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 -- Six of the seven Willmar School Board candidates favor passage of the operating levy proposed by the district. Dan Croonquist, Bill Fenske, Jill Gould, Linda Mathiasen, Shawn Mueske and Nathan Streed all support the district's effort to revoke a $498.49 levy per pupil unit and replace it with an $898.49 levy which would last for 10 years. Don Thorpe is the only candidate who opposes the levy. Voters will choose three of the candidates in the Nov.
WILLMAR -- Jennifer "Jenna" Fischer thinks of herself as an approachable person whose experience would inform her work if she's elected Kandiyohi County attorney. Fischer is running against 20-year incumbent Boyd Beccue. In the August primary, Fischer was the leader in a three-way race to narrow the field for the general election. She received 64 percent of the votes cast in the primary. Beccue had 22 percent and Bradley Junkermeier 14 percent of the votes. Fischer said she was a bit surprised by those results.
WILLMAR -- If this election were to be about one issue, Kandiyohi County Attorney Boyd Beccue would make it about experience. "This job doesn't get easier over time," he said. Yet his 20 years of experience as county attorney is not the issue that is shaping the election -- it's fox urine and its role in a 2008 misdemeanor assault case. Beccue faces his first re-election opponent since he was elected in Willmar attorney Jennifer "Jenna" Fischer, who outpolled him in the August primary. "The thing that's really surprising about this election is the extent some people want this to be about o
WILLMAR -- U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson has released a poll he commissioned showing he holds a commanding lead in the race for Minnesota's 7th District seat in Congress. Peterson, who has held the seat since 1990, said Thursday that he doesn't normally release his internal polling data.
A chartered jet descended from a cloudless blue sky to bring the body of Army Pfc. Ryane Clark home Thursday. Clark was killed Oct. 4 while deployed to Afghanistan. The twin-engine Falcon 20, owned by Kalitta Charters of Ypsilanti, Mich., touched down at Willmar Municipal Airport at 12:25 p.m. Clark's body was accompanied by two services members from the Army and Marines.
The communities of New London, Spicer and Willmar are preparing to welcome home Army Pfc. Ryane Clark, who was killed Oct. 4 in Afghanistan. People are planning to line much of the route along the procession route from Willmar to New London. New London citizens are planning to line the streets into downtown. Spicer has tied yellow ribbons on poles along the highway. A Kandiyohi County Cooperative crew has a flag raised along state Highway 23.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County Attorney Boyd Beccue said he hoped voters would see him as the face of experience and a "leader for positive change" after his 20 years in office. Challenger Jenna Fischer described herself as someone who would offer a fresh perspective and a "new set of eyes for old problems" if she is elected county attorney on Nov. 2. The two candidates answered questions for about 45 minutes Tuesday evening in a candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The forum was moderated by J.P.
WILLMAR -- A Willmar teacher will be able to take a two-year leave of absence to teach overseas if the district is able to find a suitable substitute for her. The School Board voted on Monday to grant a leave for Barb Leritz, a teacher in the English Language Learner program at Roosevelt Elementary. But the leave will be granted only if a long-term substitute teacher can be found and if Leritz notifies the district of her intentions by June 2011. The board also heard a short report on this year's enrollment figures. The current enrollment is 4,044 students, which is 90 to 100 students less
Deer wander in a grassy field. A rabbit peeks up from behind a rock.
WILLMAR -- Lackluster fundraising and growing needs have members of the Willmar Public Schools Foundation Board looking for ways to turn things around. At the beginning of its meeting Monday, the foundation board re-ceived a report sh-owing it had in the area of $21,000 available to disburse, plus about $34,000 remaining in a bequest to be used for kindergarten students. "I would like to see us make a concerted effort to raise more money," said board member Richard Falk at the board's meeting on Monday. "Our schools need money, whether the levy passes or not," Falk added.