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WILLMAR — It didn't take long for the discussion at a caregiving forum last week to turn earnest. At one table, participants wrestled with the low pay for home health workers — an average of $10.08 an hour in rural Minnesota and $10.80 an hour in the metro area. "They're not getting a living wage," concluded Val Swanson. At another table the debate was about taking care of one's own health, but some participants wondered whether society also has some responsibility.
WILLMAR — Young adults coming out of jail or prison can receive extra help reintegrating into the community under a newly launched project between Kandiyohi County Community Corrections and the PACT 4 Families mental health collaborative. Called Reentry Ready, it's aimed at supporting these individuals and reducing the risk they will end up back in the court system, said Rochelle Peterson, executive director of PACT 4 Families, and Pablo Obregon, Reentry Ready navigator. They outlined the program last week for the County Board of Commissioners.
WILLMAR — With several days to go until the Minnesota Legislature adjourns, the Kandiyohi County Board is delaying a decision on the county's role in enforcing the new state waterway buffer law. The county will have a more clear picture once the session is over and bills are signed, Larry Kleindl, county administrator, said Tuesday. "I can't in good conscience make a recommendation to you without knowing what rules we're going to play by," he told the County Board.
WILLMAR — A free screening of "Care," a new documentary about caregiving, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society in Willmar. The film is open to the public and will be followed by discussion. The film explores the world of home caregiving through the eyes of both caregivers and the people who depend on them, from undocumented immigrant workers working long hours for low pay to upper-middle-class families spending everything they have on caregiving.
WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners is expected to decide this coming week on its role in the state waterway buffer initiative. The board meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the board room at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building, 2200 23rd St. N.E. in Willmar. Discussion and action on the buffer law is scheduled for late in the meeting, at approximately 11:45 a.m.
WILLMAR — As a measles outbreak in Minnesota widens, Kandiyohi County health and emergency preparedness officials are urging parents to make sure their children are vaccinated. As of Thursday afternoon, the Minnesota Department of Health had confirmed 28 cases in Hennepin County and one in Stearns County. All were among children under age 5, most of them unvaccinated. "Measles is very contagious and can spread very quickly," said Denise Kragenbring, public health supervisor with Kandiyohi County Public Health.
Participating takeback event locations listed with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as of Wednesday are listed below. The one-day event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Chippewa County Clara City Police Department, 215 First St. N.W., Clara City Montevideo Police Department, 103 Canton Ave., Montevideo Kandiyohi County Law Enforcement Center, 2201 23rd St. N.E., Willmar Lac qui Parle County Dawson Police Department, 675 Chestnut St., Dawson Pope County
WILLMAR — Got unused medications lying around? National Prescription Drug Takeback Day is Saturday, giving the public an opportunity to clear out their medicine cabinets and dispose safely of drugs they no longer need. Participating law enforcement centers and police departments across the state will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday to accept everything from painkillers to statins. "Bring them in. No questions asked," said Dan Hartog, Kandiyohi County Sheriff.
WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners formally gave its support last week to the framework of a master cooperative agreement for a railroad bypass west of Willmar. The agreement, which is nearing the final negotiation stage, outlines the roles and responsibilities of all the parties — federal, state, local, public and private — in the multimillion-dollar project. It will come back to the board one last time for signature.
WILLMAR — As responses came in for a survey on clinician stress at Rice Memorial Hospital, Dr. Ken Flowe noticed something significant. Nearly half of those who returned the survey also wrote comments — in some cases, several paragraphs. "That was very telling," said Flowe, chief medical officer at Rice. That the survey struck a nerve was no surprise. A rising tide of stress is engulfing U.S. doctors and advanced practice professionals, bringing burnout, depression, exit from the profession and even suicide.