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 — The negotiations team for the Willmar School Board has new marching orders, a move the board is hoping will lead to a conclusion of nearly two years of contract negotiations with its teachers. The board held an hour-long closed meeting to discuss negotiations strategy Wednesday during its regular meeting. After the meeting, Chairman Jared Anez read a brief statement, saying the board had given direction to the negotiations team, "in the hopes of bringing a swift end to negotiations."
WILLMAR — The new school in Willmar has a name — Lakeland Elementary. It also has a construction delay. The Willmar School Board approved the new name and heard a construction update at its meeting Wednesday. The school name was chosen after suggestions from staff were presented to third- and fourth-graders for their opinions. Lakeland was the overwhelming favorite among the students, Superintendent Jeff Holm said. The school is the largest project in a $52.35 million building program approved by district voters in May 2015.
WILLMAR — The new elementary school in Willmar has apparently experienced some construction delays. According to a report to be discussed by the School Board at its 7 p.m. Wednesday meeting, school construction is 40 working days behind school for a variety of reasons. The school is scheduled to open in August. The board is expected to choose a name for the new school Wednesday and to award contracts for the outdoor finishing work on the elementary school. The meeting was set for Wednesday to accommodate training for new board members.
WILLMAR — Willmar Public Schools' teachers and the School Board continue to find a contract settlement elusive. After meeting for several hours Wednesday, the board and Education Minnesota-Willmar found they were able to come closer than in the past but were still too far apart to reach a settlement. The two sides had tentatively agreed on a dollar amount at a meeting in December, with the condition from the union that it be enough to provide the 2 percent raises teachers were seeking. They planned to work out the details in meetings with a few people from each side.
WILLMAR — They marched for their friends, for their kids, and for people they don't even know. More than 150 people participated in a march Saturday to protest recent federal action to limit travel and immigration. The Unity March was organized to support Willmar's immigrant communities and to protest an executive order signed by President Donald Trump a week ago which temporarily barred immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries, including Somalia. In the past few days, the federal judiciary has temporarily stopped implementation of the order.
WILLMAR — More than 150 people participated Saturday in a march protesting recent federal action to limit travel and immigration. The Unity March had been organized to support Willmar's immigrant communities and to protest an executive order signed by President Donald Trump last week which temporarily barred immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries, including Somalia. A federal judge in Seattle on Friday temporarily blocked Trump's order, allowing travel to resume.
WILLMAR — Willmar's diversity was reflected in the small crowd of people who turned out for a walk to support minority communities. More than 60 people Tuesday afternoon walked up and down First Street South in Willmar, a collection of young, old, male, female, white, Hispanic and African. They left from the Kandi Mall parking lot and walked north before crossing the street and returning. Their signs told the story of why they walked. "No Racism." "Make America Think Again" "America belongs to all of us or none of us"
WILLMAR — A presidential order regarding immigration and travel has left many in Willmar's east African community upset and confused. An executive order signed by President Donald Trump Friday was a steady source of conversation over the weekend, patrons of the Somali Star restaurant in downtown Willmar said Monday. The executive order bars citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Somalia, from entering the country for three months and bans refugee admissions into the country for four months.
WILLMAR — The application period is open for the Kandiyohi County CEO program for the 2017-18 school year. CEO stands for Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities. It's a business-supported program for students in Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, New London-Spicer and Willmar school districts. About 20 students are chosen each year, based on their applications, character references and a written personal narrative.
WILLMAR — Congressman Collin Peterson said Thursday he's not sure how to answer some questions from constituents about President Donald Trump's week-old administration. Peterson, D-Minn., said many people in Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District have questions, though.