Carr, District 9 Second Vice President, from Thief River Falls; Kathy Englund, 1st Executive Committee Member, from Karlstad and Patricia Hanson, 2nd Executive Committee Member from Middle River.

Sharon Lanctot, American Legion Auxiliary President Unit 20, Crookston, Linda Gibson, District 9 President and Margee Keller, Membership Chair, Unit 20, Crookston.




Knife River Materials, the bituminous paving contractor for the Crookston street improvement projects will be working on West Robert Street on Monday, June 13, weather permitting. The work on West Robert Street will involve milling the bituminous surface from Main Street to the Sampson’s Addition Bridge.  Please avoid the area if possible and use an alternative route to and from the Sampson’s Addition while the work is ongoing. Once the milling work is completed the roadway will be reopened to traffic.




THURSDAY - JUNE 16,  2016


RiverView Health is looking for a few good men and women, and is asking for the community’s help in bringing qualified physicians to its organization.
The RiverView Health Community Physician Recruiter Incentive Program was recently launched to engage the community in the effort to connect with and successfully recruit physicians to RiverView’s great community and hospital for a rewarding career in medicine. In return, anyone responsible for igniting the spark that eventually brings a qualified physician to full-time employment at RiverView will be justly rewarded financially.
The program is an effort to get out ahead of the forecasted physician shortage.
Studies show that there will be a shortage of about 90,000 physicians in the year 2020 and an even greater gap of about 130,000 in 2025. With the community’s help, RiverView is looking to keep that shortage at bay.  “We are so blessed with the support of the communities we serve, each and every day,’’ said RiverView Health President and CEO Carrie Michalski. “RiverView has hundreds of friends that are part of our nonprofit association, regular volunteers, Foundation donors and members of our Hospital Auxiliary.  So when faced with a challenge to ensure an ample supply of talented and highly trained physicians to anchor our community hospital, at a time when the nation has a shortage of doctors, who better to turn to than our friends and neighbors?  We all care deeply about our quality of life and it is likely most of us know talented young men and women who aspire to become doctors, or experienced physicians with a connection to Northwestern Minnesota who desire to make this home.  This program is to encourage a coordinated community effort that will spark conversations, and assist RiverView Health in identifying physician partners who can be recruited to join us in carrying on over a century of service to our friends and neighbors.’’

How it Works
Community recruiters assist the hospital by sharing physician opportunities with family, friends, classmates, colleagues and others. When a physician or physician-in-training expresses a desire to learn more, community recruiters complete a form (by paper or online at to alert RiverView of the potential candidate. Follow-up communication will be conducted based on candidate preference.
Upon physician commencement of full-time employment with a minimum commitment of three years of service, the recruiter will be paid $10,000, as well as per year payments of $2,000 for the first five years the physician serves at RiverView Health.
The list of current physician opportunities at RiverView is always posted on the RiverView Health website at

Currently RiverView’s recruitment priorities are:
·       Family Practice, with OB
·       General Surgery
·       Internal Medicine

“Inviting the community to join our recruiting efforts extends the network of individuals vested in the future of our health system exponentially,’’ Michalski stated.

Why it Matters
RiverView Health is a community owned hospital and a key component to the success of the community. RiverView provides care for people near and far, bringing big business to the community as a vital component of the local economy. Having a local, high caliber healthcare facility in the community is also a major factor when people choose where they live.
RiverView Health has nearly 400 employees and an annual payroll of $27 million. The loss of the hospital would create a devastating impact on the community in both the local economy and the quality of life.
RiverView Health is a growing and vibrant institution in the community. But it takes dedicated physicians and staff to provide healthcare experiences that consistently exceed patients’ expectations through exceptional people and exceptional care for exceptional outcomes.

A Great Place to Live
While bringing native physicians back to the area is a welcome idea, RiverView Health also wants to encourage those from other areas to join its community and RiverView family.
Dr. Mirza Baig is a gastroenterologist at RiverView who, along with his wife Fugi, moved to Crookston in 1999. A native of Pakistan, Dr. Baig said they were immediately impressed with how friendly everyone was at all times.  “People are so nice. That’s the thing that’s kept us here,’’ he shared. “The people are genuinely, genuinely nice. We found the things that we were looking for in a community: safety, quality of life, things to do, a financial fit. The town is beautiful. Yes, it’s flat but I appreciate the vast open fields and sky, and the beautiful sunsets.’’
On his long list of pros of living in the Crookston community, Dr. Baig also includes affordable housing, proximity to lakes, and the ability to drive to work in 5 to 10 minutes.  “I can leave work and go to my kids’ events and get back to work in a short time.’’
The Baig’s two children, son Tai, 14, and daughter Zara, 11, were both born at RiverView Health. Both participate in a variety of sports and excel academically. Tai has a third degree poom belt in Tae Kwon Do (a black belt in his age division), and Zara recently took 15th place out of 170 students in a section of the regional Math Masters of Minnesota Challenge and was the winner of the Crookston School District’s spelling bee for fifth through eighth grades.  “The schools here are very good,’’ Dr. Baig stated. “Small classes allow for so much attention, it’s like a private school. The teachers are excellent. A small school allows kids to try out everything.’’
Fugi, a native of Chicago, is a strong believer in giving back to the community. She is a member of the Agassiz Study Club, coordinates children’s theatre and volunteers in the Crookston School District; now serving as the president of the Parent Teacher Organization. Dr. Baig recently volunteered his time at the school as well, answering Zara’s call to help draw chalk art on the sidewalk outside Highland School for Teacher Appreciation Week.
And while the Baigs may be outnumbered by Scandinavians in the community, they both report that it has become much easier to find ethnic food on store shelves in Crookston, and with Grand Forks being so close and Fargo only an hour away, there are a variety of ethnic restaurants and cultures to be shared.
One of Dr. Baig’s favorite community events is the International Dinner Series held at the University of Minnesota-Crookston. He credits the University with bringing great culture to the area.

