I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.
Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf
- Member for
- 5 years 7 months
WILLMAR — Residents of the Willmar School District may vote this fall on continuing an operating levy of $45.10 per pupil, which is already on their property taxes. Jodie Zesbaugh, a municipal adviser with Ehlers Inc., walked the Willmar School Board through several possible actions at its Monday meeting. Ehlers is a financial adviser to government agencies. The board plans to make a final decision on the levy at its Aug. 13 meeting.
Contractors are busy this summer at Kennedy Elementary School in Willmar. Among the projects are new windows and doors and a new entrance on the east side of the building; inside the building, a remodeled space for collaborative projects and improvements to the east hallway. The work is part of a multiple-year project to update the 60-year-old building.
WILLMAR — Craig Johnson feels his blue collar, first-generation college student background will inform his work as the new president at Ridgewater College. Johnson, 62, joined the college July 1. He came from the University Center in Sioux Falls, where he was director. Johnson said his first few weeks have involved finding his way around the school's campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson. He admitted he still gets lost occasionally on the larger Willmar campus.
WILLMAR — Willmar Public Schools has agreed to enter into a voluntary agreement with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to work together to review student discipline policies. The School Board voted to approve the agreement after an hour-long, closed-door meeting with an attorney. When the meeting was reopened, Trevor Helmers, the district's lawyer, described the agreement.
WILLMAR — The West Central Tribune is seeking your help with a story on open enrollment between area school districts. If you use open enrollment to send your children to a different school district, or if you've chosen to keep your kids in your home district, we'd like to hear from you. What attracted you to the district you chose? Have you been satisfied with your decisions? Have friends or family voiced an opinion about your decisions? Please respond by email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
WILLMAR — Discussion of a possible operation levy for the Willmar School District is on the agenda for Monday's School Board meeting. The board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W. One of the district's operating levies is about to expire, and the board will discuss its next actions with financial advisers.
WILLMAR — Temperatures today are expected to approach the fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk level of heat. The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities has issued a heat advisory for much of the state this afternoon and early evening. Temperatures are expected to rise into the mid-90s, with dew points in the 70s. The combination could make the temperature feel as high as 100 to 105 degrees. Heat illnesses are possible, according to the Weather Service. It offers the following tips: • Drink plenty of fluids. • Keep pets hydrated.
HAWICK — Two members of a family died, and two others were injured Saturday in a car/motorcycle crash Saturday near Hawick. The crash occurred when a Chevrolet Monte Carlo traveling west on Highway 23 made a left turn onto 160th Street Northeast just outside Hawick in Roseville Township. The car turned into the path of three Harley Davidson motorcycles traveling east, according to a news release from the Minnesota State Patrol.
3 p.m. update HECTOR — A man's body was found Saturday in a drainage ditch downstream from the spot where an unoccupied, submerged car was found Thursday night. The car belonged to Adam Michael Rein, 24, of Buffalo Lake, who has been missing since late Tuesday. The body was found just after noon Saturday. According to a news release from the Renville County Sheriff's Office, the man's body has not been identified but it is believed to be Rein. The body has been sent to the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Ramsey for identification and an autopsy.
WILLMAR — Willmar Public Schools could be paying more for its community education program in the next year. In the coming months, the city of Willmar and the school district will be splitting Willmar Community Education and Recreation, a joint school/city effort, into two separate departments. The city recreation and school community education programs have been joined for nearly two decades.