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 have never had to travel far for Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, all of my grandparents and most of my extended family lived within a 45 minute drive from our house. I got to spend every major holiday with at least one side of the family and was always home that night to sleep in my own bed. Although I didn't realize it at the time, that was quite the luxury. As I got older, my extended families have started to spread out, slowly morphing our holiday traditions to fit more and more complex schedules.
MORRIS - Over an eleven day window in October, students in first through eighth grade each spent between two and three hours in school computer labs, working on tests to measure reading, math and language usage. They'll all be in the labs two more times this year to take the tests again. In April, students across the school will take a series of state-mandated assessment tests with implications for school funding and their own graduation.
Snow removal across Stevens County will likely be stressful this winter after the County Highway Department adds snow removal in the City of Hancock and Framnas Township to its regular routes. Although no contracts have been signed, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to authorize County Engineer Brian Giese to enter into contracts for snow removal with both municipalities despite concerns about county staff and equipment. "We have to have realistic expectations about what your staff and your equipment can do," said Commissioner Paul Watzke.
STEVENS COUNTY - Area veterans and families should know they are not alone when trying to navigate the complex world of veterans benefits - Hugh Reimers, Veterans Service Officer for both Stevens and Pope Counties is available to help. "In a nutshell, a county veterans service officer helps veterans and their families apply for and get veterans benefits at the federal and state level," said Reimers. Reimers has worked with veterans in both Stevens and Pope Counties since 2003 since he was hired as the first joint officer in the area.
MORRIS - The City of Morris took the first step towards being recognized as a Yellow Ribbon Community as part of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program last month when local leaders met to learn about the program and begin drafting a plan for identifying and coordinating services for veterans in the community. The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program is designed to create awareness of the needs of service members - from any branch of the military - and their families and connect them with resources in the community.
MORRIS - The Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance has called 630 Atlantic Avenue home since October 2002, yet there are still people in the community who still don't recognize the organization's name or mission. "There are still a lot of people in the community that don't know what we are, what we do, or anything about us," said PRCA President Sara McDermott.
MORRIS - There is no such thing as a typical day on the Army Life Support Area (ALSA) at Ali Al Salem Airbase in Kuwait for Sergeant Tracy White. White, a 23-year-old Morris native, and member of the Minnesota Army National Guard, was deployed to Kuwait last July. She works in the Emergency Operations Center on the ALSA, where she helps monitor weather, travel conditions and safety concerns for all groups working in the area.
MORRIS - The Morris City Council is considering a new ordinance that would allow golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, utility task vehicles or mini trucks on the roadways of Morris. The council gave the ordinance a first reading at their meeting Tuesday night and will hold a public hearing on the issue at their next meeting. Allowing more vehicles on Morris streets is something that the council has wanted to do for the last two years, said City Manager Blaine Hill. However, the city was prohibited from making the change because of state law until very recently.
A Morris man and a Hoffman man face felony-level drug charges after a tip to the Stevens County Sheriff's Department indicated one of the men was in possession of a "significant amount" of marijuana and unprescribed narcotics, a complaint filed in district court charges. Stevens County Attorney Aaron Jordan has filed a complaint charging Robert Allen King, 58 of Morris, with second and third degree possession of narcotics, third degree possession of narcotic mixtures and fifth degree possession of marijuana.
MORRIS - The Morris City Council approved the final assessments for an improvement project on east 8th Street, 9th Street and Arizona Avenue after only one objection was voiced during a public hearing at their meeting Tuesday night. City Inspecting Engineer Jay Fier told the council attendance at the assessment hearing was a "new low" that he took as a good sign for how well the project went.