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WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital announced Thursday that additional visitor restrictions have been implemented for the holiday season. Group tours have been discontinued for the months of December and January, and caroling will not be allowed at any time, even in public areas of the hospital. "We appreciate carolers, and they have been a great benefit to our patients in past years," said Dale Hustedt, chief administrative officer. "It's wonderful to welcome them when conditions are right.
WILLMAR -- Vaccine availability for H1N1 novel influenza is being expanded to all health priority groups, the Minnesota Department of Health announced Tuesday. The supply is still trickling in and it will take time to get the vaccine distributed to health providers and public health agencies across the state, officials said. Be persistent, counseled Kris Ehresmann, director of the infectious disease division at the state Health Department. "It's still very important that people pursue vaccination.
WILLMAR -- Home sales in Willmar and in Kandiyohi County have remained relatively steady over the past 12 months, even as the national number of home resales surged by 10.1 percent during October. Local Realtors interviewed earlier this month said buyers have been cautious. "It's the uneasiness in the economy. It's not knowing if they have a job," said Betty Bollig, a broker with Counselor Realty. The tax credit for first-time home buyers has been an incentive, however.
The two women leaving the Kandi Mall in Willmar last Saturday afternoon were laden down with three shopping bags apiece. "I worked up a sweat," one of them remarked as they headed for their car in the crowded parking lot next to the J.C.
WILLMAR -- Children ages 5 to 9 will begin receiving the H1N1 novel influenza vaccine at mass vaccination clinics that start Monday in Kandiyohi County. The county's first shipments of vaccine arrived this past week, said Ann Stehn, director of Kandiyohi County Public Health. The initial supply is limited but more should be arriving shortly, she said. "We anticipate at some point in the coming week that will open up." In the meantime, local health officials are following recommendations by the Minnesota Department of Health and U.S.
WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital will focus this coming year on strengthening its operations and putting the city-owned hospital in a better position for growth and new strategic initiatives. Hospital officials plan to accomplish this by controlling expenses and solidifying the balance sheet. "We've got to be in a position to make those strategic investments down the road, nearly all of which take capital," said Mike Schramm, the chief executive at Rice. The goals were laid out Wednesday as part of a $100 million budget for next year.
WILLMAR -- Not far into Kate Selseth's presentation on the ins and outs of Medicare and how to compare plans on the Medicare.gov Web site, someone in the second row had a question: What if you don't know how to use a computer? "You don't have to know.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission is launching a formal search this month for a lobbyist who can represent the agency in St.
WILLMAR -- Fifteen to 17 jobs in the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway switching yard in Willmar are being eliminated as part of an overall reduction in BNSF's switching operations. Employees were notified this week that they are being furloughed. BNSF hopes to eventually call them back to work, said Steve Forsberg, general director of public affairs for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. "We just don't know when that's going to be," he said. The downturn in the economy has resulted in a significant drop in rail traffic volume this year. Through the third quarter, volume is down 27
WILLMAR - Fifteen to 17 jobs in the Burlington Northern Santa Fe switching yard in Willmar are being eliminated as part of an overall reduction in BNSF's switching operations. Employees were notified this week that they are being furloughed. BNSF hopes to eventually call them back to work, said Steve Forsberg, general director of public affairs for Burlington Northern Santa Fe. "We just don't know when that's going to be," he said. The downturn in the economy has resulted in a significant drop in rail traffic volume this year.