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Crookston newspaper among Torch and Shield award-winners

The Crookston Daily Times will be among four recipients Nov. 4 of the Torch and Shield Award, the highest honor given by the University of Minnesota-Crookston. It's the first time an organization has received the award.

The Times is widely considered to be the smallest daily newspaper in Minnesota, and one of the smallest dailies in the country. The paper publishes Monday through Friday. The Times has roots dating back to 1885 and the newspaper was locally owned until 1972. It is currently owned by GateHouse Media, a Fairport, N.Y.-based company that owns about 500 media properties.

Individual recipients include:

- Orlyn Miller has worked for the University of Minnesota for 22 years and is director of planning and architecture. For the past two decades, he has provided assistance on capital planning and campus planning issues at the Crookston campus, including for the Bergland Laboratory, Early Childhood Development Center, Kiehle Hall renovation, Student Center and the two most recent residence halls, Evergreen and Centennial.

- Jim Sims was head football coach at UMC from 1976-95. During his tenure, the UMC Technical College won three division team championships, and he was twice named division coach of the year. Sims taught health, physical education and recreation and was the pro-gram manager for two years. He went on to serve as the co-curricular activities director for the high school in Thief River Falls until he retired in 2007. Sims was inducted to the UMC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 and was inducted to the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

- Erma Vizenor was elected as the chairwoman of the White Earth Reservation in 2004 and is the first woman to lead the largest tribe in Minnesota. Vizenor holds an undergraduate degree in elementary education, a master's degree in guidance and counseling and a spe-cialist degree in education administration from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. She also has a master's degree in community decision-making and lifelong learning and a Ph.D. in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University.