Ashley White is the community content coordinator for the West Central Tribune. Follow her on Twitter @Ashley_WCT.
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WILLMAR -- After weeks of waiting and speculation, Live it! has finally arrived. Live it!, a new quarterly lifestyle magazine produced by the West Central Tribune, highlights the people, places and things that make west central Minnesota an exciting place to live. The magazine will publish five times a year, including a special end-of-year issue, and feature topics such as art, food, health, fashion and family.
Litchfield resident Rose Hartwig and her long-distance best friend, British author Gavin Hill, enjoy blogging for the West Central Tribune's Areavoices platform because it gives them the opportunity to promote their company, they say. They also enjoy sharing their thoughts with others and interacting with the people who visit their blog. If you'd like to start your own blog on Areavoices, e-mail community content coordinator Ashley White at firstname.lastname@example.org . Anyone from the community can start a blog on any topic. It is free to set up a blog, and your posts will be featured on wctrib.com.
Across the region, high school students are gearing up for that one special, romantic, splurge-because-it's-worth-it night that will be remembered for years to come: prom night, of course. While the idea behind prom hasn't changed in many years, each new prom season brings with it different fashions and trends. This year, high school girls could not get enough sparkle, glitz and glamour, local businesses say. Prom wear Without a doubt, the most important part of prom for girls -- besides their date -- is their dress.
WILLMAR -- It's every parent's worst nightmare: Receiving the news that your 6-year-old child has been pulled, unconscious, from the bottom of a pool. Thankfully, for Nathan and Amy de Vries of Willmar, this nightmare had a happier ending than some -- due in large part to the courage of their younger daughter and a stranger who was in the right place at the right time. Last October, 6-year-old Hannah de Vries was attending a birthday party at the Country Inn & Suites in Willmar with her then 4-year-old sister, Lilly Kate.
It's that time of year again: time to clear out the closets, power wash the garage floor and kill those dust bunnies living on the refrigerator coils. Every year, at the start of the spring season, people everywhere begin their annual spring cleaning efforts. If you need some help with your spring cleaning, consider these tips from Russ Lammers, owner of Lammers Household Services in Willmar. Start by decluttering and organizing. "The number one thing that we strive to tell folks is the value of decluttering your home," Lammers said.
To spring clean most effectively, you need to have the right supplies, said Russ Lammers, owner of Lammers Household Services in Willmar. Here are his top five must-have cleaning supplies: n Clorox or a similar bleach product. n Phosphoric acid. "This is great at removing hard water stains," Lammers said. He recommends the brand Chrome-R-Tile, available at most hardware stores. n Multi-purpose cleaner that has germ cleaning power, such as Lysol. n Microfiber cloths. Choose the high-quality ones that don't leave lint behind.
As you do your spring cleaning and declutter your home, consider donating your gently used furniture, appliances and electronics to the new Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota ReStore. The ReStore will open in Willmar sometime in May, said Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Joline Hovland. The store is currently accepting donations for the opening. Items in the ReStore will be sold at 30 to 60 percent of their retail value, said Pam Vanderbeek, ReStore manager.
5 - number of machines from Belgium that melt and temper the chocolate 10 - different kinds of caramel used in Mr. B's chocolates 75 - different kinds of chocolates sold at Mr. B's 90 - pounds of chocolate that Mr. B's makes per day 800 - the amount of cupcakes that Mr. B's can make in one order 1,600 - number of chocolate truffles sold in a two-day period over Valentine's Day this year 2,000 - the weight (in pounds) of a chocolate car that Mr. B's founder Dwight Barnes created while attending "chocolate college" in Europe 10,000 - pieces of chocolate made at Mr.
It all started with a love of Belgian chocolate truffles. While traveling across Europe as president of the World Photography Association in the 1980s, Dwight Barnes frequented the best chocolate shops Europe had to offer. He grew to love the Belgian chocolate truffles best of all. When given the opportunity to trade photography lessons for a chance to learn how to make those truffles, he took it. Today, west central Minnesotans can enjoy those same Belgian chocolates at The Original Mr. B Chocolatier in Willmar, a shop Barnes founded 25 years ago.
12 - number of AMPI plants 54 - percentage of AMPI sales that come from cheese 170 - number of brands AMPI packages products under 200 - number of employees at both the Dawson and Paynesville AMPI plants 3,000 - number of AMPI dairy farmer-owners $25,000 - average economic impact of a dairy cow in Minnesota 40,000 - number of jobs the dairy sector supports in Minnesota 5.8 million pounds - amount of milk produced by AMPI dairy farmers each year $2 billion - amount of AMPI sales annually