The Crookston Ox Cart Days Committee met on Thursday evening and the Ox Cart Days button will be making a comeback in 2017.  “The buttons are making a return by popular demand.  We will be selling the buttons for $5, which will get you into five days-worth of events,” said Committee Chair Nell DeBoer.  “The only thing it won’t get you into is the stand-alone events offsite, such as anything at the Eagles or the Miss Crookston Pageant, but it will get you into anything in the park or on the square.  For $5, that’s a pretty good deal, and it will be $5 across the board, so if you have a family of five it will be 25 bucks for five days, you can hardly beat that.  That is the biggest way we are going to try and make our money.”
DeBoer also talked about the Ox Cart Committee’s social media presence, saying they started up a new website at and will posted live by January 1, 2017.  “The CVB (Crookston Convention and Visitors Bureau) was very gracious and gave us a grant to go ahead and start up our own website.  It is going to be a stand-alone from the Chamber website,” said DeBoer. “Of course, everything is tentative just in case things change.  We also have the Facebook page of Crookston Ox Cart Days.  Please go on that as we are looking for 3,000 likes.  We currently have about 1,800 now, and the more we get the word out the easier it will be to get people into town.  We also just started a Twitter account, @CrookstonOxCart.”
Deboer has had two committee meetings since she decided to become the chair and talked about how it has been going so far.  “I think it has been going very well.  A lot of excitement and a lot of people showing up for stuff.  A lot of people emailing me all of the time and letting me know that they want events,” said DeBoer.  “I just had to fit another one here this last week.  The Crookston Times is going to team up with Admissions at UMC and bring an Air Guitar/Lip Sync Contest.  Thursday is very full, Friday is very full, and Saturday we are tip of the iceberg with all of the things we have.  We are just trying to line up times for some of the things now, but we are still taking suggestions and we are still taking ideas, so please reach out to us.”

The next Ox Cart Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13 at Valley Technology Park.

Nell DeBoer holding up pictures of old Ox Cart Days buttons




The Polk County Attorney’s Office recently made a donation through the Riverview Foundation to help support the cost of speakers and other activities conducted by the RiverView Recovery Center during September’s National Recovery Month.
The funds for the donation came from drug forfeiture funds, according to Polk County Attorney Greg Widseth.  “I think National Recovery Month is a good opportunity to use those funds to seek to raise public awareness on the issues of drug addiction, the multitude of county agencies it affects - County Attorney, Sheriff, Social Services, Public Health - and the need for greater funding and access to accessible drug treatment facilities and alternatives in our area,’’ Widseth stated.
According to RiverView Foundation Director Kent Bruun, the Polk County donation was matched by a Glenmore Foundation grant to stretch and leverage support to increase the benefits to those in need of help. “On behalf of the RiverView Recovery Center, I would like to thank Polk County for this support,’’ stated RiverView Recovery Director Curtis Hamre. “I also thank the judges, the County Attorney's Office, Sheriff's Department, Social Services, Crookston Police Department, Polk County Probation and City Attorney's Office for their continued support in making Polk County DWI Court a success in this region providing an avenue for high-risk DWI offenders to attend treatment and attain long-term sobriety.’’
For more information on RiverView Recovery Center programs, call 281-9511.  For more information on supporting RiverView Recovery programs or to learn more about Foundation projects, contact Bruun at 281-9249 or

Polk County Attorney Greg Widseth, RiverView Foundation Director Kent Bruun and RiverView Recovery Center Director Curtis Hamre.





Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 6 and the American Red Cross reminds everyone to ‘turn’ their clocks back an hour and ‘test’ the batteries in their smoke alarms. The Red Cross recommends that all area residents have working smoke alarms on every level of their home, including inside and outside bedrooms.  “Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half,” said Tom Tezel, Disaster Program Officer for the Dakotas Region. “Turn and test is a reminder to set your clocks back and take a few minutes to push the test button to make sure all alarms are working.”
It’s also an opportunity to make sure all households are prepared for home fires and other emergencies:

-Create and practice a fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes. Select a location outside for everyone to meet.
-Keep disaster supplies in an easy-to-carry bag to use at home or carry in case ordered to evacuate. A variety of emergency preparedness kits and supplies are available at
Download the Red Cross Emergency App which includes content on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs. The Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App is a game designed for kids. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at

The Red Cross responds to 66,000 disasters across the country every year and most of these are home fires. Tragically, some people lose their lives in these fires and countless others are injured. The Red Cross has launched the Home Fire Campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25 percent over the next five years.
Since October of 2014, the Red Cross and partners have saved more than 110 lives as part of the Home Fire Campaign. The Red Cross is committing to install 2.5 million free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires,
and to educate those residents about fire prevention and preparedness during the multi-year campaign.
Since the Home Fire campaign began, more than 530,000 smoke alarms have been installed in all 50 states and four territories, and it has reached more than 597,000 children through campaign youth preparedness education programs, such as The Pillowcase Project.

People can visit to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones from a fire. They can become a Red Cross volunteer. They can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.





Crookston High School sophomores attended the fifth annual Northern Valley Career Expo at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on Wednesday.  There were over 1,450 sophomores from 33 high schools in northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. “The kids spent about two hours at the event, learning about skills and careers that are in high demand in this region,” said Crookston High School teacher Robbe Nessler.  “They attended breakout sessions based upon an interest inventory they filled out, and they also explored booths set up by employers from the region.  Many of the booths had interactive exhibits for kids to try out.”  

Logan Johnson, Gabby Rodriguez, McKenzie Schmidt, and Michael Ramirez at the career fair

Madison Broden and Katelyn Jones dressed up as fire fighters at the career fair






Election day is less than a week away and KROX has been introducing you to local candidates running for election.  Today we have candidates for Polk County Commissioner District 1 and 3.

Polk County Commissioner candidates, Jerry Jacobson, Jeremy Hovde, Dean Adams, Gary Willhite, and Donald Casmey

Polk County Commissioner District 1:

Jeremy Hovde:
“I am a territory manager for Herculift out of Maple Plain and I work out of the Fargo store.  I have a wife and 2 kids and I live in Fertile,” said Hovde.  “I was approached by a bunch of constituents that wanted to see one more name on the ballot and it sparked a primary.  I felt it was a civic duty, and after being involved in the emerging leaders program, I believe it gave me the knowledge and the drive to do it.  Go out and vote on November 8, whether it’s for me, for Jerry, or whoever, we just need your votes across the board.  We wouldn’t be America if we didn’t have them.”

Jerry Jacobson:
“I live over by Fertile.  I am married to my wife, Lynn, and we have four children and three grandchildren.  I was a County Commissioner eight years ago for eight years,” said Jacobson.  “I really didn’t think that I would be running again, but in this cycle of election, we find out that we have three open seats, with two commissioners that aren’t running again.  I have gotten a lot of encouragement to run again.”

Polk County Commissioner District 3:

Dean Adams:
“I’m 48 years old, and I was born and raised on a small grain and dairy farm.  Sheryl, my wife of 20 years, and I raised 4 remarkable children.  I attended the Northland Community and Technical College and earned a degree in HVAC and started my business Adams Heating and Cooling and Construction.  I currently serve on a number of boards.  I am the Crookston Township Chairman and have been the Chair out there since 2013.  I am the Vice President of the Polk County Township Officers Association, I sit on the Crookston Firefighter Relief Association, I am involved with the Minnesota Associations of Townships on the Legislative and Research Committee, and I was appointed to the Polk County Agassiz Trail Board,” said Adams.  “I am fully aware that if I am fortunate enough to be elected County Commissioner for District 3, I would have to cut time from my business to devote time to the necessary needs of Polk County.  I am running for the position because I feel that I make a positive impact on Polk County.  I want to put my life experiences to work for District 3.  I will be a player for the long haul if elected.  I have no expectations for running for higher offices.  I feel that with my business, government experience, and dedication to improve our community, it makes me a well rounded candidate.  I feel that I have a proven track record as an elected official and I take the time to research issues, listen to constituents, ask questions, and make the decision based on the facts.”

