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Linda Vanderwerf


In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340

She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She spent her first two years of college at the University of Minnesota - Morris.

In her career, she has covered politics, city and county governments, business, public safety, health care and a wide range of feature stories. She currently covers education and health for the West Central Tribune.

Vanderwerf grew up on a farm between Redwood Falls and Morgan in Redwood County and graduated from Redwood Falls High School, now called Redwood Valley High School.

She speaks English.

Christian Arevalo has pleaded guilty to one felony charge of first-degree assault on a peace officer, as an accomplice after the fact. He was not alleged to have been the shooter in the July 5 incident in southwest Willmar but accused of being the getaway driver and of obstructing the investigation.
More than 430 people are hospitalized in Minnesota with COVID-19, an increase of about 80 from a week ago, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The number of deaths has increased in recent weeks, too.
With pandemic restrictions easing, Minnesota's nursing homes are reopening to the public and asking people to once again volunteer in the facilities. Bethesda, with facilities in Willmar, New London and Olivia, has many opportunities for volunteers, who can help improve the quality of life for residents.
While the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be waning, more than 400 people have been hospitalized with the disease every day since May. The number of deaths each week has been three dozen to four dozen in recent months.
Willmar Middle School needs a new, larger gym, but plans to build one are on hold for now. Willmar Public Schools and Southwest West Central Service Cooperative had planned to build an addition to the school together, but the plans have been waylaid several times since spring 2020.
The school share of property tax bills will increase about 3%, bringing nearly $270,000 additional funding for Willmar Public Schools. The School Board also approved a tax abatement for MinnWest Technology Campus.
Willmar school officials say they don't have any pride flags in elementary schools, but a concerned parent said at Monday's Willmar School Board meeting that he believes he has seen them.
No injuries were reported when a pickup crashed into the rear of a school bus Monday morning on U.S. Highway 12 in Kandiyohi.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have fallen in recent weeks, but 6,400 people contracted the coronavirus, more than 400 were hospitalized and several dozen died in the most recent weekly update from the Minnesota Department of Health. The number of cases would be higher if home test results were included.
COVID-19 numbers held steady in the west central Minnesota region throughout the last week, with 544 new cases and three deaths reported in the 11-county region tracked by the West Central Tribune.