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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CLARA CITY — Mark Weber has named his cancer Buford, and Buford is one big, nasty fella. But before a liver stuffed with tumors can take his life, Weber is making the most of it.
WILLMAR — Winter apparently isn’t done with west central Minnesota yet, even though it’s been spring for nearly a month. The National Weather Service has predicted a winter storm for much of Minnesota today through Friday. Meteorologist Michelle Margraf at the Weather Service office in Chanhassen said the storm is now over the Rockies, and precipitation should begin in west central Minnesota this morning. All but the northwest corner of the state will be affected by the storm, Margraf said.
WILLMAR — Seventh-grader Gabriella Larson thinks things like food and housing are way too expensive.
WILLMAR — Ridgewater College is ready for a year of upheaval on its Willmar campus as a $14 million, 50,000-square-foot remodeling and demolition project gets underway. College officials observed the official kickoff of the work Friday at a “Building Breaking” ceremony in one of the project areas — the now-empty Building A, which will house student services. College president Douglas Allen, college vice presidents and several students donned hard hats and safety glasses before swinging gold-painted sledge hammers at a wall in the former business office area.
WASHINGTON — Willmar turkey and products from across Minnesota figured prominently in the third annual “Hotdish Off” for the Minnesota Congressional Delegation this week. U.S. Rep. Tim Walz won the contest with his Hermann the German Hotdish, paying honor to a statue in New Ulm, which happens to be in his district.
WILLMAR — Learning English, adjusting to a new culture, learning American history — Willmar Middle School teacher Ann Hendershott knew it was a tall order for some of her Somali students. And she knew just where to turn for some assistance. The solution was as near as her own family full of teachers. Frances Hendershott, 79, a retired first-grade teacher and Ann’s mother, comes to the Middle School every school day to help Somali students in her daughter’s eighth-grade history class.
WILLMAR — When it’s time to talk about the Great Depression in teacher Ann Hendershott’s eighth-grade history class, it’s time to grab an iPad. Hendershott’s iBook on the Depression covers the same material as her students’ textbooks and adds audio files, videos and photo galleries.
Many schools in west central Minnesota will be closing early today due to the weather conditions. The area is under a winter storm watch until Thursday, with a combination of rain, sleet and snow forecast over the next couple days. The National Weather Service has predicted snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches today for west central Minnesota, with another 2 to 4 inches possible tonight. Another 1 to 3 inches are possible on Wednesday.
WILLMAR — In the past, students who didn’t speak English at Willmar Senior High needed to learn the language to “unlock” all the learning they had experienced. In the past six years, “we have students (arriving) that do not have a history of education,” Senior High Principal Paul Schmitz told the Willmar School Board Monday. Schmitz spoke with the board about a plan for improving achievement at the Senior High and explained some of the school’s past test scores. “The snapshot doesn’t tell the whole picture,” he said.
WILLMAR — The FIRST Robotics team from Willmar Senior High is waiting to find out if it will be invited to statewide competition in just its second year of competition. The Willmar team, No. 4239 WARP SPEED, was in an alliance that fell just short of winning in regional competition last weekend on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. Scores from the four regional competitions will determine who is invited back to the statewide competition in May. Teams will hear in the next couple weeks if they qualified for the state meet.