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WILLMAR -- Two recent influenza-related deaths in Minnesota have prompted a reminder from local health care providers to get your flu shot if you haven't already done so. "Protection lasts for a long time, so you don't have to wait anymore.
State health officials are bracing for what they say could be a difficult year for the elderly in coping with influenza. Health officials said today that a woman in her 80s from southeastern Minnesota died last week from complications due to influenza. The Minnesota Department of Health Public Health Laboratory confirmed that she had the A/H3 strain of influenza virus, a strain which has caused sporadic outbreaks in long-term care facilities in Minnesota and other states over the summer and early fall.
WILLMAR -- In spite of a plea to reconsider, Rice Memorial Hospital officials are holding firm to their decision last month to close the hospital's School of Radiologic Technology when the last students graduate in July 2012. The program, which trains students to administer X-rays and CT scans to patients, has been "a very good program," said Mike Schramm, chief executive of Rice Hospital. But it's no longer feasible for the city-owned hospital to continue funding it, he said. The school, which gets 50 to 100 applicants each year, stopped accepting new applications in September. Financial
WILLMAR -- An ambitious set of goals is taking shape for the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission to pursue over the next five years. At a retreat Thursday at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, members of the EDC's joint operations and joint powers boards began filling in the details for how the five-year plan will be carried out. Steve Renquist, executive director of the Economic Development Commission, called the plan "the big picture" for the agency's future direction. "Each and every year there should be some work," he said.
WILLMAR -- Rice Me-morial Hospital's board of directors was set to award bids Wednesday for a $3 million addition to the Rice Care Center. But when bids were opened last week, the total came in about $400,000 higher than the construction estimate. Hospital officials, the bidders, the project architect and the construction manager are now negotiating to try to bring that number down, Mike Schramm, the chief executive at Rice Hospital, told the board. "We've started to make some progress...
WILLMAR -- Barely a month into its official 2010 campaign, the United Way of West Central Minnesota has already reached 34 percent of its goal of raising $915,000 for programs that meet regional community needs. "We're seeing a good response. It's encouraging and hopeful," said Stacey Roberts, executive director of the regional United Way. Last year, with a recession gripping much of the region's economy, the agency struggled to raise enough funds to meet its goal of $852,000.
WILLMAR -- So you've always called it "the Y," even though you know the correct, official name is "YMCA." You're now doing it right. The YMCA organization of the United States has undergone a major makeover of its brand, emerging with a new and shortened name, a colorful new logo and a heightened emphasis on the Y's role in community health and well-being. "The new branding is really a communication system for the Y," said Tom Bolin, associate executive director of the Kandiyohi County Area Family Y.
WILLMAR -- A $23 million jury verdict in a malpractice case has contributed to bumping up Rice Memorial Hospital's professional liability insurance premiums by more than 50 percent. The city-owned hospital was hit with the premium increase when its professional liability policy was renewed Aug. 1. "It would be unrealistic to not expect a premium increase, given what happened," Dale Hustedt, chief administrative officer, said Friday.
NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer Wildcats are going pink at tonight's football game in honor of breast cancer awareness during the month of October. Football players will wear pink shoelaces and play on a field spray-painted with the signature pink ribbon of breast cancer awareness. The Wildcats take on Milaca at 7 p.m. at the NLS football field. Affiliated Community Medical Centers is teaming up to help with the event. ACMC staff are handing out miniature pink footballs to the first 500 people who come through the gates. During halftime, Dr.
WILLMAR -- A "Give-to-the-Kids" matching grant challenge by the Otto Bremer Foundation helped net top money for two local organizations to support programs that benefit young people. The United Way of West Central Minnesota and West Central Youth For Christ each managed to raise the entire match of $6,000. Combined with matching funds from the Bremer Foundation, it meant both organizations received a total of $12,000 apiece. "It's awesome," said Stacey Roberts, executive director of the United Way of West Central Minnesota.