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 -- A federal lawsuit against the Willmar School District isn't finished yet. An attorney for a former Willmar student has asked the entire Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to hear arguments about whether the child may sue the district. A three-judge panel said in January that Jackie Nelson, the child's mother, did not have a valid claim against the school district. The jud-ges said that Nelson sh-ould have filed a complaint before she transferred her child to another district.
WILLMAR -- Full-time kindergarten could be staying in Willmar, at least for another year. Members of the Willmar School Board agreed Monday evening to remove all-day, everyday kindergarten from a list of potential cuts for the 2010-11 school year. The kindergarten reduction was the largest on a list of more than $2.5 million reductions presented by school administrators. The goal is to cut about $2 million from the $40 million general fund budget to prepare for the next school year.
WILLMAR -- Ridgewater College has received a $50,000 grant from HealthForce Minnesota, which focuses on health care innovation. The grant, for fiscal year 2010, is a continuing education/custom training grant to develop a labor and delivery simulation training program for its mobile simulation unit, SimLab L1. The college foundation raised money for the mobile unit, which went into service last summer.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard is inviting other superintendents in the area to get together to talk about school finances and the future. Kjergaard said this week he's not sure what will come of the meeting, but he feels it is important to share ideas. No date for the meeting has been set. Willmar is looking at cutting $2 million from its 2010-11 school year budget.
WILLMAR -- The details of the Willmar School District's budget reduction proposal show a long list of programs and fees that could affect every corner of the district in the next school year. The largest change the School Board discussed Monday is a return to half-time kindergarten. The estimated saving is $450,000, mostly because the district will need only half as many kindergarten teachers if it's adopted.
WILLMAR -- If the Willmar School Board adopts the list of cuts distributed at its meeting Monday, the school district will have a much different look next year. The list of about $2.2 million in revenue increases and spending cuts includes popular programs at all levels. The board plans to make cuts totaling $2 million from the district's $40 million general fund budget.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board meeting cancelled because of weather on Jan. 25 will be held at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W. The board will discuss for the first time a list of potential budget cuts totaling $2 million. The budget reductions are the only discussion item listed on the agenda at the workshop meeting. The board will discuss the cuts at meetings in February before making final decisions in March. School administrators have been working to develop the list for the past two months.
ROCKVILLE -- One person was killed in a two-vehicle collision Friday morning on Highway 23 just east of Rockville. A 2001 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Peggy L. Adamson, 61, of Cold Spring was northbound on Highway 23 shortly before 8 a.m. Friday when a 1998 Honda Accord traveling west on Stearns County Road 47 pulled into the intersection. The Adamson vehicle struck the other vehicle broadside. The driver of the Honda was declared dead at the scene. That person's identity will not be released until Saturday morning, according to the accident report from the Minnesota State Patrol.
WILLMAR -- Dr. Kevin Unger of Willmar will leave early Saturday for a weeklong mission trip to Haiti. Unger, a urologist at Affiliated Community Medical Centers, had planned the trip in September, long before the Jan. 12 earthquake shook the country. "The mission clearly changed wi-th the earthquake," he said in a telephone in-terview. Unger sa-id he's been amazed by the support he's received from Willmar area individuals and businesses. He is a bit uncomfortable with the attention he's gotten, though.
Several area school districts will see their state aid payments delayed in March and April to help maintain cash flow for the state of Minnesota. The districts and the delayed payments are listed below.