High schooler's family sues over college classes

A lawsuit was filed last week in Murray County District Court by a family whose daughter has been ordered to leave the Fulda High School campus during times she's scheduled for state-approved college classes.

Fulda is among several rural districts that ban students from the school campus during times they are taking Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) classes. Depending on their class rank, sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to take classes under the PSEO program, which was created by the Legislature in 1985.

Kayla and Dayton Westra sued on behalf of their daughter Claire, a 17-year-old Fulda senior. She is one of 10 Fulda students who take PSEO classes and are barred from campus for parts of each school day. Parents and students say the district has discouraged the PSEO students because it potentially loses thousands of dollars in state education aid that goes to the colleges where the students take their classes, most of them online.

The suit alleges that the school district has infringed on Westra's constitutional right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment because it treats her differently from students at the school who take other types of college or distance-learning classes that the district endorses.


red Lake

Community celebrates first Div. 1 college athlete

The Red Lake community is celebrating the signing of its first Division 1 college athlete. High school senior Grace White officially signed last week to play basketball at the University of Denver.

"This is big-time, this is awesome … she's making the community very proud," said her coach, Randy Holthusen. Besides being a great player, White is a top student who is humble, giving and committed to her family and community, he and others said. "She's a poster child for how a student should be and how an athlete should be. She is a role model not only to Native American kids but to all kids."

White, at 5-10, has averaged 24 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals per game.

Pam Louwagie


Great Lakes shipwreck Fitzgerald remembered

Mourners gathered at the Split Rock lighthouse last Thursday to remember the 29 lives lost in the sinking of the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald 41 years ago.

The annual gathering serves as a memorial not just for the crew lost in a Nov. 10, 1975, storm, but all lives lost in Great Lakes shipwrecks.

The event included a film about the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and costumed guides who greeted visitors and shared information about the site and historic shipwrecks.

The lighthouse closed briefly at 4:30 p.m. while a ship's bell tolled and the names of the lost crew members were read out loud.

Jennifer Brooks