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.
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By Kim Ukura Sun Tribune The Stevens County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on a proposed change to the county's zoning ordinance and a request to rezone a 53 acre property on Perkins Lake to allow for commercial development at their meeting on Tuesday. The request from B&H Holdings is to rezone the property previously owned by Luther Crest Bible Camp to a commercial site. The owners hope to rent out the existing pavilion and cabins for weddings, family reunions and other events.
MORRIS, Minn. - At their meeting Monday, the Morris Area School Board considered a draft copy of a 10-year facilities plan developed by ICS Consulting, which includes a breakdown of potential projects for the elementary school, high school and bus garage, as well as a set of miscellaneous projects to consider. "I think it's a really good starting point for us," said Superintendent Scott Monson. The draft plan includes more than $7.25 million in potential projects over the next 10 years.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Morris City Council formally approved a logo to be used for marketing and tourism efforts in Morris at their meeting on Tuesday based on a recommendation from the Tourism Board. The logo was one of three recommendations to come from the tourism board at Tuesday's meeting. The approved logo is not the original logo prepared by HBH Consultants, a firm hired by the city last year to develop tourism communications plan. Instead, the approved logo was designed by Superior Industries after discussions about the logo at the Tourism Board's meeting in March.
MORRIS, Minn. - The decision to move forward with a renovation to Morris Auto Plaza's 1960s-era building took seven years to make, but in the end made sense for Joel Krusemark and his family. "Our facility was extremely outdated," said Krusemark, president of Morris Auto Plaza. "It was in desperate need of some updating." Although Krusemark had been looking into a building renovation since 2003, General Motor's 2009 restructuring and resulting plan to create a consistent brand across its dealerships helped move the renovation from idea to action.
MORRIS, Minn. - Preliminary data from the first two testing periods of a new assessment tool indicates that Morris Area students are ahead of the national average in math and language arts, but are not growing at the same rate as the national average. Sarah Suchy, AYP Coordinator and Reading Specialist with Lakes Country Service Cooperative, presented the Morris Area School Board with results from the Northwest Evaluation Association's Measures of Academic Progress, a new assessment implemented this year to help give more immediate and specific feedback about student achievement.
Despite voiced opposition from many local landowners, the Stevens County Planning Commission has recommended amending the Stevens County Zoning Ordinance to add a new shoreland commercial designation and re-zone property on Perkins Lake to allow for development of property previously owned by Luther Crest Bible Camp. The request to amend the zoning ordinance was submitted by Ben Hentges (B&H Holdings), the owners of the property at 45456 140th Street in Donnelly, Minn.
MORRIS, Minn. - Democrats in Districts 12 and 12A have selected their candidates to run in the election in November. DFL activist John Schultz ran unopposed for the Senate District 12 nomination at the DFL endorsing convention at Minnewaska Area High School on Thursday night. Schultz, of Correll, is a former investment banker and cattle farmer. Schultz told the assembled delegates that he has three principles for his campaign - good jobs, health care and education. He also called for honesty when it comes to taxes and education funding.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners awarded three construction contracts to Riley Bros Construction, the low bidder in each case, for summer road work at their regular meeting on Tuesday. Bids on all three projects were opened last Wednesday, April 11, and after compiling all of the information, it was apparent that Riley Bros was the low bidder on all three projects, said County Engineer Brian Giese. The bid for the first project, an improvement to Highway 9 in Alberta, from Riley Bros was $520,600, about $23,000 less than the estimated cost of the project.
MORRIS, Minn. - The City of Morris received another clean financial audit for 2011. Derek Flanagan, of Eide Bailly, told the Morris City Council Tuesday that the city had received a "clean audit opinion or an "unqualified opinion," which is "what you want and the opinion you have always received." The city's liquidity ratio, or the city's ability to pay bills as they come due, was positive, said Flanagan. This means the city has the cash on hand to pay bills.
MORRIS, Minn. - For many members of Morris' growing Hispanic community, life in Morris is a time set off by parentheses, a time to work before going back to the lives and families they left behind in Mexico. One of the major goals of Lazos, a community group that reaches across the various demographics of Morris, is to inspire members of the Hispanic Community to make something better out of their time in parentheses, to get to know their neighbors, to improve themselves and to grow as a person while they are here, said Edna Mar, owner of La Tienda and co-founder of Lazos.