A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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NEW LONDON -- Spontaneous combustion, or embers unintentionally buried among construction materials, may have started a four-day fire at Kandiyohi County landfill. The true cause may never be known, said Jeff Bredberg, director of Kandiyohi County environmental services, but he said it's possible the fire could've been smoldering for years before a thin stream of smoke was discovered coming from the ground on Thursday. The smoldering debris, including old lumber, windows, vinyl siding, shingles and other building materials, was located in an area of the demolition site that hadn't been used
WILLMAR -- Signs of a tough economy are being seen in increased requests for services at the Heartland Community Action Agency.
WILLMAR -- A proposal to adopt a county ordinance that would address dangerous animals, animals running at large and prohibited animals has the strong support of Kandiyohi County Board Chairman Dennis Peterson. Personal experience has convinced him such an ordinance is needed. In the 1980s, before Peterson was a commissioner, dogs attacked his sheep one night, killing about 70 of them.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County's willingness to be a partner with the state, along with putting together an attractive lease proposal, helped it land a contract to host a new centralized court payment center. "It's a great opportunity for us," said County Administrator Larry Kleindl, during a presentation Tuesday to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. Not only that, said Chairman Dennis Peterson, it's also good for the Eighth Judicial District Court and neighboring rural counties. Kandiyohi County was competing against metro communities for the payment center, which will initially hir
LITCHFIELD -- When Meeker County began building a new hospital in 1951 in Litchfield, organizers tucked away some of the community pride and excitement in a steel container that has been sealed up for 58 years. On Friday, the time capsule of the Meeker Memorial Hospital will be opened and its contents put on display. "What's in it?
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Courthouse has been selected as a pilot site for a centralized court payment system for the Minnesota Judicial Branch. The decision to locate this "one-of-a-kind" payment center in Willmar could mean the addition of 12 to 16 jobs for the Eighth Judicial District Court, said Kandiyohi County Administrator Larry Kleindl. The center will process payments for certain fines, such as traffic and Department of Natural Resources violations, for all 87 counties in the state, Kleindl said.
BENSON -- Fresh from a deployment near Iraq, Dave Barrett is back at his job helping Swift County veterans apply for benefit programs. Barrett, the Swift County veterans service officer, said he has a "new appreciation" for his family, community and country after returning home last month from active duty. The veterans he serves also seem to have a new appreciation for Barrett. The first things the World War II, Korea or Vietnam-era veterans say when they walk into the office is "welcome back and thank you," said Barrett.
LITCHFIELD -- A resolution to study a passenger rail route in west central Minnesota was approved Tuesday by the Meeker County Board of Commissioners. The resolution, which was adopted at the request of Rep. Dean Urdahl, directs the Minnesota Department of Transportation to "continue to study the potential for passenger rail service" on the Little Crow Transit Way corridor as part of the statewide passenger rail plan "It's a good concept," said County Administrator Paul Virnig. With progress stalled on making U.S.
WILLMAR -- With memories of a long Senate recount still lingering, and a lively governor's race looming, the Legislature is expected to take up a variety of voting issues in the 2010 session. Proposals may include options for early voting, simplifying absentee ballots, voter fraud prevention and photo identification for voters, according to Sen. Joe Gimse and Rep.
NEW LONDON -- A giant pumpkin grown in Iowa beat out a New London man's attempt for a world record. The difference was 65 pounds. Chad Revier had hoped the combined weight of the three largest pumpkins he grew in his grandmother's garden would earn him the 2009 "Grower of the Year" title from the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth.