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 — On Tuesday, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of promoting a current part-time deputy in the Stevens County Sheriff's Office to a full-time member of the staff. Chief Deputy Tom Loew made the request to the board on behalf of the sheriff's office. Loew said increasing Deputy Nate Larson to a full-time position is necessary to replace recent retirements of two part time deputies and the resignation of the county's Sentence to Serve coordinator.
MORRIS — One year after launching "1:World" — a technology initiative designed to incrementally get devices into the hands of all students in fifth through 12th grades — Morris Area Schools staff said response to the program has been positive. Technology Director Jimb Mulholland and Technology Coordinator April Taylor shared results from an anonymous survey distributed to all staff members in the district to assess the first year of the program with the Morris Area School Board at their meeting on Monday.
MORRIS — Area residents will need to avoid driving on Highway 59 north of Morris for much of the summer while 11 miles of the existing roadway are resurfaced with concrete. In addition to resurfacing, the project will also modify the existing intersection of Highway 59 and Highway 28 to make it safer and less confusing for motorists. Crews plan to begin work on the $5.3 million project in early July, and work is expected to last through mid-September.
MORRIS — After more than 20 years as a bus driver for the Morris Area School District, Jim Aeikins has plenty of fond memories of the students he brings to school each morning. He and his wife, Diane, now also have a memory of "one wild morning," after being in the right place at the right time helped save a Kensington family from a fire last month. Jim and Diane leave Morris every school morning around 6:50 a.m. to pick up the first students on their route in Kensington — Jim as the driver, and Diane as an aide for students on the route.
MORRIS — Morris Fire Department firefighter Justin Howe has been named the 2016 Firefighter of the Year by the Minnesota State Fire Department Association. "I feel honored and privileged to get this kind of award — I'm certainly not one for all this publicity and attention," Howe said. Howe was presented with the award at the association's annual convention in Detroit Lakes in early June. He was nominated by Morris Fire Chief Dave Dybdal, who praised Howe's passion for the profession and commitment to helping improve the department and his community.
MORRIS — Voluntary compliance and local control are two important factors for implementing Minnesota's new buffer law for public waters and public ditches, state employees emphasized during a meeting at the Stevens County Courthouse on Wednesday, June 1. Stevens County hosted the open house for community members to ask questions and review a draft of the current public waters and public ditch maps being developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
MORRIS — Plays in Morris will be presenting "Seussical The Musical" on Thursday, June 16 and Friday, June 17 at 7 p.m. at East Side Park in Morris. The Morris Kiwanis Club will offer dinner in the park starting at 5 p.m. The production features students from St. Mary's School, Morris Area Elementary, Morris Area High School, the University of Minnesota-Morris and Chokio-Alberta Elementary School.
MORRIS — After local residents expressed concerns about bike lane safety on County State Aid Highway 1 north of Hancock, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners voted to reduce the speed limit along a stretch of the highway. The speed limit on CSAH 1 between Highway 9 and Page Lake Beach will now be 45 miles per hour. County Engineer Todd Larson said the request to change the speed limit came from citizens in Hancock.
MORRIS — After a year of having full-time access to Chromebooks, the fifth grade students in Caleb Greene and Joe Boedigheimer's classes have figured out how to move relatively seamlessly between being online and offline in the classroom. The fifth graders who finished school this week are among the first classes to be issued personal Chromebooks through the district's "One:World" technology initiative.
MORRIS — The Center for Small Towns annual Symposium on Small Towns, scheduled for June 8 and 9, has been canceled due to low registration numbers. Kelly Asche, program coordinator with the Center for Small Towns, said there were a number of conferences on the event's topic — challenges in rural housing — that made it difficult for interested parties to attend this year. "It was disappointing to have to cancel, but in the end I think it was a good decision," said Asche.