Ridgewater College's leadership is transitioning to a new chapter as Doug Allen nears the end of his college presidency and Joseph Opatz prepares to take over as interim president for the upcoming school year. This is an opportunity for all at Ridgewater to move forward for the betterment of the college and the community. During Allen's 14-year tenure, Ridgewater has had significant successes accomplished during tough economic times.
Our children were told if they could dream it, Willmar would build it. So they dreamed what they wanted for the Destination Playground and now the construction phase has begun. The Destination Playground is a private-public partnership in Willmar. It is a continuation of the private-public partnerships which have been embraced in our community in recent years. The pre-build phase of the playground project has been underway for several weeks. On Tuesday, the building phase of the project kicked in.
The political race in Minnesota's 7th District's congressional seat in 2018 will be interesting. Republicans are again targeting Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-Detroit Lakes, a member of Congress since 1991, who has announce he is seeking re-election next year. Any political race, especially in today's political world, can be expected to get a little heated. However, there is no place for hatred, racism or bigoted rhetoric by anyone, Republican or Democrat or any other political party, in any political dialogue.
The Willmar City Council took the productive step Tuesday night in hiring Ike Holland as the next Willmar city administrator. This selection of Holland as the next Willmar city administrator is another positive step by the City Council in 2017. This City Council development followed the troubled recent years that brought Willmar the unpopular buyout of city administrator Charlene Stevens and the short-lived tenure of City Administrator Larry Kruse.
A majority of the MACCRAY School District voters Tuesday rejected a $38.8 million bond referendum which would have created a single-campus facility in Clara City and resulted in the closing of elementary buildings in Maynard and Raymond. It was a close vote, with 1,108 voting no and 1,003 voting yes. MACCRAY District voters had previously turned down a 2014 bond issue for a central campus plan, by a 1,067 to 733 count.
There are protests and rallies of all kinds now - from supporters of President Donald Trump's inauguration to sister protests around the country and the world the next day to church- and student-organized protests locally in the past week against the Muslim travel ban. All Americans and visitors are guaranteed the right to protest within America under the First Amendment's freedom of speech clause.
Gov. Mark Dayton has given legislators and Minnesotans two significant health surprises this week. While delivering his State of the State address before a combined session of the Minnesota Legislature Monday night, Dayton suddenly began slurring his words and then fainted briefly near the end of his 45-minute speech. Within a few minutes, Dayton was smiling before rising to walk out of the chamber with some help.
A United States citizen will take the presidential oath of office Friday resulting in the peaceful transfer of leadership for the 71st time since President George Washington was first sworn into office in 1789. This is a historic fact in this American experiment of government by "we the people." President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in at Friday's inauguration as the 45th American president. We wish the next president the best during this 58th presidential inauguration in our history.
The construction start of the Kandiyohi County Road 5 bridge is a positive in addressing the highest accident zone in the Minnesota Department of Transportation's District 8. The $3 million bridge project will take a significant step forward next week as the construction crew will complete the setting of beams for the bridge, weather permitting.
A new era for the city of Willmar begins Monday as 2017 brings in a new City Council. This will, hopefully, be the start of a more positive and proactive era on the Willmar City Council and bring a new narrative to our city government.