Gary Willhite:
“I’ve lived in the community now for almost 40 years.  My wife and I raised four kids here.  I work with the University of Minnesota, Crookston with student housing and campus security.  I am running for County Commissioner and I think there are a lot of things that the County can do for you and do to you that affects life here,” said Willhite.  “I am a little concerned with where taxes are going in the agriculture community, as well as with our businesses. I’ve gone door to door and people are feeling that pinch.  Wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, so that is a concern.  Fiscal responsibility with the County is important.  Two of the incumbents that represent Crookston, Nick Nicholas and Craig Buness, who are very strong leaders, are going to be off the commission.  Hopefully, I can help fill in those jobs and keep things on track for Crookston as well as Polk County.  I just love Crookston and our family is very blessed because it is the best place in the world to raise kids.  We just need to get that word out and I think we can bring some companies in here and I think we can bring a lot of people in who are fed up with commuting two to three hours to work and would like to breathe some fresh air.”




Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday and heard from Becky Putzke, Northwest Minnesota Liason Officer of Traffic Safety who presented an award to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for their extra work on the Toward Zero Death program. Sheriff Barb Erdman was honored to get the award for the department. “The state of Minnesota Towards Zero Death Coalition was recognized and we received a radar valued at $3,000 for the good work done on enforcement,” said Sheriff Erdman. “It makes our job easier and appreciate that they recognize the efforts of our deputies and Deputy Thomas Hibma was the recipient of the award.”  Deputy Hibma represented all the deputies who gave extra effort to make the Toward Zero Death program viable.  

Michelle Cote of the Taxpayer Service Center was given approval to hire an assessor for the office to replace one who has left.

The commissioners heard from Linda Kingery, executive director of the Red Lake River Corridor at their meeting who gave them an update on their projects. “We are applying for a grant to Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails for funding for projects,” said Kingery. “Projects include paddling events in each community along the Red Lake River from Thief River Falls to East Grand Forks along with the River of Dreams curriculum for all the schools in the six cities for fourth and fifth graders to learn about the Red River Basin along with many projects along the river in each city.”
Shannon Stassen, Crookston City Administrator said they will create access points at County Road 11 at the Gentilly Bridge, floating piers at Sixth Street and Woodland Park. “They want to improve signage along the river and improve the access to the river at U.S. Highway 2 and Highway 9, just east of Crookston as well as identify trails and improve camping,” added Stassen.

The Crookston Township Road Petition was reviewed by the commissioners and they accepted the recommendation from County Highway Engineer Rich Sanders to do nothing after conferring with the county attorney Greg Widseth.  “We met with Greg Widseth and learned there is no action needed by the commissioners,” said Sanders. “I met with two townships and they can leave it as it is, or work out another agreement to satisfy all the citizens of the township on the two mile road where Crookston and Gentilly townships have ownership.”

Other meeting notes -
Commissioners approved a conditional use permit for Bruce and Jennifer Otteson to hook a compliant septic system to an accessory structure in the Shoreland Zoning District.  Larry and Judy Johnson were awarded a conditional use permit for the same type of project.  
Polk County was awarded $65,562.00 for controlling Aquatic Invasive Species in the area lakes.




Crookston High School was the sight of the annual Fall Choral Festival on Tuesday evening in the Crookston High School auditorium.  Choirs from Crookston High School, East Grand Forks Senior High and Climax participated in the event.  Choirs sang separately and at the end sang together for the grand finale.

                 The Crookston, East Grand Forks, and Climax choirs performing on Tuesday evening




The Crookston High School LEO Club held their annual Halloween Night Food Drive.  Over 60 kids collected canned goods for the food shelf and they collected over 2,200 pounds last night in the community.  “Thanks to everyone for their generosity for this great cause,” said LEO Club Advisor, Linda Morgan.







