Erica Dischino is the photographer for the West Central Tribune. Hailing from northern New Jersey, she graduated from Ithaca College in central New York with a bachelors in Journalism and Photography. Follow her on Instagram.
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WILLMAR — The West Central Week Zero Competition, hosted by the West Central Alliance Hub, a group of five area FIRST Robotics teams, took place Saturday at Willmar Senior High School. The first-ever robotics competition held at the high school was a scrimmage for teams from around the region to practice operating their robots. After the competition, teams have just a few days left to complete their robots before the competition season begins. Throughout the competition, robots were tasked with such things as moving boxes around the game area to earn points.
WILLMAR — Community members stopped by First Presbyterian Church to eat some hot soup and fresh bread Friday at the sixth annual Souper Bowl in Willmar. All proceeds from the admission tickets and ceramic bowls, which were made by Willmar Senior High students, sold at the event went to Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota. Thirteen vendors donated food or drinks.
WILLMAR — Valentine's Day is one of the busiest times of year for Lora Miller, a florist at Stacy's Nursery in Willmar. This year, Miller, who has been working at the nursery for around 15 years, said she plans to put a modern twist on traditional floral arrangements for the day of love. Miller said she tells buyers to try new things, especially for Valentine's Day. "A lot of clients will play it safe and stick to what they know," she said. "It can be fun to experiment with colors and types of flower."
SPICER — Students from the Kerkhoven, Murdock and Sunburg areas learned about all things outdoor Wednesday at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center near Spicer. The KMS Elementary School students participated in classes on archery, how to read a compass, what it was like to live in a log cabin over a century ago and more. Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center offers programs for environmental education and outdoor recreation in Kandiyohi County.
WILLMAR - Mary Lynch-Sheehan, along with her husband Kevin Sheehan, agreed to watch their two daughters' two dogs, Mystic and Mali, during the Super Bowl festivities. With the influx of people heading to the Twin Cities this weekend, the Sheehans' daughters, who live only several blocks away from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, wanted to drop their dogs off with their parents to keep them safe.
SPICER — The 14th annual Polar Plunge was held by local law enforcement Saturday to raise money for the Special Olympics of Minnesota. The annual event is held near Saulsbury Beach on Green Lake as part of the Spicer WinterFest celebration. Participants, some of who were dressed in costumes, came to take the plunge into the lake, with a water temperature of 33 degrees while the air temperature was 26 degrees.
SPICER - Fireworks lit up the sky Saturday over Green Lake at the WinterFest lighting ceremony on Saulsbury Beach in Spicer. The fireworks were accompanied by music and some of the colors were Vikings' football purple and gold-themed. The event also had a bonfire and free hot chocolate for the attendees.
WILLMAR — Members of the public viewed Lakeland Elementary School Tuesday night during an open house at the new school in Willmar. Students at Lakeland had their first day of classes when the school opened Jan. 2.
WILLMAR — Crew members prepared Wednesday at the Minnesota Department of Transportation building in Willmar for the mixed precipitation forecast for southwest and west central Minnesota starting Wednesday night and continuing Thursday. Snowfall predictions have decreased, but the National Weather Service said hazardous travel conditions still are expected, especially this morning and afternoon. Nine snow plows are used in the Willmar area, and shifts for MnDOT plow drivers started at 3 a.m. today.
WILLMAR - Cold temperatures have been sweeping the nation for the holiday season. Despite the cold temperatures, children played hockey Thursday at the outdoor ice rink at Garfield Park in Willmar.