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WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital provided $18.5 million worth of community benefits in 2008 -- more than 20 percent of the city-owned hospital's operating costs. The total includes benefits such as charity care, health fairs and free support groups for patients. The biggest chunk by far, however, consists of Medicare and Medicaid costs that go beyond what either of these two publicly funded programs pay Rice for providing care.
WILLMAR -- The sewing machine hums as Kate Barrett-Murphy pieces together what will become the fleece lining for a child's mitten. Pins, patterns and felted mittens in various stages of construction cover the surrounding tabletop. The finished products will be up for sale this week at the Kandi Mall, where Kate, age 10, is among more than 100 young vendors signed up for the mall's Enterprizing Kids event. "She loves creating," her mother, Shannon Barrett, said. "Maybe this will go somewhere.
WILLMAR -- Although unemployment remains high, Sen. Amy Klobuchar sees some glimmers of hope that the U.S. economy is on the mend. "I can say that things have improved from three or months ago," said Klobuchar, a Democrat and Minnesota's senior senator. What's important is to keep moving forward, she told an audience in Willmar Saturday. "We're just hopeful we can get more jobs and have the employment go up," she said. Klobuchar spoke at the annual Women's Expo, hosted by the West Central Tribune and Affiliated Community Medical Centers.
Although unemployment still remains high, Sen. Amy Klobuchar sees some glimmers of hope that the U.S. economy is on the mend. "I can say that things have improved from three or months ago," said Klobuchar, a Democrat and Minnesota's senior senator. What's important is to keep moving forward, she told an audience in Willmar today. Klobuchar spoke at the annual Women's Expo, hosted by the West Central Tribune and Affiliated Community Medical Centers.
Chad Lewis, author of the newly published "Minnesota Road Guide to Gangster Hot Spots," relied on contemporary news coverage to reconstruct many of the details of the robberies, kidnappings, crime sprees and shoot-outs that fill the book. The famous Bank of Willmar robbery, on July 15, 1930, was chronicled in detail in the Willmar Tribune. "Bank of Willmar Robbed of $70,000" the headline blared.
The morning of July 15, 1930, was warm, sunny and tranquil -- until it erupted in a storm of bullets as a gang of five armed men robbed the Bank of Willmar, making off with thousands of dollars in cash and bonds.
WILLMAR -- The audience sat on folding chairs in the WEAC rehearsal hall Monday night as they watched a 24-minute rough cut of Luis Argueta's film in progress, a documentary about the 2008 immigration raid on a meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. Near the end of an open discussion afterwards with the filmmaker, a woman in the audience got to the point. Now that we've seen the film, what should we do?
WILLMAR -- There used to be a time when Rice Memorial Hospital had 60 or more patients occupying beds on a daily basis. Then the number slid to 50, then to 40. Inpatient volume has dropped sharply again in the past couple of months, and hospital officials are beginning to suspect this might be permanent. Patient admissions are 10 to 12 percent lower than they were a year ago, said Bill Fenske, the hospital's chief financial officer. "For much of September we were seeing a census in the 20s," he said. The big question, Fe-nske said, is this: "Are we at the bottom yet?" Patient volumes and
WILLMAR -- If you show up in Rice Memorial Hospital's emergency room with symptoms of influenza, be prepared to put on a mask. It's one of the steps the hospital is taking to try to limit the growing spread of influenza. The number of people arriving in the emergency room with influenza-like illnesses has been on the rise, said Kathy Hunt, director of critical care services at Rice. "I'm thinking we're gearing up for the real thing," she said.
WILLMAR -- More women are seeking to delay pregnancy or have fewer children because of the economic impact of the recession. Many of them also report being worse off financially than they were a year ago, and there's a small percent who are sometimes skipping birth control because of the cost. The newly released report by the Guttmacher Institute provides a snapshot of how the recession is affecting women's health decisions -- findings that are echoed in what Planned Parenthood has been observing at its clinics in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. "What we're seeing is something ver