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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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has settled a lawsuit with Ferrellgas L.P., a national propane energy company. The settlement requires Ferrellgas to change its business practices and recovers money for Minnesota consumers who paid undisclosed charges or fees. The state's suit alleged that Ferrellgas didn't always disclose specific per-gallon prices to consumers. Actual rates were sometimes significantly higher than those of competitors. Ferrellgas also charged undisclosed and poorly disclosed fees, according to the lawsuit.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School District have received an offer to purchase the northern half of the Garfield School property in southwest Willmar. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said the offer for half of the two-block Garfield site came less than two weeks ago. The School Board will consider the offer at its next meeting on Sept.
WILLMAR -- Students at Ridgewater College this fall will be able to rent some textbooks for about half the cost of buying one. It's one of the new features offered by the college's bookstore, along with e-books. Classes start Monday on the college's Willmar and Hutchinson campuses. Ridgewater is 50 years old this year, and planning some big parties. A community celebration and alumni reunion is planned for Sept. 24 at the Willmar campus. A similar celebration will be Oct.
WILLMAR -- Cristian Castellon said he didn't know he'd be getting shots when he and his family went to register for seventh grade Wednesday morning. And Cristian, 12, certainly didn't know he'd be getting three immunizations with younger siblings standing by to watch in a Willmar Middle School classroom. He said it was "sort of bad" to become a human pincushion, but he handled the needle pokes with just a little flinching. Cristian's mother Bertha Diaz said she thought it was a good idea to be able to take care of everything at one time. "It's brilliant," Amy Janning said as she watched he
WILLMAR -- Willmar Senior High Principal Rob Anderson was 20 days into retirement when his old boss called in mid-July. When he wasn't pleased with the applications he received for Anderson's old job, Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard called Anderson to ask him to come back for one more year. The Willmar School Board approved a re-employment agreement for Anderson at its Monday meeting. Kjergaard told the board he felt the applicants lacked the experience needed to oversee a racially diverse high school of more than 1,200 students. "My best choice was the person who had just retired," he said
GRANITE FALLS -- The search for an Xcel Energy worker continues this morning for an Xcel Energy worker who is believed to have fallen from the Minnesota Falls dam and drowned on Wednesday. Steve Roalstad, an Xcel spokesman, said search and rescue teams had been searching all Friday morning for Tom Stich, 50, of Rush City. A large crane was used to lower a bucket right next to the falls.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School District will ask voters this fall to extend a local operating levy for another nine years. School Board members said at their Monday meeting that the district needed more money than the $498.49 per pupil levy first approved 10 years ago. However, several said they did not believe the voters would approve any more in the current economy. The levy is about to expire and the district would lose $2.3 million from its annual revenue. Some of that loss would be in state aid. The election will take place on Nov. 8.
WILLMAR -- Gage Joseph Paur, 21, of Willmar, pleaded guilty to two felony drug sale charges Friday in Kandiyohi County District Court. Paur had been charged with selling prescription medications and marijuana to a police informant. Judge Donald Spilseth set Paur's sentencing for Sept. 6. Two other felony drug charges were dismissed in a plea agreement. According to the criminal complaint, Paur sold the drugs to an informant for the CEE-VI Drug Task Force and the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension between April 14 and June 6 in Willmar.
WILLMAR -- Angel Cesar Garcia, 33, of Pennock was sentenced Thursday to two years and nine months in prison on a felony charge of third-degree drug possession. Garcia was charged with several felony drug charges in March after CEE-VI agents served a search warrant on a home in the 800 block of 13th Street Southwest and found meth, drug paraphernalia and cash. The rest of the charges were dismissed in a plea agreement in Kandiyohi County District Court. Garcia had also been on probation for a 2007 charge of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle.
WILLMAR -- Many new small businesses face an uphill climb to success. For those that succeed, things like good planning and strong mentoring relationships can be important. The Willmar Area Multicultural Business Center in downtown Willmar is using a $240,000 grant and some new partnerships to provide the keys to success for low-income business owners in Kandiyohi and Meeker counties. The Willmar Area Multicultural Business Center, formerly the Willmar Area Multicultural Market, is based in Willmar. The Community Economic Development grant from the U.S.