A Great Place to Practice
Dr. Baig has worked in a variety of settings, including Boston, Chicago and southern Minnesota. In all of his experience, it’s the staff at RiverView Health that impresses him the most.  “Ninety-nine percent of the staff has unbeatable work ethic. They will show up in a storm. They know what they are doing. They make my work pleasant.’’
The Baigs have also made RiverView a more pleasant place to work, creating a scholarship to benefit RiverView employees looking to further their medical education in memory of Dr. Baig’s father Mirza Abdur Rahim Baig.
Dr. Baig sees patients at RiverView’s Specialty Clinic, Crookston, at RiverView’s recently opened Thief River Falls Clinic, and at First Care Health Center, Park River, ND.
For more information on this program or to offer information on a possible recruit, call Stacey Bruggeman at 218-281-9440.




The first round of judging for the Chamber Beautification Awards has been completed, the businesses are up the award in each category.

Presentation of a Landscaped Business
Drafts Bar and Grill
Agcountry Farm Credit Union
Crookston National Bank
American Federal Bank
Bremer Bank
Fischer Law Office
Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home
Happy Joe’s

Presentation of a Store Front Business
Rejuv’ Salon & Spa
This is Sew Broadway
Andy Oman State Farm
Longtin Agency, Inc.
Renu Dental
Pulkrabek State Farm Insurance
UMC Bookstore
Willow & Ivy

Presentation of a Public Institution or Church
Crookston Fire Department
Evangelical Covenant
St. Paul’s Lutheran
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Polk County DAC
Villa St. Vincent
Trinity Lutheran
Our Savior’s Lutheran
Roman Catholic Diocese of Crookston
Crookston Library

Brand New Category: Presentation of a Building Restoration
Wonderful Life Foods
Christian Brothers Ford
Sanbridge Properties




The free summer lunch program for Crookston children ages birth to 18 years started on Monday and Crookston School District Food Service Director Anna Brekken said they had approximately 70 children and hope they get more each day.  They serve lunch at Highland Park Complex at the Lion’s shelter from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  A chicken patty on a bun served with fruit, vegetable and milk was served on Wednesday and meals are given away on a first come first served basis.  Meals are free to all children.




The Polk County Toward Zero Deaths Coalition has recognized the efforts of Premier Signs, a locally owned billboard advertising company in Mentor and Sky Digitals Sign in Fargo, as they recognized the action to reduce fatal and serious injuries on Minnesota roads.  The two companies generously donate in kind billboard signage promoting traffic safety.  
Their advertising supports the efforts of the Polk County Toward Zero Deaths Coalition by working to create a culture for which traffic fatalities and serious injuries are no longer acceptable. 
For more information contact Leah Reitmeier at or call Polk County Public Health at 281-3385.

Lieutenant Brad Norland, Minnesota State Patrol/TZD Coalition Member; Nick Aakhus of Premier Signs, and Leah Reitmeier, Toward Zero Deaths Coordinator-Polk County Public Health



Erin Hammer of Erskine, and Ryan Foss of Brainerd, are competing in the Endurance Limits USA rowing team competing in the Great Pacific Race.  They are trying to row from California to Hawaii and unfortunately the trip has been cut short after the team took on a big wave and briefly capsized before righting itself. During the tussle, team member Erin Hammer sustained a broken wrist. After tending to the injury on the boat per their training, they made the decision to seek more advanced medical attention. Both Erin Hammer and Ryan Foss were evacuated from the boat via helicopter Monday morning. As a result of this unforeseen accident that no one could have prepared for, Endurance Limits USA has made the difficult decision to suspend their efforts to complete the Great Pacific Race. The team will provide a more detailed race recap in the near future, but for now they send thanks to family, friends, sponsors and supporters for the generosity and support. Erin and Ryan are grateful that, despite this turn of events, they have been able to raise more than $150,000 for children’s hospitals across the country.




