A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 months
ATWATER -- Plans to build a new city hall in Atwater are back on the table. At its meeting Wednesday, the Atwater City Council reviewed rough drawings of a building that would house the city office, library and the Atwater Police Department. No timeline for construction has been set. The city office and Police Department are currently housed in an old train depot, and the city is renting space in a former liquor store for the library. In 2005, city voters defeated a request by the council for a $725,000 bond to finance a new municipal building to put all three entities under one roof.
WILLMAR -- Vaccine developed in Willmar to prevent salmonella and E. coli in livestock could provide "breakthrough bacterial vaccine technology" for humans. To make the leap of putting a human vaccine on the market, however, it could cost $300 million. A little help from state and federal lawmakers to secure bioscience funding could give that venture a leg up in the competitive medical in-dustry, ac-cording to Joe Shaw, the CEO of Syntiron LLC. Syntiron is a spin-off of Willmar-based Epitopix, which is located on the Minn-West Technology Campus.
GROVE CITY -- With the defeat of Tuesday's levy still stinging, members of the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board said there will be no choice but to go back to voters again to seek additional revenue. It's not known when the next levy referendum will happen, but it will, indeed, happen. "If we give in to the word 'no,' we give up on education," said Janell Johnson, an ACGC board member. "This is about education and kids." Following the official canvassing of the election results during a special 7 a.m.
ATWATER - While sitting around a table in the lunchroom for a quick breakfast before classes started Thursday, a group of high school juniors said they were disappointed that additional funding for their school was once again voted down. On Tuesday, voters in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District defeated an operating levy by a 23-vote margin.
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 -- Kandiyohi County is searching for more families to be foster parents and adoptive parents. The need is especially great for siblings who want to be adopted together, and for older children who often languish in foster care and are never adopted. During a report Tuesday from the county's Family Services Department, Tina Mages said it is "not an easy job" to recruit people to adopt children who are wards of the state. So far in 2007, six adoptions have been finalized in the county and four are still waiting to be adopted.
GROVE CITY -- For the fourth time in the past three years -- and for the second time in 2007 -- voters in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District have turned back a request to in-crease the operating levy. Unofficial results from Tuesday's election show the levy proposal failed by 23 votes, with 1,059 "no" votes and 1,036 "yes" votes. The proposal on the ballot called for revoking the existing $650 operating levy and replacing it with a new $1,075 levy, for a net difference of $425 per pupil.
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.