A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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HUTCHINSON -- An hour before Nancy Kottke's son, Brandon, was set to arrive Thursday in Hutchinson, the Stewart woman was on her hands and knees taping "welcome home" posters to the floor of an auditorium on the McLeod County Fairgrounds. Keeping her hands busy helped keep her emotions in check, she said. Across the room, 24-year-old Misty Nelson of Willmar was trying to calm her 15-month-old son, Isaac, who was in desperate need of a nap. As Isaac squirmed in his stroller, Misty fidgeted with nervous energy as she waited for her husband, Tony. "I want to see him.
HUTCHINSON - Hugs and tears of joy were abundant Thursday in Hutchinson as family and friends greeted 91 National Guard soldiers who returned home after a 22-month deployment. I am happy now," said Alma Nelson, 93, of Canby, who was at the McLeod County Fairgrounds to welcome her great-grandson, Tony Nelson, back to Minnesota.
SPICER -- Members of the Green Lake Property Owners Association have pooled their money to fight Eurasian water milfoil on their lake. On Friday, if there's no wind, the non-native, invasive aquatic weed will be treated with a herbicide in 47 different locations on the lake. The Indian Beach Harbor will also be treated. Applying the 2,4-D herbicide, called Navigate, will help control the weed, but won't eradicate it, said Tom Snook, sales manager for Lake Restoration Inc., the company contracted to do the job.
WILLMAR -- A Willmar man who was studying for the ministry, where he would've been in a position of authority with young people, must now register as a predatory sex offender. Baltimore Medina Jr., 22, was sentenced Monday on one felony count of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. Two other charges were dismissed. Medina, who is described as being charismatic and manipulative and had an informal leadership role at his church, is charged with having sex with a girl on several occasions in 2005 and 2006.
GROVE CITY -- Dr.
NEW LONDON -- Scientific studies, supplemented with successes from sage citizens, shows a simple sticky substance is a slick solution to the sting of summer insects. Deer flies, which are slightly more annoying than alliteration, are thick this year. A walk in the woods or through a grassy meadow can result in a constant buzz around the head. Swatting at them does absolutely no good.
WILLMAR -- As a Christian, Bruce Laabs said it's important to do things that are good for the environment. "It's God's creation and we want to be good stewards of that," said Laabs, from Plato, who is attending the three-day Sonshine Christian music festival that starts today in Willmar. Knowing that he'll be able to recycle his aluminum cans and plastic beverage bottles while at the festival makes him feel good. In the past, Laabs' family has taken their bottles and cans home with them after Sonshine to recycle.
WILLMAR -- A request to rezone a 30-acre parcel of land on East Woodcock Lake near Spicer to allow a residential development was denied Monday by the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission. The commissioners cited the fragile nature of the shallow natural environment lake as one reason for denying the request. Ed Huseby, a member of the Planning Commission, said the situation was the "classical conflict" of property rights and the environment. The land is also not included in Spicer's urban growth boundary, which is another measure used for rezoning land that's dedicated as shoreland resource
WILLMAR -- A litany of complaints about existing turkey barns, and fears about additional ones, were expressed Monday to the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission. Nearly 35 people were at the meeting to object to plans by Jennie-O Turkey Store Inc. to build 10 new turkey barns in four different locations in the northern part of Kandiyohi County. Nearly all of the residents came to the podium to voice their objections -- some made the trip several times during testimony that lasted for more than 2½ hours.
WILLMAR -- Jose Hildalgo Lopez, 42, of Willmar was charged Friday for attempting to kill a 32-year-old woman early Tuesday morning. Lopez was charged with four felony charges: attempted murder in the first degree, assault in the first degree, domestic assault by strangulation and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. He is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail on $750,000 bail. The woman was initially taken to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar and later transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis with stab wounds to the neck and chest.