WEDNESDAY - JUNE 15,  2016


The University of Minnesota Board of Regents met recently with a lengthy discussion on the budget for the campuses.  The Twin Cities campus has a tuition hike in place while the tuition for University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) will remain the same for the upcoming school year. “The budget was quite a debate for the regents as a tuition was included for the main campus but not UMC which is great news for our students, so it will be the same for next year,” said UMC Chancellor Dr. Fred Wood.   “There was a protest at the meeting on the tuition increase of two percent for the residents on the Twin Cities campus and seven and one half percent for non-resident students.”  They will provide ready enrolled students a cut to five percent and resident students will have a broadened scholarship program to cover up to $120,000.  “That is a big help for those families along with Pell grants, it was a struggle for the regents,” said Wood. “UMC will have operational costs covered by the regents budget along with the debt service for the Wellness Center.”  UMC has hired Patrick Troumbley to be the director of the new wellness center.   “He will be terrific so we feel good about the budget being covered, the center has work being wrapped up by the contracts, the elevators work, equipment is arriving, fire safety equipment in place so we are getting set up for the students and as we get used to it we will look for opportunities for the community,” said Wood. 

The state didn’t pass the bonding bill approved, but UMC is hopeful it will get passed.  “We don’t have a lot in the bill, but just below the line we have a $4 million project for the student success initiative to help with undergraduate research throughout the campus as we celebrate 50 years as a college and 20 years as an online campus,” said Wood. UMC will have three promotions this year with John Loegering promoted from associate professor to professor in Natural Resources, Matthew Simmons from assistant professor to associate professor in Natural Resources and Kristie Walker from assistant professor to associate professor in the Golf and Turf department. 
Summer will be busy on the UMC campus. “We will wrap up the wellness center and renovate Hill Hall,” said Wood. “We did not get the money for the second phase of the electrical infrastructure, but that is all right as phase one has made a safe reliable system.”
President Kaler provided a remodeling of the office of the chancellor which has not be done since Dr. Sahlstrom was chancellor.  Wood invited everyone out to campus to see the beautiful gardens. “Folks are welcome to see the gardens which are beautiful done by Jerry Rude along with the community garden which is doing well,” said Wood. “The Mark Olsonawski Scholarship golf tourney is June 23 to raise money for the scholarship fund and we have the Northwest School reunion on June 25 on campus for the Aggies which are always welcome to come anytime.”




It was a beautiful day and a record year for RiverView Foundation’s 12th Annual Golf Classic Monday, June 13. Over $35,000 was raised during the event.

Nineteen teams participated in the tournament with the Rumors team coming out on top; team members are Bill Tyrell, Tim Moe, Eddie Walker, Mark Lyczewski and Scott Corbin. Second place went to Invest Forward; third to Crookston Welding & Machine/DS Beverages/JJ’s Body Shop; fourth to State Farm/Liberty Business Systems/Sky Digital Advertising, and American Federal Bank/Crookston Building Center took fifth place.
Jodi Dragseth won the longest putt in the female division, while Bill Tyrell was the male winner. Jen Nelson won the closest to the pin contest for the women and Scott Halseth won for the men. Crystal Maruska won the women’s Nike Hybrid Club, Brenda Froeber won the women’s grand prize drawing for a Taylor Made Driver, and Craig Morgan won the men’s grand prize drawing of a Cleveland Driver. All clubs were donated by Kent Bruun.

This year’s tournament was made possible by the following corporate sponsors: CRL Consulting Radiologists, Glen and Marlys Finkenbinder, Hanratty/USI, Hugo’s Family Marketplace, New Horizon Foods, Altru Health System, Dr. Colin and Lorianne Fennell, Thrifty White Pharmacy, Invest Forward, CL Linfoot Company, Lunseth Plumbing and Heating, and Roger and Lois Samuelson.
“I want to sincerely thank all the tournament sponsors, players and contributors for making the 2016 Golf Classic the Foundation’s biggest success,” said RiverView Foundation Director Kent Bruun.  “These supporters play a major role in helping RiverView Health acquire the state-of-the-art equipment needed to deliver exceptional healthcare.’’
The June 13 proceeds will go toward RiverView Health’s Vital Monitor Project for the Emergency Department

Vital Monitor Project
The monitors are mobile units placed at the bedside of patients to track cardiac rhythms, patient temperature and other vital sign measurements that are recorded in the patient's electronic medical record. “The vital monitor upgrades are an essential component to the Emergency Department being able to continue to deliver safe care and appropriately monitor our patients,’’ Bruun stated. “This project will help RiverView Health carry out its mission to deliver a healthcare experience that consistently exceeds patients’ expectations.’’

All for a Good Cause
With the profit from this year’s tournament, the Foundation has now raised over $292,800 in the past twelve years to fund priority projects focused on patient care.

