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Morris in 2009: What Happened Around Here, part IV

October 2009

Jim Gremmels was a basketball player and coach, a tennis lover who played into his 70s, a dedicated academician who delighted in teaching "Moby Dick." A printer. A sailor. A committed political party member who cast one of Minnesota's 10 Electoral College votes for America's first black president in 2008.

Gremmels, one of the original 13 faculty members at the University of Minnesota, Morris, died Sept. 25 at his home near Glenwood. He was 82.

•The Stevens County Developmental Achievement Center celebrated its 40th anniversary.

The county DAC was started by Stevens County Arc and concerned parents. The DAC had 10 clients at its inception and now serves 64.

The Regional Fitness Center celebrated its 10th anniversary. The RFC was dedicated Oct. 16, 1999 through a collaboration of the City of Morris, Stevens County, the University of Minnesota, Morris and the Morris Area School District.

•In honor of his work and commitment to local sports, the media room at Big Cat Stadium in Morris will be renamed the Brian Curtis Brummond Memorial Press Box prior to the University of Minnesota, Morris Homecoming game. Brummond served as the sports information director at the University of Minnesota, Morris from 2000 until 2009 before succumbing to cancer.

•The University of Minnesota, Morris' women's golf team won the 2009 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championship. Paced by three all-conference players, the Cougars finished 16 strokes ahead of second place Northwestern College, at the Alexandria Golf Club.

November 2009

The Big Stone II coal power plant project fell apart when remaining partners in a South Dakota coal-fired power plant that was to provide electricity to the Upper Midwest announced they were killing the project.

Big Stone II's future was crippled when Otter Tail Power Co., coordinator of the project, dropped out in the summer.

•Cyrus School District voters overwhelmingly approved two levy renewals in the general election. The school district asked voters to renew a $415.46 per pupil levy that was set to expire at the end of this year. The second question called for the renewal of a $250 per pupil levy that was to expire in 2010.

•One of the largest and primary buildings at the Hancock Concrete Plant in Lake View, Iowa was destroyed by fire Nov. 2.

Hancock Concrete, which is headquartered in Hancock, is the second-largest employer in Lake View.

•Two brothers from Morris pleaded guilty in federal court to devising a tax-evasion scheme that involved concealing income they and many of their employees received from their road construction business.

Joseph Edward Riley, 63, and John Thomas Riley, 60, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

•Morris Area senior Stefan Lemke earned All-State honors at the Class A Boys' Cross Country Meet Saturday at St. Olaf College. Lemke finished the 5,000-meter race in 14th place with a time of 16:58. The top 25 runners are named All-State.

•Morris Area senior Jackson Henrich was named to the All-Academic team, released by the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Association.

Another area player receiving the honor was Brendon Foss of Hancock.

December 2009

Stevens County workers could be working one hour less per week in 2010 in an effort to help county officials balance next year's budget.

Some members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union reached agreement with the county that would call for each to work one less hour each week but keep intact a 3 percent cost of living increase in its current contract.

•Corrections Corporation of America plans to close its Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton on Feb. 1, 2010.

Warden Tim Wengler notified the facility's remaining 125 employees of the decision. Minnesota will be removing the last of its 200 inmates at the end of January 2010, and that will leave the 1,600-bed facility without any remaining inmates, according to CCA.

•The body of a Morris woman who investigators believe died of "homicidal injuries" was found near a roadside in rural Owatonna on Thursday.

Kathryn Rose Anderson, 19, was a 2008 Morris Area High School graduate. Ryan Hurd, a close acquaintance of Anderson's, told investigators that he stabbed Anderson.

• Stevens County Attorney Charles Glasrud was elected president of The Minnesota County Attorneys Association for 2010.

•Randy Fischer and Josh Fischer purchased the Stevens County Ambulance Service.

The Stevens County Board of Commissioners, on a 3-2 vote, approved a proposal to sell the SCAS to the Fischers' company for $810,000.

•"Totally Scrooged!", a locally made film featuring more than 50 area residents, had its big-screen premiere at the Morris Theatre.