News

Planning for Willmar airport’s future

April 2, 2017

Planning for Willmar airport’s future
WILLMAR—It’s been 20 years since the Willmar Airport Master Plan was updated. Back then the city was involved with the major venture of moving the airport to its current location on state Highway 40. “All it talks about is how we’re going to build this new airport. We are a little past that now,” said Airport Manager Megan DeSchepper. The master plan will lay out the short-, mid-, and long-term development plans for the airport. “It will set goals and policies on how

Sign-up underway for Kandiyohi County broadband project

April 1, 2017

Sign-up underway for Kandiyohi County broadband project
WILLMAR—Customer sign-ups are underway as Consolidated Telecommunications Co. begins laying the groundwork to bring high-speed internet to rural north central Kandiyohi County. The last in a series of meet-and-greet sessions on the project will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Dethlefs Center in Spicer. Representatives of the company will be on hand to provide information and answer questions. There also will be a chance to sign up for the service. Commitments from future users will be important

Developing a vision: EDC reviews retail data to help economic strategy for the future

March 25, 2017

Developing a vision: EDC reviews retail data to help economic strategy for the future
WILLMAR—A newly completed report with data that show the strengths and weaknesses in retail trade in the city of Willmar and Kandiyohi County is being used to develop a vision and strategy for continued economic growth in the community. During a day-long planning session Thursday at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in rural Spicer, members of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission got a look at the graphs and summaries in the 43-page report that

Willmar Poultry, Aviagen establish new turkey poult supplier

March 17, 2017

Willmar Poultry, Aviagen establish new turkey poult supplier
WILLMAR — Willmar Poultry/Ag Forte has merged with Valley of the Moon Commercial Poults and is set to establish a new commercial turkey poult company called Select Genetics. “The focus of Select Genetics will be to deliver the best quality genetics to the turkey industry, which will allow our industry to best compete against other animal proteins,” said Rick Vanderspek, president and chief operations officer of Select Genetics, in a news release announcing the venture. Vanderspek is

‘Meet and greets’ scheduled for Kandiyohi County broadband project

March 16, 2017

‘Meet and greets’ scheduled for Kandiyohi County broadband project
SPICER — A series of “meet and greets” will be held over the next three weeks for residents and businesses within the proposed service zone of a broadband project by Consolidated Telecommunications Co. The meetings are scheduled for this coming Monday; Thursday, March 23; and April 4. All three will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Dethlefs Senior Center in Spicer. The sessions will be an opportunity for residents to meet representatives of Consolidated Telecommunications Co.,

TimeWorn Wood

February 14, 2017

TimeWorn Wood
ATWATER—At first glance, the rural Atwater home of Jared and Amanda Groebner looks like a typical Minnesota farm with a well-kept classic barn and workshop. But instead of producing grain and livestock, the Groebners make hand-crafted, rustic and refined wooden table tops with a smooth-as-silk finish that are shipped to high-end restaurants, small cafes, metro bars, popular coffee shops and unique entertainment venues in all 50 states and several countries. Every week the Groebners’ one-of-a-kind

Willmar grows and prospers

February 12, 2017

Willmar grows and prospers
WILLMAR—In 2016 the city of Willmar approved over $60 million dollars in new construction and development ranging from major school projects to new homes and businesses. These projects popped up all over town from the Industrial Park and along Lakeland Drive to the retail center of First Street. “2016 was a positive year,” said Bruce Peterson, Willmar Planning and Community Development director. While Willmar still has a lack of housing in many areas, especially workforce housing, 2016

First year a success for leachate treatment system

February 11, 2017

First year a success for leachate treatment system
WILLMAR—An innovative demonstration project to collect and purify leachate on site at the Kandiyohi County landfill encountered a few setbacks during its first full year of operation. Overall, though, engineers rate the project—the first of its kind in North America—a success with many lessons learned. “We’re excited to still be part of it,” said Greg Ackerson of Apex Efficiency Solutions, one of the partners in the project. Ackerson and Vladimir Scheglowski of Clark Technology

New London, Spicer approve more than 50 building permits each in 2016

January 28, 2017

New London, Spicer approve more than 50 building permits each in 2016
As part of their year in review for 2016, New London and Spicer took a look at their respective building permits for last year, and both had relatively good years. In 2016, New London approved 98 building permits for a total valuation of $18 million, city administrator Trudie Guptill said. Of that, $15 million in valuation was for New London-Spicer schools, which is in the midst of a $21.635 million building project. Also among the 98 building permits were nine new single-family homes and one twin

The most metal way to fish

January 28, 2017

The most metal way to fish
There are some who say Loren Hjelle of rural New London is a sharp guy, and they wouldn’t be telling a fish tale. A retired Ridgewater College welding instructor, Hjelle has been making darkhouse fishing spears for about 30 years. A Loren Hjelle customized spear is top prize for the Minnesota Darkhouse & Angling Association West Central Chapter annual raffle coming up Monday, Feb. 6 at O’Neil’s in Spicer. Social hour starts at 6 p.m. with the event to start at 7 p.m. Raffle tickets are