2016 Year in Review: In other news

KMS band plays at Pearl Harbor The KMS Marching Saints marching band took part in the 75th anniversary observance of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, as part of a massive national band and choir. Over 80 members of the KMS band joined hundre...

Members of the marching band from Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg leads the move Sept. 14 from Bethesda Heritage Center to Bethesda Grand down 11th Avenue Southeast in Willmar. The KMS Marching Saints are going to Hawaii to play at the 75th anniversary observance of the attack on Pearl Harbor.Briana Sanchez / Tribune file photo
Briana Sanchez / Tribune file photo The Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg marching band went to Hawaii to play at Pearl Harbor for the 75th anniversary.

KMS band plays at Pearl Harbor

The KMS Marching Saints marching band took part in the 75th anniversary observance of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, as part of a massive national band and choir. Over 80 members of the KMS band joined hundreds of other musicians from around the country at the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial to mark the day.

The band and the community raised $250,000 to fly the students, chaperones and instruments to Hawaii. Donations came from a wide range of sources, including veterans groups and foundations. In addition to playing in the anniversary event the band members were also able to visit the USS Arizona, attend a luau and spend some time on the beach.




Willmar crowns first Somali homecoming queen


Anisa Abdulahi was crowned Willmar High School's 2016 Homecoming Queen, after her fellow students voted for her to receive the honor.

Abdulahi is the first Somali-American student to be nominated to the homecoming court.

Students said they voted for Abdulahi because she was nice and everybody likes her. They also said having a diverse homecoming court would show the world what kind of school Willmar is and is representative of the school's diversity.




2016 Year in Review: Tragedies involving children top regional news stories

2016 Year in Review: Other top stories

2016 Year in Review: In other news  

Former Fagen CFO sentenced for embezzling $5.7 million

Kirsten Tjosaas, 38, is serving a 78-month prison sentence at the Coleman Medium Security Federal Correctional Institute at Sumterville, Florida, northwest of Orlando after pleading guilty in September to embezzling over $5.7 million over eight years from her former employer, Fagen Inc., of Granite Falls. She had been the chief financial officer for the company. Prosecutors charged that she used the funds to support a lavish lifestyle, with over $2 million charged to credit cards for trips and luxuries. She also purchased real estate in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona and timeshares in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as items ranging from expensive vehicles to a sailboat.


NLS transgender policy stirs conversation and controversy

A transgender inclusion policy proposed by the New London-Spicer School Board last year drew conversation and controversy in the community.


NLS staff had asked the board for direction for handling requests by transgender students, including using locker rooms and restroom facilities.

The board reviewed and revised a number of drafts policies during several meetings that drew large crowds that spoke on both sides of the issue, with at least one parent threatening a lawsuit if the policy was passed.

Following an emotional, four-hour meeting with about 200 people in the room, the board ultimately voted to postpone action on the policy.

Four days later the Obama administration issued a statement prohibiting all public schools from discriminating against students based on their gender identity to prevent loss of federal Title IX funds.

That ruling could be overturned by the Trump administration.


Remains of Willmar sailor return home

A family with roots in Willmar found closure this past year when the remains of John E. Anderson were returned home. The U.S. Navy Motor Machinist Mate 1st Class gave his life for his country in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. His remains had been placed in a cemetery in France as those of an unknown soldier. His parents, Oscar and Anna Anderson of Willmar, went to their graves feeling there was no closure in the loss of their son, according to surviving family members. Research of military records by two East Coast men led them to believe the remains in the cemetery in France were those of Anderson. Jon Lindstrand of Kandiyohi took it from there, and worked with the surviving family members. Their persistence led to DNA testing that confirmed the identity of the remains. Anderson's remains were disinterred and returned to Willmar in a ceremony on Memorial Day where surviving family members were joined by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and many supporters from the community.


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