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 Board has adopted a resolution closing Garfield School, but that doesn't mean the building will actually close. The School Board took the action on Monday so the school district can be prepared if the building is sold. The Islamic Society of Willmar made an offer in August to purchase the Garfield building and the northern half of the land. The district made a counteroffer more than a month ago. School officials said Monday that there has been no response yet to the counteroffer.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board has set the dates for two public information sessions about the proposed renewal of an expiring operating levy. The sessions at noon Oct. 26 and at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 will be designed to provide information about school financing and the levy's impact on the district. The election will be Nov. 8, with polls open at the Willmar Education and Arts Center from 7 a.m.
A 43-year-old man died of an apparent gunshot wound Saturday in northern Kandiyohi County, and the death is being investigated as a homicide. Two rural Paynesville men were arrested Saturday evening and are in custody in the Kandiyohi County Jail in connection with the death, according to a news release from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office. Delbert Huber, 81, was arrested for second-degree murder.
NEW LONDON -- Two people died and two were injured Saturday afternoon in a crash at the intersection of Kandiyohi County Road 40 and County Road 5 west of New London. According to a report from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, the crash was reported at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Two people were dead at the scene. One person was airlifted to a Twin Cities hospital and another person was transported to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.
WILLMAR -- They're calling it the Grand Slam at Willmar Senior High. For the first time since the 9-12 high school opened in 1994, Willmar students have beaten state and national averages in their ACT scores. It's not fair to call it a trend, since this is the first year with scores this high, said Principal Rob Anderson, but "we'd love for this to become a pattern." Anderson retired last summer but was persuaded to return for one more year while the district searches for his successor. Now, he's glad he came back.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Senior High's block schedule helps the school address the needs of students at all academic levels, according to Principal Rob Anderson. And extended math and communications/reading classes at Willmar Middle School can help increase student achievement, Principal Mark Miley said this week. The two principals described what could be lost in their schools if a $498.49-per-pupil operating levy is allowed to expire after this year.
WILLMAR -- All but two of the school districts in west central Minnesota are listed by the state as not making adequate yearly progress in reading and math. However, school leaders say their students are doing well and showing academic gro-wth. The No Child Left Behind education law just doesn't recognize or celebrate their successes. The state released its annual AYP results to the public today.
NEW LONDON -- The owners of The Happy Sol want their shop to appeal to all five senses, so their boutique has music playing and scented gifts to greet customers with a bit of perfume in the air. The shop has gift items to please the eye and the soft touch of beautiful clothing. And, "everybody gets a chocolate," said co-owner Gina Lieser. "We wanted to have a bright, happy retail therapy experience." Lieser and co-owner Stacey Roberts opened The Happy Sol in August on New London's Main Street.
WILLMAR -- A committee of citizens is gearing up to build support for the Nov. 8 operating levy referendum for the Willmar School District. The district is seeking a renewal of a $498.49-per-pupil levy that has been in effect for 10 years. The levy would not in-crease scho-ol property ta-xes.
The Willmar School District has developed a list of things that will be preserved if a Nov. 8 levy passes instead of a list of programs that might be cut if it fails. Voters in the referendum will be asked to renew a $498.49-per-pupil operating levy that is about to expire after 10 years. Renewing the levy will not cause an increase in school property taxes. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard distributed his list of programs to maintain at Monday's School Board meeting. The district will operate one polling place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov.