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 -- The Willmar School District submitted its application for a federal School Improvement Grant last week in the hopes that it help change the culture at its elementary schools. The application seeks just less than $500,000 in each of the next three years. In state rankings released in the spring, Kennedy Elementary School was categorized as a Priority Sc-hool, meaning it ranks among the lowest-performing sc-hools in the state in student academic ac-hievement and growth. The rankings apply only to schools receiving federal Title I funding. As a Priority School, Kennedy is eligible
WILLMAR -- Sen. Lyle Koenen of Clara City believes his years of experience in the Minnesota Legislature make him the best choice to represent the new District 17. Koenen was elected to the Minnesota House in 2002 and served there until this spring, when he won a special election to serve the remainder of the late Sen. Gary Kubly's term. In the Aug. 14 DFL primary, voters will choose between Koenen and Willmar businessman Larry Rice. The winner of the DFL primary will face off against Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, in the Nov.
WILLMAR -- Larry Rice of Willmar believes people voting in the August DFL primary should choose him because he is an effective leader. Rice will face State Sen. Lyle Koenen of Clara City in the Aug. 14 primary. The winner of the primary will face Republican Sen. Joe Gimse in the Nov. 6 general election.
WILLMAR -- Hungry teenagers will need to fill up on fruit and vegetables and not bread when new school lunch guidelines launch this fall. The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, passed by Congress in 2010, set out minimum and maximum amounts of food and calorie counts to be offered in meals eligible for federal reimbursement. The guidelines were designed to combat childhood obesity and teach children healthy eating habits.
WILLMAR -- As Willmar Fabrication shifted the focus of its business in the last year, the company found a need to find training or retraining for many of its workers. A partnership between Ridgewater College, Alexandria Technical College and the state of Minnesota is helping the company do that close to home. A $49,777 Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Grant will help the company and Ridgewater develop customized training programs for their employees.
WILLMAR -- If the timing is right, Ruqiya Kahin and Khadra Dayl may be able to vote on Nov. 6. Kahin, 25, and Dayl, 43, have been studying for their citizenship tests and are waiting to have their appointments scheduled. Luis Cabrera, 36, started studying for his citizenship a little later, but he is no less anxious to gain his rights as a citizen. The three students were studying last week with instructor Jennifer Van Eps.
WILLMAR -- A majority of adults in the United States probably know that Barack Obama is the president, and Joe Biden is the vice president. But how many people know the number of amendments there are in the U.S. Constitution? Can they name their U.S. representative or senators? How much do they know about the Supreme Court? For legal residents of the United States who wish to become citizens, the answers to those questions are critical. Prospective citizens must learn the answers to 100 questions about the country's history and government.
It's frustrating for parents to watch their children struggle in school and not know how to help them.
WILLMAR -- There has been no spike in swimming-related illnesses in the Willmar area, and the Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center will continue to operate as usual, city officials said today. Steve Brisendine, director of Willmar Community Education and Recreation, said he had spoken to a representative of the local medical community today.
WILLMAR -- The Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center in Willmar will open at noon today as scheduled. The pool has not been closed, but rumors of closure are circulating in the community and on Facebook. "We have no knowledge that there is anything wrong with our pool," Steve Brisendine, director of Community Education and Recreation, said this morning. Brisendine said he has received questions about the rumors and will provide updates for the community as he learns more.