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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SPICER -- Business has been good this year for companies that are dependent on winter weather. Particularly for snowmobile dealers, the steady arrival of fresh snow during most of the winter has been a godsend after years of sparse snow and a struggling economy. "Normally we don't have rideable snow until around Christmas," said Nathan Nielsen, co-owner of Spicer Sports & Marine. "This year we were riding by the end of November." "Kandiyohi County and indeed the whole state has really developed a nice trail system," Nielsen said.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar, Montevideo and New London-Spicer school districts are close to an agreement to share the services of Willmar's nutrition director among the three districts. Willmar Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard told the School Board about the plan at Monday's board meeting.
WILLMAR -- Ridgewater College President Douglas Allen still hopes to see a state bonding bill that includes a $14.3 million improvement project for his Willmar campus. Gov. Mark Dayton proposed a $1 billion bonding bill earlier this week and supplied a list of projects to make up half the total. It included the Ridgewater project.
Augustana College officials confirmed Monday that everyone on the Augustana Band's Egyptian tour had been able to leave the country. Seventy-one members of the Augustana Band, along with 19 faculty, staff and friends, have been in Egypt since early January on a 25-day, five-concert tour of the country. Anti-government pro-tests that arose last week caused the band to cancel its final concert on Friday night and move to a hotel that was far away from the protests. Air travel in and out of the country was disrupted, and college officials spent the weekend making alternate travel plans when th
WILLMAR -- The prospects for a bonding are unclear at best, but about half of Gov. Mark Dayton's plan would fund projects at state-run colleges and universities -- including a major project at Ridgewater College. The governor's plan includes $14.3 million to complete the second phase of a capital improvement project. Funding for the first phase was approved in the 2008 bonding bill, but former Gov.
Augustana College officials have confirmed that the last group of students and other members of the Augustana Band's Egyptian tour left Cairo International Airport this morning en route to Amsterdam. Two other groups with the band's 25-day concert tour of Egypt had been able to leave Cairo on Sunday, according to updates on the school's website.
WILLMAR -- A group of local businesses and social service agencies will host the second annual Community Connect event Monday. The event will be from noon to 6 p.m. Monday at Bethel Lutheran Church, 411 Becker Ave.
WILLMAR -- A majority of people surveyed in the Willmar School District want to see school districts work together on issues of technology, but they are lukewarm to the idea of performance pay for teachers. Nearly everyone wants kids across the region to have similar educational opportunities. Willmar Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard distributed the survey results Monday at a Willmar School Board meeting.
WILLMAR -- Willmar's schools are on the road to complying with proposed federal guidelines for school lunches. But the Willmar School Board learned Monday that getting the rest of the way could be difficult if the final version of the guidelines is the same as the proposal. Willmar students already eat brown rice and whole grain bread and pasta, Food Service Director Annette Derouin said at a board workshop Monday.
WILLMAR -- Many in the area are familiar with the egg rolls Cristy Gantinao-Rieland and her sons sell at the Farmers Market each summer in Willmar. Now, her homemade Philippine cooking will be available all year. Gantinao-Rieland has opened Cristy and Sons, operating out of the commercial kitchen at the Willmar Area Multicultural Market in downtown Willmar. She offers full meals and egg rolls for takeout or delivery two days a week, The WAMM kitchen was developed to help entrepreneurs get their small businesses off the ground.