David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 1 year 8 months
WILLMAR -- Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard says the Willmar Public Schools had about 360 students who were absent Friday, but he said that number is less than the number absent earlier in the week and he said there is no major flu outbreak in the school district. An outbreak is defined as either absenteeism of 5 percent of more or the flu-derived absence of three or more children from the same classroom. In an interview Friday afternoon, Kjergaard said he doesn't know if all absent students had the flu or if they were absent for other reasons. "Our attendance was better today than it was ear
WILLMAR -- Motorists will notice a slight change in the traffic pattern at the intersection of 19th Avenue and First Street South in Willmar. The change will allow two through-lanes of eastbound traffic and two through-lanes of westbound traffic to travel through the intersection. The change went into effect Thursday. Up until that time, through-traffic was limited to one eastbound lane and one westbound lane.
WILLMAR -- Cities have used Web sites for a number of years to provide information to residents, but more cities are tapping into the new social media Twitter and Facebook to communicate with citizens. "We've just started seeing the growth from cities using it this past year to 18 months,'' says Stephanie Wallingford, marketing manager for the League of Minnesota Cities. Wallingford discussed the opportunities and challenges of using social media with about 70 elected and appointed officials from more than 30 cities attending a League of Minnesota Cities regional meeting Thursday afternoon a
WILLMAR -- Paul Kidrowski says he will move forward with repairing the fire-damaged John's Supper Club building that he and his wife Trudy own in downtown Willmar. Kidrowski said he would like to have the blessing of the city behind him. "We look forward to working with the city of Willmar and its staff,'' Kidrowski said in an interview Wednesday. The City Council this week gave the Kidrowskis 45 days to provide new structural and architectural drawings rather than order the building at Third Street and Benson Avenue Southwest be demolished, and the city has ordered all drawings be prepared
WILLMAR -- Mayor Les Heitke is wondering: Where's the $15 million in federal money authorized but not appropriated for Willmar's $86 million wastewater treatment project? "When the earmark was in place for the authorization for the wastewater treatment project, we felt that the authorization would eventually lead to an appropriation, although it would be scattered over probably many years and many segments of money, but eventually it would get to that total amount that had been authorized,'' Heitke told congressional lobbyist David Turch during Monday's night City Council meeting. "Now, it s
Early Childhood Initiative, SW Initiative develop kids book about rural firefighters WILLMAR -- More than 4 out of 5 fire departments use on-call and volunteer firefighters rather than full-time career employees and protect half of the population of the United States. A new book, "Firefighters: On call for their community,'' published by the Willmar Early Childhood Initiative and the Southwest Initiative Foundation, colorfully and factually tells the story about a community's on-call firefighters, and provides fire safety information for children and families. The book will be given to fami
WILLMAR -- The City Council's Finance Committee is recommending the council approve $11,287 for repairs at the Willmar Public Library. The repairs were requested by Kandiyohi County. The county pays the library employees and handles janitorial duties.
WILLMAR -- A crew from Electrical Maintenance Service of Gary, S.D., was in Willmar on Monday to investigate a problem that cropped up Friday in the power unit atop one of the Municipal Utilities' two wind turbines, the Municipal Utilities Commission was informed Monday. Commission members asked why the turbine was not operating. Wes Hompe, utilities' staff electrical engineer, said a sensor in the nacelle (the power unit on top of the tower) indicated the north turbine had a low-oil problem in the gear boxes and the hydraulic system. The two turbines were built this year in a nearly $10 mi
WILLMAR -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending employers relax their requirement for a doctor's note to validate illness for employees who were out sick with the flu. "This would be very helpful for busy clinics and health care providers and would allow health care providers to have more time to care for those who are sick,'' says Chery Johnson with Kandiyohi County Public Health. The recommendation is included in the CDC's new "Guidance for Businesses and Employers To Plan and Respond to the 2009-2010 Influenza Season.'' The CDC recommendation is timely because A
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members told the Charter Commission on Wednesday that they support City Charter provisions that give the council overriding veto authority over the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission and the Rice Memorial Hospital Board. "It's important to keep it,'' said council member Denis Anderson. Anderson and other council members invited to express their views on possible changes to the charter spoke in favor of retaining the veto authority. Charter Commission member Audrey Nelsen said the request to amend the charter and remove the council's authority was made by