Kim Ukura is the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune.
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For the last several weeks, my Facebook page as practically exploded with political posts. I have a fairly balanced split between Democrats and Republicans, which keeps me feeling connected to different sides of important debates. I try to keep my feed fairly a-political, except when it comes to football. It seems almost everyone agrees the replacement referees have been a major disappointment. At least there's one thing that we can all agree on (except, perhaps, Eric Bergeson).
MORRIS - On Friday, Sept. 21, Morris resident Jennifer Amy-Dressler woke up to find the political signs in her yard were missing. One of the orange "Vote No" signs opposing the proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage was tossed in the street about a block away. The other - folded into the shape of a paper airplane - landed behind a parked car in the street. The same morning, a "Vote No" sign was found shredded on Wyoming Avenue, and several other signs were missing from yards on the west side of town.
MORRIS - The City of Morris hopes to finance the destruction of the old elementary school building using a combination of existing and new taxing districts. The city will hold a public hearing on a recommendation to modify two existing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts and add a third district on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 5:15 p.m. When a TIF district is set up, the organizers establish the land that will be included in the district and set a project plan and budget for the district.
MORRIS - The Morris City Council passed a resolution Tuesday declaring the Morris Floral greenhouses as substandard and authorizing their demolition. The Morris Floral building will be left standing, but the greenhouses and concrete beds behind the building will be taken apart and hauled away by the city crew. Hill said that there are cats and rabbits coming out of the collapsed structure, and it has the potential to become a health hazard.
MORRIS - A Stevens County man is facing seven counts of criminal sexual conduct after he allegedly sexually assaulted a girl repeatedly over a four-year period. Cruz Mar Del-Angel, 39, faces five counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree for incidents that allegedly took place in Stevens County from approximately 2007 through 2010. According to the complaint, the girl told law enforcement that Del-Angel touched her in appropriately her on multiple occasions and forced her to have sex with him once.
MORRIS - Lee Byberg, a 50-year-old businessman from Willmar, believes that U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson has been in office too long, and that we need to step back to an era of smaller government to promote economy prosperity. Byberg, the Republican-endorsed candidate set to challenge Peterson, recently published a book outlining his plan for how to fix America. In the first 10 days after Builders of Our Land was published at the beginning of September, Byberg said he had sold 800 copies. Proceeds from the book sales will be used to help fund Byberg's campaign.
MORRIS - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners authorized the Stevens County Sheriff's office to purchase a new squad car at their regular meeting on Tuesday. Deputy Sheriff Jason Dingman said the office compared the prices of buying a squad car from both Nelson Ford in Fergus Falls and Valu Ford in Morris.
MORRIS - The Morris Area School Board voted Monday to certify the maximum amount for the district's 2013 preliminary levy - an increase of 1.68 percent over 2012. The maximum levy amount is set by the Department of Education, and amounts to a proposed levy of about $3.2 million. From this point forward, the board can chose to lower the levy, but they won't be able to raise it. The board will set their final levy amount after a Truth in Taxation hearing on Dec. 17, 2012.
MORRIS - Two brothers involved in the murder of their mother will spend the foreseeable future in prison, while the third has been released from prison with time served after a judge elected to sentence him at the lower end of Minnesota's sentencing guidelines in Stevens County District Court on Monday. Jacob Seth Cobb, 18, Dylan Cody Clemens, 26, and Andrew Quinton Cobb, 19, all appeared before Judge Gerald Seibel on Monday for sentencing in the murder of their mother, 50-year-old Tamara Lee Mason.
MORRIS - By January, new Morris Area High School Principal Craig Peterson hopes that he will know every student at MAHS. With more than twice as many students as Peterson's last school, he knows the project will be a challenge. "I've been looking through the [yearbook] probably each night, trying to get faces and names," said Peterson. Education runs in the family for Peterson - his father served as superintendent of Peterson's high school, Eden Valley-Watkins, and his mother worked as an elementary school teacher.