Crookston National Bank is announcing that they will be changing their name to Northern Sky Bank, effective December 12, 2016.  The year 2016 marked 100 years of community banking for Crookston National Bank.  "We are proud of our past, and excited to continue our hometown service under a new name, Northern Sky Bank," said bank President, Jim Ingeman. "Although our name will change, our leadership, staff, services, location, FDIC Insurance, ownership, our business approach, and most importantly, our commitment to our customers and community will remain unchanged.  We will continue to enhance our products and services, and adapt new technologies for our customers.  Our new name will enable us to continue our hometown service that our customers have come to know."
In celebration of 100 years of community banking and a new name, they will be having an open house December 8, all of our customers are invited. 
For more information, please contact Crookston National Bank at 218-281-1976.





The RiverView Foundation Board of Directors would like to thank KROX for another great year of broadcasting RiverView’s Philanthropy Day event on Tuesday, November 15.  This year marked the thirteenth year KROX has broadcast live, on-site for this meaningful event filled with heartfelt stories from RiverView patients and staff sharing testimonials of the exceptional care they and their loved ones have received at RiverView Health.
RiverView’s first Philanthropy Day event was held November 15, 2004. Since then more than 250 interviews have been shared with KROX listeners regarding what local healthcare services mean to those members of the community.  “Philanthropy Day is an important day for our organization,’’ said Foundation Director Kent Bruun. “The annual event is important in helping to create an increased awareness of services offered at RiverView Health and the important role of the Foundation. The Foundation Board and I want to thank Chris Fee, Frank Fee and KROX for the years of support they have given this event. Without them it would not happen.’’
The Foundation Board of Directors would also like to thank those who shared their stories with KROX’ listeners, as well as everyone who participated in the Community Health Fair.
Philanthropy Day is a great way to share all that we are thankful for at the Foundation. It is a great way to highlight the priority programs that provide the greatest benefits to the highest number of patients. We thank you for being a part of this important event, and for your continued support of the RiverView Health Foundation. 


The RiverView Foundation Board of Directors
Kurt Heldstab – Chair
Ingrid Remick
Amy Ellingson
Christian Kiel
Machelle Engelstad
Trent Fischer
Dr. Kari Miller
Jodi Dragseth
Sue Westrom
Jerry Lindsay




Crookston resident Nicole Jacobson, a member of the Navajo Nation, will present "Navajo Code Talkers and Their Culture" on Tuesday, November 29, at noon in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The event is free and all are welcome.
Jacobson will discuss the secret Navajo language used by the code talkers of the U.S. Marines during World War II that allowed U.S. forces to overtake Iwo Jima and win other battles around the world. She will also share Navajo culture through artifacts and traditional customs.
The event, free and open to the public, is part of Native American Heritage Month and sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Multicultural Programs. 
To see all the events taking place during Native American Heritage Month, visit

Back by popular demand, Students in event planning and management class invite the campus and community to the second University of Minnesota Crookston PechaKucha Night on Tuesday, November 29, at 7 p.m. in the Evergreen Grill. All are welcome and the event is free. Parking is recommended in Lot C located between Evergreen Hall and the Sports Center on campus. 
PechaKucha is a 6 minute and 40 second presentation on widely varying topics. To create a PechaKucha 20x20 presentation, presenters pick 20 images, put them in order, import them into PowerPoint or Keynote, and make sure that each image automatically transitions after 20 seconds. This fast-paced presentation style is both educational and entertaining. For more information on PechaKucha, visit:
Winning presentations will be determined by an audience ballot so bring your friends. This event is co-sponsored by U of M Crookston University Relations.





