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Hillesheimheads Heartland planning

WILLMAR -- Stephanie Hillesheim has been hired as the new planning director with Heartland Community Action Agency in Willmar. Her duties will include grant writing and overseeing financial development projects for the agency.

Before joining Heartland, Hillesheim served as a grant writer for the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud. She wrote grants for 40 programs, coordinated events and worked as part of the development team.

Hillesheim also served as an intern for the City of Rice, leading the downtown revitalization effort, publicizing events and fundraising for the downtown.

She graduated in 2006 with a bachelor of arts in community development and a bachelor of elective studies with an emphasis on education.

She lives in Becker with her husband Greg and 1-year-old daughter.

Solar housing architect to speak in Monte

MONTEVIDEO -- Daniel Handeen, a Montevideo native, will share slides and his experience of working on the University of Minnesota's Solar Icon House for the past two years. He will speak from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Chippewa County Courthouse Assembly Room in Montevideo.

Handeen will also discuss what was learned about the house that has practical application for new solar home design in the Upper Minnesota River Watershed. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call 320-269-2984.

Handeen acted as assistant project manager for the U of M's Solar Decathlon competition. The Solar Icon House is a solar house built by students that took fifth place in an international competition held in October 2009 in Washington D.C.

Handeen is a research fellow at the Center of Sustainable Building Research in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Macalester College in St. Paul and a master of architecture degree from the University of Minnesota. He graduated from Montevideo Senior High School in 1992.

Handeen's visit is being sponsored by groups working to develop knowledge and experience around energy efficient home and construction techniques.

Heartland offers foreclosure counseling

WILLMAR -- Are you or someone you know worried about your next house or home equity payment? Have you missed one or two payments? Help is just a phone call away.

Over the past 22 months, Heartland Community Action Agency's foreclosure counseling program has assisted over 262 households in Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, and Renville counties. Heartland is one of several foreclosure counseling agencies across the state that is helping homeowners at-risk or facing foreclosure, free of charge.

Heartland provides counseling to any homeowner worried about their home; mortgages may be delinquent or current. Counselors can help homeowners understand the foreclosure process and options to avoid foreclosure, answer questions, offer advice, and help create a long-term plan.

For more information, call Heartland at 1-800-992-1710 or 320-235-0850.

Rachel Grewe joins Hair We Are

WILLMAR -- Rachel Grewe has joined Hair We Are Salon, 2404 First St. S., in Willmar. She joined the salon in January. She has over 16 years of experience doing hair and can help with all hair care needs including perms, colors, haircuts and waxing services.

She lives in Raymond with her husband, Scott, and their three children. Her previous work experience includes Rachel's Cutting Edge Salon and Pep's Barbershop and Salon.

Maid-Rite Diner considers Willmar for restaurant

WILLMAR -- Maid-Rite Diner of Des Moines, Iowa, has announced it is looking at Willmar as a priority city to open a franchisee-owned restaurant as part of the company's 2010 franchise growth plan.

"In our opinion, a Maid-Rite Diner franchise restaurant in Willmar would be very successful because of the city's population of approximately 19,000 residents, along with the students and staff at Ridgewater College, plus the presence of local employers such as the Affiliated Community Medical Centers, Jennie-O Turkey Store and Rice Memorial Hospital. The entire area would enjoy our famous, one of a kind, fresh ground beef loose meat sandwiches," said Bradley Burt, Maid-Rite president and CEO.

Tania Burt, executive vice president, said the company's interest in Willmar is in the exploratory phase. She said the company has not selected a site nor has it set an opening date, but is looking for a franchisee to open a store.

For more information, call Bradley Burt at 515-276-5448 or email or visit