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 Willmar Public Schools Foundation may become an affiliate of the Willmar Area Community Foundation. Representatives of the community foundation met with the school foundation board this week. Dean Anderson, director of the Willmar Area Community Foundation, and Ken Behm, a board member, spoke with the school foundation board members about developing a formal relationship.
It's easy to use a debit or check card for everyday expenses, but you need to stay on top of it. "You've got to make sure, if you're using a check card, yo-u're using a register," Shane Jo-hnson of Bremer Bank told juniors and seniors Tuesday at Co-mmunity Christian School. It's easy to forget to enter tra-nsactions and drain a checking account, Johnson told them. If that happens, it can affect a credit report.
WILLMAR -- Attendance boundaries for Kennedy and Roosevelt elementary schools in Willmar could be re-designed this spring, depending on enrollment patterns. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard told the Willmar School Board on Monday that he will be studying housing and population shifts to decide if new boundaries are needed. No decisions will be made until spring, after more board discussion, he said. Currently, each of the schools has about 900 students. "That's more than I wanted at Roosevelt," Kjergaard said.
First of all, you need a good jacket, with a hood. The hood is important, because it keeps your neck from getting cold and keeps cold air from going down your neck. And remember -- layers, layers, layers. If you want advice on staying comfortable outdoors in the winter, talk to the people watching over a sea of children at a school playground. The children come and go from recess at 15-minute intervals, but Rita Phillips and her coworkers are outside on their feet for most of the three hours it takes to cycle all of Kennedy Elementary's 900 students through lunch and recess. "Keeping the
WILLMAR -- People who are thinking about giving up tobacco will want to make the move soon to take advantage of the QUITPLAN counseling program. QUITPLAN centers at Affiliated Community Medical Centers in Willmar, Redwood Falls and Marshall will stop accepting new participants on April 1, Andrea Carruthers, ACMC care improvement coordinator, said Thursday. The centers currently offer one-on-one tobacco cessation counseling. Counseling will continue in April and May for those who sign up by April 1.
WILLMAR -- If you have something to say about local news, state politics or sports, the West Central Tribune wants to hear from you. In addition to the traditional letters to the editor and the AreaVoices.com link on the website, the Tribune has a page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/westcentraltribune . The Facebook page will give you a chance to comment on some of the top local and state stories of the day. Sometimes we'll ask a question to try to get a conversation going.
WILLMAR -- In his inaugural speech Monday, Gov. Mark Dayton asked Minnesotans to work together to solve the state's budget problems, which include a $6.2 billion projected budget deficit. One of his suggestions was that businesses should adopt the schools in their communities. In his speech, Dayton asked every business in the state to adopt a school -- "A little money, a lot of help, technical expertise, remedial reading volunteers, adult mentors, new books, used computers.
WILLMAR -- James Dykema said he doesn't consider himself an artist when he's making his handcrafted wooden furniture. But there's little doubt that he looks at wood with an artist's eye when he's deciding how to use a board from an old barn or a limb from a tree. "The wood tells you what you're going to do with it," he said. "I do whatever the wood wants." Dykema and his wife Lynn opened Three Fingers Sawmill and Rustic Furniture in February.
WILLMAR -- It seems that few people can resist half-price wrapping paper or Christmas ornaments at 75 percent off. Post-Christmas shopping took off in Willmar Sunday. At Target, the holiday decorations and merchandise had been moved into one area of the store, which was packed with people getting started on supplies for next year. Tami and Bob Thein of Spicer went to Target for some basic items, not for post-holiday sales, but they found their way to the seasonal section where Tami Thein was putting "wrapping and boxes and bags and tape" into a cart. She said she had used up everything she
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School District will begin the new year with a major change in its School Board. Three new board members will replace outgoing members who each had nine years of board experience. Dan Croonquist, Linda Mathiasen and Nathan Streed were chosen from a seven-candidate field in the Nov. 2 election and will take office on Jan. 10. They will succeed Mike Carlson, Brad Schmidt and Dion Warne, who all are retiring from the board. A week ago, the new board members spent a day at the district offices, meeting with administrators and principals from across the district.