Otter Tail Power Company’s new Publicly Owned Property Solar program, approved by the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Division of Energy Resources in August, incentivizes public entities in Minnesota to generate their own solar energy by providing rebates for installation of qualifying solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. “Public entities typically don’t qualify for the 30 percent federal tax credit for installing solar PV systems,” said Otter Tail Power Company Market Planning Manager Jason Grenier. “So, approval of this program is an important step in making solar generation more affordable to those customers.”
Through the program, Otter Tail Power Company provides incentives of $1,250 per kilowatt (kW) of installed nameplate capacity, up to 50 percent of project costs, for solar PV systems not exceeding 20 kW. “Before a public entity can take advantage of the solar rebate program, we require the facility to meet certain energy-efficiency standards,” said Grenier. “That’s really to the benefit of the customer. Solar installations and energy-efficiency projects are beneficial to customers and the environment. But energy-efficiency projects generally cost less and have a quicker pay back, so we want to be sure customers take those steps first.”
The first public entity to take advantage of Otter Tail Power Company’s Publicly Owned Property Solar program is the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC).  Since classes began in late August, UMC students have been enjoying the college’s new energy-efficient $15 million Wellness Center, which includes a two-court gymnasium, suspended track, weight and cardio area, group exercise room, classroom—and 19.5-kW rooftop solar PV system.  
Otter Tail Power Company Energy Management Representative Ken Johnson has been involved with the new Wellness Center since the planning phase. "Because UMC reached out to us early, we’ve worked together to ensure the building is energy efficient and able to generate its own renewable energy,” said Johnson. “On top of future energy-efficiency and renewable-energy savings, UMC received rebates for participating in two of our programs—$25,000 for Publicly Owned Property Solar and $32,000 for Commercial Design Assistance."
Johnson estimates that the solar PV system will produce 23,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, which is 6 percent to 10 percent of the building's electricity consumption and about equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power two homes for a year.
The Commercial Design Assistance program identified 19 energy-efficient measures that were incorporated into the building’s design. Some of those measures include highly efficient wall and roof insulation, energy-efficient windows, daylighting in the gymnasium, and LED lighting throughout the building. The measures combined will result in approximately 100,000 kWh saved annually, or 28 percent of the building's energy consumption.
“UMC has a long and successful history of partnering on innovative projects with Otter Tail Power Company—from the Campus Energy Challenge in 2010 to the solar rebate program that allowed the installation of the solar PV system on the roof of our new Wellness Center,” said UMC Chancellor Fred Wood. “The Wellness Center symbolizes all the dimensions of wellness, including environmental wellness. It is therefore very exciting to have worked together with Otter Tail Power Company to generate up to 10 percent of the energy needed for this facility from solar power. Students, who are increasingly concerned about sustainability, have been very supportive of this feature, and it’s definitely a major contributing factor to why the State of Minnesota’s Buildings, Benchmarks, and Beyond (B3) Sustainable Buildings Program presented the 2016 Best of B3 Award for Design to our Wellness Center.”

For more information about these programs, visit or   

                         The solar panels on the roof of the University of Minnesota Crookston Wellness Center






On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, House Republicans unveiled new committee chairs for the 2017-2018 legislative sessions. Representative Deb Kiel (R-Crookston) was named Chair of the Subcommittee on Aging and Long-Term Care, a committee that will focus on issues related to nursing homes, our state’s aging population and long-term care.  “It’s an honor to have been named a chair, and I am excited to get to work tackling critical issues related to our state’s aging population and long-term care,” said Rep. Kiel. “Last biennium, we did a lot of great work including providing vital funding increases for our nursing homes. I plan to build on those successes and keep our state moving in a positive direction, passing commonsense policies that work for Minnesotans.”
Kiel, who was first elected in 2010, serves District 1B in Northwest Minnesota.




The Crookston School District and School Board had a working session meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the audit of the school district finances.  Tracy Bruggeman of Brady Martz and Associates in Thief River Falls conducted the audit and the Crookston School District looks to be in good standing financially and the audit was a good report.  “The report went well,” said Crookston School District Business Manager Laura Lyczewski. “Everything went well.  It was very informational and helpful to us and I think we are set up well with a few assigned budgets to make sure we keep everything up.  We are in good shape with the referendums that have passed, fiscally we are very sound.”
The Crookston Community Swimming Pool, which the school district owns lost $330,00 in the school year 2015-2016 and was the only glaring number on the report.  To view the report click here.
The Crookston School Board will be asked to approve/accept the audit at the school board meeting on Monday, November 28.




