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WILLMAR — Rice Memorial Hospital was one of five hospitals nationwide awarded the Healthcare Financial Management Association's MAP Certificate of Recognition in Revenue Cycle Achievement. This national award recognizes organizations that have demonstrated positive financial performance across key performance metrics in patient access, pre-billing, claims, account resolution, and financial management.
WILLMAR—A divided Kandiyohi County Board voted 3-2 last week in favor of purchasing additional land to enlarge Games Lake County Park. The expansion will create new opportunities for developing amenities at one of the most popular parks in the county park system. Neighbors are worried it will lead to more pressure on the lake and surrounding environment, however, a concern that prompted "no" votes from two County Commissioners, Steve Ahmann and Rollie Nissen.
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County will ask for $3.9 million in state bond funds this coming year for the construction of an overpass at the south end of the Willmar wye railroad bypass. A resolution formalizing the request was adopted this week by the County Board of Commissioners. It ensures Kandiyohi County will at least get on the preliminary list of capital budget requests. Adopting the resolution now, by midsummer, also increases the likelihood of the project's inclusion when legislators have their bonding tour later this summer.
WILLMAR — A delegation of nurses appeared Wednesday before the Rice Memorial Hospital Board, urging board members to keep patient care foremost as negotiations progress on a new joint venture among Rice, Affiliated Community Medical Centers and CentraCare. They also issued a plea for the nursing staff to be included at the table during the discussion. "We urge you to do the right thing — respect our contract and our profession," said Michele McCleary, a registered nurse in the hospital's dialysis unit.
WILLMAR—Volunteer driver programs, a lifeline for rural residents who rely on volunteers to get them to non-emergency medical appointments out of town, may be facing an uncertain future. Transit systems were notified in April that volunteers providing non-emergency medical transportation can no longer exclude all of their mileage reimbursement from their income, a move that could force many of them to quit because of the tax consequences.
WILLMAR—The fallout from the city of Willmar's failure to properly assess vacant platted lots has percolated its way up to the county level. Two Willmar residential developers took their case to Kandiyohi County this week, claiming their bare platted lots have been assessed for more than they're worth. Ron Christianson and Warren Erickson made their appeal Monday to the county Board of Equalization. "Land has not increased that much in value, folks, not in Willmar," Christianson told the board.
WILLMAR—A Kandiyohi County jury found Dennis Michael Jacobson guilty Wednesday on three charges stemming from a firearms incident last summer at a popular Spicer nightspot. Jacobson, 39, of Lake Lillian was acquitted on two other charges following a two-day trial. He faced eight counts altogether but three of them were dismissed before the trial began. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 2.
REDWOOD FALLS -- A covert operation targeting the demand for underage sex trafficking led to the arrest of three area men last week in Redwood County.
WILLMAR — Amid the turn-of-the-century trappings of the historic Sperry House, guests sipped tea Friday afternoon and nibbled on dainty sandwiches and cakes. Volunteers moved from table to table, pouring tea from china teapots and handing around platters of carefully arranged delicacies. "It's almost too pretty to eat," declared Shannon Eckhoff as she prepared to taste the assortment of sandwiches on her plate.
WILLMAR — With a deadline looming this month, Kandiyohi County must decide soon whether to take on the enforcement responsibilities for the state's new buffer strip law. A vote is expected at the June 20 meeting of the County Board of Commissioners. That gives the commissioners two more weeks to study the issue and collect public input before settling on the position they want to take, said Larry Kleindl, county administrator. "This will be a big decision whether we take on that enforcement or not," he said.