A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the victim's hometown to Kandiyohi.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Commissioners will discuss whether to apply for a federal stimulus program at their meeting Tuesday, which beings at 10 a.m.
KANDIYOHI -- When the Kandiyohi Fire Department needs to fuel up its fleet of trucks, the firefighters have to drive four miles to Willmar. If the small town's public works department workers need gas for lawnmowers or other equipment, they have to drive to Willmar to fill up a gas can. "It's a hardship on the city. We have to run to Willmar to get gas," said City Clerk Sue Kidrowski. "We're only four miles. But that four miles is four miles." The scenario is repeated for residents needing a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread.
SPICER -- An education about being respectful -- and not a new ordinance -- will be pursued next year in an attempt to curb what some perceive as rude behavior on Green Lake. "When we say educating, we mean everybody. Lakeshore owners and lake users both," said Kandiyohi County Commissioner Dennis Peterson.
For a woman who takes her community theater seriously, getting a bit part in the Coen brothers' new film, "A Serious Man," was pure fun. "It was an opportunity to see how a major film was made," said Deb Nelson of rural Spicer, who's eager to see the movie, which opens Friday. She'll be looking for glimpses of the "gorgeous lime green" dress she wore in the synagogue during the bar mitzvah scene and the "ugly gray double-knit" dress she wore in the funeral scene.
WILLMAR -- There's a list of government regulations local business leaders say they want revoked so that they could get on with the business of doing business. The one that really gets the goat of some of those in the construction industry is a requirement to follow the prevailing wage scale when they get a contract for state or federal government projects. Prevailing wages increase the cost of government-paid construction by 10 to 20 percent, said Richard Breitbach, president of Breitbach Construction, of Elrosa.
GROVE CITY -- Another classroom at the elementary school in Cosmos is being leased by the Southwest/West Central Minnesota Service Cooperative for a special education and autism program. The cooperative began leasing most of the rooms in an empty wing of the school this summer for the program. At their meeting Monday, the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board approved a contract to lease another room to the organization.
NEW LONDON -- There's another light turned off on New London's Main Street. The town's only hardware store closed last week "until further notice" without any apparent warning or explanation from the store's owners, Brad and Harriet Connor. Next door, the realty business also owned by the Connors is dark.
MADISON -- The flat-line levy approved last week by the Lac qui Parle County Board of Commissioners isn't a sign of a flush economy for the county. Instead, the zero increase to the 2010 levy is a desperate attempt not to gouge farmers with a huge property tax increase cau-sed, in part, by what county representatives call an unfair cut to their state aid that benefitted metro counties. Even with the action, property taxes for ag land in many rural counties will increase because of strong sales and values, which is a complete opposite of the housing market in urban areas. That difference bet
Pie makers and jack-o'-lantern carvers may want to nab a pumpkin while they can. A cool summer in Minnesota, and much of the Midwest, could result in fewer pumpkins for sale this fall at farmers' markets and retail outlets. "It was too cold of a summer. The heat wasn't there," said John Blonigen, who grew about an acre of pumpkins this year on his 6-acre vegetable farm near Paynesville. He sells to local retail outlets.