The Polk County Commissioners held a public hearing on Tuesday on the Red Lake River One Watershed One Plan executive summary.  Matt Fisher, a conservationist with the Board of Water and Soil Resources explained the method used to develop one plan.  “This is an effort developed by the local water shed districts and the counties starting back 2010 at the local government water table and they recommended that  water planning should be done on a watershed basis with all the government units planning together to have better management instead of an individual plan for entity,” said Fisher.  “The Red Lake River Watershed was one of the pilots who started the process in 2013 and now seven more have started so we should have 65 to 70 plans across the state instead of more than 200 plans across the state.”  The fewer plans will be more efficient and lead to more partnerships where each unit has a 10 year plan with a review after five years.”
The plan covers topics like flood damage, water quality, erosion, habitat and drainage.

Ross Hier, area manager for the DNR in Polk County came before the commissioners on Tuesday with a resolution to replace a water control structure on County Ditch 83 in Rosebud Township north of Fosston.  Sidney, Steve and Cody Fjerstad were at the meeting and spoke in opposition of the plan which they said would flood some of the farm land and a farm yard.   Hier explained the action taken by the commissioners after a tie vote with the chairman casting a no vote which rejected the plan.  “This was to replace a structure on county ditch 83 after the old one was removed,” said Hier. “It was to be lower at 1,272.6 or eight feet lower than the high water mark. Fjerstad is opposed and said they would get flooded, but our numbers say that they would not be affected and they are talking off the top of their head when they would not be affected, so now we will have a public hearing to discuss the matter again.”

Polk County Commissioners will have another meeting on Tuesday, November 29 starting at 1:00 p.m. to conduct regular business and then hold the Truth in Taxation hearing at 6:00 p.m., according to County Administrator Chuck Whiting. “We will take input from any resident of the county and a summary of the budget will be given and the board will act on the final budget on December 20,” said Whiting.   The budget is in the range of $60 million and the proposed levy will be raised three percent for 2017.




Thanksgiving means that a lot of people will be spending time in their kitchen preparing delicious meals for family and friends. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. In 2014, cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires. Crookston Fire Chief Tim Froeber says the most common issue they’ve seen deals with carbon monoxide. “We end up with a lot of carbon monoxide calls from people cooking inside with gas stoves,” Froeber mentioned. “With cooking going on in the house and people lighting candles, that carbon monoxide starts to build up. Fire and gas stoves and any kind of cooking appliances can contribute to that. Those are probably the most frequent calls that we get.”
More and more people are deep frying their turkeys now, but it hasn’t been as big of an issue locally as far as safety is concerned. “In my career, we’ve only had one instance where a person tried to deep fry a turkey inside of their garage and had an issue,” Froeber said. “We don’t recommend that by any means. If you’re going to deep fry a turkey, keep it 25 feet away from your structure and make sure it is thawed out before you drop it in to the liquid. Every year I read about the horror stories with people burning their decks or garages but we haven’t seen it happen here.”
How can you stay safe while cooking during the Thanksgiving holiday? “The number one thing is to make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors,” Chief Froeber noted. “Those are going to be the life savers. If they do sound, make sure you react to them right away and don’t dismiss them. Another thing is to attend your cooking at all times. Make sure there is somebody in the kitchen at all times and a real big one is to keep children out of the kitchen if possible. Every year it seems you hear about young kids getting burned or something and we don’t want to see that happen.”
If you have any questions about cooking safety, smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors, the Crookston Fire Department can be reached at 218-281-4584.




The Crookston Kiwanis recently honored the Highland School Fifth Grade Terrific Kids, Marissa Haugen, Halle Winjum, Gabby Corrales and Emma Gunderson.

Megan Haugen (previous terrific kid last year), Marissa Haugen , mother Ann Butala, Gabby Corrales with mother Jennifer Storbakken, Halle Winjum with mother Leah Winjum, Emma Gunderson with her mom Gina and dad Grant Gunderson.





