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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A mass school shooting like that in Parkland, Florida, two weeks ago won't necessarily cause immediate changes in the crisis plans for area school districts and law enforcement. However, a thorough investigation of the incident and law enforcement response could lead to changes later on. A former student shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and wounded more than a dozen others.
WATSON – Two people were rescued from a partially submerged car on Lac qui Parle Lake Thursday evening. The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a car through the ice at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The car was said to be partially submerged with two people inside. According to the release, the car was located on the southeast part of the lake just north of County Road 13 in the channel of the lake.
WILLMAR — This week, Willmar's FIRST Robotics team was working feverishly to finish its robot before Saturday. The West Central Alliance Hub, a group of five area robotics teams, will be hosting a scrimmage from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Willmar Senior High School. There is no admission charge, and the public is welcome to attend. Other teams in the West Central Alliance are New London-Spicer, Belgrade-Belgrade-Elrosa, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg and Renville County West.
WILLMAR — It was a simple idea, really. It came to Roon Mahboub when she attended a Women's Circle meeting with her mother Sahra Gure in September. The Circle was a group of women who had joined with the desire to build cross-cultural friendships, and she observed a budding friendship between two women. One was from Honduras and practiced her English with her new friend. "I thought, 'that should be there for everyone,'" Mahboub said at a Women's Circle gathering this week at Midtown Plaza. She is a senior at Willmar Senior High School.
WILLMAR — School calendars for the next two years and board member salaries will be discussed Monday at a meeting of the Willmar School Board. The board will meet at 4:30 p.m. at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W. Other items on the agenda include consideration of the Willmar Community Education and Recreation agreement with the city of Willmar and a contract for installing a fire protection system at Roosevelt Elementary School.
WILLMAR — Willmar's young people have lots of things going for them — programs for early childhood education, neighborhood parks, a large new playground at Robbins Island, outdoor activities. But more is needed. About 50 people met Tuesday in a Grow Our Own community conversation to discuss ways the community could overcome child poverty. The meeting was sponsored by Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040, the Willmar Area Community Foundation and Southwest Initiative Foundation.
WILLMAR — The vision Sahra Gure and Abdirizak "Zack" Mahboub had for a former furniture store is taking shape as the newly opened Midtown Plaza in downtown Willmar. The first two businesses have moved into the building at 313 Litchfield Ave. S.W. Several others have signed leases and are preparing to move.
WILLMAR — A search warrant Tuesday led to five arrests and uncovered drugs, nearly four dozen firearms and suspected explosives, including items found in a concrete bunker in the basement. The items seized from the rural Willmar home included submachine guns, homemade silencers, night vision goggles and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
WILLMAR – Five people were arraigned Thursday on a variety of felony and misdemeanor drug and weapons charges that stemmed from a search warrant executed Tuesday afternoon. The search yielded methamphetamine, pills, cocaine, numerous firearms, ammunition, and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Arrested were Chad Monson, 46, of Willmar; Kayla Marae Lindstrand, 27, of Willmar; Thomas Walter Quimby, 41, of Willmar; Christine Ewleda Johnson, 37, of Cosmos; and John Russell Jacobson, 45, of Lake Lillian.
WILLMAR — The Willmar Public Schools' building program is moving into its final stages. With the opening of the new Lakeland Elementary School this month, the district has completed the three major projects approved in a 2015 bond referendum. Lots of maintenance projects have been finished, including new roofs, boilers and safety improvements. Still to be done is some planned remodeling at Kennedy and Roosevelt elementary schools and at Willmar Senior High School.