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WILLMAR —As individuals and businesses donate in the spirit of the season, the Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties at the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar is hoping the community doesn't forget the animals, especially this year as the shelter is facing financial hardships due to unexpected costs. "We provide much needed services," said Bobbie Bauman, director of shelter operations.
The Holiday Express 18-Wheeler made a stop in Lake Lillian Thursday evening. The vehicle's tour continues as follows: FRIDAY * The Holiday Express 18-Wheeler presented by the Kandiyohi Men's Club and the Atwater Chamber will make four stops tonight. The schedule is 5:30 p.m. at the Mug Shot parking lot in Cosmos, 7 p.m. in front of Kinsella Chiropractic in Litchfield, 7:45 p.m. at the Grove City Fire Hall and 8:15 p.m. at the Atwater Community Center. SATURDAY
WILLMAR — Christmas for the Berger family of Atwater got a little bit brighter, thanks to the amazing generosity of family, friends and many others from the Kandiyohi County community. "It is overwhelming, it is humbling," said Trevor Berger, a Navy veteran and the Atwater police chief.
WILLMAR — For the 20th year the Willmar Slumberland is donating dozens of beds to families in need, many of them who don't own a bed at all. Volunteers and representatives from several non-profits in Willmar gathered at the furniture store for breakfast Tuesday morning before loading up trucks and trailers with dozens of beds as part of Slumberland's Home for the Holidays program.
WILLMAR — A Willmar man has been charged with misdemeanor fifth-degree assault and gross misdemeanor obstructing the legal process after having to be stunned twice by Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputies on following an incident Nov. 30 between him and another individual. Sean Timothy O'Grady, 53, a physician at Rice Memorial Hospital, was also charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. His first court appearance was Dec. 3 and he was released with conditions, which include not having any contact with the alleged victim. His next court date is Dec. 12.
WILLMAR — In the three decades Willmar Planning and Development Services director Bruce Peterson has worked for the city, he has gained knowledge and experience in economic development and real estate and in putting together development deals for commercial and industrial projects. "I have taken it upon myself to learn a little bit about a lot of things. I think I have brought value to the table because of that," Peterson said. The Willmar City Council is now tasked with finding Peterson's replacement as his retirement looms: His last day will be Jan. 31.
PAYNESVILLE — According to multiple media reports, Shopko has announced the closing of 39 stores in 14 states, including the Shopko Hometown in Paynesville. The only other Minnesota store on the closing list is located in Mahnomen. Liquidation sales at the closing stores will begin on Friday with stores closing by the end of February, reports said. The company has confirmed the closing in several media reports, saying the decision was based off of profitability, sales trends and growth potential. Each of the stores employs approximately 10 to 25 employees.
WILLMAR — Willmar Municipal Utilities must re-evaluate its plans for an upgrade to the Northeast Water Treatment Plant following some sticker shock. The project, which was estimated to cost about $8.5 million, now looks it could cost around $14 million. "We have taken a step back," said Joel Braegelman, water and heating supervisor. Braegelman and General Manager John Harren gave the Municipal Utilities Commission an update on the water treatment plant at the Nov. 26 meeting.
WILLMAR — The need for high-quality, affordable child care in Kandiyohi County is an issue gaining a lot of attention. According to a potential need analysis from First Children's Finance, there is a shortage of at least 776 child care slots across the county.
WILLMAR — The Willmar City Council unanimously approved the 2019 tax levy and budget Monday. The vote followed the annual truth-in-taxation hearing during the City Council meeting. There was no public comment during the hearing. The tax levy was set at $5.25 million, a $275,755 increase over the 2018 figure, about a 5 percent increase on the dollar amount.