A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 3 years 7 months
WILLMAR -- An in-depth study of an accident-prone intersection on Business Highway 71 in Willmar was approved Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has also signed onto the intersection control evaluation study. The Willmar City Council is expected to take action July 21 on the $46,725 contract. Under the agreement, each of the three entities will pay $15,575. All are part owners of the intersection. The county controls County Road 24, which comes from the west.
WILLMAR -- A group of 21 rural New London residents filed an appeal Friday in District Court against Kandiyohi County, the county Board of Adjustment and Zoning Administrator Gary Geer over a decision regarding a 27-year-old conditional use permit for a hot mix plant. The group contends Geer's determination was arbitrary, unreasonable and capricious. The county has 20 days to respond to the summons.
GROVE CITY -- Although the budget is still in the red, the passage of a levy last month and a transition in superintendents this month is creating optimism in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District. "More optimism for the future is what I'm seeing," said Judy Raske, chairwoman of the ACGC School Board. It's been a few years since that emotion has been experienced at ACGC. The district since 2005 has been in statutory operating debt, meaning the budget deficit exceeds limits set by the state.
WILLMAR -- The 11 Kandiyohi County property owners who objected to their 2008 property valuations and asked for reductions got a mixed bag of results. Most property values were decreased, a few remained the same and one actually increased as a result of action Wednesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Appeals and Equalization. One rural Spicer homeowner was so angry about his valuations that he threatened to take the county to district court, even after the board voted to lower his valuations by more than $20,000. Usually, the annual Board of Appeals and Equalization meetings are short aff
BELGRADE -- It took three ballots, but DFL delegates gave Bruce Shuck their blessing Tuesday night to run for the 13A House seat. Shuck, of rural Sunburg, beat out Larry Mareck and Amy Oehrlein, who are both from Albany. This will be Shuck's fourth attempt to earn the title of state representative for the district, which includes all of Pope County, western Stearns County and the northern part of Kandiyohi County. The big difference this time is that Shuck's former Republican opponent for the last three races, Rep.
WILLMAR -- High fuel prices are being blamed for a projected $33,320 deficit in the Kandiyohi Area Transit's proposed 2009 budget. Since 2001 the price KAT pays for diesel fuel for its fleet of buses has nearly tr-ipled. "Fuel is the number one factor for the budget being short," said John Groothuis, KAT transit director, after presenting the proposed budget Tuesday morning to the operations board. KAT budgeted $98,700 for fuel this year based on a per gallon price of $3.29. KAT, which is exempt from paying some fuel taxes, currently pays $3.65 a gallon. Groothuis set the fuel line item a
WILLMAR -- Consumer excuses for not using compact fluorescent light bulbs are dwindling now that public and private entities are offering free recycling of used bulbs. Energy-saving CFL light bulbs are gradually replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs. But some consumers long resisted using them because it is illegal to throw the bulbs in the trash. Recycling centers, like the Kandiyohi County Household Hazardous Waste facility, charge business and residential users 50 cents to recycle each bulb. But several new partnerships between utility companies, private business and the county
Even though she's been back in the United States nearly three weeks, Susan Semmler hasn't been able to fully relax at her parents' Lake Andrew home in rural New London. "I've had this uneasiness," she said. Semmler is constantly checking the Internet, or e-mails from colleagues, to hear the latest news from Myanmar, which is still trying to recover from a May 2 cyclone that killed thousands of Burmese and wiped out rice fields and entire villages.
WILLMAR -- Just like corn farmers who went out on a limb years ago to invest in ethanol plants, farmers may soon be considering the economic viability of investing in wind farms to create anhydrous ammonia from water. Farmers are "big users" of anhydrous ammonia, the nitrogen-based fertilizer crucial for corn crops, said Bruce Reuss, chairman of the ag and renewable energy committee of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. Made from expensive natural gas that comes primarily from China, Africa and India, anhydrous ammonia has gone from $250 a ton five year
WILLMAR -- State budget reductions could mean counties will have to pay for some public defenders and state prisoners. The financial shift is part of a "string of squeezes" the state is passing onto counties, said Jay Kieft, director of the Kandiyohi County Family Services Department. Kieft on Tuesday told the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners that the State Board of Public Defense announced that as of July 8 it will no longer provide public defenders to parents involved with child protection cases, or cases when parents' rights are being terminated. The decision was made because budg