Lori Hefta has worked in the healthcare setting for nearly 30 years, the past nine with RiverView as a physical therapist in the Rehab Department. Her dedication to her patients is unwavering and part of the reason she was recently named RiverView’s Employee of the Month for October.
A Grand Forks native, Hefta has a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from UND. She and her husband Greg reside in Crookston and have three children: Kathryn, Michael and Rachel.
“I am very honored to have received this award,’’ she shared. “Every day we come to work, do our jobs and try to do our best to serve our patients. Working in hospital settings for the last nearly 30 years I have always known our jobs are never an 8 to 5. When the patient needs our services we willingly stay or come in extra to make sure the patients receive the treatment they deserve. It is very rewarding to see the appreciation on the patient’s face when they are pleased with our services. ‘‘





The County Line
By Warren Strandell
Polk County Commissioner, Dist. 2

As the County Board and administration continue the process of developing the budget for operations in 2017, the “preliminary” 5% levy increase that was approved last month will be reduced.
I don’t begrudge department heads from asking for the additional dollars that they say would allow them to do more and do things better. That’s their job.
The board, however, has to be able to justify new spending to the people who pay the taxes. That’s where the process is right now… a matching of requests against the appetite for the additional taxation required to pay for them.
In the end, you can expect that the final budget will involve about a 3% increase in the levy. This would be right in the range of inflation.
About $25 million in new construction valuation is being added to the county’s tax base for this year. The revenue generated from that new property should offset a lot of any increase in the “county portion” of tax bills for most of us.
That’s about as much good news as I can provide.  Now for what could be some bad news.
While not a factor for this tax season, there is an upcoming issue that hasn’t yet gotten more than a mere mention. This won’t affect your next property tax bill but it looms in the background for the years ahead. And it could have a significant impact.

State determines pipeline valuations
The issue has to do with the increases in valuation for pipelines that have been made by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. These state-determined valuations are forwarded to counties for use in the calculation of property taxes. In recent years, pipeline valuations in Minnesota have become significantly higher than the valuations used in both North Dakota and Wisconsin.
As a result, Enbridge has appealed to the Minnesota Tax Court the valuation of one of the four pipeline units that it operates in the state.  The part of this line that runs through Polk County was valued at $44.6 million for 2013 when it had a $1.3 million dollar tax bill. Valuations were subsequently increased for each of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 tax years. For this year (2016/pay 2017), the tax bill amounts to $1.72 million on an increased a valuation that was increased to $77.68 million.  
To this point, the appeal has only been filed on this one unit, not on all four of the Enbridge pipelines in the state. 
The kicker is this: Should Enbridge get all that it is asking from the Tax Court in valuation reductions over the four-year filing period, Polk County would have to payback a portion of the taxes that were collected in those years. Enbridge is asking for a 7% reduction in valuation for 2013. It wants a 19% reduction in valuation for 2014. For 2015, it wants a 29% reduction.
If those percentages were to translate into a possible payback for the 2015 year with the 29% reduction request it would amount to about $500,000. And that’s just for that one year.

Seven figures possible
Since there are four years in the appeal, a payback could easily amount something in seven figures. And should Enbridge get a favorable court finding in this case it could possibly trigger appeals on the other three pipeline units. That could be a really big ouch.

Polk would pay
Despite the fact that the state of Minnesota established the contested values, it wouldn’t have to bear any responsibility for a payback if one is warranted. That would all fall on Polk County.
The state is handling the appeal, which won’t be heard until the State Supreme Court reaches a decision on the valuation appeal filed earlier by Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation (MERC). That firm has a natural gas pipeline that goes through 3 townships in northern Polk County. By comparison, any tax impact from that case would much less.
As commissioners, we had been holding onto the thought that new revenue from the Sandpiper pipeline when built would offset any possible payback obligation. But Enbridge has now stopped efforts to get the permitting necessary for a Sandpiper pipeline largely because of ongoing delays instituted by state agencies. Some of us believe that those hang-ups were orchestrated.
Unless something changes to bring the Sandpiper project back into the picture, things don’t look so good.
The discussion above is, of course, a worst-case, “what if” scenario. But what if Enbridge gets a lot of what it wants?  Not only would there be a big payback problem but with the power companies and railroads are watching from the sidelines, things could get a lot worse.
Our only hope is that the valuations set by the Minnesota Department of Revenue stand up in court.

