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.
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I'm not normally a person who makes New Year's resolutions. Well, check that: I'm not normally a person who makes New Year's resolutions and works proactively to complete them. I'm good at making To Do lists, but not so good at following through with them, especially when there are no consequences except to myself. Last week I read an article that talked about setting a theme for the year. Now that I'm writing I can't remember where I read it or many of the details, but the basic idea was not to set resolutions, but instead to set a mantra for how to live life in the upcoming year.
MORRIS, Minn. - Attempts to reuse the old Morris Area Elementary School have apparently been exhausted, it's becoming an increasingly dangerous public safety risk and the costs for getting rid of potential environmental problems could rise soon. At their meeting Tuesday, the Morris City Council took the first step down the long road to address the problem by passing a resolution authorizing City Manager Blaine Hill to complete an Environmental Assessment Worksheet, which is necessary because the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
MORRIS, Minn. - Although the Cyrus School Board has voted to continue serving students in the 2012 - 2013 school year, the district is looking into reorganization options for the future, which could include combining with other districts in the area.
Correction: The original version of this article misidentified council member Bill Storck as Ted Storck. We apologize for the mistake. MORRIS, Minn. - The Morris City Council elected council member Jeff Miller to serve as Mayor Pro Tem again this year at their meeting Tuesday night. Mayor Sheldon Giese also appointed council members as ex-officios to local boards and made citizen appointments to those boards.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Morris School Board and the Morris Teachers' Association (MTA) reached a tentative agreement on a 2011 - 2013 contract during a meeting on Jan. 4. Superintendent Scott Monson said he could not disclose the specifics of the tentative agreement until all members of the school board and MTA have had a chance to review the terms. Monson said he anticipates the MTA will vote on the contract on Jan. 17 and the school board will take action at their meeting on Jan. 17 or at a special meeting scheduled later, if necessary.
MORRIS - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners approved $90,000 in loans to County Ditch 1 and $83,000 in loan paybacks from to the general fund from five other ditch systems at their final meeting last Friday. The board also approved the 2012 ditch levy requests, which included increases on 19 of the 30 ditch systems, for a total levy of $206,750. The 2011 ditch levy requests totaled $131,500. County Auditor/Treasurer Neil Wiese told the board that the fund for County Ditch 1 is in deficit about $90,000 because of a cleaning and repair project the county completed this year.
MORRIS - The Morris Area School Board unanimously re-elected Kurt Gartland to again serve as chair for 2012 at their reorganization meeting on Tuesday night. The board also unanimously re-elected Stan Wulf as vice-chair. Lory Lemke stepped down as clerk/treasurer, and Dick Metzger was unanimously elected to fill that position. The board also approved their 2012 school board meeting dates, discussed board member compensation and approved other procedural issues at the meeting. Check out this Saturday's edition of the Sun Tribune for a full look at the meeting.
MORRIS - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners approved a one percent pay increase for the country's elected and appointed officials, but declined to increase their own salaries for the upcoming year at their last meeting of the year on Friday. In a 3-2 vote, the commissioners approved a one percent pay increase for the county's four elected officials: County Auditor/Treasurer Neil Wiese, Sheriff Randy Willis, Recorder Virginia Mahoney and Attorney Aaron Jordan.
MORRIS - Representatives from the Chokio, Donnelly, Hancock and Morris Fire Departments have continued to meet and discuss the results of a study looking into feasibility of shared fire services across Stevens County. The four department chiefs, along with City Manager Blaine Hill, Stevens County Sheriff Randy Willis, and other representatives met in early December to review the results of shared services study and determine next steps. At that meeting, they decided the next step is to gather support from each government body to continue discussions.
MORRIS - The Morris City Council passed their 2012 budget Tuesday night, but may still need to make revisions after final contracts are signed with the city's two American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) bargaining units. The city has already signed a contract with the Law Enforcement Labor Services union (LELS). "It's just a budget, it's a tool to give us guidance on how to spend the money," City Manager Blaine Hill told the council. "We could turn around and do a budget adjustment once the final two contracts are done.