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WILLMAR -- Registered nurses at Rice Memorial Hospital wore red T-shirts and held handmade signs in a show of solidarity this morning as mediation got under way between hospital management and the nurses' bargaining unit. The 220 RNs represented by the local unit of the Minnesota Nurses Association have been working without a contract since the beginning of the year. At issue are concessions that have been proposed for the nurses' health insurance, paid time off and sick leave. The nurses said that if benefits are weakened, it may cause nurses to leave and make it harder for Rice Hospital t
WILLMAR -- Minnesota hospitals saw little change last year in the number of adverse events reported to the state Health Department. There were 305 "never" events that met the mandatory reporting threshold, according to an annual report being released today by the state Department of Health.
WILLMAR -- It looks like a cushion but isn't. Embedded inside are dozens of tiny sensors that measure pressure from someone sitting. On the electronic display screen, Karyn Loos can see red and orange areas light up where higher pressure is exerted on a patient's hip and tailbone. The new technology is one of many tools Rice Memorial Hospital uses to prevent and reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers. "It's a very advanced tool," said Loos, an occupational therapist at Rice.
WILLMAR -- Are you ready to become a loser? The Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA is participating in a statewide "Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge" to encourage people to visit the gym, adopt healthful eating habits and lose weight. Registration to join the competition is open through Sunday. The challenge starts Monday and runs through April 15. Dean Madsen, health and wellness director at the Y, is seeing a good response. "There's quite a bit of interest," he said.
WILLMAR -- Saying that zoning policies should support and not hamstring local farmers, the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission will ask the Kandiyohi County Board to revise its ordinance on allowing multi-unit housing on farm sites. "There is a need," said Kim Larson, a dairy farmer and member of the EDC's agribusiness and renewable energy committee. The EDC's action is at the instigation of the ag committee, which has been studying the issue for the past two years. The proposal from the committee: Establish a conditional use permit process for farm operator
WILLMAR -- Regardless of the politics surrounding Minnesota's expansion of the Medicaid program, hospitals in Minnesota mostly welcome the move. The measure, which outgoing Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty opposed, was one of the first signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, as he took office last week.
WILLMAR -- From corn cobs to sugar beet pulp, researchers and entrepreneurs are studying how to turn biomass into a feasible -- and cost-effective -- source of renewable energy. But it's a complicated journey, full of challenges both technical and economic, experts told a local audience Tuesday. "We're moving much more slowly than I would have anticipated," said Denny Timmerman, project director at the Minnesota Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. The key, however, is to keep moving forward, he said. "We need to lay the groundwork. ... I think we can get there.
WILLMAR -- Sometimes the patient is just looking for a quick word of reassurance.
WILLMAR -- Snowy, icy roads contributed to more than 30 crashes in Kandiyohi County as several inches of new snow piled up Wednesday night and Thursday morning. No injuries were reported, but local law enforcement officials are urging motorists to be careful on the slick roads and in intersections blocked with snow. "People have got to reduce speed.
WILLMAR -- Snowy, icy roads contributed to more than 30 crashes in Kandiyohi County as several inches of new snow piled up Wednesday night and this morning. No injuries were reported, but local law enforcement officials are urging motorists to be careful on the slick roads and in intersections blocked with snow. In two separate incidents today, vehicles were damaged by snow plows working to clear snow in private parking lots.