Thoughts for the day: Everybody is genius. But if you judge a fish by it ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. — Albert Einstein
Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
— President Truman in a telegram to Gen. MacArthur on Sept. 1, 1945

Disclaimer: Thoughts expressed in this column are those of the author and are not necessarily a reflection of the opinions of the other members of the Polk County Board of Commissioners.



MONDAY - OCTOBER 31,  2016


The Crookston Police Department and Crookston Area Ambulance was called at approximately at 1:07 a.m. on Sunday, October 30 responded to a report of an assault at Crooks Club; 223 North Main Street.  Upon arrival the male victim; identified as Joshua Schill, 31; was semi-conscious with obvious injuries to his head and face area.  He was transported RiverView Health in Crookston.  Witnesses at the scene stated there were several males involved in the assault of the victim; all of whom fled the scene prior to the arrival of the officers.  None of the suspects were immediately identified.  The victim was later released from the hospital; he was unable to provide any details to law enforcement.
Also assisting in the incident was the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and MN State Patrol.  Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Crookston Police Department at 281-3111.





KROX Radio continues to talk to the area candidates for office.  Today we hear from the three men running for City Council in Ward 5, Brent Epema, Bob Johnson, and the incumbent Dale Stainbrook.

The 13 candidates for the four open Crookston City Council positions at the Crookston Chamber Meet the Candidates forum on Wednesday night

Brent Epema-
“I own B&E Meats, we have five kids and I’ve lived here my entire life.  My dad was a full time firefighter in town and my family before was here, so we have been here a whole generation,” said Epema.  “I was a volunteer firefighter for 17 years and then my family got busy, my kids got busy, but now that they are older, I feel that I have time to give back to my community again.”

Bob Johnson-
“I’ve been married for 43 years to my wife Joyce.  We have two kids who are grown up as well as six grandkids.  I worked for the City here for 23 plus years,” said Johnson.  “I am running for Ward 5 Councilman because I want to get involved and see some changes.  In all of those years working for the city, I saw some things that I thought could use some changing so that is why I want to get involved.”

Dale Stainbrook- “I am a lifelong Crookston resident, married to my wife Pam of 21 years and we have two adult children,” said Stainbrook.  “The reason I am running is because there are some positive things going on in the City and some are still in the infancy stage and I want to continue to be involved in them.”





Crookston High School was one of 282 Minnesota Schools that recently held a mock presidential election.  The Secretary of State’s office has put together the Minnesota Student Vote and Crookston took part.  They received an official Minnesota Student ballot that had a list of the nine candidates that will be on the Minnesota Ballot.  Social Studies teachers did various activities with the students to get them informed on who these candidates were prior to the vote.  Crookston had 383 students vote and Donald Trump garnered 35% of the vote, Hillary Clinton got 27%, and Jill Stein got 5%.  The other candidates varied from 3% to 1%.  “The ninth grade class predominately supported Clinton, whereas the juniors predominately supported Trump.  The sophomores and senior classes were pretty evenly split.  “The results do not surprise me at all,” said Crookston High School teacher Shelly Thomforde.  “Even though Minnesota tends to vote more democratic, we live in a very conservative district here in Crookston so I wasn’t surprised with the results.”





Hugo’s Family Marketplace is pleased to announce that the National Grocer’s Association (NGA) has chosen Leon Merck, Chief Business Development Officer with Hugo’s Family Marketplace, as the recipient of the 2016 Spirit of America Award.  The award was presented at the recent North Dakota Grocer’s Convention Banquet in Fargo, ND.
The Spirit of America award honors distinguished individuals for their active involvement and participation in community service and public affairs. “Leon is a very deserving recipient of this award.” said Hugo’s President/CEO, Kristi Magnuson Nelson. “He embodies the overall objective of the award and is a valuable member of the Hugo’s team.”

