I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.
Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf
- Member for
- 3 years 8 months
WILLMAR -- The public is invited to attend community meetings this week that are intended to increase understanding of the Somali culture. Organizers said they hope "Understanding the Somali Culture," to be held twice on Thursday, will help promote a greater understanding between the growing Somali population in Willmar and the rest of the community. The meetings will each have the same panel of speakers. One will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and the other from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W. The board will hold its annual meeting to elect new officers and take care of other annual financial business. During its 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.
WILLMAR -- Montevideo kids get to keep eating Super Nacho Spud Bites and Crispitos at school. Students continue to have build-your-own wrap days in New London-Spicer. And in Willmar, the popular burrito is still around at lunchtime. Keeping some favorite items in each of these three school districts was an important part of bringing them together under one nutritional director last fall. And although Annette Derouin needed to bring all the districts together under a common menu, "I also needed to listen to them." Derouin was head of Willmar's food and nutrition services until last summer,
Those new Christmas skis and snowmobile gear are probably still sitting by the tree, waiting to be tried out. There's no snow in west central Minnesota or most anywhere else in the state. For people whose businesses depend on having snow in the winter, it's been a quiet season so far. It could be a little while yet. Forecasts for the Tribune area don't hold the promise of measurable snow for the next week. For the next few days, expect mostly sunny weather with highs mostly in the 30s and lows in the 20s.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Senior High student Chris Voss watches a big white pickup truck slowly move through the car wash at Walt's of Willmar, and he picks up a fresh towel. As the pickup rolls slowly off the line, Voss, 21, and a co-worker put on their smiles and get to work, wiping the last drops of moisture off the truck, taking an extra swipe at the shiny chrome bumper. A little while later, a car comes through and gets the same treatment.
WILLMAR -- NeXt Willmar offers younger employees in the area an opportunity to broaden their leadership skills and build networks. The organization is about to mark its first birthday with a celebration and get-acquainted social on Jan. 12. Its organizers see it as a low-pressure way for prospective members to see what NeXt is all about and for members to build their networks. The event will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Willmar Conference Center.
One had lizards all over it, and another had puppies. One was decorated with baby animals on a yellow background.
WILLMAR -- With the 2011-12 campaign drive half over, United Way of West Central Minnesota has raised a little more than half its fundraising goal. In a news release this week, United Way said it had received $495,622 so far in pledges and donations. The campaign goal is to raise $923,000 from businesses, individuals and service clubs in the area. The campaign's results so far are similar to last year, Executive Director Renee Nolting said Tuesday afternoon. "We feel good about where we're at, but we've still got work to do," she said.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board has adopted a $7.1 million local property tax levy to be paid in 2012 and fund the district's 2012-13 school year. The levy represents a 3.5 percent increase over school property taxes paid this year. The board adopted the levy after the annual Truth in Taxation hearing Monday evening.
Here it is, nearly the middle of December, and no snow on the ground in west central Minnesota. That's just fine with some people, but for every person who's happy to wait for it, there's someone else, possibly a short person with a sweet, gap-toothed smile, who asks, "What will Santa do without snow?" Not to worry.