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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MINNEAPOLIS -- University of Minnesota Regent Dean E. Johnson of Willmar has been appointed chairman of the Faculty, Staff and Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Regents. The committee advises the University's administration on quality of life matters affecting students, faculty and staff. The committee addresses issues of health, safety, insurance, retirement and working conditions.
WILLMAR - Willmar Music Matters will hold a fundraising dance from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday in the hangar at the new Willmar Municipal Airport. The family-friendly dance will have a 1940s theme and will feature big band era and contemporary music played by Willmar Senior High musicians, Mill Pond Jazz Orchestra, Frontpage and other local musical groups. Admission is $10 per person, $5 for seniors and $40 maximum per family. Pizza, hotdogs, popcorn and soft drinks will be available.
WILLMAR -- Ridgewater College will hold its first ever Walk-In Wednesday event at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Conference Center on campus. The event is for people who are still considering starting college this fall but have not yet registered. Participants will be guided through the admissions process and applying for financial aid. They will be able to schedule appointments with academic advisors or for assessment testing.
WILLMAR -- More space, a bigger outdoor playground and a city park across the street are some of the advantages Willmar Community Education and Recreation will find when they move to the Jefferson Learning Center. But they'll also give up some things when they move to a building with smaller classrooms and fewer restrooms. The move is part of a reorganization plan in the Willmar School District.
SPICER -- Eight to 10 homes, garages and sheds in Spicer had roof damage from Tuesday's storm, according to a report from Kandiyohi County Emergency Management. In addition, an assessment of the damage indicated "lots of devastating tree damage," said Kim Lindahl, deputy director of emergency management. One home in Spicer lost its roof. That was the worst damage in the city, she said. Trees also fell on a number of homes and caused some damage. "I know it's not considered minor if it's your own home ...
SPICER -- Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog said a tornado was sighted on the ground at 4:42 p.m. Tuesday southwest of Spicer. Spotters reported that it traveled on the ground northeast for seven to eight miles, part of that over Green Lake. It was last reported on County Road 4 near the fishing pier just before 5 p.m. Kandiyohi County Emergency Management issued a statement Tuesday evening saying that no storm-related injuries had been reported. Hartog said there was a lot of tree and roof damage.
SPICER -- Dorie Duininck looked out the door leading to her deck Tuesday afternoon and called out to her husband Todd, "Look at the clouds." As they watched the clouds turning and churning in the sky, she grabbed her cell phone and started taking pictures with its camera. Duininck's images caught the formation of a funnel cloud as it dropped from the clouds on its way to Spicer. She took the photos from the deck of their home on the south side of Elkhorn Lake. "Not only the clouds were turning; it was the rain and everything," she said.
WILLMAR -- A teacher from Harbin, China, will work at Willmar Senior High for the coming school year. A grant from the U.S. State Department will pay for Bai Jinguo's year in Willmar. The school district learned of the grant at the end of the last school year. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard told the Willmar School Board about Bai at its Monday meeting. Bai will work with Willmar's Chinese teacher Todd Lynum in the district's growing Mandarin Chinese program.
WILLMAR -- A teacher from Harbin, China, will be working at Willmar Senior High for the coming school year. A grant from the U.S. State Department will pay for Bai Jinguo's year in Willmar. The school district learned of the grant at the end of the last school year and recently learned more about the teacher who will be coming to Willmar. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard told the Willmar School Board about Bai at its Monday meeting. Bai will work with Willmar's Chinese teacher Todd Lynum in the district's growing Mandarin Chinese program.
WILLMAR -- Washington Learning Center will be listed for sale at an asking price of $550,000. The Willmar School Board adopted a resolution closing the building and approved a real estate listing agreement with Fenstra Real Estate. The board conducted a brief public hearing Monday afternoon on the closing of Washington and Lincoln Elementary School. No one from the public asked to address the issue, and the hearing was opened and closed within a few minutes. In the regular School Board meeting that followed, the board adopted separate resolutions closing the buildings.