A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR — By all accounts, Dorothy Brown was a beloved Willmar elementary school teacher who was respected by colleagues and adored by students — some who are now parents and grandparents — who still remember that Mrs. Brown made them feel special. "I had Mrs. Brown in first grade and loved her more than any other teacher at Jefferson School," wrote Jenny Olson Thiery on the Willmar Community Area Foundation's Facebook page. "Her classroom was safe, fun and full of encouragement and love."
NEW LONDON — The New London and Spicer communities are rallying around a local family following a car accident Wednesday that injured a mother and three of her children, including one son who is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Tim and Heather Shumaker family of New London and a benefit is being planned for a future date, according to Pastor Keith Pearson from Peace Lutheran Church in New London.
WILLMAR — Customers at least six deep were in line recently at the Fabric and Textile Warehouse with carts filled to the top with bolts of colorful fabric — vibrant cottons for intricate quilts, solid textiles for upholstery projects and fleece for cozy blankets. "What are we going to do?" lamented one woman, anticipating the upcoming closure of the store, located just west of Willmar.
CLOUD – An elderly Paynesville man died of asphyxiation and his wife died from strangulation last week – allegedly at the hands of their adult grandson who has been charged with their murder. Gregory Allen Scheel, 33, is being held in the Stearns County Jail on $3 million bail. He made his first appearance Monday morning in Stearns County District Court.
ST CLOUD– A Paynesville man charged with murdering his grandparents last week is being held in the Stearns County Jail on $3 million bail. Gregory Allen Scheel, 33, made his first court appearance Monday morning. He is charged with two felony counts of murder in the second degree in connection with the deaths of Wilbert “Willie” Scheel, 93, and Gloria Scheel, 80.
WILLMAR – An elderly couple that went missing Wednesday was found dead Thursday in their vehicle in Kandiyohi County. Their grandson was arrested Thursday night in connection with their death and is currently in the Kandiyohi County Jail. According to a news release,the bodies of Wilbert "Willie" A. Scheel, 93, and his 80-year-old wife, Gloria A. Scheel, were found at around 5 p.m. Thursday in their Toyota Prius on a rural road in Kandiyohi County.
SPICER — Judy Schultz joined the Air Force when she was 19 years old and, at 85, admits she's "old school" about a lot of things. So, desperate to communicate with her son — who doesn't have a voice box, due to a medical condition — Schultz has learned how to text him messages on her small flip phone. Painstakingly turning the numbers on her cellphone into letters — and then words — has been difficult for Schultz to learn, but well worth it.
CLONTARF – A Litchfield man was injured in a one vehicle accident Sunday night in Swift County. The accident happened was reported at 7:44 p.m. on state Highway 9, south of Clontarf. According to the State Patrol, Carter James Wattenhofer, 19, was driving a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado north on Highway 9 when the vehicle went off the road and vaulted to a hard landing.
WILLMAR — A suicidal man who allegedly pointed a handgun at two Willmar police officers last summer — and was subsequently shot and wounded by the officers — was charged Tuesday with three felonies. Matthew David Smith, 45, of Willmar, was charged with two counts of second degree assault — fear, and one count of threats of violence.
WILLMAR — A suicidal man who allegedly pointed his handgun at two Willmar police officers last summer — and was subsequently shot and wounded by the officers — was charged Tuesday with three felonies. Matthew David Smith, 45, of Willmar, was charged with two counts of second-degree assault - fear, and one count of threats of violence. Following a court appearance where Smith arrived in a wheelchair, Judge Michael Thompson released Smith on his personal recognizance.