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WILLMAR—Kandiyohi County agreed Tuesday to a 10-year property tax abatement for a proposed hotel and event center project in New London—but not before two citizens spoke in opposition. John Burns of Willmar called the abatement request a "million-dollar giveaway" at the expense of local taxpayers. If the public really understood what was happening, "this room would be packed," Burns said during a public hearing Tuesday on the abatement request by Glacial Ridge Hospitality and Little Crow Country Club.
WILLMAR — In the 50 years that Rice Memorial Hospital has provided hemodialysis to people with advanced kidney disease, one thing has not changed: the bond between patients and staff. Bev Schafer, who ran the program from 1968 until retiring in 2007, said those early years were like being a family. "You became so close to those patients," she said. "We wept with the family when someone died. On the other hand we also had a really good time. We had a lot of parties."
WILLMAR—A hearing on a tax abatement requested by Glacial Ridge Hospitality will be held Tuesday at the meeting of the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. The board meets at 10 a.m. at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building. The tax abatement hearing leads the agenda.
WILLMAR — Cellphone in hand, Kandiyohi County Commissioner Roger Imdieke attempted to steer a pedal cart through a row of traffic cones while making a phone call. He got through the twists and turns until a few feet from the end, when he sideswiped one of the cones. Bad news — he'd just hit a pedestrian. Up next was Commissioner Doug Reese, who donned a pair of goggles simulating driver impairment. Midway through the course Reese ran into trouble as he pedaled around a sharp turn and into a cone. He hit two more cones before reaching the end.
Starting Friday, eligible voters can start casting absentee ballots for the Nov. 8 general election—no excuses needed to vote early. This is the first presidential election in which Minnesotans are allowed to vote absentee without a qualifying excuse. The presidential contest will likely dominate the ballot, but voters will decide numerous other contests as well, from congressional and state legislative races to city council, county commissioner and school board races.
WILLMAR—Participants are being sought for a community group tasked with bringing new voices and ideas to help provide everyone in Willmar with opportunities to be healthy. The Community Table is part of Moving Health Forward, a long-term local project with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to reduce persistent inequities in health, especially for people of color. The initiative is one of the first of its kind in the state and could eventually be replicated in other cities.
WILLMAR—Kandiyohi County Commissioners are expected to formally express their support next week for an application for a broadband development grant. A resolution in support of the application, which is being written and submitted by Consolidated Telephone Co. of Brainerd, is on the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the County Board at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building.
WILLMAR—To the fanfare of the KMS marching band and a procession of classic cars, residents of Bethesda Heritage Center said goodbye Tuesday morning to the old facility and hello to their new home at Bethesda Grand.
Support groups Suicide survivors SPICER — Heartbeat, a support group for those who have lost a loved one through suicide, will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church in Spicer.
WILLMAR—Greater Minnesota Family Services is keenly feeling the pinch: many mental health workforce needs and not enough workers. In one community, the agency has been advertising for a therapist for two years. In all that time, "we have gotten no applications," said George Dubie, executive director. "That says so much to me."