- Member for
- 6 years 2 weeks
WILLMAR — With days to go before a Dec. 15 deadline, enrollment on the MNsure health insurance exchange is proceeding with few or no issues. "We are really having a smooth open enrollment," said Nate Clark, MNsure chief executive. As of Wednesday, 104,000 Minnesotans had signed up for individual health insurance coverage, a number Clark said was "well ahead of where we were at this time last year."
WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board voted Wednesday to formally adopt a $78.1 million budget and $33.8 million net property tax levy for 2019. The board's action was the final step in a process that began back in June with county department heads and the county administrator. Along the way, the budget went through multiple drafts and three public meetings. The most recent public forum, the county's annual Truth in Taxation hearing, was held last week to give taxpayers a final chance to comment on the budget and tax levy; it generated no public comment.
WILLMAR — From the control room in the heart of the Kandiyohi County Jail, correctional officer Alii Holt has a video's-eye view of of the facility: corridors, cell blocks and the outside perimeter. An array of screens allows Holt and the rest of the jail staff to monitor activity throughout the building. They can track who's entering and leaving, they can zoom in if they spot the beginnings of an altercation and send officers to respond.
REDWOOD FALLS — A parcel of land on the east side of Redwood Falls has been selected as the site of a new health campus for Redwood Area Hospital, Carris Health and CentraCare Health. It was announced Monday that a purchase agreement has been signed by all involved parties for 35 acres on Redwood County Road 24, east of St. John School. The agreement includes an option to buy additional acres in the future, allowing for future growth.
WILLMAR — Bail was reduced Friday for a woman charged as an accomplice in the stabbing death of a 24-year-old Willmar man. Lori Jean Harris Gafkjen, 51, of Brooten, can be released on $100,000 unconditionally or $50,000 with conditions that include electronic home monitoring. A motion to lower the bail amount was granted during an appearance Friday morning before Judge Dwayne Knutsen in Kandiyohi County District Court. Gafkjen had been held on $500,000 bail at the Renville County Jail since her first court appearance Nov. 8.
Dixie Carter is a 6-year-old Lab/greyhound mix. She is super energetic for her age. This sweet, loving snugglebug likes to play with all sorts of toys. She knows the commands "sit" and "shake" and loves to look out the window. She does well with other dogs, kids, and with some cats. Stop in and meet Dixie and the many other adoptable pets at the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter, 250 28th St. S.W., Willmar. Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County will deliver a strong nudge this coming year to get the public to make reservations online for campsites at its county parks. When reservations open Jan. 14 for the 2019 camping season, the first two weeks will be set aside for those who register and pay online. Phone reservations won't open until Jan. 29. And the message to make reservations online and pay with a credit card will be repeated often throughout the season.
WILLMAR - A suspect in the stabbing death last month of a 24-year-old Willmar man deferred entering a plea during a brief initial appearance Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court. Caleb Aaron Blue, 35, faces a second-degree murder charge in connection with the death of David Medellin Jr. The victim's body was found Oct. 31 in a muddy farm field east of Willmar. Blue, also known as Caleb Aaron Jorgenson, will next appear in court Jan. 31 for an omnibus hearing.
WILLMAR — The introduction of MNLARS, Real ID and enhanced driver's licenses has created a whole new set of issues at the Kandiyohi County Office Building: longer waits for customers, longer lines and more congestion in the waiting area. County staff have started looking at a redesign they hope will at least somewhat ease the pain for the public. A preliminary plan is being developed that calls for closing off an open stairwell facing the License Bureau and turning it into a waiting area that includes seating.
WILLMAR - Landowners along public ditches in Kandiyohi County still aren't 100 percent in compliance with Minnesota's new buffer law. But with wet weather creating headaches for getting out into the field, the county is offering landowners a break beyond the original deadline of Nov. 1. Landowners will have extra time to comply without facing the possibility of a corrective action notice - as long as they communicate with the county's drainage authority by Dec. 31.