Page 1


The Stevens County Times

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Progress Report Stevens County

Photos by Rae Yost / Stevens County Times

LEFT: The MAHS theater stage floor is being replaced. CENTER: The chairs have been removed from the MAHS theater. The chairs will be replaced. RIGHT: Locked temporary doors keep staff and students out of a construction zone at Morris Area High School.

Big changes for Morris Area High School stration dictates,” Cannon said. But the situation will Morris Area High School sci- change with the $19 million ence teacher Tim Cannon has construction improvement at had a valuable tool in his sci- the high school. “The biggest improveence room for nearly 25 years. “Currently, my classroom ment will be having all the (was) the only room with a new equipment that works,” working gas line,” Cannon Cannon said. New equipment said. “This has been the sit- includes new gas lines that uation since I came here in work in all the classrooms. School board member Mike 1993.” Cannon said the gas line was Odello said not only will the shared with all classes. “We science classrooms get updatmake it work by switching ed equipment, the design of rooms as the labor or demon- the classrooms will make it By Rae Yost Stevens County Times

easier to teach with the new equipment. The lab areas will be more flexible which will allow for more collaborative learning, Odello said. “The new classrooms will have a lecture area and a lab area in the same room, but the two areas will not be crammed together,” Cannon said. Now, the classrooms are cramped, which causes safety concerns because of flow of work and students, Cannon said.

While the science classrooms will be revamped, students will also notice changes in the boys and girls locker rooms. The locker rooms needed to be revamped because corrosion and rust made some shower equipment unusable and created a negative environment in the locker room, school officials have said. Odello said new showers will give students some privacy and will be a huge improvement over what exists now. “The showers haven’t been

used in at least a decade, at the least, not very much,” Odello said. Until the locker rooms are completed, students are using make-shift changing rooms created in classrooms. A new area related to physical education is a fitness room. Odello said the size of the new fitness room is impressive. It will give athletic teams plenty of room to lift weights and use other equipment. The new


Property sales, valuations, healthy in county, assessor says ber of sales and the selling price of comparable properties to help deterHouse sales have been mine property values. good in Stevens Coun“The benefit of a numty, particularly in Mor- ber of sales is that it helps ris, said Stevens County verify values on sales,” Assessor Craig Swanson. Swanson said. “It gives us Assessors use the num- a good sample to compare By Rae Yost Stevens County Times

every sale that comes in.” Sales from 2018 are used to help determine values for 2019. Other factors that impact property value are any improvements to the property or any changes that could cause a loss in value.

“It’s a good thing for taxpayers when property values go up,” Swanson said. Property that increases in value should sell at a higher price than the year before, he said. Also, increased property values increase the tax

613 Atlantic Ave (320) 589-2159

615 Atlantic Ave Morris, MN 56267 (320) 589-0300 001682067r1

4 Atlantic Ave, Morris, MN 56267

320-589-3361 001682076r1

more property tax value which means more properties share in the cost of a city tax levy. While property values increased in Morris, the value of agriculture land in the county decreased slightly, Swanson said.



capacity for a city, school district or county. “It gives the (taxing entity) more tax capacity,” Swanson said. New construction in a city, whether it’s a new house, new business or expansion, generates

American Eagle Realty

202 E 7th St, Morris, MN 56267

(320) 589-4200

25 W 7th St, Morris, MN 56267

(320) 585-7446

701 Atlantic Ave, Morris, MN 56267 (320) 589-1424 est. 1936

2 Saturday, March 30, 2019 

Extra Progress Report Stevens County




Bremer Bank provides a comprehensive range of banking, investment, trust and insurance services. With decisions made locally, Bremer employees are empowered to act on your behalf to answer questions, address your financial needs and help you get more for your hard-earned money. Visit Bremer today at 701 Atlantic Avenue in Morris and meet with experienced professionals that are ready to help you plan for your future. We will take the time to understand your needs and provide tailored solutions to fit your life.

