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 both business and public affairs reporting.
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MORRIS - A drunk driver crashed into a Morris home while fleeing from police after a traffic stop last Friday, Nov. 2, hid in a friend's closet to avoid apprehension, then tried to flee authorities again while being treated at Stevens Community Medical Center.
MORRIS - After 12 years as Sheriff of Stevens County, Randy Willis has resigned to accept a position with the Minnesota Sheriff's Association. Willis submitted his resignation letter to the Stevens County Board of Commissioners on Friday, Oct. 26, and the board accepted his resignation as of Dec. 31, 2012 at their board meeting Monday. "It has been my good fortune to have worked with and beside a very dedicated and bright group of women and men both inside the Sheriff's Office and throughout the county," Willis wrote in his resignation letter.
MORRIS - Almost 5,700 citizens voted in Stevens County during the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. In addition to both state and national candidates, many voters were able to make choices in city mayoral and city council races.
MORRIS - The Morris City Council will have two new members in three open seats, while all four incumbents to the Morris Area School Board will return after winning re-election Tuesday. In the Morris City Council races, newcomer Kevin Wohlers and incumbent Bill Storck were elected to serve four-year terms on the council. Brian Solvie was elected to fill an open two-year term. Four incumbents -- Dick Metzger, James Solvie, Brent Fuhrman, and Stan Wulf -- were re-elected to the Morris Area School Board.
MORRIS -- Bob Kopitzke, Ron Staples, and Donny Wohlers were elected to serve as Stevens County Commissioners by area voters in close races. According to the unofficial election results, Kopitzke beat incumbent Paul Watzke 436 votes to 425 votes in District 1. In District 3, incumbent Staples beat challenger Jim Swenson 548 votes to 433 votes. In the race for an open seat in District 4, Wohlers beat challenger Diane Nelson 559 votes to 523 votes. According to Stevens County Auditor/Treasurer Neil Wiese, none of the races are close enough to trigger an automatic recount.
MORRIS - Democrat Jay McNamar narrowly beat Republican Scott Dutcher in the race for House District 12A, while Republican Torrey Westrom handily beat Democrat John Schultz for Senate District 12. With all precincts reporting, McNamar had 10,092 votes to Dutcher's 9,837 votes. Independence Party candidate Dave Holman had 1,305 votes. With 206 of 208 precincts reporting, Westrom held more than 61 percent of the vote (24,944) compared to about 39 percent of the vote for Schultz (15,630 votes).
MORRIS - Stevens County results for national, state and local races are coming in slowly, thanks to a record number of absentee ballots cast in the county. As of 11:00 p.m., all 26 precincts in Stevens County had delivered their votes to the Stevens County Auditor/Treasurer's office, but results can't be announced on the Minnesota Secretary of State website until absentee ballots are counted and reported. Debuty Auditor/Treasurer Deb Brunko said a record number of absentee ballots, 447, were returned by voters.
MORRIS - Morris Area High School Students cast their votes for presidential challenger Mitt Romney, but maintained support for incumbents Amy Klobuchar and Collin Peterson at a mock election at MAHS on Monday. Students were split on their support for two proposed constitutional amendments, favoring a proposed amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman while rejecting a proposed amendment to require a photo ID when voting.
MORRIS - The Morris Area School District's former Director of Buildings and Grounds has pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property and could face up to a year in jail, a $3,000 fine or both. David Stoffer of Hancock, Minn., who resigned from his position in the district on June 13, 2012, pled guilty to the charge Monday. Stoffer's lawyer, Jeff Kuhn, asked that the sentence be lowered to up to 15 days in jail with restitution of $650 and probation.
MORRIS - House Minority Leader Paul Thissen encouraged audience members at a DFL rally at the University of Minnesota, Morris on Saturday that if the DFL takes control of the Minnesota legislature, the top priority will be investing in higher education. "We will focus on getting people back to work and getting people jobs and investing in the infrastructure of this state instead of focusing on divisive social issues," Thissen said, criticizing GOP legislative leadership.