A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 1 year 8 months
WILLMAR -- On that day in 1977 when Wayne Thompson walked into the Kandiyohi County Courthouse to begin his new job as county administrator, he handed in a one-page, undated letter of resignation. It would be 30 years before it was accepted. Thompson, who has led the county through three decades of growth and financial stability, will walk out of the office for the last time Friday. Thompson's resignation, and the transition of duties to new administrator, Larry Kleindl, has been in the works for a year and a half. In his role as the county's highest-ranked unelected official, Thompson has
LITCHFIELD -- Since 2000, there's been a 63 percent increase in the number of Minnesota children living in extreme poverty. Living in poverty is one of 10 major factors that are used to measure the well-being of children of kids in the United States.
LITCHFIELD -- With 9 million American kids -- including nearly 80,000 in Minnesota -- currently not covered by medical insurance, more federal and state legislation is needed to keep children healthy, according to children's advocates. In a presentation Thursday in Litchfield, representatives from the Minnesota Children's Defense Fund said some progress was made during the 2007 Minnesota legislative session to make health care more accessible to children. But Carole Specktor, advocacy and legislative affairs director for the nonprofit organization, said the final action fell far short of the
SPICER -- The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Department brought out its big guns on Tuesday, and then put the deadly weapons in the hands of the Kandiyohi County commissioners, the county auditor, county attorney and county administrator. During a demonstration by the county's tactical response unit at a secluded firing range in an abandoned gravel pit near Spicer, even the press was given a chance to shoot weapons that most only see on TV cop shows. Besides a lineup of automatic rifles, handguns and shotguns, like the Heckler & Koch .45 caliber UMP sub-gun, the department's new mobile dispatch
WILLMAR -- On a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners agreed to sell the county's boys and girls group homes. The two homes, which provide residential, out-of-home placement for juveniles with behavioral is-sues, will be sold for $280,000 to the Willmar-based Prairie Lakes Youth Programs. The transition is expected to take place by Nov.
BUNDE -- Alvin Kluver was in the kitchen watching television and his wife, Esther, was in the living room reading Sunday night when they thought they heard thunder. But it wasn't a summer storm that struck the couple's farm home. It was a car. Jaime Castillo, 25, of Willmar was driving on 140 Avenue Southeast, also known as Chippewa County Road 1, around 8:20 p.m.
ATWATER -- For the last two week Atwater residents have been painting their town red.
SPICER -- When most businesses involved in a $7.1-million construction project would pull in their resources, Kandiyohi Power Cooperative is continuing to share its good fortunes with a poor community in Zacapa, Guatemala. For more than a decade, the co-op has been helping an electrical co-op in the Philippines by sending it equipment it no longer needs. In 1998 the co-op shipped over a bucket truck. The relationship has helped the small cooperative grow successfully.
SPICER -- Kandiyohi Power Cooperative employees are settling into their new "energy wise" headquarters after more than 50 years at their location in Willmar. The co-op moved into a new building this spring in the Touchstone Business Centre, located off state Highway 23 near Spicer.
WILLMAR -- If Kandiyohi County is going to complete just the minimum maintenance on its roads during the next five years, property taxes will need to increase 8 percent each of those years. The Kandiyohi County Commissioners were told Wednesday during their road and bridge meeting that it'll take about $2 million to resurface about a half-dozen roads each year. Never mind reconstructing roads that are too narrow, don't have shoulders or can't bear the weight of farm and commercial trucks. Most of those roads have been taken off the county's five-year reconstruction plan.