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's efforts to recover the cost of repairing shoddy work on the Willmar Senior High roof should go to arbitration now. The Minnesota Supreme Court has refused to hear the latest appeal from Day Masonry, one of the companies that worked on the original roof of the school, which opened in 1994. Willmar Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said Monday that the district's attorney told him that this exhausts the legal appeals, clearing the way for arbitration on the roof costs.
WILLMAR -- It's easy to tell when you're getting close to The Nutty Bavarian snack stand in the Kandi Mall. The heavenly aroma of warm cashews, pecans and almonds drifts in all directions from the stand just inside the Big Kmart store. "It's the smell that sells," Neil Hughes said with a smile, the day after he opened his business. It's the company's slogan. Hughes, of Willmar, said the business that he recently opened is the next step in his effort to become free of government assistance. "As long as I can take care of myself, I want to," he said.
WILLMAR -- A Willmar man accused of molesting young girls at a rural Willmar daycare now faces a fifth felony charge of criminal sexual conduct. Larry Alan Stoeser, 60, of Willmar has already been in court this fall on four felony charges of criminal sexual conduct at the daycare his wife ran in their home. He made his first appearance on the new charge in Kandiyohi Cou-nty District Court on Tuesday. Judge Donald Spilseth set bail at $200,000 cash or bond for unconditional release and $25,000 cash or bond for conditional release. Spilseth also ordered the five cases to be consolidated in f
WILLMAR -- Area school districts might be able to improve efficiency and even increase opportunities for their students in the future, but there's a possibility that emotional ties to local districts could get in the way of it. The Willmar School Board discussed an ongoing study of regional school cooperation at its workshop meeting Monday. The board and 16 others in the region have been taking up the study at their local meetings.
WILLMAR -- Fuzzy pink jackets, a three-foot stuffed alligator and shoes that squeak are just a few of the unusual items to be found at Gracie Margaret's Children's Boutique at the Kandi Mall. The boutique opened last week, just in time for holiday shopping. "That was our goal, with Black Friday around the corner," owner Kelly Tauber of Olivia said. The name Gracie Margaret's is a combination of her daughters' middle names. The shop is located in Willmar's Kandi Mall next door to the Regis Salon. The shop offers quality children's clothing for infants through size 6.
WILLMAR -- Willmar School Board members had a lot of questions for the men who will represent them in the Minnesota Legislature next year. However, answers are in shorter supply right now, as Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, and Rep.-elect Bruce Vogel, R-Willmar, prepare for the 2011 Legislative session, which begins Jan. 4. The School Board met with the legislators in a workshop meeting Monday. Questions about school funding and other specific issues are difficult to answer right now, Gimse said. "Education has always been a top priority," Gimse said.
WILLMAR -- Two Willmar churches are offering free community meals to help people who can't put a Thanksgiving dinner on the table or who would otherwise be alone on the holiday. The Mahanaim Asemblea de Dios Espana will serve a meal from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Kennedy Elementary School. Redeemer Lutheran Church will offer a Thanksgiving dinner with homemade pie from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church on Thanksgiving Day. It's the sixth year the church has provided the meal, said the Rev.
PAYNESVILLE -- A community meeting to discuss a school facilities project will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Paynesville Area Center. The meeting has been organized by community members who have questions about the process used to develop the project. The Paynesville School Board has proposed an extensive remodeling of its heating and ventilation systems, including the installation of new boilers and switching the old steam heat system over to hot water heat. The project is expected to cost about $16.5 million.
WILLMAR -- Housing and transportation appear to be among the largest obstacles for settling in Willmar for two dozen Burmese refugees who moved here in recent months. The refugees came to Willmar to work for Jennie-O Turkey Store. Nine of the refugees met with community representatives in Willmar this week to talk about challenges they face and the community services that might be available to them. Emerge, a non-profit community development organization based in Minneapolis, is working with Jennie-O through Emerge's Refugee Employment Services program. Emerge has worked with a number of m
Update 2:30 p.m.