A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- Being poor, and unable to afford decent housing, is one reason why victims of domestic assault often return to their abusive partners. Usually women will return to the batterer seven times because they can't afford to live on their own, said Sharon Mace, the advocacy programs coordinator for Shelter House Inc.
WILLMAR -- If a change in wording is made in the Kandiyohi County zoning ordinance, new, large feedlots would have to be set back one mile from Willmar and ½ mile from smaller towns and special districts in the county. The Kandiyohi County Planning Commission held preliminary talks Tuesday on potential changes to the zoning ordinance that would affect how close new feedlots could be to municipalities and the four "special districts" in the county. The discussion came about from the county's approval in August of turkey barns near Hawick. Residents from the unincorporated community in northe
WILLMAR -- The death last weekend of longtime Kandiyohi County coroner, Dr. Lyle Munneke, will create a void of dedicated community service in a job that was challenging and unique. "The county has lost a great person. He's done a lot of work for the county," said County Administrator Larry Kleindl. Munneke, 73, died Saturday.
As Veterans Day is being celebrated this weekend, Jon Erickson said he'll have a hard time putting himself in the same category as an esteemed veteran of past wars. Compared to the harsh conditions veterans of past wars fought in -- and the sacrifices they made -- Erickson said his time on duty After all, he had air-conditioning in his tent, three meals a day, laundry service and he could regularly e-mail his family back home.
ATWATER -- Plans to build a new city hall in Atwater are back on the table. At its meeting Wednesday, the Atwater City Council reviewed rough drawings of a building that would house the city office, library and the Atwater Police Department. No timeline for construction has been set. The city office and Police Department are currently housed in an old train depot, and the city is renting space in a former liquor store for the library. In 2005, city voters defeated a request by the council for a $725,000 bond to finance a new municipal building to put all three entities under one roof.
WILLMAR -- Vaccine developed in Willmar to prevent salmonella and E. coli in livestock could provide "breakthrough bacterial vaccine technology" for humans. To make the leap of putting a human vaccine on the market, however, it could cost $300 million. A little help from state and federal lawmakers to secure bioscience funding could give that venture a leg up in the competitive medical in-dustry, ac-cording to Joe Shaw, the CEO of Syntiron LLC. Syntiron is a spin-off of Willmar-based Epitopix, which is located on the Minn-West Technology Campus.
GROVE CITY -- With the defeat of Tuesday's levy still stinging, members of the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board said there will be no choice but to go back to voters again to seek additional revenue. It's not known when the next levy referendum will happen, but it will, indeed, happen. "If we give in to the word 'no,' we give up on education," said Janell Johnson, an ACGC board member. "This is about education and kids." Following the official canvassing of the election results during a special 7 a.m.
ATWATER - While sitting around a table in the lunchroom for a quick breakfast before classes started Thursday, a group of high school juniors said they were disappointed that additional funding for their school was once again voted down. On Tuesday, voters in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District defeated an operating levy by a 23-vote margin.
GROVE CITY -- For the fourth time in the past three years -- and for the second time in 2007 -- voters in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District have turned back a request to in-crease the operating levy. Unofficial results from Tuesday's election show the levy proposal failed by 23 votes, with 1,059 "no" votes and 1,036 "yes" votes. The proposal on the ballot called for revoking the existing $650 operating levy and replacing it with a new $1,075 levy, for a net difference of $425 per pupil.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County is searching for more families to be foster parents and adoptive parents. The need is especially great for siblings who want to be adopted together, and for older children who often languish in foster care and are never adopted. During a report Tuesday from the county's Family Services Department, Tina Mages said it is "not an easy job" to recruit people to adopt children who are wards of the state. So far in 2007, six adoptions have been finalized in the county and four are still waiting to be adopted.