Kelly Boldan has been the editor of the West Central Tribune of Willmar, since joining the newspaper in October 2001. He has previously worked as the editor at the Bemidji Pioneer, also part of Forum Communications Co., and other daily newspapers, online Web sites, and weekly agriculture newspapers in Wisconsin, Texas and Minnesota. You can follow via Twitter at @KellyBoldanWCT or read about the Tribune's newsroom blog at: insidescoop.areavoices.com or the Tribune's blog at: westcentraltribune.areavoices.com.
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Willmar Public and Community Christian schools are closed today. Many schools across west central Minnesota are running two hours late or are now closing.
WILLMAR - Two state highways in west central Minnesota have been reopened earlier this morning. State Highway 23 from Willmar to Granite Falls and Highway 212 from Granite Falls to Olivia were reopened about 6:45 a.m. today. The Minnesota Department of Transporation and the Minnesota State Patrol are working open the remaining closed highways in west central Minnesota. Those roads remain closed due to blowing snow, freezing temperatures and stall vehicles.
WILLMAR – A wind chill advisory has been issued for much of Minnesota through this afternoon by the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. A dangerously cold wind chill value will persist across all of west central Minnesota this morning as a winter storm approaches for late Thursday and Friday. The blizzard conditions across the region have diminished overnight. Blowing and drifting snow with occasional visibility reductions are still possible today across the region. The wind chill values will improve this afternoon.
Update 3 p.m. WILLMAR - Minnesota Highway 23 is now open between Raymond and Clara City following to a jack-kniffed semi-trailer accidentMonday morning that blocked the entire highway. Law enforcement has completed the clearing of the jack-knifed semi. Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplows have now opened Highway 23 between Clara City and Raymond. Motorists are urged to slow down and use caution due to blowing and drifting snow. Much of west central Minnesota remains under a blizzard warning until midnight.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation advises no travel in parts of west central Minnesota due to heavy snow, blowing snow and very poor visibility. Increasing winds will likely cause conditions to continue to deteriorate through today into Monday. This no travel advisory includes Becker, Big Stone, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Mahnomen, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties.
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Department is advising no travel due to the rapidly deteriorating driving conditions in Kandiyohi County. Law enforcement said state highways and county road conditions are difficult as of 10 a.m. this morning and are expected to deteriorate further as this winter storm proceeds through west central Minnesota. The National Weather Service has placed Kandiyohi County and much of west central Minnesota in a winter storm warning through this evening and a blizzard warning from 9 p.m. tonight through 6 p.m. Monday.
A winter storm has started this morning across west central Minnesota. This storm is expected to become a blizzard across western Minnesota tonight and continue into Monday. A winter storm warning has been issued and remains in effect through Sunday evening. A blizzard warning is in effect for west central Minnesota through the Minnesota River Valley from 9 p.m. tonight through 6 p.m. Monday. This significant storm has now started to impact the upper Mississippi Valley. Snow started falling in Willmar about 8 a.m. today.
Morning Update for Feb. 6: Here are some story highlights this morning from Wctrib.com :
MILAN – Emergency responders and law enforcement officers are on the scene of a fatal accident north of Milan. Little information is available at this time, but according to the State Patrol the accident was reported shortly before 7 a.m. today on state Highway 7 north of Milan in Chippewa County.
Gov. Mark Dayton announced his budget proposal Tuesday which includes some sweeping changes in Minnesota’s tax system. His budget proposal unveiled a $37.9 biennial budget in which is he seeks to balance the $1.1 billion budget, invest in education and fund the biggest tax reform effort since the early 1970s. Among his key points of his budget are: