NEWS-July 11
News Director: Bev Alquist Call with news at 320-235-2900 or email

News Archive

The Kerkhoven City Council approved two resolutions and adopted a Section 3 plan for HUD (Housing and Urban Development) funded projects when it met this week. Mayor Brian Thompson says there is always red tape involved and they had to adopt the resolutions and plan to get the small cities grant rolling. There will be some informational meetings involving these grants. One of the first informational meetings coming up will be Tuesday, August 6th at five in the Civic Center. It’s only going to be the people in this target area that’s going to be invited so it’s not open to the public.

Highlights of the Infinity on-line learning governing board meeting that took place in June was discussed at this week’s New London Spicer School Board meeting. School Board Member David Kilpatrick is on the board representing Region 3 for the Infinity On-Line learning, of which the New London Spicer School District is a member. Supt. Paul Carlson says Infinity offers high quality on-line courses and professional development for teachers who teach on-line courses. They will continue to make improvements on marketing this program to make sure students and parents are aware of courses that are available during the school year and also with some summer school opportunities. The on-line courses do provide some flexibility for student scheduling. Carlson said he can see this program continually growing into the future.

The first annual Mayor’s Bike Ride has been set for Friday afternoon, July 19th at five in the communities of Spicer, New London and Willmar. Spicer Mayor Denny Baker, New London Mayor Bill Gossman and Willmar Mayor Pro-Tem Denis Anderson will be leading participants on the bike ride from each of their communities. Each group will meet for a picnic at the Lion's Shelter in downtown Spicer. The ride and picnic are free, but pre-registration is required. Call the CVB office in Willmar to register.

According to officials with the city of Willmar, Trott Avenue West between 16th Street Southwest and Industrial Drive Southwest will be closed on Monday for rail crossing improvements. City officials anticipate the board to be re-opened by five the afternoon of the 19th. Traffic will not be allowed through the construction zone. You will need to find alternate routes.

Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin announces the recipients of the 2012 employee recognition awards.  A decoration is awarded annually in recognition of performance of duty, heroism, or high achievement or service. Deputy Marc Berris is the recipient of the Sheriff’s Achievement Award.  Rebecca Miller of the County's IT (Information & Technology) assigned to the Sheriff's Office is receiving an Exceptional Service Award. Two individuals, Deputy Bill Hudson and Litchfield Police Officer Aaron Nelson, are also being recognized for a life-saving event.

The City of Morris will see a slight bump in local government aid from the state government next year, and that trend is true for most cities in Greater Minnesota, says Amanda Duerr (DO-er), a legislative lobbyist for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. Duerr offered an overview of the 2013 legislative session to Morris City Council members Tuesday night. The City of Morris will see an increase from their 2013 LGA funding level of $2.1 million to a 2014 level of 2.2 million a year. Duerr serves as the transportation lobbyist. She says Governor Dayton has expressed an interest in increasing transportation funding and programs in 2014, an investment Deuer says will benefit Greater Minnesota. 

The Stevens County Museum is preparing their annual art exhibit, Horizontal Grandeur, and will host the opening reception this week. Museum Director Randee Hokanson says they sent out a call for art that reflects prairie landscapes and got back entries from across the United States and Canada. The reception will be held at the museum tonight (Thursday), from 6:30-8:30.

Last month, a truck full of food pulled into Morris and was unloaded at the Morris Area High School. The first food drop of the summer proved successful, says West Central Minnesota Communities Action's Jill Fury, and a second drop is less than a week away. Fury notes the next drop will be held at MAHS on Tuesday, July 16th. Food distribution will start at 5:30 p.m.There are no qualification guidelines; anyone who needs food is welcome to attend the food distribution event.

A twenty-four-year-old man has been charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in a hit-and-run that killed 24-year-old Jessica Hanson, formerly of Hoffman, while Hanson was riding her bicycle in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. Abdirahman Abdi Ali was charged Tuesday. Witnesses told police the car that hit Hanson failed to stop at a stop sign before striking her. Witnesses say the headlights were off and the car was speeding. According to the charges, Ali told police someone was shooting at his car, so he took off and didn't know what or who he hit.  He was driving on a canceled license.

House Majority Leader Erin Murphy and Representatives Mary Sawatzky of Willmar and Andrew Falk of rural Murdock met with senior citizens at Bethesda Pleasant View in Willmar yesterday. One of the questions/concerns dealt with the closing of the Willmar Care Center. Sawatzky told them the center will remain open until all residents are placed someplace appropriate, and that it’s an ongoing process. Murphy says the legislature is closely monitoring the situation. She says state and federal officials are learning some things about that facility that are a  little disturbing, but she didn’t elaborate on what those are. She says this is a good example of why strong legislative framework is in place.

New legislation that will positively impact Minnesota seniors and nursing home workers was highlighted at a meeting Wednesday afternoon at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Willmar. The new budget provides a five percent increase for nursing home providers for the first time in four years. A lot of that goes to the workers says House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, but some of it goes to the nursing homes to make sure the people in nursing homes have the quality of life they’re expecting. She says they also provided an increase for people working in the community taking care of people who are aging at home or in assisted living, or people with disabilities. They did a lot of work in the area of making sure people who are aging and need health care services are getting them and the people who choose to work there are getting paid so they’re able to attract and recruit skilled nurses, nurses aids and others to come and work and stay and work. That relationship between the people who live here and the people who work here are so important, she said.

28 year old Steven Strand of Raymond was sentenced in Kandiyohi County District Court yesterday (Wednesday) on a felony third degree drug possession charge. Strand was sentenced to 39 months in prison, given credit for having served 140 days, has to pay fines and fees totaling $125, and supply a DNA sample. A second felony charge of possession of a pistol was dismissed. 

Last night (Wednesday), there was a fire that caused significant damage at the New U Vitality Center in Willmar, according to the business’ Facebook page. The damage includes their files, computer, phone and more. The business will not be open today (Thursday).

23 year old Yolanda Radzhabov of Pennock appeared in Kandiyohi County District court yesterday (Wednesday) where she was sentenced on a felony second degree drug sale. Judge David Mennis sentenced her to 41 months in prison, gave her credit for serving 91 days, ordered her to pay fines and fees of $125, and supply a DNA sample.

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