Dipping her canoe paddle into the tranquility of the Boundary Waters is one of the purest forms of happiness known to University of Minnesota Crookston Senior Trina Weisel.  The elementary education major from Alexandria, Minnesota, spent the last six summers at the Northern Lakes Canoe Base first as a camper and later as a guide taking Girl Scouts ages 12-18 on trips through the pristine wilderness of northern Minnesota.
Weisel embraces the tenet that people can do more than they think they can, and her goal is to impart that belief to the young Girl Scouts she guides.  “I want to make a difference in their lives,” Weisel says. “My favorite quote is ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ and I strive to live my life to be that change.” As a lifetime Girl Scout herself earning the highest honors afforded by the organization—bronze, silver, and gold—Weisel loves to watch the girls put learning into action.  
Her activities encompass more than Girl Scouts. Weisel tutors college algebra, as well as education classes for international students, and she applies her penchant for education to her faith by teaching confirmation classes to students at Cathedral in Crookston. She may have inherited her love for teaching from her mother who teaches first grade, and Weisel is never happier than when she is in the classroom working with grade school students. “I have been in Mrs. Brantner’s fifth grade class and Mrs. Ingersoll’s third grade class,” Weisel says. “I love applying what I have learned in the classrooms, and because the Crookston campus is smaller, I have had a lot of opportunity to be in actual classrooms.”
Her experience in the Boundary Waters helped Weisel grow as a person. Canoeing and flipping canoes weighing 65-70 pounds when it is time to portage might seem beyond the strength of this young woman, but she is undaunted by it all. One of the highlights of the summer for her was the opportunity to meet Dave and Amy Freeman, who spent 366 days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to help protect the area from the threat of proposed sulfide-ore copper mining on the Wilderness edge (
“I was excited to be a part of the team that would resupply the Freemans and to learn about water testing on Knife Lake,” Weisel says. 
If she had to describe herself in three words, those words would be positive, outgoing, and inclusive. These characteristics helped her as she served as a leader on the student orientation staff and as Newman Club president. She has also received the bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award and makes volunteer work a priority.
A trip to study abroad in New Zealand rounds out the highlights of Weisel’s time on campus. She will complete her final semester in the spring and then prepare for the certifications necessary to become a teacher. 
Will she return to the Boundary Waters? Maybe not this summer, but she will return because spending time in one of the most beautiful places on earth is like coming home, and Weisel’s heart will call her back she is certain.  





The Polk County Sheriff's Office responded to an unresponsive female north of the Highway 75 bypass bridge on Friday, November 18 just before 11:00 a.m.  The female was transported by Crookston Area Ambulance to RiverView Hospital in Crookston where she later died.  The female was identified as Erin Koplitz, 34 of Crookston and was apparently living in a makeshift shanty by the river.  Koplatz was transported to the University of North Dakota's Medical Examiner's Office in Grand Forks where an autopsy was performed.  This case is still under investigation by the Polk County Sheriff's Office.  Responding units include the Crookston Area Ambulance, Crookston Police Department, and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
No further information is being released at this time.




Crookston and the Red River Valley will be hit by a wintery mix of precipitation Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  The NWS says roads and walkways could be quite icy on Tuesday with light freezing rain or drizzle Monday evening and again early Tuesday morning.
The highest amounts should be across southeast North Dakota into west central Minnesota with a trace of freezing rain to one tenth of an inch possible with the precipitation turning into light snow Tuesday morning and afternoon.  Northwest Minnesota can expect 2 to 4 inches of snow with 1 to 3 inches of snow expected in southeast North Dakota and west central Minnesota.
With temperatures hovering within a few degrees of freezing you can expect snow on roadways to melt and possibly refreeze.  If you are traveling Tuesday morning slow down and take your time traveling.




The National Weather Service in Grand Forks, North Dakota forecast for Crookston and the area calls for up to a couple inches of snow and the City of Crookston Public Works Department reminds residents of the snow removal ordinance.

Shovel Your Sidewalk Promptly
Keep a critical part of Crookston’s transportation system moving.  City ordinance requires that snow and ice be removed from sidewalks within forty-eight (48) hours AFTER snowfall CEASES. If snow and ice are not removed as provided, it may be removed by authorized City personnel and the costs for snow removal, along with an administration fee, will be assessed against the property.

Help Your Neighbors
Help your elderly neighbors and neighbors with disabilities with snow and ice removal.  Clear snow build-up at corners and around fire hydrants.  When you go out of town, arrange for moving your vehicles during snowfalls and shoveling your public walk.

