News

Beauty Box Boutique brings Minnesota style with LA twist to Willmar

December 12, 2019

Beauty Box Boutique brings Minnesota style with LA twist to Willmar
A person’s style can be an outward expression of their personality. So it makes sense that the Beauty Box Boutique in Willmar puts a spotlight on fashion that is a creative mix of Minnesota and Los Angeles. The owner of the boutique, Misty Watkins, is an LA transplant who now calls Minnesota home. She likes to stock her store with clothes local customers want and love to buy — sweaters and leggings in the winter — but also offer the glitz and glam of the West Coast. The store has a range

Electric power co-op puts electric vehicle to use as a consumer teaching tool

December 4, 2019

Electric power co-op puts electric vehicle to use as a consumer teaching tool
SPICER—It may seem logical that a business that sells electricity should have a vehicle that runs on electricity. That’s one reason why the Kandiyohi Power Cooperative began leasing a 2019 Tesla Model 3 this fall. The co-op didn’t want to just “talk the talk but walk the walk,” said Dan Tepfer, energy management specialist with the co-op. The white, four-door sedan has wrap-around advertising letting people know the car is powered “100%” by electricity. With the rise in popularity of

Woodland Centers crisis and detox facilities receive long-awaited upgrade

December 3, 2019

Woodland Centers crisis and detox facilities receive long-awaited upgrade
WILLMAR—A long awaited renovation is nearing completion at the crisis center and detox facilities at Woodland Centers. The changes are bringing several improvements that will increase safety and accessibility for the clients who stay there. The entire facility also is getting a facelift to make it brighter and more welcoming. “I think it’s going to be a better atmosphere for our clients,” said Dr. Ashley Kjos, Woodland Centers executive director. “We want people to feel

Resignation of James Miller means leadership transition for United Way of West Central Minnesota

November 20, 2019

Resignation of James Miller means leadership transition for United Way of West Central Minnesota
WILLMAR—There will be a change in leadership at the United Way of West Central Minnesota. It was announced Wednesday that James Miller, who has been executive director of the five-county United Way chapter for six years, has resigned. His last day at the agency is Dec. 31. In a news release, Brad Hanson, president of the board of directors for the United Way of West Central Minnesota, said Miller has “played a critical role in the development and success of the organization, and while we will

Marcus Construction to manage three Willmar projects funded by new sales tax

November 19, 2019

Marcus Construction to manage three Willmar projects funded by new sales tax
WILLMAR—Three local option sales tax projects now have a leader. Marcus Construction was hired by the Willmar City Council to act as the construction manager at risk for the new recreation fields and event center near the Willmar Civic Center and for improvements at the Swansson Field Recreational Complex. “We are honored and really excited to get to work on these very important projects,” said Jim Bach of Marcus Construction at the Nov. 4 City Council meeting. The fee for Marcus Construction’s

Willmar takes another step toward Middle School addition

November 18, 2019

Willmar takes another step toward Middle School addition
WILLMAR—The Willmar School Board has taken another step toward a potential addition at Willmar Middle School. School district officials have been meeting with Southwest West Central Service Cooperative since summer about working together to build an addition at the school. It would include an alternative learning center and a new gymnasium for the middle school and a facility for special education students with high needs to be operated by the cooperative. The School Board voted this week to seek

The search for a new Willmar city administrator continues

November 18, 2019

The search for a new Willmar city administrator continues
WILLMAR—Baker Tilly, the search firm hired by the Willmar City Council to head the national search for a new city administrator, is continuing the process with a hope to hire by early next year. “We are fast approaching the next phases in the search for our next city administrator,” said Councilor Shawn Mueske at the Nov. 4 Willmar City Council meeting. Mueske and Human Resources Director Samantha Beckman gave the council an update on the search process at the meeting. The advertising

Willmar golf club to purchase The Oaks from Dave Baker family

November 13, 2019

Willmar golf club to purchase The Oaks from Dave Baker family
WILLMAR—After operating The Oaks at Eagle Creek for 11 years, Dave and Mary Baker are selling the bar, restaurant and event center to the organization that actually owns the building — the Willmar Community Golf Club. The deal had been “evolving” for a couple years, according to Bill Fenske, president of the club. In a vote Monday night, the shareholders of the club voted 83 to 8 to purchase and operate the business. The club has about 450 unique shareholders and about 200 golf members. Fenske

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