The Morris Area School board has accepted a letter of resignation from head football coach Jerry Witt, with gratitude for years of services. The long-time coach wrote in his letter: "It has been both a tremendous and rewarding experience for me to associate with outstanding student athletes, parents, coaches, and administration over the years." Witt is resigning his position as coach; but will continue to teach in the district. Superintendent Scott Monson says Witt was a coach who was interested in teaching life lessons to the athletes, not just how to play the game. The board accepted Witt's resignation at its regular meeting on Tuesday. They approved current assistant coach Kevin Pope as the new head coach.
The Women’s Fund of the Willmar Area Community Foundation is presenting ‘One Story…Many Triumphs,’ an evening of music and inspiration and a St. Patrick’s Day dinner, to ben4efit the Women’s Fund. The event is happening March 15th at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Willmar. Acoustic guitarist Billy McLaughlin will perform and share his story of his musical comeback. This is open to the public.
There will be solid waste educational training on March 19th and 20th at the Holiday Inn in Alexandria. Training for businesses will be on the 19th from eight to noon, and training for government and nonprofit staff is from 1-5 that afternoon. On the 20th there are two, on-site solid waste assessments by Minnesota Technical Assistance Program staff at local businesses. These solid waste trainings and on-site assessments for cities and businesses in Douglas County and the surrounding region are free.
This year, the Minnesota Zoo is celebrating 35 years of connecting people, animals and the natural world. The official anniversary date is May 22nd, with a celebration weekend planned for May 18th and 19th. More than 4,300 animals now live at the zoo. More than 1.3 million guests visit the zoo annually, and since 2005, zoo attendance has increased by 40 percent. At the 35th anniversary, the zoon is bringing back two popular exhibits – ‘Africa and Dinosaurs….Two Adventures. One Place.’
The Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce will have its 20th annual business day at the Capitol on March 13th. The chamber’s Leadership Perspectives Class will travel with the chamber. The day will include a luncheon at which the Governor has been invited to speak; a guided tour of the Capitol; and a meeting with Senator Lyle Koenen and Representative Mary Sawatzky. Reservations must be received no later than March 8th.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is joining her Minnesota colleague Al Franken in fighting to keep Saturday mail delivery a function of the US Postal Service. Klobuchar says, in addition to keeping Saturday delivery and Saturday Post Office lobby hours, the two Senators from Minnesota are fighting to keep distribution centers open. Klobuchar and Franken both support expanding the services offered by the Post Office to increase the agencies revenue and decrease its operating deficit.
In addition to passing a farm bill this year, the Senate and House Agriculture Committees have a lot of work to do overseeing federal agencies. Congressman Collin Peterson is ranking Democrat on the House Ag Committee, which oversees the USDA and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Last week, in committee, Peterson said he was hopeful a farm bill would pass, especially after budget negotiations finish.
The 3rd Annual Prairie Gate Literary Festival opened yesterday (Thursday), with readings and workshops from five authors planned through Saturday. Tonight (Friday) at 7:30 in UMM’s Briggs Library, Minnesota Book Award winner Ed Bok Lee will read--or perform. Jayne Blodgett, who sits on the festival's planning committee, says Bok Lee is a "spoken-word poet," a poet who performs his work, rather than offering a traditional reading.
The Stevens County FFA Alumni Chapter will be hosting a work auction tonight (Friday), along with their annual meeting. Chapter Vice President Esther Koehl (kale) says the annual fundraiser raises money for a number of ventures, including scholarships for the county's FFA students. A dinner and silent auction starts at 6 at the Hancock High School. The annual meeting will start at 7:15, with the work auction to follow.
The next Morris Community Meal will be held on Monday, at 5:30 at Faith Lutheran Church. This month's menu includes meatloaf and side dishes, with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options available. The event is free and open to all members of the Stevens County community. Volunteers looking to help cook or serve the meal are welcome to come to Faith Lutheran Church between 2 and 8 on Sunday or from 2 until 8 on Monday. To get involved as a sponsor or volunteer, contact the Office of Community Engagement at.
Wednesday afternoon, the Willmar Fire Department was called to a house fire on Northwest 11th Street. The fire was contained to the walls of the home. There were no injuries. it’s suspected the cause of the fire to be electrical in nature.
A fundraising concert for the New London Music Festival is going on tomorrow night (Saturday) at 7:30 at The New London Little Theatre. Local musicians and songwriters Jim Dyer, Julie Dale, Jeff Vetsch and Rick Pederson will share renditions of some of their favorite cover songs as well as their own songs. Admission is $10, with all proceeds going to support the 2013 music festival.