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 — The West Central Tribune is seeking your help with a story on open enrollment between area school districts. If you use open enrollment to send your children to a different school district, or if you've chosen to keep your kids in your home district, we'd like to hear from you. What attracted you to the district you chose? Have you been satisfied with your decisions? Have friends or family voiced an opinion about your decisions? Please respond by email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
WILLMAR — Discussion of a possible operation levy for the Willmar School District is on the agenda for Monday's School Board meeting. The board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W. One of the district's operating levies is about to expire, and the board will discuss its next actions with financial advisers.
WILLMAR — Temperatures today are expected to approach the fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk level of heat. The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities has issued a heat advisory for much of the state this afternoon and early evening. Temperatures are expected to rise into the mid-90s, with dew points in the 70s. The combination could make the temperature feel as high as 100 to 105 degrees. Heat illnesses are possible, according to the Weather Service. It offers the following tips: • Drink plenty of fluids. • Keep pets hydrated.
HAWICK — Two members of a family died, and two others were injured Saturday in a car/motorcycle crash Saturday near Hawick. The crash occurred when a Chevrolet Monte Carlo traveling west on Highway 23 made a left turn onto 160th Street Northeast just outside Hawick in Roseville Township. The car turned into the path of three Harley Davidson motorcycles traveling east, according to a news release from the Minnesota State Patrol.
3 p.m. update HECTOR — A man's body was found Saturday in a drainage ditch downstream from the spot where an unoccupied, submerged car was found Thursday night. The car belonged to Adam Michael Rein, 24, of Buffalo Lake, who has been missing since late Tuesday. The body was found just after noon Saturday. According to a news release from the Renville County Sheriff's Office, the man's body has not been identified but it is believed to be Rein. The body has been sent to the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Ramsey for identification and an autopsy.
WILLMAR — Willmar Public Schools could be paying more for its community education program in the next year. In the coming months, the city of Willmar and the school district will be splitting Willmar Community Education and Recreation, a joint school/city effort, into two separate departments. The city recreation and school community education programs have been joined for nearly two decades.
COSMOS – Children with special needs sometimes don’t do well in traditional school settings. That’s when places like the Cosmos Learning Center step in. It’s a public school classified as a federal Setting IV facility, which works with students with serious behavioral issues. The former elementary school in Cosmos will soon get a facelift, thanks to $5 million in state bonding money from the 2018 Legislature.
OLIVIA – An Olivia man has received a 60-month prison sentence on a felony charge of possessing a firearm after being convicted of a violent crime. Ricardo Mario Rodriguez, 29, of Olivia, had pleaded guilty to that charge in May. Two other charges, first-degree assault against a peace officer and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, were dismissed at sentencing.
MONTEVIDEO – A Granite Falls man has been accused of raping a teenage girl in early 2017. Gabriel Joseph Ross, 30, is charged with four felonies of first-degree, second-degree, third-degree and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. He made his initial court appearance last week in Chippewa County District Court. His next court date is July 17. The young woman reported the alleged assault to Granite Falls police in April this year, and Ross was charged in May.
WILLMAR — Willmar Public Schools' Community Education Department Is not planning any reductions in programs after the department splits from city of Willmar recreation programs. Superintendent Jeff Holm gave a report Monday to the Willmar School Board. The former Willmar Community Education and Recreation Department was a combination of city and school district programs for nearly 20 years, operating under one director.