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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The communities of New London, Spicer and Willmar are preparing to welcome home Army Pfc. Ryane Clark, who was killed Oct. 4 in Afghanistan. People are planning to line much of the route along the procession route from Willmar to New London. New London citizens are planning to line the streets into downtown. Spicer has tied yellow ribbons on poles along the highway. A Kandiyohi County Cooperative crew has a flag raised along state Highway 23.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County Attorney Boyd Beccue said he hoped voters would see him as the face of experience and a "leader for positive change" after his 20 years in office. Challenger Jenna Fischer described herself as someone who would offer a fresh perspective and a "new set of eyes for old problems" if she is elected county attorney on Nov. 2. The two candidates answered questions for about 45 minutes Tuesday evening in a candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The forum was moderated by J.P.
WILLMAR -- A Willmar teacher will be able to take a two-year leave of absence to teach overseas if the district is able to find a suitable substitute for her. The School Board voted on Monday to grant a leave for Barb Leritz, a teacher in the English Language Learner program at Roosevelt Elementary. But the leave will be granted only if a long-term substitute teacher can be found and if Leritz notifies the district of her intentions by June 2011. The board also heard a short report on this year's enrollment figures. The current enrollment is 4,044 students, which is 90 to 100 students less
Deer wander in a grassy field. A rabbit peeks up from behind a rock.
WILLMAR -- Lackluster fundraising and growing needs have members of the Willmar Public Schools Foundation Board looking for ways to turn things around. At the beginning of its meeting Monday, the foundation board re-ceived a report sh-owing it had in the area of $21,000 available to disburse, plus about $34,000 remaining in a bequest to be used for kindergarten students. "I would like to see us make a concerted effort to raise more money," said board member Richard Falk at the board's meeting on Monday. "Our schools need money, whether the levy passes or not," Falk added.
Lee Byberg quit counting the miles he was covering in his campaign for Congress after he hit 30,000 sometime in August.Byberg is campaigning for the U.S. House of Representatives in the state's Seventh District, which includes 35 counties in western Minnesota, stretching from south of the Minnesota River to the Canadian border. Byberg, a Republican from Willmar, is running against Democratic incumbent Rep.
WILLMAR -- With just two members of the public on hand, an informational meeting on the Willmar School District operating levy became an informal discussion. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard abandoned his prepared presentation and sat down with Jackie Miller and Cathy Idso to talk about the district's levy request. On Nov. 2, voters will be asked to revoke an existing levy of $498.49 per pupil-unit and replace it with an $898.49 levy for the next 10 years. Kjergaard will host two more informational meetings, titled "A Community Investment," at noon Oct. 7 and at 7 p.m. Oct. 14.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard will host an informational meeting, titled "A Community Investment," to discuss the district's operation levy referendum. The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W. Kjergaard will host similar meetings at noon on Oct. 7 and at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14. Families, business leaders and concerned residents are encouraged to attend the meetings to ask questions and discuss the levy with Kjergaard. Voters will be asked in the Nov.
WILLMAR -- The sign advertises: "Have your laundry done in 4 minutes." It's owner Myron Krupa's way of telling people about the new same day drop-off laundry service he's offering at Willmar Coin Laundry -- it takes two minutes to drop off the laundry and another two minutes to pick it up. The wash-dry-fold service is the latest in several improvements Krupa has made at the business. Last summer, he added a half dozen front-loading Maytag washers that use 14 gallons of water per load, compared to the 42 gallons used by a top loading machine.
WILLMAR -- Willmar school officials plan to develop new guidelines in case neighboring school districts approach them about cooperating in athletics or other activities. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard sought guidance from the School Board at a workshop meeting Monday. The demographic trends in west central Minnesota make cooperation requests more likely in the future. Kjergaard, who is starting his third year as superintendent, said he's always been told the district's stand is, "if you want to play for us, you should go to school here." Board members nodded. "There's always the opportuni