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 next effort in resolving contract talks between the Willmar School Board and its teachers will be looking for discrepancies between the two sides' cost calculations. School officials and negotiators for Education Minnesota-Willmar met for about two hours Wednesday afternoon but ended the meeting without a contract settlement. The two sides have met more than a dozen times and participated in two mediation session without finding a resolution. Teachers have been working under an expired contract since July 1, 2015.
WILLMAR—The Willmar School Board will have at least one new face next year. Board Chairwoman Liz VanDerBill did not file for re-election during the filing period which closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday. In all, six candidates filed for four seats on the board. The three other incumbents whose terms are expiring at the end of the year did file for re-election. Tammy Barnes filed late Tuesday afternoon and could not be reached for more information. Justin Bos, an incumbent, is a funeral director at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar.
WILLMAR—The Willmar School Board has awarded the second phase of contracts for a new elementary school. The board awarded 11 contracts for construction of the shell of the building at its meeting Monday. Future contracts will deal with finishes on the building. The new school is the largest part of a district-wide building program, to be funded by a $52.35 million bond approved by the voters in a May 2015 referendum.
WILLMAR—An official weather observer for the National Weather Service recorded 8.2 inches of rainfall in Willmar Wednesday and Thursday. However, measuring rain amounts is not an exact science. It can vary by how a storm passes over and even the type of rain gauge used. Reports of much higher rain amounts have circulated in conversations and in social media since the storms passed through.
WILLMAR—Brian Kath of Willmar is the fourth candidate to file to run for the Willmar School Board. Other candidates so far are Scott Thaden and incumbents Justin Bos and Mike Reynolds. Filing for school board and small city elected office opened Aug. 2 and will remain open until Tuesday. The four-year terms of four Willmar School Board members expire at the end of the year. Other board members with terms expiring are Jackie Saulsbury and Liz VanDerBill.
WILLMAR—A third candidate has filed to run for the Willmar School Board in the Nov. 8 election. Scott Thaden, a former agriculture teacher at Willmar Senior High, filed Wednesday. Incumbents Justin Bos and Mike Reynolds filed last week. Filing for school boards as well as elected offices in small cities opened Aug. 9 and will remain open until Tuesday. The four-year terms of four Willmar School Board members will expire at the end of the year. Other board members whose terms will expire are Jackie Saulsbury and Liz VanDerBill.
WILLMAR—Three area school districts have been awarded state funding to implement voluntary pre-kindergarten programs this fall. Benson, Renville County West and Willmar schools have been chosen to receive part of a $25 million allocation approved by the 2016 Legislature. Gov. Mark Dayton announced the funding Monday. He said it would help provide pre-K classes, free of charge, for 3,302 4-year-olds in 74 school districts.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon has been postponed and rescheduled for Aug. 15. Superintendent Jeff Holm said the meeting was postponed because the board...
WILLMAR—Immigrants and refugees contribute to the state's economy as workers and entrepreneurs, according to a new report from Minnesota's businesses. The report from the Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition looks at the economic impact of immigration. Immigrants earned $12.2 billion in 2014 and paid $1.1 billion in state and local taxes and $2.2 billion in federal taxes.
WILLMAR—Valerie and Dayanara were hard at work, coloring and cutting out paper fish. On the fish were words like wig, quit and hill. It was the day to work on the short "i" sound at the YMCA Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program. The girls and their classmates tucked their colorful fish into "fishbowls," blue construction paper shaped like a fishbowl, with a pocket on the front made of plastic wrap so the kids could see their fish swimming in the bowl. Some of the three- and four-letter words were unfamiliar, but the girls were able to sound them out.