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WILLMAR — A full agenda awaits the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners this coming week. The board meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the board room at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building. The meeting will open with the letting of bids for the Public Works Department's bituminous surfacing projects for 2017. Commissioners are slated to hear the recycling and household hazardous waste annual report at 10:15 a.m., followed by an update on the Willmar railroad bypass project.
WILLMAR — Voicing concern for the potential impact of higher bus fares on the most vulnerable riders, the joint powers board of Central Community Transit is holding off for now on adopting a new fare structure. Instead, CCT staff will spend the next several weeks designing a discount pass system to help offset higher fares if and when they are implemented. The board's consensus to delay a decision came at a meeting Friday.
WILLMAR — These days, Judi Lauer can climb the stairs without getting breathless. She feels better. She even plans to buy a bicycle this spring. None of this was the case three months ago, when a severe exacerbation of adult-onset asthma landed her in the hospital and on a ventilator for five days. Lauer credits pulmonary rehabilitation with helping her regain her life. "I've learned that asthma doesn't control me. I control my asthma," she said.
WILLMAR — Eight deficient bridges in Kandiyohi County have been designated as high priority for replacement, rehabilitation or removal within the next five years. The list was approved last week by the County Board of Commissioners. The board's action puts the county in line for state bridge bonding funds when they become available. "It's the first step for the funding process," said Mel Odens, Public Works director.
WILLMAR — Tax abatement bonds will be issued this spring to finance Kandiyohi County's matching share of a $10 million private-sector project to bring broadband to some of the rural neighborhoods that need it most. The County Board of Commissioners set the process in motion Tuesday with the adoption of a pair of resolutions. The first resolution sets a tax abatement hearing for 10:15 a.m. April 4. The second clears the way for the sale of $5 million in bonds.
WILLMAR — Against a backdrop of turmoil and uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act, Minnesota's health insurance exchange saw record enrollment this year. That tells Allison O'Toole, chief executive of the MNsure exchange, that Minnesotans see the value of buying an individual health insurance policy through the exchange and obtaining tax credits for doing so.
WILLMAR — Myron Clark figures he just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Clark, a longtime employee of Kandiyohi County Public Works, was out on Long Lake north of Willmar late in the afternoon of Feb. 12, putting up "thin ice" signs. Shortly after 5 p.m. he saw a vehicle break through the ice not far away. "I said, 'I've got to get there right away,'" Clark recalled.
WILLMAR—The morgue, tucked away on the lower level of Rice Memorial Hospital, is rarely seen by the public. But on Thursday the doors were opened to local high school students to give them a glimpse of one of the many career possibilities in health care. Dr. Steve Vanderwerf, a pathologist with Minnesota Pathologists Chartered, described his work and explained when an autopsy might be performed. His teenaged audience had plenty of questions. Were there any bodies in storage? How was the morgue kept clean of infectious agents?
WILLMAR—The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the board room at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building. A lifesaving award will be presented at 10:45 a.m. to Myron Clark for rescuing a Willmar man whose car went through the ice last month on Long Lake.
WILLMAR — Many of the traffic concerns plaguing a quiet country neighborhood north of Willmar will be resolved this year with road improvements aimed at increased safety and better vehicle flow. Work will begin this spring to improve 41st Avenue Northeast, connect the road with 48th Avenue and straighten it for better visibility. It's a big step forward for Dovre Township, where township officials have been working for months to address some of the most pressing traffic needs.