Rental Property Owners and Tenants
If you own rental property, please take appropriate measures to ensure snow and ice are being cleared from the sidewalk by assigning a resident manager or retaining a snow removal contractor.  If you are a tenant, please check with the property owner to assure proper snow removal arrangements have been made.

Remember that it is against city ordinance to deposit snow or ice from private property or vacant lots onto the streets or other public property. If you have questions concerning the snow and ice removal ordinance, contact the Public Works Department at 281-1232.





People will be taking planes, trains and automobiles to their desired destinations this Thanksgiving, more than they have in years past. In 2015, AAA reported that 46.9 million Americans journeyed 50 miles or more from their home, the most since 2007. That number is expected to go up to 48 million this year. AAA’s Gail Weinholzer says, “Gas prices are quite low and we expect them to stay low through the end of the month.” The current national average for a gallon of gas in the United States is $2.17.

With driving being the most popular form of Thanksgiving travel, the State Patrol does urge motorists to be careful. Sergeant Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol offers some reminders. “We see a little bit of everything with the Thanksgiving travel period,” Grabow noted. “A lot of cars on the highways can bring the potential for a lot of things. It can depend on the weather but a lot of it is just about being prepared. We do see a number of crashes over the holidays and unfortunately they are because of a lot of impaired drivers. If you’re going out and having a good time, plan a sober ride. And for other people, be a defensive driver. Always pay attention, make good choices and buckle up.”

Motorists can expect to see extra patrols out on the roads this week. “We generally do have extra patrols on the roads during the holiday period,” Grabow said. “Our goal during this is not about the number of citations we issue or arrests we make, but we hope people hear this message and make smart choices when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.”




Snow. We all know it’s coming eventually. Are you prepared to deal with it properly once it falls? Known by many as one of the least favorite wintertime chores, shoveling snow can also be hazardous and is associated with many serious, even fatal events each year. A study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy found that an average of 11,500 snow shoveling-related injuries and medical emergencies are treated in U.S. emergency departments each year.
But shoveling isn’t the only winter-related chore that can cause injury. Carrying packages through the mall and even lifting the star to the top of your holiday tree can cause aches and pains if done incorrectly.
Let RiverView’s Occupational Health Coordinator Tracy Cameron help you prepare for winter, inside and out, with tips at RiverView’s Monday, November 28 health luncheon, “Winter Ergonomics -- Working Safely this Winter’.  Learn safe winter work practices to help make your winter and holidays lighter and brighter!

Luncheon Details
The luncheon will be held in Meeting Room #1 of RiverView Health, 323 S. Minnesota Street, beginning at noon. Meeting Room #1 is located near the RiverView Clinic entrance on the north side of the building and across from the elevators on first floor.
The luncheon series is in its 18th year of sponsorship by RiverView Health. All men and women interested in improving their health are invited to attend. Each luncheon starts a few minutes past noon and luncheons are kept under one hour so those needing to return to work can attend. Pre-registration is required. A boxed lunch can be purchased for $3, but must be ordered while pre-registering for the event. Call Holly Anderson at 218-281-9745 for additional information and to pre-register.




Widseth Smith Nolting and KBM GeoSpatial has added a drone to their surveying arsenal and they gave some of the employees and media a preview of what they can do with the latest technology.  The Airgon AV-900 is a small Unmanned Aerial Mapping unit used for small areas, high accuracy topographic mapping. This unit can improve turnaround times for volumetric/topographic data analysis while improving accuracy and lowering cost. Unlike drone systems designed for videography the Airgon was designed for precision Photogrammetric aerial mapping and survey. “We can use it when we are working on city streets, county roads, annual quantity surveys, garbage sites, dirt volumes, bridge inspections, cell tower inspections and things like that,” said Garrett Borowicz Land Surveyor VP at Widseth Smith Nolting. “It makes the job more efficient in the field.  There is a lot more data processing inside the office.  You won’t have to go back to the site if you miss something because you will have everything in the office.”  This drone is designed to achieve 2 cm vertical accuracy. It is equipped with a survey grade system. 

WSN/KBM GeoSpatial also has a Cessna 310 with a ALS70 lidar unit and digital camera for larger projects. This unit is being applied on DOT and county roadway projects.  “This is the new stuff and technology keeps evolving year after year and you have to keep up to date.”

