A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 2 years 4 weeks
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.
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.
WILLMAR -- After touring the Kandiyohi County rescue squad building on Tuesday, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners drew the quick conclusion that a new building is needed. It's just a matter of when and where. The building, which had been an old bus barn before it was transformed into a training center for the volunteer rescue squad and a storage facility for rescue vehicles, is cold, drafty and expensive to heat. It has an outdated electrical system, moldy insulation hanging from the ceiling, a leaky roof and a wet floor.
WILLMAR -- A tax on gravel that's mined in Kandiyohi County will get a two-year trial run to see if the revenue that's generated is worth the administrative hassle. The new aggregate material removal tax will be imposed on Jan. 1. It will expire in two years unless the board decides at that time to continue it. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners approved the tax Tuesday on a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Richard Falk cast the lone no vote.
WILLMAR -- A new state law requires pre-adoptive parents -- even stepparents who want to adopt a spouse's child -- to be fingerprinted and undergo a national FBI background check. The legislation, which was approved this spring, also applies to individuals who are seeking a license to be foster parents. The law went into effect July 1 to help the state meet the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which was approved in 2006 as a way to protect children from sexual predators. Adam Walsh was kidnapped and killed in 1981.
PAYNESVILLE -- Money to purchase land for a bypass around Paynesville could be one of 60 projects that will be delayed if the Minnesota Department of Transportation is not allowed to spend an extra $195 million for the I-35W bridge replacement project. MnDOT officials said this week that if a state legislative transportation panel doesn't authorize the additional spending, $137 million worth of road and bridge projects set for 2008 will be delayed for a year. The list includes $2.95 million to purchase land along a 7.38-mile corridor around Paynesville for the state Highway 23 bypass. Brad
BELGRADE -- Owners of flex-fuel vehicles now have even greater flexibility in the type of ethanol fuels they can use. The Cenex Convenience Store in Belgrade is offering customers four different varieties of ethanol blends at the pumps, ranging from E20 to E85. The new pumps were turned on for the first time Friday. The Belgrade store is the first station in central Minnesota to use "blender pumps," and one of two gas stations in Minnesota to use them. The other is located at a Cenex station in Ortonville, which began pumping ethanol blends Oct. 4.
NEW LONDON - A chilly northwest wind was blowing Tuesday as Tim and Julie Rittenhouse medicated and fed some of the 2,000 honeybee colonies they maintain at 65 different locations in Kandiyohi, Stearns and Meeker counties. The cold snap kept the bees inside the hives, which made it easier for the Hawick couple to do their work. But with the spread of the varroa mite creeping into hives and killing entire colonies, there was a harsh edge to their fall work with the bees.