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
- 2 years 7 months
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.
MORRIS - The Morris City Council has passed a preliminary 2013 budget of about $9.17 million, with a preliminary tax levy of about $1.34 million - a 6.9 percent increase over 2012. From this point forward, the city can only lower the proposed tax levy. City Manager Blaine Hill told the council that he was still shooting for a levy increase of between three and five percent.
MORRIS - A preliminary public hearing on a proposed construction project on the west side of Morris in 2013 will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 5:20 p.m. The construction project includes West 9th, 10th, and 11th Streets between Pacific Avenue and Park Avenue, along with Idaho and Nevada Avenues from West 8th Street to Park Avenue. City Manager Blaine Hill has proposed changing the city's assessment policy for pavement, starting with the 2013 project. Currently, the city does not assess residents for pavement in street construction projects.
MORRIS - In the last 11 years, staff and volunteers at the West Central Research and Outreach Center's Horticulture Display Garden have funded and implemented the vision created in the garden's first master plan. With help from the original landscape architect, the 13-member Horticulture Advisory Committee have developed a second master plan for the garden, which was presented to garden supporters at the garden's donor recognition dinner on Wednesday night.
MORRIS - The Morris Area School District will officially kick-off a new bullying prevention program across the district in October. In preparation for implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, Morris Area students will have early dismissals the next two Mondays - Sept. 10 and Sept. 17 - for Olweus training for district staff.
MORRIS - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners voted 4 to 1 to approve a preliminary levy increase of 8.83 percent, about $523,000, for 2013. "I know this is a preliminary budget, but I don't know if I'm comfortable approving it," said Commissioner Ron Staples before casting his dissenting vote. "It's with great reservation that I recommend we preliminarily approve this and continue to work on it," said Commissioner Paul Watzke. "We have increased personnel costs and we have a significant drop in county program aid.
MORRIS - First day of school enrollment for the Morris Area School District exceeded projections, putting district enrollment at over 1,000 students for the first time since 2003. Superintendent Scott Monson told the Morris Area School Board Tuesday that enrollment "far exceeded" what he expected it to be. First day of school enrollment at Morris Area Elementary School was 536 students and enrollment at Morris Area High School was 494 students for a combined enrollment of 1,030 students.
MORRIS - When Stevens County residents come to see Environmental Services/ Planning and Zoning Director Bill Kleindl to ask about a new project on their property, Kleindl uses an aerial map of the county and geographic software to help make his decision. Using mapping and spacial analysis software, Kleindl and the property owner can look at an aerial view of the property to measure setbacks and variances to give a preliminary call on the project immediately.
MORRIS - Although returning to Morris feels like coming home for new Morris Area Elementary School Principal Ken Gagner, the view from behind the principal's desk will take some getting used to. "When I was here for 22 years, I took care of my classroom; that was my number one priority," said Gagner, who served as a coach and fifth grade teacher in Morris from 1988 to 2010. "Now I'm taking care of 25 classrooms, all the teachers in the building and all the kids in the building," he continued.
Correction: This story originally stated that the Stevens County Historical Society sent a letter to the city in response to the Environmental Assessment Worksheet on the old elementary school building. This was incorrect. The letter about the EAW was from the Minnesota Historical Society. We apologize for the error. MORRIS - Big ticket improvement projects are on the horizon for the City of Morris, and were the topics of discussion for the Morris City Council at their regular meeting on Tuesday.