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Arvila opens accounting firm

NEW LONDON -- Becky Arvila has recently opened Valley View Book & Tax, an accounting firm in New London. Arvila has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Colorado Technical University. She has worked in the accounting field for the past five years serving the Willmar area.

She is a certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor and offers general accounting, bookkeeping and tax services to the New London-Spicer area. She and her husband, Scott, have lived in New London for the last 12 years. Arvila is originally from the Brooten area.

Bolton & Menk promotes Glienke

WILLMAR -- Professional engineer Barry Glienke has been promoted by Bolton & Menk Inc. Consulting Engineers and Surveyors to an associate member of the firm. The company cited Glienke's outstanding client management and technical engineering skills, and his mentorship of the firm's younger professionals.

Glienke is a registered professional engineer in Minnesota and South Dakota and holds a bachelor's. degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota. He joined the company in 2000; serves as project manager in the Willmar office; and is consultant city engineer for the cities of Howard Lake, Waverly, Cosmos, Murdock and Grove City.

He and his wife, Jill, and their three children live in Litchfield.

NL doctor is finalist for family physician award

NEW LONDON -- Dr. Richard Wehseler is one of four finalists for the 2010 Family Physician of the Year Award from the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians. Wehseler is a family physician who practices at Affiliated Community Medical Centers in New London-Spicer.

Family physicians were nominated by patients and colleagues. The academy board of directors will select a winner after reviewing each finalist's qualifications and reading nomination letters. The winner will be announced at the academy's All-Member Celebration on April 15.

The award honors a family physician for compassionate, comprehensive and caring medical services, involvement in community affairs and serving as a role model to his or her community, health care professionals, family practice residents and medical students.

The academy represents approximately 3,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students and assists family physicians in providing quality medical care in Minnesota. The academy is the largest medical specialty organization in Minnesota and is a state chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the largest medical specialty organization in the United States.

Verizon Wireless invests $100.9M

WILLMAR -- Verizon Wireless announces the company invested more than $100.9 million in 2009 to enhance its digital network in Minnesota. The enhancements included constructing 21 new cell sites and upgrading equipment to increase coverage and capacity of the company's voice and 3G high-speed wireless network, said Nancy Clark, president of Verizon Great Plains Region.

The company added 25,957 square miles of coverage in northern Minnesota with the integration of the former Rural Cellular Corporation network that operated under the Unicel brand, and added 18,263 square miles of new coverage in southern Minnesota in former Alltel market areas that did not overlap existing Verizon Wireless coverage.

From 2001 through 2009, Verizon invested more than $619.1 million in improvements in Minnesota. In parts of southern Minnesota, the former Alltel network was upgraded to the latest 3G high-speed technology in 23 cities including Clara City, Cosmos, Dassel, Echo, Granite Falls and Litchfield.

MPCA issues penalties for air, water violations

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has concluded enforcement cases and issued penalties for various violations against five area facilities during the fourth quarter of 2009. The penalties and the facilities in this region were:

- $1,150,000, Minnesota Energy, Buffalo Lake, for air and water quality violations.

- $425,000, Bushmills Ethanol, Atwater, for air and water quality violations.

- $145,000, Fibrominn Biomass Power Plant, Benson, for air quality violations.

- $7,375, Willmar Poultry Co., Willmar, for storm water violations.

- $550, Hancock wastewater treatment plant, Hancock, for water quality violations.

The MPCA said a $600 penalty against Walton Bean Growers Co-op and George Lorincz of Clarkfield for solid waste violations was forgiven.

MPCA said the cases were among 56 concluded totaling $2,010,744 in penalties during the last three months of 2009. For all of 2009, MPCA concluded 229 cases totaling $3,974,422 in penalties.

United FCS distributes $4.8M in patronage

WILLMAR -- Despite volatile and turbulent economic times in some sectors of agriculture, United FCS posted strong operational performance again in 2009. As a result, United FCS announces it is distributing $4.8 million in cash patronage -- a return of a portion of the association's net earnings -- to eligible customer-members.

Members in Wisconsin and Minnesota will receive the payout in early March. With this distribution, United FCS will have paid over $43 million since it was formed in 2002.

"United FCS remains fully committed and focused on our mission of enhancing the success of our membership," said Marc Knisely, United FCS chief executive. "During uncertain economic times, our results illustrate the board and staff commitment to serving agriculture and rural communities for the benefit of our members."

Board Chairman Stan Claussen said he was pleased the cooperative was returning excess capital to qualifying members. He also said the board is continuing the patronage program in 2010, subject to association performance.

United FCS, part of the National Farm Credit System, provides loans, leases and financial services to more than 4,600 customer-members in 22 counties in west central Minnesota and north central Wisconsin.

Awards

* The Willmar School District was among 126 schools and school districts to receive the School Finance Award from the Minnesota Department of Education. The award highlights the importance of compliance with the law and motivates reporting units to strive to greater levels of compliance, sound accounting and training, according to an announcement from the Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative. Winners are recognized at events hosted by the Minnesota School Boards Association, the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools and the Minnesota Association of School Business Officials.

* Redwood Area Hospital of Redwood Falls for the third year in a row has achieved gold standard designation as one of the top 35 critical access hospitals in the nation.

The recognition is given by the audit firm LarsonAllen LLC and is based on an analysis of more than 1,100 hospital reports on financial performance.

Critical access hospitals are those with 25 or fewer beds that are reimbursed by Medicare through an annual cost report.

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