Magnuson Nelson Appointed Chair of NDGA Board of Directors
Also at the Convention, Hugo’s Family Marketplace President, Kristi Magnuson Nelson, was appointed to the position of Chair of the Board of Directors for the ND Grocer’s Association (NDGA).  Kristi also serves on the Minnesota Grocers Association Board and Board of Directors for the National Grocers Association. 

Hugo’s Cake Decorators Win Awards at NDGA Convention
Hugo’s Cake Decorating team competed in the NDGA Cake Decoration Competition and won several awards. Winners included:
- Cyndy Rodacker with Jamestown Hugo’s -  3rd place in Advanced Wedding Cake Fondant
- Lori Dorr  with Jamestown Hugo’s -  2nd Place in Advanced Wedding Cake Fondant
- Jacqueline Zone & team with East Grand Forks Hugo’s -  1st Place Advanced Wedding Cake Fondant 
- Lena Seidl with Park Rapids  Hugo’s - 1st place winner in Novice Wedding Traditional Cake
- Jacqueline Zone & team with East Grand Forks  Hugo’s - People’s Choice

Two Hugo’s Cake Decorators competed in the live demonstration competition. They decorated cakes on site at the convention. The awards for this competition were presented at the evening banquet. Hugo’s cake decorators won 1st and 2nd place in this portion of the competition.
- Rebecca Sanders with  Park Rapids Hugo’s - Sculptured Cake 2nd place Winner
Jacqueline Zone with East Grand Forks Hugo’s - Sculptured Cake 1st place Winner



FRIDAY - OCTOBER 28,  2016


KROX continues our Meet the Candidates interviews and today we here from the candidates running for Crookston City Council in Ward 1 and Ward 3.

The 13 candidates for the four open Crookston City Council positions at the Crookston Chamber Meet the Candidates forum on Wednesday night

City Council Ward 1 Candidates:

Jake Fee-
“I’m 34 years old, I have a five year old daughter, and I was born and raised here in Crookston.  I am currently the safety manager at Dee Inc. of Crookston and I also volunteer as the secretary of the Crookston Eagles Aerie, as well as some part time work on the weekends at KROX.  I feel we have inadequate housing in Crookston.  A couple projects are underway that will help that out with the 40 unit complex behind Draft’s and also the announcement that the Agassiz Townhomes will be a reality as well,” said Fee.  “We need to continue to work on that area, progress has been made on a City level, but we need to continue to provide adequate housing for all incomes in Crookston.  We also need to expand that workforce.  Many businesses in town are struggling to find enough employees. We are going to have a tough time attracting medium or large sized businesses when we don’t have the proper workforce in town.  We also need to work on economic development all together, but definitely stress the downtown development.  We’ve talked about it as long as I can remember, but it seems like we don’t provide enough there in terms of incentives or promoting businesses downtown.”

Lynda Kenney
“I have lived in the Sampson’s addition of Crookston for 20 years and five generations of my family have called Crookston home.  I am a retired educator who taught 25 plus years at the University of North Dakota,” said Kenney.  “The reason why I am running is I believe in public service, I believe in giving back to one’s community, and I truly believe I have the knowledge and skills and experiences to think futuristically and depending on how you look at it, either push of pull Crookston into the future and try to get to that population of 10,000, things like that.”

Marcia Meine
“I’ve lived in Crookston now for 33 years.  My husband, David, works for a local farmer within the Crookston/Fisher area.  I am a stay at home mom and grandma and I love to be involved in the different schools that my grandchildren go to and the different activities,” said Meine.  “I am running for City Council Ward 1 and the reason I am running is to make sure the voices of the people of Ward 1 are heard.  I am one that will make sure I bring those concerns to the City Council and I won’t back down.  I hope everybody gets out and votes on November 8th and let’s keep thinking about Crookston and the positive ways that we’re going to be moving.”


