Kim Ukura began working at the Farmington/Rosemount Independent Town Pages in August of 2016. Previously, she served as the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune for five years. 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 — A Morris man has been charged with five counts of criminal sexual conduct after allegedly molesting four girls over a period of approximately 25 years. Brad Tomlinson, 67, made his first appearance in Stevens County District Court on Tuesday, July 5. Tomlinson has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and three counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree.
MORRIS — Since October 2015, Stevens and Pope Counties have been working together on roadway safety through a Towards Zero Deaths Safe Communities Grant from the state of Minnesota. This grant is part of the state's efforts to eliminate traffic fatalities on Minnesota roads by focusing on the four Es: education, enforcement, engineering and emergency medical and trauma services, said Shelley Svec of Horizon Public Health in a presentation to the Stevens County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
MORRIS — Voters in the 15 Stevens County precincts that have decided to adopt voting by mail for the 2016 election cycle will get their first opportunity to try the new system beginning as early as this week, when ballots are mailed out for the August 9 statewide primary in Minnesota. Under Minnesota state statute, all non-metropolitan townships can choose to offer balloting by mail rather than operating a polling place on Election Day. Cities with less than 400 registered voters are also eligible.
MORRIS — More than 450 participants from an array of regional city and county organizations, as well as several state agencies, were part of a train derailment exercise in Morris on Wednesday. The full scale exercise, looking to test emergency preparedness in the county, has been in the planning stages for more than a year.
MORRIS — On Tuesday, June 28 the Stevens County Historical Society celebrated the donation of a 1920s baby grand piano built by the M. Schulz Piano Company with an evening of musical entertainment. The piano was donated by Charles and Debra Brecht of St. Paul. Deb Brecht is Linda Retzlaff's sister. The Hancock Bluegrass Jam Group opened the evening with a concert on the museum lawn for an audience of more than 120 people.
MORRIS — A new apartment complex is getting off the ground in Morris. Local leaders and project developers gathered on Friday, June 24 for a groundbreaking for East Point Village, a 60-unit apartment complex at the corner of College Avenue and Fifth Street in Morris. At the ceremony, project manager Mike Stoebe of INH Properties estimated that construction will take about 10 months, allowing the building to open in April 2017.
MORRIS — Rep. Jeff Backer (R-Browns Valley) will join Rep. Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake), chair of the House Veterans Affairs Division for a town hall in Morris on Tuesday, June 28 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. During the town hall at the American Legion, Backer and Dettmer will discuss veterans legislation that passed during the 2016 legislative session, including one of the largest veterans tax cuts in state history signed into law last month. The event is free to attend and open to the public. The American Legion in Morris is located at 507 Pacific Avenue.
MORRIS — Elected officials, emergency responders, and local residents will be participating in an emergency response exercise on Wednesday, June 29 in Morris. Residents can expect increased activity throughout the city of Morris from about 10 a.m. through 8 p.m. while the exercise is in progress. The precipitating event, a mock train derailment, will begin at 4 p.m. Participants in the exercise will be working at sites throughout the city of Morris, but most activity will be concentrated in the area around the Lee Community Center.
MORRIS — Morris Area Elementary School will have a new outdoor learning classroom when the 2016 — 2017 school year kicks off in August. After just a few months of fundraising, organizers have managed to raise enough money to cover the costs associated with building the new space. The Morris Area School Board officially approved the project and accepted the donations at their meeting on Monday.
MORRIS — Gymnast Taylor Kill took the top prize during the first week of the annual Kiwanis Talent Show. Seven acts performed during the first preliminary round on Thursday, June 23 at East Side Park. Taking second was Jackson Hallman, who sang "One Call Away" by Charlie Puth. Three other performers will also advance to the competition finals: pianist Henry Berberi, singer Renee Benson, and singer/guitarist Maria Schneider.