I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.
Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf
- Member for
- 4 years 11 months
WILLMAR — Health care was the main topic when two area legislators met with constituents in downtown Willmar Saturday morning. State Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, and Sen. Andrew Lang, R-Olivia, spoke with about 30 people at The Goodness Coffee House. They provided an update on the 2017 legislative session,which included funding for a children's mental health facility in Willmar, increased funding for public schools and tax relief.
WILLMAR — A man was transported by ambulance away from the scene of what was reportedly an officer-involved shooting in northwest Willmar late Sunday afternoon. More than a dozen squad cars were parked at both ends and on both sides of the street in the 400 block of 11th Street Northwest after the incident, and the street was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape. Witnesses said the person in the ambulance appeared to be a white man in his 50s.
RENVILLE — Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative and its labor union announced Friday that they have reached agreement on a five-year contract. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International AFL-CIO/CLC, Local 369, voted to accept the co-op's offer, and the contract will be effective July 23, 2017. The contract calls for an increase in wages over five years. Other terms include updates to pension benefits, pension lump sum death benefits and life insurance benefits.
WILLMAR — You may have seen them around Willmar this week — a group of four people from New York City asking lots of questions. The Neighborhood Theatre Project has spent the week working on the first project in "The America Series," a collection of documentary theater productions about communities across the country that will explore people's similarities and differences through their stories.
WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board will meet Tuesday in the boardroom on the second floor of the county Health and Human Services Building, 2200 23rd St. N.E. in Willmar. At 9 a.m., the board will meet to discuss human services issues. At 10 a.m., the regular meeting will begin with an update on Central Minnesota Jobs and Training. Other items on the agenda include a report on drug court graduation scheduled for 10:30 a.m.; an update on county broadband efforts at 10:45 a.m. and a discussion on whether to set a public hearing on a local sales tax at 11:15 a.m.
WILLMAR — A Willmar man was sentenced to 37 months in prison for assaulting a woman while she was driving a vehicle. Robert Russell Love Jr., 48, of Willmar, was sentenced Thursday to a prison term of three years and one month. He had pleaded guilty in June in Kandiyohi County District Court to a felony charge of third-degree assault — substantial bodily harm. Felony charges for first-degree witness tampering, domestic assault by strangulation and domestic assault were dismissed in a plea agreement.
WILLMAR — A Cosmos man charged with hitting his estranged wife with a car and kidnapping her has pleaded guilty in Kandiyohi County District Court. Cesar Octavia Garcia-Gonzalez, 38, is to be sentenced Sept. 25 on a felony charge of kidnapping to commit great bodily harm or terrorize. In a plea agreement, seven other charges against him will be dismissed. They include kidnapping to facilitate flight, second-degree assault, threats of violence, stalking, interfering with an emergency call and domestic assault.
WILLMAR — Alejandro Jesus Guerrero of Waite Park has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon — liability for crimes of another for his role in a violent fight outside a child's birthday party in September 2016. Guerrero, 21, also pleaded guilty in Kandiyohi County District Court to a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault. In a plea agreement, five other felony charges will be dismissed. He is to be sentenced Sept. 29.
KIMBALL — Authorities in Stearns County are asking for the public's help in the search for 17-year-old Sienna Paige Stice, who has been missing since Sunday afternoon. According to a news release from the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, Sienna told her parents she was going for a walk and left her home north of Kimball at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday. She was last seen about 5 p.m. on Powder Ridge Road near Highway 15 and appeared to be walking toward her home, but she did not return home.
WILLMAR — July 21 is the deadline to sign up for a buildout of broadband service to homes and businesses in parts of northwestern Kandiyohi County. About 100 more people need to sign up in the next week and a half, and pay a $25 commitment fee. Those who have already signed up — but not yet paid up — need to submit their $25 commitment fees by July 21, too. It those things don't happen, the project won't happen, county officials said Tuesday.