A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 5 years 5 months
WILLMAR -- After spending more than 35 years in a building that was leaky, dirty and lacked basic amenities, the Kandiyohi County Rescue Squad is relishing its new facility, "Unbelievable," is the first word Emergency Management Director Don Ericson uttered when asked to describe the new building. "It's just such a nice facility," said Ericson.
LITCHFIELD -- A financial audit shows the Litchfield School District is on the right path for getting out of statutory operating debt. It was around Thanksgiving Day a year ago that the district was placed into statutory operating debt, which means its unreserved fund balance is a negative amount that exceeds 2.5 percent of expenditu-res. The district is red-ucing ex-penses and increasing revenues in order to leave statutory operating debt. The audit presented to the school board this week shows that the district "stopped the bleeding," Superintendent Bill Wold said.
WILLMAR -- The evening taxi service that is subsidized by the Kandiyohi Area Transit system will end at the end of the year. KAT's expansion committee will look for options to fill the evening transportation gap. KAT currently pays RideNet $20 an hour to provide taxi service from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays. Transit buses do not operate during those hours. In a letter, a RideNet spokesman said drug testing, insurance and the need to provide handicapped-accessible vehicles made it difficult for them to comply with KAT's requirements and that RideNet would no longer provide rides.
LITCHFIELD -- Amid claims that two Meeker County Commissioners acted inappropriately, some residents of a subsidized apartment complex in Dassel are asking that those commissioners be removed from the governing board that oversees the apartments. The request was presented in a letter submitted last week at the Meeker County Board of Commissioners meeting. No action was taken by the County Board, but allegations against the two county commissioners are being investigated, according to Meeker County Attorney Stephanie Beckman. The request to remove the county commissioners from their appointm
WILLMAR -- For the first time in nearly a dozen years, there are no children in Kandiyohi County waiting to be adopted. But Tina Mages knows that could change tomorrow. Mages, a social worker who coordinates the county's adoption program for children who become wards of the state, completed three adoptions this year and is in the process of finalizing a fourth. "There are no children waiting," Mages said. "I think that's the first time I've ever said that.
LITCHFIELD -- The Meeker County Board of Commissioners ap-proved a participation plan last week for implementing the 800-megahertz radio system that will make the county eligible for grant money. Once the plan is approved by the regional and state board, the county could seek grants to offset the estimated $3 million in costs to be part of the statewide emergency radio network. It's estimated the system will include $2 million in "backbone" improvements for the county's dispatch center and $1 million to purchase portable and mobile radios for the various emergency response entities throughou
WILLMAR -- A 35 percent budget cut for the Harmony Visitation Center will mean the loss of safe and secure opportunities for children to have court-ordered visitation with non-custodial parents. It could also increase the violence kids see during child-care exchanges between their feuding parents. The center is facing a $50,000 shortfall after it was turned down for a major foundation grant that was intended to replace a two-year state grant that ended in October. Faced with declining revenues from investments as a result of economic crisis, the foundation "cut millions" from their usual gr
ATWATER -- A recent increase in the number of mailboxes being installed on street corners and curbs has the Atwater City Council looking for ways to control their placement. "They seem to be popping up like mushrooms everywhere," said City Clerk Goldie Smith. There's concern the mailboxes on city streets will interfere with snow plows, said Smith.
WILLMAR -- A new ordinance approved Tuesday prohibits animals from running on the loose in Kandiyohi County. The ordinance was passed unanimously by the county commissioners following a public hearing. Chairman Dennis Peterson said he fielded numerous calls from residents thankful the issue was addressed. Some people who move to the country think they can let their dogs run wild when they can cause many problems for farmers, said Peterson, who had about 70 sheep killed by neighborhood dogs in the 1980s.
People who own agricultural, seasonal or recreational lakeshore properties may have had a heart-stopper over the weekend when they opened their proposed property tax statements. It wasn't unusual for those estimated taxes to be 20 to 40 percent higher than last year, said Kandiyohi County Assessor Tim Falkum.