A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 5 years 6 months
NEW LONDON — Less than a month ago there was still ice on many area lakes. But Thursday — as a five day stretch of 90-degree weather kicked off — Lake Andrew was full of kids swimming at the Sibley State Park beach. "It's cold when you first get in, but you get used to it," said Charissa Davis, 11, of Willmar, as she floated in the lake with friends from the Grace Homeschool Cooperative.
SPICER — A series of highway improvement projects slated for northern Kandiyohi County this summer will keep travelers driving in construction zones through the end of September on U.S. Highway 71 and state Highway 23. Pending good weather that allows contractors to keep on schedule, one project should finish before two others begin. "We deliberately planned it so they won't be occuring at the same time," said Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, director of public engagement for the Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8 office in Willmar.
BENSON — A Swift County man was injured Monday afternoon in an explosion at a rural residence east of Benson. The injured man was identified as Brian Orsten, 51, of Benson. He was initially taken to the Swift County Benson Hospital and later airlifted to a hospital in Minneapolis for medical evaluation, according to Swift County Sheriff John Holtz. The explosion was reported at 3:55 p.m. Monday in the 1300 block of state Highway 9 Northeast. There was no additional information about how the explosion happened or if the home was damaged.
WILLMAR — An end-of-session move by the Legislature that surprised and pleased local supporters provides money to construct the last two gaps in the state Highway 23 four-lane project between Willmar and Interstate 94. The Legislature added an additional $400 million to the Corridors of Commerce program in the bonding bill and targeted Highway 23 as one of three highway projects to receive funding, said Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, chairman of the House bonding committee.
WILLMAR — Looks like the Highway 23 four-lane project between New London and Interstate 94 may get funded after all. As part of the bonding bill that was finalized this weekend, the Legislature added $400 million to the state's Corridors of Commerce program and put the Highway 23 project on this list to be completed, said Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City. Highway 23 was one of three highway project selected to receive the new money, along with highways 14 and 252.
NEW LONDON — A 13-year-old boy was seriously injured Sunday night when he was thrown from an ATV that he was operating in northern Kandiyohi County. The incident was reported at 8 p.m. at a residence on Northwest Fifth Street in Colfax Township. According to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, the crash was caused by a rope the boy was carrying that got caught in the wheel of the ATV and pulled him off the vehicle. The unidentified boy was taken by ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar with serious injuries.
Photos from the Cinco de Mayo celebration held Saturday in Willmar.
SACRED HEART — A Marshall man was trapped in am upside-down vehicle for several hours before being extricated Sunday morning by rescue personnel. According to the Renville County Sheriff's Office, authorities were notified at 7:27 a.m. Sunday that a vehicle was on its roof in the ditch near the railroad crossing on County Road 9 in Sacred Heart. Responders on scene located a 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo on its roof, with Ian Mariner, 24, trapped inside.
DASSEL — A 62-year-old man from Darwin was killed Friday night when his vehicle collided with a farm implement that was traveling on state Highway 15 in Meeker County. The accident was reported at 8:20 p.m. on Highway 15 and 180 street, south of Dassel. According to the State Patrol, the unidentified man was driving a 2008 Ford Escape north when it struck the right side of a planter being pulled by a tractor that had just pulled out from a field approach to travel north on Highway 15.
LITCHFIELD — A Watkins man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman. Matthew Paul Ashfeld, 34, was sentenced Wednesday in Meeker County District Court to 144 months in prison after a jury found him guilty earlier this year of felony charges of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, second degree and third degree and a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault. He was sentenced on the most serious charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct but there was no adjudication for the lesser crimes.