                      The news AV-900 drone used for Aerial mapping by Widseth Smith Nolting






On Sunday, November 20 at 6:22 p.m, the Polk County Sheriff's Office received a call of a one vehicle rollover, which occurred on Polk County Road 23, North of 150th Street Northwest in Brandt Township.  It was reported the driver was ejected from the vehicle and was the only occupant.  The vehicle was traveling north on Polk County Road 23 when the driver, Jason Kent Johnston, 42 of East Grand Forks, struck a deer, traveled into the west ditch and rolled over.  Johnston was pronounced dead at the scene.  The accident is under investigation.  Assisting agencies were the Minnesota State Patrol, Warren Fire Department and Warren Ambulance.




It’s that time of the year.  Winter is here and so is cold and flu season. The cold/flu season runs from October through May. Influenza is an infectious disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people a year. Nan Widseth, Polk County Public Health Disease Prevention and Control Coordinator, said that certain individuals are more at risk. “Usually the young and the old are the ones that are more at risk. Also people who have medical conditions with suppressed immunity are at a higher risk.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, which offers weekly reports on statistics about influenza, there has been sporadic spread of the flu in the state this year as of their latest report. The Center for Disease Control noted that it’s impossible to predict what the flu season will be like each year.
How do you know if you might have the flu? “Fever, cough and weakness are the main things to look for. It increases in severity,” Widseth notes. “You usually will notice some respiratory issues as well.”
Polk County Public Health does their part to make sure people are educated about the flu. “We try to go on the radio and make sure people are aware of the flu,” Widseth said. “A difference this year is that there is no nasal vaccine anymore, it’s the shot. The shot is meant to protect you and helps increase the antibodies to get your body ready.” Polk County Public Health offers the flu vaccine for children six months and older and under-insured adults.
It’s important to get the vaccine ahead of time for your body to prepare. Also, cover your cough and practice good hand hygiene to prevent getting the flu. For more information, you can contact Polk County Public Health at 281-3385.





Two University of Minnesota Crookston sophomores recently attended the Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, November 3-6.  Bailey Leaman, a sophomore agricultural education major from Mountain Lake, Minn., and Maggie Mills, a sophomore communication major from Lake City, Minnesota, traveled to the conference designed for young agriculturists to create connections, earn scholarships, and most importantly prepare an elite group of college students for their careers in the agriculture and food industry. 
Leaman and Mills had the opportunity to attend the 2016 AFA Leaders Conference through scholarships and industry sponsorships. Throughout the weekend, nation-wide college students were given the opportunity to converse with industry professionals, attend a career fair, participate in educational sessions, and build connections with other students and peers. Sessions at the conference focus on every aspect college student’s need to go above and beyond in the workplace and life. 
Sessions included material on utilizing social media to showcase a personalized brand, learning how to become a strong, impactful leader in the workplace, etiquette in an interview and/or luncheon scenarios, and resume building to name a few. Mills has attended both the 2015 and 2016 AFA Leaders Conference, as well as the AFA Animal Institute. 
Mills states, “Being chosen to attend these conferences has been a tremendous opportunity. AFA continues to amaze me with their loving mentality, wide range of connections, and their generosity in helping college students grow into more than just themselves.” 
The theme of the conference was “History Starts Now,” while introducing their new company brand, Building Bridges. Leaman and Mills look forward to becoming more involved in AFA, and hope to attend future conferences and institutes.

Bailey Leaman and Maggie Mills




We were looking through our email folders and found we missed this submitted picture from Veterans Day.  Thanks to RJ Anderson for submitting!

World War 2 veteran Curtis Hendrickson and Vietnam vet Bob Anderson at the American Legion Veteran’s Day celebration in part uniform.




The Crookston Early Childhood Initiative has named Maria Alameda a “Champion for Young Children” for her 20-plus years of teaching children in the Migrant Head Start, Head Start and Early Head Start fields.
Maria is a very dedicated teacher, who puts her heart and soul into what she does working with young children. You can tell just by looking at her that the children she teaches mean the world to her, almost as if they were her own.  Her passion not only lies with teaching her students, but involving the whole family to help provide them the best foundation for their future.  She has not only had an impact on the many children she has taught over the years, but also people that have had the privilege to teach with her.
The following are comments from a parent and also from her co-teacher, on the difference Maria has made in their lives.

