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 six candidates for Willmar School Board agreed on many issues at a candidate forum Tuesday, as they offered opinions on vouchers, school improvement and school lunches. Don Thorpe, Sahra Gure, Jackie Saulsbury, Liz VanDerBill, Mike Carlson and Mike Reynolds participated in the 90-minute forum sponsored by the Willmar area League of Women Voters. The six candidates are competing for four seats on the School Board. About 20 people were in the audience at the Willmar Municipal Utilities building for the forum, which was also televised on local cable and on radio station KWLM.
WILLMAR -- The threat to tear down Lincoln Elementary School appears to have spurred some interest among potential buyers. The Willmar School Board set a deadline of 4:30 p.m. Friday to receive offers on the building. As many as three offers are anticipated. Realtor Doug Fenstra jok-ed at the board meeting Monday that he hadn't e-pected that demolition would turn out to be a marketing tool. In September, the board discussed tearing down the building, which has been vacant and for sale for several years.
WILLMAR -- Willmar's schools are fitting in about 100 more students than they did a year ago. The area's largest school district, Willmar had 4,135 students in all K-12 programs at the end of September. A year ago, the Oct. 1 enrollment was 4,036. Enrollment is about the same as it was two years ago at this time. Enrollment decreased about 20 students each in the New London-Spicer, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City and Benson schools from 2011 to 2012. In NLS, enrollment a year ago at this time was 1,427, and this year it's 1,407. ACGC's enrollment was 783 a year ago and is 762 now.
WILLMAR -- When parents read with their children, it's a good idea to stop once in a while and talk about how the subject of the book relates to a child's other experiences. It might have a connection to a child's own life, or to another book read recently, or to something going on elsewhere in the world.
WILLMAR -- After generating little interest in three years on the market, the former Lincoln Elementary School in Willmar may be nearing its last days. The Willmar School Board discussed demolishing the building at its meeting last week. The school was closed several years ago when the district reorganized and consolidated its operation, closing two small, aging buildings. One of the buildings, Washington Learning Center, was sold some time ago.
WILLMAR -- Many of the African business owners in Willmar are optimistic about the ultimate success of their businesses in the community, according to a survey of African-owned businesses in the community. The African Development Center conducted the survey late last year and released the results Thursday. "The bottom line is there are a lot of good things happening in Willmar in the African community," said Hussein Samatar, ADC executive director. "We feel they will need a lot of help to make it in this community." Samatar said the business owners may be optimistic, but they will need adv
WILLMAR -- Delbert Huber was sentenced today to 30 years 7 months in prison for murdering Timothy Larson, 43, of Albertville. Huber, 82, of rural Paynesville pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month and admitted that he shot and killed Larson on Oct. 8, 2011, in rural Belgrade. Judge Michael Thompson listened to Huber speak at the sentencing hearing and said that Huber had shown no remorse. The sentence Huber received is the maximum allowed.
PENNOCK -- Names of the drivers in a fatal motor vehicle crash near Pennock Monday have been released. Julie Bedel, 41, of Clara City was pronounced dead at Rice Memorial Hospital after the collision at the intersections of Kandiyohi County roads 1 and 27 north of Pennock, according to a release from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office. The driver of the other vehicle, Kaitlin Olson, 20, of New London was also transported to Rice Memorial Hospital. Two passengers in the Bedel vehicle and one passenger in the Olson vehicle were also injured, but their names were not released. The crash is
WILLMAR -- Adult Basic Education classes will start today in Willmar with a new managed enrollment system for students learning English. Instructors hope that the new schedule for English as a Second Language classes should help students make faster progress toward their goal of learning English. In years past, the program's ESL classes had open enrollment, said Adult Basic Education co-coordinator Jim Nicholson.
NEW LONDON -- New London-Spicer band director Brian Pearson was the second runner-up in a jingle contest for the Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell. Winners in the contest were announced Saturday at the Minnesota State Fair. The contest was sponsored by Fox 9 News in the Twin Cities. Pearson wrote and recorded a jingle for the contest about the new Doritos Locos Tacos. Judges chose the top 50 submissions, and the public voted to narrow the field to the top 10 and then the top five. Pearson and other runners-up received $200 in Best Buy Bucks and $100 from Taco Bell.