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WILLMAR — A piece of railroad history is chugging into town Saturday with a visit by the Milwaukee Road No. 261 steam engine. Willmar is the train’s last stop during a day-long excursion that starts Saturday morning in Minneapolis. The train will use the former Great Northern Railway line, now part of BNSF Railway, on its 186-mile round trip to Willmar and back. It will arrive at the Willmar depot around noon Saturday and will be there for about two hours, said Judy Sandberg, one of the organizers of the excursion.
WILLMAR — The office of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission will stay where it is, at least for now, but staff will continue looking at other locations. Members of the EDC joint operations board came to this conclusion Thursday after two months of discussing and exploring their options. The office has been at Centre Place, on the corner of Litchfield Avenue and Fourth Street in downtown Willmar, for the past five years. The lease expired this summer and the space is now being rented month by month.
Irrigation isn’t something most crop farmers in water-rich southern Minnesota tend to worry about. But climate change is altering the picture and putting new, unforeseen pressure on the state’s agricultural producers, say two state experts on the economy and agriculture.In the future, water management could become “the next major differentiator” for crop producers, said Michael Swanson, senior vice president and ag economist and consultant with Wells Fargo and Co.
Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota has agreed to purchase the former Goodwill building on South First Street in Willmar and move its offices and ReStore to the new location next March. The announcement of the purchase agreement with Quad Partnership, the building’s owner, was made Monday. “The opportunity was there,” said Joline Hovland, executive director of Habitat for Humanity. “Things just kind of fell into place.”
With a few clicks, Family Practice Medical Center patients can see their lab results online, review their medication list or peruse the doctor’s summary of their most recent visit. One year after launching a patient portal, it’s hard to find a down side, say clinic officials. The portal has made it easier to share information with patients. It’s helping patients become more engaged in their care. Most of all, people appreciate the convenience, said Kari Mobraten, the clinic’s business manager.
WILLMAR — Another school year has started and Dr. Emily McDevitt is mentoring another third-year student from the osteopathic medical program at Des Moines University in Iowa. Her student will learn and gain new skills over the next several months but so will McDevitt. “It’s always fun, even watching them change over the first week,” said McDevitt, a family practice doctor at Affiliated Community Medical Centers. And working with students keeps her on her toes with her own practice, she said.
WILLMAR — With a wet, chilly weekend in the forecast, the Willmar-area Walk to End Alzheimer’s, originally scheduled to be held Saturday morning at Robbins Island Park, is moving indoors to the Willmar Civic Center. Organizers made the announcement Thursday morning. All times will be the same. Registration and check-in event festivities are from 9 to 10:15 a.m. The opening ceremony is at 10:15 a.m., followed by the walk at 10:30 a.m. The closing ceremony is at 11:30 a.m.
WILLMAR — Bill Linder spent a long career in broadcasting but philanthropy was the passion closest to his heart. “There’s no question that was important in his life,” said his son, Steve Linder. “He wanted to do more.” Bill Linder died Tuesday at age 92. His funeral will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Bethel Lutheran Church, where he was a longtime member.
WILLMAR — Dr. Alvin O. Setzepfandt was already visibly declining from Alzheimer’s disease when his family found the notes he had written earlier for himself. The notes, tucked away in his personal files, indicated he had privately done his own research months earlier on the disease that would eventually lead to his death, recalled his son, Paul Setzepfandt of Bird Island. “He knew,” he said.
WILLMAR — As Rice Memorial Hospital leaders prepare to dig into the budget process for 2014, they are projecting a patient volume expected to remain mostly flat.