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 — Although retention will be a top priority this year for faculty and staff at the University of Minnesota, Morris, one person who will not be returning after the 2015 — 2016 academic year is Chancellor Jacquie Johnson. At the opening faculty and staff convocation on Wednesday, Aug. 19, Johnson announced that this year, her 10th as the leader of the UMM campus, will be her last. "It's the perfect time, I think, for the campus to experience new leadership," said Johnson, getting visibly emotional while making the announcement.
One of the hardest things about reporting is deciding what you have to leave out of a story. The feature story for this week's paper is about the Eighth Judicial District's drug court, which has been operating for just over a year. By nearly every measure, drug court is a program that is successfully helping people with severe drug addiction get themselves out of the criminal justice system. In the course of reporting the story, I sat in on two sessions of drug court, one on July 23 and the second on Aug. 6.
MORRIS — After violating probation, again, Courtney Wait had a decision to make: go to jail and, in all likelihood, lose custody of her daughters Delilah and Aubrey, or try a new court program designed to help those with severe drug addictions get back on their feet. "The last five years of my life were complete hell, crazy," said Courtney. "I was using meth, I was selling meth, I was manufacturing meth. ...
MORRIS — On Tuesday, the Morris City Council approved an ordinance amending the city code related to municipal utilities — water, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and garbage collection. The biggest change for residents is that the city plans to collect a fee to pay for costs associated with stormwater projects and administration, although that rate hasn't been set yet. New water regulations mean the city needs help developing plans and applying for permits related to stormwater runoff.
MORRIS — A funding increase for nursing homes and long-term care facilities approved during the last Legislative session will mean an increase in wages and benefits for workers at West Wind Village. On Monday, administrators at the facility met with Rep. Jeff Backer (R-Browns Valley) and Rep.
MORRIS — Business owners and government officials joined Deputy Minority Leader Paul Marquart (D-Dilworth) and House DFL Leader Paul Thissen (D-Minneapolis) in Morris on Monday to discuss broadband issues in rural Minnesota and how state grants to improve availability are being used in the region. In 2014 the state provided $20 million in grants to help improve high-speed Internet access in rural areas of the state. In 2015 the allocation was $11 million. Supporters had asked for $100 million and Gov. Mark Dayton suggested $30 million in his budget proposal.
MORRIS — Visitors to the Stevens County Fair won't hear the flapping, clucking and squawking they've come to expect in the Poultry Barn at the fair.
MORRIS — The Prairie Inn of Morris has a new name and new owners with a vision for how to bring the hotel back to the property long-time members of the community remember. The new owners, B&H Hospitality, said their vision for the newly-named Hotel 200 is for a mid-range, modern-but-comfortable space that can provide the benefits of a full-service hotel to the area. Co-owner Maggie Buss said she and her family have been trying to purchase the hotel for about four years, but finally came to an agreement with former owners Bhupen and Amy Ray to take possession of the property last Thur
MORRIS — The 142nd annual Stevens County Fair kicks off this Wednesday, Aug. 12 for a long weekend of fun and activities at the Stevens County Fairgrounds in Morris. This year, there will be a new event in the Bank of the West Demo Derby on Sunday, Aug. 16 — a lawn mower class. In this event, drivers can outfit riding lawn mowers by removing the deck and adding safety bars to protect the driver. Stevens County has teamed up with the Big Stone County Fair to help get drivers for this new event.
MORRIS — Stevens County's share of state aid continues to decrease and will have an impact on the 2016 tax levy, County Coordinator Becky Young told the Stevens County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. The county received $271,482 in County Program Aid in 2015, but will get just $147,576 in 2016 — a 45 percent reduction in just one year. Stevens County saw a 25 percent decrease in 2014 and a further 30 percent decrease in 2015. Young called the 2016 allocation "very disappointing" and said it will be a real issue when it comes to formulating the 2016 budget.