News

New Ridgewater president ready to take on a new challenge

July 18, 2018

New Ridgewater president ready to take on a new challenge
WILLMAR—Craig Johnson feels his blue collar, first-generation college student background will inform his work as the new president at Ridgewater College. Johnson, 62, joined the college July 1. He came from the University Center in Sioux Falls, where he was director. Johnson said his first few weeks have involved finding his way around the school’s campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson. He admitted he still gets lost occasionally on the larger Willmar campus. He’s met people at both campuses

Willmar voters to decide sales tax in November

July 17, 2018

Willmar voters to decide sales tax in November
WILLMAR—The voters of Willmar will now have the opportunity to approve or reject a local option sales tax which could raise $30 million for a host of projects across the city. At Monday’s meeting, the Willmar City Council approved a resolution to place the question on the Nov. 6 ballot. “We are a regional center and this really speaks to what we want for our future,” Councilor Audrey Nelsen said. The council vote was 7 to 0, with Councilor Ron Christianson abstaining. He said

Willmar Wye agreement nears finish line

July 16, 2018

Willmar Wye agreement nears finish line
WILLMAR—The master agreement among the Willmar Wye project partners is nearing completion and MnDOT has sent the three shortlisted design and build firms requests for proposal to lead the multi-million dollar project through its years-long construction schedule. Paul Rasmussen, project manager for the Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8, said it is just the final details being worked out in the master agreement, which is actually several agreements rolled into one massive document. “We

Highway 23 Coalition seeks broader focus

July 13, 2018

Highway 23 Coalition seeks broader focus
WILLMAR—Even though funding has been secured to complete the final two legs of the Highway 23 four-lane between Willmar and Interstate 94, the coalition of regional businesses and government entities that fought to obtain that funding has no intention of going away. On the contrary, organizers say it’s hoped the 91-member coalition will expand to include community members as far north as Duluth and as far south as Sioux Falls, South Dakota. “Yes, we were able to get funding for the

Home on the Minnesota prairie: Yaks thrive on the pastures of the Hot Disch Farm

July 3, 2018

Home on the Minnesota prairie: Yaks thrive on the pastures of the Hot Disch Farm
RAYMOND—If you’re craving a fresh yak steak and can’t make the trip to the Everest Steak House Restaurant in Kathmandu, Nepal, take a short ride over to Raymond. That’s where you’ll find the Hot Disch Farm, home to Shawn and Craig Dischinger and their assistants, sons Jack, age 5, and Peter, age 3. They’ll happily sell you ground yak, or yak roasts, steaks, brats and sticks. Their yaks thrive on the lush grasses of the Minnesota prairie, where the harshest of winter

New city hall a question of priority; 4 possible sites being considered

June 13, 2018

New city hall a question of priority; 4 possible sites being considered
WILLMAR — The Willmar City Council continued to discuss a new city hall during the work session on Monday, though there was no consensus on how or when the project will move forward. However, the discussion will be picked up again during next Monday’s meeting, when the council will decide whether to hold a town hall on the issue later this month. “We need to make sure we do this right,” Councilor Audrey Nelsen said. There were multiple opinions about the project, from how fast

Council supports new workforce housing project in Willmar

June 5, 2018

Council supports new workforce housing project in Willmar
WILLMAR—A resolution of support from the Willmar City Council will be added to the tax credit application being submitted to the state by the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership. The group hopes to construct a 72-unit multi-family housing project on the north side of Willmar, near the MinnWest Technology Campus. The council passed the resolution at Monday’s council meeting, after hearing a presentation on the project during the work session. The resolution passed 5 to 1, with Councilor

No fisherman’s tale: Highway 23 bond funding approved

June 4, 2018

No fisherman’s tale: Highway 23 bond funding approved
WILLMAR — Anglers are often accused of stretching the truth, but these guys proved to be straight shooters: When Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bonding bill Wednesday, he held true to a promise made in a fishing boat to approve an earmark for the state Highway 23 project.   The bonding bill includes $105 million to complete the seven- and nine-mile “gaps” in the four-lane between New London and Paynesville and between Paynesville and Richmond, making the entire Highway 23 route

MnDOT awards three additional Corridors of Commerce projects

June 4, 2018

MnDOT awards three additional Corridors of Commerce projects
Funding for the latest round of transportation projects included in public works bill signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation today announced three additional Corridors of Commerce projects, valued at over $400 million. The projects were funded by Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature in this year’s public works bill.  “These urgently needed highway improvements are essential for the safety of our people and the betterment

Governor signs bonding bill…Highway 23 Project funded

May 31, 2018

Governor signs bonding bill…Highway 23 Project funded
(Willmar MN-) Members of The Highway 23 Coalition are celebrating now that Governor Dayton has signed The Bonding Bill with $105 million dollars included to fund the completion of the four-lane gaps between New London and Paynesville, and Paynesville and Richmond. Things looked glum for the project after it was shunned by MnDot in the Corridors of Commerce program, but it was resurrected when fishing guide Kelly Morrell asked Governor Dayton and legislative leaders to fund Highway 23 during The Governor’s