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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MORRIS, Minn. - John Hodgman, author, comedian and "resident expert" on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will be in Morris next week, sharing his thoughts on food, wine and how to make money as a deranged millionaire. His speech, "That is All, an Evening with John Hodgman," is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 in Edson Auditorium at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Hodgman is perhaps best known as the "PC man" from commercials for Apple computers.
MORRIS, Minn. - In the United States, gardening is a multi-million dollar industry. In 2009, consumers spent more than $230 million dollars on bedding and garden plants, almost $81 million in Minnesota alone. This year, a scientist at the West Central Research and Outreach Center has been selected to help one of the nation's top horticultural non-profits judge and recommend the best plants for gardeners to invest in - a responsibility granted to only 67 people across the country.
CYRUS, Minn. - Like many Americans, Cyrus-native Bob Tirevold was on his way to work when the World Trade Center was hit on Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike most people, Tirevold was working at U.S. Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon and found his workplace under attack too. "When the World Trade Center got hit we knew bad things were happening, and all the different operations centers were starting to stand up in the Pentagon," said Tirevold. Going to catch up with his boss, Tirevold was just entering the Pentagon building when American Airlines Flight 77 hit at 9:37 a.m.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Morris City Council approved new three-year contracts with two city unions at a meeting on Tuesday night. The new contracts with both the General Unit and the Public Works Unit of the city's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) unions include wage increases for each of the three years of the contract and a change in the city's health insurance contribution. Under the new agreement, city employees will receive a 1.5 percent wage increase in 2012, and a two percent wage increase in 2013 and 2014.
MORRIS, Minn. - If four years of competition has taught the members of Morris' FIRST Robotics team one lesson, it's that simple is better. Now three weeks into their fifth season, the Plaid Pillagers hope to build on their success - and mistakes - from previous seasons by attending two regional competitions and, perhaps, making it to the state robotics competition.
The Stevens County Board of Commissioners authorized County Attorney Aaron Jordan to offer the job of assistant county attorney to Carl Thunem, one of five candidates interviewed for the position, at their meeting on Wednesday. Thunem has accepted the position and is expected to start work in May, after he returns from a deployment with the Army National Guard in Kuwait.
The momentum for a wide-spread tourism push in Morris is building, but skeptics and challenges remain. The first step towards a tourism initiative in Morris began in July 2009 when the Morris City Council approved a lodging tax - a three percent tax on the gross receipts of hotels and motels in Morris. The idea, at the time, was to use the proceeds from the lodging tax to support tourism efforts through the Chamber of Commerce.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Morris Area School Board approved a new two-year contract with the Morris Teachers' Association that includes bases raises for each year and the opportunity for teachers to advance through step and lane changes. According to the agreement, all teachers will receive a 2.75 percent all-inclusive increase for 2011 - 2012, and a 3.17 percent increase in 2012 - 2013. The agreement also includes pay increases as part of the step schedule, which is based on years of service and education.
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.
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.