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 combined effort of the Willmar School District and local businesses might put iPad2s in the hands of juniors and seniors at Willmar Senior High next fall. High school teachers presented the possibility during a School Board meeting dedicated to technology issues Monday. The board reviewed the three-year technology plan for the district.
There's fresh paint inside and out, and a new bar has been built. But a quick look around will tell you that the new Zorbaz on Green Lake still has some things in common with its former incarnation as Melvin's on the Lake. "We reused what we could," said manager Scott Sc-hulte as he looked around the dining room of the Spicer restaurant. "If it's not broke, why fix it?" Zorbaz opened at the Spicer location a week ago. Zorbaz is using the same tables and chairs in the dining room with shiny new finishes on the tabletops.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board met with former head volleyball coach Terrin DeBoer at noon Monday. After a 15-minute closed meeting, the board took no action. Board members had already voted not to renew her contract in November. After the meeting, DeBoer said she did not want to make any comments. The meeting was held at DeBoer's request, her legal right after the contract was not renewed. She also had the right to ask that the meeting be closed. "She had the right to express her opinion," said Board Chairman Nathan Streed.
WILLMAR -- The idea of collaborating with a local baseball team came as a surprise to members of the Governor's Early Learning Council Tuesday. Same thing with parenting classes in a jail or locally produced children's TV shows. The council was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to ensure that all children are school-ready by 2020.
WILLMAR -- Members of the Governor's Early Learning Council were impressed with the level of cooperation between public and private institutions to encourage literacy in young children when they visited Willmar on Tuesday. The group held its first meeting outside the Twin Cities area, and its members toured Jefferson Learning Center in Willmar.
Eli Burgett has always been there for his classmates at Community Christian School in Willmar. He's supportive and always upbeat, even when his beloved Minnesota Vikings are having a bad year. So when Eli, 13, was laid up after hip surgery last fall, his fellow seventh-graders got to work. Lizzy Gardner, 12, wrote to the Vikings, explaining that Eli is "the biggest Viking fan I've ever met." She asked if the team could donate something for him to add to the surprise his friends were cooking up. She thought there was maybe a 50-50 chance she'd get a response, Lizzy said this week.
WILLMAR -- More than 230 people attended the morning session of "Understanding the Somali Culture" this morning in Willmar. A second panel discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. today in the auditorium at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W. Topics included Somali history, the history of immigration and the issues encountered by new immigrants as they adjust to a new country. Questions from the audience touched on women's roles and on the teachings of Islam. For more information, read the Friday West Central Tribune.
WILLMAR -- Two community meetings about understanding the Somali culture are scheduled for Thursday in Willmar. "Understanding the Somali Culture," is designed to promote a greater understanding between the growing Somali population in Willmar and the rest of the community. Anyone who is interested is invited to attend. Two meetings were scheduled so that as many people as possible could attend. Similar panel discussion meetings will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St.
WILLMAR -- Starting later this month, the Willmar School Board will stop using as much paper at its board meetings. The School District will be providing iPad2 tablet computers for the seven board members.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board will meet at 4:30 p.m. today in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center. The board will hold its annual meeting to elect new officers and take care of other annual financial business. During the regular meeting, the board will consider the pay equity report for 2012 and will discuss holding "paperless" board meetings, with board members receiving all meeting materials electronically. The board invites the public to make comments twice during its meetings.