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WILLMAR — Rollie Nissen has been selected to chair the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners for 2018. The County Board chose him as chairman during the annual reorganization meeting Tuesday. Nissen, who represents the Third Commissioner District, has been a commissioner for three years. He served this past year as chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. Harlan Madsen was named vice chairman. Madsen is the board's senior member and has represented the Fifth District since 1995.
WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will hold its first meeting of the new year Tuesday. The board meets at 9 a.m. at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building. The agenda includes the election of a chair and vice chair to lead the board in 2018, committee appointments and consideration of newspaper bids for publication of official county notices. The commissioners also are scheduled to meet at 11:15 a.m. with Rep. Dave Baker to talk about opioids.
WILLMAR — At the stroke of midnight Sunday, Carris Health will officially come into being, launching a new chapter in local health care. The new entity merges Affiliated Community Medical Centers and Rice Memorial Hospital into a nonprofit subsidiary of CentraCare Health.
WILLMAR — Steep health insurance premium increases for union employees at Rice Memorial Hospital have been averted with contract modifications that make their health benefits uniform to those of the hospital's non-union employees. The move will bring financial relief to the approximately 50 percent of Rice's 1,000 employees covered by collective bargaining agreements. Doug Allen, chairman of the hospital board of directors, said it's a positive way to go into the new year.
WILLMAR — Through a local initiative launched this past year, doctors at Affiliated Community Medical Centers and Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar are working to reduce the toll from opioids at a key source: the prescription pad. A toolkit developed by ACMC offers better guidance for doctors on prescribing opioids for chronic pain.
The Supporting Hands Nurse-Family Partnership of southwestern Minnesota has been awarded new grant money to help the organization build on its home visiting program for young at-risk families. The grant is part of $4.87 million in funding from the 2017 Minnesota Legislature to increase the capacity of family home visiting programs in rural Minnesota. Supporting Hands was awarded $745,116. The funding will allow 41 additional families to be served in six of the region's highest-risk counties: Big Stone, Chippewa, Pope, Swift, Stevens and Traverse.
WILLMAR — For the second year in a row, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners are skipping a pay raise for themselves. The five commissioners voted Tuesday to keep their pay the same for 2018. They earn $30,161.01 a year. The last time they had a salary increase was in 2016. Their per diem rate also will stay the same next year.
WILLMAR — Faced with rising costs for staff training and certification, the Kandiyohi County Assessor's Office will implement fee increases to help offset the expense. The increases, approved Tuesday by the County Board of Commissioners, take effect in 2019 and will be phased in through 2021 in a series of steps.
WILLMAR - The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will hold its final meeting of the year at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the board room at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building. More than half a dozen contracts and resolutions are on the agenda, including resolutions that support the maintenance of the local license bureau, the county aid plan for aquatic invasive species prevention, and a sex trafficking law enforcement and prosecution grant for the Kandiyohi County Attorney's Office.