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 — Kennedy Elementary School in Willmar still faces many challenges, but a recent state review also includes a list of the school’s strengths. Director of Teaching and Learning Cheryl Nash spoke to the Willmar School Board about the review at its Monday meeting. The state review is the result of Kennedy’s eligibility for a federal School Improvement Grant.
WILLMAR — Voters in the Willmar School District will probably be asked to decide later this year whether to build a new school and make needed improvements in other buildings. The Willmar School Board discussed options at a workshop meeting Monday but no decisions have been made. Some board members seemed to favor building a new middle school for the district but wanted more information before deciding how to proceed. The board will likely meet later this month to hear more about how different building proposals would affect instructional, financial and staffing needs.
WILLMAR — Catelyn Berg is already interested in the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities business class next year. “It sounds like it would be fun, especially since I want to own a business when I get older,” said Catelyn, 16. The CEO program will be a joint effort of area businesses and the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, New London-Spicer and Willmar school districts. About two dozen students attended an informational session after school this week at Willmar Senior High.
WILLMAR — Willmar’s schools were closed Thursday, the sixth time this month that weather has closed schools for the district’s 4,100 students. Closing school was not something Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard wanted to do, but snow and wind made driving conditions treacherous Thursday morning, he said. The district always sets its calendar with the understanding that school will be held on some planned days off to make up for snow days. Secondary students already attended school on Martin Luther King Day, which had been designated for teaching staff development.
CHOKIO, Minn. — During his 30 years at the Minnesota Capitol, former state Sen. Charlie Berg was known as a maverick and one of the more colorful, outspoken members of the Legislature. Berg, of Chokio, died Jan. 22 at the age of 86. The Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of arrangements. No services have yet been announced. Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, lobbied for conservation officers while Berg was in office.
WILLMAR — West central Minnesota and much of Minnesota is looking at its second day of high temperatures below zero this week. The high temperature today is expected to be in the single digits below zero, with wind chills in the neighborhood of 40 below. A wind chill warning from the National Weather Service remains in effect through noon today.
WILLMAR — Once the temperature heads south of 10 below, it seems even the most dedicated snowmobile enthusiast thinks twice about heading out on the trail. That doesn’t mean businesses that cater to winter sports are quiet this time of year, though. At Motor Sports of Willmar, the business is diversified enough to stay busy most of the time, said salesman Jay Reuss. “If something’s not selling, something else is,” he said. The business is always dependent on weather to some extent, Reuss said. Winter clothing is selling well with this winter’s unrelenting cold, he said.
Five Minnesota National Guard soldiers from the Litchfield unit have been wounded in an attack in Afghanistan. The five are members of the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company based in Litchfield. The unit deployed 95 members to Afghanistan last July. They are scheduled to return home sometime this summer.
WILLMAR — Large vehicles should have clear access to Kandiyohi County Park 2 by early spring, according to a contract approved Tuesday by the County Board. The old timber frame bridge crosses Judicial Ditch 1 and provides the only vehicle access to County Park 2 on the northeastern shore of Big Kandiyohi Lake near Lake Lillian. Kandiyohi County commissioners voted to award the bridge contract to M & K Bridge Construction of Walnut Grove. M & K’s bid of $78,247 was less than the original estimate of $94,831. The three other bids the county received each topped $100,000.
WILLMAR — About 100 women and girls gathered Saturday at Willmar’s Evangelical Free Church to use their hands and talents to help the community. The church’s fifth annual Make a Difference Day was a rousing success, said Anderson, director of the church’s women’s ministries. “It was a blast,” Anderson said Sunday afternoon. “We all worked together, and we got a ton accomplished.” The day is organized by church member Emily Heglund. The turnout and the amount of work done were impressive. Anderson estimated that about 90 adults and a dozen girls attended the event.