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 — Stevens County will save approximately $740,000 in debt service payments as a result of refinancing the county's existing debt for the 2009 courthouse remodeling project. In June, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners voted to refinance a current lease bond into a General Obligation Capital Improvement Bond, essentially repacking the debt to get a better interest rate. The board then hired Northland Securities to broker a negotiated sale of the bonds.
MORRIS — A Morris man was charged with multiple controlled substance crimes after three sales of heroin to an undercover agent in Morris. Anthony Baker, 52, was arraigned in Stevens County District Court on Thursday, July 15 Baker is facing two charges of second degree sale and possession of drugs, and one fourth degree controlled substance crime. These charges arose from multiple sales of suspected heroin and other controlled substances to an undercover officer in Morris, Police Chief Ross Tiegs said.
MORRIS — In mid-July, the Stevens County area played host to a group of 14 Australian students and their professor as part of a study abroad course on sustainability research in Minnesota. Organizers said the visit is a great example of agritourism programming already developed in the area. The student program was developed in 2015 as a partnership between the University of Minnesota, Morris and the University of Minnesota's Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, said Troy Goodnough, UMM sustainability director.
MORRIS — This year's Relay for Life of Stevens County benefitted from beautiful weather, motivated teams, and a community effort to recognize those who have been affected by cancer. Approximately 350 people attended the 2016 relay on Friday, July 15 at Pomme de Terre Park in Morris. Among the attendees were 120 cancer survivors. To date, the Relay for Life of Stevens County has raised approximately $62,200 towards their goal of $75,000. Participants will continue to fundraise through Aug. 31, which is the end of the 2016 relay season.
MORRIS — Student survey results about Morris Area's bullying prevention program, Olweus, showed a dip in effectiveness of some areas of the program after the fourth year of programming. Principals Shane Monson and Bill Kehoe told the Morris Area School Board on Tuesday that a focus for the upcoming school year will be encouraging adults and students to step in and intervene when they see bullying happening at school.
MORRIS — The city of Morris' 2016 construction project along Oregon Avenue is off to a good start, inspector Jason Johnson said. The two-year project is divided into four phases along Oregon Avenue. The current phase covers Green River Park through South Street. The second phase goes from South Street to East Second Street. The third phase encompasses East Second Street to East Fourth Street. The final phase picks up East Eighth Street to East Ninth street, and Pacific Avenue from West Fifth Street to West Sixth Street.
MORRIS — Storms that rolled across Minnesota in early July may have brought the "million dollar rain" area farmers needed to keep this year's growing season on track for a successful harvest this fall. Farmers were able to get planting on time this spring, and good soil moisture at the start of the growing season helped crops get started, said Curt Reese, a scientist in agronomy and soil science at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris.
MORRIS — This year's Stevens County Relay for life is scheduled for Friday, July 15 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. at Pomme de Terre Park. Seventeen teams, with 160 registered participants to date, hope to raise $75,000 for the American Cancer Society. The theme for this year's Relay for Life is "Carnival." Participating teams will have a carnival game, activity, or item to sell at their campsite as part of the fundraising efforts. There will also be theme laps organized by participating teams.
MORRIS — Before Wayne Lemmerman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014, he had no idea something might be wrong. "I had no problems, no anything," Lemmerman said. But a routine colonoscopy when he turned 52 revealed some unusual polyps in his colon, one that turned out to be cancerous. Because of his experience, Lemmerman said he has been "hounding" classmates, friends and family to go in for their recommended colon cancer screenings.
By the time you are reading this column, I will have turned 30. This is a milestone that I've been dreading for the better part of a year that also means absolutely nothing. A year or two ago I started to discover more and more gray hairs, all coming in at the same place up near my bangs. Seeing the first long, silver strand made my stomach sink, and I immediately plucked it out. I kept pulling them out, one by one as they would appear, until I realized that plan wasn't really sustainable — it's probably better to be gray-haired than totally bald.