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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
WILLMAR — More than 300 hardy volunteers raised $72,000 this weekend at the 10th annual Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics. The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office and Willmar Police Department hosted the annual event at Green Lake as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run program. Proceeds assist Special Olympics athletes and teams in attending competitions, sports training and life skills training throughout Minnesota. There were 360 volunteers who braved the cold Saturday and jumped into the icy waters of Green Lake.
WILLMAR — Strong winds are causing white-out conditions this afternoon, bringing travel to a standstill across western Minnesota. U.S. Highway 71 was closed from Minnesota Highway 19 near Morton to U.S. 212 in Olivia for part of the day but reopened late in the afternoon. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported hazardous driving conditions across the region, with blowing and drifting snow and poor visibility.
WILLMAR — The joint powers board of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission sought to bring an end Thursday to controversies over the EDC’s reserve fund and allegations of conflicts of interest. “I hope we’re done having to defend the EDC,” Denis Anderson, chairman of the joint powers board, said after a discussion that lasted for more than an hour. The criticism has dogged the Economic Development Commission for at least three months. Critics have charged that the organization maintains an excessive reserve fund while turning to the taxpayers to fund its st
WILLMAR — Minnesota hospitals are making progress in reducing the incidence of serious events that result in patient harm. The Minnesota Department of Health marked the 10th anniversary of the state’s Adverse Health Care Events law by releasing two reports today, one a 10-year evaluation of the impact of the law and the other a list of “never” events reported by Minnesota hospitals and surgery centers in 2013. Hospitals have seen a decline over the past decade in the overall number of reportable adverse events such as wrong-site procedures, severe pressure ulcers, falls and serious medicatio
WILLMAR — Members of a local action team envision a future for Willmar as a dementia-capable community that cares well for its aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. The Willmar ACT on Alzheimer’s team is one of seven in Minnesota awarded a grant to develop community plans that will help ready the state for an anticipated tidal wave of families coping with Alzheimer’s. Team members say their ultimate goal is for awareness and competence to be embedded in how Willmar responds to Alzheimer’s, from medical and service providers to family caregivers, law enforcement, clergy,