The following is a summary of projects accomplished through the Classic profits:

2016: $35,340 for three vital monitors for the Emergency Department;
2015: $29,000 toward the infusion/PCA pumps and lab analyzer;
2014: $28,500 toward the vital monitoring system project;
2013: $27,000 toward the work simulator project;
2012: $27,000 toward the purchase of three anesthesia machines;
2011: $25,500 to a central cardiac monitoring system for the ER;
2010: $22,600 to the CT/MRI radiology project;
2009: $23,000 to secure inpatient beds;
2008: $22,000 to the hospital inpatient renovation project;
2007: $20,000 to purchase digital heart monitoring/event recording for RiverView’s primary care clinics;
2006: $16,700 to add stereotactic 3-dimensional breast biopsy services;
2005: $16,200 to update the telemetry heart monitoring system for the Intensive Care Unit

The 13th Annual Golf Classic will be held June 12, 2017.

RiverView Foundation’s mission is to assure continued excellence in healthcare.  If you are interested in helping to support this project or any other Foundation project, contact Bruun at 218-281-9249 or toll free at 1-800-743-6551, extension 9249.  
Bruun can also be reached by email at

First place team, Rumors (left to right): Eddie Walker, Tim Moe, Mark Lyczewski, Scott Corbin and Bill Tyrell





The Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a driver who claimed she struck a person who was roller blading along Highway 32, south of Red Lake Falls on Monday evening.  Red Lake County Deputies and the Red Lake Falls Ambulance Service responded to the scene, near the junction of Highway 32 and Red Lake County road 114 and when they arrived they found James Marvin Hanson, 19 of Red Lake Falls, had been struck by a car and he sustained substantial injuries.  Chelsey Lynn Chaput, 23 of Red Lake Falls, was southbound on Highway 32 when her 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix struck Hanson who was roller blading on the right edge of the pavement in the southbound lane.  The car sustained minor damage on the front right corner and Hanson was transported to the RiverView Health Emergency room in Crookston by the Red Lake Falls ambulance.  Hanson is currently in the hospital, in stable condition and is expected to recover from the injuries he sustained in the collision.  The accident is under investigation by the Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office.




Veteran’s and friends of the American Legion setting flags on the Memorial Walkway for Flag Day.  (Picture by RJ Anderson)




TUESDAY - JUNE 14,  2016


The Crookston City Council approved the sale of several properties in the flood plain and by the arena at their meeting on Monday.  “We are selling a lot of land in the flood plain of a home we acquired in the grant process back in 2006,” said City of Crookston Finance Director Angel Weasner.  “We are selling it to the current tenant in Sampsons Woodland Addition.  We are also selling two lots to South Shore Landing, formerly Northridge Assets, for the apartment complex to be built by Draft’s Bar and Grill.” 

The city will administer the 2016 small cities development program through Northwest Minnesota Multi County Housing.  “We have an administration contract when we received the $600,000 grant for downtown development,” said Weasner. “Northwest Minnesota Multi County Housing in Mentor is administering the grant, we just receive the funds and work with them.”

The council held a public hearing on establishing a special service district fee for flood control for 2017 which is the last year of this 20 year service fee.  There were no comments from residents and the council approved the resolution after the hearing. Another hearing was held on the vacation of an alley abutting lots 97-192 in Norcross Addition. There were no comments from residents and the council approve the resolution.

The council entered into a Novation Agreement with Northridge Assets LLC and South Shore Landing LLC at their meeting this week. Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority executive director Craig Hoiseth said it is just an agreement that the Northridge Assets company has dedicated a new name to their development called South Shore Landing for the apartment complex they are building next to Draft’s Bar and Grill.

The council also adopted a Fisher Avenue Corridor Development Plan at their meeting on Monday.  City Administrator Shannon Stassen said the plan is part of a grant.  “This is part of applying for the tax credits and a broader base for the Agassiz Townhomes Apartments plan,” said Stassen.  “We looked at the development on the Fisher Avenue Corridor which includes Casey’s Convenience coming in, Agassiz Townhomes, family housing on Nature View.   Lots of stuff and many amenities like the news fire station, UMC, the high school, and other facilities close by.”

The council accepted the Crookston Lions gift of a mobile event stage to be used in community events and expressed gratitude for their work in getting the project done.




The Crookston Ways and Means Committee got started on a budget discussion for 2017 at their meeting on Monday evening.  Projected revenue for 2017 is at $5,256,864.00 as they looked forward for the next five years and hammering out a budget could take several months to complete. “We looked at revenue projections for the next five years, we looked at priorities and spent a lot of time discussing downtown as we have talked about it for a number of years it seems to be getting to a point we need to make investments,” said Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen.  “We have the Downtown Development Association forming and we have some dollars from Minnesota Housing in a grant of $20,000 with thanks to Amanda Lien at the chamber for writing the grant.”
The budget is flat and councilman Tom Jorgens said the city needs growth to keep the city operating and there is a need for a return on investments the city makes in all areas.  The state legislature has not passed a budget for next year and Local Government Aid (LGA) is in that budget.  Crookston could receive about $115,000 in more LGA is the budget gets passed.  
The ways and means committee approved the purchase of a warning siren for Fisher Avenue and Barrette Street to cover the new development in the area.  Cost of a siren would be $16,000, which is in the budget.









The Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored an event in Central Park that showed off the many activities that can be done on the river.  They hosted an event with the International Water Institute from Minneapolis that got people out on the river.  “We hosted about 200 people that took rides in 10 passenger canoes, riders were from ages two to older so it was great to see ways to use the river more and utilize it for all ages,” said Crookston Chamber Executive Director Amanda Lien. “It showed how partners could promote an event and people had an interest.”  The same event was held in East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls.

The Crookston Chamber is also sponsoring a series of Money Smart with the extension service and FDIC. “They are putting it on for business managers and entrepreneurs so the third part is on Wednesday,” said Lien.  “15 people are registered and it is free for everyone.” 

The chamber is kicking off Free Movie night in the downtown square on Thursday. “The first movie is set for Thursday evening after the Splash Park celebration,” said Lien.  “The Movie is Minions sponsored by Strander Abstract, this event was a success at the Ox Cart Festival last year so we are extending it throughout the summer.”  The schedule of movies and the sponsors so far are listed below.
June 16 - Minions, sponsored by Strander Abstract & Title, LLC
July 21 - Star Wars, sponsored by ReitRock Paving
August 17 (Ox Cart Days) – Incredibles, sponsored by This Is Sew Broadway
If you would like to sponsor a movie, contact the Crookston Area Chamber & Visitors Bureau Office at 281-4320.




According to recent Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) reports some lakes and streams in the Sand Hill River Watershed, with offices in Fertile, are polluted with excess nutrients including phosphorus, bacteria, sediment that causes cloudiness in the water and low dissolved oxygen.  In some areas, the pollution is severe enough to be harmful to aquatic insects and fish.  The MPCA has published a set of two reports on the Sand Hill River Watershed and is seeking comments from the public on both.
The first report known as Total Maximum Daily Load, establishes the amount of each pollutant that a water body can accept without exceeding water quality standards.  The second report known as a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy summarizes   past efforts to monitor and assess water quality and identifies future strategies for restoring and protecting water quality in the watershed.  Comments on the reports are being accepted through June 29, 2016.
The reports are available on the MPCA’s Sand Hill River Watershed webpage or upon request at the MPCA office at 714 Lake Avenue in Detroit Lakes. 
The Sand Hill Watershed drains 395,249 acres in Northwestern Minnesota and includes portions of Polk, Norman and Mahnomen counties. 
For more information, contact Cary Hernandez by email or call him at 218-846-8124 or Dan Wilkens, Sand Hill River Watershed District administrator  at email or the website at



MONDAY - JUNE 13,  2016


The Crookston City Council will meet on Monday at 7:00 p.m. at the Crookston City Hall Council chambers.
Items on the agenda include the approval of a partial payment to Spruce Valley Corporation for 2016 Street Improvements in the amount of $437,713.82.  The council will be asked to amend a resolution to declare City owned property as “surplus property.”
The council will accept the Lions club gift of their Mobile event stage.  They will have a resolution to approve entering into an administrative contract with Northwest Minnesota Multi-county Housing and Redevelopment Authority to act as the administering agent on the 2016 Small Cities Development program.
The council will pass a resolution to adopt the Fisher Avenue Corridor Development Plan, approve entering into a Novation agreement with Northridge Assets, LLC and South Shore Landing, LLC and to authorize the sale of lots one and two, block one in the Crookston Sports Center addition to South Shore Landing for the apartment complex they are going to build.
There will be two public hearings for the consideration of establishing a special service district fee for flood control for 2017 and vacation of alley abutting lots 97-192 in the Norcross Addition.
After the public hearing, the council will be asked to approve the fee and vacation of lots in the Norcross addition.
The council meeting is open to the public.




The Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau would like to thank all participants who helped us try reach our goal of 80 hanging flower baskets that enhance our city district and benefit our entire community. We need nine more sponsors to reach that goal. The baskets were created by D&D’s Thomforde Garden Center in Crookston. We would like to give the city work crew and D&D’s Thomforde Garden Center a special thank you for their work on the project. Below is the list of participants and their tributes -

Sponsor:                                                             In Memory/Honor of:
Richard Heldstab                                                  Theodor & Marjorie Heldstab
Robert & Lynnette Young                                     In Honor of our Veterans
Bud & Judy Ellingson                                            Vicki Dragseth Irwin & Emma Wollin
John & Ruth Reese                                                Harold & Alma Peterson
Myren & Holly Peterson                                        Harold & Alma Peterson
Vivian Peterson                                                      In honor of her children and their families
Ralph & Mary Pester                                             Etha Pester
Pete & Trish Ramstad                                            Gale & Lorraine Regan & Chet & Emma Ramstad
Henrietta Beiswenger                                             Rosa DeBoer
JoAnn Westberg                                                    Helen Brooks
Charles Larson                                                      Jo Larson
Dale Halos                                                            Alva Halos
David & Kathleen Brule                                        Brule & Menard Families
Odine Smulan                                                        Donna Smulan
Allen Pedersen                                                      Freda Pedersen
Jeff & Ingrid Remick                                             Sharon Barnes
Dale & Laura Charais, Corrine Charais & Delsie Foreman        Lelia Charais
Rick & Mary Jo Eastes                                          E.R. (Butch) & Noella Melbye
Matthew Gilmore                                                   Larry Gilmore, Marjorie Young, Robert Gilmore & Sylvia Gilmore
Shirley Brekken                                                     Paul Brekken, Jr.
Mary Tuseth                                                           Bob Tuseth                 
Bryan & Connie Desrosier                                     Shirley Kargel
Brule Children                                                       John & Doris Brule Polley
Diane Seddon                                                       Dick & Dorothy Seddon
Isabel Tronson                                                     Walter & Jana Tronson, Bill Krenzel & Baby Angels - Amy, Josh, Brad
Ruth Misenor                                                        Happy Mother’s Day & Birthday to Deloryce Bertils
Dorine Trudeau                                                     Lawrence Trudeau from all his family
Peggy Krause                                                        LeRoy Krause
Anita & Ron Klinge                                               Geneva Klinge
Marlan & Bonnie Pokrzywinski                              Debra Ann Leas
Sanbridge Properties                                             Norma Santellanes/Lillian Bridgeford
Bruce C. Reichert                                                 Garfield & Juanne Reichert
Doris Davis                                                           Stanley Davis
Megan Scott                                                         Gen
Smokey Woods Grill                                             For all Vietnam Veterans
Noah Insurance Service                                         Jim & Lois Noah
Amanda Lien                                                         Cheryl Ranz your daughters & grandchildren
Allan & Judy Dragseth                                           Vicky Erwin

Sponsorship only:
mericInn & Suites, Phyllis Hagen, Crookston Classic Cruisers, Tim & Brenda Froeber, Ardell & Sandy Knudsvig, Willow & Ivy, Bremer Bank, Widseth, Smith & Nolting, Strander Abstract & Title, American Crystal Sugar Co., Leo & Judy Luettjohann, Dental Health Center, Brady & Martz & Assoc., Sister in Spirit, Crookston Daily Times, Dennis A. Koch, Corey & Stephanie Harbott, Paul & Dell Hoff, Mathein Study Club, Fischer, Rust & Stock - PLLC, Crookston Kiwanis Pioneer 100's, Nell & James DeBoer, Lloyd & Shirley Lee, Betty Ann & Richard Johnson, Frank & Kathie Barnes, Bill & Gloria Watro, Marcel & Jean LaJesse, Bonnie Tollerud, and Jason & Kerri Brantner.





Plants need three factors for disease to develop. The host plant must be susceptible, the pathogen must be present (usually in the soil), and the environmental conditions must be right. This typically involves wet leaves over some period of time. There are several simple cultural techniques that you can implement before considering chemical treatments. Fungicides (that innocent looking white dust) are dangerous and are often over applied, so avoid using them until you have exhausted the following cultural options. Why add pesticides to your food when it can be avoided?

Step 1. Begin with a proper crop rotation. This simple practice alone will significantly reduce disease. Do not plant tomatoes where you had potatoes, peppers -- and of course tomato -- last year.  Rotation is important and is your first defense in disease prevention.

Step 2. Plant a variety of tomato that is resistant or tolerant to leaf blight, especially if blight has rained on your parade in the past. Sometimes, disease can be prevented simply by variety selection. If you start your own transplants, this information is supplied on the package. If you purchase transplants, your local garden center horticulturalist will have this information.

Step 3. Do not crowd the tomatoes, lack of air circulation favors disease development.  Leaf diseases need longish periods of uninterrupted wetness for disease development, and overcrowding prevents leaf drying. Use a trellis or cage on plants spaced a minimum of 24 inches apart to keep leaves and fruit off the ground. This aids in the plant drying and keeps the disease inoculum further away from the leaves; remember, the disease inoculum is in the soil. Also, it keeps the fruit cleaner and reduces the incidence of spoiled fruit.

Step 4. This may be the single most important step of all. If you need to irrigate, water the ground, not the leaves. Sprinkler irrigation keeps the leaves wet and splashes the disease inoculum from the soil onto the leaves. Soaker hoses, drip irrigation or careful hand watering are better alternatives.

