A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 2 years 9 months
WILLMAR -- An 18-county mental health consortium says the state's new system of providing mental health services has resulted in a shortage of beds in rural Minnesota for individuals with severe and chronic mental illness. As a result, jails are sometimes used to house people who should instead be in a mental health hospital. "The original plan isn't working," said Jay Kieft, Kandiyohi County Family Services director, during the Tuesday meeting of the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Commissioners are urging legislators to pass a transportation funding bill this week that includes a gas tax increase. Saying that new transportation revenue is essential for state and local governments to complete road and bridge projects that are long overdue, the commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday backing a "comprehensive and balanced transportation funding package." The board endorsed seven different revenue sources including an increase to the gas tax and license tab fees, trunk highway bonding, general obligation bonding for local ro
WILLMAR -- A new conditional use permit with a revised set of conditions was approved Tuesday for Holland Pork Inc. of rural Prinsburg. The Kandiyohi County Commissioners approved the permit to allow the cooperative to spread manure in the four sections of land that surround the city of Prinsburg. Under the original permit approved in 1996, the hog cooperative was prohibited from applying manure on farmland in those four sections. The exception is a small rectangle of land just north of the city limits.
WILLMAR -- The issue of who should be qualified to "float horse teeth" is drowning at least one legislator in three years' worth of reports, studies, committee meetings and proposed legislation. Rep. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, said he hopes the issue can finally be resolved during this year's legislative session. "I'm tired of it," he said, with a light-hearted chuckle. Floating horse teeth involves smoothing down the teeth of horses with a file. It's a necessary routine because horse teeth grow perpetually and the sharp points can cut a horse's tongue and mouth.
WILLMAR -- A conditional use permit that was approved in 1996 for Holland Pork Cooperative may be revised, with some previous restrictions removed and some made more stringent. At its meeting Monday, the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission agreed to recommend that a new conditional use permit be approved with a new set of conditions put in place. Final action will be taken March 19 by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. Gary Geer, zoning administrator, asked the commission to determine the nee" and reasonableness of the conditions and proposed changes. Some of the conditions tha
GROVE CITY -- Rep.
WILLMAR -- Students in metro schools should be spending as much time in the classroom as their rural counterparts, said Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport, who said he will introduce a bill this session to make that happen. The average Minneapolis student spends 360 minutes a day in class, said Heidgerken, a former school tea-cher. By contrast, students in the small rural district in Lynd are in class 480 minutes a day.
WILLMAR -- Local projects, ranging from improvements to Ridgewater College to restoring Grass Lake, are on a long list of requests Minnesota legislators will consider when they put together a bonding package this year. The 2008 legislative session begins today. The items on the state's wish list total $3 billion to $4 billion. That's a lot more than the expected $1 billion that will actually be approved. "There are some definite needs," said Rep. Al Juhnke.
GRANITE FALLS - Howling winds whipped the prairie snow into white-out conditions Saturday as a Minnesota soldier was laid to rest in Granite Falls. Hundreds battled dangerous driving conditions in west central Minnesota to pay their respects to Army Sgt. 1st Class, Matthew Ryan Kahler. Kahler, 29, was killed Jan. 26, apparently by friendly fire from an Afghanistan guard, while leading his platoon on a patrol near Waygul, Afghanistan. He was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Vicenza, Italy.
WILLMAR -- Cold weather Sunday caused water pipes to break Sunday, resulting in water damage at two Willmar businesses. The damage was reported at the New 2 You Thrift Store, 1401 First St. S. and at North American State Bank, 1516 First St. S. According to the Willmar Police Department, a passerby noticed water running out from under the door at the New 2 You Thrift Store around 3:30 p.m. and called law enforcement. A sprinkler in the small front entrance of the store froze in the frigid temperatures, causing the pipe to burst and water to pour from the ceiling.