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The Regional Report: Staff cuts hit Staples-Motley schools

DEERWOOD

• There is no longer a vacancy on the Deerwood City Council. The Crosby-Ironton Courier reported Linda Peterson was selected to fill the seat, opened when Debby Leonard resigned over concerns about a police officer hiring. Peterson was selected over another candidate because of her experience in accounting and human resources, the Courier reported.

LITTLE FALLS

• About 260 students walked out of school March 14 in Little Falls as part of nationwide demonstrations in support of school safety, the Morrison County Record reported. Students in the middle school were also encouraged to partake in 17 acts of kindness, honoring each of the 17 victims killed Feb. 14 in the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.

• Who offers the best water in the state? Well, that would be Little Falls, according to the Minnesota Rural Water Association. The Morrison County Record reported the group hosted a competition at its recent conference, asking rural water utilities to submit samples of water straight from the tap. The winning entry will head to Washington, D.C., for a national taste test.

MORRISON COUNTY

• Morrison County residents might pay less for vehicle registrations in the future if the county board moves forward with a plan it's contemplating, the Morrison County Record reported. The board is considering the elimination of its $10 wheelage tax, in light of the completion of most of the projects collection of the tax was intended to pay for.

PIERZ

• A non-partisan letter encouraging legislators to take action to improve school security and add mental health supports—and be kind in their personal lives—was one of the actions undertaken by students at Pierz Healy High School in lieu of a walkout, the Morrison County Record reported. Junior high students spent study hall time writing a compliment about others in their class, which was placed in an envelope for each student.

STAPLES

• Students at Staples-Motley were some of those across the country who chose to participate in a walk-out event March 14, the Staples World reported. About 65 students from the high school stood outside the school, listening as the names of the 17 people killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.

• More than a quarter-million in budget cuts was approved by the Staples-Motley School Board, the Staples World reported. The board stated it made the decision now to allow due process for affected staff, whose positions were eliminated by the move. This included "shifts in staff in the elementary school, reduction of overloads at the middle school, as well as a cut of 1.9 full time equivalent (or FTE) teachers, media resources at the high school and middle school, one FTE in the Connections program, one high school librarian FTE (and) one possible high school FTE."

The budget cuts also ax the Accelerated Reading program in the district and reduced from full time to part time a position associated with College in the Schools.

-- Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, community editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dispatchchelsey.

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