Tech Plus is a local computer company that can assist you with any aspect of your computer repair and sales. We can solve your computer problems to your total satisfaction. We can help you with virus/spyware infections, data recovery/backup, startup problems or any other issues with your computer. We also offer remote services, so you don’t need to bring your computer in. We know and understand the level of service required

The Stevens County Times

for each customer and see to it that these needs are satisfied. We have on hand desktops, laptops, printers and many other computer components. Stop by 208 Atlantic Avenue in Morris or call us at 320-5855688. Email us at or visit our web page at for additional information about our services and up to date inventory. Come to Tech Plus for ALL your computer needs.

tah Bank employs nearly 600 people and serves over 60,000 customers. Considering the firm’s history and vision for the future, employees, stockholders, and customers alike are proud to say, “it’s good to be in Dacotah Territory!“ More information about the company’s history and services can be found at

Dacotah Bank has dozens of hometown locations that provide banking, insurance, mortgage, and trust and wealth management services throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and adjacent states. The bank has assets that exceed $2 billion, making it one of the largest independent banks in the upper Midwest. Daco-


Stevens Community Medical Center is a fully-integrated, 25-bed critical access hospital and healthcare facility with a Clinic open Monday-Friday and an Urgent Care Clinic open 7-days a week (no appointments needed). Among

the services offered are family medicine, O.B., dermatology, physical therapy, podiatry, surgery, dialysis, direct lab access, allergy/immunology, respiratory therapy, cardiac rehab, behavioral medicine, visiting and outreach special-

ists (ENT, Audiologist, Cardiologist and more.) There is a full-service eye clinic on-site with optometrist, and the Courage Cottage for homecare setting. SCMC has a state-of the-art surgical wing offering many surgical pro-

cedures from our skilled surgeons that have a vast area of surgical expertise. The SCMC Starbuck Clinic, open Monday-Friday (offering sameday appointments,) located in Starbuck, is staffed by a physician assistant, nurse prac-

titioner and part-time family medicine physician. Stevens Community Medical Center strives to offer comprehensive medical systems that meet the patients’ needs in an atmosphere that promotes healing and comfort.

Rae Yost / Stevens County Times

Inherit Clothing Co. opened on Atlantic Avenue in September.

Inherit’s move to Atlantic Avenue successful, owner says By Rae Yost Stevens County Times

a retail location at 702 Atlantic Ave. and online through The response from the com- the internet. The business also includes pattern designs munity since Inherit Clothing and related items. Inherit Co. opened in September in sells locally, across the U.S. Morris has been “humbling,” and world. said Amy Ekren, who owns Ekren said customers may the business with her hus- see an item online but, then, band Anthony. “Better than want to see it and try it on in our wildest expectations.” person. So, customers have Inherit sells modest wom- come from the area but also en’s and children’s apparel in farther away.

CHANGES From Page 1

equipment will also allow students and athletes to focus on differ-

ent muscles or muscle groups, Odello said. Students will benefit because the equipment can be used in physical fitness classes. An anonymous donor

“We had a couple from the Chicago area,” Ekren said. They wanted to come to the store but they also wanted to try Taco John’s because there were no Taco John’s where they lived, Ekren said. Ekren said that couple is just one example of how retailers in Morris can help create benefits for more than their own store. Cooperating with other local

provided all the equipment, Odello said. “It’s just top-notch everything,” Odello said. The district is grateful for that donor, he said. Another major part of

businesses is also a key. It’s one big reason why Inherit wanted to be part of the local business community, Ekren said. “Working with other local businesses has been amazing,” Ekren said. “We’ve been working to create (events) with the chamber.” One example of an event is organizing a night for willing businesses to all stay open

the construction project is the theater renovation. The theater will get new lighting and upgrades in other technology. The first couple of

such as during the November Parade of Lights. Another benefit of the new location is the change in conditions for employees, Ekren said. “Employees were elbow-toelbow (before),” Ekren said. Now, there is more room, better lighting and an overall nicer environment, Ekren said.

rows of seats in the middle and either side of the theater can be removed to make room for the orchestra pit, Odello said. The stage floor will

also be replaced. “We had duct tape holding some pieces of the stage floor together,” Odello said. The theater will also get new seats.

