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 -- Adult Basic Education classes will start today in Willmar with a new managed enrollment system for students learning English. Instructors hope that the new schedule for English as a Second Language classes should help students make faster progress toward their goal of learning English. In years past, the program's ESL classes had open enrollment, said Adult Basic Education co-coordinator Jim Nicholson.
NEW LONDON -- New London-Spicer band director Brian Pearson was the second runner-up in a jingle contest for the Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell. Winners in the contest were announced Saturday at the Minnesota State Fair. The contest was sponsored by Fox 9 News in the Twin Cities. Pearson wrote and recorded a jingle for the contest about the new Doritos Locos Tacos. Judges chose the top 50 submissions, and the public voted to narrow the field to the top 10 and then the top five. Pearson and other runners-up received $200 in Best Buy Bucks and $100 from Taco Bell.
WILLMAR -- Students at Kennedy Elementary School in Willmar will have the benefit of an additional $500,000 worth of additional instruction time and better training for their teachers. The district was notified Friday afternoon that the district has received a $496,000 grant for Kennedy Elementary School in Willmar through the federal School Improvement Grant program.
WILLMAR -- The state's new method of measuring student achievement has become more complex, but it should yield more useful results for teachers. Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota's commissioner of education, discussed the new Multiple Measurement Rating system Thursday when she visited Willmar. Cassellius spoke and answered questions at the Willmar School District's staff welcome gathering Thursday at the Willmar Education and Arts Center.
WILLMAR -- Growth continues for the Willmar Area Multicultural-Business Center and the businesses it advises. With the help of a federal grant received last year, the community agency has loaned $40,000 in micro-loans so far to area businesses, of-fered ad-vice to more than 30 busines-ses and he-lped those businesses create 14 new jobs. Director Roberto Valdez said the federal grant's micro-loan program has helped the agency expand its work with businesses and also make improvements to its headquarters on Fourth Street Southwest in downtown Willmar. The building now includes Los Primos rest
WILLMAR -- The activity level is picking up this week on Ridgewater College's Willmar campus as students and staff arrive for the beginning of the fall semester on Monday. Students have been on campus this week to register and head for the campus bookstore.
LITCHFIELD -- The smoke from burning sage hung in the air as Dakota drummers and singers faced to the west to sing the Four Direction Song. The Rev. Alan Kitto told the more than 300 people at Ness Church that they didn't need to stand and turn with the singers, as many of them were sitting in chairs. But as the Native American singers began to sing, the crowd began to stand. It started with a few people here and there. Then more stood, and more still.
WILLMAR -- Willmar School Board member Wayne Lenzmeier announced Monday that he will resign from the board at the end of August. That would leave Willmar Public Schools with five board members instead of the usual seven. Lenzmeier made his announcement after the School Board meeting on Monday. He said he and his wife have sold their home and are scheduled to close on the sale on Aug. 31. Eric Roberts resigned from the board in June after he sold his home and moved outside the district.
WILLMAR --Malachy Kinney seemed to think it was an odd question. "Of course" he was enjoying orchestra camp, he said as he headed off to prepare for a recital. "I love orchestra." Kinney, 11, a sixth-grader in Willmar, and the other music students were busy on Thursday preparing for today's final concert. The one-week Summer Orchestra Camp will conclude with an 11:30 a.m. concert today in the auditorium at the Willmar Education and Arts Center.
Update: With all precincts reporting, Mary Sawatzky won the District 17B primary for the DFL race with 1994 votes to 1031 votes for Jessica Rohloff.