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 — Final figures won’t be tallied for a few days, but organizers of the 2014 Kandiyohi County Fair feel they had a great fair this year. The fair closed Saturday night at the fairgrounds in northern Willmar. Some rain Saturday was the only bad weather during the four-day event, which has enjoyed a string of several years with favorable weather, fair board president Darrell Fostervold said Sunday afternoon. Attendance figures are likely to show that the fair, while it may not have set a record, had very good attendance. Food vendors reported having record sales, and many attractions
WILLMAR — Mike McFadden is confident that he will be the winner in the Republican U.S. Senate primary Tuesday. McFadden, who was endorsed by the state party last spring, said he sees the primary as another step in his campaign to unseat incumbent Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. McFadden was in Willmar Thursday morning to tour the MinnWest Technology Campus, part of his effort to visit all 87 Minnesota counties during his campaign. After the tour, McFadden talked about the economy and how he’d like to address what he sees as a sluggish recovery from the recession.
WILLMAR — Martin Munoz of Pennock used to work nights at Jennie-O Turkey Store, and he was working at turkey farms when he went to Employment Plus in Willmar looking for other opportunities. Wednesday, he was at his first day on the job at RELCO of Willmar after completing a specialized welding training program at Ridgewater College. He liked it a lot so far, he said. Munoz is one of eight new employees trained at Ridgewater. Others include Tyler Kotlowski of Granite Falls and Dominick Staab of Willmar.
WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board discussed Tuesday the impact of having the waters of Green Lake classified as infested with zebra mussels. The board heard an update on the presence of even one zebra mussel, an aquatic invasive species, in the county’s largest lake and prime tourist attraction. County Administrator Larry Kleindl said the single adult zebra mussel found on a dock raised alarms for Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials.
WILLMAR — Steve Gardner and Rich Taylor both believe there’s a need for change on Willmar’s City Council, and they weren’t shy about saying so at a candidate forum Friday. The incumbent in the race was not at the forum to counter their views. The Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored the forum. Incumbent Ron Christianson had contacted the chamber and said he would be out of town on Friday, according to emcee Nathan Streed.
WILLMAR — Lime green, bright blue, black, white, red and Vikings-worthy purple paint were mostly on the desks and a little bit on the students of the new DREAM Technical Academy in Willmar. Some of the school’s 115 students and their parents gathered earlier this week at a maintenance building on the MinnWest Technology Campus to assemble and paint the desks and small cabinets they will use when the school opens in September. The public charter school leases a building on the MinnWest campus. The school will offer a project-based education for students in grades 7-12.
COSMOS — A Litchfield man was injured at about 5 a.m. Friday when two vehicles struck a horse on Highway 4 near Cosmos, according to a release from the Meeker County Sheriff's Office. Frank Moeller, 40, of Litchfield was southbound on Minnesota Highway 4 when his pickup struck a horse near the intersection with 190th Street. His vehicle went into the ditch and rolled over. He was wearing a seatbelt. Moeller was taken to Meeker Memorial Hospital by Cosmos Ambulance. A second vehicle driven by Phillip Bernstein, 38, of Cosmos, traveling north on Highway 4 also struck the horse.
WILLMAR — It looks like a bus, and it brings fun things to do for children in the community. Why wouldn’t the new United Way Growmobile be a hit with area kids this summer? This week, children in the Dana Heights neighborhood sat on blankets in the shade of a big tree near the Growmobile mobile preschool and worked on their letters and numbers. They talked about healthy foods and tasted pieces of red and green apples to see which they liked better. They cut out pictures of good food from magazines.
WILLMAR — Using solid business practices, one-on-one relationships and cultural understanding has translated into growing success for the Willmar Area Multicultural Business Center in downtown Willmar. When it comes to small business survival, the center has flipped national statistics on their head. Over the past four years, three-quarters of the businesses which consulted with the business center have survived.
FAIRFAX — One person died as a result of a work accident Monday morning in Renville County. According to a release from the Renville County Sheriff’s Office, 911 calls were made shortly before 9 a.m. Monday about an incident at a power line worksite northeast of Fairfax along the CAPX 2020 power line. Callers indicated that two people had been injured. Emergency responders worked to resuscitate the victims, who were flown from the scene to trauma centers in the Twin Cities.