Extra Progress Report Stevens County

The Stevens County Times 



The Stevens County Times has been serving the community since 1876. Originally known as The Tribune, the newspaper combined with the Morris Sun in 1947. The Morris Sun Tribune and the Hancock Record combined in 2017 to become The Stevens County Times. The weekly newspaper serves residents of Stevens County with a Saturday newspaper along with our website, You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Call or email us with your news tips or for your advertising needs. Ask about our Print to Digital program.

Environment Control Systems of Morris Inc. has served our community building hog barns and providing innovative solutions for hog farmers for over 40 years. Started by Jim Nordquist out of his home in 1978 and currently run by his son Mike, ECS is bringing quality service to our local farmers. In addition to building barns they also help with remodeling, provide equipment parts, ventilation programming and service calls for repairs. It’s all part of the comprehensive solutions to help improve hog production in Stevens County and the surrounding area.


Art is an ever-moving experience as shown by the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA), which recently changed the name of its downtown Atlantic Avenue gallery to Prairie Arts and Gifts. With the name change comes a remodeling of sorts, and a makeover from the offering of area artists to the display. Every six weeks

new works are hanged on the gallery walls, accompanied with meet-the-artist receptions. Also featured are adult and children’s arts classes, poetry readings and other events. Volunteers “man” the unique, homegrown art in the gift shop, so stop in and see what’s new. Currently on display is the work of Morris-based artist, Sarah Eckel.

Saturday, March 30, 2019 3


Stevens County Ambulance Service and EMS Education is looking forward to 2019 as we continue to advance patient care, response capabilities, AED sales and support, safety consulting and educational services. Our crews

are “in-house” and on-call, ready to respond to calls for service in and around Stevens County, including 911 calls, inter-facility transports from SCMC and area hospitals, special events and standbys. Our education and outreach

programs continue to provide training to over 3000 people annually. We offer courses ranging from basic emergency response, first aid, CPR, AED, Emergency Medical Responder, EMT and advanced courses. Enrollment is now open

MAHS and UMM students and community members for our fall EMT classes. Part-time, full-time and career opportunities available as well, including on-the-job training for individuals interested in the rewarding field of

pre-hospital emergency care and transport! Find out more at, email, stop by our offices or give us a call at 320-589-7421, 1-855-88-SAFETY.”

Rae Yost / Stevens County Times

The new building for the Stevens Community Humane Society. It will also house pet related businesses.

Humane Society closer to its new home By Rae Yost Stevens County Times Veterinarian Kathleen Jost said the building that will house the Stevens Community Humane Society is nearly completed. Jost, who is part of the H and H Veterinary Service PA in Benson, said the new building at 820 N. 5th St., or along Minnesota Highway 28, will

fill needs in the area. The Stevens Community Humane Society is caring for abandoned and unwanted dogs and cats at various locations in the county. The new location will be a single spot for those animals. Jost said law enforcement will also have a place to impound animals in Morris, instead of having to bring those animals to a location

outside of town. The new building will also include a veterinarian’s office. “Every animal that’s brought in (to humane society) gets a full (medical) work up,” Jost said. The vet’s office will have regular hours for appointments, Jost said. Another need in the area is a boarding kennel, which the new building will have, Jost

said. The area has one boarding kennel in Hancock. That boarding kennel is busy and another is needed, Jost said. The new boarding kennel will be a small one, Jost said. Jost plans to have a separate staff for the boarding kennel. In a related pet project, Marie Hanson of the Morris Area Women of Today said the organi-

zation’s dog park project for Morris is moving along. Hanson said $13,000 has been raised toward the $20,000 project goal. The park will be 150-by-150-feet and will be located across from the main portion of Pomme de Terre city park in Morris. The park will be divided into two parts, she said. Asked to give two

main reasons for the park, Hanson said, “A safe environment for dogs to exercise, work on off-leash skills and socialize with other dogs. Unleashed running and playing makes for a healthier pet.” Hanson said, “The goal is to have it open sometime this year if we achieve our fundraising goal.”

