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 — Halima Wehlie arrived in the United States from Yemen on Sept. 19, 2008, a widow with eight children. "I was very excited," she said this week. "That's why I still have that day in my head." Eight years later, Wehlie is a U.S. citizen preparing to cast her first vote for president. She became a citizen in 2014 and has voted in a school election already.
WILLMAR — If you're going to be out of town Nov. 8, or even if you've made up your mind and can't wait to fill out that ballot, you could go vote today. In-person absentee voting, also referred to as early voting, is underway across the state. Eligible voters will be able to vote in person at county auditors' offices every day until the election except Sunday.
WILLMAR — The Willmar School Board will be making a decision soon on elementary attendance boundaries and the district's new strategic plan. First, the public will get a chance to weigh in. The district posted two surveys on its website Friday, one about two boundary proposals and one about the latest draft of the strategic plan. To find the surveys go to www.willmar.k12.mn.us and scroll down to the middle of the page for "WPS District Announcements." Links to both surveys are there, as well as additional information about the boundaries.
WILLMAR — Six candidates are running for four open seats on the Willmar School Board in the Nov. 8 election. Board members are elected at large, and voters in the Willmar School District will be able to choose up to four candidates on their ballots. The four people elected will serve four-year terms on the board. Some major issues in the campaign have been stalled teacher contract negotiations, school budgets and ongoing school construction projects.
WILLMAR — When he has a conversation with his east African patrons at The Goodness coffeehouse, Chris Davis said, at some point they will say, "I love Willmar." He's heard similar things from other immigrant patrons at the downtown coffeehouse, which is a popular gathering spot in Willmar's busy, diverse downtown area. In the midst of all the political tension this fall, he said Friday afternoon, "I thought, we need something positive."
WILLMAR — Donald Trump got the most votes in a mock presidential election Tuesday at Willmar Senior High School, but Hillary Clinton was fewer than 30 votes behind. About 40 percent of the school's 1,200 students participated in the election, part of a first-ever statewide mock election in the state's high schools. Statewide, 282 high schools across the state are participating in Minnesota Students Vote 2016, an effort of the secretary of state's office. Statewide results will be released Nov. 1.
WILLMAR — Three Somali-American men have developed a partnership to provide non-emergency medical transportation for Medical Assistance and Medicare clients in eight Minnesota counties. Abdullahi Olow of Willmar runs the day-to-day operations of Southwest Transportation from Willmar. His partners are Mohamed Sarhaye of St. Cloud and Ahmed Abdi of Marshall. Olow previously worked for Heartland Community Action Agency in Willmar, and he decided to make the change earlier this year.
WILLMAR – The negativity of this year’s presidential campaign has made an impression on the students in Steve Grove’s ethnic studies class at Willmar Senior High School. Along with discussing...
As a small boy in Somalia, Nadir witnessed his aunt being murdered while she was praying. His family moved to Willmar 10 years ago, and he loves it here. Where he came from, many police were corrupt, he said. Here, the police and people in the community are friendly and helpful.
WILLMAR — The lack of a teacher contract settlement and diversity were prominent topics Tuesday evening for candidates for the Willmar School Board. Four of the six candidates for the board participated in a candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Willmar. It was part of a series of candidate forums leading up to the Nov. 8 election. The last forum will feature candidates for Kandiyohi County Board on Oct. 25.