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 -- Candidates for the Willmar School Board agreed on several issues Tuesday during a candidate forum, but they came down 6-to-1 on the district's proposed operating levy. Along with choosing three new board members on Tuesday, the district's voters will be asked to revoke an existing $498.49 per pupil levy and replace it with an $898.49 levy that would last for the next decade . The additional $400 per pupil unit would be used to try to restore some programs that have been cut in recent years and to try to reduce class sizes. Some of it would also be used to shore up the district's
WILLMAR -- Teachers in Willmar's schools have found a number of ways to use information from the standardized tests their students take each year. Teachers and administrators from Willmar's four school buildings spoke at a Willmar School Board workshop session Monday afternoon. The meeting was recorded and will be shown on public access cable channel 19 this week. The district administers tests from the Northwest Evaluation Association to students beginning in second grade.
WILLMAR -- Six of the seven Willmar School Board candidates favor passage of the operating levy proposed by the district. Dan Croonquist, Bill Fenske, Jill Gould, Linda Mathiasen, Shawn Mueske and Nathan Streed all support the district's effort to revoke a $498.49 levy per pupil unit and replace it with an $898.49 levy which would last for 10 years. Don Thorpe is the only candidate who opposes the levy. Voters will choose three of the candidates in the Nov.
WILLMAR -- Seven candidates are competing for three open seats on the Willmar School Board. The board has three open seats because the incumbents who had held the seats for the past nine years all decided not to see re-election. The candidates in the Nov. 2 election are Dan Croonquist, Bill Fenske, Jill Gould, Linda Mathiasen, Shawn Mueske, Nathan Streed and Don Thorpe. Mueske is a former School Board member who was defeated for re-election two years ago.
WILLMAR -- If this election were to be about one issue, Kandiyohi County Attorney Boyd Beccue would make it about experience. "This job doesn't get easier over time," he said. Yet his 20 years of experience as county attorney is not the issue that is shaping the election -- it's fox urine and its role in a 2008 misdemeanor assault case. Beccue faces his first re-election opponent since he was elected in Willmar attorney Jennifer "Jenna" Fischer, who outpolled him in the August primary. "The thing that's really surprising about this election is the extent some people want this to be about o
WILLMAR -- Jennifer "Jenna" Fischer thinks of herself as an approachable person whose experience would inform her work if she's elected Kandiyohi County attorney. Fischer is running against 20-year incumbent Boyd Beccue. In the August primary, Fischer was the leader in a three-way race to narrow the field for the general election. She received 64 percent of the votes cast in the primary. Beccue had 22 percent and Bradley Junkermeier 14 percent of the votes. Fischer said she was a bit surprised by those results.
WILLMAR -- U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson has released a poll he commissioned showing he holds a commanding lead in the race for Minnesota's 7th District seat in Congress. Peterson, who has held the seat since 1990, said Thursday that he doesn't normally release his internal polling data.
A chartered jet descended from a cloudless blue sky to bring the body of Army Pfc. Ryane Clark home Thursday. Clark was killed Oct. 4 while deployed to Afghanistan. The twin-engine Falcon 20, owned by Kalitta Charters of Ypsilanti, Mich., touched down at Willmar Municipal Airport at 12:25 p.m. Clark's body was accompanied by two services members from the Army and Marines.
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.