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WILLMAR — When the founders of Vinje Lutheran Church organized as a congregation Sept. 17, 1867, the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and the Civil War were still vivid national memories. Minnesota had been a state for less than 10 years. Willmar hadn't yet been incorporated as a village, let alone a city. Under the theme of "Following Faithful Footsteps," Vinje celebrates its 150th anniversary Sunday. The milestone makes it one of the longest-standing Lutheran congregations in Kandiyohi County.
Proposed details of the Affiliated Community Medical Centers and Rice Memorial Hospital agreement with CentraCare Health: • ACMC and Rice will become part of a new nonprofit entity that will function as a subsidiary of CentraCare Health. The entity includes the entire Rice organization, all ACMC locations and the Willmar Medical Services joint venture between Rice and ACMC.
WILLMAR — Construction will start soon on the long-awaited replacement of a bridge in southeastern Kandiyohi County. A contract was awarded this week to Quam Construction of Willmar for the project on Kandiyohi County Road 134 north of Lake Lillian. Quam's bid of $235,720.25 was the lowest one submitted and fell 2.4 percent below initial estimates. The deteriorating bridge has been on the county's priority list for replacement for some years now. Because of its condition, it is currently restricted to lower-weight vehicles.
For more information To schedule a dementia awareness training, contact Jody Loseth, lead educator for the West Central Dementia Awareness Network, at 320-444-8027 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Four types of curriculum are available: "Know the 10 Signs," Dementia basics, Dementia Friendly @ Work and Dementia Friends. The West Central Dementia Awareness Network also will host a monthly series of education sessions from September through December at the Willmar Public Library.
WILLMAR — Staff at the Willmar Public Library are used to working with all types of customers, but when an opportunity arose this past year to offer training about dementia, library director John Baken said yes. "We do have a lot of elderly patrons and I thought that the staff would certainly benefit," he said. It proved to be a good investment. Besides learning more about the disease itself, it helped promote understanding, Baken said. "It enabled the staff to probably be a little more patient," he said. "It was really worthwhile."
WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board adopted a preliminary net property tax levy Tuesday of $32,308,783 for next year — a 1.48 percent increase over this year's levy. The board's action completes a key step in the development of the annual budget, a process that Larry Kleindl, county administrator, reminded the commissioners is always ongoing. "The budget process never ends," he said Tuesday.
WILLMAR — During its first year of operation, the youth and adult mobile crisis service at Woodland Centers averaged a call every couple of days. In more than nine out of 10 cases, a team arrived within two hours or less, and the majority of clients were able to remain in their current setting after the initial visit. Being able to intervene quickly, at any time of the day or night, has helped people receive mental health services sooner and avoid hospitalization, say directors of the 1-year-old program.
WILLMAR — Public health officials are reminding people to practice good hand-washing and avoid swimming in lakes or pools if they have diarrhea. Renville County reported an uptick earlier this month in cryptosporidium infections. At least two daycares were seeing cases of the disease, which is caused by a parasite and is often waterborne. It's one of the most common illnesses associated with recreational water use. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the state had 67 outbreaks of cryptosporidium from 2007 to 2016.
WILLMAR — The proposed Kandiyohi County budget for 2018 calls for $70.8 million in spending and a $34.2 million property tax levy. The County Commissioners had their first formal look Tuesday at next year's budget proposal. The net property tax levy is projected to go up by 1.68 percent in 2018. That's the smallest increase since 2014 and below the county's five-year average of 2.4 percent. Overall spending is projected to go down slightly.
MADISON — A Madison woman faces a charge of felony theft for allegedly stealing a package of narcotics during an emergency room visit five months ago at Madison Healthcare Services. Jeannie Marie Jensen, 60, made a first appearance Monday in Lac qui Parle County District Court. The disappearance of the drugs was apparently first noticed April 3 when a home health nurse was looking for them, could not find them and reported it to a supervisor. The Lac qui Parle County Sheriff's Office then was notified and launched an investigation.