Friday, September 30, 2016

MnDOT announces availability of $7.5 million in grants for local community projects

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota communities, schools and their partners are invited to apply for funding for local projects that enhance transportation goals, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

A total of $7.5 million is available through the Transportation Alternatives solicitation.

The funding is for Greater Minnesota communities, schools and regional agencies to fund pedestrian and bicycle facilities, historic preservation, Scenic Byways and Safe Routes to School programs.

The Metropolitan Council conducts a biennial solicitation for the seven-county Twin Cities Metro Area applications.

To apply, applicants must submit a letter of intent describing the key components of their project by Oct. 31. A regional representative will contact applicants to help review the project proposal, determine eligibility and outline the steps necessary for delivering a federally funded project. The full application is due Jan. 13, 2017. Grant recipients will be announced April 17, 2017.

Last year, 21 local communities received Transportation Alternatives grants totaling more than $7.6 million.

For grant details see the Transportation Alternatives website at

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Highway 9 detour removed between Ada and Borup

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Motorists can once again travel on Highway 9 between Ada and Borup as the detour has been lifted and the project is complete.

The detour, which began May 23, allowed crews to replace the bridge over the Wild Rice River.

Redstone Construction completed the $2.6 million project, which created a higher clearance over the Wild Rice River. It will reduce flooding potential and ensure a safer roadway for motorists in the region.

For real-time traffic and travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit, call 5-1-1 or log on to

Thursday, September 15, 2016

BBB Offers Tips for College Students to Dodge ID Theft and Fraud

Burnsville, Minnesota – September 15, 2016 –Campuses nationwide are bustling again, as students have returned to begin – or resume – their collegiate studies. Though many college students are too busy to worry about fraud, they are among the most vulnerable to identity theft. Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota ® (BBB) offers simple steps students can take to protect themselves from identity theft on campus, and warns of two new schemes targeting students and former students.

Studies have shown that college students are among the most-targeted group for identity theft and also the least likely to detect identity fraud themselves. The 2015 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy and Research revealed that 22 percent of college students were notified that they were a victim of identity fraud either by a debt collector or when they were denied credit, three times higher than average fraud victims.

BBB recommends that college students take the following steps to keep their identity secure on campus:

      Have sensitive mail sent to a permanent address such as your parents’ home or a PO Box. School mailboxes are not always secure and can often be easily accessed in a dorm or shared apartment.

      Store important documents under lock and key, such as a filing cabinet or personal safe. This includes your Social Security card, passport and bank and credit card statements. Shred paper documents that have sensitive financial information rather than just tossing them into the garbage. Also, be sure to shred unwanted credit card offers.

      Never loan your credit or debit card to anyone, even if they’re your roommate or a close friend. And just say no if a friend asks you to co-sign for a loan or financing for goods like a TV or new computer.

      Make sure your computer has up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware software. Always install any updates and patches to your computer’s operating system or browser software which help keep your computer safe from online identity thieves.

      Check your credit or debit card statements closely for any suspicious activity. Report any suspicious activity immediately.

      When shopping on unfamiliar websites, always research the company for free at

      Check your credit report at least once a year with all three reporting bureaus for any suspicious activity or inaccuracies. You can do this for free by visiting

New Scams Targeting Students
In addition to these tips, BBB also wants to make college students aware of two newer schemes targeting them. One involves calls people are receiving claiming unpaid taxes are owed on college tuition. In some cases, the callers have detailed information on potential victims. BBB reminds students – former and current – that tuition fees are not taxed by the government.
BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota also recently received a report from a former student who received a phone call from someone claiming to be with the government. The caller recited detailed personal information they had gathered through unknown means, asking the recipient to confirm the information - including the former student’s home address, county, and the university they had attended. After confirming that all of the information was correct, the scam artist claimed a “one-time student fee of $1,600 was owed.” However, such fees are non-existent.
Current and former students who receive such calls are encouraged to end the conversation as quickly as possible and not confirm or deny any information callers might have gathered, regardless of its accuracy. Fraudulent calls can be reported at and through BBB Scam Tracker.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

U of M Crookston Homecoming Celebration

CROOKSTON, Minn. – Homecoming festivities will be held at the University of Minnesota Crookston the weekend of October 14-16, 2016, with the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the new wellness center at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 15. The theme of this year’s homecoming is “The Golden Years” and marks the 50th anniversary of the campus as an institution of higher education.

Recognition of the Outstanding Alumni, recipient of the Abbey Award, and induction ceremony for the Athletic Hall of Fame will be held during the annual Alumni Awards Celebration on Friday, October 14. The Social begins at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 followed by the program in the Sargeant Student Center Bede Ballroom. Contact Rose Ulseth at 218- 281-8439 ( to make a reservation.

The 2016 honorees include Dr. Charly (Reinert) Stansbery 2006, the recipient of the Abbey Award, which recognizes outstanding young alumni and this year’s Outstanding Alumni Award recipients: Natasha Anderson 1995; Ron Dvergsten 1979; and Kelly Swanson 1994. Inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame are the 1992-93 Trojan Hockey Team and outstanding Golden Eagle Basketball player Cathy (Behr) Helin 2004.

On Saturday, activities include an alumni brunch, followed by

10:30 a.m. - Tailgating, catered by Erickson Smokehouse (Mark Erickson 1998), cash bar, music by Four Wheel Drive (Dale "Bump" Erickson 1969) ...and “Get Your Game Face On!”
10:30 a.m. Tour of Wellness Center
11 a.m. - Grand Opening of the Wellness Center followed by a tour of the facility
1 p.m. - Football vs University of Mary, Ed Widseth Field
4 p.m. - Post-game Social, I. C. Muggs
4 p.m. - Volleyball vs Minot State University, Lysaker Gymnasium
6 p.m. - Alumni Hockey Game, Crookston Sports Center (Contact Eric Morgan 2012 at morga365@umn.edufor more information)

Visit www. for an entire schedule of homecoming activities.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Banned Books Week at UMC

 CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston will celebrate Banned Books Week from Monday, September 26, through Friday, September 30, 2016. Visiting author Sherry Roberts from Minneapolis will be on campus to discuss her novel, Book of Mercy. The public is invited to attend activities during Banned Books Week. All events are free and parking permits are not required during events on Tuesday and Thursday. 

On Tuesday, September 27, a read-out featuring public readings from banned books will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the International Lounge, Sargeant Student Center.

On Thursday, September 29, a high tea and selected readings from the Book of Mercy will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. featuring Author Sherry Roberts in the Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center.

Roberts combines humor and unforgettable characters in an exploration of the issues of the day. Book of Mercy features a mother-to-be who wages a battle against censorship in her town. Roberts was a 2011 Midwest Book Awards finalist.

After years as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor, Roberts started her own company with her husband, The Roberts Group Editorial & Design. They write, design, and build websites as well as create newsletters, brochures, press releases, manuals, and more. She blogs at

Banned Books Week events at the U of M Crookston are sponsored by the Academic Success Center on campus. For a complete listing of the events taking place during Banned Books Week, visit