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WILLMAR — Work will start soon on a long awaited project for Lake Wakanda to improve the diversity of the lake's ecosystem and natural habitat. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners awarded a contract Tuesday to Lambert Construction of St. Cloud for $757,957. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the year, according to Mel Odens, Kandiyohi County Public Works director. The project consists of two water control structures with fish barriers and two concrete box culverts with fish barriers.
WILLMAR — When the Kandiyohi County License Bureau extended its hours two years ago to include two evenings a week, the idea was to make it more convenient for the public to renew a driver's license or obtain vehicle license tabs. But customer volume was consistently low, so the evening hours will be canceled effective June 1. "Unfortunately it hasn't caught on," said Deb Mickle, deputy registrar. Her recommendation to discontinue the evening hours was approved Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners.
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County is starting its budget process for 2020 extra-early. Initial budget packets are being distributed this coming week to department heads — three weeks ahead of the usual schedule for the annual budget timeline. The earlier start is meant to allow more time for discussion and review, especially for department heads who are new to the process.
WILLMAR — The pain of standing in line at the Kandiyohi County License Bureau will be eased somewhat with the creation this summer of a waiting area where customers can sit down until it's their turn at the counter. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners gave the go-ahead Tuesday to the project at the County Office Building in downtown Willmar. Construction will start within the next month.
WILLMAR - One of three teenage suspects in an alleged gang rape made his first appearance Friday in adult court. Sergio Jesus Moreno-Leiva, 19, of Willmar, is charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. At a juvenile court hearing this past month, he was ordered to stand trial as an adult.
WILLMAR — The historic Sperry House possesses Victorian character and deep ties to Willmar's past. If you believe the paranormal investigators who spent a creepy night at the house last year, it even has its own ghost. What it doesn't have is a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the official state and national roster of cultural resources worthy of preservation. The Kandiyohi County Historical Society hopes to change this with a nomination that will be submitted soon to the National Register.
WILLMAR — Prairie Lakes Youth Programs has set its sights on obtaining state bond money for a gym and classroom expansion. The 2020 legislative session and bonding bill are a year away but Prairie Lakes is already gearing up to bring its funding request to the Legislature. The project will provide much needed gymnasium space and help the facility improve its services, said Darin Balken, executive director.
WILLMAR — It was late afternoon and the line at the Kandiyohi County License Bureau stretched past the counter and around the corner. The scene has been typical ever since the July 2017 launch of the problem-plagued MNLARS computer system for motor vehicle licensing and registration. Some of the woes that accompanied the startup are easing, said Deb Mickle, deputy registrar for Kandiyohi County. "I would say it's gotten better. Part of it is just learning a new system," she said.
WILLMAR — For more than a year, teams at Carris Health have been toiling to build and implement an electronic records system that integrates patient information across settings, from the emergency room at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar to the doctor's office at the Carris Health clinic in Redwood Falls. Their work is mostly happening behind the scenes. But it's about to become visible to the public when the new system, known as Epic, goes live May 1 at Carris clinics in Willmar, Litchfield, Redwood Falls and New London.
WILLMAR — For those living with a chronic condition, wellness doesn't happen only in the doctor's office; it's also tied to their everyday decisions and activities. Arming these individuals with the tools and confidence to self-manage their health is the goal of a new educational series in Willmar that starts this month. Classes on living well with chronic health conditions will be held April 16 through May 21 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Bethesda.