A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 1 year 10 months
WILLMAR -- As mothers of young sons who struggle to maintain good mental health, Linda Hocum and Linda Nelson know the importance of speaking up for their children so that they get the help they need. The women are vital voices for children -- theirs and others -- through their participation in the Kandiyohi County Children's Mental Health Local Advisory Council. But Hocum and Nelson are becoming lone voices. Included in 1987 legislation as a way to make sure the spirit of the state's mental health system is preserved, local advisory councils were established to be a voice for people with f
WILLMAR -- The rules for burning garbage -- or not burning garbage -- were discussed Wednesday during the annual meeting of Kandiyohi County's Township Association. Elected members from the townships attended the meeting, which was held at the Health and Human Services Building in Willmar. Shane Delaney, forester for the state Department of Natural Resources, gave a primer on prohibitions on burning barrels and burning garbage in the county.
WILLMAR -- The annual financial report of Kandiyohi County's Family Services Department was reviewed Tuesday by the county commissioners. The report showed increases and decreases in revenue and expenditures for client programs, such as Medical Assistance, food support, general assistance and children's services. But Jay Kieft, family services director, said there's more to the report than just numbers. Kieft, who took over as director earlier this month, said the department's mission, guiding principles and core values are the "threads" that run through the department's every decision and
WILLMAR -- A new policy will require Kandiyohi County vehicles to use a 20 percent blend of biodiesel fuel. Using biodiesel, which is made primarily from soybeans, will benefit the environment and county farmers who raise 5 million bushels of soybeans, said Bruce Ruess, a member of the agribusiness and renewable energy committee that's part of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. Using biodiesel will also help the county meet its goal of using 20 percent renewable energy by the year 2020. Biodiesel is "a local product" and a "safe product," said Ruess, w
WILLMAR -- If the Legislature doesn't pass a law to ban smoking in workplaces, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners will take action and impose a county-wide ban. In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the commissioners enthusiastically approved a resolution supporting legislative approval of a "comprehensive smoke-free workplace law" in Minnesota. The resolution is being sent to legislative leaders at the Capitol.
WILLMAR -- In many town halls across Minnesota only a handful of voters showed up Tuesday for the annual elections. In Kandiyohi County, some townships reported voter turnout of about a dozen people who used paper ballots to vote for a town board supervisor or treasurer. Yet under the current state law, townships will be required to use the new electronic voting machines during the 2008 March township elections. The machines, required under the federal Help America Vote Act, are especially designed for people with disabilities.
WILLMAR -- Democrats are wasting their time in a "futile" process of introducing and passing bills to raise taxes that will be vetoed by the governor, according to a Republican legislative leader. House Minority Leader Marty Seifert of Marshall said he is "shocked" at the number of bills DFL lawmakers have introduced this session to increase taxes that he estimated would cost his family of four about $1,000 a year. Seifert made the comments Friday during a stop at the West Central Tribune in Willmar. Minnesota's DFL lawmakers are "blindly going forward" introducing tax increases that Gov.
WILLMAR -- Surveys that will help identify community needs in Kandiyohi County begin arriving this week at Kandiyohi County homes. A total of 1,200 households were randomly selected to complete the survey as part of an 18-month project called the United Community Assessment of Needs. The surveys were put in the mail on Thursday.
WILLMAR -- With a quick leap, Gov. Tim Pawlenty swung himself onto the steps of a one-of-a-kind self-propelled agricultural sprayer that was made at a Willmar manufacturing company. "The advantage is more torque" Pawlenty said knowingly, while hearing about the latest piece of equipment to roll out of Redball LLC. The company is part of Willmar Fabrication, which also includes Custom Roto-Mold Inc. Pawlenty toured Willmar Fabrication, Relco Unisystems and the MinnWest Technology Campus on Tuesday during a four-hour stay in Willmar.
WILLMAR -- Minnesotans will need to be "razor sharp" to stay competitive in a changing world economy that could put countries such as China and India ahead of the United States. In a speech Tuesday in Willmar to about 200 people who attended a luncheon sponsored by the Willmar Area Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Gov.