News

New telemedicine program offers Rx for ailing hearts

February 17, 2019

New telemedicine program offers Rx for ailing hearts
WILLMAR—Once upon a time, DuWayne Underthun and his wife, Betty, would have been making many snowy trips from their rural Willmar home to the CentraCare Heart and Vascular Center in St. Cloud for his congestive heart failure. Instead, he now receives most of his care much closer to home through a newly launched heart failure telemedicine program at Rice Memorial Hospital. An appointment last week, the day after a snowstorm pummeled the region and brought most travel to a standstill, reinforced

Small Cities grants provide much needed funding for community upkeep

February 14, 2019

Small Cities grants provide much needed funding for community upkeep
WILLMAR—The city of Willmar received the largest Small Cities grant awarded in the state in 2018. Awarded by the state Department of Employment and Economic Development, using funds from the federal Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block grant, the $1,205,177 grant will be used for housing and commercial rehabilitation in a targeted area and a rehab project at Hanson Apartments on Lakeland Drive Southeast. The money can be used only for projects within the program’s parameters

Large Willmar Industrial Park development has been put on hold

February 14, 2019

Large Willmar Industrial Park development has been put on hold
WILLMAR—The logistics company that had been planning on building a large facility in the Willmar Industrial Park has slammed the brakes on the project. Aaron Backman, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission director, and Sarah Swedburg, interim Willmar Planning and Development Services director, announced the news at Thursday’s EDC joint operations board meeting. “They have decided to hold off on the closing of the land,” Backman said. The company was to purchase

Ridgewater expands Transfer Pathway program to include Law Enforcement

January 27, 2019

Ridgewater expands Transfer Pathway program to include Law Enforcement
WILLMAR—Ridgewater College has added a fifth course of study to its Transfer Pathway program. Law enforcement students at Ridgewater will now be able to earn an associate degree and use Transfer Pathway to enter a four-year program in the Minnesota State system, according to a news release from the college. Law Enforcement is the newest Transfer Pathway program available to students at Ridgewater College. The program helps ease the way for students who plan to transfer to four-year programs. Minnesota

Spring construction expected on new Willmar apartment complex

January 10, 2019

Spring construction expected on new Willmar apartment complex
WILLMAR—Construction is scheduled to begin this spring on the first major market-rate housing project to be built in Willmar for several years. Over the past week, both the Willmar Planning Commission and the Willmar City Council made decisions that significantly move the housing project forward. The multi-family housing complex, which will be owned and managed by JH LLC of Fergus Falls, is planned to have four, 72-unit apartment buildings located on 15 acres along the west side of Kandiyohi County

Family Practice Medical Center, Carris Health enter into services agreement

January 8, 2019

Family Practice Medical Center, Carris Health enter into services agreement
WILLMAR—In a move that further integrates the delivery of local health care, Carris Health and Family Practice Medical Center announced Tuesday that they have entered into a professional services agreement. Patients will continue to see their Family Practice Medical Center physicians and advanced practice professionals in the same clinic location at Lakeland Health Center in Willmar, the two organizations said in a joint statement. They said patients should not notice any changes to their care

Suite Liv’n hoping to bring more housing options to Willmar

December 18, 2018

Suite Liv’n hoping to bring more housing options to Willmar
WILLMAR—Suite Liv’n of Willmar, which owns and operates an extended stay lodging business, along with several apartment buildings in the Willmar area, is planning on adding to its housing portfolio by building a new 24-unit building at Sunwood Apartments. The existing complex, located on 15th Avenue Northwest, near Ridgewater College, has two 12-unit buildings already. Suite Liv’n purchased the complex a few months ago with a goal to build the third building next year. The company had

Rural Child Care Innovation Program

December 17, 2018

Rural Child Care Innovation Program
The EDC has identified childcare as a goal for 2018 and is participating in the Rural Child Care Innovation Program led by First Children’s Finance in Kandiyohi County. The program is a community engagement process designed to address the challenges of childcare in rural communities. A recent survey of local employers and parents resulted in more than 1,200 responses. A community conversation was held on November 29th where the results of the survey and the future of the program were presented.

Survey confirms child care challenge in Kandiyohi County

December 7, 2018

Survey confirms child care challenge in Kandiyohi County
The need for high-quality, affordable child care in Kandiyohi County is an issue gaining a lot of attention. According to a potential need analysis from First Children’s Finance, there is a shortage of at least 776 child care slots across the county. “Not having enough safe, affordable and accessible child care is a growing barrier to economic development in west central Minnesota, including right here in Kandiyohi County,” said Connie Schmoll, from the Kandiyohi County and

Kandiyohi County Jail gets technology upgrades

December 4, 2018

Kandiyohi County Jail gets technology upgrades
WILLMAR—From the control room in the heart of the Kandiyohi County Jail, correctional officer Alii Holt has a video’s-eye view of of the facility: corridors, cell blocks and the outside perimeter. An array of screens allows Holt and the rest of the jail staff to monitor activity throughout the building. They can track who’s entering and leaving, they can zoom in if they spot the beginnings of an altercation and send officers to respond. Installation of the new camera system was recently