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 — Are too many regulations hurting the market for child care in rural Minnesota? Members of the Minnesota House Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development Policy Committee visited Morris on Tuesday, Nov. 3 for a listening session on the challenges related to child care in rural Minnesota. The meeting in Morris, which was attended by more than 40 providers and parents, was organized by Rep.
MORRIS — In a visit to the University of Minnesota, Morris earlier this week, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler said he felt confident the university will find a qualified candidate to take over for Chancellor Jacquie Johnson when she retires in July. "It's an incredibly attractive job in American higher education," Kaler said. "It's not very Minnesotans to brag, but I would say (UMM is) one of the premier public liberal arts education institutions in the country.
MORRIS — The value of tillable land for taxes payable in 2017 will decrease from 1 to 3 percent, a change after several years of double-digit value increases, Stevens County Assessor Judy Thorstad told the Stevens County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. "There's something happening with the market ... I felt like I needed to acknowledge what's happening in the market but I didn't feel comfortable doing more than 3 percent on the tillable," said Thorstad. Over the last few years, the county has seen value increases of more than 25 percent.
MORRIS — Although Stevens County avoided the outbreak of avian influenza that decimated the state's poultry industry this spring, a local company was heavily involved in the disaster response. West Central Environmental Consultants has been connected to preparations for an avian influenza outbreak since 2006 when the company was contracted to help "operationalize" the state's avian flu response, said Michael Starkey, emergency planning director for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. "In one of these foreign animal diseases, there are a lot of activities that need to take place.
MORRIS — Beginning in November, the city of Morris will add a "stormwater administrative fee" to local utility bills to help cover anticipated costs related to cleaning up the city's polluted storm water. The fee will be $5 per bimonthly bill for residential customers and $10 per bill for commercial customers, for a total of $30 or $60 per year. City Manager Blaine Hill estimated the fee would generate about $55,000 to $60,000 per year for the city to use on storm water management and administration.
MORRIS — Enrollment for new freshmen and transfer students at the University of Minnesota, Morris is holding steady, although overall enrollment for 2015 — 2016 is down slightly from last year. This year, UMM welcomed 525 new students, compared to 532 new students in 2014.
Talking about process can be boring, but I'm afraid it's important this week as we as a community consider the Morris Area School Board's decision to recognize the Gay Straight Alliance as an official student organization. I won't go through the details of Monday's school board meeting here. You can read a news story covering the decision beginning on the front page of the paper.
MORRIS — On Tuesday, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners lent their support to a proposal to reopen the jail in Swift County. A task force from Swift County and the city of Appleton has been working to convince the state of Minnesota that leasing the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton will help address the state's jail needs. In June the Minnesota Department of Corrections submitted a proposal asking for $141 million in bond money to add 500 new cells to a correctional facility in Rush City. "With a 1,600-bed facility vacant, we kind of raise our hands: Why not the faci
MORRIS — The Gay Straight Alliance is now an official organization at Morris Area High School. Morris Area School Board approved the group's request to be recognized as a non-curricular student organization by a vote of 6-2 at their meeting Monday. Board members Norm Nissen and Stan Wulf voted against the application.
MORRIS — Nearly 70 percent of families in Stevens County with children under the age of five have two working parents, and nearly 22 percent of families with young children live in poverty. In light of these statistics, advocates with the Greater Than MN project have been working to address the child care needs in the community since February 2014, and they are now looking for business leaders to share their expertise to find ways to support quality child care. Stevens County was one of the first rural counties to begin working on a comprehensive approach to child care issues through