The Vision 20/40 group will meet Wednesday, Nov. 20th at 11:30 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center. There is a noon meal, which is optional. You need to RSVP to the Chamber of Commerce if you’re planning to attend. The plan will be presented at this meeting. There is a second session on the Vision 20/40 plan at the WEAC Center that night from 6-8, according to Kandiyohi County Commissioner Harlan Madsen. On November 15th, District 6 Association of Minnesota Counties will be having the fall district meeting in Clinton. Most of the board is able to attend that with the other commissioners from a significant number of counties in western Minnesota.
Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day in 1938 to mark the anniversary of the ending of World War I. Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow lakes says it wasn’t until 1954 it was officially proclaimed as Veterans Day in order to pay tribute to the more than sixteen and a half million Americans who served in the second great war. November 11th is a day to remember and honor those who have sacrificed to protect our freedom in wars past, and those who continue to sacrifice to make the world a safer place. Westrom says we should not take for granted the great sacrifices our men and women of the military make on a daily basis. Most of us know someone who has served in uniform, he says, and this Veterans’ Day take the time to thank a veteran and assure them that their sacrifices were not in vain.
EDC Director Steve Renquist says they started the process of reviewing the budget at the recent planning meeting, and that will be confirmed at the Joint Powers Board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 21st. He says they’ve looked at the EDC’s five year plan and have tightened it a little bit trying to make it more focused and more accountable to the board in terms of specific activities and accomplishments. Renquist says Scott Marquardt, vice president with the Southwest Initiative Foundation, did the facilitation at the planning meeting. Renquist says an eight month member on the EDC board (Robert Enos), complained that Marquardt was too friendly with EDC personnel, and was influenced by the EDC’s $18,000 contribution. He said they probably get at least ten times back in terms of actual dollars spent in Kandiyohi County as the $18,000 investment. The person who wrote the letter thought Mr. Marquardt would be influenced by that contribution and go out of his way to make the EDC present policies or staff look good. I think we stand on our record.
Most of the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee made a stop at the University of Minnesota, Morris Wednesday. Elbow Lake Representative Jay McNamer is a member of the committee. He says there is one project in his district to be included in this year's bonding requests. The Cyrus Fire Hall has a unique problem. The building only has one door so all trucks are blocked in if the one nearest the door doesn't start. The bonding proposal is for $225,000 dollars. McNamer says the committee is looking at $3 billion dollars worth of proposals and he anticipates there will be at total of $800 million to one billion dollars actually funded. The committee also toured Elbow Lake and saw the hospital and county courthouse projects and visited a water impoundment project in western Grant County that controls spring water runoff headed into the Red River.
This is Winter Hazard Awareness Week, a public information campaign sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Yesterday (Thursday) highlighted Indoor Winter Safety, with a focus on carbon monoxide, radon, mold and general home care. The Department of Public Safety notes "carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning can happen at any time of the year, but the danger is greater during the winter when doors and windows stay closed and fireplaces, gas heaters, or other fuel burning appliances are in use. In addition, people can also be exposed to deadly CO levels when "warming up" their cars in garages or keeping them running when stuck in snow." For more information, visit the state's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management website.
Amateur genealogists can take part in a free family history workshop this weekend, hosted at the University of Minnesota, Morris Research Library. Peter Bremer will host a genealogy workshop tomorrow (Saturday) for the West Central Family History Association, a committee of the Stevens County Historical Society. The workshop will be held in the Briggs Library from 11-1. The workshop, titled "Hidden Genealogy Research Gems", will focus on uncovering overlooked resources, mostly free websites, that provide valuable resources to the amateur genealogist. Space is limited; make reservations by calling the Stevens County Museum.
The American Red Cross Bloodmobile is in West Central Minnesota this week, collecting blood donations for distributions to area hospitals and emergency clinics. The Benson Community hosted the bloodmobile at the Benson Armory yesterday (Thursday) from and again today (Friday) from 8-1. The Red Cross is accepting blood and double red cell donations.
Yesterday (Thursday), Willmar Municipal Utilities was performing schedule switching to de-energize a substation transformer for maintenance. During the switching, equipment malfunctioned and caused an outage for several customers. The utility company isolated the malfunctioned equipment and restored power to its customers within about 20 minutes.
The Willmar Police Department was called to a two vehicle crash yesterday afternoon (Thursday) just before three at 1st Street and 19th Avenue. The drivers were 49 year old Joy Anderson of Danube and 23 year old Tiffany Nelson of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Anderson was traveling south on 1stStreet in the left turn lane to go east. Nelson was traveling north and turned in front of Anderson. There were no injuries. Both vehicles were towed. Assisting at the scene was the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office.
About 3:30 yesterday afternoon (Thursday), the Willmar Police Department received a call from a person saying they believed a bomb was in the Walmart Store. At that point, Walmart made the decision to evacuate the store. Officers went through the store but didn’t find any suspicious devices or articles. They are continuing to follow up with information and are working on tracing the call. The Willmar Fire Department was initially dispatched and placed on standby. All emergency services cleared the scene just before four, and the Walmart store has since reopened and is running business as normal.
25 year old Martin Munoz of Pennock pled guilty in Kandiyohi County District Court yesterday (Thursday) to a fifth degree felony drug sale charge. He will be sentenced Dec. 10thby District Court Judge Donald Spilseth.
Representative Mary Sawatzky of Willmar says it’s important to honor our veterans and their families on Monday, Veteran’s Day. There are several events going on in recognition of our Veterans. Saturday morning there is a 5K Run/Walk, with the proceeds to go to support the HomeFront Connection. Monday, Memorial Day and Tuesday and Wednesday from 8-8 each day there is a memorial observance in the Willmar War Memorial Auditorium. Major General Gerald Lang will speak Monday night, plus there will be over 5,000 military items on display throughout the three day event.
Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck says he expresses his deepest appreciation to the men and women of our Armed Forces. He says the freedoms we enjoy in this country are only possible because of the selfless service they provide. There has been an influx of veterans returning home from duty in recent years, and there are resources to assist the men and women who have served our nation. The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs provides assistance to veterans and their families on a number of levels, and Eagle’s Healing Nest in Sauk Centre provides a variety of services for the veterans including reintegration to help heal the ‘invisible wounds’ of war.
The House Bonding Committee was in Willmar yesterday, and during their stop addressed a number of requests. Commissioner Dean Shuck says those requests included plans for Ridgewater College, a request for a trail extension linking Sibley State Park to New London, a request to build a Veterans Nursing Home in Willmar, and a request to add onto the KAT building.