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WILLMAR -- A Willmar man was fined more than $1,200 and placed on probation Wednesday after being convicted in two separate cases, one drug-related and the other involving terroristic threats against a former girlfriend and a high-speed car chase. Petrolino Molina, 27, could have faced jail or prison time. But Kandiyohi County District Court Judge Kathryn Smith agreed to stay execution of a one-year prison sentence on the terroristic threat charge for five years.
WILLMAR -- More nonprofit agencies are seeking funding this year from the United Way of West Central Minnesota, and the dollar amount of funding re-quests has grown significantly. A community review panel meets Thursday to begin considering the funding requests from 59 agencies. Area nonprofits continue to see an increase in the number of people they serve, said Renee Nolting, executive director of the United Way of West Central Minnesota. "More agencies are needing funding," she said.
WILLMAR -- Cardiology and nephrology will be two of the focus areas as Rice Memorial Hospital seeks to strengthen and expand some of its services this year. Recruitment of more physicians also is a goal, along with a lengthy to-do list that includes quality of care, patient satisfaction, financial performance and staff development. The board of directors for the city-owned hospital endorsed the hospital's work plan for 2011 this past week, setting in motion the second year of a five-year strategic plan to further develop Rice's position as a regional hospital. "Our administrative team has s
WILLMAR -- New contracts were finalized Wednesday with four of Rice Memorial Hospital's five employee bargaining units. All four contracts contain similar terms: minimal pay increases but no change in health insurance benefits or paid time off. Each of the new labor agreements is for three years -- 2011, 2012 and 2013. The contracts were all ratified earlier by union members. Contract talks have been tense at some U.S. hospitals this past year.
WILLMAR -- The handwritten notes were short but heartfelt. "I thank you from the bottom of my heart" for receiving help from the Rice trust fund to pay a hospital bill, one person wrote.
WILLMAR -- A proposal is moving forward to turn the ag specialist position at the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission from part time into full time. The EDC's joint operations board voted Thursday to recommend to the governing board that the ag position be expanded to full time. With the number of agricultural and renewable energy initiatives un- der way, the move is warranted, bo-ard members said. "I think it's too important to not fund it," said Bev Dougherty. The EDC ag specialist works closely with the agricultural and renewable energy committee on a va
WILLMAR -- For the first time in at least five years, Rice Memorial Hospital has started its fiscal year by generating a profit. In another financial development, the hospital has passed the $50 million mark in net assets, triggering a larger payment in lieu of taxes to the city of Willmar. Hospital officials reported to the hospital board finance committee Wednesday that the Rice organization, which includes the city-owned hospital, Rice Care Center and Rice Home Medical, posted a net gain of just under $320,000 in January. It's good news for the hospital, which has struggled in recent yea
WILLMAR -- Roy C. Jensen didn't attend school past the eighth grade and was happiest running his dairy farm north of Priam. Yet he left a statewide legacy: As a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives in the 1950s, he helped craft the bill that established Minnesota's community college system. Jensen died Sunday at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar at the age of 101.
WILLMAR -- Until a few months ago, families who wanted information about Bethesda Health and Housing Services weren't always sure where to go. The new Welcome Center makes it easier by giving them a central place to start, says Michelle Haefner, chief operating officer of Bethesda. "As our campus continues to grow and we're adding more services, we wanted to make a more seamless process," she said. "Instead of having people call the different entities, we now have the Welcome Center where we can answer all their questions.
WILLMAR -- A sex offender has pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct in exchange for being sentenced according to state guidelines. The plea agreement with Timothy George Powers Jr., 25, of Paynesville was filed Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court. Sentencing is scheduled for March 31. Under the agreement, Powers likely will face 70 months, or just under six years, in prison. He was accused of having nonconsensual sex with a teenaged girl while they were together in a tent at a family gathering.