This is national fire prevention week and a number of communities have events planned:
-Family night in Willmar at the Fire Station is tonight from 5-7. Taco’s in a bag will be

served and your family will have a chance to see the equipment, a helicopter, learn about propane safety and kitchen fire safety. Also a chance to win a prize.

-The Benson fire Dept. will have an open house Wednesday from 5-7 with a pork chop dinner served, along with kids games and more.
-The Litchfield Fire Dept open house is Thursday night from 6-8 with a fun planned, and the hawk Creek Animal Shelter will have animals you can see and think about adopting.
-In Pennock, the Lions Club will sponsor the Fire departments breakfast on Sunday the 21st from 9-1 at the Fire Hall. Proceeds will be used to buy a heat detecting camera. This years Fire Prevention theme is “look, listen, learn, be aware…fire can happen anywhere”.

Yesterday morning around 8:00 the Lac Qui Parle Sheriff’s Office got a call about a missing elderly man south and west of Madison. His vehicle had been found in a slough about a quarter mile off county road 14. A ground, drone and K9 search was conducted, with rain halting the aerial search. The man was found, conscious and alert, but cold and exhausted about ¬†of a mile from his vehicle. He was taken to the Madison Hospital for treatment.

According to St. Cloud police, two men were arrested Sunday night after an altercation at Walmart. 60 year old Mark Gibbs of LuVerne had been dropped off by his daughter, who was in a no parking zone. 50 year old Richard Waagen of Randall yelled at her for parking there and hit her car mirror. Gibbs came out and confronted Waagen and Waagen pulled a gun on him. He has a permit to carry and told police he was defending himself. Gibbs also had a gun, but had hid it in the garbage can in the Walmart restroom. Employees tried to intervene and police were called. A number of charges have been filed on both men in the case.

You’ll have another chance to meet and ask questions tonight as the Willmar Area League of Women Voters hosts local Minnesota House of Representative Candidates. District 17 A candidates include incumbent Tim Miller and challenger Lyle Koenen. 17B candidates include incumbent Dave Baker and challenger Anita Flowe. The forum will be held tonight at 7:00 in the Willmar Municipal Utilities Building.

Candidates for Governor will debate in Willmar tonight at 7:00 on the Minnwest Technology Campus. Republican Jeff Johnson, a Hennepin County Commissioner, and U.S. Representative Tim Walz, a democrat, are expected to focus on rural issues in the state including taxes, workforce shortages and more.

Part of 19th Avenue Southwest in Willmar is closed beginning today, and for the next couple of weeks as a storm sewer project is taken care of. Rainy weather could delay the project. The work will be from 22nd Street to County Road 5. A detour will be set up.

The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority approved $7.3 million in grants and loans for water and sewer projects. Funding around the state will go to the towns of Alden, Two Harbors, Hoyt Lakes, Erskin and Willmar. Funding for Willmar comes to $1.82 million with over $1.5 million from a low interest loan, and the city funding the remaining $262,000 dollars. The city will replace the fairgrounds, Gorton Avenue and Armory wastewater lift stations. The project is funded with a 20 year clean water revolving loan fund with an interest rate of 1.119 percent, saving the city over a quarter million dollars as compared to a conventional loan.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding eligible private non-profit organizations in Minnesota that November 5th is the deadline to submit disaster loan applications for physical damage caused by severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds and flooding from June 15th through July 11 this year. The SBA is also offering economic injury disaster loans to help meet working capital needs. That filing deadline is June 5th of next year. Log on at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

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