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 -- Unleash 30 kids with bright red frosting and graham crackers, and you get edible fire trucks. And a bit of a mess. And maybe a little more. It was Tuesday, which is craft day for the United Way Growmobile summer program. Regina Schmitz, who operates the Growmobile, said the program reaches from 180 to 200 kids a week at five locations around Willmar. Last summer about 160 kids a week participated. The Salvation Army provides free meals for kids 18 or younger five days a week. The Growmobile is there to provide education and activities after lunch for those who want to stay.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Charter Commission will present a draft of its proposed City Charter amendments on Monday. Commission Chairman Bob Bonawitz said at a Charter Commission meeting Thursday that he will make the main presentation about the commission's work for the past year and a half. He invited other commissioners to add their views if they want. The commission has been split on one of the biggest proposed changes -- removing the City Council's veto power over the operation of the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission.
WILLMAR -- Three seats will be open when filing opens for Willmar School Board on Aug. 3. All three incumbents whose terms are expiring announced earlier that they would not seek re-election. The Willmar School Board adopted resolutions this week to pave the way for board elections this fall. Filing for all school board and small city races will be open from Aug. 3 to Aug. 17. The general election is Nov.
WILLMAR -- A recent Willmar High School graduate has found a unique way to honor some of his former teachers. Dempsey Schroeder of Pennock has written a series of songs inspired by the coaches and teachers he knew in high school. A CD of the songs will be sold this summer to benefit Willmar Music Matters. Schroeder will be launching the CD, entitled "Dempsey Schroeder Volume I," this week. He will perform his compositions at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Becker Market in downtown Willmar. Maggie Harp will accompany him. The CD will be on sale for $10.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School District is on the road to selling one of its empty school buildings. The School Board voted on Monday to approve a purchase agreement with Bristlecone LLC of Minneapolis to sell the Washington Learning Center building for $525,000. Willmar real estate agent Doug Fenstra, who represents the school district, referred to the buyer as a group of developers. He said he doesn't represent them and doesn't know exactly what Bristlecone will be doing with the property. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said the buyer is still working out the financing for the purchase.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board has voted to place an $898.49-per-pupil-unit operating levy on the Nov.
WILLMAR -- An accused drunken driver has left the Willmar Arby's restaurant without its drive-thru menu board, just a few days before the annual Sonshine music festival begins. A 32-year-old Willmar man allegedly hit the board with a vehicle at about 11:25 p.m. Saturday. He was arrested by Willmar police on a charge of fourth-degree driving under the influence. Arby's district supervisor Joyce Linn said Sunday that a new menu board is on order, but she didn't know when it would arrive.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County Family Services received a mostly positive report for its child welfare services this year. The Kandiyohi County Board heard an update this week on a state review of the county's services. Family Services supervisors Kathy Nelson and Corinne Torkelson discussed the results of the review, which is done periodically by the state. The review surveyed parents, foster parents, law enforcement, court personnel, caseworkers and county administration.
The souvenirs from Marjorie and Eric Ploeger's trip to Papua New Guinea are many.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Charter Commission is running out of time to get a new charter ready for review by the City Council this fall. The revisions under discussion could represent at least one major change in city government. The commission is poised to propose that the City Council no longer have veto power over the actions of the Municipal Utilities Commission. The Charter Commission has been meeting for about a year to discuss charter revisions.