A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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NEW LONDON—Among the hard-hat-wearing, gold-shovel-wielding officials lined up Monday to break ground on the $20.6 million construction project at the New London-Spicer High School/Middle School was a row of students. There was a senior who will graduate before the project is done and won't have a chance to perform in the new 650-seat performing arts auditorium or have physical education classes in the two-court gym. And there was a fourth-grader who will.
SPICER—With 500 acres of land in need of continual maintenance, there will be plenty of projects for volunteers to work on during a one-day volunteer effort scheduled for next month at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. The focus for the day will be a piece of virgin prairie possibly thousands of years old that is being cleared of invasive cedar trees, sumac and buckthorn so that native big bluestem and sideoats can be restored.
APPLETON—News Thursday that the federal government intends to phase out use of privately owned prisons has renewed questions about the future of the privately owned prison in Appleton. The 1,640-bed prison in Appleton has been empty since 2010 when the owners—Corrections Corporation of America—closed the facility. During the last year Corrections Corporation of America and officials from Appleton and Swift County launched a campaign to persuade the state to lease—or buy—the prison to ease overcrowded state prisons.
NEW LONDON—Even though the official groundbreaking ceremony for New London-Spicer School District's $20.6 million construction project is not until 5 p.m. Monday, ground has definitely been broken already. Old parking lots are ripped up, makeshift dirt roads and temporary parking spots are being created and long, high piles of dirt border the school grounds. The demolition and initial groundwork is underway to prepare for footings and foundations for the multifaceted project, said NLS Superintendent Paul Carlson.
ATWATER -- Five members of an Atwater family escaped serious injuries when their vehicle was rear-ended in an accident Sunday night on state Highway 12. According to the State Patrol,...
WILLMAR—Six candidates from three local legislative races shared their views on issues and participated in some mild political sparring during a forum Friday morning at the Kandiyohi County Fair. There are fewer than 90 days left before the general election Nov. 8 and local candidates are starting to hit their summer stride, shaking hands and milking cows at county fairs. The forum, which drew a sparse crowd at the fair but was broadcast on KWLM, included four candidates who are facing a rematch from the election two years ago.
NEW LONDON—A majority of the contracts to build a performing arts auditorium and gym at the high school and a new cafeteria/auditorium and two classrooms at the elementary school were approved this week by the New London-Spicer School Board. Groundbreaking for the $20.6 million project will be at 5 p.m. Aug. 22, prior to the board's next meeting when members are expected to take action on additional bids.
NEW LONDON—A proposed plan to route a new segment of the Glacial Lakes State Trail through property owned by the New London-Spicer School District was rejected by the school board. While lauding the intentions of the plan, the board said this week that putting the trail through the district's nature area and outdoor classrooms and alongside its playgrounds and athletic fields could jeopardize their top priorities of student safety and protection of school property for future growth.
The $290 million Aurora solar project will be the largest utility-scale solar project in Minnesota. The project includes solar farms at 16 sites in Minnesota including locations near Paynesville and Atwater. The 477,000 solar photovoltaic panels erected on the farms will produce a total of 150 megawatts of direct current power that, when converted to AC power, will generate about 121 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The electricity produced by Aurora will meet the needs of over 17,000 homes.
PAYNESVILLE—On a 100-acre field where crops grew last year near Paynesville, thousands of metal posts are being pounded into the ground, tracker motors assembled and torque tubes put in place in preparation for the installation of solar panels that will start producing power this fall. The same thing is happening on a 37-acre field on the edge of Atwater. The Paynesville and Atwater sites are two of 16 solar farms in the Aurora solar project.