I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.
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WILLMAR — Ridgewater College and Willmar health care providers are working with a Twin Cities nonprofit to train Latino certified nursing assistants. Ridgewater, Rice Memorial Hospital and Bethesda Health & Housing have developed a partnership with Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio to provide training and jobs in health care. The 35-year-old Twin Cities-based organization offers services for Latinos. Its outreach to Ridgewater's Willmar campus is part of an effort to develop a greater presence in rural Minnesota.
WILLMAR — Above all, parents sending their children to the Iftiin Youth Program in Willmar want them to have guidance in completing their homework. Encouragement in speaking English might be a close second. The program started a year ago as the dream of Fardowsa Ibrahim and her husband, Abdullahi Afrah. The plan was to have an after-school program that offered homework help and other activities for young people.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has offered advice for consumers concerned about their credit after the large-scale data breach at Equifax. The breach affected about 143 million U.S. consumers. Hackers gained access to names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and other personal information. The Commerce Department offers several tips to prevent identity theft:
WILLMAR — Willmar Public Schools opened the 2017-18 school year with 4,235 students enrolled, an increase of 38 students over last year's opening day. Pam Harrington, the district's business and finance director, provided an enrollment report to the Willmar School Board at its Monday meeting. "We have pretty good numbers to start the year out," Harrington said. Board member Linda Mathiasen said the total is the highest starting enrollment in four years.
WILLMAR — Amy Haney, a junior at DREAM Technical Academy in Willmar, has been named to the Minnesota Youth Council. Haney, 16, of Kandiyohi, will serve a two-year term on the council. The council includes four students from each of the state's eight congressional districts and four at-large seats.
WILLMAR — Ridgewater College students returned to classes last month with a new leader in the president's office. Joe Opatz is the interim president of the college, succeeding Doug Allen whose contract with the Minnesota State college system expired June 30. Opatz is a retired Minnesota State administrator who has served as an administrator at several campuses in the system. He said the college is on sound footing now, and it's his job as an interim president to keep it that way in the coming year.
PAYNESVILLE — A Paynesville teenager was injured Sunday evening in a single-vehicle crash. A pickup driven by Stephen David Peichel, 16, was moving west on Minnesota Highway 23 near Paynesville when it went off the right side of the road and into some trees, according to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol. The crash occurred at about 8:45 p.m. Sunday near the intersection with Stearns County Road 123. Peichel was transported to Paynesville Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the State Patrol report. He was wearing a seat belt.
PAYNESVILLE – A Paynesville teenager was injured Sunday evening in a single-vehicle crash. A pickup driven by Stephen David Peichel, 16, was moving west on Minnesota Highway 23 near Paynesville when it went off the right side of the road and into some trees, according to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol. The crash occurred at about 8:45 p.m. Sunday near the intersection with Stearns County Road 123.
KANDIYOHI — Two people were injured in a single-vehicle crash at 6 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Highway 12 and Kandiyohi County Road 8 in Kandiyohi. According to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol, a 2004 GMC Yukon was eastbound on Highway 12 near County Road 8 when it left the road, struck a tree and rolled, coming to rest on its passenger side.
Lingering smoke from Canadian wildfires has led the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to issue an air quality alert for southwestern, western and central Minnesota through 6 a.m. Saturday. The area includes the cities of Willmar, Alexandria, Brainerd, Marshall, Ortonville, St. Cloud and Worthington. Also affected are Native American tribal nations in the area.