Bobbie Danielson, Toddler Teacher, Crookston Early Head Start
Working with Maria for the past five years has given me a wealth of knowledge on how to work closely with children and their families. She is kind and compassionate. Her heart is so full for her family, friends and the children she taught for the past 20+ years  of service at Migrant Head Start, Head Start, and Early Head Start. Maria has always been positive and has great advice. Day in and day out, we reflected on our work with children. We would brainstorm ways to reach out to families, parents, and caregivers of the children we serve. When it was time to set a plan in place for a child who needed extra help, she knew what to do and how to communicate it to parents without stepping on anyone’s toes.
We will miss her dearly, and in fact, the children in the Toddler Classroom are asking about her whereabouts. They are learning a new word, ‘retirement’. “Maria is retired. She is at home, working at her house, and resting.” From the moment I met Maria in the summer of 2011, I knew we’d be a great match. What I didn’t know was that she would touch my heart and be such a great influence in my life!

Regina Zapata, Past parent
If you asked me to think long and hard about a person who has been an influence to my children and I, I wouldn’t need but a second to say teacher Maria.  She has been a part of our lives for 13 years, starting in 2003 when my oldest daughter started at Head Start. She was only 3 and being she was my first child, I was a nervous wreck. But, when I met Maria, all that worry faded away.  Just walking into Maria’s class, you could feel the love she has for the children and you knew without a doubt that your child was well taken care of. To this day, my daughter who is now 16, still talks about her teacher Maria and with a big smile always says, “ I wish I could go back to that school with teacher Maria.”

Thank you Maria for your tireless work and dedication to the Head Start children you have served over the years. You truly are a “Champion for young children”!

Maria, Amber Schiller (Head Start Manager and ECI Member), Francine Olson (ECI Member), and past and present children who attended Head Start. 





Brett Allen Goulet, 34 of Crookston, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two children in Climax.  Jurors found Goulet guilty of two first degree felony counts of criminal sexual conduct after a four day trial.  Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
The charges were filed after a social worker interviewed to children in 2014 and both said Goulet assaulted them while living in Climax.  The children were under the age of 12 at the time of the crime.  A sentencing hearing has been set for December 20.

  Brett Allen Goulet



Crookston High School Activities Director Greg Garmen recently announced the completion of the “Wall of Champions” at Crookston High School.  Garmen found pictures of every Crookston High School State Champion and made a plaque to honor each of the 15 Pirate state champions.  The Wall of Champions is above the trophy case outside the auditorium.  “It has been a work in progress for a couple of years and I got the idea from Bemidji High School.  As we played our games over there over the years, I noticed they have a comparable thing down their hallways with plaques of all of their state champions.  It’s a pretty basic plaque with a picture of the person, the sport, and the year they won the state championship,” said Garmen.  “We kept our plaques quite similar, pretty simple, because it could be hard to find the details on what they did and it’s hard to know how much to put on a plaque.  We already had a lot of wall space up there and it fit pretty decently up above the trophy case and we have a lot of room for additional plaques if we can win some more state championships, whether it is individual or team.”   There have three teams that have won state championships, the 1974 boy’s track and field, 1980 football, and 1995 baseball teams.  “Pictures were tough to find because people didn’t take as many pictures back in the day, so some were graduation pictures of the kids, some were action photos from the state tournaments if I could find them, and the parents helped by digging through their pictures from the past and letting us scan those and use them,” said Garmen.  “We hunted those all pictures down with help from Robin Reitmeier, and thanks to Ed Nelson for compiling the list and I took it from there.”  Garmen was appreciative of John Panzer who helped hang the plaques.  “A big thanks to John Panzer who hung everything up for us to finally get it completed,” said Garmen. “It was a couple years in the making but nonetheless, it is up there now and will not be difficult to update, just need to win some more state championships.”

