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. She has been recognized by the Minnesota Newspaper Association for both business and public affairs reporting.
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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.
MORRIS - The Horizon Community Health Board - an organization comprised of officials from Stevens, Traverse, Grant, Pope and Douglas counties - is continuing to move forward on a proposal to develop a five-county public health department, Stevens-Traverse-Grant Public Health Director Sandy Tubbs told the Stevens County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.
MORRIS - A man stands behind a tall, white barricade the size of a door with two orange Xs painted at chest height. A loaded pistol is holstered to his side. A timer standing behind him issues instructions: "Hands on the Xs. When you hear the buzzer, give 'em hell." Second pass. The buzzer chimes and the man draws his pistol, taking aim at cardboard targets in front of him. Moments like this one were common at the Morris Rifle Club last Sunday, when a group of target shooting enthusiasts gathered for an action pistol match.
MORRIS - The Stevens County Planning Commission has approved a conditional use permit for a commercial development on Perkins Lake that will allow the owners to rent out an existing pavilion and cabins and create space for four overnight recreational vehicle camping sites.
MORRIS - An elderly Stevens County woman has died after contracting West Nile virus, the first death in the state of Minnesota this year. A second Stevens County resident contracted the less severe version of the disease, West Nile fever, in early August, but has since recovered, said Dave Neitzel of the Minnesota Department of Health. As of Wednesday, there have been 27 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in 18 Minnesota counties, the Minnesota Department of health reported. The virus as also been found in 12 blood donors across the state.