Kim Ukura is the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune.
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MORRIS -- Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman visited the West Central Research and Outreach Center and the biomass facility at the University of Minnesota, Morris, as part of a state-wide tour of Minnesota's clean energy marketplace and infrastructure. Thursday's tour included a look at the WCROC's solar heating and cooling systems, the renewable hydrogen and ammonia pilot plant and the biomass gasification system at UMM. The purpose of the visit was "learning what the future can be in the days ahead" and "how to find ways to make that work," explained Rothman.
MORRIS -- The Stevens County Board of Commissioners discussed proposed policies for licensed child care homes, approved a gravel lease agreement and appointed a county coroner at their meeting on Tuesday morning. The discussion over new policy began when Stevens County Human Services Director Joanie Murphy presented the board with a draft of policies for licensed child care homes. Current rules require a provider that takes care of children from more than one family to have a license.
MORRIS -- The biggest sticking point for the Morris Planning Commission's proposed zoning plan for the City of Morris is what to do about the railroad corridor through downtown. At a public hearing on Tuesday night, discussion about the proposed change prompted a small debate about the role of industry for the future of Morris. The Planning Commission has proposed 20 changes to the city zoning map .
Although there was some disagreement about the use and nature of incentive performance pay at a school board meeting Monday, the Morris Area School Board approved incentive performance pay for both district principals. High school Principal Mike Coquyt received $1,402 and elementary school principal Brad Korn received $1,427 out of a possible $1,900 in incentive performance pay. Superintendent Scott Monson told the board the incentive performance pay process involved setting focus areas and goals, drafting action plans for each focus area, working on each of the action items, then meeting wi
In the midst of budget discussions in Morris and Stevens County, Morris Public Library director Melissa Yauk has been working hard to get the word out about everything that happens at the library each day. In addition to showing just how the library works, Yauk also shared the new technology and electronic resources the library has added within the last year, thanks to work with the Viking Library System, the Stevens County Economic Improvement Commission and the Friends of the Library.
Enrollment at the University of Minnesota, Morris is at the highest total in more than 10 years, with 1,822 degree-seeking students on campus, continuing a four-year growth trend. When combined with nondegree-seeking students - PSEO students, people taking only one class for enrichment and online students - the total enrollment sits at 1,934. This number is still preliminary until the Board of Regents meets in October. "We're very excited about the growth," said Bryan Hermann, UMM director of admissions.
The neighborhood I lived in when I was a kid was in a new, suburban development, one without any amenities like parks or walking paths because much of the neighborhood was still under construction. A couple of years after we moved in, when I was around eight, the neighborhood joined together and decide to build a community park. I don't know all the details about how it was paid for or what the agreement with the city was, but I do remember that the entire neighborhood pitched in to help assemble the playground one rainy Saturday in the fall.
At a meeting on Tuesday, the Morris City Council approved a preliminary tax levy for 2012 of about $1.3 million, a 7.6 percent increase from 2011. However, in his notes to the city council, City Manager Blaine Hill said he anticipates the final levy will be somewhere between 3 and 5 percent. The preliminary city budget is set at $9.6 million, about a 13 percent increase from last year. That increase includes additional revenue and expenses from the federally-funded Pacific Avenue Project, activity in bond funds and some one-time transfers.
MORRIS - A tip from a local pharmacy led the Morris Police Department to three arrests related to a methamphetamine ring operating in the Morris area. According to police reports, a tip from Pamida in Morris at the end of July about a suspicious individual purchasing the maximum amount of Sudafedrin allowed by law led the Morris Police Department to identifying individuals with connections to methamphetamine manufacturing and a local burglary at West Central Implement.
The plans for Courage Cottage started out on a napkin. On the drive back from Southern Minnesota more than 10 years ago, Vicki Maanum, the first RN site coordinator for Courage Cottage, sketched out an idea for the layout of an adult foster care facility on the back of a napkin. "We gave it to the architect, and from that napkin he came up with the floor plan," Maanum recalled.