Kim Ukura has served as the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune since August 2011. 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.
- Member for
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MORRIS -- Bob Kopitzke, Ron Staples, and Donny Wohlers were elected to serve as Stevens County Commissioners by area voters in close races. According to the unofficial election results, Kopitzke beat incumbent Paul Watzke 436 votes to 425 votes in District 1. In District 3, incumbent Staples beat challenger Jim Swenson 548 votes to 433 votes. In the race for an open seat in District 4, Wohlers beat challenger Diane Nelson 559 votes to 523 votes. According to Stevens County Auditor/Treasurer Neil Wiese, none of the races are close enough to trigger an automatic recount.
MORRIS - Democrat Jay McNamar narrowly beat Republican Scott Dutcher in the race for House District 12A, while Republican Torrey Westrom handily beat Democrat John Schultz for Senate District 12. With all precincts reporting, McNamar had 10,092 votes to Dutcher's 9,837 votes. Independence Party candidate Dave Holman had 1,305 votes. With 206 of 208 precincts reporting, Westrom held more than 61 percent of the vote (24,944) compared to about 39 percent of the vote for Schultz (15,630 votes).
MORRIS - Stevens County results for national, state and local races are coming in slowly, thanks to a record number of absentee ballots cast in the county. As of 11:00 p.m., all 26 precincts in Stevens County had delivered their votes to the Stevens County Auditor/Treasurer's office, but results can't be announced on the Minnesota Secretary of State website until absentee ballots are counted and reported. Debuty Auditor/Treasurer Deb Brunko said a record number of absentee ballots, 447, were returned by voters.
MORRIS - Morris Area High School Students cast their votes for presidential challenger Mitt Romney, but maintained support for incumbents Amy Klobuchar and Collin Peterson at a mock election at MAHS on Monday. Students were split on their support for two proposed constitutional amendments, favoring a proposed amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman while rejecting a proposed amendment to require a photo ID when voting.
MORRIS - The Morris Area School District's former Director of Buildings and Grounds has pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property and could face up to a year in jail, a $3,000 fine or both. David Stoffer of Hancock, Minn., who resigned from his position in the district on June 13, 2012, pled guilty to the charge Monday. Stoffer's lawyer, Jeff Kuhn, asked that the sentence be lowered to up to 15 days in jail with restitution of $650 and probation.
MORRIS - House Minority Leader Paul Thissen encouraged audience members at a DFL rally at the University of Minnesota, Morris on Saturday that if the DFL takes control of the Minnesota legislature, the top priority will be investing in higher education. "We will focus on getting people back to work and getting people jobs and investing in the infrastructure of this state instead of focusing on divisive social issues," Thissen said, criticizing GOP legislative leadership.
MORRIS - Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, and Stevens County residents will have the chance to cast their votes in many national, state, and local races. Here are the Minnesota candidates up for election on Tuesday: In the U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Amy Klobuchar is being challenged by Republican Kurt Bills. In the 7th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Collin Peterson faces a second challenge from Republican Lee Byberg.
MORRIS - On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Minnesota citizens will vote on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. As members of Morris Area PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) talked with people in the community about the amendment, they found many people who felt their vote on the amendment wouldn't have an impact, since even if the amendment fails, gay marriage will still be against the law in the state of Minnesota, explained PFLAG member Argie Manolis.
MORRIS - About one-fifth of Minnesota third graders fail to reach a basic level of literacy. One of the major goals of the Minnesota Reading Corps program is to be sure that all students are successful readers by the time they leave third grade, the year when students shift from learning to read to reading to learn. In the 2011-2012 school year, Morris Area Elementary School had one full-time and one half-time Reading Corps tutors that are placed in districts through the AmeriCorps program.
MORRIS - The Morris Area School Board voted to support a plan to consolidate with the Cyrus School District at a meeting on Monday, Oct. 19, provided the plan addresses what will happen if special legislation that would allow the Cyrus district to take out loans to pay off their existing debt and the cost of demolishing the Cyrus school building is not approved by the state legislature. School Board Chair Kurt Gartland was the most vocal advocate for addressing the "what ifs" in the consolidation plan, or plat.