Extra Progress Report Stevens County

4 Saturday, March 30, 2019 

The Stevens County Times

Hancock project will result in improvements for students, staff Hancock High School agriculture instructor Wes Anderson knows what it will be like when the addition to the high school is completed in 2020. “It’s going to be like dying and going to heaven,” Anderson said. The addition includes an updated and expanded agriculture and industrial arts technology work space and shop areas as well as an updated science area and additional education classrooms. “We are so cramped in here right now,” Anderson said of the agriculture and industrial arts space. Anderson said he and Scott Thompson, the industrial arts/technology teacher are making do with existing space. “Right now, we are building a car trailer in our our shop,” Anderson said. More space “Will give us the opportunity to do it in an area where it’s not a hazard (concern).” Tim Schaefer, a member of the Hancock School School Board, said the addition is a response to today’s space needs but also to prepare for the future. “First of all, we are out of space,” he said. “When we look at the trends and the numbers in the demographics, we will continue to grow and there isn’t enough space for our students who are primarily students from within our district.” Schaefer said one of the last classes with fewer than 30 students will graduate in May. The incoming freshmen class and classes in years following

will have projected enrollments in the 30 to 40 range, Schaefer said. While the addition is a response to space needs and projected enrollment growth, it’s also part of the district’s strategic curriculum plan. The addition will allow him and Thompson to “ provide education in developing a set of skills necessary to compete in today’s manufacturing job market,” Anderson said. The teachers will have more room and equipment to teach skills such as welding and more, Anderson said. “We can expose kids to more advanced technology as they enter the job market,” Anderson said. “We’re just tickled to death that we get that opportunity.” Schaefer said advanced technology includes computer numerical control welding, fabrication and using 3D printing. “I think the staff will really be able to take advantage of it,” Schaefer said of the improvements. The district also looked at how it could improve in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, Schaefer said. “We didn’t start out to redo science, biology and chemistry…,” Schaefer said. Yet, its own evaluation showed the district could do better in this area for students who enter college, he said. Providing space and equipment to expand what teachers can do with STEM is another part of getting good instructors the tools they need to do their best work, Schaefer said. The Hancock School dis-

170 S County Road 22, Morris (320) 589-3865

The design for the classrooms and fitness classrooms for the Hancock Schools project.

ISG graphics

The design which shows the exterior of the Hancock Schools project. trict is located in agricultural region and many jobs are agriculture-and manufacturing -related. Schaefer and Anderson said the improvements in an agriculture and industrial arts/ technology areas are in part a response to available jobs in the region. The STEM improvements are also a way to help prepare students who may want to

live and work in the region, Schaefer said. Manufacturers and agriculture businesses in the region need engineers and employees with other skills in science areas and math, Schaefer said. Physics, for example, is a skill used in the heating and cooling industry, Schaefer said. As a school board member and a member of the board’s

strategic and finance committees, Schaefer said the goal is to provide the best opportunities for students and staff and to be good stewards of public money. “That’s what’s driving it,” Schaefer said of the construction project. The community supported the construction with an overwhelming vote in favor of a $7.9 million referendum in November.

607 Pacific Ave., Morris, MN 56267



Computer Sales & Service 208 Atlantic Ave 001842892r1

By Rae Yost Stevens County Times

Morris, MN 56267

(320) 585-5688



(320) 585-5037

209 State Hwy 9, Morris, MN 56267

(320) 589-7421

Profile for Stevens County Times

EXTRA Progress Stevens County  

A recap of progress made during the past year in Stevens County, Minnesota

EXTRA Progress Stevens County  

A recap of progress made during the past year in Stevens County, Minnesota