A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- Carole and John Kroes carried two hefty boxes of prized antique possessions to the Willmar Holiday Inn on Wednesday, hoping to make some big sales to buyers at the Treasure Hunters Roadshow. But the Prinsburg couple carried nearly everything back home and spent Thursday putting the family treasures back in the cupboard. The $73 they were offered for a toy truck that John Kroes got for Christmas when he was a little boy wasn't enough. "It didn't mean as much to them as it did to us," said Carole Kroes.
ATWATER -- Crews from South Dakota were called in Wednesday night to thaw out Atwater's 100,000-gallon water tower. Following several days of subzero temperatures this week, water in the tower had turned into an ice cube Wednesday, with a small pocket of air in the middle, said City Clerk Goldie Smith. If the problem had gone on much longer, the tower could have been structurally damaged. "Kind of like a pop can in the deep freeze," he said. The freeze-up was discovered Wednesday morning when residents were getting intermittent water pressure.
ATWATER - Crews from South Dakota were called in last night to thaw out Atwater's 100,000 gallon water tower. Following several days of sub-zero temperatures this week, water in the tower had turned into an ice-cube Wednesday, with a small pocket of air in the middle, said City Clerk Goldie Smith. If the problem had gone on much longer the tower could've been structurally damaged. "Kind of like a pop can in the deep freeze," said Smith. The freeze-up was discovered Wednesday morning when residents were getting intermittent water pressure.
Somehow, witnessing a murder while eating cheesecake just doesn't make the crime seem so bad. To be honest, it's actually pretty funny.
WILLMAR -- State and local highway crews were kept busy Monday plowing roads during a storm that dropped about four inches of snow on the area. Brisk winds whipped around the fluffy snow, which caused limited visibility and drifting on roads. The western part of the state took the worst beating with zero visibility reported at times, said Jeff Butson, operations superintendent at the Minnesota Department of Transportation's District 8 office in Willmar. MnDOT crews worked until 8:30 p.m. Monday and were scheduled to be back on the road by 3 a.m.
Limited visibility in the western part of the state is causing problems for motorists today, but state roads are being cleared and kept open. Rumors that some state highways are being closed are false, said Jeff Butson, operations superintendent at the Minnesota Department of Transportation's District 8 office in Willmar. Butson said he won't consider closing roads unless snow plows are pulled from the roads, and so far that's not happening. MnDOT will likely have crews on the road until 8 p.m. tonight, and they'll resume clearing roads at 3 a.m.
More than 20 west-central Minnesota schools have cancelled classes today as a blustery storm moves across the region. The area is under a winter-weather advisory and wind-chill advisory. More nasty weather could be in store for tomorrow, with additional snow, wind and cold temperatures in the forecast. The area could receive 2 to 4½ inches of snow before today is over, said Matt Friedlein, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.
WILLMAR -- Meadow Star Dairy LLP is no longer seeking a conditional use permit to build an on-site, multi-unit dwelling for up to 36 employees in an area zoned for agriculture. The dairy withdrew its request for the permit Thursday, said Kandiyohi County Zoning Administrator Gary Geer. A public hearing had been scheduled for Monday night before the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission. That meeting has now been cancelled, Geer said. The dairy, which received county approval in October to build a 9,590-head dairy operation in St.
WILLMAR -- Dennis Peterson of Spicer was chosen by his peers Tuesday as chairman of the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. He replaces Richard Larson, who served as chairman in 2008. Peterson praised Larson for representing the county's needs with the Association of Minnesota Counties, a statewide lobbying organization. "You've taken a leading role down there and I appreciate that," Peterson said. Commissioner Richard Falk, of Willmar, was elected vice chairman for 2009 during the board's reorganizational meeting. The primary challenge of the new year is to prepare for expected cuts
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners took action Tuesday to be the "conduit" for $20 million in industrial development revenue bonds for Meadow Star Dairy LLC. Developers intend to use the bonds to finance the construction, acquisition and installation of equipment to handle manure for the 9,590-head dairy operation that will be built near Pennock. There will be no financial risk to the county by issuing the bonds, which still must be approved by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. James Stewart, an attorney with Arntson & Stewart from Fargo, N