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WILLMAR — Expect a detour and lots of road construction activity this summer on the west edge of Willmar. Kandiyohi County Public Works is planning construction of a new roundabout, necessitating a traffic reroute while the work is underway. Three additional projects — two associated with the railroad bypass scheduled to start this year plus routine resurfacing on 19th Avenue Southwest — are on the schedule for the surrounding area as well, along with more than a dozen other road projects scattered across Kandiyohi County.
WILLMAR — It was 1977. Linda Hustoft Hinz and Nancy Kamholz French were seniors at Willmar High School and on the cheerleading squad together when Hinz decided to make a pact: On Jan. 10, 2036, when they were both 77 years old, they would reunite in Willmar and perform a cheer together. As it turned out, they decided not to wait that long. "I thought we'd be too old," Hinz said.
MONTEVIDEO — As part of an investigation into a series of burglaries involving large amounts of stolen property, the Montevideo Police Department is reaching out to the public for help in identifying the victims. The burglaries all took place in recent weeks in Montevideo and surrounding areas. At least two homes were broken into and numerous items taken, including Christmas presents, according to Montevideo Police. There also were several thefts from vehicles and from garages.
WILLMAR — Tuesday was a day of firsts for the Kandiyohi County Board: first meeting of the new year, first day in office for a new county sheriff and new county commissioner, and first day of a new term for recently re-elected officials. There was a full house in the boardroom Tuesday morning as the oath of office was administered to the four incoming officials. Two are brand new: Eric Holien, the Kandiyohi County Sheriff; and George "Corky" Berg, who represents the First District on the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. Both were elected in November.
WILLMAR — In a move that further integrates the delivery of local health care, Carris Health and Family Practice Medical Center announced Tuesday that they have entered into a professional services agreement. Patients will continue to see their Family Practice Medical Center physicians and advanced practice professionals in the same clinic location at Lakeland Health Center in Willmar, the two organizations said in a joint statement. They said patients should not notice any changes to their care or services.
WILLMAR — There's a saying that law enforcement is a calling rather than a job, and Dan Hartog felt the call when he was still a teenager. "It's something I always wanted to do," he said. Fast-forward 38 years to this week as Hartog retires from a career that lasted almost four decades, including the past 16 years as Kandiyohi County Sheriff. He has only good things to say about his time in law enforcement and four terms as sheriff.
REDWOOD FALLS — Final agreements have been signed to sell Redwood Area Hospital to Carris Health as of Jan. 1. The completion of the paperwork by the city of Redwood Falls, Carris Health and CentraCare Health has been a year in the making. "We are stronger together as Carris Health — Redwood," Bryan Lydick, Carris Health — Redwood administrator, said in a news release. "We are excited to begin 2019 providing our community with the best care possible as a stronger network of care delivery."
WILLMAR — Public education will be a key focus next summer in Kandiyohi County's ongoing battle against the spread of aquatic invasive species. It's unlikely to deliver immediate dramatic results but as with similar campaigns to reduce tobacco use, the payoff will be long-term, said Larry Kleindl, Kandiyohi County administrator. "Public education, we believe, is the mainstream of prevention. ... We know that it takes several years and a lot of time to educate the public on the need for them to take an active role," he said.
WILLMAR — Jim Butterfield said farewell last week as he ends his eight-year tenure on the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. "I've enjoyed the time that I've been County Commissioner," he said. Butterfield's last County Board meeting was Dec. 18. He is retiring after serving two terms on the board representing the First District, which covers the west half of the city of Willmar.
WILLMAR — After months of discussion and negotiation, key agreements between Kandiyohi County and the partners involved in the multimillion-dollar railroad bypass project west of Willmar were signed last week. The action Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners is one of the steps needed to pave the way for construction to start next year on the $50 million project. Similar action was taken Dec. 17 by the Willmar City Council.