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WILLMAR — In a move to foster more joint conversation, the Minnesota Department of Transportation shared its capital highway improvement plan for District 8 Tuesday with the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. It was a chance for the County Board to see what's in store for MnDOT projects for the next 10 years. Staff has been traveling around the district this fall to reach out to cities, counties, townships and other local units of government to bring them information and spark discussion about long-range planning and collaboration.
WILLMAR — Beverly Werder, owner of Compassionate Care and Compassionate Cottages, has been selected by Leading Age of Minnesota as one of 50 leaders who are transforming the future of older adult services and enhancing the experience of aging. Recipients of the honor were selected on the basis of innovation, their role in forward-looking change in their organization, and pursuit of excellence in new models of care and services.
WILLMAR — A recently awarded state grant will help accomplish a longtime Kandiyohi County goal: enhancing the water quality of Lake Wakanda. The County Board of Commissioners recently signed an agreement for a $921,000 one-time grant from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund to implement the project, which will improve Lake Wakanda as well as enhance the entire watershed.
OLIVIA — A suspect involved in a 27-mile-long high-speed chase Saturday in Renville County is facing multiple charges stemming from the incident, during which a drone was brought in to help track him through a cornfield. Jeremy Roman Nordberg, 25, of St. Cloud, appeared Tuesday in Renville County District Court on felony charges of possession of stolen property and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. He also is charged with three misdemeanors: fleeing a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle, driving after revocation and theft.
WILLMAR — The actions may have been offensive, but a Willmar man argues he should not face prosecution for leaving a pig's foot at a Somali booth at a farmers market this past summer. The attorney for Joseph Fernkes is challenging the constitutionality of the disorderly conduct charge filed against him, saying Fernkes was exercising his right to free speech. At a brief hearing Tuesday before Judge Michael Thompson in Kandiyohi County District Court, the state was given until Oct. 31 to file a response to a motion for dismissal of the case.
BENSON — A former professional football player pleaded guilty in Swift County District Court last week to felony insurance fraud involving a championship ring he had allegedly reported as stolen. Brent Dwayne Griffith, 51, of Sartell, formerly of Benson, was sentenced to serve two days in the Swift County Jail, followed by five years of unsupervised probation. He also was ordered by Judge Rodney Hanson to pay $4,805 in restitution to the Swift County court administration, plus fines and fees totaling $590.
WILLMAR — The public will have a chance to comment at a pair of public hearings next month on a proposed countywide local option sales tax. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to set the hearings for 6 p.m. Nov. 9 and 6 p.m. Nov. 13. Both will take place in the community room at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building.
WILLMAR — Aidan Wasik was in grade school when his mother, Stacey, died in 2010 from a brain tumor. The following year he signed up for Camp G.K. Bear, a day-long grief camp held by Rice Hospice twice a year to help children who have experienced the death of a loved one. "I thought it would be good for him to be around kids," his father, Craig, said. "They process it differently than adults do." Aidan, now 13, gained so much from Camp G.K. Bear that he kept coming back each year.
WILLMAR—Can a shared meal in an outdoor setting, served with one-of-a-kind hand-carved wooden plates and utensils, lead to conversations that help people connect? Minneapolis artist Jess Hirsch hopes the answer is yes. She and her meal guests will find out next week at Emotional Platings, an event to be held Oct. 7 in Willmar and Oct. 8 in Milan.
WILLMAR - A three-hour standoff Friday night with an armed and apparently suicidal man ended without injuries after negotiators were able to persuade him to surrender peacefully. Willmar Police were called at 11:23 p.m. Friday to the 300 block of Becker Avenue Southeast in response to reports of a suicidal male. Chief Jim Felt said officers who arrived at the scene spoke with a witness who reported the man was possibly intoxicated, threatening suicide and armed with a shotgun.