City Council Ward 3 Candidate:

Clayton Briggs is running unopposed
“I am a longtime Crookston resident, I have been married for 42 years to my wife Mary, and I have two children and four grandchildren,” said Briggs.  “I was appointed two years ago and in my opinion, the city has invested in me, with conferences and training during the last two years, so I felt that I wanted to continue on behalf of the city and continue representing Ward 3.  I encourage everybody to get out and vote.”





The Crookston Community Halloween Party will be Sunday, October 30 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Crookston National Guard Armory for fourth graders and younger.  This will be the 29th year of the community event.  “Jerry Moreno and Bob Quanrud were the ones who got this thing going back in the late 80’s.  Some years I know we have handed out over 700 bags to the kids.  We don’t have quite that many attend anymore, but it is always a good time,” said Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier.  “I have to thank the businesses because over the years they have really helped out.  Of course there will be the spook house and a bunch of games and lots of candy.  Several officers will be there and you will probably see McGruff the Crime Dog and Safety Pup.  The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee and Crookston VFW Auxiliary also help out in the kitchen.”
There is no cost to attend, but people are encouraged to bring a canned food item to kick-off the Leo Club Food Drive.  “Anybody who wants to come out can, we just ask there is a responsible adult supervising them,” said Chief Biermaier, who reflected on the event over the years. “Boy, over the years we have just had a lot of kids and a lot of people help out and it has been really fun.  It’s one of those things that I guess has kind of become a staple of the community that we’ll just keep doing.”




RiverView Health in Crookston will host an education course for individuals interested in basic first aid. The program, developed by the American Heart Association, is open to the general public. Participants in this First Aid Course will learn to provide first aid for acute injuries and sudden illnesses such as burns, bites, poisoning, and seizures. This course is excellent for day care providers, school employees and parents.
The four-hour class will be held on Thursday, November 3 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in Meeting Room 4 at RiverView Health. The cost of the class, including the book and card, is $45. The American Heart Association is not responsible for any fees charged for this course.
The class is an American Heart Association (AHA) Community Training Center affiliated course. Contracted Community Training Centers (CTCs) and their affiliated sites are the only facilities permitted to offer AHA courses to the public and professionals through their affiliated instructors and programs.
To register or for more information on this class or other courses offered through the CTC, call 218-281-9405 or 1-800-743-6551, extension 9405.
The American Heart Association strongly promotes knowledge and proficiency in all AHA courses and has developed instructional materials for this purpose. Use of these materials in an educational course does not represent course sponsorship by the AHA.






The Crookston Chamber of Commerce held their Meet the Candidates forum at Kiel Auditorium on the campus of the University of Minnesota Crookston.  KROX talked with all the candidates and will be sharing more about them over the next week.  First we will here from the Minnesota House District 1B candidates and the Minnesota State Senate District 1 candidates.

Deb Kiel is the Republican incumbent running for a fourth term in the Legislature. 
“My husband Lon and I farm with our son Christian and his wife Lisa.  I have served on the Legislature for three terms and I have also served on the Crookston School Board and had the privilege of being the chair for a couple of years, as well as the treasurer.  My husband and I have four children and 14 grandchildren, so life is not dull anywhere,” said Kiel.  “I am running for re-election and I have some goals in mind. I started working on some mental health issues when I was done with the session and I would like to continue that work. Also some more economic evaluations for the Minnesota Northwest District and things that will help connect people who are looking to live back up in this area.  I am very happy to have had the privilege of serving the district for the last 6 years and I hope to continue that some more.  I am happy to have been able to work on things like education, transportation, and economic development and I look forward to doing more of that.”

Mike Moore (Democrat)
“I have a community and economic development background, I have been a newspaper publisher for many years as well as a small business owner.  I am really concerned for District 1 and I have lived here since 1975, raised my three children here, and I’ve lived in Fertile for a long time,” said Moore.  “I am running for the Minnesota House of Representatives and the reason I am running is that I don’t believe things have gotten done recently.  That is what my moniker is all about, I get thing done.  I believe there is a time for change.  I want to thank everyone for their participation and allowing me to knock on their door.”

