After another successful year of fundraising and entertaining, the "Christmas In Wadena" light display hit another milestone worthy of shedding some light on. One website has listed the "Christmas In Wadena" light show under the excellent rating for residential Christmas light shows synchronized to music. The site mnholidaylights.com shows all known light displays in the state, active or not. Those that get the most clicks earn a top rating. Along with Wadena are shows in Willmar, Clearwater, Eden Prairie, Minnetrista and New Hope.
The Wadena County Commissioners heard recommendations of changes to facilities, staff interactions, job descriptions and how the public views the board during a reorganization study presentation Tuesday at the Wadena County Courthouse. The study, started after board approval in August 2018, was presented by Gary Weiers, Management Consultant with DDA Human Resources, Inc. In his presentation, Weiers shared his observations and recommendations, which in some cases involved drastic changes, change that would not come easy, he said. Observations
Wadena State Bank recently completed a $30,000 pledge towards the nursing facility at M State's Wadena campus. This pledge of money helped M State complete renovation of current classroom, lab and simulation equipment for the nursing program. Kip Browne with Wadena State Bank said the pledge was important to the bank because he is well aware of the need for nurses in the region. Having a college in Wadena that can help train those nurses not only helps fulfill the need for qualified applicants, it brings in money to Wadena's economy, Browne said.
The Wadena City Council welcomed in Mark Lunde as the newest council member during the last regular council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 8. Lunde is the owner of Lunde Auto Sales in Wadena, which has been operating since 2016. He said he chose to file for Deb Wiese's open seat because of his desire to help grow Wadena as a pro-business community. He considers himself the only businessman on the council and said he's financially conservative. "It's an exciting time to be in Wadena, with all the different business projects," Lunde said.
A BNSF train was briefly on fire Wednesday afternoon causing the train to stop and block the three crossings in Wadena. Wadena Police officers and Wadena County Sheriff's officers were on scene directing traffic away from the crossings as the fire went out.
Most of Wadena County's elected officials are still being paid less than the state average, but all got at least a 3 percent increase Tuesday.
HEWITT—A freezing rain coated the region with a slick surface Monday morning as one truck hauling live turkeys slid from the roadway into a ditch off Hwy 71.
The Wadena County Attorney's Office and the Human Services Department are at odds over philosophical differences in how they feel they need to work together. Wadena County Human Services director Tanya Leskey spoke during the last regular commission meeting, Dec. 18, 2018, about issues that surfaced during the environmental scan two years ago, that still remain today. One main concern was how Human Services staff and the County Attorney's staff function together. While some movement has been made in a positive direction, it was clear problems remained.
A Wadena-Deer Creek graduate and current Hewitt resident wants to help you remember your special day for many years to come. Becky Berndt recently expanded her offerings into a photo studio below the Wadena Family Dental office. Berndt's photo business, "Becky's Remember When Photos," operates to help capture the moments you cherish. Berndt grew up wanting to be in photography and started to go full force in 2007. She got a business license in 2009 and has been clicking away ever since.
In 2016, an internal look at operations within Wadena County identified strengths and numerous weaknesses within departments as well as between departments. Some of those issues still need to be addressed today. The assessment, known as an environmental scan, was completed in January 2017 and presented to county commissioners and department heads. Department heads were given two weeks to come up with plans to try to improve the overall climate of their areas, according to county commissioner Jim Hofer.