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 School District will ask voters this fall to extend a local operating levy for another nine years. School Board members said at their Monday meeting that the district needed more money than the $498.49 per pupil levy first approved 10 years ago. However, several said they did not believe the voters would approve any more in the current economy. The levy is about to expire and the district would lose $2.3 million from its annual revenue. Some of that loss would be in state aid. The election will take place on Nov. 8.
WILLMAR -- Gage Joseph Paur, 21, of Willmar, pleaded guilty to two felony drug sale charges Friday in Kandiyohi County District Court. Paur had been charged with selling prescription medications and marijuana to a police informant. Judge Donald Spilseth set Paur's sentencing for Sept. 6. Two other felony drug charges were dismissed in a plea agreement. According to the criminal complaint, Paur sold the drugs to an informant for the CEE-VI Drug Task Force and the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension between April 14 and June 6 in Willmar.
WILLMAR -- Angel Cesar Garcia, 33, of Pennock was sentenced Thursday to two years and nine months in prison on a felony charge of third-degree drug possession. Garcia was charged with several felony drug charges in March after CEE-VI agents served a search warrant on a home in the 800 block of 13th Street Southwest and found meth, drug paraphernalia and cash. The rest of the charges were dismissed in a plea agreement in Kandiyohi County District Court. Garcia had also been on probation for a 2007 charge of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle.
WILLMAR -- Many new small businesses face an uphill climb to success. For those that succeed, things like good planning and strong mentoring relationships can be important. The Willmar Area Multicultural Business Center in downtown Willmar is using a $240,000 grant and some new partnerships to provide the keys to success for low-income business owners in Kandiyohi and Meeker counties. The Willmar Area Multicultural Business Center, formerly the Willmar Area Multicultural Market, is based in Willmar. The Community Economic Development grant from the U.S.
GILFILLAN ESTATE -- The best case scenario for agriculture programs in the federal budget appears to be a $12 billion cut over the next 10 years, but that number could be much higher. There are no immediate cuts to agriculture in a debt ceiling increase/budget reduction bill approved by Congress this week, U.S. Sen.
t's like going to college for a week, said Cole Melin as he prepared to paint flames on a small sheet of metal at the Ridgewater College Summer Camp. Cole and five other boys followed directions Tuesday from Ridgewater College instructor Dustin Zieske as he showed them how to sand the shiny finish they'd applied to their sheets the day before. The Auto Body Custom Graphics course is one of many options at the four-day camp for students entering grades 5-8. The camp at Willmar's campus will run through Thursday.
WILLMAR -- On The Avenue floral and gift shop has been open in Willmar just four months and is already ready to expand. Owners and sisters Kristin Larson and Kaitlyn Larson opened their second floral and gift shop in a converted older home at 611 Becker Ave. S.W., near Willmar's downtown. The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They already own the 15-year-old On The Avenue shop in Belgrade. They started working for their mother in the Belgrade shop as teenagers and later took over the business. The Willmar shop is located in a house on Becker Avenue.
WILLMAR -- Westside Liquors of Willmar is now under local ownership. Steve and Nancy Wright of Willmar have completed the purchase of the Westside Liquors locations in Willmar, Sauk Centre and Albertville. Steve Wright has managed the Willmar liquor store since it opened 10 years ago. The stores are part of a group of nine Westside Liquors liquor stores around the state owned by Bob and Linda Fueling, who still own the remaining six stores. Wright said on Friday that they had worked on the sale for about two years. The Wrights' stores will continue to operate under the name Westside Liquo
WILLMAR -- Wednesday was a good news/bad news sort of day for public education in Minnesota. There's disappointment in the state's decision to delay paying state aid to the public schools that are dependent on it.
A $14.3 million improvement project for Ridgewater College's Willmar campus was not included in the bonding bill passed in this week's special session of the Legislature. The money would have let the college finish a remodeling, demolition and construction project that has been in the works for several years. The state provided funding for the first phase of the project. "It's disappointing to me," Ridgewater President Douglas Allen said Wednesday afternoon.