A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
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WILLMAR - A crisscross network of people who grow, pack, transport, distribute, buy and eat food, and then dispose of or compost the leftovers, exists in every community. The network that joins people with life-sustaining food, however, is interrupted by poverty, lack of nutritional education and a system that, for the most part, forces people to rely on a distant food source that's vulnerable to soaring gas prices, natural disasters, a changing climate and even terrorism. For the last several months the Kandiyohi County Food System Steering Committee has been studying the food network in Ka
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Commissioners gave themselves a 3 percent raise for 2008. At their meeting Tuesday, the commissioners set their base salary at $28,140. County Administrator Larry Kleindl recommended the raise, saying it would be "in line" with the 3 percent cost-of-living increase non-union county employees are receiving in 2008. Although no union contracts have yet been settled, Kleindl said a 3 percent increase is also being proposed for the union contracts. The commissioners will also receive a $70 stipend for attending committee meetings.
WILLMAR -- For three years in a row Affiliated Community Medical Centers has taken Kandiyohi County to court to have the value of its Willmar clinic property lowered. Every year a tax court judge has obliged and reduced the property value. It appears the medical clinic will file a similar lawsuit again this year. Kandiyohi County Assessor Tim Falkum told the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that Affiliated Community Medical Centers has filed initial papers in court, sending the signal for another possible lawsuit. He said his office is continuing to work with clinic attor
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Area Food Shelf has two weeks to raise $4,000 to meet expenses for the 2007 operating budget. Christie Kurth, director of the food shelf, said she hopes holiday contributions that have been arriving recently keep on coming. "We have been seeing a consistent number of donations coming in through the mail," Kurth said. People are sending holiday donations in memory of loved ones, she said.
WILLMAR -- Parents and grandparents are being urged to clean out their medicine cabinets and dispose of unused pharmaceuticals to prevent drugs from being used by youth attending "pharm parties." Mike Schliks, director of Project Turnabout based in Granite Falls, told the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners on Monday that leftover prescription drugs, such as painkillers, are being used in combination with alcohol. It's one of the latest problems that addiction counselors like those at Project Turnabout are seeing lately in their prevention and treatment programs. "We're seeing people wh
GROVE CITY -- Geography, logistics and convenience for parents appear to be the primary reasons why the open enrollment option is being used in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District. A survey of parents and guardians who use open enrollment to send their children to the ACGC district or to send their children outside the district was conducted by Minnesota State University-Mankato at the request of the ACGC School Board. The results of that survey were presented Monday. "Convenience seemed to be the major reason," said Dr.
WILLMAR -- A recently completed report of the condition of bridges in Kandiyohi County shows there are six county bridges and three township bridges that are deficient and need to be replaced. Deterioration was also found on at least three township bridge abutments that will require repairs. Gary Danielson, Kandiyohi County Public Works director, said he received a final copy of the county report late last week. County inspectors began a close examination of county and township bridges this summer, following the collapse of the I-35 bridge.
WILLMAR -- Proposed changes to Kandiyohi County's zoning ordinance would establish setbacks for new or expanding feedlots from a municipality. Zoning Administrator Gary Geer presented the proposed changes Monday to the Planning Commission. The advisory board took no formal action but had a "favorable" reaction to the draft changes, he said.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners is strongly urging the Minnesota Department of Transportation to resolve problems with an intersection where numerous accidents have occurred in recent years, including one last week when a county employee was injured. "We need to urge the state to pick this thing up," said County Public Works Director Gary Danielson during Monday's County Board meeting. Commissioner Dennis Peterson asked how many more accidents need to happen there before more is done to improve safety. The commissioners were clearly frustrated with the number of accid
WILLMAR - A 20-year-old Willmar man was commended Monday for his bravery in saving the life of a fisherman from the frigid waters of Eagle Lake on Oct. 27. "I did what I could," said Nathan Dale, in a quiet voice, as he stood before the Kandiyohi County Commissioners, gripping a "life-saving" plaque he received from the county sheriff's department.