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WILLMAR - Landowners along public ditches in Kandiyohi County still aren't 100 percent in compliance with Minnesota's new buffer law. But with wet weather creating headaches for getting out into the field, the county is offering landowners a break beyond the original deadline of Nov. 1. Landowners will have extra time to comply without facing the possibility of a corrective action notice - as long as they communicate with the county's drainage authority by Dec. 31.
WILLMAR - Eric Holien, Kandiyohi County's newly elected sheriff, says he will soon start preparations for taking office in January. The sheriff-elect plans to take his time with the transition process and involve the employees, he said Thursday. "The big thing will be getting directives out to the staff. You don't rush into anything."
WILLMAR — Changes are in store at the Willmar Regional Cancer Center to make it more patient-friendly and position it for future growth. It wasn't that long ago — barely eight years — that the facility invested $2 million in expansion and renovation to bring all its services together under one roof. But already it's time for the next leap forward, said Mary Kjolsing, Cancer Center director. "We've just grown out of the space faster than people anticipated. We need more space for patient care, for support services," she said.
OLIVIA — The Olivia Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center is among a handful of rural Minnesota facilities that now have access to telemedicine services that enhance the level of care available. The technology was implemented by Superior Healthcare Management at four of its rural rehabilitation and long-term care facilities in Minnesota, including the center in Olivia. The program assigns a practitioner to each facility, where clinicians are available on weekdays and on demand to work virtually with on-site nursing teams as part of regular and scheduled rounds.
WILLMAR — In a matchup between a current and a former Kandiyohi County Commissioner, incumbent Rollie Nissen won election Tuesday to a second term representing the Third District on the County Board, defeating challenger Bruce Shuck. Unofficial vote totals showed Nissen with 2,623 votes, or 59.6 percent, and Shuck with 1,761 votes. Nissen is wrapping up his first term on the County Board and is the current board chairman. Shuck is a former commissioner who represented the Third District from 1994 through 2002.
WILLMAR — George "Corky" Berg won election Tuesday to represent Kandiyohi County's First Commissioner District on the County Board. According to the unofficial final count, Berg captured 1,736 votes, or 57.8 percent of the total. His opponent, Dale L. Anderson, received 1,261 votes. The First Commissioner District covers the west half of the city of Willmar. The position was left open when Jim Butterfield, who has represented the district for the past eight years, opted not to seek re-election. Berg will serve a four-year term, starting in January.
WILLMAR — Eric Holien won election Tuesday to become Kandiyohi County's next sheriff, outpolling opponent Greg Stehn in one of the season's most contentious local races. According to unofficial totals, Holien captured 9,465 votes, or 52.3 percent of the total, while Stehn had 8,535 votes. The race pitted Holien, a former Kandiyohi County deputy now with the Meeker County Sheriff's Office and Lower Sioux Tribal Police, against Stehn, current chief deputy of the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office.
WILLMAR — Voters in Kandiyohi County's First and Third Commissioner Districts will decide Tuesday who will represent them on the County Board for the next four years. In the First District, Willmar businessman Dale Anderson and retired social worker George "Corky" Berg are seeking election to replace Jim Butterfield, who is stepping away from the board after two terms.
WILLMAR — During a state inspection this month, the Kandiyohi County Jail was found to be 99 to 100 percent in compliance with regulations. Records of past inspections by the Minnesota Department of Corrections show similar levels of compliance. The on-site state inspection is just one of multiple inspections by various local, state and federal entities that hold the facility accountable for meeting standards, said Sheriff Dan Hartog.
WILLMAR — As they start shopping for health care coverage through the MNsure exchange this fall, Kandiyohi County residents are in for some sticker shock, but in a good way. Rates statewide for 2019 coverage purchased through MNsure are decreasing anywhere from 7 percent to 27 percent, and the benchmark plan in Kandiyohi County is decreasing 20 percent. Nate Clark, MNsure chief executive, calls it "really great news for consumers." "We take that as a signal the markets are stabilizing," he said.