A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners got a look Tuesday at public works projects that have been completed this year, those that are under way and those that need to be done in the future. Meeting as the road and bridge committee, the commissioners toured the northern half of the county, where several resurfacing projects of county roads were completed this spring. A roller-coaster ride on the Tri-County road brought home the need for a new box culvert and extended shoulders at the bottom of a very steep hill.
WILLMAR -- A conditional use permit was approved Monday for an expansion of an existing swine operation in an A-1 agriculture zone in Holland Township. The Kandiyohi County Planning Commission unanimously approved the permit for Jerome Taatjes for construction of a 72-foot-by-160-foot total confinement farrowing barn and a 156-foot-by-162-foot total confinement gestation barn.
WILLMAR -- Bill Graves of Willmar has filed to run for the District 2 seat on the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. That seat is currently held by Commissioner Richard Larson, who has filed for re-election. Graves, 45, is a businessman who owns the Willmar Dominos pizza store, as well as 52 other Dominos franchises in seven states.
BELGRADE -- Paul Anderson, a Starbuck farmer and Pope County commissioner, was endorsed Wednesday night in Belgrade as the Republican candidate for the House 13A seat. He'll run against DFL'er Bruce Shuck, of rural Sunburg, in the general election in November. The seat is open because of the retirement of Rep. Bud Heidgerken, a Republican from Freeport. While praising all three candidates who sought the Republican endorsement, Heidgerken told the 28 delegates to select a candidate they thought could win the seat.
WILLMAR -- While thousands of people will be crowded around Green Lake on July 4 to watch a spectacular fireworks display in Spicer, alternative, albeit smaller, shows will likely be taking place in more rural locations. It's not uncommon to be in a boat on Norway Lake or Games Lake and be treated to a steady display of starbursts over the tree line. It's also not uncommon for those displays to be illegal. Minnesota has strict laws on the books regarding fireworks. "If it flies in the air and it explodes, it is illegal," said Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog. Individuals who possess or
WILLMAR -- When 10 western Minnesota counties got together in 1998 to create their own single-payer organization to provide public medical programs, Kandiyohi County bowed out of an invitation to join the fledgling group. Now, Kandiyohi County is taking a second look at the joint powers, county-based purchasing organization called PrimeWest Health System. On Tuesday, PrimeWest CEO Jim Przybilla made a presentation to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners about the success of the program, which has now grown to 13 counties.
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