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, Minn. — Two Willmar Police Department officers are on standard administrative leave after an officer-involved shooting incident Sunday afternoon in northwest Willmar.
WILLMAR — Two men face felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with the alleged theft of a Pepsi pop machine in April from the front of the Drex Mart General Store in Lake Lillian. Dale Gary Greiner, 51, of Cosmos, and Justin Lamoine Hacker, 36, of Waite Park each face felony charges of theft and first-degree criminal damage to property, plus misdemeanor theft charges. The investigation involved deputies from three area sheriff's offices and was aided by a search warrant that had allowed placement of a tracking device on Greiner's vehicle.
WILLMAR, Minn. — After new seats have been installed in the auditorium at Willmar Senior High School, it will reopen in the fall as the Brau Performing Arts Center. The Willmar School Board approved the new name at its recent meeting. A grand opening and open house for the school's refurbished auditorium will be held in the fall.
WILLMAR, Minn. — A Willmar man who worked on a nearby dairy farm pleaded guilty Wednesday to kidnapping an 8-month-old baby in February from his ex-girlfriend. Angel Esparza-Mendez, 23, also known as Angel Esparza and Pedro Xavier Rivera-Lopez, has been held in the Kandiyohi County Jail in Willmar on $250,000 bail since his arrest Feb. 24. He is to be sentenced on the felony kidnapping with intent to terrorize conviction June 30.
SPICER, Minn. — U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson said he has co-sponsored a bill to allow foreign agricultural workers to work legally in this country. However, the bill has not had a hearing in 15 years, he said at a town hall Saturday. State Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, and state Sen. Andrew Lang, R-Olivia, joined Peterson in the 90-minute meeting. About 50 people attended the meeting at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in rural Spicer. The town hall started at the close of the center's Earth Day event.
WILLMAR, Minn. — Ridgewater College President Douglas Allen has told friends and colleagues that he has not been offered a contract renewal and will be leaving the college. In a letter emailed to friends Tuesday afternoon, Allen said he would be leaving the school when his current contract expires at the end of June. Allen has been Ridgewater president for 14 years. Ridgewater is part of Minnesota State, the state's network of four-year and two-year public higher education institutions. Ridgewater has campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson.
WILLMAR — Minnesota school districts are facing special elections to fill vacancies on their boards, thanks to a new state law. It’ll be happening soon in Willmar as school board...
WILLMAR — Dave Erickson will no longer be homeless soon, if things can be worked out with the city of St. Cloud’s zoning regulations. While Erickson’s new tiny house will...
WILLMAR — Minnesota’s state college system has said it supports Ridgewater College President Douglas Allen. Allen came under fire at the end of the week when the community college’s faculty...
WILLMAR — When Kalley Fosso was little, a sheet of paper and some colored pencils would keep her happy for quite a while. As her talent has grown over the...