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WILLMAR — For its 60th birthday, Woodland Centers is doing something different for a community mental health center. It's throwing an outdoor party and inviting the public to come. Besides the usual food and games, there will be an opportunity to meet the staff, hear about Woodland Centers and the services it provides, and maybe even learn a few facts about mental health. It's the first time the agency has held an event like this, and employees are "very excited" about it, said Lori Morton, chief operating officer.
WILLMAR - George “Corky” Berg and Dale L. Anderson won the primary contest Tuesday for the District 1 seat on the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners, ensuring them a place on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Final unofficial totals showed Berg as the clear front-runner with 592 votes, or 44.5 percent of the total. Anderson received 425 votes and Iverson finished last with 311.
WILLMAR — Christina Jurgenson, infection preventionist at Rice Care Center and Therapy Suites, lives by the spreadsheet. On almost a daily basis, she collects and analyzes everything infection-related, from influenza rates to antibiotic use. And the numbers, she's proud to report, are trending in the right direction. Unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions are down 40 percent this past year. The overall infection rate, down 27 percent. "We're doing good things," Jurgenson said. "We're doing something right."
WILLMAR — Four candidates seeking to become Kandiyohi County's next sheriff outlined their vision for the future Thursday night at a forum sponsored by the Willmar Area League of Women Voters. It was standing room only as the candidates talked about their priorities and responded to questions ranging from staffing at the jail to illegal immigration.
WILLMAR — Leased vehicles will become the future for the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, a move expected to cut down on maintenance costs and save money overall for the department. The Kandiyohi County Board voted Tuesday to enter into a lease program with Enterprise Holdings. For now, the program will be confined to the Sheriff's Office but could be expanded to the rest of the county fleet, depending on how the first few years go, said Larry Kleindl, county administrator. "We want to take this cautiously," he said.
WILLMAR — Candidates for the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners fielded questions at a forum Thursday night, sharing their views on everything from transportation funding to zebra mussels. The one-hour forum, hosted by the Willmar Area League of Women Voters, was a chance for voters to acquaint themselves with the candidates before heading to the polls Aug. 14 for the primary election.
WILLMAR — Two suspects appeared in court Friday on charges stemming from a late-night altercation Wednesday at a Willmar apartment building. Brady Allan Hutchinson, 24, of Willmar, is charged with two felony counts of first-degree burglary, two gross misdemeanor counts of fifth-degree assault, and fleeing a peace officer and obstructing the legal process, both misdemeanors. Justin Theodore Brainard, 23, of Lake Lillian, is charged with fleeing a peace officer, a misdemeanor.
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County will move forward with the development of a master plan for the county park system. The final product will help shape the long-term future direction of one of Kandiyohi County's major assets, not only for tourism but for overall quality of life as well. "The impact we get is going to set the course for the next 20 to 30 years," said Commissioner Steve Ahmann.
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County is joining PrimeWest Health, a move that in effect will allow the county to directly operate the state's low-income health programs for its poorest and most vulnerable residents. The decision was made unanimously Tuesday by the County Board of Commissioners.
WILLMAR — In Lake Lillian, preparation for an election used to start months ahead of time. Election judges had to be recruited and trained. Voting equipment had to be tested. All of that is changing this year as the city joins the growing ranks of Minnesota voting precincts opting to conduct elections entirely by mail. Voters will face a learning curve as they get used to the new process, said John Douville, clerk-treasurer for the city of Lake Lillian. But in the long run, it will be more efficient for the city and more convenient for voters, he said.