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WILLMAR - Bids were awarded this past week for a $2.1 million renovation of the imaging department at Rice Memorial Hospital. The project, which will enlarge and enhance the space, has been under consideration "for multiple years," said Mike Schramm, chief executive of Rice Hospital. Construction is scheduled to start in June.
WILLMAR - Nearly two years after opening a new short-term rehabilitation unit at the Rice Care Center, the demand for services is so strong that the facility's owner, Rice Memorial Hospital, is contemplating a $2 million addition to the unit. "Our utilization has outpaced our expectations," Mike Schramm, chief executive of Rice Memorial Hospital, told the hospital board of directors this week. A proposal to add more rooms, along with more therapy and gym space, was presented to the hospital board, which gave the go-ahead to start working on construction documents.
Two Minnesota infants have been sickened with salmonellosis linked to eating Krinos brand tahini sesame paste that has been recalled by the manufacturer, the Minnesota Department of Health announced today. State health and agriculture officials said consumers should not eat Krinos brand tahini from the affected lots and sizes listed below. The product should be discarded. The lid can be returned to Krinos for a refund.
WILLMAR -- Call it Match.com for cats. Hawk Creek Animal Shelter is launching the ASPCA's Meet Your Match program this month to engage the public and increase the adoption rate for shelter cats. Like finding the right marriage partner, the shelter's staff hopes it leads to a good match that helps ensure a long-term, successful relationship between human and feline.
WILLMAR -- One of the panes of glass in the 86-year-old skylight that lights the lobby of the old Lakeland Hotel building is broken and boarded over. But every other window is intact and the building's owner, Tom Amberg, hopes to find a replacement pane that matches the original as closely as possible. The same goes for the wallpaper, the classic woodwork and the building's brick exterior. "We want to try to keep it as original as we can," Amberg said. "There's tons of potential for this building."
WILLMAR -- Wendy Foley had some health goals, and she hoped that signing up for Rice Memorial Hospital's Healthy Community Partnership would help her reach them. "I think we all need to take an active role in our own health," she said while waiting in line at the Lakeland Health Center recently for a blood pressure, weight and cholesterol screening.
WILLMAR - A retired Willmar physician is among the appointees named by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton today to the board that will manage and operate MNSure, the state’s new health insurance exchange. Dr. Kathryn Duevel is one of seven people on the board, which was established by legislative process earlier in the session. Board members were chosen through the state’s open appointments process from a pool of 112 candidates. Board members will serve staggered four-year terms.
WILLMAR — The joint powers board of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission split 4-2 last week on a vote to retain the EDC’s membership in the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. Support for continuing chamber membership prevailed, but not without heated discussion over whether it’s appropriate for a public entity to belong to what board member Ron Christianson called “basically a lobbyist group.” “It isn’t right,” Christianson said.
WILLMAR — Right up until last week, when a surprise announcement was made that Molenaar LLC was sold and the Willmar plant is closing in June, staff of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission were engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations to keep the facility here. A $5 million financing package was even put together to allow two individuals, both unnamed, to buy the Molenaar plant so that it could stay in Willmar.
WILLMAR — In one of a series of ads that debuted locally this month, two teens embrace while the boy silently wonders, “Should I kiss her?” The ads are part of a new initiative by the Kandiyohi County Coalition for Healthy Adolescent Sexuality that draws attention to Minnesota’s soaring incidence of chlamydia and urges parents to talk to their children about relationships, health and sex.