Is Willmar running out of police squad cars? That was a question at the City Council meeting last week.

The Police Department lost one vehicle earlier this year when it rolled over and was totaled during a chase.

And last month, four squad cars were damaged when they were rammed by a vehicle driven by a criminal suspect.

"Are we running out of squad cars?" Council Member Julie Asmus asked Police Chief Jim Felt.

"Unfortunately, we did have four squad cars that were involved in the latest incident," Felt said. "One is not usable at this moment; that is being put on the priority list to be repaired.

"The other three are mainly cosmetic damage, so you may see them driving around with scratches on them and that type of thing."

At the same meeting, the council approved the purchase of a new Chevy Tahoe police vehicle for about $53,000 to replace the one totaled earlier this year.



City may exit hot dog and soda business

Marshall may have had enough of city staff selling hot dogs and soda at the Amateur Sports Complex.

The city is considering turning over concessions at the facility to the Hitching Post, a local business, on a one-year trial basis. At its meeting Monday, the City Council is set to vote on the proposal.

In a report prepared for the council, city staff members outlined the challenges they've faced since the city took over running the concession stand three years ago, after negotiations with several private vendors fell through.

"Staffing the facility for concessions has become increasingly difficult and city staff believes utilizing a concessionaire for services at the Amateur Sports Complex will be beneficial for the facility," according to the report.

The city's Parks Department has recommended approval.

john Reinan


$2.2 million to build village safe room

The village of Luck, Wis., has been awarded $2.2 million by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a multiuse community safe room.

The room will provide safe space from severe wind and tornadic events for the student body and staff of Luck Public Schools, as well as hundreds of surrounding residents.

Luck is in Polk County, about 70 miles northeast of the Twin Cities, and has a population of about 1,100 residents.

john Reinan