A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR — In a rematch of the legislative race two years ago — in a district that has a history of flip-flopping parties — GOP Rep. Dave Baker and his DFL challenger Mary Sawatzky discussed issues Tuesday night during the Willmar Area League of Women Voters forum. Sawatzky had the job of representing District 17B residents from 2012 to 2014 — after defeating a Republican candidate — but Baker defeated Sawatzky two years ago. Both candidates have served one term in the office and are fighting for a chance to get back to St. Paul.
WILLMAR—Legislative candidates from District 17A and 17B will participate in a forum Tuesday night in Willmar. Sponsored by the Willmar Area League of Women Voters, the forum will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the council chambers at the Willmar Municipal Utilities Building. The candidates include Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, and Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock, who are vying for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives from District 17A; and Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, and Mary Sawatzky, DFL-Willmar, from District 17B.
WILLMAR—A candidate forum sponsored by members of the faith community will be conducted from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Bethel Lutheran Church, 411, Becker Ave. S.W. in Willmar. The "Repairing the Breach: A Faith Community Conversation with Candidates" forum will focus on issues affecting families in Greater Minnesota, ranging from access to driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants to supports for family caregivers.
BENSON—After accepting the resignation Tuesday of Swift County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver, the County Board of Commissioners appointed Jan Fransen as the interim county administrator. Pogge-Weaver's last day is Oct. 21. He will begin his new job as the city administrator in Carroll, Iowa, on Oct. 24. Fransen, who has 35 years of governmental experience—including 24 years in county government—retired last year after working for 18 years as the Jackson County Coordinator.
NEW LONDON—A couple candy bars sold by New London-Spicer sixth-grade students as part of a fundraiser reportedly had mealworms inside them. The district was notified Sunday by a parent who reported that two chocolate almond candy bars had mealworms inside. According to a news release from NLS communications director Megan Field, the district has worked with with Bazzini LLC and Cherrydale Farms to rectify the situation. The company believes this is an isolated incident with mealworms found only in the candy bars sold at NLS, according to Field.
BENSON—The Swift County Commissioners will hold a special meeting 10 a.m. tomorrow when County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver is expected to submit his resignation. Pogge-Weaver who has served as Swift County Administrator for 3½ years, has accepted a job as city administrator in Carroll, Iowa. His last day on the job in Swift County is expected to be Oct. 21 and pending final action he could begin his job in Carroll—a town of about 10,000 in west central Iowa—the end of October.
Accidents LITCHFIELD—The drivers of two vehicles escaped injury in a rear-end collision Saturday morning in Meeker County. According to the State Patrol, a 2012 Ford Escape driven by Patricia L. Fitz, 56, of Alexandria, was stopped in the left turn lane of eastbound of U.S. Highway 12 when an eastbound 2007 Ford Escape driven by David K. Mohs, 59, of Spicer, rear-ended the stopped vehicle. The accident was reported at 11:38 a.m. Road conditions were dry at the time. Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the rash.
Arrest WILLMAR—Following a traffic stop Friday morning, a 23-year-old man was arrested on two counts of third-degree DWI, possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The incident was reported at 3:23 a.m. in the 700 block of Park Avenue Northwest. Counterfeit bill WILLMAR—A bank in Willmar reported Friday morning that a counterfeit $20 bill was received. Theft
LITCHFIELD -- A man from Ontario, Canada, was injured Thursday morning in a two-vehicle accident in Meeker County. Three other individuals involved with the crash were not injured. According to...
WILLMAR—The despair that was felt in the Minnesota poultry industry this time last year—after nine million turkeys and chickens were wiped out in an unprecedented outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza—was replaced with a sense of determined readiness during a celebration Thursday christening the new Minnesota Poultry Testing Lab in Willmar. "This project was born in a crisis," said Dr. Trevor Ames, Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota.