A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
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WILLMAR -- When the switch was flipped Tuesday morning on Kandiyohi County's new 800-megahertz radio system, emergency personnel had no idea the unique technology would be put to such quick use. That night, fire departments from several communities were called to a barn fire and the next day multiple agencies responded to an accident that shut down traffic on state Highway 23 for several hours. "Over the past couple days, we've had a chance to use the system and use it for what it was meant to do," said Sheriff Dan Hartog.
LITCHFIELD -- The Meeker County Board of Commissioners gave final approval this week to a $25.4 million budget. The 2010 budget is a decrease of 1.6 percent from last year. The $408,541 in savings comes from having at least five fewer full-time equivalent positions. Employees made concessions and there is no cost-of-living increase for elected officials, including the county board members. The certified net levy of $11,913,766 is a 6.9 percent increase over last year. The levy increase is needed to pay for equipment for a new 800-megahertz emergency radio system. This week the commission
WILLMAR -- For the second year in a row, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners will not be getting a pay increase. On a unanimous vote Tuesday, members of the Board of Commissioners agreed that their 2010 salary will stay at the 2008 level of $28,140 a year, plus a $70 per diem for attending meetings. The 2010 budget had included a 1.5 percent increase in the commissioners' pay, which is comparable to what employees will be receiving. County Administrator Larry Kleindl had two resolutions in hand for the commissioners to consider -- one for a 1.5 percent increase and another for a zero percent
Heartland Community Action Agency Every day more people are walking through the doors at Heartland Community Action Agency's offices in Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker and Renville counties seeking assistance from various programs the agency provides, like heating assistance. The economy and the holiday have increased the stress of clients, said Joan Macik, executive director. "Our clients are more stressed than ever.
There's a 25 percent increase in the need for angels this year. The increased demand for people who are willing to dig deep into their pockets and hearts is matched by the increasing number of people in need.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will hold its final meeting of the year Tuesday. The regular business meeting begins at 10 a.m. and is held on the second floor of the Health and Human Services Building, located at 2200 23rd St. N.E. in Willmar. Items on the agenda include certifying the 2010 budget, setting the 2010 employee pay scale, approving the 2010 contract agreement with Department of Corrections employees and approving a memorandum of understanding for county dispatchers. The commissioners will also set their own salary for the coming year.
WILLMAR -- There's a large collection of prescription medications on the countertop in Pix Erickson's small kitchen. The medications help the 54-year-old Willmar woman deal with back pain that makes even walking difficult. "I've been going through hell for two years," said Erickson, wh-ile sitting in the mobilized electric chair she uses in her home.
Has the sour economy that has left people jobless and families in need prompted you to be a Christmas angel? Is your church, community organization, school or neighborhood group organizing a special collection of money, food or gifts to give to those who are struggling this year? If so, the West Central Tribune would like to hear from you. Please let us know if you are dedicating a part of your holiday budget to help others.
PENNOCK -- For 50 years Norman Rohner has planted crops in the spring and harvested them in the fall. This year the 65-year-old farmer planted corn and soybeans on his farm in rural Pennock, but it was friends and neighbors who brought in the harvest. "Everybody was there with open arms," said Howard Noor, one of the dozens of volunteers who donated time and farm equipment to harvest Rohner's crops. "Everybody was just willing to help and wanted to help a good guy out," said Noor. Rohner, who is fighting two brain tumors, was too ill from the radiation and chemotherapy treatments to get in
NEW LONDON -- On a 3-2 vote Wednesday, the New London City Council approved a 10.7 percent levy increase for 2010, but also approved a zero increase in the tax rate. For those homeowners whose property values stayed the same, that will mean a zero increase in city taxes, said City Administrator Trudie Guptill. Many residents saw their property values stay even or even drop, she said.