Step 5. Consider using plastic mulch. Plastic mulch laid on the soil surface prior to transplanting is a common practice in commercial production and works well in gardens too.  Commercially available plastic is available in 3' and 4' wide rolls in a rainbow of colors. Clear and black are the most readily available to the gardener, but red and green are often available at garden centers. Clear and red mulch will allow weed growth beneath the plastic, unlike the black and green colors.  If you need to water the plants, water through the transplant hole.  Often, however, the plastic reduces water evaporation so watering is not necessary. Drip irrigation is another option when mulch is used, but increases the complexity of “simple tips”. Plastic mulch’s other benefit is warming the soil, which significantly increases the yield of warm season crops like tomatoes, peppers and melons. Research in northern Minnesota shows a two-fold increased fruit yield using plastic mulch as compared to bare soil. The increased yield is due to warmer soil temperatures, reduced disease pressure, reduced water evaporation, and greater consistency in water uptake by the plant.

Step 6. Pinch off the "suckers" growing at the leaf axis. Suckers produce unnecessary foliage and decreases air circulation around the plant. Commercial growers will often leave one leaf beneath the first flower and remove all other leaf from that point and down.  This does not make for a pretty tomato plant, but it’s effective.

Step 7. Don't apply too much fertilizer, especially nitrogen. Excess fertilization promotes succulent leaf growth which is often more prone to disease.  My fertility choice is compost, from either manure or other vegetative materials. Compost is advantageous as it provides all the essential elements necessary for plant growth in a slow release form in sync with plant growth.

If you follow these recommendations, you will hopefully enjoy juicy red tomatoes with an added benefit – fruit without pesticide residue. If all else fails and you’re tempted to use a fungicide, remember that fungicides only prevent new infections, they will not cure existing leaf disease. Fungicides should be applied according to the product label.

For more information, contact Jim Stordahl at 1-800-450-2465 or



SUNDAY - JUNE 12,  2016


The Polk County Sheriff's Office, East Grand Forks Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, East Grand Forks Fire/Rescue, and Altru Ambulance responded to a one vehicle rollover on Country Road 58 and 425th Avenue Southwest lat Friday evening.  Upon arrival, the driver of the vehicle, Matthew Sannes, was ejected from the vehicle.  Sannes was transported to Altru Hospital with unknown injuries.  The passenger, Jake Cariveau, was not injured.  The case is under investigation and no other details are to be given at this time.



FRIDAY - JUNE 10,  2016


Teachers in the Crookston Education Association (Crookston School District teachers union) voted Thursday on a tentative agreement with the Crookston School District after the negotiating committee approved the agreement last week.  Teacher Sara Geist was one of the negotiators for the teachers and said they had a good turnout of voters on Thursday morning.  “We met and voted and the tentative agreement was ratified by the majority of teachers who attended,” said Geist. “We had a good turn out and what we ratified was a 1.5 percent increase in salary for the first year and a four percent increase in the second year.  We changed insurance by terminating the $250 and $500 plans by June 30, 2018.”
Crookston School Board member Tim Dufault was one of the negotiators for the school district. “Like any good agreement both sides were not real happy about it so that means it is a good agreement,” said Dufault. “We made some changes in the master agreement in the insurance items like keeping in compliance with IRS rules, we sunset in 2018 the $250 and $500 plans and hope we come with other plans we can use in the future.  We finished up salary increases for 2015-2016 at 1.5 percent and in 2016-2017 it will be a four percent increase.”
The contract is a two year contract and will go to the school board for final approval at their meeting on June 27.





It’s almost time to tee-it-up for the 12th Annual RiverView Health Foundation Golf Classic! The Golf Classic will be held Monday, June 13 at Minakwa Golf Club, Crookston, and looks to be another fun event for a good cause. “RiverView Foundation counts on our friends and business partners to help insure that we can continue to provide necessary access to quality health care services in our community and region,’’ said Foundation Director Kent Bruun. “With past stakeholder support, the Foundation has raised over $257,000 in the short eleven-year history of this event which has effectively supported priority initiatives focused on providing exceptional patient care, always.’’

Vital Monitor Project
According to Bruun, funds raised from this year’s Golf Classic will be designated to the purchase three vital monitors. The state-of-the-art monitors are mobile units placed at the bedside of patients in the Emergency Department exam rooms. The units allow for more efficient and accurate vital sign readings of patients, such as cardiac rhythms, patient temperature and other vital sign measurements that are recorded in the patient's electronic medical record. “The vital monitor upgrades are an essential component to the Emergency Department being able to deliver safe care and appropriately monitor our patients,’’ Bruun stated. “This project will help RiverView Health carry out its mission to deliver a healthcare experience that consistently exceeds patients’ expectations.’’

