A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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At least for one day, 41 youth from the New London-Spicer summer Pals day care program on Thursday got to experience life on the farm. With the help of the school's FFA students, the K-5 grade kids learned about agriculture -- both past and present -- on the Jerome and Kristine Bengtson dairy farm in rural Kandiyohi. "We enjoy seeing the kids enjoy themselves," said Kristine Bengtson.
WILLMAR -- Mike Vosika doesn't oppose plans for a small housing development on Dovre Township's Long Lake, but he wants to make sure the future residents realize they'll be building their new homes in farm country. Vosika has cattle in the pasture that abuts the proposed Rolling Meadows housing development. He told the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission he's worried the new country dwellers could object to his agricultural livelihood. "I know what they're going to say: 'We smell something,'" Vosika said. A similar concern was expressed by Alvin Ledeboer about a different proposal for a h
NEW LONDON -- A branch office of the Willmar Area Food Shelf will open Sept.
WILLMAR -- With five years under his belt as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Tom Emmer said he's not a career politician but is a political outsider who would be able to cut through the political gamesmanship in St. Paul if he's elected governor. Emmer, 48, of Delano, is seeking the Republican endorsement for governor. He spent some time Friday at the Republican booth at the Kandiyohi County Fair in Willmar.
WILLMAR -- A pilot project to "e-charge" individuals for crimes gets under way next week in Kandiyohi County. Starting Monday, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will be in Willmar to set up the computer software and train officials from law enforcement, the county attorney's office, court administration and judges before the system is put online Thursday. When it's up and running, police reports, criminal complaints, signatures from law enforcement, prosecutors and judges and notarization of documents will all be done electronically. Currently, those thick piles of paper documents are han
WILLMAR -- A $500,000 state economic development grant to improve a township road leading to a new dairy in rural Kandiyohi County could be in jeopardy because of a recent Minnesota attorney general's ruling. Without the grant, more of the cost of the project will be carried by local taxpayers and developers of Meadow Star Dairy, which is to be built in St. John's Township just west of Willmar. St.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County employees -- from the top administrator to clerical workers -- will be taking one day off without pay this year to compensate for Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unallotment of funds. The one-day work furlough will save the county $79,000 this year. Next year, workers will take two days off without pay, for savings of about $158,000.
LAKE LILLIAN -- When the timber bridge on Kandiyohi County Road 2 east of Lake Lillian was removed this spring to make way for a new culvert, crews discovered that the pilings were all rotten. Because the nearly 50-year-old bridge was also too narrow to leave in place once the 3½-mile stretch of county road underwent a necessary upgrade this year, it was classified as a structurally deficient bridge. "It needed replacing," said Gary Danielson, Kandiyohi County public works director. Without federal stimulus funding, the bridge may not have been replaced for another one to three years.
BENSON -- Swift County will take over ownership of a wayside rest that's currently owned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The commissioners voted last week to purchase the Pomme De Terre Wayside Rest for $1 from the state. The site includes a restroom and about nine acres of land that's mowed for hay.
WILLMAR -- Service contracts approved by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners indicate a gap in mental health services still exists. Mary Kjolsing, director of the Rice Hospital mental health unit, said a shortage of psychiatrists has meant a reduction in care in places like the county jail and the prison in Appleton. Commissioner Richard Larson said jails have turned into "holding areas" for people with mental illness. Jay Kieft, director of Kandiyohi County Family Services, said it's a "disgrace" when psychiatric episodes are "de-escalated in the back seat of a squad car." Kjolsin