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 will host a free career exploration event for adults May 16 on the Willmar campus. The first-ever event, "Career Reset: Training to Change Your Life," is intended to help adults do an interest assessment, explore in-demand career pathways and meet with staff members to explore possible next steps. They will hear from panelists about resources in the community. To accommodate varied schedules, the event will be held from noon to 3:30 p.m. and from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
WILLMAR — By the end of the school year, meals and snacks served in the Willmar Public Schools are expected to total more than 1.2 million since September. That's a pretty normal year for the district's Food & Nutrition Services. The meals include breakfasts, lunches, after-school snacks and meals catered to other school sites. The Willmar School Board heard a report from director Annette Derouin during a workshop meeting April 24.
WILLMAR — Some children in Willmar are worried, expressing to adults their concern that their little friends may be deported. Two men left their families behind and drove out of Willmar in the middle of the night this past weekend, headed for the Twin Cities where they think it may be easier to hide. Hearing those stories Saturday of fear in immigrant communities touched four state senators who visited Willmar.
KANDIYOHI — Two women are in custody at the Kandiyohi County Jail on suspicion of arson charges. According to a news release from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a 911 call from a home in the 10000 block of 30th Avenue Northeast at about 8:30 p.m. Friday. While they were en route to the home, another call to county dispatch said a 23-year-old woman had suffered a possible broken ankle.
WILLMAR — Four state senators from the Twin Cities area will be in Willmar Saturday to tour the city and hold a public town hall meeting. Sen. Jason Isaacson, DFL-Shoreview, Assistant Minority Leader Sen. Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, Sen. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, and Sen. Melissa Wiklund, DFL-Bloomington, have planned a town hall meeting from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kandi Entertainment Center, 500 19th Ave. S.E., Willmar.
WILLMAR — Life at Willmar Senior High School can be a bit of a shock to an incoming freshman. Classes are more difficult, and they move faster. It's easier to fall behind and if you don't catch up, you won't get credit for a class. The reasons students fall behind are varied. Some don't take things as seriously as they should. Some struggle with academic English. Students of all ages can fall behind because of illness or family situations that cause extended absences.
WILLMAR — An Aug. 22 special election will choose the seventh member of the Willmar School Board. The board has had a vacancy since the unexpected death of Chairman Jared Anez in mid-March. Anez, 45, was found unresponsive at a Willmar gym after a workout. The School Board decided at a special meeting Monday to hold the special election as soon as possible to fill the vacancy. Superintendent Jeff Holm said he had learned that state law would require a special election even if the board appointed a new member.
SPICER — U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson said he has co-sponsored a bill to allow foreign agricultural workers to work legally in this country. However, the bill has not had a hearing in 15 years, he said at a town hall Saturday. State Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, and state Sen. Andrew Lang, R-Olivia, joined Peterson in the 90-minute meeting. About 50 people attended the meeting at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in rural Spicer. The town hall started at the close of the center's Earth Day event.
WILLMAR — The Willmar School Board has scheduled a special meeting followed by a workshop meeting Monday in the boardroom on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W. The special meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. The board plans to award a contract for summer roofing projects at Kennedy and Roosevelt elementary schools and Willmar Senior High School. Also on the agenda is a discussion of how to fill a vacancy on the board left by the unexpected death of Chairman Jared Anez in March.
WILLMAR — Patty Wetterling is the keynote speaker at the 18th annual Life Connections event this week at the Willmar Civic Center. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the event, which begins with a Thursday evening program from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and continues from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.