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 — Monday, the panic began to set in for last-minute Christmas shoppers. And though it’s a cliché to say men wait until the last minute, retailers in the area said they were indeed seeing a lot of male customers on Monday. Many said their last-minute sales would be topping off their good sales leading up to the holiday this year. “Oh, it’s men’s day,” said Mike Noonan, co-owner of Elmquist Jewelry in downtown Willmar. In fact, the only woman shopping in the store early Monday afternoon was helping a man choose a gift.
REDWOOD FALLS — Redwood Falls Mayor Gary Revier died unexpectedly Friday morning in his home. KLGR Radio in Redwood Falls reported the death. Revier had turned 67 on Wednesday. He was a graduate of Redwood Falls High School and a well-known businessman in the town.
WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA has received a $100,000 capital donation from the Otto Bremer Foundation. The donation brings the Y’s capital campaign within $10,000 of its fundraising goal of $2.4 million. The money will be used for an expansion project that will double the wellness center space and create a larger wellness studio.
WILLMAR — A task force studying the Willmar School District’s facilities will recommend building a new middle school near the district’s high school. The task force’s final recommendation will be delivered to the Willmar School Board at its Jan. 13 meeting. A second minority recommendation will also be included.
WILLMAR — When it comes to honoring one of their own, the Willmar Middle School knows how to throw a party. They even got the top education official in the state into their gym Friday morning to honor Assistant Principal Beckie Simenson, who was chosen last week as the state’s assistant principal of the year for secondary schools. A student band played and the cardinal mascot offered hugs and high-fives as the entire student body, many dressed in red, filed into the gym. Then the mascot led the way as Simenson entered the gym with Cassellius. A row of girls with T-shirts spelling out “Mrs.
WILLMAR — After learning that Minnesota’s fourth-graders led the nation in testing this year, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius began challenging school administrators and teachers. She’s been asking, “Are you ready for these fourth-graders.” Cassellius was in Willmar Friday to speak to a noon gathering of the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.
WILLMAR — There’s some trash-talking going on at Roosevelt Elementary School in Willmar this month, and it hasn’t been just the kids. Today marks the end of a food drive that has turned into a friendly competition. The classroom which donates the most food items wins a party attended by Principal James Hill. The school is also collecting donations of new or gently used winter clothing through Dec. 20, when the two-week Christmas break begins. There’s no competition on the clothing drive, but a large box in the school’s entry has been filled many times over, said child guide Heidi Burton.
WILLMAR — A 22-year-old man from Stewart was found dead Wednesday morning in his apartment in northwest Willmar. According to a news release from Willmar Police Capt. Jim Felt, authorities were called at 9:28 a.m. to the apartment in the 1300 block of 24th Street Northwest. A man reported that he had found his roommate unconscious and not breathing. Emergency crews responded to find the 22-year-old man deceased.
WILLMAR — West central Minnesota will need to stay bundled up for a couple more days, judging by forecasts from the National Weather Service. Dangerous wind chills are expected over...
WILLMAR — The Willmar School Board chose Laura Warne of Pennock as its new member Monday. Warne was one of two people who expressed interest in the seat left vacant by the resignation of board member Dan Croonquist. He resigned for personal reasons at the end of the Nov. 12 meeting. The board held its regular meeting after the annual Truth in Taxation hearing Monday. No one from the public attended the hearing, at which the board adopted a $4.93 million tax levy for 2104, a 27 percent decrease from the levy paid this year.