Current Wall of Champions members:
1958 Bill Taylor - Track & Field High Jump
1974 Boys Track Team
1980 Boys Football Team
1985 & 1986 Paul Kuznik - Wrestling
1985 Christy Rongen, Jennifer Taus, Denise Desplenter, and Sara Bachmeier - Track & Field 1600m Relay
1989 & 1990 Lenny Meine - Wrestling
1995 Amy Normandin - Track & Field Discus
1995 Chris Chandler -  Track & Field Pole Vault
1995 Baseball Team
1996 & 1997 Troy Kleven and Jacob Olson - Tennis Doubles
1996 Jenny Bruun - Golf
1997 Katie Hunt and Elizabeth Ames - Tennis Doubles
1998 Shana Wilkens, Jamie Reese, Crystal Gasper, and Kelly Reese - Track & Field 4x100m Relay
2003 & 2004 Jessi Mullins - Speech
2004 Barbora Ungermannova - Track & Field Shot Put





The Crookston Pirates Special Olympics Bowling Team recently wrapped up another successful season with seven athletes finishing sixth or better! The team is coached by Bill and Holly Anderson. The following bowlers placed in each of their divisions:
· Tom Anderson, 2nd place
· Michael Durbin, 3rd place
· Mitchell Klein, 2nd place
· Jackie Frentz, 3rd place
· Ben Pankratz, 3rd place
· Brandie Stine, 5th place
Draven Fillipi, 6th place

Now that bowling is complete, the basketball season around the corner and track, bocce ball seasons were a success. The Crookston Pirates Basketball Team will start back up in December. Watch for more information as the season approaches. The team is coached by Jeff Durbin and practices are held on Tuesday and Thursday nights at the Crookston Armory from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
The Crookston delegation also had a successful track and field season this year, with an area meet in Thief River Falls. The athletes are coached by Kim Hassel and assistant coach Sabrina Contreras.
The newest sport for the Crookston delegation was bocce ball this summer. The athletes did well in a tournament held in Thief River Falls. The team is coached by Kim Hassel and assistant coaches Sabrina Contreras and Anna Buegler.

New Head of Delegation
Bill and Holly Anderson are handing over their volunteer coordination position to Kim Hassel.  Hassel is a Fertile native with 23 years of experience with Eagles Wing Inc., a corporate foster care for children and adults; 10 years with the Polk County Developmental Activity Center (DAC); and three years as a transportation specialist at Polk County DAC.  She has coached Crookston’s Special Olympics Track and Field for two years and Bocce Ball for one year. Hassel has a three-year-old son, TaySean, who enjoys coaching with mom and is referred to as “lil coach’’ by the athletes.
If you or someone you know is interested in joining Crookston’s Special Olympics delegation, please contact Hassel at 218-277-0399.

Back Row -
Tom Anderson, Michael Durbin and Ben Pankratz.
Front Row - Brandie Stine, Mitchell Klein, Draven Fillipi and Jackie Frentz.





Pictured above, left to right, Crookston Hugo’s Store Director Bob O’Halloran hands RiverView Health Foundation Director Kent Bruun a check from a recent fundraising event at the Crookston store to raise money for the RiverView Health Children’s Health Fund. Hugo’s met the money donated by store patrons dollar for dollar.
“Hugo’s is happy to be a part of organizations like RiverView,’’ O’Halloran stated. “The Children’s Health Fund is a worthwhile project to which we are proud to donate.’’
Recent projects made possible through the Children’s Health Fund include the purchase of lead lab testing equipment; 10 “Buzzy’’ units – an FDA approved device used to help block the pain of injections, IVs, burning from medications and muscle soreness;  and CPR Infant Anytime kits for newborns.
For more information on the Children’s Health Fund or any RiverView Foundation program, contact Bruun at 218-281-9249 or





The community is invited to the Crookston Public Library for a presentation from Minnesota author and historian Steve Hoffbeck, who will share what life looked like on the home front during World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
This Legacy event will take place Tuesday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Crookston Public Library (110 N. Ash St.) This series is sponsored in part by the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.
Next week, the library’s Spinecrackers Book Club will meet on Tuesday, November 22 at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion of The Roundhouse by Louise Erdrich. 
The Crookston Public Library is a location of Lake Agassiz Regional Library, which is a consolidated LINK Site system comprised of 13 branch libraries and nine LINK sites serving the residents of seven counties in northwest Minnesota
. More information is available at




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