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Business Briefs

WILLMAR -- Sara DeRoo has joined the audit and accounting team as a supervisor at Christianson & Associates, PLLP, of Willmar. She is a certified public accountant and has more than six years of public accounting and audit experience. She has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Minnesota State University Mankato and lives in Belgrade.

WILLMAR -- Randy Peterson has joined Manz Auto, 224 Benson Ave. E., in Willmar, as a new sales person effective Nov. 1. Peterson has nearly 20 years of experience in auto sales and management. He lives in the New London area with his wife, Theresa.

WILLMAR -- Aaron Hofland and Rodney Staska announce they have opened a new business, The Fan Zone LLC, at the Kandi Mall, 1605 First St. S., in Willmar.

The Fan Zone has sports cards and collectibles. The store offers Fathead high definition wall graphics, jerseys and apparel, sports cards and more.

WILLMAR -- Kris Johnson has joined the social services department as a social worker at Bethesda Pleasant View in Willmar. She is working with residents and families during the admittance process and meeting their needs during their stay.

Johnson received her bachelor's degree in community health from St. Cloud State University. She worked as a navigator for the American Cancer Society by giving support, information and referrals to cancer patients and their families. She previously worked at Pleasant View as a social worker for five years.

She is married with three children and lives in Willmar.

WILLMAR -- Jeff Rislov, a staff accountant with Conway, Deuth and Schmiesing, PLLP (CDS), recently became a Certified Public Accountant. Rislov is a graduate of the University of North Dakota and has been with CDS since 2005. He specializes in tax planning and preparation. He and his wife, Ann, live in Willmar.

ST. PAUL -- Biomass energy projects being pursued by two area companies will benefit from the first round of grants awarded by Minnesota's Next Generation Energy Board.

The Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company in Benson will receive $700,000 and the Minnesota Valley Alfalfa Producers in Priam will receive $400,000 in grant funds, according to announcements made Thursday by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar. The awards are part of nearly $3 million in grants awarded to eight different projects across the state.

The Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company has invested in technology that converts biomass into a clean, synthetic gas to replace natural gas. The company would like to use biomass to replace 90 percent of the natural gas its now uses to power its operations.

The company is currently investigating the possibility of harvesting corn cobs as the biomass fuel.

The Minnesota Valley Alfalfa Producers have acquired Canadian technology for turning biomass into pellets. The company hopes to produce biomass pellets that can be easily stored and transported for use as fuel.

WILLMAR -- Six area firms were among 39 businesses cited by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and fined $857,564 for enforcement violations during the third quarter of 2008. The enforcement cases took place in 33 counties.

Among those were:

- Blomkest Oil, Blomkest, $8,700 for above-ground storage tank violations.

- Hancock Pro Pork Inc., Hancock, $6,000, for feedlot violations in Moore Township, Stevens County.

- Randt Recycling Technologies Inc., Litchfield, $4,824, for hazardous waste violations.

- East Dublin Dairy LLP, Kerkhoven, $3,323, for solid waste violations.

- Minnesota Falls Demo landfill, Granite Falls, $2,475, for solid waste violations.

- Mark Squibb, Olivia, $2,475, for solid waste violations.

Oct. 20 to 24, 2008

Arlene Pederson, 424 Fourth St. S.E., residential reroofing, $512.

Lynn Rambow, 501 Augusta Ave. S.E., residential reroofing, $300.

Christianson Brothers Construction, 2601 Sixth Ave. S.E., new home and garage, $283,331.

M & J Builders, 505 36th St. N.W., new home and garage, $154,279.

K.D.R. Towers Inc., Roger Broman, 2320 Highway 12 E., remove exterior canopy, $0.

Carlson Properties, 322 Second St. S.W., construct handicap ramp, $10,000.

Ramon Castillo, 601 Second St. S.E., rebuild garage roof, $500.

State of Minnesota, 2101 15th Ave. N.W., commercial reroofing and renovations, $260,300.

Jeffrey S. Olson, 2603 Eighth St. S.W., residential residing and window replacement, $6,000.

Joyce Malvin, 521 14th St. S.W., interior drainage system, $5,450.

Aaron Zwagerman, 1701 Seventh St. S.W., residential reroofing, $3,500.

Terry Rice, 921 14th Ave. S.W., new detached garage, $22,514.

West Central Steel, 2009 Gorton Ave. N.W., construct 6-foot by 25-foot bump-out addition, $18,000.

Nov. 4 to 6, 2008

Ryan Koosman, 3101 Eagle Ridge Dr. W., new home and garage, $208,489.

Larry Vandersteeg, 1302 Ella Ave. N.W., residential reroofing, $3,100.

Vince Vanheuvelen, 324 Fourth St. S.W., minor interior remodel, $2,000.

Friday: Chamber Connection AM, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Crown Floral.

Nov. 21: Chamber Connection AM, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Copperleaf Senior Living.