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 will meet at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth Street S.W. The board usually meets Mondays but moved this meeting to Tuesday because of the Veterans Day holiday. During the meeting, the board will canvass the vote from the Nov. 6 election, making the results official.
WILLMAR -- The former Lincoln Elementary School will be open from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Monday for former students and community members who would like to walk through the building again before it is sold. The Willmar School District is selling the building at 511 Julii St. S.E. to the Casa de Misericordia church of Willmar. The sale is expected to close next week. School Board member Mike Reynolds, who attended Lincoln, suggested the open house and said this week that he has heard from people who attended Lincoln over seven decades.
WILLMAR -- Many Minnesota colleges will be waiving application fees next week to encourage high school students to apply early in their senior year. Willmar Senior High is a host site for the statewide initiative Minnesota College Application Week that runs Monday through Friday. The effort targets low-income students and those who would be the first generation in their families to attend college.
WILLMAR -- Voters have chosen to return Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls, to the Minnesota Senate to represent the new District 16. With 97 percent of the precincts reporting early Wednesday, Dahms was leading DFLer Ted L.
WILLMAR -- Mike Carlson, Mike Reynolds, Jackie Saulsbury and Liz Van Der Bill were elected to the Willmar School Board Tuesday. Six candidates had filed for the four seats on the board. The only incumbent to file was Reynolds, of Willmar. Other candidates were Carlson, Saulsbury, Van Der Bill and Sahra Gure, all of Willmar, and Don Thorpe of Kandiyohi. Incumbent Sandi Unger decided not to run for re-election after serving on the board for several terms.
WILLMAR -- Presidential debates mean more now, and they're talking about politics with their parents and their friends. A group of 18-year-old seniors at Willmar Senior High are looking forward to their first chance to vote Tuesday. Several seniors from Willmar talked about the milestone in their lives last week when they visited the high school's counseling office. "I think voting actually makes me feel like an adult finally," said Tayva Vollan, whose birthday was in August. Before this, she said, she didn't feel like much had changed when she turned 18. Other students nodded.
WILLMAR -- U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson said his constituents ask him how he stands the partisan infighting in Washington, but he doesn't hear many complaints about the mostly healthy farm economy in his largely rural congressional district. The 7th Congressional District covers most of the western third of Minnesota. The largest cities in the district are Moorhead and Willmar. Peterson is the current ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, and he was chairman from 2007 to 2011, when Democrats controlled the House of Representatives.
WILLMAR -- The health of the U.S. free enterprise system is a number one priority of Lee Byberg in his second run for the U.S. House. Republican Byberg lost to U.S. Rep.
ORTONVILLE -- The historic Columbian Hotel in Ortonville burned and collapsed early this morning. Ortonville Fire Chief Alan Arndt said the fire was reported at 3:10 a.m. Friday, and most of the structure was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. The fire was under control within about 90 minutes, he said, but they were on the scene until late this morning watching for hot spots. There were no injuries. "With a building that old -- so dry and so much wood in it -- it went up in a hurry," Arndt said.
Residents in Minnesota Senate District 16 will choose this fall between a Republican elected to the Senate two years ago and a retired superintendent who is a former DFL legislator. Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls was elected to the Senate in the former District 21 two years ago. Ted L. Suss of rural Lucan served in the Minnesota House in the 1970s and now lives in rural Lucan. Lines for District 16 were drawn in the state's redistricting effort earlier this year.