A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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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.
BIRD ISLAND -- A fire Thursday morning heavily damaged a rural Bird Island house and has left owners Dennis and Roberta Pyland without a home. Renville County Sheriff Scott Hable...
NEW LONDON—A train depot built in 1886 as a transportation landmark in New London will be moving again. This will be the second move for the 60-by-24-foot white clapboard building, which was originally built for the Great Northern Railway and has been used as headquarters for Boy Scout Troop 228 since 1976. The move means the historic building will be preserved rather than demolished and the Scouts will continue to have a home.
WILLMAR—As a self-employed farmer and 1996 graduate of Ridgewater College's agriculture program, Larry Konsterlie said he knows how important it is to have a good education, access to positive opportunities and a strong network of colleagues in order to have a successful ag career. The same is true for Angelica Hopp, who went back to school when she was 47 years old and graduated from Ridgewater with an ag business degree in 2009 and now works in a job that assists farmers with environmental and financial programs.
NEW LONDON—A long row of manilla envelopes lined a table in the New London-Spicer cafeteria Tuesday afternoon as bids were opened on 37 different contracts for the school district's $20.6 million construction project. In a November referendum, district voters approved building a 650-seat performing arts auditorium and two-court gym at the high school/middle school and a new cafeteria/multi-use learning space and two new classrooms at the elementary school.
WILLMAR -- An angel investment group that will have up to $3 million in funds to focus on agricultural development in Kandiyohi County could have enough investors to launch a...
MAYNARD—Jason and Paula Boike lost their rural Maynard farm home and most of their possessions in an early morning fire Thursday. But three of the Boike's four sons who were home at the time were saved from the burning house by dropping 15 feet from a second-story window. "Everybody's shook up," said Jason Boike, who praised the quick-thinking actions of his oldest son who lowered his brothers to the ground as flames and smoke raced throughout the house.
GRANITE FALLS—On Saturday night Claudia Becerra was hunkered down in the basement with her children, siblings and parents as sirens blared and wind roared through Granite Falls. When the storm ended, there was numerous trees uprooted in their yard on Oak Street and a major electrical transmission line that brings power to much of the city was lying in the street. "We saw the power lines and the trees were down and there was just stuff all over," Becerra said. "It was scary for a little bit."