- Member for
- 5 years 4 months
WILLMAR — Willmar businessman Dave Baker gained endorsement from Kandiyohi County Republicans this weekend for the Minnesota House of Representatives seat in District 17B. Baker led in the first ballot and won the endorsement on the second ballot, capturing 63 percent of the delegates’ votes over the party’s other hopeful, Linda Kacher. A minimum of 60 percent was required to secure endorsement.
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County Republicans called for unity Saturday as they prepared to endorse their party’s candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 17B. Republicans lost the House seat two years ago when legislative freshman Mary Sawatzky, a DFLer, was elected, unseating Republican incumbent Bruce Vogel. Party leaders at the county convention Saturday said they aim to put a Republican back in House this fall.
WILLMAR — Hoping to spark discussion and generate innovative ideas, local organizers are bringing a one-day live stream of the noted TED conference to Willmar this coming month. The TEDx Live event will be hosted March 18 at the MinnWest Technology Campus auditorium. It’s a chance for local participants to see and hear some of the latest and best in technology, entertainment and design, said Betsy Bonnema, the lead organizer for TEDx Willmar Live.
WILLMAR — A pilot program is using colorful Lego blocks to help develop social skills and confidence in children with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder and other challenges. While they are building imaginary houses, vehicles and towns, they will also learn how to be part of a group and make new friends, said Jamin Johnson, director of The Resource Center Program, and Nikki Bettcher Erickson, who will lead the Lego Fun and Friendship Club. “It will be a safe place to work on those skills and to develop active friendships.
WILLMAR — In the wake of red ink last year, Rice Memorial Hospital officials say they’ll continue to focus on paring down expenses. According to preliminary figures, Rice sustained a $3.2 million loss on $119.2 million in total operating revenue in 2013, making it one of the hospital’s most difficult years. The deficit includes a $2.8 million operating loss coupled with a $389,000 non-operating loss due at least partly to declines in cash and investments. The losses came despite intensive efforts by the city-owned hospital to wring out costs and increase efficiency. The fiscal environment
WILLMAR — Two autographed seats from the old Metrodome are among the items to be auctioned off when the Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties holds its annual Save Our Tails fundraiser Feb. 28. Organizers hope to raise $22,000 to support programs and services at the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar. The annual fundraiser is an important event for the local Humane Society, said Sharon Mace, executive director. “We serve a wide area — Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties,” she said. “It’s crucial to our sustainability.” Save Our Tails is at 6 p.m. Feb.
WILLMAR — Gridlock over the appointment process has left the joint operating board of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission two members short. If the issue isn’t resolved soon, it could be May before the board is back to its full complement of seven members. In the meantime, board members are carrying on.
WILLMAR — Less than two months into the new year, the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission has already overspent its entire annual budget for legal services, leading the organization to dip into reserves to cover its legal costs. The joint operations board confronted the issue Thursday, concurring with a staff recommendation to pay the latest bill, for $1,874, with reserve funds. “We have no question about the amount of the bill,” said Steve Renquist, executive director of the Economic Development Commission. “I’m just bringing it to your attention.” The spi
WILLMAR — A real estate market on the rebound has local agents optimistic for 2014. The forecast looks “very positive,” said Chris Meinert of Willmar Real Estate. “I believe there is an upward trend.” New figures from the Minnesota Association of Realtors show steady improvement over the past year in virtually every indicator.
WILLMAR — Fortified with a new infusion of state funds, the Statewide Health Improvement Program in Kandiyohi and Renville counties is preparing to reboot this year. Leaders hope to re-energize old partnerships and form new ones that help foster environmental, system and policy changes promoting healthy lifestyles among residents of the two counties. “I want our expectations to be higher of ourselves, of our children, our communities,” said Kiza Olson, a health educator working with SHIP for Kandiyohi-Renville Public Health. The Minnesota Department of Health’s SHIP initiative, launch