Kim Ukura is the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune.
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MORRIS - As the Nov. 6 general election inches closer, DFL candidates and local activists are ramping up their fundraising and campaigning efforts, including get out the vote efforts with University of Minnesota, Morris students. The Stevens County DFL held their annual bean feed and rally last Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the Eagles Club in Morris. Local DFL candidates Jay McNamar and John Schultz thanked attendees for their help so far and asked for support in the last weeks of the election season.
MORRIS - Residents from the west side of Morris expressed frustration to the Morris City Council on Tuesday about a proposed change to the city assessment policy that would have them pick up more of the cost of a proposed street improvement project planned for 2013. The estimated $3.4 million street improvement project, although not yet official, would affect all residents living on West 9th, 10th, and 11th Streets between Pacific Avenue and Park Avenue and residents of Idaho Avenue and Nevada Avenue between West 9th and Park Avenue.
MORRIS - Six candidates for the Stevens County Board of Commissioners answered questions about their visions for the future of Stevens County and specifics about the Stevens County Courthouse at a candidate forum at the American Legion on Thursday, Oct. 18. In their introductions, all six candidates emphasized their interest in helping balance the county budget, although most also expressed concern about how cuts to state and federal funding have impacted Stevens County.
MORRIS - By Kim Ukura Sun Tribune The Morris Area School Board voted Tuesday to approve a two-year, experimental trap shooting team that will be coached by FFA advisors Natasha Mortenson and Nick Milbrandt. Superintendent Scott Monson told the board that although he thinks trap shooting can be a good, lifelong skill, he did not recommend approving the team because trap shooting is not officially sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League. "Where do you draw the line between what we will support as a school district and what we won't?" asked Monson.
MORRIS - On Thursday, Oct. 4, the Morris Area and Cyrus school boards met for the first time in a joint work session to discuss a potential plan to consolidate the two school districts. Declining enrollment and increased costs have left the Cyrus School District in debt and struggling to provide services to students.
MORRIS - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners will continue explore changing the structure of the county's emergency management department after county staff raised questions about how a new position would impact chain-of-command in an emergency. Human Resource Director Janet Raguse presented the board with a job description for a new Emergency Management Director/Safety Coordinator at their meeting Tuesday. Currently, Sheriff Randy Willis serves as the county emergency management director, but earlier this month suggested changing the structure of his office.
MORRIS - State funding and taxes were consistent themes in a forum for candidates for Morris City Council late Thursday, Oct. 11 at the American Legion.
MORRIS - For the last four months, representatives from the Morris Area and Cyrus school districts have been working on a potential plan to consolidate the districts. In a series of three stories this month, we'll look at what consolidation is and why the Morris Area and Cyrus school districts are considering it, what are the major considerations in consolidation discussions, and what the next steps will be in the consolidation process.
MORRIS - On Thursday, Morris community members gathered in East Side Park for an event to educate the public about domestic abuse and sexual assault during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Speakers - which included UMM Violence Prevention Coordinator Bridget Joos, Morris Police Chief Jim Beauregard, County Attorney Aaron Jordan and Mayor Sheldon Giese - emphasized that domestic violence does happen in our community and that it is taken seriously.
MORRIS - Morris City Manager Blaine Hill presented the council with a draft of a major revision to the city's public improvement code, which he believes is necessary to reflect how public improvements are currently being made. In the proposal, the wording of the code will also be changed to reflect common language, including an update of terms and phrases to reflect the construction processes the city already uses. "I'm not asking for the City Council to take action to do an ordinance to update this code right now," said Hill.