News

As thousands of trucker positions remain vacant, Ridgewater to offer more CDL training opportunities

October 30, 2019

As thousands of trucker positions remain vacant, Ridgewater to offer more CDL training opportunities
Semitractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles keep the economy in west central Minnesota moving, transporting everything from building materials and groceries to corn and livestock. However, those trucks can’t drive themselves, leading to a huge need for drivers with Class A and B commercial driver’s licenses. “It is really the backbone of the economy out here,” said Jason Duininck, vice president of business development for Duininck Inc. As a construction company, Duininck

Wet weather slows weekly Willmar Wye progress

October 28, 2019

Wet weather slows weekly Willmar Wye progress
WILLMAR—For a few days last week a large crane towered over state Highway 40, near County State Aid Highway 55, as a new box culvert was installed at the Hawk Creek crossing. The installation is part of the Willmar Wye Rail Connector and Industrial Access project. Despite the rains, the Hoffman Team, the contractor for the Willmar Wye project, continued pushing forward with construction on the road portion of the rail bypass project. The entire project will include a new section to U.S. Highway

Program builds connections between the very old and the very young

October 26, 2019

Program builds connections between the very old and the very young
WILLMAR—Dorothy Benson wore a big smile as she rolled her wheelchair out of the community room at the Carris Health Rice Care Center. “That was a lot of fun,” she beamed. She and a handful of other elderly residents had just spent the morning with a roomful of preschoolers from Loving Arms Childcare, pretending they were at a Renaissance fair and enjoying snacks and music. The intergenerational program between the Rice Care Center and the day care center brings together the very old

Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar EDC seeks investors for redevelopment projects in Willmar Opportunity Zone

October 16, 2019

Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar EDC seeks investors for redevelopment projects in Willmar Opportunity Zone
Kandiyohi County’s only Opportunity Zone, located around downtown Willmar, provides potential investors with tax breaks while funding development or redevelopment of the neighborhood.   The goal of the Opportunity Zone is development or redevelopment, and the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission has contracted with Golden Shovel Agency to attract investors. When former Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton released his list of the 128 census tracts chosen to

Open house gives overview of Kandiyohi County highway changes in wye corridor

October 16, 2019

Open house gives overview of Kandiyohi County highway changes in wye corridor
An open house hosted Wednesday by Kandiyohi County Public Works gave the public a chance to ask questions and learn more about the county’s plans for realigning its highway network at the south end of the railroad bypass corridor.   Jeremy Pfeifer, an engineer with Kandiyohi County Public Works, explains pending changes in the Kandiyohi County highway network at the south end of the railroad bypass corridor west of Willmar. Maps, drawings and aerial footage shot from a drone were on

Bethesda breaks ground for senior living facility in New London

October 10, 2019

Bethesda breaks ground for senior living facility in New London
NEW LONDON — Ground was broken Wednesday for a $17.5 million senior living complex in New London. Called Bethesda North Pointe, the campus will be located on 11 acres of land on the east side of state Highway 23 near the Carris Health clinic. It will include 75 apartments — for independent living and various stages of assisted living and memory care — along with a chapel, fitness center and unique dining options. It’s expected to be open by the spring of 2021 and will employ about 60

Willmar Wye is starting to take shape

October 8, 2019

Willmar Wye is starting to take shape
The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued a project update this week on the construction of the Willmar Wye Rail Connector and Industrial Park Access Project. The project to create a railroad bypass west of Willmar includes the realignment of U.S. Highway 12, reconstruction of state Highway 40, and new bridges that will carry motor vehicle traffic over the top of the rail line to be constructed in 2021-22. Dirt work started in July, including the grading of a portion of the new U.S. Highway

New quilt shop opens in New London

September 26, 2019

New quilt shop opens in New London
NEW LONDON–Word that a new quilt shop has opened in the region travels like wildfire among avid quilters, and that’s exactly what Linda Lagergren was hoping for after she launched her new business, Paisley Threads, last month in New London. The retired Lutheran minister has been quilting, crocheting and knitting for 40 years and had always wanted to own and operate her own quilt shop. And that’s what she’s doing. Located at 14 Main Street South, Paisley Threads features a variety of solid

Olness breaks ground on new West Central Dental clinic in Willmar

September 25, 2019

Olness breaks ground on new West Central Dental clinic in Willmar
WILLMAR — Ground has been broken on a new dental clinic in Willmar. The new clinic, located on Willmar Avenue Southeast, will be the new home of Dr. Ross Olness of West Central Dental. Terwisscha Construction is building the 5,500-square-foot dental clinic and estimates the facility opening in spring 2020. The clinic will feature 12 operatories and will provide Olness and his associate nearly three times the space at the current Olness Family Dental location in the Skylark Center. The lobby

Patina Marquet aims to bring community together at Willmar’s Kandi Mall

September 25, 2019

Patina Marquet aims to bring community together at Willmar’s Kandi Mall
Patina Marquet is an occasional gift and furniture consignment store in Willmar’s Kandi Mall featuring decor, clothing, jewelry and more. The store also offers workshops and space for special events, and owners Tanya and Terry Smith also organize seasonal markets throughout the mall. WILLMAR—The owners of Patina Marquet, Tanya and Terry Smith, want their store to be more than just another store. They want it to be a community gathering place, a place where people can not only find unique