Melbye, Brekken among the four

    There's a local flavor to the four Crookston Community Swimming Pool manager finalists being interviewed Monday to succeed longtime manager Ken Stromberg, who's retiring.   

    Among the finalists being interviewed are Marley Melbye, the current Pirate girls' swimming coach who works at Polk County Public Health. Cody Brekken, a 2007 Crookston High School graduate and graduate of the U of M Crookston, and also a member of the Pirate football coaching staff is also being interviewed. The other two finalists are Lacy Knott, who's from Minot, N.D. and now lives in Red Lake Falls, and Kim Maiello, who's originally from New York but now lives in Grand Forks.   

    Crookston School District Superintendent Chris Bates said he hopes the interviews produce a finalist who accepts the job.    

    "It's a very busy time at the pool, with spring swimming lessons coming up quickly," he said. "Hopefully, in a week to 10 days, we'll have a new manager to share with the public."   

    Stromberg was initially going to retire in June, but has since accelerated his timeline, since he will be eligible for the "Rule of 90," which means a school district employee can retire with full benefits once their age and years on the job add up to 90.

Teacher negotiations   

    The most recent mediation session between the school board's Negotiations Committee and the Crookston Education Association a week ago didn't produce a new contract with the teachers, as Bates had previously hoped. But, he said, it was a long and productive session with the mediator, who will return on April 9.   

    "Every hour we put in brings us closer to the end so we are still moving forward," Bates said. "It's moving maybe a little slower than we would like, but it's moving forward."