Kim Ukura has served as the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune since August 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2008 with degrees in English and journalism. She earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2010. Prior to returning to Morris to work at the Sun Tribune, she worked in trade publishing. She has been recognized by the Minnesota Newspaper Association for human interest, multimedia, business and public affairs reporting.
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MORRIS — The Morris community had the chance to celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month last week, when parents and students could be seen out in the lawn adjacent to Morris Area Elementary School playing a rousing game of flag football. Some students played Big Base, while others spent time jogging or power walking. These activities were all part of Fitness Fun Day, an annual event organized by the MAES physical education department that is helping to expand the idea of what physical education means.
The past week, the 2016 Minnesota Legislative session came to a chaotic close. I'm sure most Minnesotans didn't watch and couldn't stomach the messy end to another legislative session.
MORRIS — Republican members of the Minnesota House of Representatives stopped in Morris Thursday as part of a tour around Minnesota urging Governor Mark Dayton to call a special session and pass a bonding and transportation bill that failed to pass both the House and Senate at the end of the legislative session.
MORRIS — Plans for a new water treatment plant in Morris remain in limbo after the Minnesota Legislature failed to agree on bonding bill that included state funding to help offset the cost of the $17 million project. On Tuesday, Kris Swanson, the city's engineer with Bolton and Menk, updated the Morris City Council on the the status of the project and offered an update on what the legislative inaction means going forward.
MORRIS — Stevens County will be hosting an open house on Wednesday, June 1 for citizens to review preliminary buffer maps produced by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. At the open house there will be printed maps for constituents to review and persons on hand to answer questions, County Engineer Todd Larson said. The open house will be at the Stevens County Courthouse (400 Colorado Avenue) in the commissioner's board room on the second floor.
Given the number of debates, the volume of campaign commercials, and the multitude of election-related think pieces being published in print and online, you'd think that this year's general election was coming soon. In reality, we've still got more than five months to go. Hooray? Letters to the editor are something I enjoy reading in the newspaper each week. While some letters can get a little nasty, especially as the campaign season rolls on, I appreciate the chance to hear what my neighbors think on topics that are important to our community, region and state.
MORRIS — Last weekend, University of Minnesota, Morris Chancellor Jacquie Johnson participated in her final commencement ceremony after 10 years leading the institution. During the 'farewell tour' of her final year on campus and during her final commencement ceremony, Johnson reflected the fit that she has felt as chancellor at UMM: "I have often said that there is no perfect job... but I have thought that over the course of the last 10 years that this job, for me, has been about as perfect as any could be."
MORRIS — Parents and community members concerned about how much time kids spend indoors are leading the charge on a project to build an outdoor learning classroom at Morris Area Elementary School. The project would help extend classroom learning to the outdoors, cultivate a love of nature and exploration for students, and offer hands-on and experiential learning, parent Jenny Zeltwanger told the Morris Area School Board on Tuesday.
MORRIS — On Tuesday, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners, acting as the county drainage authority, approved a petition from Mark Huebner to add four 40-acre parcels of land into County Ditch 1. All four parcels are surrounded by land that pays benefits into CD1, and it's clear the land already drains into the ditch system, County Engineer Todd Larson said. Huebner requested to have the parcels included in the system and pay ditch benefits in order to complete a project designed to hold water back from the system, Larson said.
MORRIS — Should Stevens County ban e-cigarettes wherever use of tobacco products is currently banned? On Tuesday, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners reviewed ordinances that would update the county's current tobacco sale and licensing ordinance and bring the county into compliance with the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act. The county's current tobacco ordinance was passed in 1998, and needs to be updated to reflect language related to packaging, compliance checks, fines, and the process for addressing violations, said County Coordinator Becky Young.