- Member for
- 5 years 7 months
WILLMAR — At a meeting Thursday to introduce a new safety initiative by the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office to reduce crime against seniors, almost everyone in the room had a story to tell about phone scammers. Some had received fake calls purporting to be from Publishers Clearing House, promising big money in exchange for their personal information. Others were contacted by fraudsters pretending to be a grandchild in trouble and in need of money, or warning them of "computer problems" that needed to be "fixed."
OLIVIA — A husband and wife charged in connection with a fire that destroyed their home in Bird Island in January had their request turned down Monday to be represented by a public defender. Jeffrey George Ackerson Jr., 34, and Sheena Marie Ackerson, 36, made their first appearances Monday in Renville County District Court. The Jan. 15 fire destroyed the house and killed the family dog. Investigators later determined the fire had been deliberately set.
LITCHFIELD — A Grove City man faces multiple charges, including criminal vehicular homicide, in connection with a fatal crash May 4 at a highway intersection north of Grove City. Blake Lee Ahlbrecht, 60, made an appearance Monday in Meeker County District Court. He is alleged to have been behind the wheel and under the influence of alcohol when his van failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with a semi at the intersection of Minnesota Highway 4 and Meeker County Highway 16.
WILLMAR — With speeches, applause and a formal ribbon cutting, Carris Health celebrated the grand opening Thursday of its new $11 million surgery center in Willmar. A crowd gathered outside the newly completed building to mark the milestone, described by Carris Health leaders as the launch of a second generation in the delivery of local outpatient care. Mike Schramm, co-chief executive of Carris Health, called it a "momentous occasion." "This facility is state of the art and we've got the latest in equipment and technology," he said.
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County will take an in-depth look in upcoming months at the long-term future of the county park system. The county commissioners and staff plan to discuss everything from current park assets to long-term needs and potential improvements. The hope is to create a vision for sustaining the parks into the future, said Larry Kleindl, county administrator. "I think our parks are a gem," he said.
WILLMAR — It's a milestone this week for Carris Health as it opens the doors of a new $11 million outpatient surgery center on the Willmar campus of Affiliated Community Medical Centers. Carris Health leaders say it represents the next generation in local health care services. "Everything here is up to date and planning for the future," said Erica Gjerde, manager of the surgery center. Staff and equipment were moved into the facility last week and the first patient procedures were scheduled this week.
WILLMAR — Surplus land owned by Kandiyohi County is going on the auction block next month. It's the start of a push by county administration to clear the books of surplus property and put it back onto the tax rolls. The process will start with the sale of five parcels, approved last week by the County Board of Commissioners. "We're going to start doing this in increments," said Larry Kleindl, county administrator.
WILLMAR — In its work among low-income residents of southwestern Minnesota, Southern Prairie Community Care has had successes in keeping people healthy and bringing down costs. The 12-county collaboration has tackled frequent use of the emergency room. It has improved the prevention and management of chronic diseases such as diabetes. But changing dynamics in regional health care have brought Southern Prairie Community Care to a crossroads.
GRANITE FALLS — A Department of Corrections crew leader has been sentenced to four years in prison for coercing a female prisoner to have sex with him in return for special favors. Michael John Martin, 48, of Wood Lake, was sentenced Thursday in Yellow Medicine County District Court on one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct by a correctional employee. Two additional charges of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
WILLMAR — Local and regional leaders reacted with anger, frustration and disappointment Tuesday to a list of Corridors of Commerce transportation funding awards that concentrates the money in and around the metro area. The Minnesota Department of Transportation made its announcement Tuesday of the four projects chosen for funding. Two are for Highway 494 in the Twin Cities, one is for Highway 169 in Elk River and the fourth project is for Highway 94 between St. Michael and Albertville. In all, $417 million was awarded.