The State Representative District 1B candidates at the Meet the Candidates forum - Deb Kiel (Republican incumbent) and Michael Moore (Democrat)



The Minnesota State Senate District 1 candidates are Kip Fontaine or rural Mentor and Mark Johnson of East Grand Forks.

Kip Fontaine (Democrat)
“I grew up in Red Lake Falls and graduated from Lafayette High School.  I went on to Concordia College in Moorhead, with degrees in Religion and Business Administration.  After graduating from Concordia, I went on to the University of Minnesota Law School.  I was very fortunate to be able to come back home and was hired as an Assistant Polk County Attorney in 1985.  I served in that capacity in seven years, and in 1992 I was appointed the Clear Water County Attorney.  I stood for election on 4 occasions, and was elected and reelected each time.  I served in that capacity for 15 years.  In 2007, I was appointed to manage the public defenders office in Thief River Falls.  I currently manage that office as well as the office in Crookston.  I am married to Sheila Fontaine and we’ve been married for 29 years and she is from Erskine.  She has a degree from Bemidji State University and we actually met in Crookston when she was a Probation Agent and I was an Assistant County Attorney.   We have three children,” said Fontaine. “I am running for office because it is time for us to come together, to work together, to solve problems and work for Northwest Minnesota.  Education, transportation, bonding, healthcare, our seniors deserve it, our children deserve it, our small business owners deserve it, our farmers deserve it, and we all deserve that we take a hard look at these issues, come together, collaborate, and work together to get things done.  That is why I am running for State Senate.”

Mark Johnson (Republican)
“I am the republican endorsed candidate.  I grew up over in the Maple Lake area and my wife is from Erskine.  We are fifth generation Northwest Minnesotans.  We are raising our three kids in East Grand Forks.  My dad and I run Johnson Concrete; we do residential work and some commercial. My wife and I are also attorneys and we have a small law practice over in East Grand Forks.  When I am not running for office, we are either doing law or pouring concrete,” said Johnson.  “The reason why I am running is because I think Northwest Minnesota is great.  This is in our blood.  Both my wife and I love this area, but we see the influence of St. Paul kind of overtaking our communities.  Whether it’s our school boards, our small towns, or our farms and businesses.  We feel that we have the ability here locally to address the issues that need to be addressed.  I really value our local decision making ability here and that is what got me into this.  I feel that we have such a strong community and I want to protect that.”

The State Senate District 1 candidates at the Meet the Candidates forum - Kip Fontaine (Democrat) and Mark Johnson (Republican)





Delta Theta Sigma (DTS), working with a number of other University of Minnesota Crookston student organizations, will host a Fall Children's Carnival on Saturday, October 29 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.  The carnival is free and open to the public.




Join Crookston Area Young Professionals for after work networking, drinks, and appetizers this coming Thursday, October 27 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at Cofe. This informal event is a great way to unwind during the week and meet other young professionals in the community while also hearing from other local professionals on their journey.
This month's YP Social is sponsored by Altru Clinic in Crookston. Light appetizers provided. Cash bar /coffee bar available.




The kindergarten class from Our Savior's Lutheran School visit the fire station to learn about fire safety last week.



The KROX Turkey Shoot Starts Monday, October 31. Now’s the time to send in your entry with your name, address and a phone number on it where you can be easily reached at during the day for your chance to become a Turkey Shoot contestant.   
Mail your postcard entry to KROX Turkey Shoot, P.O. Box 620, Crookston, Minnesota, 56716.
Email it to us at 
Fax it to us at 281-5036
Or drop it by the KROX studios at 208 South Main in Crookston.
Be sure to include your name, address and phone number where you can be reached at the easiest. You could win a twenty dollar Hugo’s gift card to be used toward a purchase of an Our Family frozen turkey from Hugo’s in Crookston or a consolation prize of a Happy Joe’s Little Joe’s pizza. Send in your entry today and be ready when the KROX Turkey Shoot that starts Monday, October 31.




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