West Central Tribune Minute: Avera Granite Falls transferring delivery services to Marshall

Follow this west central Minnesota news and weather podcast on Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

West Central Tribune Minute logo
We are part of The Trust Project.

Here’s a look at the top headlines from around west central Minnesota for Oct. 20, 2022.

Tom Kooiman, Granite Falls Health CEO
Tom Kooiman, Granite Falls Health CEO

GRANITE FALLS — A second hospital in west central Minnesota is transferring its labor and delivery services to a regional partner as rural birth rates decline.

Avera Granite Falls is transferring its labor and delivery services 30 miles down the road to Avera Marshall effective Jan. 1, 2023, according to information provided by the CEOs of both locations during a mandated virtual hearing hosted by the Minnesota Department of Health on Oct. 13.

Avera Granite Falls will continue to offer the full range of prenatal and postpartum care, CEO Tom Kooiman emphasized during the hearing. Patients can continue to see their primary care physician, Dr. Rosa Avendano, in Granite Falls for care.


Full story here.

Steve Peppin, Doug Reese make their case to be Willmar's next mayor

League of Women Voters mayor forum 001.jpg
City of Willmar mayoral candidates Steve Peppin, left, and Doug Reese express their views at a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Willmar Area at Willmar Municipal Utilities on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — Both candidates running to be the next mayor of Willmar share more similarities than differences in why they are running to be Willmar’s next leader, their beliefs on the top issues facing the city and their leadership style.

Mayoral candidates Steve Peppin and Doug Reese, both of whom moved to Willmar as young men and fell in love with the city, made their case during a forum Thursday hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Willmar Area on why they will be the best person to lead the city of Willmar for the next four years. Current Mayor Marv Calvin decided not to run for another term.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. For more information on candidates' positions, visit the Voter Guide at

Full story here.

Grove City meat shop participating in Ridgewater's new meat-cutting program

Man in butcher shop cutting up pork
Carlson Meat Shop employee Adam Boreeen processes pork at the shop in Grove City on Oct. 17, 2022. Carlson Meat Shop works with Ridgewater College's meat-cutting program to help students gain hands-on experience on weekends.
Linda Vanderwerf / West Central Tribune

GROVE CITY — The first students in Ridgewater College’s meat-cutting course might already have jobs in the new year.

During a tour Monday of Carlson Meat Shop in Grove City, college officials talked about the broad popularity of the program and the need for it.

Though the program has been promoted only in Minnesota, they have heard from meat processors from around the country, including New Jersey, Florida and Nevada.


Carlson Meat Shop is a partner in the class, allowing students to gain hands-on experience for each class. Students get their practical experience at butcher shops near where they live.

The course includes six online courses plus required hands-on experience. The course will lead to an 18-credit certificate. Graduates will be qualified to work in a butcher shop, work for a meatpacking company or open their own business.

Full story here.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email: or phone 320-235-1150.
What To Read Next
A $200,000 federal grant to the city of Willmar will be used to complete a citywide Safety Action Plan to address safety, accessibility and equity concerns throughout the city’s transportation system.
With the help of state and federal funds, homes and businesses in Lake Elizabeth, East Lake Lillian and Harrison townships in Kandiyohi County could have broadband connections within two years.
News about educational achievements among students from west central Minnesota.
Area funerals scheduled through Feb. 13, 2023