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 — Emily Turrubiates, a sophomore at Willmar Senior High, is on her second trip through an algebra class, and she feels like she’s finally getting it. “I understand it more than before,” she said in the classroom used for the school-in-the-school program that began this fall. Turrubiates and other students who have struggled in a math or science class can now use the SIS program to spend part of their day in the program recovering credits they need to stay on track for graduation. Students’ reasons for using the program vary.
WILLMAR — For more than 30 years, the boys basketball holiday tournament has raised money to help make sure needy kids can participate in sports. The tournament was started by some Willmar businessmen who wanted to find a way to help pay activity fees for kids whose families couldn’t afford it. As the tournament and its proceeds grew, the businessmen needed to find a more permanent way of accounting for the revenues and expenditures associated with the work they were doing. So, 30 years ago, the Willmar Public Schools Foundation came into being. Bill Taunton, a longtime Willmar businessman
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.