A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 2 years 2 weeks
WILLMAR -- A state audit of Kandiyohi County's finances for 2006 were reviewed Tuesday by the county commissioners during their regular meeting. Chuck Knandel, from the state auditor's office, presented highlights from the report. He said last year's governmental activities had total net assets of $114,982,654.
WILLMAR -- An idea floated recently by Sen. Joe Gimse to offer worker identification cards to undocumented immigrants in Minnesota is generating more than a little buzz -- much of it negative. The West Central Tribune Online logged more than 100 comments this week.
WILLMAR -- Minnesota has an annual 10-year transportation funding shortfall of $2.4 billion and is in "such disarray" that counties and cities are taxing property owners to pay for state highway projects. That's why a gas tax increase, as well as other revenue-enhancing methods, is needed, according to Tim Worke, a former Minnesota Department of Transportation employee who is now the director of the transportation and highway division of the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota.
CLARA CITY -- After a train derailment Monday put the town of Clara City into a whirl of emergency activities, including the evacuation of about 400 residents and the closure of roads, it was back to business as usual Tuesday. The highway was open, the bridge was open, the main rail line was open, businesses were open. The Red Cross volunteers had left, local emergency response volunteers were back at their regular jobs and kids were in school. "We're back to normal as a city," said City Administrator Sara Folsted.
CLARA CITY -- When he answered the phone at 4:55 a.m.
WILLMAR -- Sen. Joe Gimse said he'd like to see Minnesota offer worker ID cards to illegal immigrants. Doing so would allow "hard-working" undocumented immigrants who are already living here to get "out of the shadows" and work at businesses that need, and want, them. The Willmar Republican said employer-sponsored identification cards would remove the "criminal aspect" of being here to work.
GROVE CITY -- As volunteers pored over rough drafts of a get-out-the-vote brochure to promote the Nov. 6 levy referendum in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District, they reiterated the need to stay positive. The group, called Kids First, is putting together a flyer that will focus on the successes in the district.
NEW LONDON/SPICER -- Higher education, clean water and transportation will be top priority infrastructure projects when it comes to divvying up bonding money next year. But Alice Hausman, chairwoman of the House capital investment finance committee, said a portion of the money will be used for "the infrastructure for healthy living." During a tour Friday in Kandiyohi County, Hausman, DFL-St.
WILLMAR -- For the last three years, Jim Ostlie has educated Kandiyohi County livestock farmers about environmental regulations pertaining to manure management. And he has enforced those regulations. As the county feedlot officer he has also helped farmers work through the maze of paperwork to properly site new and expanding feedlots. Starting Wednesday, Ostlie will begin a new job with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture as a livestock development specialist.
WILLMAR -- The money available to help families in crisis situations in Kandiyohi County is shrinking while the number of people seeking assistance is increasing. The federal money the county received in 2007 was $61,256. For the next two years that allocation is scheduled to decrease by $10,000.