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. - When hail hits, it's common to hear it described as "marble-sized." But that descriptor is mostly useless to weather forecasters, since marbles can come in a variety of sizes. Instead, National Weather Service Certified Trainer Nick Elms suggests carrying around 45 cents in your pocket during a storm. The range of coin sizes provide a standard measurement to assess hail with, which is more useful in providing information about severe weather to forecasters and those issuing weather warnings.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Morris City Council voted to double most of the parking fines in the city of Morris and at the University of Minnesota, Morris at their meeting on Tuesday. The proposal came at the recommendation of City Manager Blaine Hill, who told the council that the fee structure hadn't been changed for awhile and the current fee doesn't cover the cost of writing and administering to the ticket. "The fees themselves are not really a deterrent to anybody parking out there," said Hill.
MORRIS, Minn. - As a culmination of their most successful season to date, Morris Area's FIRST Robotics team, The Plaid Pillagers, are headed to the first ever state robotics competition in May. Since January, the team has worked to design, build, test and re-test their robot, The Plaiding Mantis, in preparation for two regional competitions - coming within a single match of qualifying for the national tournament.
MORRIS, Minn. - Two Morris Area students are finalists for State FFA Star awards for their Supervised Agriculture Experiences in the Morris area. Junior Brooke Wente is a finalist in Agriscience for her work at AgReliant Genetics and senior Lloyd Lesmeister a finalist in Placement for his work at Wayne-n-Jean's Evergreens. Star awards are given as part of the State FFA Degree Process in four different competitive areas - Agribusiness, Agriscience, Farmer and Placement. To be eligible for the award, Wente and Lesmeister were first selected as Region Stars in their respective categories.
If you've been a regular reader of the Sun Tribune editorial page over the last several weeks, you will likely have read a back-and-forth of editorials and letters to the editor that were prompted by a speaker who came to Morris at the beginning of March. I didn't agree with everything that was shared through the exchanges, but as an editor, seeing that type of discussion really made me happy. While some may think that an editorial page is best used to set an agenda of some kind that conforms to the political beliefs of one group, I've never felt that way.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Morris Area School Board approved bids for two facilities improvement projects - re-roofing a portion of the high school and recommissioning equipment in both buildings - at a special meeting on Thursday. Last month, the district Facilities Committee met and heard presentations from three roofing firms who were bidding on a project to replace about 39,000 square feet of the high school roof covering the school's 1991 additions. "For several years we've extended the life of that as long as we can, probably," said Superintendent Scott Monson.
MORRIS, Minn. - The search for a new principal for Morris Area Elementary School is underway. The Morris Area School Board formally accepted Brad Korn's resignation as principal at a special meeting this week. Korn will retire effective June 30. Korn announced his plans to retire at the end of this year to staff at a meeting last week.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Stevens County Highway Department ended 2011 with a $1.357 million cash balance, which means the department will be able to free more funds for repairs and maintenance in the upcoming year, County Engineer Brian Giese told the Stevens County Board of Commissioners at their meeting Tuesday. The resulting cash balance is higher than was expected during the 2012 budget development process thanks to unanticipated revenue from an insurance dividend, more contracted snow removal income and some cuts in services last fall, said Giese.
Landowners in Stevens County expressed skepticism and concern over a proposed ditch policy for Stevens County at a meeting at the Morris Armory on Thursday night. The meeting, convened by the Stevens County Ditch Authority, was designed to discuss and gather feedback about a proposed ditch policy to improve ditch management that has been developed by a small workgroup made up of landowners, county staff and commissioners Ron Staples and Phil Gausman.
The Morris City Council authorized City Manager Blaine Hill to begin advertising for bids for this year's street improvement projects at their regular meeting on Tuesday. The project includes regular street overlay work as well as improvements on a number of local streets - the Fire Hall parking lot, Iowa Avenue from East 7th Street to Highway 28, Glendale Avenue, Meadow Lane, Ridge Road and State Aid Highway roads along Wyoming Avenue from Highway 28 to West 8th Street, South Street from Atlantic Avenue to Columbia Avenue and South California from South Street to Elm Street.