A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR — Sitting near a soybean field that was planted this spring by students who will harvest the crop this fall, Ridgewater College teachers shared a meal and conversation with Kandiyohi County farmers Thursday afternoon at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Called a "Soil Social," the purpose was to talk about food that's grown and consumed in Kandiyohi County and find "common ground" in the topic of agriculture, said Kim Lippert, an instructor with Ridgewater's ag department. The event focused on the premise that people have a common interest in food.
WILLMAR — A former employee of a licensed community residential facility in Willmar and a vulnerable adult who lived there have been charged with 14 burglary- and theft-related charges for allegedly taking property from garages and vehicles while delivering newspapers. Both individuals made court appearance this week.
WILLMAR — A recent survey indicates about 12 percent of all the businesses in Willmar are owned by minorities. The survey also indicates that the new Americans who own nearly 70 businesses currently operating in Willmar view the town favorably — calling it safe and quiet. Conducted by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Authority and funded with a grant from the Southwest Initiative Foundation, the survey provides the community's first solid look at diverse businesses in the city.
PENNOCK—Pennock Fun Days over the weekend featured a parade, antique tractor pull, kids games, bean bag tournament, music and food.
WILLMAR — The line at the Driver and Vehicle Services office in Willmar was moving pretty quickly Friday afternoon, especially considering the troubles the state's new computer system has been causing at DVS offices across the state. "It's coming along," said License Registrar Deb Mickle, with a note of both exhaustion and optimism in her voice.
HECTOR — A pilot and a passenger were injured in a plane crash Sunday afternoon in Renville County. According to the Renville County Sheriff's Office, the accident happened around 3:45 p.m. when a 2011 fixed wing single engine Ultralight aircraft, operated by Gary Bipes, was attempting to take off at the Hector Municipal Airport. When the plane was about 15-20 feet in the air, it stalled and nose-dived into the ground. Bipes, 75, was transported to Renville County Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
SAUK CENTRE — A two-vehicle accident Friday night near Sauk Centre injured a Spicer woman and a Willmar man. According to the State Patrol, a 2009 Dodge Journey driven by Shanna Lynn Sharp, 38, of Spicer, was on the shoulder of the northbound lane of U.S. Highway 71, made a U-turn and was struck by a 2003 Chevy Silverado that was going north on Highway 71. Sharp and a passenger, Raymond Emmanuel Karels, 67, of Willmar, were taken to the Sauk Centre Hospital with Non-life-threatening injuries, according to the State Patrol.
BENSON — Every corner of every closet in every office on every floor in the massive Swift County Courthouse is empty. Aside from a couple thick-walled vaults where non-essential items are stored behind the heavy doors, there is currently nothing in the grand courthouse, which will remain closed until a renovation project is finished early next year.
WILLMAR — Two Willmar Police Department officers are still on paid administrative leave while the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension continues its investigation into an officer-involved shooting last month that injured a individual reported to be suicidal and holding a gun. Chief Jim Felt said Friday he expects the officers, Marco Vazquez and Anthony Haycraft, to be called back to work "soon." Felt said the officers were placed on leave so that they could be available for the BCA, which is investigating the case.
COSMOS — Three people were injured in a two-vehicle accident Wednesday near Cosmos. According to the State Patrol, the crash happened around 5 p.m. on state Highway 7, near Meeker County Road 10. A 2000 Honda Civic, driven by Taylor Charles Alsleben, 20, of Cosmos, was traveling west on state Highway 7 and rear-ended a 2014 Chevy Silverado driven by Laurel Donald Schiro, 65, of Cosmos. Alsleben, who was not wearing a seat belt, was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.