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 — She may be just 12, but Angelique Martinez of Willmar knows what she wants to do with her life and is taking steps to get there. “I want to be a marine biologist, and I already found colleges I’m interested in,” she said. Her top pick right now is Hawaii Pacific University.
WILLMAR — Willmar School Board members discovered that they are already on the path of being an effective board, though they still have some work to do. The board and Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard spent more than three hours in a mini-retreat Tuesday evening discussing the characteristics of school boards that work well together. Communication and honesty were overriding themes during the discussion, led by Ken Dragseth, a retired superintendent from Edina. Board Chairman Nathan Streed said he thought the retreat could “remind us as a board what our role is and to bring together the
WILLMAR — A task force working to develop a 10-year facility plan for Willmar Public Schools kicked off a series of meetings this week. About 30 people attended the group's first meeting. They received information about the district's finances and the current facilities.
ST. PAUL — Two bridges that, for now, span the Mississippi River side by side are more than just old and new crossings of the heavily traveled Highway 61 in Hastings. They are symbols of an aggressive push in Minnesota to deal with deteriorating bridges after an eye-opening tragedy. The skinnier steel truss bridge — long identified as a worrisome structure — is being demolished a section at a time now that two lanes of a state-of-the-art concrete bridge carry the load.
ST. PAUL — A St. Paul law firm has scheduled a news conference this afternoon regarding sexual abuse allegations against a Catholic priest who once served in Willmar. Two women are scheduled to speak out about the abuse committed by the late Rev. David A. Roney, according to a release from Anderson and Associates in St. Paul. Roney served at St. Mary’s Church in Willmar in the 1960s and 1970s. According to the news release, the law firm will be filing two lawsuits on behalf of three women.
WILLMAR — A group of child advocates in the Willmar area is working to develop a cohesive education plan for pre-school children in the area. The Children’s Cabinet hopes to replace a patchwork of curriculum among child care providers with a common program to prepare children for kindergarten. The effort got a big boost last week with a $47,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation. Willmar Bremer Bank president MaryAnn Doyle said the collaboration between many groups in the community was a factor in the foundation’s decision. Other support has come from the United Way of West Cent
ST. PAUL — Swift County was the spot where one of the highest blood alcohol levels in the state was registered in a driver during the recent Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement campaign. Law enforcement in the state arrested 1,556 impaired drivers as part of the statewide effort from Aug. 16 through Labor Day.
ST. PAUL — A St. Paul law firm has scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon regarding sexual abuse allegations against a Catholic priest who once served in Willmar. Two women are scheduled to speak out about the abuse committed by the late Rev. David A. Roney, according to a release from Anderson and Associates in St. Paul. Roney served at St. Mary's Church in Willmar in the 1960s and 1970s.
WILLMAR — When Head Start classes started on Monday, the program in four area counties had 15 fewer children than it might have before federal budget cuts went into effect this year. Heartland Community Action Agency had to cut the 15 slots in Meeker, Renville, McLeod and Kandiyohi counties this year, thanks to across-the-board federal budget cuts called the sequester. At first glance that doesn’t sound like a lot of kids, but the effects of losing those 15 students in class can be far-reaching, according to Cathy Nelson-Messer, child and family development director at Heartland. That
WILLMAR -- The first day of school at Willmar Senior School was a little rocky this year, as 1,200 students all turned on their Apple iPad tablet computers at once. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard told the Willmar School Board Monday the district was using about five times more bandwidth than a year ago. "We've only killed the system once," he said. He explained that the major problems were encountered on Sept. 3, the first day of school, when classes were downloading software, textbooks and applications to their devices at the same time.