West Central Tribune Minute: Bethesda seeks to rebuild corps of volunteers
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Here’s a look at the top headlines from around west central Minnesota for Sept. 18, 2022.
WILLMAR — Bethesda is opening more and more to the community after more than two years of pandemic restrictions.
And with more openness to the public has come the need to rebuild its corps of volunteers throughout the system of senior care facilities.
Mary Hanson, a recently retired teacher and new volunteer coordinator, said volunteers can help in many ways. Some even helped during the pandemic by decorating trees and keeping the grounds beautiful, because the public couldn’t come in.
Willmar Middle School expansion may still happen, but not now
WILLMAR — A proposed addition to Willmar Middle School is on hold for now, but the idea most likely isn’t dead.
The Willmar School Board voted to reject bids on the project at its Monday meeting. The project has hit numerous roadblocks since early 2020.
The board needed to reject the bids since the project has been delayed.
The addition was planned as a joint project of Willmar Public Schools and the Southwest West Central Service Cooperative. It would have included a new gym and a small alternative learning center for the district. SWWC planned to build an Educational Learning Center for high-need special education students.
The cooperative’s part of the project would have served Level 4 special education students who find traditional school settings difficult to navigate.
New conservation officers to fill vacant Montevideo, Madison posts
Two vacant conservation officer bureaus in the Upper Minnesota River Valley area will again be staffed.
Conservation Officers Mason Bulthuis and Violet Ohnstad are among 18 who graduated Tuesday from the 21st Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Academy, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Bulthuis will serve the Madison bureau, succeeding Stephen Westby who had begun his career there after graduating from the Academy in 2020. Westby subsequently moved to the Little Falls bureau.
Ohnstad will serve the Montevideo bureau. It has been vacant since the death of Conservation Officer Ed Picht in 2018. Picht had served the Upper Minnesota River Valley area for 11 years.