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WILLMAR -- Rock music played Friday night as the auditorium at the MinnWest Technology Campus filled up with local Republicans and friends and supporters of Lee Byberg. Out in the parking lot sat the shiny new bus that will take Byberg's campaign on the road, starting today with stops in Glencoe, Olivia, Redwood Falls and Litchfield. Byberg, who is running on the GOP ticket against longtime Democratic Rep.
Brenda Valenzuela clutched Oscar, her mixed-breed puppy, as she waited in line Tuesday evening at the Humane Society of Kandiyohi County's neighborhood pet vaccination clinic. Oscar let out a lengthy yelp as he was injected in the leg with rabies vaccine. He was a little more stoic for his distemper shot. A quick trim of his nails and he was done. The Valenzuelas paid $20 for the two shots and received a rabies tag. Then they walked home through Regency Estates East with their dog. For Bobbie Bauman, it was one more dog in town protected from two big threats to doggy health.
WILLMAR -- Stronger consumer protection against unreasonable premium increases is among the first changes the public will see as the federal health care reform law takes effect. Insurers will have to jump through new hoops if they want to raise their rates. They will also be held more accountable for spending on direct health care services for their subscribers. "We've leveled the playing field a bit," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. The changes were outlined Friday in a national teleconference with Schakowsky and Sen.
NEW LONDON -- Dr. Rick Wehseler's day starts early. At 5:30 a.m. he's at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, rounding on his patients who are in the hospital. Some days he stays for a meeting or two at the hospital, where he's also the chief of staff. Today he's lucky: no meetings. By 9 a.m. he's back in his office at Affiliated Community Medical Centers of New London-Spicer and ready to see his first clinic patient of the day. It will be 5:30 p.m. by the time the last patient is ushered out the door.
WILLMAR -- When kids are picking up their prom tuxedos this week at Weddings on First and at Coat and Tie Inc., they'll get something else as well: a message from the Kandiyohi County Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs coalition, urging them to "Get dressed up, not messed up." Coalition members hope the catchy fliers are a timely reminder that the teenaged rites of spring -- prom and graduation -- don't need to be accompanied by underage drinking. "It's about getting away from the social norm of thinking you have to have alcohol," said Laura Lindeman, coordinator of the Drug-Free Communities g
WILLMAR -- Multiple factors -- a lack of unified support from military veterans, worries about ongoing costs, misunderstandings about a proposed mental health and traumatic brain injury component -- were to blame for knocking a veterans home proposal for Willmar out of the legislative bonding bill this year. Lobbyist Dean Elton Johnson is urging local officials not to concede defeat just yet, however. "For the future it'll be difficult, but as a community, don't give up," said Johnson. Members of the joint powers board of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commiss
WILLMAR -- From her one-person office in Willmar, Marge Hanson covers a wide territory directing and coordinating Girl Scout programs in the region.
The early start of spring this year might be welcome, but along with it comes a less welcome annual visitor: ticks. Several sightings have already been reported of deer ticks, which can transmit Lyme disease, and the more common dog tick, or wood tick. "It seems like they're now emerging and looking for a host," said Gary Bullemer, assistant manager at Sibley State Park. "It's not winter anymore," agreed Dr.
WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital hasn't decided yet whether to join the care coordination delivery system that's being formed for Minnesota's newly retooled General Assistance Medical Care program. Hospital officials are looking at the financial projections, however, and have grave reservations. "Based on what we know, the financial risk for us would be tremendous," Mike Schramm, chief executive of Rice Hospital, said this week. He said it's "probably unlikely" Rice would participate. GAMC, Minnesota's publicly funded health program for single adults, was slated to end last month. Under
Organizers are looking forward to a big turnout Friday for the 11th annual Life Connections senior event at the Willmar Civic Center. The event is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is hosted by the West Central Tribune. About 1,200 are expected to attend, said Kari Gislason, marketing director at the West Central Tribune. "People look forward to it. It has become a very social event," she said.