NEW LONDON – A New London family is left homeless this Christmas after their house was damaged in a fire late Saturday night. The fire was reported just before 11 p.m. at 413 Main Street South, located near the New London-Spicer High School. When crews from the New London Fire Department arrived “flames were coming out of the bedroom window,” said Fire Captain Mark Skindelien.
WILLMAR — A Willmar man was injured Wednesday afternoon when the pickup he was driving left the road and crashed into a row of farm equipment that was lined up in front of a Willmar business. The accident was reported at 5:03 p.m. on U.S. Highway 12 and Industrial Drive. According to the State Patrol, Derek Scott Heike, 27, was driving a 2012 Dodge Ram east on Highway 12 when he lost control of the vehicle on a curve and the truck went off the road and struck machinery at Farm-Rite Equipment.
WILLMAR — A 40-year-old man was injured Friday afternoon after attempting to jump a homemade rocket bike off of his house roof in the 800 block of Third Street Southeast. According to a police report, the rocket bike consisted of a pair of skis, a bicycle frame and motorcycle exhaust pipe and was being fueled with Heet, an antifreeze product. The unidentified man fell approximately 13 feet and apparently hit a fence in the yard during the fall.
WILLMAR—A project to bring broadband internet to north-central Kandiyohi County is in trouble. County Administrator Larry Kleindl received notice late Thursday afternoon from Consolidated Telecommunications Co. CEO Kevin Larson that the Brainerd company intends to pull out of the project.
WILLMAR – A plane reportedly owned by a Spicer businessman crashed in a residential neighborhood in Florida Tuesday night, killing both people on board. According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the 2009 single-engine Epic LT plane crashed in heavy fog just before 6 p.m. in a front yard in the Spruce Creek Fly-In community of Port Orange, Florida. The plane narrowly missed two houses. No one on the ground was injured but two people in the plane were killed.
WILLMAR -- Space -- lots of space -- is the first thing Dr. Dale Lauer mentions as a highlight to the new Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory where he and staff have been working for the last month. New equipment and technology are the other highlights to the $8.5 million reconstruction and expansion project at the laboratory, which was a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
WILLMAR -- Rain shut down some activities at the Kandiyohi County Fair Wednesday night, and crews were smoothing out muddy ruts on the Willmar fairgrounds Thursday and trying to drain 3 to 4 feet of water from the grandstand. Nearly the entire racetrack in the grandstand was covered with water. According to County Fair Board President Darrell Fostervold, water was being pumped into a settling pond and then into Willmar Lake, which borders the fairgrounds.
NEW LONDON -- A long row of manilla envelopes lined a table in the New London-Spicer cafeteria Tuesday afternoon as bids were opened on 37 different contracts for the school district’s $20.6 million construction project. In a November referendum, district voters approved building a 650-seat performing arts auditorium and two-court gym at the high school/middle school and a new cafeteria/multi-use learning space and two new classrooms at the elementary school.
BENSON -- A proposal by the Swift County-Benson Hospital to build a 75-unit senior housing facility attached to the hospital, with potential financial backing from the county and city, will be debated by all three entities during a joint meeting next week. Over the last couple months, the project has been discussed at separate meetings of the Swift County Board, the Benson City Council and the hospital’s board of directors.
GRANITE FALLS -- After major storms hit western Minnesota on Saturday, the cities of Granite Falls and Montevideo were tasked with cleaning up the damage. By all accounts, the cleanup has gone well. City officials said widespread power outages are almost completely remedied, and cleanup of trees and branches is well underway.