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 federal lawsuit against the Willmar School District, several administrators and a special education teacher regarding the treatment of a student will not be heard again by the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, a lawyer for the student is considering asking for a hearing before the U.S.
WILLMAR -- Biofuels and budgets were the topics when state and federal lawmakers met with farmers Saturday morning. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and state Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar, spoke to Kandiyohi Corn and Soybean Growers at Sunray Square in Willmar. Tom Meium, a local staff person for U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., also spoke during the event. Klobuchar and Juhnke both talked about the importance of biofuels to the nation and to the farm economy. Klobuchar said ethanol is often a target in Washington, but farm states have allies in the Obama administration.
WILLMAR -- The handful of families in Willmar with ties to Chile have been able to contact their loved ones, and everyone seems to have come through the earthquake there in good shape. Chile was hit by an enormous 8.8-magnitude earthquake shortly after 3:30 a.m. Saturday. The confirmed death toll had reached 802 by Wednesday afternoon.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the group that Mayor Rybak was representing Monday.
Extending the state sales tax to non-essential personal services and to digital downloads is the latest proposal to hold off deeper cuts in state aid to rural cities. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities wants to use the tax to provide about $60 million in annual revenue. The advocacy group for rural cities also wants the Legislature to prevent Gov. Tim Pawlenty from making more unallotments to Local Government Aid this year. Coalition Executive Director Tim Flaherty said LGA for cities makes up 2.9 percent of the state budget.
Extending the state sales tax to non-essential personal services and to digital downloads is the latest proposal to hold off even deeper cuts in state aid to rural cities. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities wants to use the tax to provide about $60 million in annual revenue. The advocacy group for rural cities also wants the Legislature to prevent more unallotments to Local Government Aid this year. Coalition Executive Director Tim Flaherty said LGA for cities makes up 2.9 percent of the state budget.
The kindergarteners at Roosevelt Elementary celebrated their 100th day in school this week. That day also marked the 34th day in their new classrooms. The Roosevelt kindergarten classes started in the fall at the former Lincoln Elementary School while the new Roosevelt kindergarten wing was finished. Roosevelt will celebrate the opening of the new kindergarten wing with a public open house and a Dad's Belgian Waffles feed from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.
WILLMAR -- Ridgewater College could face state aid losses of several million dollars in the coming years, as the state and the nation come to grips with the aftermath of the recession. Ridgewater College, along with the other schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, needs to begin planning now to address potential revenue shortfalls in 2011 and beyond, MnSCU Vice Chancellor Laura King said Tuesday. King, the system's chief financial officer, was in Willmar to present the Excellence in Financial Management 2009 award to the Ridgewater financial staff.
PAYNESVILLE -- The Sweetwater Cotton Shoppe of Paynesville will be one of 10 quilting shops from the United States and Canada featured in the Spring 2010 issue of Quilt Sampler magazine. The magazine is published by Better Homes and Gardens. It is published twice a year and features 10 shops in each issue. Co-owners Mickey and April Zimmer, plan to have a celebration of the magazine issue at their shop on May 15. The mother-daughter team said they were still a little stunned to be included in the magazine. "We're still not sure it's real," Mickey Zimmer said.
PAYNESVILLE -- The women at the Sweetwater Cotton Shoppe in Paynesville and thousands of other entrepreneurs around the country are hoping The 3/50 Project will help customers remember to support their local businesses. Co-owners Mickey and April Zimmer, a mother-daughter team, have done well in their 6-year-old quilting and sewing business, but they've seen other businesses come and go. So has Karlene Gray, owner of Bloom, a flower and coffee shop in Paynesville.