Kim Ukura is the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune.
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MORRIS, Minn. - The University of Minnesota's Legislative Briefing to supporters last week, in preparation for the 2012 legislative session, was light on details about the university's $169.5 million capitol request, instead focusing on the importance of storytelling in an age of new media.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners IT Director Scott Busche to move forward with a $4,300 software purchase that will help improve the county's ability to make files available electronically at their meeting Tuesday. The new software contains a workflow package, which will allow larger departments like Human Services, to more efficiently work through the process of digitizing files. Busche told the board that moving to a new file system would be much less expensive than updating the current program.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners approved an amended 2012 budget, which included budgeted expenses in the special revenue fund and the newly-created West Central SWAT Fund, at their meeting Tuesday. The changes have no impact on the levy approved in December. County Coordinator Brian Giese said the expenses have already been reviewed and were included in the full budgets that the commissioners looked at, but were not included in the approved budget summary.
MORRIS, Minn. - Stevens County Republicans were joined by Rep. Torrey Westrom and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen at their caucus Tuesday night, where a majority of delegates voted for Rick Santorum in the presidential straw poll. Stevens County DFL supporters overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama. Around 120 people attended the Republican caucus at the Prairie Inn, said county party chair Dan Pagel. Of the 101 votes cast in the presidential straw poll, 51 went to Santorum, 25 to Ron Paul, 14 to Mitt Romney, 10 to Newt Gingrich and one person was undecided.
MORRIS, Minn. - Five students from Morris Area High School's chapter of Family, Career, Community Leaders of America competed in their first regional competition last Friday in Ortonville, and all five will be advancing to the state competition in April. FCCLA, founded in 1945, supports students and their Family and Consumer Science (FACS) education.
I spent the first part of 2011 living in Madison, Wisc. If you were paying attention to politics from Wisconsin last year, you know that it was a tumultuous time. One particular measure that made me angry that I fear is being repeated here in Minnesota is a push to require photo IDs to vote. You can learn more about the measure in a linked story by our capitol reporter. I'm not opposed to the idea that people should need to prove their identity when they show up at the pools, and a photo ID is probably the best day to do that.
MORRIS, Minn. - John Hodgman, author, comedian and "resident expert" on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will be in Morris next week, sharing his thoughts on food, wine and how to make money as a deranged millionaire. His speech, "That is All, an Evening with John Hodgman," is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 in Edson Auditorium at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Hodgman is perhaps best known as the "PC man" from commercials for Apple computers.
MORRIS, Minn. - In the United States, gardening is a multi-million dollar industry. In 2009, consumers spent more than $230 million dollars on bedding and garden plants, almost $81 million in Minnesota alone. This year, a scientist at the West Central Research and Outreach Center has been selected to help one of the nation's top horticultural non-profits judge and recommend the best plants for gardeners to invest in - a responsibility granted to only 67 people across the country.
CYRUS, Minn. - Like many Americans, Cyrus-native Bob Tirevold was on his way to work when the World Trade Center was hit on Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike most people, Tirevold was working at U.S. Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon and found his workplace under attack too. "When the World Trade Center got hit we knew bad things were happening, and all the different operations centers were starting to stand up in the Pentagon," said Tirevold. Going to catch up with his boss, Tirevold was just entering the Pentagon building when American Airlines Flight 77 hit at 9:37 a.m.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Morris City Council approved new three-year contracts with two city unions at a meeting on Tuesday night. The new contracts with both the General Unit and the Public Works Unit of the city's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) unions include wage increases for each of the three years of the contract and a change in the city's health insurance contribution. Under the new agreement, city employees will receive a 1.5 percent wage increase in 2012, and a two percent wage increase in 2013 and 2014.