Projects Funded through the Years
The Foundation has raised $257,500 in the past eleven years of the Golf Classic to fund priority projects focused on patient care.
The following is a summary of projects accomplished through the Classic profits:
·       2015: $29,000 toward the infusion/PCA pumps and lab analyzer
·       2014: $28,500 toward the vital monitoring system project;
·       2013: $27,000 toward the work simulator project;
·       2012: $27,000 toward the purchase of three anesthesia machines;
·       2011: $25,500 to a central cardiac monitoring system for the ER;
·       2010: $22,600 to the CT/MRI radiology project;
·       2009: $23,000 to secure inpatient beds;
·       2008: $22,000 to the hospital inpatient renovation project;
·       2007: $20,000 to purchase digital heart monitoring/event recording for RiverView’s primary care clinics;
·       2006: $16,700 to add stereotactic 3-dimensional breast biopsy services;
·       2005: $16,200 to update the telemetry heart monitoring system for the Intensive Care Unit

Although this year’s tournament is full, you can still benefit the Vital Monitor Project by sending your donation to the Foundation office at 323 South Minnesota Avenue, Crookston, or by contacting Bruun at 218-281-9249 or





Motorists crossing the Sorlie Bridge between East Grand Forks and Grand Forks will experience temporary lane closures as crews conduct routine maintenance on June 13, weather permitting.
The work will take place between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Traffic on DeMers Avenue over the Red River will be temporarily reduced to a single lane in each direction through the work zone. Some delays are possible.
Drivers are urged to slow down, eliminate distractions and obey all signs.
For real-time travel information and road conditions anywhere in Minnesota, visit



THURSDAY - JUNE 9,  2016


Polk County Commissioners approved a social host ordinance for the county at their meeting this week after a public hearing was held.  Sue Thompson, co-ordinator of the ordinance project for Polk County Public Health said the county becomes the 24th in the state to have such an ordinance. “This means that we can hold individuals who provide the environment for underage drinking to occur and can be held responsible.  It is a tool for law enforcement as opposed to finding out who supplied the alcohol which is also illegal. Now simply providing the environment can hold an individual criminally responsible as it is a gross misdemeanor,” said Thompson.  “This is a huge success for the wellness committee, the commissioners, Polk County Attorney Greg Widseth and Polk County Sheriff Barb Erdman for their work in helping us see this through.  We hope that eventually the state of Minnesota will become a social host.”

Through the Social Host Ordinance, individuals (regardless of their age) are held CRIMINALLY responsible for hosting events or allowing gatherings where anyone under the age of 21 possesses or consumes alcohol, regardless of who provided the alcohol.  Violating this ordinance could result in a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.  Thompson added that one important thing to remember is if you are a farmer with acreage and if you know there are 50 kids on your property every Friday night you can get it trouble.  If the kids have a party on your land without you knowing they are trespassing so that is a different story.  The individual must reasonably know there is a party going on.

The Social Host Ordinance is an effective strategy to combat the problem of underage drinking where it repeatedly occurs – house parties.  It further reduces youth access to alcohol, reduces binge drinking, and holds teens and adults accountable for their behavior.  In addition, it provides law enforcement an imperative tool in their communities to prevent tragedy.  It assists both adults and youth to make wise choices.  And finally, the social host ordinance reinforces a consistent message that underage drinking is unhealthy, unsafe, unacceptable, and illegal. 
There were no residents in attendance to speak at the hearing.  




Daniel Gonzales, Jr., 19 of Crookston appeared in district court this week for an omnibus hearing.  A pre-trial has been set for August 5 with the jury trial to follow later in August.  Gonzales is charged with murder in the second degree-intentional in the death of Juan Manuel Morales,  18 of Crookston who died on July 9 of his injuries from being shot in the head with a pistol at 12:22 a.m. in July 9 at 708 third avenue Northeast Apartment 4 in Crookston. Gonzales and Morales were arguing over a girl when Gonzales pulled a pistol and shot Morales.  Gonzales remains confined at the Corrections Center.





Marie Sandman of Crookston and Cole Hammargren of East Grand Forks have been awarded the 2016 Norma Bigger Memorial Scholarships from the West Polk County Home Council.  Each student will receive $250 upon completion of their first semester of college.
Marie attends Crookston High School where she is active in Girls’ Varsity Tennis, Crookston Figure Skating Club, Concert Choir and Orchestra, Visual Arts and Theater, National Honors Society, LEO Club and Student Council.  Marie’s future plans include pursuing a career in a medical field beginning with earning a degree in biology at the University of North Dakota.  Marie is the daughter of Julie Sandman.
Cole Hammargren graduated from East Grand Forks Senior High where he was active in sports, receiving the Fellowship of Christian Athletes baseball camp scholarship and was awarded All Conference in football, basketball and baseball.  Cole’s future plans are to attend Minnesota State University – Moorhead where he will major in Construction Management and play football for the Moorhead Dragons.

       Cole Hammargren                        Marie Sandman





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