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 -- A new state law regarding restraints on special education students could increase the cost of staff training for school districts in 2011. Special Education coordinator Susan Smith gave a report on the district's programs Monday at the Willmar School Board's monthly work session. The district has 513 students who receive special education services and another 51 special education students who attend school in other districts for a variety of reasons.
SPICER -- The House of Jacobs had one of its busiest days of the year on Monday, shipping boxes filled with lefse so they arrive in time for Thanksgiving. Now they will move into a higher gear for the next month, preparing and shipping the Scandinavian holiday treat all over the country before Christmas. The House of Jacobs retail store in Willmar may have closed in August 2008, but the company is still operating and busy as ever when it's time for lefse. Owner Dennis Jacobs has continued to make and sell his popular product via the Internet from his Spicer location and at two local busines
WILLMAR -- The students were so intent on designing and painting their Chinese opera masks that they hardly took notice of the strangers in their classroom. That just impressed the visitors from the University of Minnesota's Co-nfucius Institute even more. Director Joan Brzezinski and Assistant Director Yu Wang visited Willmar Senior High to observe and evaluate the school's Chinese language classes. "We love for them to visit," said Senior High Principal Rob Anderson.
WILLMAR -- Pleasant November weather is helping contractors stay on track to finish the addition to Roosevelt Elementary School by mid-December. Work on the roof was delayed by rainy weather in October, but it's been finished and thoroughly inspected. With the installation of windows, the addition has been enclosed, and it's heated, said architect Evan Larson of GLT Architects of St.
WILLMAR -- The number of people applying for home heating assistance this winter is increasing, and the program is seeing a record number of new applicants. Just seven weeks after it started, the energy assistance program at Heartland Community Action Agency has received nearly as many applications as in the entire heating season a year ago. As of last Thursday, the program had received 3,106 applications from people in Kandiyohi, Meeker and McLeod counties.
WILLMAR -- Two suspects have been arrested following an armed robbery in downtown Willmar Friday. Angel Guzman Rodriguez, 20, of Willmar is in custody at the Kandiyohi County Jail. A 17-year-old juvenile male from Willmar is in custody at the Prairie Lakes Youth Program in Willmar. Both were booked on suspicion of felony charges of second-degree assault, first-degree aggravated robbery and receiving stolen property. The owner of the business, Quick Return Tax Service, 214 Third St. S.W., called police shortly before 4 p.m. Friday afternoon.
WILLMAR -- Daegan Glesne was expecting to have his grandpa come to school for lunch on Thursday. When he saw two men standing in the hall near the Kennedy Elementary School office, Daegan went straight to his grandpa and gave him a hug, walking past a slender man dressed in military fatigues. Marvin Glesne smiled and turned the 7-year-old around and pointed at the other guy. "Daddy," Daegan shouted as he threw himself into the arms of his father, Spc.
Across the cafeteria full of third-graders, veterans of all ages answered questions and chatted with kids as they ate. More than 80 military veterans on Wednesday enjoyed a lunch of hamburgers, home fries and coleslaw with the students of Roosevelt Elementary School in Willmar. A similar observance of Veterans Day will be held during the lunch periods today at Kennedy Elementary. The lunch to honor veterans started several years ago at Kennedy and has become a tradition at both schools. At one table on Wednesday, Arend Jagt, who served with the U.S.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School District saw an uptick in its enrollment last year, but its undesignated fund balance shrank. The School Board received the fiscal year 2009 audit at its meeting Monday afternoon. The fiscal year ended on June 30. Auditor Paul Harvego of Conway, Deuth and Schmiesing told the board that the district is in relatively good financial condition. The district's fund balance of about $4 million is similar to the state average, Harvego said.
WILLMAR -- The first kids to see the Earth Balloon stood with their mouths gaping open. "Oh, my gosh," one said.