- Member for
- 4 years 10 months
WILLMAR — Fifty years ago this weekend, the congregation of Vinje Lutheran Church bade farewell to the building where members had worshipped since the early 1900s and walked together to their new home. Vinje is recreating the occasion with a “Jubilee Jaunt” on Saturday and a special service Sunday morning. “It’s a celebration. It’s a milestone for us in this building and a jumping-off into the future,” said the Rev. Chad Peterson, pastor of the 1,800-member congregation.
Bethesda opened its wellness center in 2010 with a forward-thinking purpose — health and fitness for middle-aged and older adults. Bethesda leaders hoped they could initially get 100 people to sign up to become members of the new Club Bethesda. With 300 signups the first year, they succeeded far beyond their expectations. Two years later the wellness center has more than 500 members from 32 towns in the region, some as far as 50 miles away.
When a new linear accelerator was installed in late 2011 at the Willmar Regional Cancer Center, it was a $1 million-plus investment in technology essential for delivering radiation treatment to patients with cancer. It also was an example of how local health care organizations are working together to reduce costs, minimize duplication and become more efficient at providing care.
WILLMAR — A plea agreement was reached Tuesday in an insurance fraud case against a Willmar jeweler, allowing for a stay of adjudication which clears the way for future dismissal of the charge. Todd Paffrath, 60, will still have to serve up to three years on probation and pay a $1,000 fine. But he will not serve any jail time, and the felony insurance fraud charge against him will be formally dismissed at the end of three years and erased from his record, as long as he complies with the terms of the sentence and does not commit any new offenses.
WILLMAR — Lee Wierschem admits it: The extra pounds “kind of snuck up on me.” Then a year ago he went to the rental shop to be fitted for the outfit he would wear to his son’s wedding last August. Call it a moment of truth. “I couldn’t believe what size I was fitting into,” said Wierschem, 54. “I didn’t like what I saw. I resembled a Kraft marshmallow, and I’m not talking about the miniature ones… It was an eye opener.” Determined to shape up and lose weight, he joined a gym.
WILLMAR — Rice Memorial Hospital is preparing to launch a study of the hospital facility, focusing on current and future space needs and how to plan for them. Representatives of three architecture firms will be interviewed April 2 by hospital leaders and the board of directors. One of the firms will then be chosen to help guide the hospital through the study.
WILLMAR — Bids were awarded Wednesday for construction of a new Rice Home Medical store in Redwood Falls, clearing the way for the project to start next month. Rice Memorial Hospital officials anticipate that the new store will strengthen Rice Home Medical’s Redwood Falls site as a regional hub for durable and home medical equipment sales and service. The cost of construction is just over $1 million. Bids were competitive, said Bill Fenske, chief financial officer of Rice Hospital. “Construction costs are lower than what we projected,” he said.
WILLMAR — Four men were arrested in connection with a knife fight early Saturday morning at an apartment complex in Willmar. The two victims, ages 23 and 24, had injuries that were not life-threatening, according to authorities. Willmar Police received several calls of a fight in the parking lot of the Willow Run II apartments around 1:22 a.m. Saturday. More than a dozen officers, along with the Willmar Ambulance Service, responded. The suspects, all male, are from Willmar. They include a 20-year-old, a 21-year-old and two 31-year-olds.
When the Southwest Initiative Foundation moved its headquarters from Granite Falls to Hutchinson 15 years ago, the organization also made another change. Instead of having everyone come to the office every day, most of them started telecommuting. With its wide regional presence and programs that build resources and economic development in rural communities, the move was right for the foundation, said Sherry Ristau, executive director.
WILLMAR — Mary and Ron Guetter, owners of McMillan’s Restaurant, knew their customer was in trouble when he came up to the cash register during Sunday morning brunch last month, wheezing and unable to speak. The couple’s quick action to perform the Heimlich maneuver likely saved the man from choking to death and earned them a lifesaving certificate of merit Monday night from the Willmar Ambulance Service.