News

Rezoning in Willmar Industrial Park could bring increased day care spots

November 12, 2018

Rezoning in Willmar Industrial Park could bring increased day care spots
WILLMAR — The Willmar Planning Commission and Willmar City Council have paved the way for a possible commercial day care center to open in the Willmar Industrial Park. “This has really developed into an issue. Daycare, which is the proposed use of the Peart property, has really grown in interest in this community. Everybody knows there is a large gap in our ability to provide for day care services,” said Willmar Planning and Development Services Director Bruce Peterson, at

RockStep continues to envision a successful future for Kandi Mall

November 9, 2018

RockStep continues to envision a successful future for Kandi Mall
WILLMAR—While he wasn’t able to give any specifics about possible new stores opening up in Willmar’s Kandi Mall, Andy Weiner, president of RockStep Capital, the owner of the shopping center, did say there has been movement. This is especially true for the empty Kmart portion of the mall, which has stood vacant since 2012. “We have some major national tenants for the Kmart,” Weiner said. “One which could open next year.” What Weiner would say of the two retailers

Honoring the legacy of Bill Graves: Centerpiece wall of unique Domino’s store in Willmar tells his story

November 9, 2018

Honoring the legacy of Bill Graves: Centerpiece wall of unique Domino’s store in Willmar tells his story
WILLMAR — Before his death in a plane crash on Feb. 4, 2015, William “Bill” Graves had recently celebrated the opening of his 100th Domino’s franchise. It was an amazing accomplishment from someone who first started as a Domino’s driver before opening his very first franchise in 1985. That first store was located in Apple Tree Square in east Willmar. On Monday, Bill Graves’ family and friends, along with dozens of community leaders, business owners and fellow Domino’s

Workshop explores industrial hemp value chain

November 8, 2018

Workshop explores industrial hemp value chain
WILLMAR—In an effort to diversify their farming operation, the Hultgren family planted 40 acres of organic industrial hemp this year on their land in northern Kandiyohi County. After making adjustments on the combine to prevent the rope-like stems from wrapping around the equipment, the hemp seeds were harvested and cleaned in September. “I thought it went OK,” said Noah Hultgren, who farms with his brother, Nate, and parents Duane and Nancy Hultgren. With a history of planting corn,

Map of world brings Willmar High School students together

October 27, 2018

Map of world brings Willmar High School students together
WILLMAR—The centerpiece of the lobby/commons area at Willmar Senior High School is a map of the globe dotted with pins marking students’ birthplaces. The entire commons area has a new look this fall, with a case displaying student artwork and the globe mounted on the wall near the guidance office and large letters spelling out “Willmar Cardinals” mounted near the office. The magnetic pins on the map show the birthplaces of the school’s 1,300 students. A Willmar Cardinals

Highway 23 Improvements Moving Ahead

October 19, 2018

Highway 23 Improvements Moving Ahead
On May 30th, Governor Dayton signed the bill approved by the Minnesota Legislature providing $105 million in Corridors of Commerce funding for both four-lane gaps on Highway 23 between Willmar and Interstate 94. The Highway 23 Coalition worked very hard to encourage passage and the signing of the bonding bill that included road funding and other important projects in this region. The Coalition, which now boasts 94 members including 64 businesses and 21 units of government, will continue to hold the

2018 FAM Tour by Connie Schmoll

October 16, 2018

Designed to bring familiarization of Minnesota and communities across the state, including Kandiyohi County and the city of Willmar, to site selectors nationwide, the 2018 Minnesota Site Selectors FAM Tour may have been the most effective tour in the four years I have been a part of this organization. Past FAM Tours In 2015, the FAM Tour included one site selector, Linda Burns, coming to Willmar for one day to tour the area and visit with business leaders. During the other three days that Ms. Burns

Child care – Important to local and regional economic development

October 16, 2018

Child care – Important to local and regional economic development
Family child care and child care centers are businesses with accounting measures and regulations to follow. They are essential for maintaining a workforce for our businesses and are instrumental in providing early education at an important stage of child development, beginning the preparation of our future workforce. Not having enough safe, affordable and accessible child care options is being identified as a growing barrier to economic development in west central Minnesota, including Kandiyohi County,

Little Crow Resort Up and Running

October 16, 2018

Little Crow Resort Up and Running
The Little Crow Country Club has taken a major step forward. Marketed under the umbrella name of Little Crow Resort, the $7.8 million complex located just south of the city of New London boasts a new 51-room GrandStay Hotel, 300-seat event center, 80-seat restaurant (called the Little Crow Tavern & Grille) and a new clubhouse. Hotel construction was completed during the summer of 2018. Kandiyohi County Tourist Destination On August 22nd, the Little Crow Resort held a Grand Opening. The EDC helped

Kwik Trip Comes to Town

October 16, 2018

Kwik Trip Comes to Town
During the past year and a half, Kwik Trip, based in La Crosse, Wisconsin, has transformed several locations in Willmar into brand new gas stations and convenience stores. In doing so, it has significantly redeveloped two sites and is planning on a third location. On U.S. Highway 12 on the east side of Willmar, the company acquired the former Cenex Travel Plaza and an adjacent parcel of land. That enabled Kwik Trip to demolish the existing structures and to construct an 8,800 sq. ft. facility with