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LITCHFIELD -- Darrin Anderson was 3 years old when he was accidentally mauled by a bear on his family's game farm in rural Starbuck. Although he lost part of his right arm, he was in sports all through high school. As an adult, he coaches, golfs and plays the guitar. "I never let it stop me from doing anything," says Anderson, 32, of Litchfield. It's a story he often shares to illustrate the persistence and resilience he says he'll bring to the Minnesota Legislature if he wins next week's election in District 18B. Anderson, a Democrat, is challenging Rep.
WILLMAR -- Government in the state of Minnesota should focus on its core mission and stick to zero-based, line-item budgeting -- an approach Sen.
WILLMAR -- As he knocks on doors and hosts meetings across District 13, Larry Rice hears the same refrain: The voters have had it with partisan politics. "They're sick and tired of people fighting. They just want someone to get the job done," he said. Rice, the DFL candidate for state Senate in District 13, is challenging the current senator, Joe Gimse, who is seeking his second term. A lifelong Willmar resident, Rice is new to politics. What he hopes to bring to St.
WILLMAR - Clustered in a bay lit by tall southeast-facing windows, the tables and chairs in the mini-café at the new Bethesda Wellness Center are waiting to become a favorite gathering spot for the community's older adults. It's the hope of leaders at Bethesda Health and Housing that the café will be one of many things that draw seniors to the wellness center and help enhance their emotional, social and physical health. The new wellness center officially opens Nov.
WILLMAR -- Two recent influenza-related deaths in Minnesota have prompted a reminder from local health care providers to get your flu shot if you haven't already done so. "Protection lasts for a long time, so you don't have to wait anymore.
State health officials are bracing for what they say could be a difficult year for the elderly in coping with influenza. Health officials said today that a woman in her 80s from southeastern Minnesota died last week from complications due to influenza. The Minnesota Department of Health Public Health Laboratory confirmed that she had the A/H3 strain of influenza virus, a strain which has caused sporadic outbreaks in long-term care facilities in Minnesota and other states over the summer and early fall.
WILLMAR -- In spite of a plea to reconsider, Rice Memorial Hospital officials are holding firm to their decision last month to close the hospital's School of Radiologic Technology when the last students graduate in July 2012. The program, which trains students to administer X-rays and CT scans to patients, has been "a very good program," said Mike Schramm, chief executive of Rice Hospital. But it's no longer feasible for the city-owned hospital to continue funding it, he said. The school, which gets 50 to 100 applicants each year, stopped accepting new applications in September. Financial
WILLMAR -- An ambitious set of goals is taking shape for the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission to pursue over the next five years. At a retreat Thursday at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, members of the EDC's joint operations and joint powers boards began filling in the details for how the five-year plan will be carried out. Steve Renquist, executive director of the Economic Development Commission, called the plan "the big picture" for the agency's future direction. "Each and every year there should be some work," he said.
WILLMAR -- Rice Me-morial Hospital's board of directors was set to award bids Wednesday for a $3 million addition to the Rice Care Center. But when bids were opened last week, the total came in about $400,000 higher than the construction estimate. Hospital officials, the bidders, the project architect and the construction manager are now negotiating to try to bring that number down, Mike Schramm, the chief executive at Rice Hospital, told the board. "We've started to make some progress...
WILLMAR -- Barely a month into its official 2010 campaign, the United Way of West Central Minnesota has already reached 34 percent of its goal of raising $915,000 for programs that meet regional community needs. "We're seeing a good response. It's encouraging and hopeful," said Stacey Roberts, executive director of the regional United Way. Last year, with a recession gripping much of the region's economy, the agency struggled to raise enough funds to meet its goal of $852,000.